November 8th, 2009


How Hoffman's Defeat Haz Awakened Some Sleeping Republicans from The Tea Party Nightmare.

The Night They Drove the Tea Partiers Down

FOR all cable news’s efforts to inflate Election 2009 into a cliffhanger as riveting as Balloon Boy, ratings at MSNBC and CNN were flat Tuesday night. But not at Fox News, where the audience nearly doubled its usual prime-time average. That’s what happens when you have a thrilling story to tell, and what could be more thrilling than a revolution playing out in real time?

As Fox kept insisting, all eyes were glued on Doug Hoffman, the insurgent tea party candidate in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. A “tidal wave” was on its way, said Sean Hannity, and the right would soon “take back the Republican Party.” The race was not “even close,” Bill O’Reilly suggested to the pollster Scott Rasmussen, who didn’t disagree. When returns showed Hoffman trailing, the network’s resident genius, Karl Rove, knowingly reassured viewers that victory was in the bag, even if we’d have to stay up all night waiting for some slacker towns to tally their votes.

Alas, the Dewey-beats-Truman reveries died shortly after midnight, when even Fox had to concede that the Democrat, Bill Owens, had triumphed in what had been Republican country since before Edison introduced the light bulb. For the far right, the thriller in Watertown was over except for the ludicrous morning-after spin that Hoffman’s loss was really a victory. For the Democrats, the excitement was just beginning. New York’s 23rd could be celebrated as a rare bright spot on a night when the party’s gubernatorial candidates lost in Virginia and New Jersey.

The Democrats’ celebration was also premature: Hoffman’s defeat is potentially more harmful to them than to the Republicans.
Tuesday’s results may be useless as a predictor of 2010, but they are not without value as cautionary tales. And the most worrisome for Democrats were not in Virginia and New Jersey, but, paradoxically, in the New York contests where they performed relatively well. That includes the idiosyncratic New York City mayor’s race that few viewed as a bellwether of anything. It should be the most troubling of them all for President Obama’s cohort — even though neither Obama nor the national political parties were significant players in it.

But first let’s make a farewell accounting of the farce upstate. The reason why the Democratic victory in New York’s 23rd is a mixed blessing is simple: it increases the odds that the Republicans will not do Democrats the great favor of committing suicide between now and the next Election Day.
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Here’s That Leaked Copyright Treaty Document

The secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement document we wrote about on Wednesday appeared on Wikileaks today, and our source has cleared us to publish it here as well.

We wrote that the document, (.pdf) if true, amounted to policy laundering at its finest -– that the United States was pushing the world to require ISPs to adopt “graduated response” policies that amounted to terminating internet service of repeat, copyright offenders.

We refrained from publishing the three-page leaked document in its entirety at the request of our source.

On Friday, ACTA participating nations concluded a sixth-round of top-secret negotiations. The countries include Australia, Canada, European Union states, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.

The countries are to meet again in January, Sweden announced.



I'm feeling so much disgust over this bull.

Anh Joseph Cao: Not Just Another Republican...

Anh "Joseph" Cao: The Surprises Are Just Beginning

On Sunday, December 6, Republican Anh "Joseph" Cao of New Orleans ousted nine-term Democrat William Jefferson from his House seat. Although Jefferson's campaign was doomed from the start by a corruption scandal, Cao's victory still took the nation by complete surprise. Here was a complete unknown, a Vietnamese American lawyer with no prior experience in public office, taking down an African American incumbent in a majority black congressional district. Moreover, he won as a Republican -- something hasn't happened in New Orleans in over 100 years. The improbable victory gave Republicans something to gloat about in the wake of its November defeats. But it seems that the real political surprises are yet to come. House Republicans may soon learn that they're getting more than they bargained for in newcomer Cao.
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Akuma River

For the LULZ

Yesterday most of you came in late to the party and as such you missed the very best parts. The Democrats started to do this "request for unaminous consent" for such and such reason as a stalling tactic, to get more time, and to specifically mention things about the bill.

The Republican Pete Sessions (the gentleman from Texas) was a douche of epic portions and HBIC Representative Lousie Slaughter (the gentlewoman from New York) was fully in control of the entire session and the Chairman was made of epic win.

