September 16th, 2009


Will Obama Finally Chocke These Bastards?

As Right Jabs Continue, White House Debates a Counterpunching Strategy

Facing a near-daily barrage of attacks from conservative opponents, White House officials are engaged in an internal debate over how hard to hit back, even as they have grown increasingly aggressive in countering allegations they deem to be absurd.

After brushing aside criticism during the presidential campaign that they tried to keep candidate Barack Obama too far above the fray -- and with memories of the abundance of media coverage during the Clinton years -- administration officials are accelerating their efforts to anticipate and respond to the most sharp-edged charges.

The White House officials are eager to avoid the perception that the president is directly engaging critics who appear to speak only for a vocal minority, and part of their strategy involves pushing material to liberal and progressive media outlets to steer the coverage in their direction, senior advisers said.

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Employees Who Love Their Health Care Coverage Will Have the Priviledge to Pay More for It for Less

Many Employers to Raise Cost of Health Benefits, Survey Finds

Though Americans who already have medical coverage may be wary of change, a new survey indicates that they may be hard-pressed to escape it -- even in the absence of health-care reform.

As businesses contend with rising costs, many workers face an erosion of health benefits next year, according to an annual survey released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust.

Forty percent of employers surveyed said they are likely to increase the amount their workers pay out of pocket for doctor visits. Almost as many said they are likely to raise annual deductibles and the amount workers pay for prescription drugs.

Nine percent said they plan to tighten eligibility for health benefits; 8 percent said they plan to drop coverage entirely. Forty-one percent of employers said they are "somewhat" or "very" likely to increase the amount employees pay in premiums -- though that would not necessarily mean employees would pay a higher percentage of the premiums. Employers could simply be passing along the same share of the overall increase that they are doing this year.

The authors of the study said the findings underscore the need for federal action to rein in costs.
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Magneto & Xavier.
  • doop

Governor delays Ohio execution after vein troubles

The execution chamber at the Southern Ohio Correction Facility in Lucasville, seen here in November 2005.

LUCASVILLE, Ohio – Gov. Ted Strickland ordered a weeklong reprieve for a condemned inmate Tuesday after the Ohio execution team had problems finding usable veins for the lethal injection even after the inmate tried to help.

Executioners were unable for more than two hours to find veins that would accept fluid from an IV without collapsing for 53-year-old Romell Broom, who was sentenced to die for the rape and slaying of a 14-year-old Tryna Middleton in 1984. At one point, Broom covered his face with both hands and appeared to be crying.

The scene was reminiscent of problems that delayed executions in 2006 and 2007 and led to changes in Ohio's lethal injection process. No Ohio governor has issued a similar last-minute reprieve since the state resumed executions in 1999.

Richard Dieter, director of the nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center, said he knows of only one inmate who was subjected to more than one execution attempt. A first attempt to execute Willie Francis by electrocution in Louisiana did not work, and he was returned to death row for nearly a year while the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether a second electrocution would be unconstitutional.

He said he expects legal challenges will mean Broom will not face execution again in a week's time.

"I think this is going to be challenged, whether under our standards of decency subjecting someone to multiple executions is cruel and unusual ... whether this is in effect experimenting on human beings, whether or not they're sure what works in Ohio," he said.

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The Next Step to Protect the Sanctity of Marriage from Teh Geys: Ban Divorces!

John Marcotte: California Man Introduces Amendment To Ban Divorce (VIDEO)

John Marcotte, a writer who runs the site, is collecting signatures to get the "California Protection of Marriage Act" on the ballot. If passed divorce would be illegal in California.

No, John is not a religious zealot (although he has 12 years of Catholic education), instead he's launched this initiative to mock the proponents of Proposition 8, which added "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California," to the state's constitution. He told CNN this Act is the the "logical extension of Proposition 8."

Marcotte's Website satirizes the traditional marriage campaigns with lines like:

* You said "Til death do us part." You're not dead yet.

* Jesus still loves you if you get divorced -- just not as much as before

* John + Four and Kate + Four = Sin

* Pat Robertson is my homeboy

As he told the site

"The opposition will always be there. The secular progressives, gays and MSNBC hosts -- but we beat them once with Prop 8 and we'll beat them again. If people are thinking about getting a divorce, just remember 'Hell is eternal, just like your marriage was supposed to be.'"

OMG Guyz! Obama haz Czars!! See He is a Commie!!!

Obama Czars: Group Of Republican Senators Sends Disingenuous Missive Over Appointees

A group of Republican senators, led by Utah Senator Bob Bennett, have sent a letter to the White House, concern-trolling over the existence of "czars." This is all a part of the latest silly-season campaign in which people pretend to have no idea of the longstanding tradition of presidents enlisting the service of experts to manage a specific portfolio and/or proffer advice on a particular subject of concern (to which the media appends the shorthand "czar"). This was never a matter of real concern until opposition to the White House required opponents to fully embrace the paranoid style of American politics. But that's the way we live now -- fully deranged.

At any rate, Bennett and his coterie of sensible senators are really worried that the existence of "czars" undermines the Constitution:

We write to express our growing concern with the proliferation of "czars" in your Administration. These positions raise serious issues of accountability, transparency, and oversight. The creation of "czars," particularly within the Executive Office of the President, circumvents the constitutionally established process of "advise and consent." greatly diminishes the ability of Congress to conduct oversight and hold officials accountable, and creates confusion about which officials are responsible for policy decisions.

To be clear, we do not consider every position identified in various reports as a "czar" to be problematic. Positions established by law or subject to Senate confirmation, such as the Director of National Intelligence, the Homeland Security Advisor, and the Chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, do not raise the same kinds of concerns as positions that you have established within the Executive Office of the President that are largely insulated from effective Congressional oversight. We also recognize that Presidents are entitled to surround themselves with experts who can serve as senior advisors.

