November 2nd, 2009


GOP Look A Shining Ball! Follow The Shining Ball!!

Democrats' Quiet Changes Pile Up

While President Barack Obama still faces stiff headwinds on a range of major legislation on his agenda, he has been signing into law a slew of smaller initiatives that had gathered dust on the Democratic wish list for years.

Many of the bills had been blocked by Republicans who considered the measures unnecessary expansions of government or too costly. But facing Democratic majorities in Congress, conservatives are picking their battles and in many cases letting the legislation roll through.

Last week, Mr. Obama signed defense-policy legislation that included an unrelated measure widening federal hate-crimes laws to cover sexual orientation and gender identification -- 12 years after it was first introduced. The same legislation also tightened the rules of admissible evidence for military commissions, an issue that consumed Congress in debate in 2007 but received almost no attention this go-round.

Other new measures signed into law since the administration took office, all of which kicked up controversy in past congresses, make it easier for women to sue for equal pay, set aside land in the West from development, give the government the power to regulate tobacco and raise tobacco taxes to expand health insurance for children. Congress and the White House, in the new defense-policy bill, also killed weapons programs that have survived earlier attempts at termination, among them, the F-22 fighter jet, the VH-71 presidential helicopter and the Army's Future Combat System.

Rob Nabors, the White House's deputy budget director, called the series of new laws "a very, very quiet but important victory."

To conservatives, they are Democratic payback to liberal interests. "The left knows what it wants," says former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich. "It's been trying to get it for some time, and this is its moment."

Some promises that Mr. Obama made during his campaign, such as repealing much of the post-Sept. 11, 2001, Patriot Act, allowing openly gay service members into the military or making major changes to the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act have gone nowhere.
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Bree Gun

(no subject)

Teacher suspended over 'gay animal' article

A Southwestern High School English teacher has been suspended after reports he had students in his classes to read an article about homsexuality in the animal kingdom.

Dan Delong of Carlinville acknowledged his suspension but declined to comment further until he spoke with his union representative.

Delong is said to have allowed students to read the article “The Gay Animal Kingdom” from the June 7, 2006, edition of Seed magazine. Seed magazine is a science and culture publication.

The article by Jonah Lehrer talks about the research of Joan Roughgarden, a biology professor at Stanford University who said she has documented homosexual societies among the more than 450 animal species.

School district secretary Pat Milner said a special School Board meeting has been set for 6 p.m. Monday at the district office in Piasa to discuss personnel/employee discipline.

Superintendent Larry Elsea was unavailable for comment Wednesday and Thursday, as was Macus Albrecht, the union representative for the Illinois Education Association that represents the district’s Southwestern Education Association members.

Bree Gun

CNN Drops Story of Ten Dead/Missing Black Women For One White Girl

How the Media Treat Murder

Why isn't the story of several missing women in North Carolina getting attention? 

Ten women have been found slain or have been declared missing in Rocky Mount, N.C., in recent years. But the rest of the country hasn't heard about a possible serial killer stalking the young women in this Southern town of 60,000. The latest victim, Elizabeth Jane Smallwood, was identified on Oct. 12. Why have the Rocky Mount homicides been largely ignored?

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NYC- credit eternity_grphx

The real lessons of Fox/MSNBC comparisons

By Jamison Foser

At first blush, it may seem odd to see so many journalists rush to defend Fox News, a cable channel that attacks the rest of the media almost as often as it smears and lies about progressives. Fox employees are busily destroying what's left of the public's faith in journalism -- and lobbing insults at actual reporters as they do so. Why would any self-respecting journalist want to embrace what happens on Fox?

The obvious part of the answer is that there are personal relationships involved. The simple fact is that many reporters at, say, ABC or CNN or the New York Times are friends with people who work at Fox. And nobody likes to see their friends get criticized.

But I think when many journalists defend Fox, they're really defending themselves -- they're acting out of fear that they, too, will one day be branded illegitimate. (Given the right-wing's much more aggressive criticism of the media over the past several decades, this is, of course, a perfectly reasonable fear -- and it isn't surprising that reporters feel safer lashing out at media criticism from progressives than from conservatives.)

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This is long, I apologize. I recommend going to the source and reading it from there. They have a lot of links to what they're talking about. Good comments too.
Thoughts on this?

Vitter: "Listen, Obama is Pro-rape, Go Bother Him. I am Anti-Rape, I am Just Saying. Dont Get Rape!"

