October 15th, 2009

Everything is apparently Satanic.

North Carolina church to burn ‘Satan’s books,’ including works of Mother Teresa

By Kathleen Miller
Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 -- 11:50 am

A Baptist Church near Asheville, N.C., is hosting a "Halloween book burning" to purge the area of "Satan's" works, which include all non-King James versions of the Bible, popular books by many religious authors and even country music.

The website for the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, N.C., says there are "scriptural bases" for the book burning. The site quotes Acts 19:18-20: "And many that believed, came and confessed and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts, brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed."

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Source is having some chicken

Somehow I doubt that Mother Theresa or the pope was in league with Satan. There were a couple of Medieval popes I wouldn't put it past, but um, I really don't get this church. Do they hate everything? Because that has to be a horrible way to go through life.
Archer Is My Prison Bitch

UK MP Expenses Scandal: This one is not as funny as charging the taxpayer for moat cleaning but...

Tory David Wilshire pays £100,000 to company he owns with girlfriend
David Wilshire, a senior Conservative MP, used his House of Commons expenses to pay more than £100,000 of taxpayers’ money to his own company, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Mr Wilshire claimed for more than three years for office assistance provided by “Moorlands Research Services”. Parliamentary expenses rules forbid MPs from entering into arrangements which “may give rise to an accusation” of profiting from public funds. But on Wednesday night, Mr Wilshire – the MP for Spelthorne in Surrey – admitted that he and his partner, Ann Palmer, were sole owners of the business.

The Telegraph has established that, between 2005 and 2008, Mr Wilshire paid up to £3,250 a month to the business. Extra invoices were also submitted and the total paid to the firm was £105,500. However, there is no official record of the company’s existence and it has never filed public accounts.

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Mr Wilshire is now certain to face significant scrutiny from his constituents, already angry at his use of parliamentary expenses. Despite having a constituency 20 miles from Westminster, he has consistently claimed the maximum second home allowance for a flat in central London. In total, he has claimed £141,039 since 2001.

In a highly unusual arrangement with the fees office, he claimed thousands in monthly payments that he said went towards the cost of decorating and replacing its curtains and carpets in the future. He has refused to repay the money despite conceding that it has not all been spent.

With his main home in Somerset, he has also claimed more than £43,000 for travel since 2001.

Mr Wilshire has written to the team drawing up recommendations to overhaul the expenses system, urging them not to “over-react” by introducing tough new rules.

He is best known for his controversial creation of Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act, which he introduced “to prevent local authorities from promoting homosexuality”.

Source

"Controversial"! That's one way of describing state-sanctioned homophobia... I've never liked Wilshire.

The last few months I've been trying to be nice and understanding of MPs massaging the rules and such, but then you've got some people who just take the piss and make it very hard to have any sympathy.
pen

World first as comatose German woman gives birth

And the poor baby, not even his father wants him, after all that, oh well, at least it's healthy and will probably find a home :(

---
Doctors in Germany have hailed as extraordinary the birth of a healthy baby boy to a 40-year-old woman who had been in a coma for the last 22 weeks of her pregnancy - a world first.

"Given the mother's age ... and the completely normal state of the child, this case is extraordinary in the scientific world and very pleasing," Matthias Beckmann from the University Clinic in Erlangen, southern Germany, said on Wednesday.


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spike gone

The Nation Posts in Verse

What Whoopi Goldberg ('Not a Rape-Rape'), Harvey Weinstein ('So-Called Crime') et al. Are Saying in Their Outrage Over the Arrest of Roman Polanski


by Calvin Trillin

The Nation Source

A youthful error? Yes, perhaps.
But he's been punished for this lapse--
For decades exiled from LA
He knows, as he wakes up each day,
He'll miss the movers and the shakers.
He'll never get to see the Lakers.
For just one old and small mischance,
He has to live in Paris, France.
He's suffered slurs and other stuff.
Has he not suffered quite enough?
How can these people get so riled?
He only raped a single child.

Why make him into some Darth Vader
For sodomizing one eighth grader?
This man is brilliant, that's for sure--
Authentically, a film auteur.
He gets awards that are his due.
He knows important people, too--
Important people just like us.
And we know how to make a fuss.
Celebrities would just be fools
To play by little people's rules.
So Roman's banner we unfurl.
He only raped one little girl.

It's not news per se, but it is a blog posted at The Nation and I felt it would be of some interest here.
obama-trouble

Obama New Orleans Trip: President's First Visit



WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, who accused former President George W. Bush of leading a government "that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns," is hearing directly from New Orleans residents who have struggled to rebuild their city since the 2005 hurricane season.

Obama arrives in New Orleans Thursday on his first presidential trip to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast. About 1,600 people were killed in Louisiana and Mississippi by Hurricane Katrina, which caused $40 billion in damages and displaced 1 million people from their homes.

The storm was a natural disaster that turned into a political one for Bush.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency was widely criticized for a slow response. And local officials have complained that the Bush administration often stubbornly refused to pay for work that should have qualified for federal aid.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, has credited Obama's team with bringing a more practical and flexible approach to the reconstruction process. "There's a sense of momentum and a desire to get things done," he said in August.

When Obama became president, FEMA said there were more than 120 Louisiana reconstruction projects stalled in federal-state disputes. Since January, 76 of those have been resolved.

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"When Obama became president, FEMA said there were more than 120 Louisiana reconstruction projects stalled in federal-state disputes. Since January, 76 of those have been resolved."

So yeah, the next time someone says Obama hasn't really *done* anything yet?  Just point them in the direction of New Orleans, where even their Republican Governor is happy with what the administration has done to improve their situation.
drhorrible-shoulderdance

Punishing the Health Insurance Cartel for Extortion and Fraud


The health insurance cartel tipped its hand this week, and, for that, they deserve to have it chopped off.