Many "czars" you have appointed, however, either duplicate or dilute the statutory authority and responsibilities that Congress has conferred upon Cabinet-level officers and other senior Executive branch officials. When established within the White House, these "czars" can hinder the ability of Congress to oversee the complex substantive issues that you have unilaterally entrusted to their leadership. Whether in the White House or elsewhere, the authorities of these advisors are essentially undefined. They are not subject to the Senate's constitutional "advice and consent" role, including the Senate's careful review of the character and qualifications of the individuals nominated by the President to fill the most senior positions within our government. Indeed, many of these new "czars" appear to occupy positions of greater responsibility and authority than many of the officials who have been confirmed by the Senate to fill positions within your Administration.

Bennett goes on to suggest that they had "identified at least '18' czar positions" that he feels are doing the lion's share of the Constitutional undermining. The letter does not include any such list so it's hard to know exactly to whom Bennett et al are referring. However, having purported to have eliminated "positions established by law" and positions subject to Senate confirmation, we can eliminate the following people from the original Politico list of "czars."

Alan Bersin
Gil Kerlikowske
Cass Sunstein
Herb Allison
Aneesh Chopra
Ashton Carter
John Holdren

Vivek Kundra
Earl Devaney

In addition, many of the positions that Politico listed as "czars" cannot possibly be undermining Constitutional authority because the Constitution has ably survived the appointments that President George W. Bush made to the same positions. These include:
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franklin sherman

Bagram: The sham of closing Guantanamo

It's now apparent that the biggest sham in American politics is Barack Obama's pledge to close Guantanamo and, more generally, to dismantle the Bush/Cheney approach to detaining accused Terrorists. In August, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Boumediene v. Bush that Guantanamo detainees -- people abducted from around the world and shipped to our prison in Cuba -- have the constitutional right to habeas corpus (a court review of their imprisonment). Then-candidate Obama issued a statement lavishly praising that ruling:

Today's Supreme Court decision ensures that we can protect our nation and bring terrorists to justice, while also protecting our core values. The Court's decision is a rejection of the Bush Administration's attempt to create a legal black hole at Guantanamo - yet another failed policy supported by John McCain. This is an important step toward reestablishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law, and rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus. Our courts have employed habeas corpus with rigor and fairness for more than two centuries, and we must continue to do so as we defend the freedom that violent extremists seek to destroy. We cannot afford to lose any more valuable time in the fight against terrorism to a dangerously flawed legal approach.

That was so moving.

Yesterday, the Obama DOJ -- as expected -- filed a legal brief (.pdf) which adopted the arguments originally made by the Bush DOJ to insist that detainees whom they abduct from around the world and then ship to Bagram (rather than Guantanamo) lack any constitutional rights whatsoever, including habeas review. The Obama administration is appealing from a decision (.pdf) by Bush-43-appointed District Court Judge John Bates which, applying Boumediene, held that detainees at Bagram who are originally detained outside of Afghanistan have the right to habeas review (Afghan citizens detained in Afghanistan have none, he found). In other words, after Obama praised Boumediene as "defending the freedom that violent extremists seek to destroy," he's now attempting to make a complete mockery of that decision by insisting that it is inapplicable as long as he decides to ship detainees from, say, Thailand to Bagram rather than Guantanamo. Obama apparently sees "our core values" as nothing more than an absurd shell game, where the U.S. Government can evade the limits of the Constitution by simply moving the locale of its due-process-free detention system.

Back in April, when the Obama DOJ announced it would appeal the decision, I wrote at length about the Bagram issue, and yesterday, in the wake of this new filing, numerous commentators made excellent points about these shenanigans. Spencer Ackerman notes that, the day before the ruling, the administration leaked that they were creating "new procedures" for Bagram detainees which are very similar to Guantanamo's "Combatant Status Review Tribunals" -- the very Bush/Cheney system the Boumediene court rejected as unconstitutional. This means that, at best, the Bagram detainees will now languish in prison for still more years with no habeas review while the Obama DOJ spends years litigating whether its "new system" is a sufficient Constitutional replacement for habeas review. Ackerman quotes David Remes, the legal director of the non-profit Appeal for Justice law firm who represents 19 Guantanamo detainees, as saying: "It’s another stall. And one I would have expected from the Bush administration but not the Obama administration."

Worse still, both British journalist Andy Worthington and The New Yorker's Amy Davidson highlight this rather odd and disturbing sentence from The New York Times article on the Bagram appeal:

Officials say the importance of Bagram as a holding site for terrorism suspects captured outside Afghanistan and Iraq has risen under the Obama administration, which barred the Central Intelligence Agency from using its secret prisons for long-term detention and ordered the military prison at Guantánamo closed within a year.

Why would the closing of Guantanamo and the shuttering of secret CIA prisons increase the "importance of Bagram" -- unless Bagram was going to replace and replicate those specific weapons, which Obama is ostensibly "ending" because they became politically unpalatable as Bush/Cheney symbols? As Davidson put it:

So closing Guantánamo increases the need for a new Guantánamo, and barring the use of secret prisons just means that you need to find a new place to stash secret prisoners? Have we had it with Guantánamo because it’s unfashionable—like a played-out spring-break destination, now overrun with journalists and human-rights lawyers hopping on planes in Florida—or because we actually don’t like extrajudicial, indefinite detention? The new measures, which the Washington Post reported as well, may at least shed some light on what’s been going on in Bagram; it’s not likely to be pretty. If Guantánamo is, to quote the poetry of Donald Rumsfeld, a known known, Bagram is a known unknown.