Vitter Confronted By Rape Victim Over Franken Amendment Vote

Last month, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) opposed a congressional measure to prohibit the government from working with contractors who deny victims of rape or assault the right to bring their cases to court.

And now, the issue isn't going way. Vitter, who was one of only 30 Republicans who actually voted against the amendment, was pilloried in local newspapers, and has also seen the issue become an early focal point of his re-election contest.

At a town hall meeting this past weekend, meanwhile, the Senator was confronted by a constituent who, after recounting her tale of being raped, demanded to know why he opposed Sen. Al Franken's (D-Minn) amendment.

The exchange was contentious, heart wrenching, and potentially damaging.
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Former McCain Adviser Discovers The Meaning of Pre-existing Condition...

Republican adviser faces health care's costly bite
Former McCain strategist is about to lose his health insurance

If history had taken a different course, Doug Holtz-Eakin would be inside the McCain White House driving the Republican president's domestic agenda, including health-care reform. But now, one year after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) lost the presidential election, the man who was by McCain's side as the campaign's top health-care guru remains unemployed -- and his COBRA health coverage is running out.

Irony of ironies, it gets worse. Holtz-Eakin, who is about to start shopping for insurance on the individual market, is 51. And he has one of those pesky "preexisting conditions" that insurance companies often cite in denying coverage.

"A right renal autotransplant," he said, pointing to his abdomen as he described the 1990 transplant surgery he went through after one of his kidneys was damaged in an accident. "They got rid of the artery, moved my kidney and rebuilt me for the 21st century. If you look at my file, any insurance company would go, 'Hmm . . .' "

Good luck.
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  • amypond

Tower of London Beefeaters suspended for bullying

LONDON – Something is rotten — again — at the Tower of London long known for its treachery, bloodshed, and executions.

If the new charges are true, it's time to add bullying to the litany of foul deeds committed at the notorious royal fortress where many were tortured and three English queens were executed centuries ago.

At issue is the alleged bullying of a contemporary trailblazer: Moira Cameron, the first woman to serve as yeoman warder at the Tower, which dates back to the 11th century.

Hers was supposed to be a happy story about how one of the traditional bastions of male supremacy became a place where women, too, could serve queen and country. But it now appears Cameron, 44, was isolated and harassed by resentful male colleagues, despite her long experience in the military.

Embarrassed Tower officials said Monday that two male warders have been suspended and a third is under investigation for suspected harassment of Cameron, who joined the prestigious warders two years ago, integrating what had been an all-male preserve for centuries.

A statement released by the Tower of London said harassment among its staff was "totally unacceptable" and that an internal investigation started last week as soon as the allegations were received.

"We can confirm that three yeoman warders are under investigation in response to allegations of harassment," the Tower statement said. "Two have been suspended. We take such allegations very seriously and our formal harassment policy makes it clear that this is totally unacceptable."

The bullying allegations are an unpleasant wrinkle in what had been a generally popular move to bring women into traditionally male military roles.

The warders, who patrol the fortress on the banks of the River Thames, are popularly known as "Beefeaters," mostly because of the extra rations of meat they were given during medieval times.

Their brightly colored Tudor-style uniforms are part of the picture-postcard London that often enchants visitors from around the world. Cameron's ceremonial, red-and-gold outfit was specially modified to fit her female frame.

Her introduction to the exclusive service went relatively smoothly, as far as the public could discern, but some tensions were present right from the start.

Cameron, with military experience both in Cyprus and Northern Ireland, said when her appointment was announced that some of her colleagues resented her presence.

"I've had some comments," she said at the time. "I had one chap at the gate one day who said he was completely and utterly against me doing the job."

Her reply was quick and piercing: "I said to him, 'I would like to thank you for dismissing my 22 years' service in her majesty's armed forces'."

But she seemed thrilled with her job, telling The Associated Press of the joys of giving historical tours and describing the Tower as a wonderful place to work.

Simmering tensions were kept behind the fortress walls until Monday, when the Sun newspaper reported that Cameron's uniform had been defaced and that "nasty" notes had been left in her locker.

In addition, the newspaper said that Cameron's entry in the online encyclopedia known as Wikipedia had been defaced as part of the campaign against her.

Scotland Yard confirmed Monday that a 56-year-old man had been reprimanded about improper use of the Internet. Details were not disclosed, but it was believed this man is the third warder being investigated for alleged harassment.