If there was any lingering doubt about the ethical bankruptcy of the cartel, we now have incontrovertible evidence in the form of a new report commissioned by the health insurance lobby. Among other things, the report threatens that if health care reform passes (presumably unchanged from the Finance Committee version of bill), the cartel will raise premiums by 111 percent.

What the cartel didn't mention, however, was the obvious: if health care reform doesn't pass, they'll raise premiums anyway -- and if history is any indication, premiums will rise by roughly the same amount. In fact, if nothing is done to regulate the cartel, the average family's annual payout to health insurance premiums will skyrocket from $13,000 to $24,000 by 2019.

They didn't mention that at all.

Good people.

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My first instinct -- and this is why I wouldn't last very long in elected politics -- would be to nationalize the industry. Sorry! They want to threaten us? Then suck on this. Nationalize Aetna, WellPoint, CIGNA, UnitedHealth and the others, and be done with them once and for all. Americans could "keep the insurance they have" but the government would control all of it. And since the cartel doesn't "produce" anything, it can't be defined as socialism since the government isn't necessarily controlling the means of production.

This was kind of my first thought as well, though mine was kind of limited to, "WHARGARBLLL, fuck 'em then!" and his was far more eloquently (and constructively) outlined. 

It also goes back to that conversation that Congressman Wiener had on Morning Joe where he said (and I'm paraphrasing), "What value do the insurance companies offer to us anyway?  What value do they bring to the table?"  for which Joe Scarborough had NO answer.  I couldn't agree more, since all we seem to see them do is take our money, and then let us die anyway when we actually get sick.

"As we look forward to violently bashing our heads against our keyboards every time Politico posts another anonymous quote from an intern stationed in the White House basement's steam pipe distribution venue,"

Bonus points for The West Wing reference!  I swear, I want Bob Cesca to bear my children.  XD

franklin sherman

Perpetual war is here — and Americans are getting used to it

A new poll shows a substantial majority of Americans have resigned themselves to the reality of our nation's perpetual foreign wars. They don't like it, but they see it happening and know there is nothing they can do about it. The poll, conducted by Clarus Research Group, showed that 68 percent of us agree with idea that we won't either win or lose the war in Afghanistan, now eight years long, but will instead just remain there. The image of flies and flypaper again swirls in my head, just as it did at the time of the invasion of Iraq. We invaded these places and now we're stuck there, and President Barack Obama is likewise stuck, not on flypaper, but on the horns of a dilemma: Does he send tens of thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan, as his area commander, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, has publicly demanded, or does he change strategies a la Joe Biden and rely more on special ops and drones to harass the Taliban and kill whatever members of al-Qaeda we can find?

The news is filled with stories about this showdown and the political consequences of what the president may decide to do. There are some calls for Mr. Obama to fire Mr. McChrystal for acting like Gen. Douglas MacArthur did during the Korean War, when he challenged the strategic decisions of President Harry Truman. The counterpoint, as is always the case, comes from people who say the civilian leadership should stay out of the way and let the generals wage war however they decide. That's more or less the position of the Republicans in Congress. That this subservience to the Pentagon would make the United States a sort of gargantuan Honduras doesn't seem to bother these people.

Republican and Democratic members of Congress met with Mr. Obama at the White House this week to deliver their exhortations, all of them promising to back whatever decision is reached, and the president saying he'll need some time to make his decision. That was to be expected, considering that it took him eight months to figure out what kind of dog to get for his daughters. The one thing he has promised - and this certainly feeds the public's resignation about the war - is that he won't, under any circumstance, withdraw from Afghanistan.

In a recent television interview, former career diplomat and one-time Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger said he sees another Vietnam debacle shaping up in Afghanistan but that there is no way to walk away from it, since to do so would be to suffer a loss of America's credibility. He bemoans another quagmire, yet says we must go ahead and be mired.

Good heavens. No wonder ordinary Americans are reading the tea leaves the way they are. Another poll, this one by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, shows these same Americans to be hawkish when it comes to Iran and its nuclear ambitions. The poll showed that 61 percent of the 1,500 respondents agreed with the idea that it is "more important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it mean taking military action" than to "avoid military conflict."

Why are we so heavily invested in Central Asia? We're told it's to prevent al-Qaeda from reinfesting Afghanistan and using it for training and staging attacks against us, but the real reason, the Great Game if you will, is the competition for the world's energy resources. The Asia Times' Pepe Escobar has written widely on what he calls "Pipelineistan," the immense network of oil and gas pipelines that "crisscross the potential imperial battlefields of the planet." Afghanistan sits at the center of Pipelineistan, and that's the real reason we won't willingly abandon it. If you don't believe that, take advantage of Internet search technology and learn what's really going on.

The stakes are immense, and as long as we have our enormous military power - budgeted at $626 billion for the coming fiscal year - it will largely be directed at controlling the sources of the world's energy. Perpetual war is here, and we're apparently getting used to it.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.smith09oct09,0,1680038.column
MSNBC- Rachel giggles and fans

"Gays ruin marriage!" 'ORLY? PROVE IT.'

Judge refuses to dismiss gay marriage ban suit


He asks lawyers to show how gay unions pose threat to traditional ones



SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge challenged the backers of California's voter-enacted ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday to explain how allowing gay couples to wed threatens conventional unions, a demand that prompted their lawyer to acknowledge he did not know.

The unusual exchange between U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker and Charles Cooper, a lawyer for the group that sponsored Proposition 8, came during a hearing on a lawsuit challenging the measure as discriminatory under the U.S. Constitution.

Cooper had asked Walker to throw out the suit or make it more difficult for those civil rights claims to prevail.