This is the same issue raised by Obama's demand for a preventive detention scheme: what is the point of closing Guantanamo if all of its architecture and defining traits -- indefinite detentions with no trials -- will be preserved and simply moved elsewhere? What made Guanatnamo evil and destructive isn't that it was located in Cuba. What made it such was that that -- to use Obama's melodramatic campaign language -- it was a "legal black hole." Closing it, only to re-create its core tyrannies in Bagram and re-build it as part of some "preventive detention" scheme, is worse than useless: it's actively misleading. There will be some American journalists and probably some hardened Obama loyalists who believe that closing Guantanamo -- while moving and re-creating its core features -- is some sort of "change." But the rest of the world is highly unlikely to be tricked.
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i want joe biden i need joe biden

ACORN's "Proudest Moment" Involved Governor Rick Perry's Signature

From a 2005 story in the Houston Chronicle titled, "Advocate for affordable housing earns kudos in lending law reform" we learn that the group's proudest moment came courtesy of Rick Perry's signature (emphasis added):

By recruiting and mobilizing hundreds of poor and working-class Houstonians such as Olvera in the past two years, the Houston chapter of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, has raised its profile and earned the respect of local officials.

Its aggressive advocacy for affordable housing, tenant protections and other causes is making a difference.

The group's proudest moment came last week when Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill that makes important changes in the use of contracts-for-deed, a form of home lending that withholds a title from buyers until they have fully paid their loan.

Passage of the law, which will make it possible for buyers to convert their loans to traditional mortgages, was this year's top Texas legislative goal for ACORN, which represents 175,000 low- and moderate-income families in 51 U.S. cities.

Rick Perry has been stirring up the crazies this week by critiquing Senator Hutchison for not voting against ACORN in Congress. From Wayne Slater at the Dallas Morning News:

The Senate voted Monday to cut off funding for ACORN, the anti-poverty group that has become a target of the conservative talk radio and Fox TV. The vote was overwhelming, but Kay Bailey Hutchison didn't vote. And Rick Perry's campaign wants to know why.
Says Perry spokesman Mark Miner: "Less than one week after the Senate returned to work, Senator Hutchison skipped a key vote to prevent ACORN from receiving taxpayer funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is yet another example of Senator Hutchison failing to protect the taxpayers of Texas. The Senator made time to vote for a $700 billion bailout for Wall Street, but when it came time to prevent tax dollars from going to a liberal activist group, she was nowhere to be found."

The Texas Republican primary: your never-ending source for absurdity.

Source: Burnt Orange Report

Plus some additional Perry sad-but-true lulz, courtesy of Paul Burka:

Perry is such a caricature of himself that he is hard to attack. Things that would be serious gaffes for other politicians–the hints about secession, for instance–don’t hurt him because the expectations for him are so low. After almost nine years in office, he still gets no respect, not from the public, not from the Legislature, and certainly not from the media, or what’s left of us. But he has something more important: a constituency. Hutchison has popularity, and she has respect–or had it at the start of the race–but that doesn’t automatically translate into a constituency.

WTF: Art and Politics in LA.

LAT: Iran forbids art shipment to the US over color

Found this story on 

Must-read story of the week: This morning the Los Angeles Times' Raja Abdulrahim reports that the Iranian government has refused to allow an artist to ship work to a Los Angeles gallery because it is green. The color green, worn and wielded by the supporters of Mir-Hossein Mousavi in the run-up to Iran's recent election, has become something of a color-of-dissent in Iran. [Image: War against Peace, 2009, ICY.]

I'm not going to summarize the whole story -- go read it,  [eta by OP: I copied it below this story] Tweet it, Facebook it and do with it whatever it is that kids these days do. Instead, I'll ask: Should the US government (or the EU) make an official, public response to this kind of behavior from Iran? If this were a big-business matter, they almost certainly would. Alas, I suspect our government isn't likely to do or say much.

That's too bad. This should be an opportunity for Western governments to stand up for the freedom of expression, to ally themselves with Iran's enormous, plenty-motivated youth culture, and to pressure Iran's dictatorial clerical regime. 

PeaceGirl.jpgLast year Art Institute of Chicago director James Cuno told me that the U.S. government needs to have a point-person to deal with other nations on cultural heritage issues, particularly antiquities: "These decisions [on antiquities] that are made have to be made in the context of diplomatic relations that, for the most part, happen at the State Department," he said. "Sometimes they're tinged with military relations or economic relations, but they're certainly about the relations between countries. There just ought to be someone with whom [museums] could speak." [Image: Peace Girl, 2009, ICY.]

Cuno's idea makes  a lot of sense. With some minor tweaking, the same person could be the State Department point person on cultural freedom issues such as this. Even though that kind of position or diplomat doesn't currently exist, the State Department should find a way to address this situation ASAP. It is nothing short of outrageous that an artist can't ship an artwork because it's the 'wrong' color.

Related: Via Crewest's Flickr stream, images of work by the artists in the show. Crewest's website.

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Maybe a little less Vodka!

But if the Russians stop drinking, what other amusing stereotype can we come up with other then the drunken Russian?

Russia acts to stop drinking 'disaster'

September 16, 2009
RUSSIA'S president has begun a tough anti-alcohol campaign in an attempt to halt a population decline.

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My experience with a prostitute -- not the kind you're thinking of

Sometimes, feminist perspectives can be acquired at some of the most unlikely places and in some of the most unlikely situations. For me, a rich perspective on the sex work industry was acquired at a casino in Atlantic City a few days ago, with an escort with whom I spoke regarding her life, choices and challenges.

I was on vacation in Atlantic City - a two-week break from my year-long deployment in Iraq. At about 3 a.m., I ran into and eventually had drinks with a woman who I eventually brought up to my room, thinking this was going to be a mere casual hook-up, things that people do on vacation and in bars. Come to find out, before I initiated sex, and we were flirting, she told me that she is an escort and spends time with men for money. In short, it was the beginning of a business for pleasure transaction.

