September 30th, 2009

Perry Campaign Accuses Opponents: Someone Sabotaged Our Web Site!

The campaign of Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is now accusing its political opponents -- and he has many, considering he has to deal with not only Democrats but also a Republican primary challenge from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison -- of sabotaging his Web site and causing it to break down!

The Austin-American Statesman reports that the Perry campaign was hosting a live video Webcast, which crashed. "This planned and coordinated attack was political sabotage, and we are working to identify those responsible for this illegal activity," said campaign spokesman Mark Miner.
The thing is, it appears quite possible that there might not have been any malicious attack at all. The Statesman's reporter notes: "I logged in about 10 minutes before the Webcast and was able to see it, but another Statesman staffer who attempted to log in after it started got an error message that said: 'Unable to connect to database server ... This could mean your hosting provider's database server is down.'"
A Democratic communications specialist told the paper that he doubts the hacker explanation, and guesses that the site was simply overloaded and crashed.
Hutchison's campaign is ridiculing Perry. "What an embarrassing campaign launch," Hutchison campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said. "I'm sure the governor is hacked but we are skeptical their site was."
But the Perry spokesman claimed that the site was injected with a code that made it crash, and they are working to find out who was responsible. "We were completely prepared for any amount of people that were going to log into this," Miner said. "We had more than enough bandwidth."


Pittsburgh G20 meeting: The guest came with an iron fist

The G-20: a guest with an iron fist

Tuesday, September 29, 2009
By Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Once upon a time, people in Western Pennsylvania knew authoritarianism when they saw it. It had an unmistakable odor about it -- like the smell of Pinkertons and sulfur wafting up from the steel mills of Homestead.

It didn't wear makeup or attempt to justify itself with flowers or candy. Authoritarianism used to be honest about its own brutality -- and it didn't care much who noticed. When it looked in the mirror, it recognized its reflection. With a wink and a smile, it exercised its prerogative for violence at the slightest provocation. It kissed its brass knuckles and its twirling baton and expected you to do the same.

Collapse )

Article @ Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Punished for being yourself

Punished for being yourself

Urgent action is needed to fight a rise in homophobia and hold governments accountable for human rights violations.

THE current president of the United Nations General Assembly, Libya's Ali Abdussalam Treki, has proclaimed that being gay ''is not acceptable''. Leave aside the bad joke that allows the representative of a nasty dictatorial regime to chair the assembly, Treki's comments echo a wave of homophobia that appears to be a strengthening theme in global politics.

Collapse )


Massive Earthquake hits Samoa, followed by TSUNAMI across Pacific Ocean

Pacific islands under tsunami watch after 8.0 quake off Samoa

LATEST at 9.30am New Zealand time (8.30pm GMT) based on NZ radio reports:

- There have been deaths reported in American Samoa and [Western] Samoa, but no details yet
- Relatively small (maybe 1-2 metres) tsunami waves are moving at 500 miles an hour across the Pacific.
- The tsunami watch for Hawaii has been cancelled, but significantly bigger than usual waves are expected to hit
- The first tsunami wave is about to hit northern & eastern New Zealand; coastal residents have been evacuated as a precaution.

The quake was located 110 miles east-northeast of Hihifo, Tonga; 125 miles south-southwest of Apia, Samoa; 435 miles north-northeast of Nukualofa, Tonga; and 1,670 miles north-northeast of Auckland, New Zealand.

In the Western Samoan capital of Apia, families fled their homes amid severe shaking that lasted for up to three minutes, the Associated Press reported. Local media reported people fled to higher ground.

The warning center said quakes of this magnitude have the potential to power destructive tsunami that can strike nearby coasts within minutes.

The earliest expected time of arrival for a tsunami in Hawaii would be 1:11 p.m., the warning center said.

A tsunami warning is in effect for American Samoa, Samoa, Niue, Wallis-Futuna, Tokelau, Cook Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Kermadec Islands, Howland-Baker, Jarvis Island, New Zealand, French Polynesia and Palmyra Atoll.

Hawaii is listed as under a tsunami watch along with Vanuatu, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Johnston Atoll, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Papua New Guinea, Pohnpeo, Wake Island, Pitcairn Island and Midway.

Hawaiian Source

Tsunami on way to NZ after Samoa quake

The US National Park Service said there had been some deaths in American Samoa but did not have an official figure.

Reports from Western Samoa say two villages were hit this morning while CNN has said a three-metre tsunami had been generated.

The quake struck at 6.48am midway between the two island groups. In Apia, families reported shaking that lasted for up to three minutes. The US Geological Service said the quake struck 35 kilometres below the ocean floor.

Collapse )

New Zealand source

I live by the beach in New Zealand...the wave is expected to arrive here in the next hour (by 11am local time). We haven't been warned to evacuate yet, and if it does get here it'll be fairly small. Still: it's kinda scary!

EDIT, 1pm NZ time (midnight GMT):

the tsunami warnings across for the Pacific have now been cancelled. The waves that did reach New Zealand were about half a metre higher than usual, so it wasn't too bad after all.