The judge not only refused but signaled that when the case goes to trial in January, he expects Cooper and his legal team to present evidence showing that male-female marriages would be undermined if same-sex marriages were legal.
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Liberal Sauce

I like that someone's actually making groups like this actually try and prove their rhetoric of 'gay marriage ruins real marriage!'- the judge knows its bogus and is going to remove the legs completely out of the phrase by doing this. Personally, I want them to use this pie chart:

Reporting
  • acmeeoy

It’s Not a Man’s World or a Woman’s Nation


October 15, 2009

You're going to be seeing a multimedia blitz about a new national study of women's status called The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Changes Everything. Gloria Steinem gives you a preview of this project created by Maria Shriver and a D.C. think tank, and suggests ways you can use it and also judge its success.

 

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Natsuhi [RAAGE]

Kid gets set on fire by other kids. Oh yeah, and it's over a video game.

Boy burned in attack will spend months in Miami hospital, doctor says
BY ADAM H. BEASLEY

Michael Brewer, the 15-year-old Deerfield Beach boy who on Monday was doused in rubbing alcohol and set ablaze, will remain hospitalized for months at Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, where doctors said Wednesday that the boy's face and hands were spared serious damage.

Speaking to reporters, Dr. Nicholas Namias, director of the University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Burn Center, said the burns scorched 65 percent of Michael's body and that jumping into the pool following the attack may have helped save his life.

Doctors were hopeful of Michael's recovery, but said the next few days would be critical because of the severity of the burns, Namias said.

"Resuscitation is going as well as can be hoped for, but it would not be fair to say everything is OK," Namias said. "This is a terrible, terrible thing that will change his life forever."
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I wish I could say I had never heard of a kid getting set on fire for something stupid before this. Just... ugh.
  • Current Mood
    cynical
bg-fieldtrip

Gen. McChrystal's Credibility Problem


The man chosen by Barack Obama to lead the war in Afghanistan also helped cover up the friendly-fire death of NFL player turned soldier Pat Tillman, writes Jon Krakauer. He administered a fraudulent medal recommendation to keep the public in the dark. So why isn’t anybody talking about it?

Shortly after President Obama nominated Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal to command U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, the general was summoned to the U.S. Senate to be grilled by the Armed Services Committee. Although McChrystal had enthusiastic admirers on both sides of the congressional aisle and was regarded as an innovative, uncommonly effective leader, he was expected to face difficult questions about two incidents that occurred during his tenure as leader of the Joint Special Operations Command (or JSOC): the torture of detainees in 2003 at the secret facility in Iraq known as Camp Nama, and his role in the coverup of Pat Tillman’s fratricide in Afghanistan in 2004. During the committee hearing, though, none of McChrystal’s inquisitors probed deeply into either of these issues, and on June 10 the Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination.

McChrystal has lately been the subject of numerous media profiles, most of them adulatory. Dexter Filkins has a long story in the upcoming New York Times Magazine. In an October 5 Newsweek article, Evan Thomas referred to the general as a “Zen warrior… with a disarming, low-key style, free of the bombast and sense of entitlement that can come with four stars…. He has great political skills; he couldn’t have risen to his current position without them. But he definitely does not see himself as the sort of military man who would compromise his principles to do the politically convenient thing.” In the week after Tillman was killed, however, this is precisely what McChrystal appears to have done when he administered a fraudulent medal recommendation and submitted it to secretary of the Army, thereby concealing the cause of Tillman’s death.

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Raging Anti-Feminist

Two for one sale on the perpetuation of poor female body image perception!

Story number 1: Remember this story? Where a clearly photoshopped Ralph Lauren model appeared on Photoshop Disasters, and then Ralph Lauren filed a complaint on account of copyright infringement (conveniently redirecting the story from the OMGWTFBBQ of the ridiculous body image)? Yeaaaaaah... it gets worse.

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But what's that you say? You thought this entry was going to be a twofer? Heehee! You're right! Presenting MORE FAIL:

Barbie has cankles!

Christian Louboutin is the latest designer geared to give Barbie a makeover, with three dolls he's conceived top to toe due to be released over the coming months. Louboutin has even reshaped the dolls' figures as he doesn't find the classic Barbie’s morphology très flattering. "He found her ankles were too fat," said a Louboutin spokeswoman, who revealed one of the dolls would be released in time for the Cannes International Film Festival. "They're completely wild and even come with mini Louboutin boxes for the shoes," she said.

Source.

*facepalm*

Between this, and discovering today what they've done to Dora the Explorer, fashion/marketing industry?


Citadel

American father in custody case released from Japanese jail

Japanese authorities have released an American man who was jailed for allegedly trying to snatch back his children from his estranged wife.

Police in the rural southern town of Yanagawa let Christopher Savoie go Thursday without indicting him on charges of child kidnapping.

Officials said the indictment was "on hold," but did not elaborate.


The prosecutor's office in nearby Fukuoka said Savoie was released after he promised not to take his children back to the United States "in this manner," implying he could not have any contact with the children.

Savoie, 38, a Tennessee native and naturalized Japanese citizen, allegedly grabbed his children -- 8-year-old Isaac and 6-year-old Rebecca -- as his estranged wife walked them to school on September 28 in Yanagawa.

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Citadel

Pakistan rocked by fresh attacks

A series of attacks on security forces in Pakistan has killed at least 38 people, officials say.

In Lahore, militants attacked offices of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), as well as two police training centres. At least 26 people died.

In the northern town of Kohat, 11 were killed in a car bomb attack on police.

Then a bomb in the city of Peshawar in the north-west killed a child. Suicide attacks in Pakistan in the past two weeks have killed more than 250 people.

The Peshawar car bomb went off outside a housing complex for government employees. A number of people were wounded.