Though my mind was fogged with alcohol, red flags went up - firstly because I'd felt horrible that I'd taken an hour of this woman's time already, just talking to her, with the full intentions of having sex had she not been a sex worker. Secondly, I had never been in a situation like this before, and didn't know exactly what to do to tell her I had to intentions of buying her body for my own pleasure.

Having already wasted an hour of her time, with her assuming I knew she was an escort (a term she says she prefers), I made a deal: while I was most certainly sexually attracted to her, my values wouldn't allow me to actually pay to have sex with her. I would, however, pay for her time to listen to her story and learn something from a group of people I've spent to much learning about, yet never had never actually sat down and spoken with.

So there we sat, in my hotel room, and over Jack Daniels, talked about her life, choices and perspectives. She is new to the escort industry, she said - and became an escort after much careful consideration - mostly for the stigma that comes with sex work, but also consideration for the dangers she faced, and the way society and the government look upon her.

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panda bear

(no subject)

Rush Limbaugh: "Obama's America - White Kids Get Beat Up With The Black Kids Cheering"

Rush Limbaugh couldn't resist trying to connect the brutal beating of one student by another on a school bus to President Obama, using it as an example of how Obama is somehow causing racism throughout the U.S.:

You put your kids on a school bus you expect safety but in Obama's America the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering 'yeah, right on, right on, right on.' Of course everybody said the white kid deserved it he was born a racist, he's white.

In fact it would be Limbaugh who seems to have the racial hangup. The St. Louis-Dispatch reports that the beating was not racially motivated, as a Belleville police captain had originally speculated, but was instead incited by a pretty common dispute on school buses: choice of seating.


Bill Maher: The surprise is that someone hasn’t choked this bitch sooner.

Revelation! Bill Maher is a d-bag. About 20 seconds into this clip of his “New Rule” routine, he says:

“New rule: stop acting surprised someone choked Tila Tequila! The surprise is that someone hasn’t choked this bitch sooner."

Oh no, he did not go there.

It’s true. Tequila appears to have lied about her alleged assault, as San Diego Charger’s linebacker Shawne Merriman was cleared of battery charges by the San Diego District Attorney’s office last Friday. (The new rumored accusation: Merriman allegedly asked Tila for a foursome, she flipped out, and said she was going to bang one of his friends. Merriman alleges that Tequila was trying to leave and he tried to stop her from driving drunk.)

Whatever. I don’t care who wanted to sleep with whom, when or why. What I do care about is why Tequila’s sexual promiscuity is up for judgment more so than her 911-happy trigger finger? Just read what Mike Fleiss, the producer behind “The Bachelor” and “More To Love” shows, had to say about that “skank.”

Fleiss is penning a sports blog for The San Diego Union-Tribune and in his September 12th post, he wrote about “that skank” Tila, who “will do just about anything for publicity”:

“I have nothing against bisexual chicks and, of course, I deplore violence against women. But this particular girl is typical of the random skanks who populate most reality TV shows (not mine, of course).

Ms. Tequila has no discernible talent, no Julliard schooling, and, ultimately, no legitimate reason to be a star. What she does have is an ability to chase down the spotlight like Merriman hunts down a quarterback.

Trust me. A girl like Tila Tequila will do just about anything for publicity.

With her show long ago canceled, Ms. Tequila’s celebrity status was about to expire. She was spinning. And not just from multiple shots of Patron.

When these so-called “celebrities” feel their star fading, they become increasingly desperate to keep their names in the news. Fame is a drug and when you take it away from an addict, things get ugly.

Does that mean she was lying about everything that happened at 4 a.m. at Merriman’s Poway home? Not necessarily. But believe me, Tila and her “representatives” were thrilled to be back in the headlines—even for just a week.

Nice career move.

TRANSLATION: Tila’s not only a real-life whore but a fame whore, and we shouldn’t believe her. (Random side note: Is Fleiss trying to tell us those chicks on “The Bachelor” trained at Juilliard? Bitch, please!) Not that I disagree with Fleiss’ comments on fame-hungry stars. But, personally, I believe Tequila made a false accusation about the whole thing because the police investigation concluded Merriman didn’t do it. Her “skanky” lifestyle has nothing to do with it—it’s not believing Tequila because of her “skanky” lifestyle that’s the problem. Drunk women, strippers, prostitutes and Tila Tequila can still be physically abused or raped! Jokes like the one Bill Maher did create a slippery slope, by insinuating that any woman deserves abuse if someone thinks she’s being a “bitch.” Yeah, Tila’s apparently a false accuser and that’s rotten. But guys like Bill Maher and Mike Fleiss should STFU, because not only entertainers with “discernible talent,” “Juilliard training,” and “a reason to be a star” deserve to not be abused.

Source, including the audio for Bill Maher.
pug love

Analysis: Al-Qaida death a blow to terror group

WASHINGTON – The death of a key al-Qaida leader in a daring helicopter assault in Somalia caps more than a decade-long hunt by U.S. authorities and strikes a blow to the terror group's operation there, but it could also trigger a new spate of attacks on Western targets.

Senior U.S. officials and other experts said the commando raid Monday afternoon left six dead, including Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, one of the most wanted al-Qaida operatives in the region. Saleh's body and those of at least three other foreign fighters were taken away by U.S. special operations forces for forensic testing, after the raid in a southern village near Barawe, the officials said.