At least a dozen deaths have been reported so far from Samoa & American Samoa combined, with many people missing and widespread devastation from the earthquake & the tsunami waves. Communication to the islands keeps getting disrupted, so it's hard to get detailed information.

P.S. mods, can we get a natural disasters tag and an Oceania tag? I didn't see anything suitable, but I was in a hurry!
heyyyy bitches

Howard Dean vs. Rahm Emanuel

It has always been thus. Now comes round two.

In the first round, Rahm Emanuel and Howard Dean butted heads on what strategy was best in regaining House seats in 2006 (also to some degree in 2008). Emanuel was chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Howard Dean was chair of the Democratic National Committee. Dean's path was the famous 50 state strategy. Emanuel thought that was foolish and that the Democratic Party would be much better served spending more money in traditional political ads in more "realistic" districts.

As it turned out, Emanuel was wrong and Dean was right. The Democrats won everywhere, including districts previously thought unimaginable. Dean's efforts to reach out to all the states paid off huge dividends as the Democrats became competitive in districts no one had thought possible.

Now, we're in the second round. This time it's the health care debate. Rahm Emanuel has been pushing for a weaker version of reform from the beginning. In his defense, he believes he is focusing on what is doable (nearly the same thing he said during the previous House elections). Emanuel has argued for a trigger from the beginning of the debate and seems to think that a public option is not realistic in this political environment.

Howard Dean has instead argued for a stronger version of health care reform. He believes the country is persuadable (the same position he had in the House elections) and is largely on the side of bolder reform already. He believes the Democratic politicians need to have the courage of their convictions and they can make a real difference.

Once again, Howard Dean is right and Rahm Emanuel is wrong. The voters didn't vote for a little bit of change. They gave the Democrats the White House and overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate. They voted for real change. The kind of change that Dean always pushes for (and often accomplishes) and the kind of change that Emanuel doesn't ever find "realistic."
Emanuel needs to change his definition of realistic. We didn't elect Obama to fiddle around the edges. We elected him to change the current reality of Washington. We didn't elect him to figure out the best way to appease the lobbyists; we elected him to figure out the best way to beat them. What Rahm Emanuel doesn't seem to get is that real change is realistic. You have all this political power. It's time to use it. If not now, when?

There were rumors when President Obama was picking his cabinet and administration that Emanuel kept Dean out of the West Wing because of their running feud. If there was truth to that, then it seems Obama picked the wrong guy - not just for pushing forward bold reform but also for actually getting it done.


Just an opinion piece but come ON let's stop strokin' Rahm's balls and join Team Dean.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Stop doing favors!

State to mom: Stop baby-sitting neighbors' kids

IRVING TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Each day before the school bus comes to pick up the neighborhood's children, Lisa Snyder did a favor for three of her fellow moms, welcoming their children into her home for about an hour before they left for school.

Regulators who oversee child care, however, don't see it as charity. Days after the start of the new school year, Snyder received a letter from the Michigan Department of Human Services warning her that if she continued, she'd be violating a law aimed at the operators of unlicensed day care centers.

"I was freaked out. I was blown away," she said. "I got on the phone immediately, called my husband, then I called all the girls" — that is, the mothers whose kids she watches — "every one of them."

Snyder's predicament has led to a debate in Michigan about whether a law that says no one may care for unrelated children in their home for more than four weeks each calendar year unless they are licensed day-care providers needs to be changed. It also has irked parents who say they depend on such friendly offers to help them balance work and family.

Collapse )--

OK, I see what the law was trying to do, but...yeah. That needs to get fixed.
  • Current Music
    Jay Chou - Jiang Jun
Akuma River

Earthquakes, Tsunami, Typhoons all hit within 24 hours of each other

Today is going to be a day of clean-up and counting the dead.

Earthquakes Rock Samoa, Indonesia (UPDATES) (September 30, 2009 - Huffington Post - KENI LESA and FILI SAGAPOLUTELE)

APIA, Samoa — A massive tsunami unleashed by a powerful earthquake flattened Samoan villages and swept cars and people out to sea, killing at least 99 and leaving dozens missing Wednesday. The death toll was expected to rise.
Survivors fled the fast-churning water for higher ground on the South Pacific islands and remained huddled there hours after the quake, with a magnitude between 8.0 and 8.3, struck around dawn Tuesday.
The quake was centered about 120 miles south of the islands of Samoa, which has about 180,000 people, and American Samoa, a U.S. territory of 65,000.
Four tsunami waves 15 to 20 feet (4 to 6 meters) high roared ashore on American Samoa, reaching up to a mile (1.5 kilometers) inland, Mike Reynolds, superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa, was quoted as saying by a parks service spokeswoman.
Less than 24 hours later, another strong underwater earthquake rocked western Indonesia on Wednesday, briefly triggering a tsunami alert for countries along the Indian Ocean. The 7.6-magnitude quake toppled buildings, cut power and triggered a landslide on Sumatra island, and at least 75 people were reported killed. Experts said the seismic events were not related.Collapse )

Typhoon Kills at Least 41 in Vietnam (September 30, 2009 - New York Post - SETH MYDANS)

DA NANG, Vietnam — Typhoon Ketsana headed west toward Laos on Wednesday after battering central Vietnam with powerful winds and heavy rain, leaving behind blue and sunny skies but dangerously rising floodwaters. The official death toll in Vietnam was placed at 41, but officials said that number was expected to rise as more reports came in and as the floodwaters threatened further destruction.