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the stone
  • gmth

Election 2010: Pennsylvania Democratic Senate Primary

So much for Arlen Specter’s party switch to avoid a risky primary. The incumbent Pennsylvania senator’s 2010 Democratic Primary race against challenger Joe Sestak is now a toss-up.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Democratic Primary voters in the state finds Specter with just a four-point lead over Sestak – 46% to 42%. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, and 10% are undecided.

In early August, Specter had a 13-point lead over the two-term congressman from the Philadelphia suburbs. In June, Sestak trailed by 19 points.

Support for Specter in the primary has stayed relatively stable, declining just five points since June. However, support for Sestak has increased by 10 percentage points in recent months.

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Akuma River

...

Auschwitz memorial launches Facebook page (October 15, 2009 - Y! AP - MONIKA SCISLOWSKA)

WARSAW, Poland – The memorial museum at Auschwitz has launched a Facebook page, hoping that the popular social networking site will help it reach young people around the globe and engage them in discussions about the former Nazi death camp and the Holocaust.

The site, which opened earlier this week, already has more than 1,800 "fans" who have subscribed, with the number growing by the hour — some 500 signed up Thursday morning alone. Many have left messages in English, Hebrew and Polish, the majority expressing the sentiment: "Never again."

"This is a kind of an experiment," memorial spokesman Pawel Sawicki told The Associated Press on Thursday. "Facebook is the tool that young people are using to communicate, so if we want to reach them, we should be using their tool."
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I guess this is one way to confront the naysayers. The linkage, Auschwitz Memorial
Akuma River

China's death panels continue the bloodshed

China sentences 3 more to death for Xinjiang riot (October 15, 2009 - Y! AP - ALEXA OLESEN)

BEIJING – China sentenced three more people to death Thursday for murders committed during riots in the far western Xinjiang region in July, bringing to nine the number of people facing execution for the unrest.

Nearly 200 people were killed when Muslim Uighurs and members of China's dominant Han ethnicity turned on one another in the streets of the regional capital, Urumqi. First, Uighurs assaulted random people in the overwhelmingly Han city. Days later, Han vigilantes retaliated in Uighur neighborhoods. It was the country's worst communal violence in decades.

The official Xinhua News Agency said three new defendants were sentenced to death by the Urumqi Intermediate People's Court and three others were sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve — a penalty usually commuted to life in prison.
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Do you think we should have an execution tag? It does convey a different message than death.
Akuma River

Arrests being made in mortgage fraud!

41 people in 4 states charged in mortgage fraud (October 15, 2009 - Y! AP - LARRY NEUMEISTER)

NEW YORK – A mortgage fraud crackdown announced Thursday resulted in the arrests of dozens of people, including six lawyers, seven loan officers and three mortgage brokers in four states.

Thirty-one people were arrested in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Carolina. They were among 41 people charged with engaging in mortgage fraud scams that defrauded lenders out of more than $64 million in home mortgage loans.
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In light this news, Foreclosures: 'Worst three months of all time', I say we start to go after those fucking greedy bastard banks that deny people the ability to keep their homes. Because now that they got the govt's money they don't need to work with the people or give out business loans. It's better and safer to deal with a loan shark when all you will get in penalties is a few broken bones. Not to mention their interest rates are lower too.
Akuma River

GOP's NIMBY cockblock on Gitmo is semi by-passed by Dems!

Republicans fail to stop Gitmo transfers into US (October 15, 2009 - Y! AP - ANDREW TAYLOR)

WASHINGTON – Handing President Barack Obama a partial victory in his effort to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, House Democrats on Thursday repelled a Republican effort to block transfer of any of the detainees to the U.S.

Instead, by a 224-193 vote, the House stood by a Democratic plan to allow suspected enemy combatants held at the controversial Guantanamo facility to be shipped to U.S. soil — but only to be prosecuted for their suspected crimes.

The Guantanamo restrictions were attached by House-Senate negotiators on a $42.8 billion homeland security appropriations bill.
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So it's semi good news. But it's a step in the rightish direction. Now if only they can just release the damn photographs and stop this NIMBY bullshit. Timothy McVeigh was a bigger terrorist than most of those guys in Gitmo and we handled him and freaky Manson and his 'family' just fine.
Obama-wtf

MEDIA HAS RUN OUT OF THINGS TO WRITE ABOUT SO THEY NOW KNOCK OBAMA FOR KNOWING HOW TO USE.....WORDS.

AP Asks If Obama Is "Obnoxiously Articulate"

Political reporters have now toggled from worrying that Obama gets "too much" media coverage to asking whether he is "too" good at communicating through the media. Maybe even obnoxiously good. Maybe even -- here comes that loaded word from the primaries -- too articulate.

The AP's Liz Sidoti is on the case. And this is from a news article:

Obama has been a constant presence in the mass media as he expands the bureaucracy's reach into the private sector.... In doing so, he has created a quandary. Put aside for a moment the question of whether government is actually intruding into people's lives more than before. The point is that many people feel like it is -- in part because Obama doesn't stop talking about his goals. If President George W. Bush got slapped around for being inarticulate, is Obama obnoxiously articulate?

What a quandary!

Once you "put aside" the actual facts and policy debate, there's that President talking on the TV about "his goals" -- and talking so articulately -- it just makes you wonder if the government is going to tell you how to mow your lawn. Or something. The article doesn't really try to support its own premise, as blogger Brendan Nyhan explains:

Sidoti is forced to admit later in the piece that she has no empirical support for her claim:

"While Obama has been criticized for being too visible, AP-GfK surveys in the spring and summer found that most people say he is on TV about the right amount."

 

So if the "political" hook was that all this might matter because voters want different prime time programming, it turns out that's wrong. We only "know" this information, of course, because pollsters are actually spending money to ask whether The President is on TV too much. (On the list of frivolous things that get too much airtime, the federal government and leader of the free world are near the bottom.) And then, just to round out the media madness, one of Nyhan's commenters did a little research and found the same A.P. reporter wrote an article last month about Obama failing to "articulate his vision" to the public. How obnoxious!

