September 10th, 2009

Super Mario

Double-digit approval jump after speech

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Two out of three Americans who watched President Barack Obama's health care reform speech Wednesday night favor his health care plans — a 14-point gain among speech-watchers, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll of people who tuned into Obama's address Wednesday night to a joint session of Congress.

Sixty-seven percent of people questioned in the survey say the support Obama's health care reform proposals that the president outlined in his address, with 29 percent opposed. Those figures are almost identical to a poll conducted immediately after Bill Clinton's health care speech before Congress in September, 1993.

The audience for the speech appears to be more Democratic than the U.S. population as a whole. Because of this, the results may favor Obama simply because more Democrats than Republicans tune into the speech. The poll surveyed the opinions of people who watched Wednesday night's speech, and does not reflect the views of all Americans.

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franklin sherman

Dennis Kucinich response to Obama's speech.

"Private insurance companies are going to get at least 30 million new customers, mandated. People will have to buy private insurance... and the government is going to subsidize those people who cant afford it. Now what that means is, inevitably, that the money is going to go over to the insurance companies. Were investing in the wrong people... the insurance companies are being given a huge break, the pharmaceutical companies are getting a windfall... the government doesnt negotiate a price with the pharmaceutical companies..."

"Wall street created the crash, the government came back and gave wall street trillions of dollars. We rewarded the bad actors. ,the insurance companies have driven up the price of healthcare... they are being rewarded... its the wrong approach. And were rewarding the wrong people, were investing in the wrong people. We should be mindful of the concerns of the American people, not the concerns of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. It looks like in this bill that they are pretty much the game."

"We know that the insurance companies are going to get a windfall. Its mandated that people have to buy private insurance... the costs are not going to be sustainable, and inevitably we will have to talk about cutting benefits to people... this system is a bailout to pharmaceutical and insurance companies... There might be some short term benefit when it starts, but inevitably you are looking at a decline here. We will be here again, mark my words... we will be back here at the problem where people are having trouble paying for their health insurance... the system that we have now is wrong. profits will be further fueled. We are looking at an inevitable demise of the public interests..."

I think a bill that gives broad subsidies to insurance and pharmaceutical interests is a problem.

Real mature

September 10, 2009
In Lawmaker’s Outburst, a Rare Breach of Protocol

WASHINGTON — It was a rare breach of the protocol that governs ritualistic events in the Capitol.

In an angry and very audible outburst, Representative Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina, interrupted President Obama’s speech Wednesday night with a shout of “You lie!”

His eruption — in response to Mr. Obama’s statement that Democratic health proposals would not cover illegal immigrants — stunned members of both parties in the House chamber.

Democrats said it showed lack of respect for the office of the presidency and was reminiscent of Republican disruptions at recent public forums on health care.

“It is outrageous,” said Representative Joseph Crowley, Democrat of New York, who said it reminded him of the “antics that are being used to disrupt and fog what is going on.”

After the speech, Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff who sat a few rows in front of Mr. Wilson, said he immediately approached senior Republican lawmakers to encourage them to identify the heckler and urge him to issue an apology quickly.

“No president has ever been treated like that. Ever,” Mr. Emanuel said.

Other Democrats said they did not want to dwell on the outburst or allow it to overshadow what they saw as an effective address by the president. But they also said it bolstered their contention that some Republicans were not interested in constructive dialogue, and they noted that Democratic plans specifically barred coverage for illegal immigrants.

Republicans also said the heckling was out of line. “I think we ought to treat the president with respect,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, “and anything other than that is not appropriate.”

Mr. Wilson seemed rattled in the wake of his comment, and quickly left the chamber at the end of the speech.

His office later issued an apology, saying: “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.”

Mr. Wilson also phoned the White House and reached Mr. Emanuel, who accepted an apology on behalf of the president.(you know Rahm probably threatened to gut him like a fish)

Critical body language and murmurs of disapproval are typical at presidential addresses and part of the political theater. But members of both parties were trying to recollect such a pointed attack from an individual lawmaker at a presidential address and noted that a similar remark could draw a formal reprimand if delivered at a routine session of the House.