He was getting pissed and you could tell he was getting pissed. He slammed that gavel like nobody's buiness and kept reading the rules to the Republicans who didn't understand what was going on and they were whining like bitches.

The YouTube clip only showed a few minutes of it. You actually miss parts of Slaughter's smackdown to Sessions later on. It was awesome.

So I went to CSPAN and made an embed video that covers this all important area. It is loooong because the Debate about House Rules was about two hours? And the embed video didn't want to work so here is the link.

I start it from where Jesse Jackson Jr., the Speaker of the House for the moment slams the session into order.

The lulz starts at amount 110 minutes.

Army Chief of Staff Worried of Anti-Mooslim Backlash. Fox News To Investigate Un-american Traitor.

Army Chief Of Staff Worried About Anti-Muslim Backlash (VIDEO)

In the wake of the horrific massacre at Ft. Hood, Army command is beginning to express concerns about a potential backlash against Muslim members of the military.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey told CNN on Sunday that the last thing he would like to see result from this tragedy is anti-Muslim activity or the loss of diversity in military ranks.

"You know, there's been a lot of speculation going on and probably the curiosity is a good thing," said Casey of accused killer Nidal Malik Hasan. "But we have to be careful because we can't jump to conclusions now based on little snippets of information that come out. And frankly, I am worried -- not worried, not worried, but I'm concerned -- that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers and I've asked our army leaders to be on the look out for that. it would be a shame -- as great a tragedy as this was -- it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well."

"What happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy," Casey said, during a separate appearance on ABC's "This Week." "But I think it would be an even greater tragedy if it [affected] our diversity."

Speculation about Hasan's motives, he fretted, "could potentially heighten the backlash against some Muslim soldiers.

Asked whether he thought there was discrimination against Muslims in the military before the Fort Hood incident, he replied: "No I don't think so. I worry that the speculation could cause things that we don't want to see happen."

Joseph Cao: Why I Did It...

Joseph Cao: Voting For Health Reform Was "A Decision Of Conscience" (VIDEO)

The one House Republican to support health care reform said on Sunday that his decision to back the bill was driven by his conscience and the needs of his district and not back-room dealing with the White House or Democrats.

Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La), appearing on CNN, said that he cast his vote in favor of reform only after an amendment greatly restricting the coverage of abortions was allowed to come to a vote. Once that hurdle was clear, Cao said, "I called the White House and said I could possibly support the bill."

The subject of a fierce, late-in-the-game, lobbying effort between Democrats and Republicans, Cao ultimately voted yea because, as he put it, "I had to make a decision of conscience based on the needs of the people in my district."

"I had to make a decision and I felt that last night's decision was the right decision for my district," he added. "Even though it was not the popular decision for my party."

The first-term Republican, who hails from a very Democratic district in New Orleans, insisted that he did not consider possible electoral ramifications before casting his votes. Asked whether he had offered his support to the White House in exchange for additional help in Hurricane Katrina reconstruction, he similarly dismissed the charge.

"The president and I, we have had a very good relationship, and I thank him and his administration for their hard work in helping me to rebuild my district after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina," Cao said. "I'm pretty sure that if I were to vote no against the bill the president would still continue to work with me to address the needs of my district. But I felt it was important of me to support the president in this matter because, like I said before, based on my own conscience, it was the right decision for my district."


The Morning After: Waking Up Next to Stupak...

Strict Abortion Ban Included In House Health Care Bill

A bipartisan House coalition voted Saturday to prohibit coverage of abortions in a new government-run health care plan that Democrats would establish to compete with private insurers.

The 240-194 vote on an amendment by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., was a blow to liberals, who would have allowed the Obama administration and its successors to decide whether abortions would be covered by the government plan.
Sixty-four Democrats joined 176 Republicans in favor of the prohibition.

Stupak's measure also would bar anyone getting federal health subsidies from purchasing private insurance polices that included abortion coverage.

"Let us stand together on principle – no public funding for abortions, no public funding for insurance policies that pay for abortions," Stupak urged fellow lawmakers before the vote.