American authorities have been tightlipped about the daylight commando attack launched from U.S. warships off the Somali coast, and the officials would speak about it only on condition of anonymity. But others hailed it as both a military and psychological success.
"It reinforces the resolve that we have as a country and sends a message to young jihadists and anybody who might be thinking about taking up the cause ... that we have a long reach and a long memory," said Jack Cloonan, a counterterrorism expert who was a member of the FBI's Osama bin Laden unit.
That stark memory reaches back 11 years, to the 1998 bombings at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 250 people.

With Saleh's death, two al-Qaida leaders in Somalia linked to the bombing have now been killed.
One more primary U.S. target, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, is still believed to be in Somalia, with a $5 million bounty on his head. Mohammed was indicted for the 1998 bombings and has been on the FBI's list of most-wanted terrorists since its inception. Mohammed has repeatedly eluded authorities' efforts to kill or capture him and is reported to be al-Qaida's leading figure in East Africa.

But with Saleh's killing, "a very high level al-Qaida guy in Somalia has been taken out," said Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on terrorism. "We've had concerns about the degree to which al-Qaida was trying to do training and maybe plan operations out of Somalia and this will unquestionably undermine their efforts to do that."

U.S. officials have become increasingly concerned that battle-hardened al-Qaida insurgents are moving out of safe havens along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and into places such as Somalia, where the vast ungoverned spaces allow them to train and mobilize recruits without interference.
Bin Laden has urged Somalis to overthrow their new moderate Islamist president and to support their jihadist brothers in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and Iraq. And U.S. officials worry that the Somalia-based al-Shabab — a powerful Islamist insurgent group that the State Department has designated a terror organization — has growing ties to al-Qaida.

Al-Shabab, which seeks to impose a strict form of Islam in Somalia, vowed retaliation for Monday's attack. "They will taste the bitterness of our response," a senior al-Shabab commander told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk publicly.
The Obama administration, meanwhile, has said it wants to bolster efforts to support Somalia's embattled government by providing additional money for weapons and helping the military in neighboring Djibouti train Somali forces.

Interest in Saleh, a 30-year-old Kenyan, intensified in 2002, when he was linked to the attempted downing of an Israeli airliner and the nearly simultaneous car bombing at a beach resort in Kenya. The missile missed the plane, but ten Kenyans and three Israelis were killed in the hotel blast.
Several attempts targeting Saleh failed, including one in March 2008, when the U.S. Navy fired two Tomahawk missiles from a submarine into a southern Somali town.
It's long, so I decided to save some friend pages and cut it.

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Chibis - Default ChibiJess

Funny how those 'pimps' don't mention this when doing the Talk Show circuit...

It's hard out here in Philly for a pimp.

At least, it appears that's the lesson that self-described filmmaker-activist James O'Keefe learned when he and cohort Hannah Giles showed up at the Philadelphia ACORN headquarters on July 24 in the middle of a probe that has touched off a conservative-media firestorm.

O'Keefe and Giles were dressed as a pimp and prostitute, just as they were during undercover visits to ACORN offices in Baltimore, Washington, Brooklyn and San Bernardino, Calif., over the summer. ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

Those visits were part of an investigative probe into the anti-poverty group - as ACORN staffers were secretly videotaped giving O'Keefe and Giles advice on how to hide illegal sex businesses in low-income housing. ACORN has fired three workers implicated in the films.

Giles, in a post on the Web site, said she and O'Keefe had been driven by their belief that "ACORN is corrupt" and are on "a quest for truth unraveling the mystery of organized corruption."

But when the phony pimp and prostitute tag team visited ACORN's local office, on Broad Street near Parrish, on July 24, they were apparently shown the door.

Philadelphia ACORN president Carol Hemingway said in a statement on Monday that "after causing a major disturbance, they were asked to leave the office, and a police report was filed."

Hemingway e-mailed copies of the incident report to the news media. No charges were filed against O'Keefe or Giles, and their visit to the City of Brotherly Love has not been part of a series of reports aired on the Fox News Channel.

The rest can be found at the source.

I have to say, what I'm surprised is how anyone took this kid seriously- the pimp outfit was the most unrealistic, stereotypical thing ever. *headdesk*

All right Ohio!

Something good from the Buckeye State today!

Ohio House passes LGBT non-discrimination bill.

HB 176 prevents discrimination for employment or housing based on sexual orientation.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio House lawmakers moved to shield gay and transgendered Ohioans from being discriminated against in housing and employment issues in a historic vote Tuesday afternoon.

By a vote of 56-39, the anti-discrimination measure passed the House with five Republicans, including Rep. Matthew Dolan of Russell Township, joining all 51 majority Democrats present in the House chamber in approving the measure. It now moves to the Senate, where Senate President Bill Harris, an Ashland Republican, has told reporters he doesn't believe the measure is needed.

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Source. I read the first few comments and rather quickly regretted it.

Where I actually learned about this.

I have to admit, I was kind of surprised-I've lived in several states in the midwest, and I did not think Ohio would be making a move in this direction for awhile yet. This is awesome! Of course, Rep. Wagner still has to vocally prove that Ohio's government has some douches. And the senate president, thinking this isn't needed. *eyeroll*
Tina C.

Michael Steele weighs in on Carter's race remarks

Obama replies to Carter's argument that it's race-based and Michael Steele weighs in:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - PresidentBarack Obama's spokesman publicly disagreed with former President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday over Carter's contention that some conservative opposition to Obama is based on race.

"The president does not think it is based on the color of his skin," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

Carter injected race into Obama's struggle for a healthcare overhaul after South Carolina Republican Representative Joe Wilson shouted "You lie" at Obama during a healthcare speech in Congress last week and thousands of conservatives rallied opposition to Obama at demonstrations in Washington.

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man," Carter told NBC News.

He said this "racism inclination still exists. And I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It's an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply."

Carter's remark drew the condemnation of Michael Steele, the first African-American to become chairman of the Republican National Committee.

