October 2nd, 2009


President Tony Blair? From Prime Minister of The United Kingdom to President of Europe... (?)

'President' Blair waits on voters of Ireland

Tony Blair is in line to be proclaimed Europe’s first president within weeks if the Irish vote “yes” in today’s referendum.

Senior British sources have told The Times that President Sarkozy has decided that Mr Blair is the best candidate and that Angela Merkel has softened her opposition.

The former Prime Minister could be ushered into the European Union’s top post at a summit on October 29.

Ms Merkel, the German Chancellor, was opposed to Mr Blair because she believed that the post should go to a country that had adopted the euro but British sources said that she may now be “biddable” if Germany and France get plum posts in the new European Commission.

German sources insisted that it was far from clear that Ms Merkel had changed her mind and there were suggestions in Paris that Mr Sarkozy was happy to be seen to be backing Mr Blair because he knew that Ms Merkel would scupper the appointment.

Mr Blair, whose claims are being advanced by ministers in London, will not enter the race unless he is certain of winning. He is wary of giving up his many other commitments, spanning business, the Middle East, climate change and his Faith Foundation.

If the Irish ratify the Lisbon treaty — the result will be declared tomorrow — only the signatures of the Polish and Czech presidents will be needed for full ratification. Warsaw is expected to come on board swiftly. President Klaus is harder to predict but diplomatic sources expect him to agree quickly, possibly after receiving a sweetener from Germany.

The decision presents a dilemma for the Conservatives, whose conference takes place next week. David Cameron remains committed to a referendum on the treaty. He has declined to say what he would do if the treaty were ratified before the general election.

Despite pressure from Eurosceptics, he would be unlikely to hold a referendum if he came to power after ratification, which would mean renegotiating Britain’s relationship with the EU, but a Europe with Mr Blair at its head would worry Tories even more.

Ms Merkel has touted Jean-Claude Juncker, of Luxembourg, for the role, but the backroom dealer would hardly set European pulses racing. It is understood that President Sarkozy proposed Felipe González, of Spain, privately to Ms Merkel, but that she was suspicious of endorsing the Socialist.

Polls: GOP Brand In Worse Shape Than Any Opposition Party In Recent History. Bear Becomes Pope...

Assessing The GOP Brand

How weak is the Republican brand right now? This issue came up yesterday when a Media Matters criticized The Hill for failing to mention the GOP's poor polling numbers in a story on the 2010 elections. Similarly, I recently suggested that that the damaged Republican brand might limit the number of seats that the party picks up. But is the party really worse off than previous opposition parties at this point in the election cycle?

As a first cut at the question, I pulled all the relevant polling on approval of the party in Congresss and party favorability from the Roper iPoll database for the periods leading up to the four most recent midterms (1994, 1998, 2002, and 2006). In both cases, the results are consistent, but I'll focus on the favorability questions since Pew and CBS asked comparable questions about party favorables in each cycle.*

The overall finding is simple -- the GOP's standing relative to the Democrats on both measures is worse than any opposition party in the sample.
For instance, the Pew data show that the Republicans are currently viewed more negatively than any minority party in the previous four midterms in terms of both net favorables and the difference in net favorables between parties:**

The CBS results (not shown) are even more dramatic. In June, when the question was most recently asked, Republican net favorables were -30% and Democratic net favorables were 25%, which swamps the comparable results from the previous cycles.

In short, there's no question that the GOP party brand is in worse shape than any opposition party in recent memory. The question, however, is whether this difference in party valence will (a) persist through next November and (b) translate into fewer GOP House seats at the polls, especially once we account for
the generic Congressional ballot, which should (in principle) take much of this difference into account (see Alan Abramowitz's model, for instance). Those questions remain to be addressed.

* Also, the approval question seems to be less closely related to electoral outcomes -- for instance, disapproval of Republicans in Congress was high in September 1994.

** I chose the survey closest to the current point in the electoral cycle, though the exact date varied. Net favorables are defined as the percentage of Americans who have a favorable view of the party minus the percentage who have an unfavorable view.
default, mask

Alberta Teacher Fired For Changing Gender

Alberta Teacher Fired For Changing Gender
An Edmonton teacher has filed a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission after he was fired by a Catholic school board for telling it he was changing his gender.

Jan Buterman, who worked as a substitute teacher for about six months, was removed from the Greater St. Albert Catholic school board's substitute teacher list last year.

Born as a woman, Buterman is transitioning to become a man and told the school board he had gender identity disorder.

In a letter, Steve Bayus, deputy superintendent of schools for Greater St. Albert, wrote that in discussions with the archbishop of the Edmonton diocese, it was their view that "the teaching of the Catholic Church is that persons cannot change their gender. One's gender is considered what God created us to be."

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Just for reference: this is a public school in a public school board. Don't let the "Catholic school" throw you. It's a Canadian history thing: in order to get the overwhelmingly-Catholic French settlers to join confederation [which was dominated by Protestants], commitments were made guaranteeing access to Catholic education. (In Ontario, for example, there's a constitutional right to Catholic education.) However, in most of the country similar commitments were not made to Protestants, so the Protestant schools have all been turned into public secular schools while the Catholic schools remain Catholic to this day.
Big Love

(no subject)

I hope this gets approved...

Politics is a hobby of mine but, like all hobbies, I don't know everything about it. Are there any political terms/people/events that you are confused about or wish someone could explain to you?