The amendment would bar the new government insurance plan from covering abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother is in danger. The Democrats' original legislation would have allowed the government plan to cover abortions, if the Health and Human Services secretary decided it should.

The amendment also would prohibit people who receive new federal health subsidies from buying insurance plans that include abortion coverage.

The Democrats' original bill would have allowed people getting federal subsidies to pay for abortion coverage with their own money. Abortion opponents dismissed that as an accounting gimmick.
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64 Democrats on the Wrong Side of Stupak-Pitts

For future reference, here is the list of Democrats who voted "Aye" on the Stupak-Pitts Amendment.

AL-2 Bright, Bobby; AL- 5 Griffith, Parker; AL-7 Davis, Artur; AR-1 Berry, Robert; AR-2 Snyder, Victor; AR-4 AR-4 Ross, Mike; CA-18 Cardoza, Dennis; CA-20 Costa, Jim; CA-43 Baca, Joe; CO-3 Salazar, John.

GA-2 Bishop, Sanford; GA-8 Marshall, James; GA-12 Barrow, John; KY-6 Chandler, Ben; IL-3 Lipinski, Daniel; IL-12 Costello, Jerry; IN-2 Donnelly, Joe; IN-8 Ellsworth, Brad; IN-9 Hill, Baron; LA-3 Melancon, Charles; ME-2 Michaud, Michael.

MA-2 Neal, Richard; MA-9 Lynch, Stephen; MI-5 Kildee, Dale; MI-1 Stupak, Bart; MN-7 Peterson, Collin; MN-8 Oberstar, James; MS-1 Childers, Travis; MS-4 Taylor, Gene; MO-4 Skelton, Ike; NM-2 Teague, Harry

NC-2 Etheridge, Bob; NC-7 McIntyre, Mike; NC-11 Shuler, Heath; ND Pomeroy, Earl; OH-1 Driehaus, Steve; OH-6 Wilson, Charles; OH-9 Kaptur, Marcy; OH-16 Boccieri, John; OH-17 Ryan, Timothy; OH-18 Space, Zachary.

OK-2 Boren, Dan; PA-3 Dahlkemper, Kathleen; PA-4 Altmire, Jason; PA-10 Carney, Christopher; PA-11 Kanjorski, Paul; PA-12 Murtha, John; PA-14 Doyle, Michael; PA-17 Holden, Tim; RI-2 Langevin, James

SC-5 Spratt, John; TN-4 Davis, Lincoln; TN-5 Cooper, Jim; TN-6 Gordon, Barton; TN-8 Tanner, John; TX-16 Reyes, Silvestre; TX-23 Rodriguez, Ciro; TX-27 Ortiz, Solomon; TX-28 Cuellar, Henry.

UT-2 Matheson, Jim; VA-5 Perriello, Thomas; WV-1 Mollohan, Alan; WV-3 Rahall, Nick; WI-7 Obey, David.

Here is the list of 26 Democrats who voted "Aye" on Stupak but "Nay" on the final bill:

Altmire, Barrow, Boccieri, Boren, Bright, Chandler, Childers, Davis (AL), Davis (TN), Gordon (TN), Griffith, Holden, Marshall, Matheson, McIntyre, Melancon, Peterson, Ross, Shuler, Skelton, Tanner, Taylor, Teague (h/t to askew and Granny Doc)

Graham Predits That Lieberman Will Kill Socialized Medicine Before it Reaches Senate.

Graham: House Health Care Bill Would Die In Senate (VIDEO)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) declared on Sunday that the health care legislation passed by the House of Representatives would be "dead on arrival" in the Senate, in part because his friend and colleague, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), wouldn't go "anywhere near" it.

"The House bill is dead on arrival in the Senate," Graham told CBS' "Face the Nation." "Just look at how it passed. It passed 220 to 215. It passed by two votes. You had 39 Democrats vote against the bill. They come from red states, moderate Democrats from swing districts. They bailed out on this bill. It was bill written by liberals for liberals and people like [Sen.] Joe Lieberman are not going to get anywhere near the House bill... it is a non-starter in the Senate."