"President Carter is flat out wrong. This isn't about race. It is about policy," he said in a statement. "This is a pathetic distraction by Democrats to shift attention away from the president's wildly unpopular government-run healthcare plan that the American people simply oppose."

Obama, America's first black president, was steering clear of the issue, weeks after he injected himself into a debate about race in Massachusetts after black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested at his own home on suspicion of breaking into it.

After Obama created an uproar by saying that Cambridge, Massachusetts, police had acted stupidly in the case, he later expressed regret for the tone of his remarks and had the professor and police officer to the White House for a beer in what was dubbed a "beer summit."

Gibbs said the uproar among Obama's opponents was more likely a reaction to some of the decisions Obama had made to help the U.S. economy, such as bank and auto bailouts.

"We understand that people have disagreements with some of the decisions that we've made," he said.


Does schmiss have to cut a bitch?

Blagojevich blasts prosecutors over friend's death

CHICAGO — To hear ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich tell it, his war with federal prosecutors now has a casualty.

In the days since a friend and fundraiser died in an apparent suicide, Blagojevich has seized the death as a chance to give the public — and ultimately potential jurors in his corruption casean example of what he says are the extreme lengths prosecutors will go to put him behind bars.

In interview after interview, Blagojevich, who is promoting his book, "The Governor," has talked about the intense pressure Christopher Kelly was under "to lie about me."

Helping prosecutors might mean that Kelly, who was on his way to prison for tax fraud and was also charged in the corruption case involving Blagojevich, would see his own sentence reduced, Blagojevich said. Refuse and prosecutors would keep coming after him, the former governor claimed.

"He chose to tell the truth and refused to lie about me," Blagojevich said in one interview. "Sadly, he took his life."

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Secretary by Day, Royalty by Night

The king folds her own laundry, chauffeurs herself around Washington in a 1992 Honda and answers her own phone. Her boss's phone, too.

Peggielene Bartels lives in Silver Spring and works as a secretary. When she steps off an airplane in Ghana on Thursday, arriving in the coastal town her family has controlled for half a century, she will be royalty -- with a driver, a chef and an eight-bedroom palace, albeit one in need of repairs she will help finance herself.

"I'm a big-time king, you know," said Bartels, seated at her desk at the Ghanaian embassy just off Van Ness Street NW, where she has worked for almost 30 years.

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I think she'll be an awesome king.  I've always thought unexpected royal ties are so cool, but I'd rather have it happen to me in a Coming to America way or like Olivia Wilde's situation.  But lol wut @ her biographer's published works.
panda bear

(no subject)

Obama Jousts With Lightsaber

President Obama rolled out the red carpet for Chicago's 2016 Olympics bid Wednesday with a White House rally in support of his hometown's bid.

"Chicago is ready. The American people are ready. We want these games," Obama said. "If you choose Chicago, I promise you this - Chicago will make America proud, and America will make the world proud."

Not just the bid's cheerleader-in-chief, Obama also got in on some of the action.

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You can see some more photos at the source!

Court rules that being raped at work has nothing to do with your job

Remember Jamie Leigh Jones, the Halliburton/KBR contractor who alleged she was gang raped by her co-workers in Iraq and then imprisoned in a shipping container after she reported the attack to the company? Well, it looks like she's finally get to sue the company, in a real courthouse, over her ordeal.

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I don't think I even really need to comment on this, do I? I'll just applaud for Ms. Jones for not giving up on this and congratulate her on her well-deserved and overdue first victory.
  • Current Mood
franklin sherman


Rockefeller Chief McDonald Dies in Apparent Suicide

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) --James McDonald, chief executive officer of New York investment firm Rockefeller & Co., died Sunday from a single gunshot wound that was probably self- inflicted, officials in Massachusetts said.

His body was found in a car behind an auto dealership in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, said Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol County district attorney’s office in New Bedford. While police didn’t find a note, McDonald had called his wife earlier in the day, Miliote said.

McDonald, who was 56, headed Rockefeller & Co. for more than eight years, building the former family office founded by oil man John D. Rockefeller in 1882 into a wealth manager with $25 billion in client assets. Paris-based Societe Generale SA last year bought 37 percent of Rockefeller Financial Services, parent of Rockefeller Co., to add wealthy clients in the U.S.

“He was a highly regarded figure in the business here in Boston,” said Tim Vaill, chief executive officer of Boston Private Financial Holdings Inc., which competes in the same field.

A graduate of Harvard college, McDonald ran Pell, Rudman & Co., a Boston-based wealth management firm, before joining Rockefeller. He was a board member at NYSE Euronext and chairman of New York’s Japan Society, a nonprofit organization that provides information about Japan, according to its Web site.

McDonald was appointed to CIT Group Inc.’s board of directors in October 2007 and retired from the money-losing lender in May, two months before the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. refused to guarantee the company’s debt, driving it toward a possible bankruptcy.

Family Office

Rockefeller & Co. was set up in 1979 by members of the Rockefeller family as a successor to the family office, according to a company release. The firm today manages money for individuals, families and institutions, according to its Web site.

Thomas Coyle, editor of Family Wealth Report, a newsletter based in Bangor, Maine, said the firm still manages money for members of the Rockefeller family. In a telephone interview, he described the company as a “high-touch operation” that provides trust services, tax help and concierge services to well-to-do clients.

At a press conference announcing the Societe Generale deal, McDonald said the firm would offer services to clients with at least $30 million to invest.

“Jim McDonald was an exceptional individual who provided strong leadership of Rockefeller and Co. for over eight years,” said Colin Campbell, the firm’s chairman of the board, in an e- mailed statement.

Austin Shapard, Rockefeller’s chief operating and financial officer, has assumed leadership of the firm on an interim basis, the company said in the statement.