When President Clinton addressed Congress in 1993 to push his health care plan, “both sides of the aisle received the President warmly,” according to a report in The New York Times at the time.

“But when he began talking about raising taxes on tobacco to pay for the plan, or the need to cut Medicare and Medicaid, many on the Republican side of the aisle began snickering, shaking their heads skeptically and making faces at each other,” the article said.


The crazy is coming from the inside!!!!

Jerry Nadler, fuck yeah


Dems To Introduce DOMA Repeal in House

A group of Democrats, including New York Representative Jerry Nadler are reportedly preparing to introduce a repeal to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

A group of Democrats in Congress, including New York representative Jerry Nadler, are reportedly preparing to introduce a repeal to the law that restricts the federal government from recognizing gay and lesbian marriages or partnerships legally recognized in certain states.

The group is gearing up to notify fellow congressmembers that the bill will introduced, while asking for their support, according to

While House speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she supports repealing the 13-year-old law, the House has a full slate of economic issues to deal with over the next session. President Barack Obama also campaigned on the message that he would approve of repealing DOMA. However, the Department of Justice, under Obama, has issued two briefs pertaining to the law over the summer, defending it in federal court cases.

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    Apoptygma Berzerk - LNDP3

Joe Wilson: History of Foot-in-Mouth Disease...

Obama speech disrupter a health industry darling

During President Obama’s address on health insurance reform to a joint session of Congress last night, he observed that some people have been spreading bad information about his proposal — and that contrary to what’s been said it would not cover illegal immigrants. At that point the president was interrupted by Rep. Addison Graves “Joe” Wilson (right), a Republican from South Carolina.
“You lie!” Wilson shouted from the crowd.

Obama paused for a moment before continuing his address as Wilson’s colleagues looked on in shock following the breach of protocol.
Whether because of his outspokenness or in spite of it, Wilson is a major recipient of contributions from the health care industry.

In fact, over his entire congressional career, health professionals represent Wilson’s top industry contributors, donating a total of $244,196 to his campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics database. He received another $86,150 from pharmaceutical companies, $73,050 from insurance companies and $68,000 from hospitals and nursing homes.

Among Wilson’s top contributors are the American Hospital Association, a lobby group that represents the interests of hospitals and health networks, and the American Medical Association, which represents physicians.

During a post-speech interview with CNN’s Larry King, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Wilson should apologize, calling his behavior “totally disrespectful.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told the New York Times that Wilson’s behavior was “not appropriate.”
Wilson’s office later issued an apology for the outburst:
“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.”
It was not the first time Wilson — attorney, U.S. Army vet and former aide to U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond — has raised eyebrows by shouting at political opponents.

Seven years ago this month, the then-freshman Wilson appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” with five-term Congressman Bob Filner (D-Calif.) to discuss whether to go to war in Iraq, action that Filner opposed but Wilson supported. In the course of the discussion, Filner noted that the U.S. supplied weapons to Saddam Hussein’s regime during the Iran-Iraq War — a fact revealed by the investigation into the Iran-Contra Affair, which discovered the Reagan administration secretly sold weapons to Iran, then under an arms embargo, to win support for freeing U.S. hostages in Lebanon and to fund the Nicaraguan contras, a counterrevolutionary rebel force that was fighting the country’s government.

But Filner’s statement incensed Wilson, as the Washington Post reported at the time:
“That is wrong. That’s made up,” Wilson fired back. “I can’t believe you would say something like that.”

When Filner calmly held his ground, advising Wilson to read newspaper reports and other documentation, the Republican erupted: “This hatred of America by some people is just outrageous. And you need to get over that.”

As moderator Connie Brod sat by helplessly, Filner challenged: “Hatred of America? . . . Are you accusing me?”

“Yes!” Wilson shouted. For good measure, over the next minute Wilson accused Filner of harboring “hatred of America” four more times, of being “hateful” three times and of being “viscerally anti-American” once. Filner responded, “This is not worth replying to,” and Brod finally regained control of the discussion by taking viewer phone calls.