[N]o one seems to know what the president seeks [on health care]..."I don't know what he wants to do," says Phil Axworthy, a Pittsburgh software developer. A failure of leadership? Or simply a failure to communicate? Are those things the same when a complicated issue is so important to so many? And if a president can't articulate his vision on something so sprawling and all-encompassing, how can he lead?

It is surreal.

I've debated the "overexposure" concern troll question myself, in meta-television segments, naturally, and the whole thing feels like the the media is eating its own tail and jumping the shark all at once. Sorry that wasn't more, you know, articulate.

Source

Oh, FFS. *headdesk*
Doctor Who - Rose - Uh oh

PLEASE GET THIS BOY DOWN!

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- A 6-year-old boy is floating over northeastern Colorado in a homebuilt balloon and authorities are racing to try and rescue him.

The balloon, in the shape of a flying saucer is covered in foil and filled with helium. It has a compartment for a passenger underneath. It lifted the boy into the air near Fort Collins Thursday morning after the balloon became untethered at the boy's home.

The father and son had apparently been working on the aircraft for some time.

Fort Collins police and other authorities have been alerted and Airtracker 7 has launched in an effort to locate the boy.

Airtracker 7 located the craft at 12:35 p.m. at about 8,000 feet in Weld County. It appeared to be slightly tilted. The altitude of the balloon was fluctuating between 7,500 and 8,500 feet.

Skies in the area are partly cloudy and southwest wind speeds are 15 to 20 miles per hour.

"It is believed the device could rise to 10,000 feet," said Eloise Campanella, Larimer County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.

"The structure at the bottom of the balloon that the boy is in is made of extremely thin plywood and won't withstand any kind of a crash at all," said Erik Nilsson, Larimer County Emergency Manager.

Deputies from Larimer and Weld counties are tracking the balloon as it drifts.

FAA spokesman Mike Fergus said the agency has been notified and it was unclear whether traffic controllers had picked it up on radar.

The balloon may drift into air traffic control corridors used by Denver International Airport, based on its current location and direction.



I'm watching this on TV rn and I'm seriously horrified D:

ETA: WAIT, WHY THE HELL WASN'T THIS KID IN SCHOOL? O_O
NVM apparently the schiool in that county had the day off today? Whyyy?

ETA 2: HE IS NOT INSIDE THE BALLOON.

ETA 3: Yep, the family was on wife swap and are being described as unusual and a family of mad scientists. Ooer.

ETA 4: The family. Apparently the boy with his eyes closed is Falcon.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


ETA 5: Police are now searching for the box on bottom of the balloon. This isn't looking good, guys.

ETA 6: Deputy claims that he saw an object fall from the balloon :(

ETA 7: HE IS ALIVE IN THE FUCKING HOUSE. WHAT THE FUCK!?

GLAD THE KID IS OKAY BUT BE READY TO GET YOUR ASSES FINED, FAMILY, IF THE COUNTY/STATE CHARGES YOU FOR ANY EXPENSES.

ETA: Lolz, good times, guys. Ups and downs. NO PUN INTENDED. But yeah, now I can't help but laughing at the fact that we spent hours basically following a helium balloon around Colorado.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


NEVAR FORGET!
Citadel

On New Orleans visit, Obama tells critics, 'I'm just getting started'.

In a raucous town hall meeting that at times resembled a church revival, President Obama on Thursday fired back at critics who say he's accomplished little in his nine months in office, telling a roaring crowd, "I'm just getting started."

"I never thought any of this was going to be easy," said Obama, speaking at the University of New Orleans in his first visit to the Gulf Coast city since taking office. He poked fun at his critics, asking, "Why haven't you solved world hunger yet? It's been nine months. Why?"

"What'd I say during the campaign? I said change is hard," Obama said. "Big change is harder. ... I wasn't kidding about it being hard."

"Those folks who are trying to stand in the way of progress ... let me tell you, I'm just getting started," he said. "I don't quit. I'm not tired. I'm just getting started."


Four years after Katrina, evidence of the storm's devastation lingers. About 1,500 people in Louisiana are still living in temporary housing, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, although that is down from a high of more than 90,000.

And the Army Corps of Engineers is only a third of the way through a $15 billion system to provide 100-year flood protection for the city.

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Katherine + Bree

YouTube Leffew Family Honored With Award From Family Equality Council

The Leffew family, whose popular YouTube videos about two men raising two kids have been posted here and in much of the gay blogosphere, will be honored with an award from the Family Equality Council. The event takes place this Sunday in Los Angeles and will be hosted by Wanda Sykes. Get tickets here.



Here's their YouTube channel if you want to see their videos.

The clip of him crying when Prop 8 was upheld.  I just...cannot. 
Akuma River

h1n1 causes blood clots in lungs

H1N1 flu causes unusual damage to lungs - studies (October 15, 2009 - Y! Reueters)

WASHINGTON Reuters) – The new pandemic H1N1 flu may cause blood clots and other unusual damage in the lungs and doctors need to be on the lookout, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

Two studies published in the American Journal of Roentgenology show the need to check X-rays and CT scans for unusual features, and also point out swine flu can be tricky to diagnose in some of the sickest patients.

H1N1 flu is causing a pandemic, and while it is not particularly deadly, it is sickening many younger adults and older children who usually escape the worst effects of seasonal flu.
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This is not to cause panic about the flu. This is to cause awareness. The flu is acting like the regular sniffle flu to most people but others are getting more sick and dying and we need to find out why they are dying and how to prevent it. And being aware when the flu takes a turn for the worse is necessary.