I'm unsure about the word "whip" as in "house minority whip."
Akuma River

Texas gays about to be allowed to divorce but not marry

Dallas judge paves way for gay couple to get divorce (October 01, 2009 - The Dallas Morning News - ROY APPLETON)

In a first for Texas, a judge ruled Thursday that two men married in another state can divorce here and that the state's ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.

Both a voter-approved state constitutional amendment and the Texas Family Code prohibit same-sex marriages or civil unions.

Although the case is far from settled, and the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage is a long way from being thrown out, Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan's ruling says the state prohibition of same-sex marriage violates the federal constitutional right to equal protection.
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Akuma River

Boehner doesn't believe that "real people" support the public option

Boehner hasn't met "anyone" who backs public option (October 01, 2009 - Politico - Glenn Thrush)

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has just more or less dared proponents of a public option to bombard his office with their expressions of support of the plan.

Boehner claimed, with a semi-straight face, that he has yet to meet a regular "American" who favors the option -- despite polls showing that a majority of voters support to the idea of having the choice of a government plan.

"I'm still trying to find the first American to talk to who's in favor of the public option, other than a member of Congress or the administration" said Boehner, whose sole recent foray into a public discussion of health care reform was a tea-party-style event in Ohio a few weeks back.

"I've not talked to one and I get to a lot of places," he told reporters at his weekly press availability. "I've not had anyone come up to me -- I know I'm inviting them -- and lobby for the public option .

"This is about as unpopular as a garlic milkshake."

I then asked him: "Isn't a garlic milkshake healthy?" to which he replied, "I don't know I haven't tried it."

The polls are actually pretty divided on the issue, with a SurveyUSA poll showing three-quarters of Americans backing a public option choice. But that number dropped to 43 percent when the option was portrayed as a mandatory component of the plan in an NBC/WSJ survey.

Anthony "Mother Fucker I want a single-payer system" Weiner is calling for people to go Friends of Weiner.com and sign your name on petition stating you are for a public option.
franklin sherman

U.S. Begins Fiscal Year $11,776,112,848,656.17 in Debt

Happy New Year!

But leave the hats and horns in the closet. There's nothing to celebrate.

Today marks the start of the 2010 federal fiscal year. The only thing good about it is that FY'09 is finally over.

It was the fiscal year in which the U.S. suffered the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and government numbers reflected that.

It was as if a fiscal tsunami struck and flooded the nation with red ink.

By the time the final numbers are in for the fiscal year just ended, the federal deficit will have hit an all-time high in the range of $1.580-trillion. That's 11.2 percent of the total economy (GDP). The previous year's deficit was – by today's standards – nearly inconsequential at $459-billion. That was only 3.2 percent of GDP.

Over the course of FY'09, the National Debt soared as well from $10.124-trillion on October 1, 2008 to $11,776,112,848,656.17 as of Tuesday, the latest figure from the Bureau of Public Debt. That's an increase of $1.652-trillion – the single largest increase ever in a fiscal year.

The projections for the new fiscal year offer only slight hope of improvements. The mid-session review released by the Office of Management and Budget at the end of August forecasts a deficit for FY'10 just over $1.5-trillion, amounting to 10.4 percent of the total economy. And the aptly-named Gross National Debt is projected to skyrocket in excess of $14-trillion.

The only break taxpayers get is that interest paid on the National Debt is not as much as it otherwise might be because interest rates are so low. Net interest paid on the Debt will amount this year to just under $200-billion. That's about 1.4 percent - a bargain considering the massive amount of the principal.

About the only time President Obama mentions the federal deficit is when he vows not to sign any health care plan "that adds one dime to our deficit -- either now or in the future. Period."

That's good because all other federal spending will add 158-trillion dimes to the deficit already.


Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Topless club owner: Gingrich group rescinded award

Topless club owner: Gingrich group rescinded award

DALLAS – Newt Gingrich's conservative group gave — and then rescinded — a business award to a popular topless club in Texas, the proprietor said Thursday.

Dawn Rizos said she was looking forward to receiving the promised "Entrepreneur of the Year" award at a Washington, D.C., banquet from American Solutions for Winning the Future, which the former U.S. House speaker chairs.

After all, Rizos is the owner of The Lodge, which was named the Best Overall Club in America last year by ED Publications, which sponsors the gentlemen's club industry's annual convention and trade show.

But before she had a chance to dine on lobster bisque with Gingrich at the Oct. 7 awards dinner with some 50 other business leaders, the honor was yanked away. The group apparently confused Rizos' business, which is legally called DCG Inc., with one by the same name in Virginia.

"I honestly thought that Mr. Gingrich wanted to honor our company because it's very successful," Rizos said. "Really, what's two more people to dinner? How rude!"

She wondered how such a mistake could have occurred and questioned the about-face.

"I just don't understand why this is so taboo," she added. "You can see racier things on MTV than what goes on in this club."

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Woman dies after refusing treatment

I'm horrified by this, because there are times in my life where I wanted to die, and if people had let it happen, then all the awesome things that have happened since...I would have been cheated out of it, and all my friends and family would have been so hurt by it.

The thing about depression is that at the time, it seems like there is no hope, but then when you get past that, everything seems so much better.

This makes me so sad.

Woman dies after refusing treatment

BRITISH doctors allowed a young woman to kill herself because she had signed a ''living will'' that meant they could have been prosecuted if they intervened to save her life.

Kerrie Wooltorton, 26, who was suffering depression over her inability to have a child, drank poison at home and called an ambulance. But she remained conscious and handed doctors a letter saying she wanted medical staff only to make her comfortable and not to try to save her life.