More Judges Are Punishing Wall Street's Bad Behavior While Regulators Do Nothing...

Judges Punish Wall Street as Regulators Just Talk About Reform

As the White House and Congress debate how to regulate financial firms to avoid another economic crisis, judges have assumed the point position in punishing Wall Street for causing the worst recession since the 1930s.

The executive and legislative branches have been discussing reforms such as more regulation of hedge funds and transparency for derivatives as a response to the financial crisis that began a year ago. As that battle with a reluctant Wall Street inches forward about how to prevent another disaster, judges are taking the first steps toward the same goal, punishing executives and issuing rulings with national impact.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin threw out a key free-speech defense that credit raters had used for years to thwart investors’ fraud suits, knocking $1.5 billion off the market value of Moody’s Investors Service Inc. and the parent of Standard & Poor’s LLC.
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Former health insurance lobbyist: Michael Moore is right, we need public option

This is a couple weeks old, have you seen this?
Wendell Potter was an executive in the health insurance industry for nearly 20 years before his conscience got the better of him. He served as head of corporate communications for Humana and then for Cigna. 2007 Mr. Potter attended a premiere of “Sicko,” Michael Moore’s excoriating film about the American health care system. Mr. Potter was taking notes so that he could prepare a propaganda counterblast — but he found himself agreeing with a great deal of the film.

A month later, Mr. Potter was back home in Tennessee, visiting his parents, and dropped in on a three-day charity program at a county fairgrounds to provide medical care for patients who could not afford doctors. Long lines of people were waiting in the rain, and patients were being examined and treated in public in stalls intended for livestock.


The insurers are open to one kind of reform — universal coverage through mandates and subsidies, so as to give them more customers and more profits. But they don’t want the reforms that will most help patients, such as a public insurance option, enforced competition and tighter regulation.

Mr. Potter argues that much tougher regulation is essential. He also believes that a robust public option is an essential part of any health reform, to compete with for-profit insurers and keep them honest.

As the person who recommended it to me said:
"Read Kristof's piece even if you have to swallow hard and actually sign up for the NY Times. It's worth it."
It really is.

Second Obama Aide Asked to Resign.

When will this administration grow a pair? JFC.

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck has struck again.

Yosi Sergant, who recently popped up on Beck's radar for his involvement in a conference call on national service, has been asked to resign as communications director by the National Endowment for the Arts, sources familiar with the move tell the Huffington Post.

At issue was an August conference call in which the NEA encouraged select artists to participate in an administration project dubbed "United We Serve" and led by the first lady.

Beck attacked Sergant and the NEA on his Fox News talk show, accusing the agency of propaganda efforts similar to those used by Nazi Germany. And now Sergant has been tossed overboard, making him Beck's second victim in his campaign to rid the administration of perceived radicals, socialists, communists, fascists, anarchists and all other manner of nefarious influences.

Perhaps not coincidentally, both Sergant and Van Jones - Beck's first takedown - have roots in on-the-ground organizing and were tightly connected with the grassroots progressive community.

The NEA wouldn't comment on Sergant's situation specifically, saying that it was a confidential personnel matter.

The White House did not come to Sergant's defense but says it was not involved in asking him to leave. "The White House did not ask for Mr. Sergant's resignation," administration spokesman Shin Inouye told HuffPost.

But the NEA did provide this statement:


"On August tenth, the National Endowment for the Arts participated in a call with arts organizations to inform them of the president's call to national service. The White House office of public engagement also participated in the call, which provided information on how the Corporation for National and Community Service can assist groups interested in sponsoring service projects or having their members volunteer on other projects. This call was not a means to promote any legislative agenda and any suggestions to that end are simply false. The NEA regularly does outreach to various organizations to inform of the work we are doing and the resources available to them."

An artist on the call recorded it and gave the recording to Beck, who played it on air as proof of a government conspiracy to co-opt arts organizations and warp the minds of Americans. "Your government is trying to trick you, use your tax dollars to change your mind. It's called propaganda. The people involved in the conference call, including the White House, knew that this was on the fence if not outright illegal," says Beck.