Brace yourselves, children. It's attack of the ignorant white people.

“Is Kanye the New O.J. ?”: The Real Haters Appear, In Order To Protect Taylor Swift’s White Womanhood From the Rape…Uh, the Rapper.



Will hip-hop vocalist / producer Kanye West, as one blogger has insightfully observed, become the next African-American male to live his public existence as a symbol of the race divide’s vitriol? Will he become a scapegoat for white obsessions over the threat Blackness purportedly represents?

The virtual flood of racist, expletive-laden tweets that followed the artist’s brief rant at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards suggest a strong “Yes.”


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(no subject)

Think a little spanking won't do much harm to kids? New research says the effects can be long-lasting.

Children are too young to understand when parenting behavior is wrong, a social psychologist says.

Experts say "popping" kids can do more harm than good. A new study of more than 2,500 toddlers from low-income families found that spanking may have detrimental effects on behavior and mental development.

"We're talking about infants and toddlers, and I think that just, cognitively, they just don't understand enough about right or wrong or punishment to benefit from being spanked," said Lisa Berlin, the study's lead author and research scientist at the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University.

Berlin and colleagues found that children who were spanked as 1-year-olds tended to behave more aggressively at age 2, and did not perform as well as other children on a test measuring thinking skills at age 3. The study is published in the journal Child Development.

Although these effects were somewhat small, the study is just the latest of many supporting psychologists' advice against spanking. Still, some experts say spanking has a time and place.

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I'm myself kinda torn on this issue. On one hand, people who smack their kids for spilling milk are definitely over the line. But I remember all the shit I did as a kid and don't know why I didn't get spanked MORE; the worst I did as a kid was stealing from a store when I 10, and I got a belt across the ass for it (with pants on), and I've never ever thought of it as abuse. Even at the time, I was quite aware I was being punished for doing a bad thing, not that I was just being beaten. Thoughts?

Starbucks Xmas Cup 1

Well, it's official...

The following was released by WWE this morning:

WWE®’s Linda McMahon Resigns to Run for U.S. Senate

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. today announced that Linda McMahon has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer after announcing her candidacy for the United States Senate, representing the state of Connecticut. Vince McMahon assumes the duties of Chief Executive Officer in addition to his current position as WWE® Chairman. McMahon will be supported by the seasoned executive management team already in place and led by Chief Operating Officer and board member, Donna Goldsmith
Kristen Superhero
  • babyfey

Oh hell no

Breast cancer group called a "menace to women"

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Again, though, no Macarena: First, other antiabortion groups say they're doing fine. Also, Troy Newman's e-mail contains an ominous threat -- not reported elsewhere, oddly -- that's either empty saber-rattling or scary, perhaps depending on how much, and how soon, a big fat check comes from the Bank of Wingnut. From the e-mail: "Because, in the next 30 days, we're planning to launch the most ambitious and most significant project in our entire history. It's something that's going to devastate the abortion cartel. It could even help end abortion in America once and for all. Basically, it centers around our unique ability to close abortion mills. And although I can't go into detail about it -- because we need to take the abortion cartel by surprise -- I can tell you that it will be a totally NEW phase in the pro-life fight. We've been working on it all summer. And we were planning to launch it in the next 30 days. However, now that we're completely out of money, I'm afraid we won't even be able to launch it ... ever!" We'll see.

The second tidbit is perhaps more schaden than freude. At very least, it's shameless. As Eleanor Bader reports at RHRealityCheck, anti-choice forces have boycotted Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure (SKG), the largest breast cancer charity in the world and the leader in the fight against the disease. (The boycott is not brand-new, as the post implies, but it does seem to be heating up.) Antiabortion activists have called SKG a "menace to women," Bader reports, which, obviously, is like calling basil a menace to linguine. Their beef: Advocates for women with breast cancer don't warn women about "the abortion/breast cancer connection." Which, of course, is because there is no such thing. Not that the facts have stopped people like Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, from saying things like, "Women suffer tremendously when 'breast cancer awareness groups' keep us in the dark about breast physiology, especially when millions unwittingly damage their health by choosing abortion." (Or Angela Lanfranchi, M.D., from publishing reprehensible "studies" like this new one in the non-peer-reviewed Linacre Quarterly, which -- where shall I start? -- provides no actual data and no real explanation for why mothers get breast cancer or miscarriages don't seem to be a problem or ... feh. We're not going to dignify it with a rebuttal.)

The Komen haters have also (long) trotted out the association between Komen and Planned Parenthood -- which, to the radically antiabortion, is basically the Death Star. Diabolically enough, some Komen affiliates provide grants to local Planned Parenthood clinics, supporting -- exclusively -- breast cancer screening and educational programming for un- and under-insured women.

― Lynn Harris

More at source

Tea Baggers to Protest Government Run Subway for Not Spending Enough $ to Accomodate Their Demands

Tea Party Protesters Protest D.C. Metro Service

Protesters who attended Saturday’s Tea Party rally in Washington found a new reason to be upset: Apparently they are unhappy with the level of service provided by the subway system.

Rep. Kevin Brady called for a government investigation into whether the government-run subway system adequately prepared for this weekend’s rally to protest government spending and government services.


The Texas Republican on Wednesday released a letter he sent to Washington’s Metro system complaining that the taxpayer-funded subway system was unable to properly transport protesters to the rally to protest government spending and expansion.

“These individuals came all the way from Southeast Texas to protest the excessive spending and growing government intrusion by the 111th Congress and the new Obama administration,”
Brady wrote. “These participants, whose tax dollars were used to create and maintain this public transit system, were frustrated and disappointed that our nation’s capital did not make a great effort to simply provide a basic level of transit for them.”