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The Mythical Power of Beck, Rush, Hannity and Other Conservatives: Is a Myth...

The Wizard of Beck

Let us take a trip back into history. Not ancient history. Recent history. It is the winter of 2007. The presidential primaries are approaching. The talk jocks like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and the rest are over the moon about Fred Thompson. They’re weak at the knees at the thought of Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, they are hurling torrents of abuse at the unreliable deviationists: John McCain and Mike Huckabee.

Yet somehow, despite the fervor of the great microphone giants, the Thompson campaign flops like a fish. Despite the schoolgirl delight from the radio studios, the Romney campaign underperforms.

Meanwhile, Huckabee surges. Limbaugh attacks him, but social conservatives flock.

Along comes New Hampshire and McCain wins! Republican voters have not heeded their masters in the media. Before long, South Carolina looms as the crucial point of the race. The contest is effectively between Romney and McCain. The talk jocks are now in spittle-flecked furor. Day after day, whole programs are dedicated to hurling abuse at McCain and everybody ever associated with him. The jocks are threatening to unleash their angry millions.

Yet the imaginary armies do not materialize. McCain wins the South Carolina primary and goes on to win the nomination. The talk jocks can’t even deliver the conservative voters who show up at Republican primaries. They can’t even deliver South Carolina!

So what is the theme of our history lesson? It is a story of remarkable volume and utter weakness. It is the story of media mavens who claim to represent a hidden majority but who in fact represent a mere niche — even in the Republican Party. It is a story as old as “The Wizard of Oz,” of grand illusions and small men behind the curtain.

But, of course, we shouldn’t be surprised by this story. Over the past few years the talk jocks have demonstrated their real-world weakness time and again. Back in 2006, they threatened to build a new majority on anti-immigration fervor. House Republicans like J.D. Hayworth and Randy Graf, both of Arizona, built their re-election campaigns under that banner. But these two didn’t march to glory. Both lost their seats.

In 2008, after McCain had won his nomination, Limbaugh turned his attention to the Democratic race. He commanded his followers to vote in the Democratic primaries for Hillary Clinton because “we need Barack Obama bloodied up politically.” Todd Donovan of Western Washington University has looked at data from 38 states and could find no strong evidence that significant numbers of people actually did what Limbaugh commanded. Rush blared the trumpets, but few of his Dittoheads advanced.

Over the years, I have asked many politicians what happens when Limbaugh and his colleagues attack. The story is always the same. Hundreds of calls come in. The receptionists are miserable. But the numbers back home do not move. There is no effect on the favorability rating or the re-election prospects. In the media world, he is a giant. In the real world, he’s not.

But this is not merely a story of weakness. It is a story of resilience. For no matter how often their hollowness is exposed, the jocks still reweave the myth of their own power. They still ride the airwaves claiming to speak for millions. They still confuse listeners with voters. And they are aided in this endeavor by their enablers. They are enabled by cynical Democrats, who love to claim that Rush Limbaugh controls the G.O.P. They are enabled by lazy pundits who find it easier to argue with showmen than with people whose opinions are based on knowledge. They are enabled by the slightly educated snobs who believe that Glenn Beck really is the voice of Middle America.

So the myth returns. Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power. And the saddest thing is that even Republican politicians come to believe it. They mistake media for reality. They pre-emptively surrender to armies that don’t exist.

They pay more attention to Rush’s imaginary millions than to the real voters down the street. The Republican Party is unpopular because it’s more interested in pleasing Rush’s ghosts than actual people. The party is leaderless right now because nobody has the guts to step outside the rigid parameters enforced by the radio jocks and create a new party identity. The party is losing because it has adopted a radio entertainer’s niche-building strategy, while abandoning the politician’s coalition-building strategy.

The rise of Beck, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of the G.O.P. But it’s not because the talk jocks have real power. It’s because they have illusory power, because Republicans hear the media mythology and fall for it every time.

Judge calls Texas' gay-marriage ban into question

In a first for Texas, a judge ruled Thursday that two men married in another state can divorce here and that the state's ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.

Both a voter-approved state constitutional amendment and the Texas Family Code prohibit same-sex marriages or civil unions.

Although the case is far from settled, and the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage is a long way from being thrown out, Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan's ruling says the state prohibition of same-sex marriage violates the federal constitutional right to equal protection.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had intervened in the two men's divorce case, arguing that because a gay marriage isn't recognized in Texas, a Texas court can't dissolve one through divorce.

Callahan, a Democrat, denied the attorney general's intervention and said her court "has jurisdiction to hear a suit for divorce filed by persons legally married in another jurisdiction."

"This is huge news. We're ecstatic," said Dallas attorney Peter Schulte, who represents the man who filed the divorce. The man, identified in court documents as J.B., asked that he and his former partner not be identified.

Schulte said that the ruling was a surprise and that he hoped to have a divorce order for the judge to sign in the "next few weeks."

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The GOP's Plan for Health Care: What Plan? We Never Promised That... Oh, You Mean Tax Cuts...

Dems Taunt GOP: Where's Your Health Care Plan?

Even as Republicans pummel President Barack Obama's health care proposals, some GOP leaders worry their party is being hurt by a Democratic counterattack: Where is your plan?