Sergant has a long history with the Obama campaign, having led the media effort for Shepard Fairey, the artist behind the iconic "Hope" portrait that Obama has credited with helping him win. (See this L.A. Weekly profile to get a feel for Sergant.)

On Sept. 1, Beck came after Sergant. After claiming that Nazi propaganda was based on America's early 20th-century progressive movement, Beck says that the progressives are at it again.

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Obamacare Won't Cover Illegal Immigrants? Yes It Will, Says Congressional Research Service

Among the many claims being made durng the August recess by Democrats from President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, to the lowliest back-bencher is that Obamacare absolutely, positively, cannot possibly ever in a million, zillion years provide coverage to illegal immigrants.

Just this past weekend during his regular Saturday address - devoted to addressing what he called "false claims about reform" - Obama said he wants "an honest debate" on health care reform, "not one dominated by willful misrepresentations and outright distortions."

In what he called the "first myth" being spread by critics of his proposal for a government-run health care system, Obama said they are wrong in claiming illegal immigrants will be covered: "That is not true. Illegal immigrants would not be covered. That idea has not even been on the table." Obama said.

Well, Mr. President, that idea must have been tucked under a stack of background briefing papers over there in the corner of the table because the Congressional Research Service (CRS) says this about H.R. 3200, the Obamacare bill approved just before the recess by the House Energy and Commerce Committee chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA:

"Under H.R. 3200, a 'Health Insurance Exchange' would begin operation in 2013 and would offer private plans alongside a public option…H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitzens—whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently—participating in the Exchange."

CRS also notes that the bill has no provision for requiring those seeking coverage or services to provided proof of citizenship. So, absent some major amendments to the legislation and a credible, concrete enforcement effort in action, looks like the myth on this issue is the one being spread by Obama, Reid, Pelosi, et. al.

The plot thickens. What will it be, HR 3200 or Section 246?

ETA: I can't answer all of you individually. I now see that this article is in fact WRONG.I really wanted to believe Obama is a liar.

Akuma River

Scrubs + Rock the Vote = Rock the Healthcare

The health care system is broken. Young people are the most uninsured population in the country. The status quo is no longer an option. We need bold, real reform and we need it now. Sign the pledge to act. You should mean it because we're going to ask you to get in the game by making a phone call or two, sending a letter to the editor, or emailing your Senator. It is important and we need your help!

Rock the Vote: WE DEMAND HEALTH CARE Pledge
Rock the Vote: Health Care Center

It's against House rules to call President a liar.

by BlueStateRedhead

Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 07:33:22 PM PDT

This is not much of a diary.

The news is not breaking. In fact, the news is that the rules have been in place since at least 1909.

So rather than just opine about what might, should happen to Joe Wilson, I cede my right to diarize to the House Rules Committee.

While the parliamentarian and Speaker are breaking out the rule book, we can start popping the popcorn.

BlueStateRedhead's diary ::

I quote

Decorum in the House and in Committees

Under clause 1(a)(1) of Rule XI .... Members should comport themselves with the rules of decorum and debate in the House and in Committees specifically with regard to references to the President of the United States as stated in Section 370 of the House Rules and Manual.

As stated in Cannon’s Precedents, on January 27, 1909, the House adopted a report in response to improper references in debate to the President. That report read in part as follows:

   "It is... the duty of the House to require its Members in speech or debate to preserve that proper restraint which will permit the House to conduct its business in an orderly manner and without unnecessarily and unduly exciting animosity among its Members or antagonism from those other branches of the Government with which the House is correlated."


Under section 370 of the House Rules and Manual it has been held that a Member could:

   * refer to the government as "something hated, something oppressive."
   * refer to the President as "using legislative or judicial pork."
   * refer to a Presidential message as a "disgrace to the country."
   * refer to unnamed officials as "our half-baked nitwits handling foreign affairs."

Likewise, it has been held that a member could not:

   * call the President a "liar."
   * call the President a "hypocrite." 


Section 370 of Jefferson’s Manual states that the rule in Parliament prohibiting Members from "speak{ing} irreverently or seditiously against the King" has been interpreted to prohibit personal references against the President. In addition, Speakers of the House have consistently reiterated, and the House has voted, to support the proposition that it is not in order in debate to engage in personalities toward the President.