That is why I posted this. People need to be aware of what this flu is and how it differs from the seasonal.

update: http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/URItheFlu/16441 A rundown on the study.

(no subject)

Paris: Muslim Soccer Team Renegs, Kicked Out Of League



That all-Muslim amateur soccer team in Paris refused for a second time to play the all-gay team, despite saying last week that they would. Here's the result.  

So, just a few days after a French Muslim soccer team, Créteil Bébel, agreed to play a French gay soccer team, Paris Foot Gay (PFG), to quash allegations of homophobia, team Créteil Bébel for a second time refused to play PFG. As a result, team Créteil Bébel has been thrown out of its local Paris league, the Commission Football Loisir (CFL), for "refus de match avec propos discriminants [refusing a match with discriminatory sentiments]."

Source

*sigh*


Gay Panic: Six Month Sentence For Murder Of Washington DC Gay Man



In yet another example of how a "gay panic" defense can still work, Robert Hannah, 19, has been sentenced to a mere 180 days in jail for the September 2008 murder of Washington, DC resident Toby Hunter.
Tony Randolph Hunter died several days after being punched in the head by Robert Hannah, 19. The incident happened on September 10th 2008. As Hunter fell, he hit his head on the pavement, causing a fatal brain injury. The victim and a friend were on their way to a local gay bar, something which gay activists have said could have been a motive for the attack. The friend with Hunter at the time said the attack had been unprovoked.

Last month, Hannah pleaded guilty to one charge of misdemeanor assault as part of a plea bargain offered by prosecutors. In exchange for the guilty plea, a charge of shoplifting against him was dropped. He has already served two months in prison. The sentence of 180 days is the highest that can be given for a misdemeanor assault conviction.

Hannah claimed Hunter had tried to come on to him and touched his groin and buttocks, which he said led to the assault. Hunter's friend said he did not see the victim touch Hannah. The defendant was with two other men at the time, one of whom backed up his statement, while the other said he had not seen the alleged sexual touching.

Yet again, people. Yet again.

Source
 
Akuma River

My congressman pisses me off even more

Not sure this can past the muster since it is not from a news source but I think it is newsworthy.



Dear Ms.

Thank you for contacting my office regarding the need to level the playing field between insurance companies and physicians. I share your concern about this issue; however, rather than subject insurance companies to the economically destructive antitrust laws, I favor repealing federal laws that put physicians at a disadvantage when dealing with insurance companies. This is why I have introduced the Quality Health Care Coalition Act (HR 1493) that repeals federal laws that prevent health care providers from negotiating with Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and insurance companies on a level playing field.

The Quality Health Care Coalition Act repeals federal antitrust laws that prevent medical professionals from forming professional associations to negotiate with HMOs and insurance companies. Federal laws that prevent health care professionals from combining to negotiate with HMOs and insurance companies put health care providers at an unfair disadvantage in negotiating contracts. The result of this unfairness is that individual providers often sign contracts with "gag" clauses and other restrictions on their discretion to practice medicine in the best interest of their patients--contracts they would never sign if they could combine with other health professionals to present a united front when negotiating with the insurers.

This legislation allows health care providers to voluntarily join together to seek better contract terms from insurance companies and HMOS--allowing market forces to ensure medical decisions are made by physicians, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, and patients, not insurance company functionaries or government bureaucrats.

In the coming months, I will work to advance this bill, along with other measures to increase medical freedom such as returning control over the health care dollar to the consumer through devices such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Thanks again for your interest in meaningful health care reform.


Sincerely,

Ron Paul


I cannot guarantee the integrity of the text of this letter if it was not sent to you directly from my Congressional Email Account: rep.paul@mail.house.gov. If you have any questions about the validity of this message, please email me at: rep.paul@mail.house.gov or call my Washington, DC office at: (202) 225-2831.


The RAGE in me just builds every damn time I get an e-mail from my Congressman and Senators. I don't call them because I just know I will break some decency laws...especially since being put on hold just makes the RAGE increase.
Akuma River

My Senator is begging for a smack down. Please Dems give it to him!

John Cornyn: Why I won't support Baucus health bill (October 12, 2009 - Dallas Morning News - John "I'm a greedy lobbiest's bitch" Cornyn)


Today, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a key vote on what has become known as the Baucus bill. Like most Texans, I believe that our health care system needs reform. Millions of families have seen the cost of their private insurance skyrocket. Many are worried about losing their coverage altogether. Seniors are concerned about the future of Medicare. Texans have told me that they want to keep the coverage they have and don't want Washington to make things even worse.
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Just finished my ontd_p Ron Paul bitch post when I realize this bastard e-mailed me as well.

lol, the comments are on my side!
Akuma River

Little-known Egyptian is key al-Qaida figure

Little-known Egyptian is key al-Qaida figure (October 15, 2009 - Y! AP - ROBERT H. REID)

KABUL – He's a heavyweight in al-Qaida but little known outside jihadi and intelligence circles even though he runs the terrorist movement's operations in a key front — Afghanistan — and may be linked to a plot in New York.

Mustafa al-Yazid makes no secret of his contempt for the United States, once calling it "the evil empire leading crusades against the Muslims."

"We have reached the point where we see no difference between the state and the American people," al-Yazid told Pakistan's Geo TV in a June 2008 interview. "The United States is a non-Muslim state bent on the destruction of Muslims."

Al-Yazid may also have links to Afghan immigrant Najibullah Zazi, whom U.S. authorities have arrested in an alleged plot to use homemade backpack bombs, perhaps on New York City's mass transit system.
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Any opinions?
[info]open_the_blinds)

Louisiana justice denies interracial couple marriage licesne

Note to self: Do NOT, under any circumstance, ask how much more fucked up today could get.


Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.