Republican leaders chose not to draft their own comprehensive bill, focusing instead on attacking Democrats' plans as too costly and bureaucratic. Some prominent Republicans now fear they are getting tagged as the "party of no," and they want the GOP to offer more solutions to the nation's health care problems.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a potential GOP presidential contender in 2012, said it's time for Republicans "to pivot and say, in addition to emphasizing what we oppose, here are our proposals" for health care. The two parties can agree on some important improvements, he said in an interview Thursday, but Democrats must trim their proposed costs.

Democrats, meanwhile, see a rare chance to go on the offensive in the debate, which has sometimes seemed dominated by fiery attacks on Obama's proposals.

"The Grand Old Party's coffers are empty when it comes to health care reform," Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the Democrats' second-ranking Senate leader, said Thursday.

A new CBS-New York Times poll found that only 14 percent of Americans think Republicans have clearly explained their plans to change the health care system, while 76 percent do not. Obama's numbers were better, though not stellar: 37 percent yes, 55 percent no.

Aware of the criticisms, House Republican leaders have compiled lists of bills and principles that various colleagues have offered this year. But even the whole list combined doesn't match the breadth and detail of the massive Democratic-crafted health care bills that have moved through five congressional committees and may soon reach the House and Senate floors in some form.

Democrats scoff at the Republican proposals, calling them skimpy outlines that would do little if anything to make health care more affordable and efficient. The Republicans' repeated calls for health-related tax cuts, without credible spending cuts to offset them, would dramatically increase the deficit, Democrats say. They note that no major GOP proposal has been subjected to scrutiny by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which has given cost estimates for the Democratic proposals.
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David Thewlis - Deer in headlights

Anti-Obama Sign Displayed on Kansas City Metro Highway

BLUE SPRINGS, MO. – An unusual sign has appeared along Interstate 70 in Blue Springs.

If you are traveling in the eastbound lanes of the freeway between Adams Dairy Parkway and the Grain Valley exit you will see a sign that appears to be anti-President Barack Obama.

The sign features the hammer and sickle, a symbol of communism and insinuates that Obama will jeopardize the first and second amendments to the Constitution, which are free speech and the right to keep and bear arms.

NBC Action News reporter Sloane Heller confirmed late Thursday morning the billboard is owned by William Cody, a metro small business owner. He lives by the stadiums and works in metal fabrication.

He says he isn't necessarily anti-Obama, but is against the policies coming out of the White House.

He calls the Federal Stimulus Package a waste and is equally upset over the bailout of the Big 3 Auto Makers.

Cody says this is his first billboard and he did it "to vent." He says, "We voted for change and this is the change we got?"

Cody says he is working on another sign for the same spot. It's set to go up in December. He won't reveal the content except to say it won't have Obama's name on it.

Let us know what you think. Is the sign offensive, or is it freedom of speech?

  • Current Mood

On Halo ODST's Female Fail

PLEASE NOTE: This article will contain information relating to the story within Halo: ODST. Whilst every care has been made to try and leave out as much of the story as is possible, it will at times cover in-game events involving various character interactions.

Long a fan of the Halo franchise and Bungie, it pains me to put these words together. Having just finished the main campaign in the new Halo: ODST one thing was clear - from beginning to end of the game - the people behind this seemingly had no consideration or care that the title carried a chauvinistic message. The game reads like an example of text and subtext feminists would loathe, with a condescending story and female characterization that does nothing but push forth antiquated views on what it means to be 'female'.

Our female 'hero' Dare is the centerpiece for everything that is wrong with female characterization in video games that have been developed by men. Rather than harp on at how truly awful this is and how it never should have happened, we intend to examine just what is wrong with the character of Veronica Dare in Halo: ODST, why it is wrong and how this travesty could so easily have been avoided.

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Source. And can we get a 'games' or 'video games' tag, mods? :D
the stone
  • gmth

Shorter Harry Reid: Don’t Look at Me!

The White House is desperate to get someone to jettison the public option, but nobody wants the job. 

Obama is personally calling Jay Rockefeller and twisting his arm to vote for the Baucus bill that doesn't have a public option, even though NPR is reporting that he didn't call a single ConservaDem and ask them to vote for one.  Gregg Sargent reports that OFA materials say that the President still supports a public option, but it's only a "small part" of a health care reform bill.

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I know this is a blog post and not an actual news article, but it's right in at least one thing: this member of Obama's left-wing base is not happy to hear of these shenanigans.

Indian shot for public urination in Delhi

A man has been shot dead in a brawl over urinating near a petrol station in the Indian capital, Delhi, police say.

Himanshu Sharma, 22, and his friends got into a fight with the employees of the petrol station when they objected to his urinating near the property.

As the fight escalated, the petrol station's armed guard shot him dead. The guard has been arrested.

Correspondents say spitting and urinating in public is a common sight across India.

The culprits are almost always men but this is the first time that someone has been killed over urinating in public.

Home Minister P Chidambaram recently advised Indians to brush up on their manners and stop spitting and urinating in public places.

A number of states have tried to introduce measures to ban urinating in public in the past.

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    clubfoot kitty "mild sentuality"
comedy | Canada: Model UN

Shenanigans Friday: October 2, 2009.

"I do not like broccLOLi. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccLOLi."--George Herbert WalkLOL Bush

Please exploit these resources:
  • macro blanks: browse by ALBUMS
  • macro blanks: browse by TAGS
  • ROFLBOT (for your caption needs)
MOAR Picture Sources:

by tinamachina
' jules
  • schmiss

Never have I rooted for stupid Kristol to NOT be wrong, but...