Y'all hear that in South Carolina. It's a rule since the time of the Founders.


ETA:  gmth  was good enough to post this link that indicates Wilson and Cantor also were breaking the rules by using their Blackberry, or whatever electronic device they were using, on the floor while Congress was being addressed.

Flashback: Democrats Boo Bush At 2005 State Of The Union


Not that I think this justifies what Wilson said, but I saw some comments on here that said Democrats never treated Bush with such disrespect when he was speaking in front of Congress. Unfortunately it looks like this sort of disrespect for the president from high politicians is nothing new. (I do think yelling that Obama's a liar is on another level, but some of you guys were saying that the Republicans were acting badly throughout the whole thing -- to me, it sounded a lot like the responses Bush is getting in this clip.)

ETA: Did anyone read my thoughts in italics before they posted a comment? Jesus. I'M NOT DEFENDING/TRYING TO JUSTIFY WHAT WILSON DID.

Women rescued from Turkey TV scam

Nine women in Turkey have been freed from a villa they entered two months ago thinking they were taking part in a Big Brother-style reality TV show.

Police stormed the building in Riva, reportedly after family members became concerned they were being prevented from contacting the women.

According to local media, naked images of the women were sold on the internet.

They were also told to fight each other, wear bikinis and dance by the pool, HaberTurk newspaper reports.

The mother of one of women told the newspaper they were not abused or sexually harassed.

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Oh for Fucks Sake. . .

Palin: "So Much For Civility" With Obama's Debunking of Death Panels

Eric Kleefeld | September 10, 2009, 12:55PM


In a Facebook post responding to President Obama's speech last night, Sarah Palin said that Obama's debunking of the "death panel" smear -- which she has propagated -- showed a lack of civility:

"In his speech the President directly responded to concerns I've raised about unelected bureaucrats being given power to make decisions affecting life or death health care matters," Palin wrote. "He called these concerns "bogus," "irresponsible," and "a lie" -- so much for civility."

Yes, Palin is saying Obama lacks civility. This from the politician who said this: "The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."

As Greg Sargent notes, Palin also accused Obama in this post of demonizing the victims of the September 11 attacks, when he criticized the Republicans for launching the Iraq War without paying for it. So many angles right there...


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Police: Man with gun arrested during Obama address

WASHINGTON — U.S. Capitol Police have arrested a Virginia man they say tried to get into a secure area near the Capitol with a gun in his car as the president gave his health care address to Congress.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said Thursday that 28-year-old Joshua Bowman of Falls Church, Va., was arrested around 8 p.m. Wednesday. Bowman's intentions were unclear, police said.

Schneider says Bowman approached a security checkpoint near the Cannon House Office Building in a 4-door Honda Civic and told officers he wanted to park.

People who want to get into the area must have a permit and have their vehicles searched. The timing of the request raised an officer's suspicion, Schneider said, and Bowman consented to a vehicle search.

Schneider said a shotgun and ammunition were found in Bowman's trunk. Bowman was charged with having an unregistered firearm and ammunition, she said.

A telephone directory lists a Joshua Bowman in Falls Church, but the telephone rang unanswered Thursday afternoon.


2008 census information in: Incomes down; uninsured, poverty are up

The new census results (for 2008) are here.

Census: Income fell sharply last year
By Dennis Cauchon and Richard Wolf, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Household income fell sharply and poverty rates rose in 2008 as the severe effects of the recession took their toll on Americans' finances, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.

Median household income dropped 3.6% to $50,303 in 2008, the bureau reported. That was the sharpest drop since at least 1967 and sent income to its lowest point since 1997.

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Find this article at:


Japan death row 'breeds insanity'

Prisoners on death row in Japan are being driven towards insanity by harsh conditions, according to human rights group Amnesty International.

The group is calling for an immediate moratorium on all further executions and for police interrogation reform.

A total of 102 prisoners face execution in Japan. Many of them are elderly and have spent decades in near isolation.