Tower spokeswoman Ruth Howlett said she could not confirm the details cited in the newspaper report or elaborate on the reported harassment.

The Tower statement said an internal investigation should be finished within two to three weeks in accordance with the Tower's harassment policy.

The revelations did not appear to bother visitors to the Tower.

"There's always teasing in the army," said Miles Gurrin, a frequent visitor. "The army is known for this sort of thing. It's not as if she is an outsider. She served in the army for 22 years, so she is one of them."

He said the public would probably withhold judgment until the investigation is completed.

The 35 warders — all ex-military personnel — guide visitors around the popular tourist attraction, which houses the priceless crown jewels as well as rare coats of armor and other items of incalculable historic value.

Warders were first used in the 11th century, and early on were used to monitor and occasionally torture high profile prisoners kept in the Tower, which was founded by King William I in 1066. There is a long history of bloodshed and treachery at the Tower, including the executions of three queens: Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn, both wives of Henry VIII, and Lady Jane Grey known as "the nine days queen."

The warders and their families live on the Tower grounds so they can be on call both day and night.


Bachmann's New Effort To Rally Against Congress -- And Do It Inside The Buildings -- Endorsed By GOP

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who is best known for making inflammatory calls for revolution against President Obama, now has the full backing of the GOP leadership in her latest push to protest against the "tyranny" of the Obama administration.

As Greg Sargent reported, the spokesmen for both House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) supported Bachmann's call for a rally this Thursday in Washington against the Democrats' health care proposals, and her rallying cry: "If you believe in liberty, and if you're rejecting tyranny, this is it."

But what about the other part of Bachmann's initiative. She told Sean Hannity: "I'd love to have every one of your viewers to join me so we can go up and down through the halls, find members of Congress, look at the whites of their eyes and say, 'Don't take away my healthcare.'"

Does the GOP think having citizens streaming into the Congressional buildings amounts to harassment and disruption of Congress, or is it a legitimate exercise of the right to petition the government?

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel (not to be confused with the RNC chairman) told us: "It is every American's right to visit the Capitol and share their views with Members of Congress."

Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring told us: "The American people know that Speaker Pelosi's overhaul is the wrong answer to a national problem and have a right to express their opinion, especially on such a personal issue."



franklin sherman

A government regulation hurting business post

Burden of Safety Law Imperils Small Toymakers

For 35 years, William John Woods has made wooden toys for children. Each one of the 2,000 or so he makes each year passes through his hands at his shop in Ogunquit, Maine, and no child, he said, has ever been hurt by one of his small boats, cars, helicopters or rattles.

But now he and others like him — makers of small toys and owners of toy resale shops and boutique stores — say their livelihood is being threatened by federal legislation enacted in the last year to protect children from toxic toys through more extensive testing. Big toymakers, including those whose tainted imports from China led to the recall of 45 million toys and spurred Congress to take action, have more resources and are able to comply with the new law’s requirements.

“This is absurd,” said Mr. Woods, whose toys are made of maple, walnut and cherry and finished with walnut oil and beeswax from a local apiary. He estimates it would cost him $30,000 — a figure he calculated from having to pay $400 in required tests for each of the 80 or so different items he produces — to show that they are not toxic.

“I use beeswax,” Mr. Woods said. “The law was targeted at large toymakers using lead. There was no exclusion for benign products.”

These homegrown toymakers are banding together to portray themselves as victims of bureaucrats and consumer advocates, and have started letter-writing campaigns to Congress.

The Handmade Toy Alliance, which has a section of its Web site titled “Countdown to Extinction,” sponsored a march on Washington last April and continues to buttonhole members of Congress. Still others have hired the Washington lobbying firm of Rudy Giuliani.

“The law is flawed,” said Rob Wilson, a director of the Handmade Toy Alliance, which wants Congress to reopen the 2008 legislation to new amendments. “It reflects decision-making that in a sane world makes no sense.”

“The law isn’t making toys more safe, but is making everything more convoluted,” added Mr. Wilson, owner of Challenge and Fun, an Ashland, Mass., company that sells organic toys from Europe. “We’re all losers, including the consumer.”

The law, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, was overwhelmingly passed by Congress in August 2008. For the first time, it set out mandatory safety standards for products used by children under the age of 12 and required toy manufacturers to test their products to prove that they were safe.