A spokesman for Brady says that “there weren’t enough cars and there weren’t enough trains.” Brady tweeted as much from the Saturday march. “METRO did not prepare for Tea Party March! More stories. People couldn’t get on, missed start of march. I will demand answers from Metro,” he wrote on Twitter.

Brady says in his letter to Metro that overcrowding forced an 80-year-old woman and elderly veterans in wheelchairs to pay for cabs. He concludes that it “appears that Metro added no additional capacity to its regular weekend schedule.”
Blackadder - Wibble

Glenn Beck Is Hilariously Lacking In Self-Awareness. Also, Water Is Wet.

Compare and contrast:

Wild accusations that Joe Wilson is a racist without evidence is wrong. Glenn Beck hasn't found any evidence to say that Joe Wilson is a racist, though of course it might be true, but he has no evidence. Before we condemn him as a racist, we should ask for the evidence. It's wrong to throw statements about if we can't back them up. But President Obama is a racist who has shown a deep seated hatred for white people and white culture because... um. Yeah.

Naturally, one would expect this kind of hypocrisy and disconnect from someone who won't even provide us with basic evidence to demonstrate that he wasn't involved in a murder case in 1990, so there you go...


Real Patriotic White Man Victim of Obama's Oppressive Dictatorship...

Cracker Barrel Attack: Tasha Hill Beaten In Front Of Daughter, Called Racial Slurs

On Tuesday evening police arrested Troy Dale West for beating an African-American army reservist in front of her daughter outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Morrow, Georgia. The woman, Tasha Hill, was entering the Cracker Barrel as West was leaving, and she asked him to "be careful" of the restaurant's swinging door hitting her child.

"The man slung open the door pretty hard and fast and I had to push my daughter out of the way. I turned to the man and I just said, 'Excuse me sir, you need to watch yourself you almost hit my daughter in the face.' And from there it just went downhill," said Hill.

At that point, West became enraged and began to beat the victim in front of her 7-year-old daughter, according to police. Hill said she told West she was an Army service member and she did not want any trouble.

West threw her to the ground and hit her in the head with his fists and feet, police said. During the exchange, witnesses said West could be heard screaming racial slurs towards the victim.

According to Hill's report, and confirmed by many witnesses, West screamed out racial slurs before punching her in the face. "He said, 'You're an fucking black nigger bitch,' is what he said," said Hill.

The FBI is now investigating the beating as a possible hate crime.

On Wednesday, the Atlanta office of the FBI confirmed they have launched a "preliminary" investigation, at the request of Morrow Police.

"The information gathered during the FBI's investigation will be reviewed jointly by the U.S. attorney's office in the northern district of Georgia and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division in D.C.," FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett said.

West, of Poulan, was arrested last Wednesday on charges of cruelty to children, battery and disorderly conduct.

West is scheduled to appear in court on September 28th for a preliminary hearing. in Obama's world white people can still beat up black folks (including an army reservist/mother/woman) without remorse and still claim to be victims of oppression... cant wait for Rush to explain this one...

Rightwing Stupid Lady Demands Libural Media to Stop Their Lies!

CNBC's Maria Bartiromo Pretends Her Medicare Flub Never Happened (VIDEO)

Back on September 1, CNBC's Maria Bartiromo went on Carlos Watson's show on MSNBC and did a dumb, dumb thing. Debating the merits of government health care with Representative Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), Bartiromo demonstrated that she was a little unclear on Medicare's basic concepts, including the fact that people under the age of 65 are not eligible for it. "How come you're not on it?" she sarcastically asked Weiner. Well, Weiner was only going to turn 45 that week, so, like I said, 'twas a dumb, dumb thing!
But it's maybe even dumber to go on Morning Joe and pretend it didn't happen! From this morning's edition:
SCARBOROUGH: You have been accused of not knowing who is eligible for Medicare. What happened there?

BARTIROMO: I was on Carlos Watkins' [sic] show... on his new show, and Anthony Weiner was on the program. I was trying to make the point that governments has [sic] these fantastic health care benefits, and if the public plan is so great, are you going to give up your great benefits and go into the public plan? And I said to him, if it's so great, how come you're not in it, are you going to be giving up your benefits? He turns to me and says I am not on Medicare because I am not 65. I wasn't even talking about Medicare, so I said, 'oh, please.' Anyway, so that's the clip that they ran.

Uhm... YOU LIE! This is not at all what happened. Weiner was clearly discussing Medicare, and nothing but Medicare when she made her blunder.

WEINER: Look, Carlos talks about Canada, you talk about Europe, let's talk about the United States of America. Medicare.


WEINER: The United States of America, forty percent of all tax dollars go to a public plan. Ask your parent or grandparent, ask your neighbor if they're satisfied with Medicare. Now, there's a funding problem, but the quality of care is terrific. You get complete choice, can go anywhere you want--

BARTIROMO: How come you don't use it? You don't have it! How come you don't have it?

WEINER: Because I'm not sixty-five. I would love it.

Of course, after this morning, I have to wonder if Bartiromo is similarly confused about the way cable television news channels work. "That's the clip that they ran?" What clip? Who's the they? Is she referring to the teevee cameras from the National Broadcasting Company beaming the "clip" called "Carlos Watson's live TV show" into the universe, as it was happening, unedited?

...wait... so the video that clearly demonstrates that she is an ignorant fool is lying to me? They must have used their libural CGI to fool us after all!

To balance out the wank from my Kanye West post

Chelsea's Dads Get Married


Via Good As You comes this beautiful wedding video.

Says Chelsea: "I'm the proud 16 year old daughter of same sex parents. Because of twisted laws my parents couldn't get married until last October after 26 years of being together. I hope to be able to change some peoples ideas about same sex marriage because of my unique point of view. This is my speech from my parents wedding."


And now I'm a wet, sloppy mess :(