International human rights standards prohibit the imposition of the death penalty on the mentally ill.

In Japan, where criminal trials have a 99% conviction rate, the death penalty has wide public support.

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(no subject)

Rep. Joe Wilson's Dem Opponent Raises Over $375K Overnight

In less that 12 hours since SC GOP Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst, his 2010 Democratic opponent, a young former Marine named Rob Miller, saw over $100,000 flood into his Act Blue donations account. About half of that money came from Daily Kos readers alone.

Throughout the rest of the day the donations have continued to pour in. Holy crap! The donations have soared to $375,000!

ETA: 660k now!

If you want to know more about him, here's a link.



You know what this day is missing? Happy animal stories.

A pair of African elephants tramps through lush vegetation, stopping to scoop dust with their trunks and toss it onto their backs for protection from the summer sun.

Meanwhile, two others submerge their massive forms to splash and dip in the waters of a muddy pond.

It's a scene that could have been pulled from a nature documentary. But it takes place in an unlikely spot: a 2,700-acre sanctuary in rural Tennessee.

It's not where nature intended the animals to be, roaming free in the vast expanses of subtropical Africa and Asia.

But for most of them, it's a life far apart from the ones they once lived.

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Source. If you liked their story, feel free to visit their site, here!

What in the holy fuck?

Ky. school trip included baptisms
LOUISVILLE — A mother is angry about a trip led by the head football coach at Breckinridge County High School. The coach took about 20 players on a school bus late last month to his church, where nearly half of them — including her son — were baptized.


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Best part? This is the school district that required permission from parents to opt IN, not out, of President Obama's speech.
David Thewlis - Deer in headlights

John Stossel is headed to a news outlet that appreciates him

John Stossel Joins FOX News, FOX Business Network

Award-winning journalist John Stossel is joining FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network.

Stossel, best known for his work as co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20," will anchor "Stossel," a weekly program on FOX Business Network, and make regular appearances on FOX News Channel, it was announced Thursday.

The one-hour program will feature in-depth reports on domestic and international libertarian issues and will debut during the fourth quarter of this year in FBN's primetime lineup. Stossel and a panel of experts will explore a wide range of topics including civil liberties, the business of health care and Social Security.

He will also host a series of one-hour specials on FOX News Channel and write a blog called "Stossel's Take."

"John Stossel is one of the most talented and thought-provoking journalists in the field and we are extremely excited to welcome him to the FOX Business team," FOX Business Network Executive Vice President Kevin Magee said. "His insights on consumer-related issues are unparalleled and will be a natural complement to our business programming."

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Chile 1973 - The "Other" 9/11

Chile's 9/11 -- and the legacy of General Pinochet

Thirty-five years ago today on a different 9/11, army Gen. Augusto Pinochet overthrew the democratically elected government of Socialist President Salvador Allende in Chile. Since that day, two issues have continued to generate contention: Should Pinochet be remembered merely as a tyrant who became an international symbol of repression, or as an economic reformer who turned Chile into a global success; and to what extent did the U.S. government bring about his dictatorship?

Many of those who backed the 1973 coup had wanted the armed forces to simply restore order and then call for elections. Pinochet did initially bring about order after a period of instability and chaos. But having seized power -- joining the coup at the last minute -- he decided to keep it. He ordered the murder of union leaders, the exile of thousands of dissidents, the torture and disappearance of political prisoners, the terrorist bombing of exiled leaders -- including the 1976 assassination of former Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier and his U.S. citizen colleague, Ronni Karpen Moffit, in Washington -- and created a state of internal war.

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The article is from a year ago, but I think that an article written about 9/11/73 in 2009 would basically say the same thing as an article about 9/11/73 written in 2008. Though there is this recent, awesome development. The Chilean 9/11 rarely gets reported north of the Rio Grande (as in this was one of the only "news" articles I could find), which is unfortunate, I think.

afa_mom, GO GET IT GURL

Sarah Palin Ebay Dinner Offered -- With Disclaimers

Hey kids! Do you happen to have $25,000 dollars or the equivalent in Euros rattling around inside one of your recession-era bank-mattresses? Well why not go for broke -- literally! -- by placing a bid in this online auction to win a private dinner with Sarah Palin! You, along with four of your friends, will be whisked away to have dinner with the former Alaska Governor and her husband. It's basically the premise of Charlie And the Chocolate Factory except in this story, Willy Wonka manufactures death panel lies instead of everlasting gobstoppers!