New regulations will not go into effect until February, but many of the big toy companies are not waiting — they are already testing toys in their labs, which have been certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or through third parties.

The government estimates that $22 billion worth of toys are imported each year, mainly from big toymakers with plants overseas.

Before this law was passed, testing of toys was not required, and compliance with safety standards was voluntary. But the furor over the sale and importation of toys containing lead and other toxic materials, which led to widespread toy recalls in 2007 and 2008, assured its passage.

Some major companies lobbied to shape it, including toy manufacturers, like Mattel, and Exxon Mobil, a maker of phthalates, substances used in many toys that are largely banned by the law.

The issue has put small toymakers at odds with consumer groups, which oppose any efforts to have Congress tinker with the new law out of fear that larger companies will try to gut its core provisions.

“This is landmark legislation,” said Nancy A. Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, a nonprofit that focused on safety in children’s products that supported the measure.

“These groups are not above using the small crafters to reopen the legislation and get the changes they want.”

Ms. Cowles also said parents needed to be assured that their children’s toys were safe, regardless of who made or sold them.

“From a product safety standpoint, it doesn’t make a difference whether the toy comes from a local store or a national chain,” said Ms. Cowles. “A child doesn’t know the difference and parents have the right to expect a safe product.”

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has said it wants to draft regulations that have enough flexibility to address the legitimate concerns of toy handicrafters while still upholding the new law.

“The commission is trying to find the right balance that would satisfy and address the needs to help businesses stay open and yet give parents more confidence that when they buy a product for their children, it’s been tested and meets more stringent standards,” said Scott Wolfson, a commission spokesman.

Small toymakers and sellers are particularly irked by the fact that the new law allows large toy manufacturers, like Mattel, to conduct their product safety tests in their own labs, which must be certified by the federal government, while handicrafters would have to use third-party labs.

“They’re the ones who got us into this mess, and they can do their testing on their own,” said Jill Chuckas, secretary of the Handmade Toy Alliance and owner of Crafty Baby in Stamford, Conn.

The commission is considering requiring testing of components used by toy handicrafters, rather than the final product itself. This testing would be done instead by component suppliers — for instance, button makers would have to certify that their products were lead-free.

That has won support from some small toymakers, who would be able to use only components that had passed these safety tests.

Thrift shops and used-toy stores have also joined the fight. Thrift stores say they have had to clear their stores of old toys and children’s clothes out of concern that some items might not be safe. Children’s books made before 1985, for example, contain lead in their ink.

“It’s been devastating for us,” said Kitty Boyce, owner of the Kid’s Closet in Rochester, Ill., who has emptied her shop of much of her children’s merchandise and is selling adult items instead. “For us, there will be no bottom line this year.”

Adele R. Meyer, executive director of the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops, based in St. Clair Shores, Mich., said much of the new law made little sense. “People are taking away all items for children 12 and under,’ she said.

“But how many 8-, 9- and 10-year-olds are going to be eating books?”


Just a few notes. I called my congresscritter last year about this legislation, and was promised that precisely this would not happen. I also asked about if it would force destruction of older books. They assured me this would not happen. They lied about both. Through regulation the government has managed a destruction of books for kids (including educational) created before 1985, and is set to destroy most all handmade small-toy businesses.
Jew Off

You have GOT to be joking...

Remember this guy? Tory MP David Wilshire, creator of that fabulous piece of legislation Section 28, who used his House of Commons expenses to pay £100,000 to a company owned by himself and his girlfriend that didn't even exist? Yeaaaaaah...

David Wilshire compares treatment of politicians to Jews in Nazi Germany

Mr Wilshire, who was forced to resign after paying more than £100,000 in expenses to his own company, said the "witch hunt" against MPs "will undermine democracy".

"Branding a whole group of people as undesirables led to Hitler's gas chambers," he added.

The Tory MP used his office expenses to write to all his constituents defending his claims and attacking The Daily Telegraph.

Voters in his Spelthorne constituency were surprised to receive a two-page letter, written on Commons notepaper and sent using taxpayer-funded pre-paid envelopes, in which he said that he was "devastated" at having to stand down.

A voter who emailed to protest at Mr Wilshire's behaviour received the reply in which Mr Wilshire compared MPs whose claims were exposed during the expenses scandal to Holocaust victims.