Kristol Floats ‘Plausible Rumor’ That Hagel Will Replace Gates, Calls Him ‘An Advocate Of Retreat Everywhere’

Yesterday, Foreign Policy Initiative co-founder Bill Kristol appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, where he said that he now believes “for the first time that he will not accept General McChrystal’s recommendation in Afghanistan.” “I really worry now about the next few years to a degree and in a way that I really hadn’t before,” said Kristol.

When Hewitt asked him if a resignation by one of Obama’s top foreign policy advisers “would mobilize public opinion” against Obama’s decisions, Kristol said “it would help.” He added that he had “just heard this morning from someone who’s been in touch with people in the administration, a foreign gentleman who deals with this government, that people are talking about Secretary Gates leaving at the end of the year, and being replaced by Chuck Hagel.” Hewitt and Kristol then took the opportunity to attack Hagel:
KRISTOL: People are talking about Secretary Gates leaving at the end of the year, and being replaced by Chuck Hagel…


KRISTOL: Yeah, exactly, as Secretary of Defense. I think that’s quite a plausible rumor, and a very worrisome one, because he is an advocate of retreat everywhere, I think.

HEWITT: Yeah, it’s sort of neoisolationism replacing neoconservatism as the driving intellectual force behind the intellectuals on either side.

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Only Existing Video Of Anne Frank Released On YouTube

(stolen from The Mothership):

Anne Frank is filmed seen leaning over her balcony in 1941 to get a good look of the bride-to-be next door

The only existing film images of Anne Frank have been loaded on to YouTube by Amsterdam museum the Anne Frank House.

The footage, from 1941, is the only time Anne has been captured on film. The 20-second footage uploaded to the museum's recently launched Anne Frank Channel shows Anne's neighbour on her wedding day. A 13-year-old Anne is seen nine seconds into the video, leaning out of a second-floor window to get a better look at the bride and groom. At the time of the wedding the bride-to-be lived at No 37 Merwedeplein, next door to the Franks at No 39.

The scene was filmed on 22 July 1941, just under a year before the Frank family went into hiding above the family business. The family were discovered in August 1944 and Anne died in a Nazi concentration camp in March 1945.

A shorter, five-second version of the video was given to Otto Frank, Anne's father, by the married couple in the 1950s. After Anne's published diary became widely known in the 1950s the couple recognised her in the film and contacted Otto.

Annemarie Bekker, from the Anne Frank House, said using YouTube was a way to introduce the life of Anne Frank to people who may never have heard of her diaries.

"The footage is very moving and very unique because these are the only moving images of Anne Frank," Bekker said.

"The museum has had the footage for some time, but thought YouTube would be a good platform to show the film and the other films about her life. It's another way to bring the life of Anne Frank to the attention of younger people, and all people worldwide."

The husband and wife, who are still alive and living in the Netherlands, were contacted by the Anne Frank House in the 1990s and provided the longer video.

The video channel also includes excerpts from interviews with Otto Frank and Miep Gies, who helped to hide the Franks from the Nazis.

The film has already attracted more than 275,000 views, with scores of comments. One read: "Gave me chills to see her in the video." Another user wrote: "Who knows what she could have become."


I got a case of the goosebumps after watching this video!

(no subject)

Morehouse College Fires Employee Over Homophobic Email


Atlanta's Morehouse College, one of the nation's most prominent black universities, has fired staffer Sandra Bradley after she went off on a rant to colleagues after receiving a forwarded email about a wedding between two black men. Her email:
"I can’t believe this wedding. It’s 2 men. They don’t smile in a lot of pictures and they look like a few brothers I’ve seen in the streets looking STRAGHT. Black women can’t get a break, either our men want another man, a white woman (or other nationality that’s light with straight hair), they are locked up in jail or have a 'use to be' fatal disease. I’m beginning to believe Eve was a black woman and we Black women are paying for all the world’s sins through her actions (eating the apple),"
After Morehouse president Robert Franklin promised an investigation, Bradley was fired. The college issued this statement:
"The views expressed in the e-mail entitled, 'The WTD of the Week,' (September 28, 2009) were the personal views of one individual and do not reflect the values or policies of Morehouse College. Morehouse College has a no-tolerance position on discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and the College has taken great strides toward building a diverse and tolerant community. After investigating the matter, the College has disciplined the persons involved in the incident, and one of the implicated employees is no longer with the College. In addition, the College has reminded its staff that the Morehouse e-mail system is College property, should be safeguarded as any other College property, and that e-mails that are discriminatory, inflammatory, or derogatory to any group are prohibited at the College."
Morehouse is the alma mater of Martin Luther King. Praise goes to President Franklin for doing the right thing. And congratulations to the two men, Michael Cole Smith and Jamil Smith Cole.


What do you guys think about this? Was firing her a bit much?

And wow, if you haven't reached your rage quota for the day, take a look at the over 500 comments (mostly intensely negative and homophobic) on Bossip's post of these pictures.

Signorile Caller Says He's Organizing To Overthrow Obama, Bring Back Slavery

A caller to Michelangelo Signorile's show on SiriusXM said that he and 200 others in different states were organizing to overthrow Barack Obama and bring back slavery. And something about the kicking gays out of the country too. Enjoy the crazy, but in the second clip another caller warns that her own mother had recently joined a similar group.

(no subject)

The Higher Lifetime Costs of Being a Gay Couple


Much of the debate over legalizing gay marriage has focused on God and Scripture, the Constitution and equal protection.