"Let me tell you why Joe feels that way and I do [too]," Graham added. "I think the public option will destroy private health care."
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(no subject)

Teacher reinstated in Southwestern district

A Southwestern High School English teacher was back in class Tuesday morning following a 6.5-hour disciplinary hearing over his use of controversial literature to discuss sex in the animal kingdom.

Dan DeLong was suspended with pay last week after a complaint regarding an optional assignment for his sophomore English honors class. Students had the option of reading an article written by Jonah Lehrer, quoting Joan Roughgarden, a biology professor at Stanford University who challenges the Darwinian theory of sexual selection by documenting more than 450 animal species that engage in homosexual behaviors.

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Sorry I haven't been here for a while so I'm not sure if this has been posted.


Christians to take 'hate crimes' challenge to Holder
Rally scheduled to force attorney general to address Constitution

Posted: November 03, 2009
9:22 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily


A rally is being planned in Washington to raise the alarm over the nation's new "hate crimes" law and to force Attorney General Eric Holder to confront the unconstitutionality of the measure's "thought" penalties, according to a Christian leader working on the event.

Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission told WND there are a series of approaches being considered to challenge the restrictions on expression of religion and speech contained in the law signed last week by President Obama.

At the rally, set for 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 16, ministers will preach from the Bible on the prohibition against homosexuality, then will present a letter to Holder demanding that the religious liberty of all Americans be respected.


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Bloomberg Speaks Out On Gay Couple Being Kicked Out of NYC Cab

Mike whacks hack

By TOM NAMAKO Transit Reporter

Last Updated: 10:42 AM, November 6, 2009

Posted: 4:02 AM, November 6, 2009

Whether you're gay, straight or anything else, you have the right to ride in a cab, an angry Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday in response to the hack who booted a same-sex couple from his taxi because they were hugging.

"I thought the taxi driver's behavior -- if it is as reported -- was a disgrace," Bloomberg said.

"Somebody's orientation has absolutely nothing to do with whether they can ride a taxi. That kind of attitude doesn't fit with what this city's become," Bloomberg scolded.

Medhat Mohamed kicked Paul Bruno and Bruno's boyfriend out of his yellow cab in the East Village on Monday night after he spotted the duo canoodling in the back seat.

The couple called it discrimination, but the driver claimed he feared they were about to have sex while he was driving.

"I wanted to pay attention to getting them to their destination instead of worrying if they were going to have sex or not," Mohamed said.

He insisted he is not anti-gay.

Bloomberg said the hack should have focused more on the road and less on the back seat.

"I don't know the facts or what the cabdriver said. I'm just telling you that a cabdriver shouldn't worry about the orientation of the people that get in the taxi cab," he said.

"The cabdriver's job is to get them there safely, as expeditiously as possible."

Bloomberg even plugged the taxi industry, saying, "Hopefully, the cabdriver makes a good living because we want more people to become cabdrivers."

But it was unclear whether Mohamed would be behind the wheel for much longer.

Taxi and Limousine Commission agents were investigating, and sources said Mohamed could face charges of refusing service, discourtesy and acting against the best interest of the public.

If convicted, he would face a fine of several hundred dollars on each charge, and the TLC would try to toss his license.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn called on the city's Commission on Human Rights to levy charges.

"Its outrageous," she said. "If true, it's a clear violation of city human-rights law."

TLC chief Matthew Daus said that drivers do need to look out for their own safety, but that they should "have some discretion. In cases of disorderly passengers, there has to be some clear and logical rationale to the judgment. An trained administrative law judge will make a determination as to whether this did or did not occur." 

Bree Gun

GAWD made me hate gay people

LAKEVIEW, N.Y. (WPIX) - One man was arrested - and two others are still being sought - in the beating and robbery of two men in Lakeview early Sunday morning, Nassau County police said.

The two victims, one of whom was dressed up in drag for Halloween, were walking on Woodfield Road near Janos Ave. when they were approached around 1:50 a.m. by a car being driven by a woman with three men inside.

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One of the attackers has been arrested and blames God for his homophobia.