The response goes even further than Alan Duncan, the former shadow leader of the House, who was secretly recorded complaining that MPs were now forced to "live off rations" in the wake of the expenses scandal. Mr Duncan was later demoted from the Conservative front bench.

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I just... I... no words. The mind boggles. I don't know if some of these MPs live on the same planet as the rest of us.

Racial, Sexist, and Weight Issues Surrounding Reactions To "Precious"


I finished reading Push last Thursday and saw Precious the following day. Although the film opens this Friday, I'm already horrified at a lot of the discussion prompted by the film. Did these people watch the same movie I did?

For the sake of brevity, let's simply focus on the "WTF Moments."

Outlet: New York Magazine
Article: "When Push Comes to Shove"
Speaker: David Edelstein, author of the piece

I'm not judging girls who look like Sidibe in life, but her image onscreen is jarring to the point of being transgressive, its only equivalent to be seen in John Waters's pointedly outrageous carnivals. Her head is a balloon on the body of a zeppelin, her cheeks so inflated they squash her eyes into slits. Her expression is either surly or unreadable. Even with her voice-over narration, you're meant to stare at her ebony face and see nothing.


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Since it seems a lot of people haven't heard of it/seen the trailer yet:



"I feel so pure in heart (now that I'm part of the problem)."

Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas has left the organization because she claims it was pressuring her to increase revenue through more abortions. Now she prays outside her former workplace with an anti-abortion group.

Johnson says she changed her mind about abortion after watching an ultrasound of the procedure. "I just thought I can't do this anymore, and it was just like a flash that hit me and I thought that's it," she told KBTX's Ashlea Sigman. However, she also says she was disturbed by a change in Planned Parenthood's business model. She claims she was pressed to get more "abortions in the door" because "the money wasn't in family planning, the money wasn't in prevention, the money was in abortion." She's now a supporter of the anti-abortion group Coalition for Life, and Planned Parenthood has filed a restraining order against both Johnson and the Coalition. The order doesn't forbid Johnson from praying or protesting on the premises, but it does say that "Planned Parenthood would be irreparably harmed by the disclosure of certain information."

Opponents of abortion — at least, those who comment on — see the restraining order as "cultish" behavior and evidence that Planned Parenthood is guilty of malfeasance. One says, "It's going to hurt their reputation if she talks? Well, isn't that a damning statement in & of itself?" The allegation that Planned Parenthood was trying to do more abortions just for the money is disturbing, and I hope it isn't true. But Planned Parenthood wouldn't have to be guilty of anything so mercenary for Johnson to be able to harm it — she could, for instance, disclose details about patients or donors that would enable anti-abortion activists to harass them, not only causing Planned Parenthood's donation base to shrink but also scaring women away from exercising their reproductive rights. If I was a patient at Planned Parenthood, I would want to know that, should the director of the facility have a "change of heart," my confidentiality would still be protected.

Johnson says that since leaving Planned Parenthood, "I feel so pure in heart. I don't have this guilt, I don't have this burden on me anymore that's how I know this conversion was a spiritual conversion." She's entitled to her opinion, and to live her life as she sees fit. But she's one person, and her story doesn't prove, as one conservative blog claims, that the country is turning against abortion because "improved imaging techniques have verified the humanity of gestating life." Nor does everyone who does what she once did live with a constant sense of guilt or "burden." Many people feel "pure in heart" through supporting reproductive freedom, not protesting against it, and while Johnson deserves the right to speak for herself, she doesn't speak for everybody.


Hip-hop needs more women

The vibe was live at Epic on Saturday night for the Stop the Violence Movement/Temple of hip hop show, with B-girls and boys out in full effect, a local hip hop lineup with over a dozen acts such as Illuminous 3, Lila T, and Ill Chemistry (Desdamona and Carnage), the Twin Cities Battle League, The Source Magazine’s “Spit 16″ battle, and hip hop heads old and new. It’s safe to say, though, that most came out to get an earful of “The Teacha” KRS-One, who quietly passed through downtown but performed classics from “South Bronx” to “Sound of Da Police” with unmatchable thunder. He invited dancers to the stage to engage with him, as he yelled, “If you get your hip hop from the radio, step to the back!”

The show was reminiscent of local street ciphers spotted regularly on the streets of NYC back in the day, minus the rope-a-dope gold chains. It was grassroots, inclusive and down to earth – even KRS asked for tape of the show because he’d done a mic juggling freestyle that he had never done before, saying, “I hope y’all got that shit tonight. The two mics- I lost control. I was buggin’!…I gotta figure out how to do it again.”