“The rain was heavy and the wind was like crazy,” Nguyen Trong Tung, a photographer, said. “Right now the sun is beautiful, there are white clouds and the sky is blue, and the streets are already clear.”

The clear weather is deceptive and the danger has not passed, said Andrew Wells-Dang, a representative of Catholic Relief Services, who called Ketsana “the most serious typhoon that’s hit here in four or five years.”
Collapse )

Indonesia: Earthquake Hits Along Same Fault Line That Spawned 2004 Tsunami (September 30, 2009 - Huffington Post - NINIEK KARMINI)

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian officials say at least 75 people have been killed and thousands more trapped under flattened buildings in a powerful earthquake off Sumatra island.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla announced the death toll at a news conference, hours after the 7.6-magnitude quake hit off the coast of the town of Padang on Wednesday.
Rustam Pakaya, head of the Health Ministry's crisis center, said thousands of people were trapped under collapsed buildings. He said a field hospital was being prepared to assist the injured.
Officials said the quake triggered a landslide that cut off land transport to the area closest to the epicenter. Power and telecommunications were also cut.
The quake was along the same fault line that spawned the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – A disaster management official says 13 people have been killed and thousands trapped under flattened buildings in a powerful earthquake in western Indonesia.
Rustam Pakaya, head of the Health Ministry's crisis center, said a field hospital was being prepared to assist the injured and medical teams were on the way from neighboring provinces.
A 7.6-magnitude quake hit just off the coast of the town of Padang, Western Sumatra province on Wednesday.
Officials said the quake triggered a landslide that cut off land transport to the area closest to the epicenter. Power and telecommunications were also cut.
The quake was along the same fault line that spawned the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

videos of tsunami and aftermath
first HP report on the Tsunami (has video, pictures, and maps)
photos of tsunami damage
Indonesia: Earthquake Hits Along Same Fault Line That Spawned 2004 Tsunami

Anyone have footage of the Typhoon or the Sumatra Earthquake?
P.S. mods can we have a natural disaster tag or something?

Increase in sea levels due to global warming could lead to 'ghost states'

Global warming could create "ghost states" with governments in exile ruling over scattered citizens and land that has been abandoned to rising seas, an expert said yesterday.

Francois Gemenne, of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations in Paris, said the likely loss of small island states such as Tuvalu and the Maldives raised profound questions over nationality and territory.

"What would happen if a state was to physically disappear but people want to keep their nationalities? It could continue as a virtual state even though it is a rock under the ocean and its people no longer live on that piece of land."

Gemenne said there was more at stake than cultural and sentimental attachments to swamped countries. Tuvalu makes millions of pounds each year from the sale of its assigned internet suffix .tv to television companies. As a nation state, the Polynesian island also has a vote on the international stage through the UN.

"As independent nations they receive certain rights and privileges that they will not want to lose. Instead they could become like ghost states," he said. "This is a pressing issue for small island states, but in the case of physical disappearance there is a void in international law."
  • Current Music
    Clever Hans " Vertical expression of horizontal desire"

GOP Angry and Outraged. Demands Apology Now!!

Despite Outrage, Many House Republicans Have Said Dem Health Care Will Kill People

Congressional Republicans are expressing outrage over freshman Rep. Alan Grayson's suggestion on the House floor Tuesday night that the GOP health care plan amounts to little more than "don't get sick" -- and if you do, "die quickly."

Republicans have called for an apology from the Florida Democrat, and have compared Grayson's remark to Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-S.C.) "You lie!" outburst.

But there's a big a difference between the two floor statements. One was unprecedented -- the president had never been called a liar by a member of Congress during an address in all of American history.

By contrast, charges that the opposition's health care plan will kill people have been about as common on the House floor lately as resolutions naming post offices.

Take Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.), who said in July: "Last week, Democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to America's seniors: drop dead."

Or Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), a doctor, who reviewed the public health insurance option in July and diagnosed that it is "gonna kill people."

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), not one to pull punches, suggested on the House floor that Congress "make sure we bring down the cost of health care for all Americans and that ensures affordable access for all Americans and is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government."

July was a busy time for House floor death sentences. Also that month, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), noted: "One in five people have to die because they went to socialized medicine...I would hate to think that among five women, one of 'em is gonna die because we go to socialized care."

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) had a similar assessment. "They're going to save money by rationing care, getting you in a long line. Places like Canada, United Kingdom, and Europe. People die when they're in line," he said on the House floor in July.

So far, none of the members of Congress who made such charges have apologized.

Sarah Palin's Cash Cow Finally Dead...