But we see the world through the prism of money. And for years, we've heard from gay couples about all the extra health, legal and other costs they bear. So we set out to determine what they were and to come up with a round number - a couple's lifetime cost of being gay.


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Posh Zoom

U.S. immigrant population flat, Census numbers show

By Mariano Castillo
(CNN) -- After nearly 40 years of recorded increases, the number of immigrants living in the United States remained flat between 2007 and 2008, recent statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau show.

According to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, the U.S. foreign-born population represented about 12.5 percent of the population in 2008, down from 12.6 percent in 2007.

Taking into account the margin of error, it was possible that the immigrant population remained even.
"Between '07 and '08 there really wasn't that much of a change," said Elizabeth Grieco, chief of immigration statistics staff at the Census Bureau.

But given the steep upward trend in the foreign-born population since 1970, no change is big news.
The American Community Survey collects data from about 3 million addresses each year, and provides one of the most complete pictures of the population, according to the bureau.

The survey doesn't give a reason for the leveling off, but experts pointed to the economic downturn and the resulting high unemployment as factors behind the shift.

"The recession has had a significant effect on immigrants' decisions on whether to come to the U.S.," said Michelle Mittelstadt, director of communications at the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute.
Would-be unauthorized immigrants and legal temporary workers are mostly the ones who have decided to stay put in their home countries for now, Mittelstadt said.

The largest declines in the foreign-born population were in states that were hardest hit by the recession, including California, Florida and Arizona.

Mittelstadt noted, however, that those immigrants already in the United States appear to be staying.
A recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center concluded that emigration from Mexico, the largest source of immigrants to the United States, slowed at least 40 percent between mid-decade and 2008, based on national population surveys in the United States and Mexico, as well as Border Patrol apprehension figures.

The Mexican-born population in the United States dropped by about 300,000 between 2007 and 2008, according to census data.

The new Census statistics show that for the first time since the American Community Survey was fully implemented in 2005, the number of noncitizens decreased, Grieco said.
There were about 21.6 million noncitizens in 2008, down from 21.9 million in 2007. The label noncitizens includes both legal residents and illegal immigrants.

Along with the decline in the noncitizen population, however, there was a notable increase in the number of naturalized citizens, Grieco said.
The number of individuals who are naturalized citizens increased to 43 percent of the foreign-born population in 2008 from 42.5 percent in 2007.

The Census survey matches reports from the Department of Homeland Security on the rise of naturalization applications.
"Naturalizations grew at a record pace between 2006 and 2008, with a total of 2.4 million immigrants becoming new citizens in the United States," according to a DHS statement.

A significant fee increase imposed in 2007 for naturalization applications and an awareness of citizenship brought on during voter registration drives for the 2008 election help explain the increase, Mittelstadt said.


This must be the best news for the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs in the US.  WHITE POWER

One year after the financial meltdown: What has changed?

A quick review of the last 12 months: Washington stepped in and saved our banking system and our auto companies, put stimulus funding into the economy, and then offered rebates to housing and automobile buyers to spur sales. In turn a loud outcry arose from some sectors of our society. Citizens concerned about the country’s deficit spending– and especially about deepening the nation’s debt should any sort of health care reform be passed – made themselves heard in possibly the angriest and most passionate protests heard since the sixties.

Many Americans quietly share some of the protesters’ voiced concerns about the increasing spending and debt; still, you have to wonder where our country would be had the government stood back and did nothing when the crisis threatened to become overwhelming. The easy answer is that things would have been much worse and could possibly have become financially irreversible in the near to mid-term.

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K-Box cartoon

Cracked.com on one of white America's more ... interesting reactions to Obama

In his own fucked-up way, Daniel O'Brien really seems to be trying to make up for that one time that he thought it would be a good idea to joke about kidnapping the president’s daughters, and the results have been rather interesting to behold, especially in the article that follows, which takes a while to get to where it's going, but the payoff is well worth it.


Why Obama Makes Americans Want to Stockpile Ammo

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wordy press release regarding the Louisiana Science Education Act

For Immediate Release: Creationists Continue to Dictate BESE Science Education Policy

Baton Rouge, LA, September 28, 2009 — On September 16, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) ignored the recommendations of science education professionals in the Louisiana Department of Education (DOE) and allowed the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF), a Religious Right lobbying group, to dictate the procedure concerning complaints about creationist supplementary materials used in public school science classes under the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA). At BESE’s September 16 Student/School Performance and Support (SSPS) Committee meeting, DOE presented recommendations for reviewing such materials (see attached DOE proposal). However, DOE’s recommendations were amended to include changes proposed by SSPS Committee chair Dale Bayard, the LFF’s point man at BESE (see attached draft). BESE committee members approved the changes without opposition after hearing testimony by creationists who attended the meeting. As a result, the prerogatives of the DOE professional science education staff have been severely undermined, as explained below. The audiotape of the meeting shows that Bayard and the LFF pulled off a royal snow job.

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. Sorry for all the links, but kept reference and background information for anyone who wanted it (and those with Citation Needed icons). I did try to find a more readable source but none where this comprehensive.

Summary from this mess:
The LSEA let  teachers use supplemental material beyond the scope of what the schools provide allowing the potential for abuse by including ID or creationist text. The Louisiana Department of Education set a proposal regarding objections to the materials used. If a complaint is filed, the DOE will select a 3 person panel to whom the challenger and school district representative will make their case. Afterward, the DOE will make it's recommendation to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

However, the BESE, under the encouragement of creationists, made their own changes. Now the challenger, school district and material's publisher can appoint their own reviewer in addition to two from the DOE. Those chosen outside the DOE do not have to have the appropriate credentials and two will most likely be creationist themselves. In addition, the DOE will have to send the report directly to the BSES without it's recommendation.