City Pages sat down with KRS One after the show to ask him a very important question (and we even got a peek at his new, controversial bible-formatted text, The Gospel of Hip Hop: The First Instrument, to be released in November, Hip Hop History month)…

CP: What do you think is missing in hip-hop today?

KRS ONE: “I am not just saying this because you [a woman] are asking the question, this is my real answer: More women. More women. Not just emcees or b-girls, but women taking control of hip-hop. Let me be culturally-specific- hip-hop’s women should teach hip-hop’s men how to speak to them. Because when we learn how to speak to you, we can learn how to speak to the whole business world. It’s not just about respecting you…it is…but it’s deeper than just respecting another human being. Everytime you degrade a person, you degrade yourself, because you are standing next to that person. You can’t diss a person, and not diss yourself…I should say ’she’s a queen.’ And what does that make me? A king. So now at the end of the day, what’s missing in hip-hop? Knowledge of self, that should only come from women. I know that sounds feminist, but that’s real talk.

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Controversial Abortion Notification Law Starts Tomorrow

Tomorrow, the controversial law that requires physicians to notify the parents or guardians of girls 17 years old or younger who seek abortions will go into effect. Unlike in many other states, however, in Illinois parental consent is not required. There are ways around the notification: in the case of medical emergency or if the girl puts in writing that the pregnancy was a result of sexual assault, she may bypass the notification. A teen can also request a bypass of notification by appearing before a judge who would have 48 hours to rule. The ACLU of Illinois has set up a website designed to help guide girls through the bypass process. The law was actually passed in 1984 and updated in 1995, but that update was placed under a federal injunction which was lifted this summer by the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Tribune explains what the typical process would be:

For many local clinics, including those run by Planned Parenthood, staff will try to reach a parent or guardian by phone if the teenager requesting the procedure is younger than 18 and has not brought in a signed form.

"We will not leave a message," said Beth Kanter, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

Kanter said that if a staff member has not made contact after two phone attempts, he or she will send a letter by certified mail.

After 48 hours has passed, Kanter said, "the assumption is, by the courts, notice has been given," and the teen can have the procedure.

Opponents of the law are worried that it will force teen girls to possibly seek unsafe ways to terminate their pregnancy or will force them to carry the pregnancy to term while opponents insist that parents should be involved in the situation. According to the Trib, the Guttmacher Institute reported that in 2000, 4,640 abortions were performed in Illinois for girls between the ages of 15 and 17 years.


(no subject)

Georgetown University Sees Third Anti-Gay Hate Crime in a Week

Two students at Georgetown University were targeted in anti-gay assaults this week, The Hoya reports:

Georgetown "According to a DPS Public Safety Alert, a male suspect repeatedly asked the victim, 'Are you a homo?' before physically assaulting the victim. The victim was taken to the emergency room of Georgetown University Hospital by GERMS to be treated for injuries sustained in the assault. The PSA e-mailed to campus Sunday afternoon said the incident was reported at about 1:32 a.m. Sunday morning, but did not specify when the incident took place. The suspect was described as a white male wearing red and white face paint and a black leather jacket. DPS notified the Metropolitan Police Department and an investigation is in progress, the PSA said. A female student was allegedly physically assaulted on Canal Road last Tuesday by two unknown males after being taunted on the basis of her perceived sexual orientation. She said she was wearing a T-shirt expressing support for gay rights at the time."

Georgetown students rallied against the incidents in Red Square on Sunday night. (image the hoya)

Additionally, an anti-gay slur was written across the door of the school's LGBTQ Resource Center.

The University sent out an email: "As a Catholic and Jesuit university, we are committed to fostering a community that is welcoming to all and values understanding, tolerance, inclusion and respect. Over the past week, we have seen several incidents take place on or near campus that are especially troubling because they have targeted members of our community with homophobic language and disrespect. Two incidents were off campus assaults and today a written slur was posted on the door of the LGBTQ Resource Center. These acts are unacceptable. We take these incidents and the safety of our campus community very seriously and are taking steps to address the needs of our students at this time."

Watch a report on the attacks from MyFoxDC



Glenn Beck To Save Us From Another 9/11 By Derailing Health Care Reform. Oh, Save Us Great One!!!