Palin Lectures Not Selling, No One Wants To Book Her: NY Post

Sarah Palin is not selling well on the lecture circuit, an industry insider told the New York Post.

"The big lecture buyers in the US are paralyzed with fear about booking her, basically because they think she is a blithering idiot,"
the source said. "They don't want to tick people off."

Palin's fee for a recent speech in Hong Kong was rumored to be in the low six figures.

Palin finished her memoir, "Going Rogue," in just four months -- ahead of schedule and in time for the holiday season.


Panel Votes To Restore Abstinence-Only Education Money

A Senate committee voted Tuesday night to restore $50 million a year in federal funding for abstinence-only education that President Barack Obama has pushed to eliminate.

The 12-11 vote by the Senate Finance Committee came over objections from its chairman, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana.

Two Democrats – Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas – joined all 10 committee Republicans in voting "yes" on the measure by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah.

The measure would still have to pass the full House and Senate. Hatch said abstinence education had been shown to work, though Baucus disagreed. Obama had proposed in his 2010 budget to direct money spent on abstinence-only education to broader teen pregnancy-reduction programs.

An alternate measure offered by Baucus also passed. Baucus' measure, which passed 14-9, would make money available for education on contraception and sexually transmitted diseases, among other things, in addition to abstinence. Lawmakers will have to reconcile the two measures, both approved during debate on a sweeping health overhaul bill, as the legislation moves forward.

Stupid source is stupid.

Sex offenders? There's an app for that.

Tracy Rodriguez of Houston, Texas, is not a trained private investigator or police officer. But with a gentle tap on her iPhone screen, the mother of three can access information revealing the sex offenders who live within a 10-mile radius of where her children practice sports or watch movies.

The information, provided by an iPhone app called Offender Locator, helps Rodriguez make more informed choices, she says. When the app pops open on her phone, there is an eerie sketch of a man's face. Then, the app asks for an address.

"I am constantly worrying about the well-being of my family," says Rodriguez, who uses the app several times daily. "You can't be too careful."

Since the iPhone launched more than two years ago, a handful of crime-fighting tools have emerged among the thousands of innovative apps. They give ordinary citizens the capability to sleuth and guard themselves against crime. Users can conduct a background check during a dinner date or avoid walking through a high-crime area.

The Offender Locator app has been downloaded more than a million times, breaking into the top 10 most popular apps list on iTunes when it made its debut in June.

Collapse )


(no subject)

Ketsana, downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical depression, set its sights on a fourth nation Wednesday -- barreling toward Laos after leaving a trail of destruction and death across southeast Asia.

By Wednesday morning, the death toll from the storm's rage had topped 325: at least 246 in the Philippines, 74 in Vietnam and nine in Cambodia.

With heavy rains still lashing Vietnam, some major roads were closed and rivers and flood waters were rising. But the airport in the coastal city of Danang, which had been closed for three days, reopened Wednesday.

Workers used chainsaws to clear toppled trees from roads so rescue crews could rush relief supplies to the worst-hit areas. Families waded through knee-deep water to salvage precious belongings from flooded houses.

Collapse )

Source. And don't forget you can donate at: The World Food Program, Red Cross, andMercy Relief, as well as anyone else that someone wants to include.

KY church ordains convicted pedophile as minister

A tiny Louisville church's newest minister is a gifted music leader and popular among its three dozen members.

Mark Hourigan is also a sex offender. Almost a decade ago, long before he joined the flock at the City of Refuge Worship Center, he was convicted of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in central Kentucky. Hourigan served a five-year sentence and the 41-year-old was placed on Kentucky's sex offender registry for the rest of his life.

The church's pastor, the Rev. Randy Meadows, ordained Hourigan during a service on Sept. 13. The self-described Pentecostal church, started by Meadows and a handful of other members six years ago, welcomes anyone "regardless of race, religion, culture (or) sexual orientation," according to its Web site. It also has a Sunday school for children.

Hourigan was arrested on one count each of first-degree sodomy and sexual abuse in Marion County, Ky., in 1998, according to court records. An indictment said the abuses occurred between 1993 and 1994. Hourigan pleaded guilty a year later to two counts of sexual abuse. The terms of Hourigan's parole, which he completed in June 2008, included an order that he not serve in any leadership capacity at a church with youths.

SOURCE believes in the power of Jesus

Well, even if we couldn't vote, we could still cut your balls off, John Derbyshire

John Derbyshire, a British-American conservative author and columnist for the National Review, has written a new book titled We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism. The book contains a section called “The Case Against Female Suffrage.” Yesterday on his radio show, Alan Colmes asked Derbyshire to articulate his argument.

“What is the case against female suffrage?” Colmes asked. “The conservative case against it is that women lean hard to the left,” Derbyshire responded nonsensically. “They want someone to nurture, they want someone to help raise their kids, and if men aren’t inclined to do it — and in the present days, they’re not much — then they’d like the state to do it for them.”