HAMMOND, La. – A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have. Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

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source
The Thick of It; Malcolm Tucker

BNP to consider non-white members

BNP leader Nick Griffin has agreed to ask his party to amend its constitution so it does not discriminate on grounds of race or religion, a court heard.

The UK's equalities watchdog had argued the BNP broke the Race Relations Act by restricting members to "indigenous Caucasian" people.

The court heard Mr Griffin had agreed to use "all reasonable endeavours" to revise its constitution.

BNP members will be asked to agree to the changes at a meeting in November.

Mr Griffin was not at the hearing at Central London County Court on Thursday morning.

But Robin Allen QC, counsel for the commission, said Mr Griffin had agreed to present party members with a revised constitution at its general meeting next month and the party had agreed not to accept new members in the meantime.

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I'm worried that if this goes ahead it might lead people to believe the BNP have somehow become more moderate and reasonable. And there's also the possibilty that it'll drive some members to even more extremist groups. Fuck this party.

nannerpus

(no subject)

Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Lag in Money Race

Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Lag in Money Race
10/14/2009 Reported By: Susan Sharon

Last night we reported that same sex-marriage supporters had raised more than twice as much money to defeat Question 1 as had their opponents. By late yesterday, Yes On One/Stand for Marriage Maine had not filed its campaign finance report, which was due at midnight. Today the numbers are in, and they also show the Yes On One campaign trailing when it comes to individual donors.

Just hours after the No On One side filed its spending report and issued a press release touting the $2.7 million it has raised so far, Marc Mutty of Stand for Marriage Maine put out an urgent plea via email. In it he said Yes On One was "in desperate need of additional financial support" or at risk of losing the campaign to repeal Maine's same-sex marriage law.
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I'm volunteering for a No on 1 call-a-thon next Wednesday, and might be helping work a booth and my town's Harvestfest. Woohoo! Any other Mainers up in here?
btw, I am a failure at bolding, but it's a quick read. :)
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Citadel

Hillary more popular than Obama? But her name isn't nearly as easy to make puns with! :(

She lost to him in last year's battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, but a new national poll suggests that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now more popular than her boss, President Barack Obama.

A Gallup survey released Thursday indicates that 62 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of Clinton, 6 points higher than the 56 percent who view Obama favorably.

According to the poll, the president's favorable rating has dropped 22 points from its inaugural-month level in January. The survey indicates that Clinton's favorable rating has only edged down 3 points since the beginning of the year.

Nine in 10 Democrats questioned in the poll view both Obama and Clinton favorably, with independents split. Fewer than one in five Republicans hold a favorable opinion of the president, while 35 percent see Clinton in a positive light. According to the survey, Obama has dropped 23 points with independents and 41 points with Republicans since January, while Clinton has dropped just 6 points among independents and stayed even among Republicans since the start of 2009.

"This is a common pattern in recent polling," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice consistently had higher favorable ratings than George W. Bush. Madeleine Albright was more popular than Bill Clinton. Secretaries of State don't get blamed for economic problems or unpopular domestic policies, and they often don't get the same share of the blame as the commander-in-Chief for international slip-ups either."

The Gallup telephone poll of 1,013 adults was conducted October 1-4, before the president was named winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Source.

DON'T READ THE COMMENTS. Though the one of 'well she is prettier' made me lawl.
MISC - moustache

"Balloon Boy" Falcon Heene accidentally admits "We did it for the show" on Larry King



"Hours after he worried America sick into thinking he was on a runaway balloon flying over Colorado - while he was just hiding in the attic - 6-year-old Falcon Henne, aka "Balloon Boy", appears with his family on "Larry King Live."

In this scene, Falcon admits that he heard his parents calling him, but declined to come out of the garage.

At 0:40, he mutters, "We did this for the show."

This leads father Richard to try and explain what he just said. "Whenever we tell him things like, it's a bad thing t do, he does go and hide," he says."


sauce

Oh sheeeeit.
normal

Shocking News: God is a Socialist!!! Jesus is a Libural Hippie!!

American Values Network Makes Religious Case For Health Care Reform (VIDEO)

A new television ad released by the American Values Network makes a religious appeal for health care reform in a new ad. The progressive faith group, led by Hillary Clinton's former faith outreach director, uses the thousands of people who waited in line for free health care in Los Angeles this August to make their case.

"For eight days in August, thousands of uninsured Americans waited to receive treatment at a free health clinic." In Los Angeles County, where an estimated 22% of working-age adults lack health insurance, an overwhelming number of adults made their way to a free health care clinic providing free care from volunteer doctors and dentists. These visitors are "not numbers or statistics," the ad says. "They are God's children and they have a face."

"While politicians bear false witness, they wait... While special interests reap the profits of fear, they wait." For the American Values Network, health insurance reform is not a political or partisan debate, but an issue of faith.

"Our new ad reminds us all why we began the debate in the first place: our neighbors are suffering and our current system must be reformed," the group says.

WATCH:

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GOP Raps Obama-Hatez...

"RedNeck Rap": Bill Otto, GOP Lawmaker, Criticized For Anti-Obama Song

A video featuring a Kansas legislator criticizing President Barack Obama's policies while wearing a hat describing opossum as "the other dark meat" was removed Thursday from YouTube, where the lawmaker had posted it last month.

Republican Rep. Bill Otto said he didn't remove the video, titled "RedNeck Rap," and didn't know why it had been taken down. Google Inc., YouTube's owner, could offer no explanation.

Otto said criticism of the video was unfounded. He said the hat's saying, which he repeats at the end of the short video, refers to redneck stereotypes, not Obama.

The White House declined to comment Thursday, but Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, called the video "disturbing." He said it's logical to see the reference as being to the first black president's race.