You can place a bid, right now, on eBay, the very site that Sarah Palin pretended to use to sell that plane. Your money will go to Ride 2 Recovery, which is a charity benefiting wounded veterans, not some ornate legal defense fund. So, really, there's no reason for you not to do this! Be warned though: there are plenty of reasons why you might not be allowed to do this!

According to the lengthy disclaimer, bidders must pass a mandatory background check, like you were buying a gun or something! Palin will determine the site of the dinner -- probably a picnic table right next to her favorite Alaskan turkey-grinding machine -- and reserves the right to bring three guests of her choosing, in case you totally start boring her or asking tough questions about domestic policy. Also, the winner may only bring "one item of reasonable size" to the dinner,, Sarah Palin will not be autographing your Beanie Baby collection, sorry.

Also, there's this:

Dinner shall last no more than four hours, but could be less, in the sole discretion of Sarah Palin.* Governor Palin reserves the right to refuse dinner with a winning bidder if, in her sole discretion, the winning bidder is not a suitable bidder based on her subjective standards of suitability, professionalism, background and other factors.

So, in other words, don't get any funny ideas, Levi Johnston!


  • preeho

Interview with John Marcotte, Author of the 2010 California Protection of Marriage Act

In early September, I heard Sacramento's own John Marcotte had filed a petition with the California Secratary of State.
John is trying to get a voter's initiative onto the 2010 ballot here in California.

We spoke on September 9th.

Rob Cockerham: John Marcotte. You've filed a petition with the Secretary of State, in an effort to get a voter's initative on the California 2010 ballot.
John Marcotte: Yes. Filed the paperwork on September 1. It's the "2010 California Marriage Protection Act." I am trying to ban divorce in the state of California.

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I think this is pretty hilarious, but we'll see how obnoxious this guy gets. There was an article posted on his site under the tag "Divorce" with the title: Jon + 4 and Kate + 4 = sin, ngl, I loled irl.

Source will never leave you

ETA : haha for the record, I'm pretty sure this is a satire. But it is cracking me the eff up how many people are buying this as a legitimate effort to ban divorce hahaha. srsly ontd_p, you're better than that! 

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And as if on cue........let the GOP failstorm commence!

Steele: "Bad Form" For Obama To Invoke Kennedy At Last Night's Speech

RNC Chairman Michael Steele told the Washington Times that it was "bad form" for President Obama to talk about a letter he received from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), at last night's speech to Congress.

"I'm sorry, but I just felt a bit unnerved by it, in the sense he just passed," said Steele.

"His wife was still clearly emotional," Steele added. "I just thought that was bad form. We all understand and appreciate the role Sen. Kennedy has played in this debate and the passion he brought to health care. I just thought that was a little bit much for me, so soon after his death, using that as a political tool."

Steele seems to be under the impression that this was all a surprise to Vicki Kennedy -- that it was some kind of coincidence that she'd been invited to sit as a guest of Michelle Obama during a speech on one of her late husband's biggest political issues.


Brown: Treatment of Alan Turing was "Appalling"

The Prime Minister has released a statement on the Second World War code-breaker, Alan Turing, recognising the “appalling” way he was treated for being gay.

Alan Turing, a mathematician most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes, was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ in 1952 and sentenced to chemical castration.

Gordon Brown’s statement came in response to a petition posted on the Number 10 website which has received thousands of signatures in recent months.

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rachel maddow

More GOP fail from last night

Rep. John Shimkus Walked Out On Obama Speech in "Frustration"

While U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) has been pilloried for yelling at President Obama during his address to Congress Wednesday evening, one of his Republican colleagues has escaped public scrutiny for a less vocal protest.

Rep. John Shimkus, from Collinsville, Illinois, walked out on the President's health care speech before it was over.