Colmes then pressed Derbyshire on whether women should have the right to vote. “Ah…” Derbyshire sighed, attempting to dodge the question initially. “I’m not putting forward a political program here,” he said. But then Derbyshire slowly began to open up:

DERBYSHIRE: Among the hopes that I do not realistically nurse is the hope that female suffrage will be repealed. But I’ll say this – if it were to be, I wouldn’t lose a minute’s sleep.

COLMES: We’d be a better country if women didn’t vote?

DERBYSHIRE: Probably. Don’t you think so?

COLMES: No, I do not think so whatsoever.

DERBYSHIRE: Come on Alan. Come clean here [laughing].

COLMES: We would be a better country? John Derbyshire making the statement, we would be a better country if women did not vote.

DERBYSHIRE: Yeah, probably.

Derbyshire reasoned that we “got along like that for 130 years.” Colmes countered by asking if he also wants to bring back slavery. No, Derbyshire responded, “I’m in favor of freedom personally.” Colmes noted that freedom didn’t extend to women’s right to vote, however. Derbyshire said, “Well, they didn’t and we got along ok.”

Audio is at the source
  • dwer

Gaining steam

Talk show host Glenn Beck is pursuing the owner of the domain name, charging trademark violations and claiming rights to the domain. Now, the anonymous owner responds, telling an arbiter that "only an abject imbecile" could mistake the site for one of Beck's own.

Collapse )

Source just wants to know why Glenn Beck won't come forward and explain that he didn't rape and murder a young girl in the 1990s.
cookie monster
  • capthek

Yes guys, any racism against Obama is clearly just in our minds...

A DUMB A DAY - 9/30

I figured in addition to the large List of Dumb columns that run a couple of times a month it'd be good to give folks a daily dose, since there's absolutely no shortage of dumb shit out there in the world. Help keep this thing going by sending your DUMBS to me through THIS LINK. Also, please spread the word through your Tweets and Facebook and MySpace updates. Though's not for everyone, stuff like this is!

9/30 - HOLY FUCK.

Photo by Jeff Crosby

It's one thing to be ignorant and retarded in the privacy of your own home. It's another thing altogether to flaunt it. I don't have a joke for this, and not because of the racial subject matter. Race is a blast to tell jokes about. This is the kind of thing that takes all the good work done by good people to help bash down stereotypes and pisses it all away. Whomever did this sign is a scary individual, one who probably should be made a pulpy, ruined example of. Wow.

It's funny, Twitter and Facebook have allowed me to really get quick little bursts of truth about people who I'm peripherally associated with. People from high school, casual work friends, softball teammates, etc. It's allowed me to see just how different some of these people I call my "friends" are from me and how some of their opinions and beliefs would normally make them people I'd hate. Judging from a perfunctory sampling, I'm ashamed to say about 15% of these people I 'know' would not only find this picture hilarious but also agree vehemently with its message.

It's rare that one of the DUMB pictures so encapsulates how dangerous dumb can be.

Never mind, we just had 8 years of example.

I have no witty headline, this is just really freaking creepy.

This is truly one of the more bizarre stories I've seen in a while.

A shadowy security company, which seems to have no history and which no one seems to know much about, has secured a contract to take over a jail in the small town of Hardin, Montana.

Only the jail has no inmates and the company -- American Police Force (you can see their oddly Balkan crest in the pic to the left) -- won't say what it is they plan to do with it. And then there's the stuff that's been freaking out the locals. As Justin Elliott puts it in our post, "residents of Hardin, MT, were alarmed last week when executives from the firm, American Police Force, showed up in the town, which does not have its own police department, with Mercedes SUVs bearing "City Of Hardin Police Department" decals."

The shadowiness of the whole enterprise has spawned a series of conspiracy theories on the left and the right. But it mainly seems like it's some guys with a bunch of guns who've found some way to make a lot of money. They just won't say what. At least not yet.

So where exactly is APF getting the money for the venture? The company's spokesperson says they don't plan to answer the question. And who's the spokesperson? That would be Becky Shay, who used to cover APF as a reporter for the local paper until about a week ago.

Here's the rest of our report.

Late Update: Wow, it gets even better with APF. If you want to overthrow a small third world country? Check. Have them tail your cheating spouse and catch him/her in flagrante? Yep, got you covered there too.


' jules
  • schmiss

I think Alan Grayson is a pretty cool guy, eh calls out Republicans and doesn't afraid of anything.

Grayson Not Backing Down: "I Apologize To The Dead"

Alan Grayson refused to apologize Wednesday for saying on the House floor Tuesday night that the GOP health care plan amounts to "don't get sick" - and if you do, "die quickly."

"I'm not taking any of it back. I stand by what I said," Grayson, a freshman Democrat who represents Orlando, Florida, told reporters.

GOP Rep. Tom Price of Georgia filed a resolution Wednesday censuring Grayson for the comments. But Grayson said he planned to stay on offense.