Bellamy told police, "God made me hate gay people," court records show. He was represented in court by Legal Aid Society lawyer Taryn Shechter, who said Bellamy attends a trade school in Wyandanch and lives with his mother.


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Shocking News: Cao is a Closet Democrat! (Dont Tell The Republicans)

GOP Rep: "I Might Be A Closet Democrat"

Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, a Republican in a deeply Democratic Louisiana district, was welcomed on Tuesday night into the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Addressing the group at a ceremony in the Capitol Visitors Center, Cao did a little bipartisan outreach.

"Don't tell the Republicans, but I might be a closet Democrat," said Cao to a round of laughter.

He then added that party shouldn't define a member of Congress and that "we are basically servants of the citizens of the United States."
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Janeway - Side

House Democrats Who Voted Against the Health Care Bill

Lawmakers in the House voted 220 to 215 on Saturday night to approve a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system. Only one Republican voted for the bill, and 39 Democrats opposed it, including 24 members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition. An overwhelming majority of the Democratic lawmakers who opposed the bill — 31 of the 39 — represent districts that were won by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, in the 2008 presidential election, and a third of them were freshmen. Nearly all of the fourteen freshmen Democrats who voted “no” represent districts that were previously Republican and are considered vulnerable in 2010. Geographically, 22 lawmakers from southern states formed the largest opposition bloc. Below are details on the Democrats that opposed the health care legislation in the House.

To the source to see the pretty graphical representation that I have no idea how to paste here without some sort of epic HTML fail.

What if we did as much to prevent rape as we do to prevent H1N1?

I spent most of this past spring and summer rolling my eyes every time I heard a news story about the swine flu. Almost every day local reporters got hysterical about 5 or 10 or 20 confirmed cases. Entire schools closed in response to a handful of kids with fevers, and as if there were no war in Afghanistan, no economic crisis, and no other epidemics claiming ten times as many lives, newscasters talked about H1N1 (the proper name for swine flu) for hours.

I have a degree in public health and my work focuses on preventing rape and other acts of violence and supporting survivors in healing from abuse. When I see all the attention swine flu is getting, I’m jealous. Other than intermittent news stories about sex offenders on the loose or why women who accuse professional athletes of rape are lying, sexual violence rarely gets any widespread coverage. Certainly no state of emergency declared by the President of the United States.

Now, I don’t want to diminish the grief of those who have lost loved ones to H1N1. I don’t even want to question the scientific validity of the Center for Disease Control’s decision to declare it a pandemic. But the fact remains that the impact of H1N1 is far less than that of other public health crises that receive a fraction of the attention and resources. The CDC reported just over 43,000 cases of H1N1 between April and July of this year and estimates that it will affect a million people, or 0.3% of the total population of the United States. Compare this to the 2.5% of women and 0.9% of men who reported being raped or sexually assaulted in the past year. The most recent statistics about rape available from the CDC are from last year. Swine flu? Last week.

What would our media, our public discourse, and our institutional responses look like if people cared as much about rape as they do about H1N1?

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Alice S. Rossi, Sociologist and Feminist Scholar, Dies at 87

Alice S. Rossi, a noted sociologist and feminist scholar who was a founder of the National Organization for Women, died on Tuesday in Northampton, Mass. She was 87 and lived in Amherst, Mass.

The cause was pneumonia, her son, Peter E. Rossi, said.

At her death, Professor Rossi was the Harriet Martineau professor of sociology emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, where she had taught from 1974 until her retirement in 1991.

In her scholarship, Professor Rossi explored the status of women in work, family and sexual life. An early public advocate of abortion rights, she was often quoted by the national news media on an array of women’s issues. Her writings are widely credited with helping build the platform on which the women’s movement of the 1960s and afterward was erected.

Professor Rossi was best known for her studies of people’s lives — those of women in particular — as they move from youth to age. She edited several books on the subject, including “Gender and the Life Course” (Aldine, 1985); “Sexuality Across the Life Course” (University of Chicago, 1994); and “Caring and Doing for Others: Social Responsibility in the Domains of Family, Work and Community” (University of Chicago, 2001).