The reason? Obama's tone wasn't cooperative and his ideas were not new, Shimkus' spokesman told the Tribune's Mark Silva.

"Congressman Shimkus was frustrated that the president was not offering any new ground and left with just minutes remaining in the speech," Shimkus spokesman Steven Tomaszewski explained to the Tribune.

An Associated Press photographer captured Shimkus on his way out of the speech.

"Now you can't have any of my pot pie."
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Idaho wolf hunter harassed and compared to Michael Vick

The man reported as having killed the first wolf in Idaho when the hunting season opened Tuesday is now being harassed because of it.

After word got out that Robert Millage shot a wolf, his personal contact information started showing up on websites such as Craigslist. (Outposts received a comment with this information but refused to publish it.)

Millage told the Lewiston Morning Tribune that people opposed to the hunt starting phoning and e-mailing, angrily calling him names and suggesting his business as a real estate agent will suffer because of what he did.

"People are loons. If they want to call up and have a discussion, I'm all about having a discussion. But they call me a fat redneck and a wolf killer and compare me to Michael Vick," Millage said. "I have a thick skin and a good sense of humor. What am I going to do, yell back at them?"

The Kamiah, Idaho, resident seems to be taking it all in stride, though has alerted his local law enforcement. Though he feels it is OK for people to disagree with wolf hunting, Millage doesn't believe they should be badgering those participating in legal hunting seasons.

"It doesn't seem very American, if something doesn't conform to your ideas and points of view, to threaten them," he said. "I obeyed the law and did what [Idaho] Fish and Game wanted us to do. I can sleep well."


Panel says NASA can’t afford to go back to moon

By Seth Borenstein

WASHINGTON - A White House panel of independent space specialists says NASA’s return-to-the-moon plan just won’t fly.

The problem is money. The panel estimates it would cost about $3 billion a year beyond NASA’s current $18 billion annual budget.

“Under the budget that was proposed, exploration beyond Earth is not viable,’’ panel member Edward Crawley, a professor of aeronautics at MIT, said yesterday.

The report gives options to President Obama, but said NASA’s current plans have to change. Five years ago, then-President George W. Bush proposed returning astronauts to the moon by 2020. To pay for it, he planned on retiring the shuttle next year and shutting down the international space station in 2015.

All those deadlines have to change, the panel said. Space exploration would work better by including other countries and private for-profit firms, the panel concluded. The panel had previously estimated the current plan would cost $100 billion in spending to 2020.

China and India ? Full speed ahead...
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Finnish Politician convicted for insulting Islam.

I kid you not.

Jussi Halla-aho, an independent member of the Helsinki City Council elected to the council on the True Finns ticket, plans to appeal Tuesday’s decision by the Helsinki District Court, which convicted him of violating the sanctity of religion.
The court fined him EUR 330.

“The indictment is wrong. Violating the sanctity of religion requires an intent to hurt”, he explains.
Halla-aho says that he did not intend to hurt anyone.

[...]Soon after the sentence was passed, Halla-aho commented on the decision on an Internet message board. At the same time he repeated the view that got him fined.
“In my opinion Islam really is a religion that sanctifies paedophilia, and the Prophet Muhammad is a paedophile”, Halla-aho wrote.
He wrote similar ideas in his blog in June last year. He said that he reached his conclusion as the result of a logical chain of thought, noting that the Prophet had a spouse who was underage.

In the view of the court Halla-aho’s arguments were not sincere, even though they appeared logical. The court also stated that logic has no significance when religious questions are involved.
According to the court, Halla-aho had no intention of holding a proper discussion on negative aspects of the Islamic faith, but to desecrate the sacred values of the religion under the guise of freedom of speech.
According to the court, the statement has a tendency to feed religious intolerance.[...]


Now, I'm not a big fan of Halla-aho, although he does very occasionally speak out inconvenient truths. However, what really gets me is that we're actually a fairly secular country. How the fuck is it that "violating the sanctity of religion" is a punishable crime here? Whatever happened to the separation of Church and State?! A lot of us are viewing this as a freedom of speech issue.
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