"The point is that if you do get sick, you're going to have huge medical bills. Your insurance company's not going to help you and as a result of that you're going to end up having the plug pulled on you," he said. "I don't think that the Democrats have to be on the defensive for a bill that reduces health care costs, makes health care premiums affordable, makes people's health care coverage comprehensive in the sense that they can't be excluded for breaching lifetime caps or by preexisting conditions and helps all of the Americans who cannot afford health insurance today. I think we should be on the offense not the defense and that's where I plan to stay."

Collapse )

Follow up to this post.
aaliyah » doin' it for the fame
  • abiding

Whoopi clarifies Polanski comments, yet never addresses her clarification of "rape" and "rape-rape"


WHOOPI GOLDBERG has hit out at accusations she condoned rape on her U.S. TV talk show, insisting she was attempting to clarify the charges leveled against director ROMAN POLANSKI.

Polanski was arrested in Switzerland on Saturday (26Sep09) and is currently fighting extradition to the U.S. over his 1977 conviction for unlawful sex with a minor.

The director fled the U.S. before he was sentenced, claiming the judge in the case reneged on a plea bargain deal. He later settled in France.

The Ghost actress came under fire after discussing the case on The View on Tuesday (29Sep09), saying, "It was something, but I don't believe it was rape-rape."

Critics dubbed her an "apologist for rape", but, addressing the reaction to her comments on Wednesday (30Sep09), Goldberg claimed she was only trying to get the "facts straight".

She said, "Some people got the idea that I was condoning what he did. I'm going to be very clear: I was trying to make sure we had our facts straight because that's my job - particularly about what he was arrested for and what he was charged with, which was unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, not rape, which was my point."

You can find video of her "addressing" her comments here.

Article Source

We won't be bullied by the Sun, says Labour

Harriet Harman, Labour's deputy leader, launched an angry attack on the Sun today as ministers reeled from the paper's declaration that it was backing the Tories.

She responded to the news that Britain's best-selling daily newspaper wants David Cameron's Conservatives to win the election by mocking the paper's politics and declaring: "We will not be bullied. This underdog is biting back."

The prime minister, Gordon Brown, earlier said that newspapers should be for news, "not propaganda". In a round of interviews, in which he often appeared tetchy, he said that the British people, not the Sun, would decide the election.

Brown categorically ruled out standing down as prime minister and Labour leader before the general election, which must be held before 3 June 2010.

The Sun announced its move in a frontpage editorial that hit the streets hours after Brown made an attempt in his conference speech to inject self-belief back into his party, vowing to fight the election on the side of the "squeezed middle classes".

Speaking at Labour's Brighton conference, Harman said: "I am speaking to you this morning about something the Sun knows absolutely nothing about: equality," she told the party conference. "The nearest their political analysis gets to women's rights is Page 3's News in Briefs.

"We are all angry about the Sun this morning, but I say to you: don't get bitter, get better. Don't get outraged, get out there. Don't get mad, get mobilised.

"Yes, we may be the underdog, but we will not be bullied. This underdog is biting back."

In an interview on GMTV, one of five broadcast interviews he did this morning, the prime minister sought to play down the move by the paper that demonised Labour in the 1980s but switched allegiance before the 1997 election.

"It's the British people that decide elections. It's the British people that I'm interested in and it's the British people that I was talking about yesterday," he said.

"I think that Sun readers actually, when they look at what I said, will agree with what I said.

"Newspapers are entitled to their opinions. Obviously you want newspapers to be for you. But I've got an old-fashioned view. You look to newspapers for news, not propaganda. I don't think editorials will decide elections."

The Guardian understands that the newspaper waited until after Brown's speech to conference yesterday afternoon before making its final decision to ditch Labour. Trevor Kavanagh, the Sun's associate editor, acknowledged that the proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, had played a part in the move by his flagship British paper.

Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's communications chief when the Sun switched to Labour in 1997, said that the move was "far from devastating" because the media was far more diffuse than 12 years ago.

Lord Mandelson backed Brown at a breakfast meeting in Brighton with the Unite union, warning the Sun that its readers would not want it to become "a Tory party fanzine".

The business secretary said: "The proprietor may have changed his mind, but I don't think the readers want the sun to set on New Labour. When the readers read back what the party did for them in the 1980s and 90s they will see pretty quickly that a return for the Tories is not in the interests of them or their families.

"The last thing the readers want is to see the newspaper being turned into a Tory party fanzine. They want a newspaper, not a propaganda sheet."

Later, at another fringe meeting, Mandelson appeared to describe Sun readers as losers. Asked about the Sun, he said: "I think just as they may think they are picking winners, I think losers are picking them." An aide later said that the "losers" remark was a reference to the Tories, not to the tabloid's readership.

Collapse )

Source: The Guardian
Edit for markup fail that hid the entire article except the video

Gay men are men, and some men are sexist

It shouldn't really be that complicated, but there's a mini-uproar over Graham Norton (a gay, BritishIrish comedian) being reprimanded by the BBC for making a derogatory comment about lesbians. He said, while pointing a picture of a large woman in a jumpsuit, that she was a "strange lesbian" and implied that lesbians have bad haircuts and are fat. You really have to see it to understand what happened, so the video's after the jump.