One of her most influential feminist articles was “Equality Between the Sexes: An Immodest Proposal.” First presented in 1963 at a meeting of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, it was published the next year in the academy’s journal Daedalus.

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EDIT: Whoops! Source~

Obama grants citizenship to gay guy who never passed the exam!

Citizenship for Polish Hero of American Revolution

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gen. Casimir Pulaski finally became an American citizen, 230 years after he died fighting in the Revolutionary War.

President Obama signed a joint resolution of the House and the Senate on Friday that made Pulaski, a Polish nobleman, an honorary citizen.

Pulaski’s contribution to the American colonies’ effort to leave the British Empire began with a flourish. He wrote a letter to Gen. George Washington with the declaration: “I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it.”

Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, had been pushing for the honorary citizenship since 2005.

“Pulaski made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, and he deserves nothing but the highest honor and recognition for his service,” Mr. Kucinich said then.

Washington had heard of the young Pole from Benjamin Franklin, who had been his first ambassador to France. Franklin told him that Pulaski’s exploits had made him “renowned throughout Europe for the courage and bravery he displayed in defense of his country’s freedom.”

Washington let Pulaski join the fight against the British, and he made a name for himself as a skilled horseman. He would eventually be known as the “father of the American cavalry.”

Pulaski died before the British were driven away. In October 1779, he led a cavalry assault to save the important Southern port of Savannah, Ga. He was wounded and taken aboard the American ship Wasp. He died at sea two days later.

Americans have honored Pulaski throughout the last two centuries. A number of counties and streets, as well as the skyway between Newark and Jersey City, are named for him.

The Continental Congress suggested that a monument be erected in his honor, and in 1825 it was finally installed in Savannah. In 1929, Congress declared Oct. 11 Pulaski Day in the United States, a largely forgotten holiday in much of the country.

Source doesn't mention it, but Pulaski was most likely gay. Apparently, Washington didn't ask and he didn't tell.

Onlookers Found Gang Rape to Be Funny. (I am Not Laughing...)

Richmond Gang Rape 911 Caller Speaks: Margarita Vargas Heard About Attack, Reported It

A 15-year-old girl who was raped, robbed and beaten by multiple attackers outside of her high school homecoming dance was found by police after 18-year-old Margarita Vargas, undaunted by pressure to keep quiet, called 911.

Vargas called police after her brother-in-law told her about an attack at Richmond High School in Richmond, Calif. CBS:

"I was watching a movie, and my brother-in-law came in and he told me 'I don't know what to do, because there is a girl back there and she has been raped. I'm scared,'" 18-year-old Margarita Vargas said.

"I'm like 'We should call the cops because that's the right thing to do.' I didn't think about it twice."

Relaying what she knew, Vargas called police without even witnessing the crime. She arrived after police and saw the victim being taken away. Vargas told CNN that she was proud of herself. Referring to a culture of silence, Vargas told CNN that there's a common saying around Richmond "snitches get stitches."

Police believe up to 10 people participated in the Oct. 24 assault and that as many as a dozen people watched, laughed and took pictures while it happened. Seven suspects have been arrested, though 1 has been released. According to a report by KTVU News, at least 4 of the suspects are teenagers and face life in prison. One suspect is 21.

The victim released a statement last Tuesday, urging supporters to look past their anger and work for change to keep people safe.

According to police, the 15-year-old who was attacked, left her high school dance Oct. 24 and was expected to meet her father. He was looking for her while the attack took place.

Health insurance reform? Game over.


Sen. Joe Lieberman said he was “concerned” about the health-care bill passed by the House on Saturday, and reiterated that he would oppose any legislation that included a government-run health insurance option.

“If the public option plan is in there, as a matter of conscience, I will not” support the legislation, Lieberman told “Fox News Sunday.”

Lieberman said he was concerned about the new government spending that the health-care legislation would entail, saying government deficits have grown too large. “I don’t want to do that to our children and grandchildren,” he said.


Thanks, Joe. I realize you are a person of high principle, and the fact that you represent a state that is INSURANCE INDUSTRY FRIGGIN' CENTRAL is purely coincidental.

I had no idea that the one "independent" Senator in DC would end up being our first uncrowned absolute monarch.