In the video, Otto pauses after criticizing Obama and his policies, repeats the saying on the cap and adds, "A little greasy, but hey."

"It's a reference to rednecks," Otto said during a telephone interview from his home in LeRoy, a small town about 75 miles south of Topeka. "It's like 'The Beverly Hillbillies,' eating opossum bellies, grits and pigs' feet."

The flap comes less than two months after U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, another Kansas Republican, remarked in a public forum that the GOP was still looking for "a great white hope." She later said she wasn't referring to Obama and didn't know of the phrase's past link to pre-civil-rights era racism.

Attempts by AP to access Otto's video Thursday night resulted in a message stating that it had been "removed by the user." Google spokesman Scott Rubin said if a video is removed for violating YouTube's standards, a message would say so.
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Wesson girl wants to wear tux in yearbook photo

A picture is causing quite the controversy down at Wesson Attendance Center in Wesson, Mississippi. A female student chose to wear a garment that most males wear. And now, she's fighting to get that photo in her senior yearbook.

"I tried on the drape and it looked ridiculous. It was terrible" said Sturgis.

So Ceara put on a tuxedo instead.

"She's a very athletic person" said Veronica Rodriguez, Ceara's mother.

She says her daughter should be allowed to wear whatever she likes.

"And the tuxedo is what she wore to make her feel more comfortable" added Rodriguez.

But Wesson Attendance Center officials are refusing to put her photo in the school yearbook.

 

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Akuma River

Florida brings more snake meances to the rest of us

Report: 5 foreign snake species threaten US (October 14, 2009 - Y! AP - TAMARA LUSH)

MIAMI – Watch out, animals of South Florida: It's a wild world out there. There are five species of foreign snakes just waiting to eat you.

More troublingly, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report released Tuesday, nonnative snakes like the Burmese python could slither their way north from the warm, humid conditions of South Florida.

The big snakes threaten native species and ecosystems because they mature and reproduce quickly, travel long distances and can eat almost anything in fur, feathers or scales, experts say.
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Texas really really really doesn't need these snakes.
normal

Shocking News at 11: Pope is Catholic, Bears are Doing it on The Woods, and Tea Baggers are CRAZY!

Teabaggers Out Of Touch, New Study Finds

Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and strategist James Carville have set their sights on the Republican base, exploring the conspiracy theories fueling conservatives. Their public opinion firm Democracy Corpswill release a report Friday concluding that these voters are "not just critical of President Obama, but worried he is deliberately trying to deceive the American public in order to advance a secret socialist agenda." The report also found that these constituents share few views with swing voters.

From the press release:
Washington, DC. October 15, 2009. On Friday afternoon, Democracy Corps will be releasing a controversial, comprehensive report on focus groups conducted last month among conservative Republican base voters in suburban Atlanta, with parallel groups conducted among blue collar independents in suburban Cleveland. Prior to the release--at 11:00am EST this Friday, October 16--Democracy Corps' co-founders James Carville and Stan Greenberg will host a special conference call with interested media to preview the findings.


The report is based on results of two sets of focus groups held September 29-30, 2009 by Democracy Corps, along with survey data collected over the last four months. The first set of groups were held in suburban Atlanta, GA among older white, self-identified conservative Republican base voters--those that voted for both John McCain and a GOP candidate for Congress. A parallel set of groups was conducted in Cleveland, OH among older white, non-college swing voters--half of whom voted for Barack Obama and half of whom voted for John McCain last November.

The study explored the relevance of the 'race issue' among these voters and revealed they're not just critical of President Obama, but worried he is deliberately trying to deceive the American public in order to advance a secret socialist agenda. The study also explored a variety of recently media-covered including TEA parties, as well as surprising findings about how the conservative Republican base views their own party officials, the Republican Party, and conservative media pundits like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. These voters have a strong self-identity, are critical of the Republican Party, and share few views with the 'Macomb-County-like' swing voters in the middle.
Opinion polls have found that on health care in particular, the tea party movement does not represent the views of most Americans.
 
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Pelosi Joins Attack On Insurance Industry's Anti-Trust Exemption

Pelosi Joins Attack On Insurance Industry's Anti-Trust Exemption

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) increased Democratic pressure on the health insurance industry Thursday, telling reporters that there is "tremendous interest" in the House in revoking the industry's anti-trust exemption.

The insurance industry recently declared war on the Democratic health care reform proposal, releasing two reports claiming that the proposal would raise the cost of premiums. Democrats hit back hard and independent analysts said that the reports cherry-picked data and ignored relevant portions of the proposal.

Democrats are also fighting back legislatively. "There is tremendous interest in our caucus, and, in fact, the Judiciary Committee has had a hearing on ending the exemption to McCarran-Ferguson, the antitrust bill," Pelosi said, unprompted, at her weekly press conference.

The insurance industry gained the exemption in 1945; in most parts of the country, a single insurer has monopolistic dominance and the ability to set prices.

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) gave rare testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, speaking in favor of ending the anti-trust exemption.
Reid is considering removing the exemption in the merged health care bill he is currently writing with other Senate leaders.

Pelosi's push from the other side of the Capitol ramps up the pressure. The House Speaker has consistently been the most direct in her anti-insurance industry rhetoric and Thursday was no exception, saying that "it is well known to the public that the health insurance companies are the problem."

Pelosi said those companies won't like the final House bill.

"Now, there are some things that we want to see happen to the insurance companies that they may not like. I mean, there are some things that we are considering. The Senate has a flat fee on the insurance companies, $40 billion. That may be something we want to look at for our bill in terms of our pay-fors. There is in our bill 85 percent a medical loss ratio. That means they must spend 85 percent of every dollar that they collect in premiums on benefits. Many of them don't come anywhere near that now. They are using the money for their own purposes, not as a return, as insurance should be, to the beneficiaries," she said.