Anyway, I've already read half a dozen articles about a "gay man being accused of homophobia." To me it seems more like a case of a gay man being accused of sexism or lesbophobia, since the stereotypes he repeats aren't really so much about sexual behavior but about what defines a proper woman and how women who look different should be treated. As Will & Grace showed, gay men can be plenty sexist.

I also think that part of the problem has to do with certain comedians thinking they're "controversial" and "edgy" no matter what they're saying, in the same way Bill Maher does even when he's just making fun of fat people, one of the least-controversial groups to make fun of. Just look at the way this article on the topic (from the BBC, of course) describes Graham Norton:

There are few subjects off-limits for risque comedians like Norton[...]

Way to pat themselves on the back. Saying unfeminine women are lesbians, and that all lesbians are ugly is so controversial it has to be true.

Collapse )

Source: The Bilerico Project
Me @ Johnny's

Empire State Building celebrating 60 years of China's oppression

Oh OK.  Don't bite the hand that feeds I guess.  Where's a pic of Bush kissing ass @ The Olympics when you need it?

Empire State Building lit for China, drawing ire

NEW YORK – Red and yellow lights shone from the top of the Empire State Building at dusk Wednesday, a tribute to communist China's 60th anniversary that protesters labeled "blatant approval" of totalitarianism and criticized as inappropriate for an icon in the land of the free.

The building is routinely lit with different colors to mark holidays and big events, but opponents questioned whether it's right to commemorate a sensitive political issue, particularly when China has such a poor human rights record.

About 20 supporters of Tibet, which China has ruled since shortly after communists took over in 1949, protested outside the building during a ceremonial lighting of a scale model inside the lobby. They chanted "No to China's empire; free Tibet now," and held signs reading, "Empire State Building celebrating 60 years of China's oppression."

Lhadon Tethong, executive director of Students for a Free Tibet, called the lighting "outright, blatant approval for a communist totalitarian system."

"It's a great public relations coup for the Chinese state," Tethong said as tourists gawked at the protesters. "But on the other hand, it's sure to backfire because the American public and the global public will speak against it."

At the lobby ceremony, building manager Joseph Bellina called the lights a high honor and said he was proud of the relationship between "our countries and our people."

Chinese Consul General Peng Keyu, who pulled the switch on the glass-encased model, said he was "honored and delighted."

He said China's reforms of the past 30 years have led to greater openness and "tremendous change."

Keyu and Bellina didn't address critics and declined to answer questions.

Journalist and blogger Marc Masferrer questioned legitimizing a government that continues to repress its citizens' freedoms, including their access to media and the Internet.

"I don't think one of our great landmarks should be turned into a platform to honor a regime and a system responsible for as much tragedy and all the other things that come with a repressive system," he told The Associated Press.

Masferrer pointed out that this year is also the 20th anniversary of the violently crushed student-led movement in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. The People's Liberation Army is believed to have killed hundreds, possibly thousands, of protesters.

Politicians united in their disdain.

Rep. Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat, said the lights should not be used to pay tribute to what he called "an oppressive regime" with a "shameful history on human rights."

Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, said it was "a sad day for New York."

"I am strongly opposed to it or any commemoration of the Communist Chinese revolution. It's one thing to acknowledge the government; it's totally immoral to honor it."

The lights atop the building, which is owned by W&H Properties, are often are changed. For example, Italian colors — red, white and green — commemorate Columbus Day, while green, white and orange are displayed for the India Day parade.

For the Chinese anniversary, the lights were to remain on through early Thursday.


So about that jail in Montana? A crazy con-man bought it.

Calif. jail entrepreneur has checkered past

Following up on this post, AP has gotten to the bottom of the shady man behind the American Police Force takeover of the jail in Montana.

The short story: the owner of the company is a guy named Michael Hilton (well, one of his names), who is a naturalized U.S. citizen and native of Montenegro with at least 4 aliases, $1.1 million in outstanding legal judgements against him, and who has been known as everything from a car salesman to an art dealer.

(edited to add a photo of the guy) EDIT x2:
this story is getting creepy. Supposedly American Police Force has become THE town's police force because Hardin doesn't have one.  And here, we have 'Michael Hilton' dressed up in police garb: 

article from the Helena Independent-Record- now there is speculation that APF is an off-shoot of a major military contractor, perhaps Blackwater / Xe.  

Also- from Gawker:
'Muckraker Kevin Flaherty, however, discovered that APF's website shares an IP address with Defense Product Solutions, which was founded in 2004, has contracts in the Middle East and works with a man named Edward Angelino, who in turn has worked with the militarily-inclined Allied Defense Systems, Inc. and Defense Consulting Group, Inc. A tangled web, indeed.'

Collapse )
  • Current Mood

Alan Grayson Infuriates GOP Again: "Republicans are Knuckle-dragging Neanderthals"

Alan Grayson: Republicans Are "Knuckle-Dragging Neanderthals" On Health Reform (VIDEO)

Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson (FL) escalated his battle with Republicans over comments he made Tuesday on the House floor.