Glenn Beck Compares Derailing Health Care To Preparing For 9/11

The latest lunatic fringe talking point equates Democratic-led efforts at health care reform with the 9/11 terrorist attacks on American soil.

During his Monday broadcast, Fox News host Glenn Beck applauded the tea-party protesters and grassroots organizers who are "taking time out of our busy lives" to work against the enactment of health care reform.

Beck said the 9/12ers, as they are also referred to, "are reading 2,000-page healthcare bills on the weekend. [They] are willing to stand in line and take our shoes off before the plane actually hits the tower."

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barack eye


If you've seen the post on the various reviews of "Precious", you'll remember David Edelstein's less than enlightened take on the movie, namely where he seems to think reviewing a movie entails insulting the actress's physical appearance in every possible way:

I'm not judging girls who look like Sidibe in life, but her image onscreen is jarring to the point of being transgressive, its only equivalent to be seen in John Waters's pointedly outrageous carnivals. Her head is a balloon on the body of a zeppelin, her cheeks so inflated they squash her eyes into slits. Her expression is either surly or unreadable. Even with her voice-over narration, you're meant to stare at her ebony face and see nothing.

Which still manages to not be as bad as:

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Where All The Moderate Republicans Gone? GOP To Continue Policy of Party Purity.

Are Moderates No Longer Welcome In The Republican Party?

In a Republican Party struggling to find its identity, the surprise withdrawal of the chosen GOP candidate for a New York congressional race – forced by a rising conservative upstart – renews a lingering national debate: Are moderates welcome in today's Grand Old Party?

The question became even more relevant Sunday when the ex-candidate, state Assemblywoman Dierdre Scozzafava, threw her support behind the Democrat in the race rather than the Conservative Party candidate favored by fellow Republicans.

The GOP leadership insisted on Sunday political TV talk shows the party is strong and inclusive while Democrats described a Republican party out of touch with the people.

"We accept moderates in our party, and we want moderates in our party. We cover a wide range of Americans," said Republican House Leader John Boehner in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union."

But in New York's rural 23rd Congressional District, the message was clear early: Scozzafava was too moderate; some even used the dreaded "L" word – liberal. Her endorsement of Democrat Bill Owens over Conservative Doug Hoffman only reinforced that perception – even her former campaign spokesman, Matt Burns, said it was a mistake and urged Republicans to back Hoffman.

During the campaign she failed to connect with voters, party officials or, perhaps most important, campaign donors, largely because of her support for abortion rights, same-sex marriage and union rights. That opened the door for Hoffman, who took every opportunity to remind people that Scozzafava was not the kind of Republican they wanted representing their interests in a Democratic-led Congress.

Even before Scozzafava's fall, Republicans looking to broaden the base by attracting more centrist candidates worried that the harsh tone in the 23rd spelled trouble for the future, particularly the 2010 midterm elections.

"If we don't get some adult supervision, basically the party could explode and split itself up,"
said former Virginia Rep. Tom Davis, chief executive of the Republican Main Street Partnership, just days before Scozzafava withdrew.
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Half of US Kids To Get Bootstraps

Food Stamps Will Feed Half Of US Kids, Study Says

Nearly half of all U.S. children and 90 percent of black youngsters will be on food stamps at some point during childhood, and fallout from the current recession could push those numbers even higher, researchers say.

The estimate comes from an analysis of 30 years of national data, and it bolsters other recent evidence on the pervasiveness of youngsters at economic risk. It suggests that almost everyone knows a family who has received food stamps, or will in the future, said lead author Mark Rank, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis.

"Your neighbor may be using some of these programs but it's not the kind of thing people want to talk about," Rank said.

The analysis was released Monday in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The authors say it's a medical issue pediatricians need to be aware of because children on food stamps are at risk for malnutrition and other ills linked with poverty.

"This is a real danger sign that we as a society need to do a lot more to protect children," Rank said.

Food stamps are a Department of Agriculture program for low-income individuals and families, covering most foods although not prepared hot foods or alcohol. For a family of four to be eligible, their annual take-home pay can't exceed about $22,000.

According to a USDA report released last month, 28.4 million Americans received food stamps in an average month in 2008, and about half were younger than age 18. The average monthly benefit per household totaled $222.

Rank and Cornell University sociologist Thomas Hirschl studied data from a nationally representative survey of 4,800 American households interviewed annually from 1968 through 1997 by the University of Michigan. About 18,000 adults and children were involved.
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