The whole thing is a farce by the BSES to resemble some sort of appropriate review and will leave them it the position to undermine science education.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

WIC program adds fruits, veggies

WIC program adds fruits, veggies

Starting Thursday, fruits, vegetables and whole grains will become part of the approved menu in a federal program aimed at shoring up nutrition among pregnant women, mothers of young children and children under age 5.

In the first major expansion since the Women, Infants, and Children supplemental nutrition program, or WIC, program began in 1974, recipients can add more to their grocery cart than the items primarily pushed by the federal government: dairy products and infant formula.

This doesn't mean recipients' monthly benefit checks — which average about $40.22 per person in Nebraska and $41.12 in Iowa, with infants getting more for formula — will increase.

Instead, in an effort to keep the program cost-neutral and meet national dietary guidelines, recipients will be approved for less milk, cheese and eggs than in the past in exchange for fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Even infant formula is getting cut to make room for infant fruits and vegetables, items that were not previously included in the government menu.

Advocates for low-income people and nutrition are hailing the changes as long-overdue. They say the cuts in dairy won't affect nutrition negatively but will allow room for needed nutrients offered in produce and whole-grain breads and – depending on the state — whole grain rice or tortillas.

“We're thrilled,” said Geri Henchy, director of nutrition policy for the Food Research and Action Center, a Washington, D.C.-based organization. “We think it's going to be great not only for the families participating in WIC but also for some of the lower-income neighborhoods whose stores haven't stocked fruits and vegetables and low-fat grains, fruits and dairy.”

WIC is a U.S. Department of Agriculture program which differs in key ways from a better-known USDA program for the poor known as food stamps.

Both serve low-income people, but WIC offers a higher ceiling of eligibility: One must be at or under 185 percent of the federal poverty level, or earning no more than $33,874 in a household of three. (The food stamp program, among other income tests, sets eligibility at 130 percent of poverty, or $23,803 for a family of three).

WIC is aimed at pregnant, breast-feeding and non-breast-feeding postpartum women, infants and children up to age five.

Whereas food stamp recipients can select from nearly all food items in a grocery store and can use a debit card to pay for them, WIC recipients are limited to specific types and amounts of food and must use a government voucher.

WIC, like food stamps, is far-reaching. The USDA estimates that half of the infants born in this country are in households receiving WIC. As of June, 45,698 Nebraskans and 76,506 Iowans were participating in WIC.

An independent review by the National Academies' Institute of Medicine convened a committee of experts in nutrition, health, risk assessment and economics for a 22-month study that looked at dietary patterns, major diet-related health problems and risks the WIC population faced. The group released its final report in April 2005.

The USDA then modified recommendations to contain costs and to align new WIC food packages with guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The result is a more rounded-out menu that includes WIC standbys: milk, iron-fortified cereal, juice with vitamin C, carrots, eggs, dried beans or peanut butter, tuna and infant formula. New additions are: whole-grain bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, salmon, sardines or mackerel to substitute for tuna and infant fruits and vegetables.

States can choose to expand whole-grain offerings to include whole-grain rice and tortillas, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables, soy milk and canned beans.

The government also is rewarding new mothers for breast-feeding by offering enhanced food options, counseling and educational materials, and more time to participate in WIC than non-breast-feeding mothers.


It's about frickin' time, and yeah, I hope this does contribute to more stores carrying fruits and veggies.

The Palin Legazy: Quitters

Todd Palin Resigns From Oil Job

Todd Palin has quit his oil field job on the North Slope, the AP reports:

Todd Palin's resignation as a production operator for oil giant BP PLC comes almost two months after his wife stepped down as Alaska governor and shortly before the release of her highly anticipated memoir.

BP spokesman Steve Rinehart says Todd Palin's resignation was effective Sept. 18.

Meghan Stapleton, Sarah Palin's personal spokeswoman, says Todd Palin hopes to return to his union job and for now is spending time with his family.

Like his wife's surprising resignation, this appears to be a change of plans. From an interview last July:

Todd Palin did say that Alaska would remain their home base and indicated that, despite the millions that may come their way after his wife leaves office, he had no plan to give up his blue-collar jobs.

"I'll always be a fisherman, I'll probably always be out working on the slope," he said, alluding to his oilfields job in the state's far-northern tier.

Uninsured, Sick, and Close to Death? Beg for Your Life Then...

Uninsured And Sick, Student Begged For His Life

Freddie Effinger started feeling what he called a "bizarre pain" in his upper thigh during the summer of 2007, just before his third year at the University of Alabama law school. After a scan, his doctors told him it was probably some sort of mass, nothing serious, and that they would remove it surgically in September.

Effinger, then 23, didn't have insurance. His parents' policy dropped him after college, and he had figured he could coast through three years of law school and land a job with benefits before suffering any catastrophic illness or injury. ("Superman Complex," he calls it.) The operation to remove the mass would only cost him about $1,200.

But when they operated, Effinger's doctors discovered something more serious.

"The tumor was the same size as my hand," Effinger told the Huffington Post. "And directly underneath that tumor was another tumor, and further down my leg was another tumor."