Rep. Grayson said that the GOP's health care plan is for people to not get sick, and if they do, then to "die quickly."

Grayson has refused to apologize for his comments (although he took to the House floor to apologize to the dead who have passed for lacking health insurance), and he again blasted Republicans tonight on CNN's "The Situation Room" for blocking health care reform.

Grayson insisted that it's the GOP who needs to apologize to America, and he called Republicans "knuckle-dragging neanderthals."

Alan, keep this up and half of Ontd_political will wish to gay/polygamy marry you in a second...

California's status: Still Fucked

Q&A: How Schwarzenegger-backed tax plan would affect Californians

Despite opposition from business and labor groups, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger embraced a blue-ribbon panel's recommendation Tuesday to flatten the state income tax, eliminate part of the sales tax and install a new form of consumption tax on most firms.

The plan would cut the highest state income tax rate to 7.5 percent on millionaires and 6.5 percent for single filers earning between $28,000 and $1 million in taxable income.

A new consumption tax, called a business net receipts tax, would capture revenues from firms that now escape taxation, such as service-based industries.

Schwarzenegger called a legislative special session Tuesday and wants lawmakers to approve the package this year. The GOP governor said he would sign the plan as is. But Democratic leaders made no promises on a timetable.

The complex tax package raises numerous questions:

Why is this necessary?

State leaders launched the panel because they believed the tax system was responsible for California's notorious budget problems.

The state experiences heavy revenue swings due largely to its growing reliance on income and capital gains taxes. Many panelists believed that a move away from those taxes would solve this problem, but others disagree and say the state's budget problems are better solved by a rainy-day fund.

How would this affect my state income taxes?

All filers who owe taxes would pay less, but those earning above $75,000 would benefit most.
Because those earners pay the bulk of income taxes, they will see the most significant reductions.

According to the commission, millionaires would receive, on average, a $109,291 cut in their tax payments; those earning between $75,000 and $100,000 would see roughly a $905 drop.

What about deductions and credits?

The plan would allow itemized deductions only for mortgage interest, property taxes and charitable contributions. It would eliminate tax credits, including one for child care, while removing deductions for medical expenses.

Collapse )


New, untried tax and increased burden on labor? This one's a keeper, guys.

Michael Steele Calls Thomas Friedman a Deranged Lunatic For Calling For Common Sense and Peace.

Michael Steele Calls Thomas Friedman A "Nut Job" For His Concerns Over Psychotic Rhetoric (VIDEO)

RNC Chairman Michael Steele appeared on CNN's American Morning Wednesday and was confronted with Thomas Friedman's recent New York Times column, in which he warned that the tenor of critical rhetoric directed at the White House was becoming disturbing.

Friedman wrote:

Others have already remarked on this analogy, but I want to add my voice because the parallels to Israel then and America today turn my stomach: I have no problem with any of the substantive criticism of President Obama from the right or left. But something very dangerous is happening. Criticism from the far right has begun tipping over into delegitimation and creating the same kind of climate here that existed in Israel on the eve of the Rabin assassination.

What kind of madness is it that someone would create a poll on Facebook asking respondents, "Should Obama be killed?" The choices were: "No, Maybe, Yes, and Yes if he cuts my health care." The Secret Service is now investigating. I hope they put the jerk in jail and throw away the key because this is exactly what was being done to Rabin.

Even if you are not worried that someone might draw from these vitriolic attacks a license to try to hurt the president, you have to be worried about what is happening to American politics more broadly.

To Steele, such concerns were the hallmark of an insane person:

"Where do these nut jobs come from? Come on, stop this...To make those equations, examples and put that out there that way, to me is just crazy and yeah, I'm sorry, but if you're going to approach this discussion, approach it from a rational position," Steele continued. "[They're] saying, because you disagree with the president on policy, that all of the sudden we're going to make this leap into, you know, assassinations and all this other stuff. I mean, at the height of all this stuff on Bush and people complaining and protesting, and jumping up and down, you didn't have this kind of conversation."

Collapse )

Bachmann and Christian Punk Band Denies The Existance of "Separation of Church and State".

Bachmann to raise funds for controversial Christian punk ministry

Rep. Michele Bachmann will be headlining a fundraiser in November for controversial ministry You Can Run But You Cannot Hide (YCRBYCH).

Based in Annandale, Minn., the group has made a name for itself as an anti-drug Christian punk rock band that organizes motivational student assemblies to bring Christ to public schools. But over the last several years, parents and school administrators have complained that the ministry misrepresents itself, claiming that the group is not transparent about its Christian mission. And since schools pay using public funds, some are concerned that the group is violating the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state.

Bachmann will be the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for the group on Nov. 12 at a Bloomington hotel. Bachmann’s office did not return a request seeking comment about the event.

It won’t be Bachmann’s first time at a YCRBYCH fundraiser. At a Minneapolis hotel in October 2006, she offered a powerful prayer for the ministry and praised the group’s work of sharing the gospel in public schools.
Collapse )