The following month, an oncologist told Effinger he had advanced stage lymphoma. The oncologist told him that his chemotherapy could cost tens of thousands of dollars per session, and that he would need 12 sessions. Effinger panicked.

"My mom's a schoolteacher and my dad's a juvenile detention officer," Effinger said. "They're good people, but that's not going to happen."

Effinger scrambled for insurance. He said he was told that the school's health plan for students wouldn't have adequately covered chemotherapy treatment at the nearby University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. He had no luck on the private insurance market outside the university.

"After making a couple calls explaining the situation, it was pretty much discussions of blackout periods and 'We wouldn't be able to do it,'" he said. "And it was frustrating and frightening."
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Happy Day for GOP: "Obama Is a Failure. HaHa!" (At Least They Are Being Honest...)

Conservatives Revel In Obama's Olympic Bid Failure (VIDEO)

Chicago's failed bid to host the 2016 Olympics in the first round of voting caps a week of conservative attacks against President Obama for personally stumping on his home city's behalf.

How the International Olympic Committee's rejection of the Windy City's bid affects the politics surrounding Obama's trip to Copenhagen remains to be seen. But in the immediate aftermath, it has provided ample fodder for Republicans to further accuse the president of having wasted his time, skirted his responsibilities, and acted as a crony for some of his big-moneyed donors.

Upon being informed of the news, a gathering of conservatives at the Americans For Prosperity -- one of the main organizing groups behind the tea party protests -- erupted in applause.
They cheered once more after they were told that Chicago had been eliminated during the first round of voting. The moment was captured on video and reported by Hotline On Call:

Around the same time, RedState's Erick Erickson took glee in Chicago - and, by extension, Obama's - rejection.

"Hahahahaha," he wrote. "I thought the world would love us more now that Bush was gone. I thought if we whored ourselves out to our enemies, great things would happen. Apparently not. So Obama's pimped us to every two bit thug and dictator in the world, made promises to half the Olympic committee, and they did not even kiss him."

Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, meanwhile, wrote that the news effectively ended the Obama campaign motto of "Yes We Can" by dawning in a new slogan: "No, You Can't."

"This is a big win and a massive relief for taxpayers," she wrote. "But Chicago cronies are not going to take this well. Gird your loins."
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The National Review Online called the episode an "embarrassment for Obama," before adding the predictable conservative ribbing: "If he can't work his personal magic with the Olympians, why does he expect it to work with the Iranians?"

Rush Limbaugh called it "the worst day of his presidency," adding that Obama "has failed" and the entire episode was an illustration of Obama's "Mars-sized ego."

The Drudge Report -- topping them all -- blared the headline: "THE EGO HAS LANDED

It's an aggressive posture. But also, potentially, a risky one, not just because polling data showed that a vast majority of the country wanted America to host the games (though some were skeptical of the need for Obama to make a personal pitch). But also because it continues to produce the specter of conservatives bludgeoning the reputation of America's "second city."

Hours before Chicago's bid failed, The Plum Line reported that Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) was skirting questions about whether he supported Obama's decision to fly to Copenhagen. Kirk, mind you, is not just a rising star within GOP circles. He is the party's top candidate for Senate in Illinois.

And yet, it's fair to assume that Kirk's hands were somewhat tied on the issue. GOP leadership in the House had cast its lot against Chicago days before. Earlier this week, House Minority Leader John Boehner, (R-Ohio) said the president's decision to travel to Copenhagen raised questions about the White House's priorities. A few days before he spoke, RNC Chairman Michael Steele was equally pugnacious. "I think that what the president is doing is not necessarily helpful and doesn't, in my view instill the confidence in the American people that the focus is there on jobs, wealth creation and moving us beyond a recession to prosperity," he told a conference call of reporters.

The attacks were far more vicious from the media, whose conservative members used reports of gang violence in the streets of Chicago to paint the city as a cesspool of street thugs and political corruption. Fox News' Glenn Beck adopted a pained Italian accent to paint the Windy City as ruled by mob control. Beck's colleague, Sean Hannity, meanwhile, asked rhetorically if Chicago was really where "we want the Olympics taking place." On September 29, The Drudge Report ran a headline linking to an article about the death of a 16-year-old honor student in a gang fight: "OLYMPIC SPIRIT: VIDEO SHOWS BRUTAL GANG MURDER IN CHICAGO."

Taken separately, the criticism seemed like traditional, partisan-driven efforts to land a punch on the president. And in some respects, there were intellectual foundations for the charges. Even good government groups have wondered whether the big-moneyed donors who sit on Chicago's 2016 committee board played a role in Obama's decision to travel to Copenhagen.

Taken as a whole, however, the steady stream of Republican attacks raise as many questions about the GOP's strategy as they do about the president's. For starters: is it smart politics to argue that a major American city is unfit to host the Olympic games? More than one Democratic strategist has pointed out that, if Democrats had attacked George W. Bush for pushing Dallas as an Olympics host, they would immediately have been branded as unpatriotic.

Perhaps the better question is: will the voters respond positively to such charges? A poll conducted by Zogby International from Sept. 22 to 25 showed that 84 percent of Americans support having the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Chicago.
And even after being attacked for several days straight, Obama had taken only a small hit for his decision to go to Copenhagen. A Rasmussen Reports poll released on Thursday, showed that 43 percent of adults thought it was "a bad idea for the President to go overseas at this time to help Chicago make its final presentation to the Olympic Committee." Thirty-six percent said it was a good idea, while 21 percent were not sure.