November 17th, 2009

Christian Bale

(no subject)

Millions may have to repay part of Obama tax credit

For more than 15.4 million people, the Making Work Pay tax credit enacted as part of the $787-billion economic stimulus package could turn out to be a Making You Pay Back tax credit.

That's the finding of a government watchdog report out today about the credit, which provides as much as $400 for individuals and as much as $800 for joint filers. It is the signature tax cut that President Obama promised in his campaign and was delivered with much fanfare in February.

The problem: In order to maximize the credit's stimulative effect on the economy, withholding changes for taxpayers kicked in within days of Obama signing the legislation and taxpayers started seeing the changes in their paychecks in April. In essence, the credit was "advanced to taxpayers through their wages by a decrease in federal income tax withholding" for the 2009 and 2010 tax years, according to the report by the Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration.

If too much of the credit was advanced, a person would end up having to pay the extra money back. After analyzing 2007 tax return data, the Inspector General found that more than 15.4 million people could fall into that category this year. Among the reasons for having to pay back some of the credit are having more than one job or receiving pension or Social Security payments while still working.

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Christian Bale

(no subject)

Expert Says Number of Children's Books About Obama Is Astounding

Given the media blitz surrounding the last U.S. presidential campaign and that book authors are often inspired by the world around them, it's no wonder the market for children's literature has seen its share of books about the new president, according to a Kansas State University children's literature expert.

But the number of titles about Barack Obama is astounding, said Phil Nel, K-State professor of English and head of K-State's children's literature program.

Nel recently presented the paper "Obamafiction for Children: Imagining the 44th U.S. President" at the American Studies Association conference in Washington, D.C.

Last he counted, Nel said there were around 60 children's titles about Obama -- including two dozen before he was elected to the presidency and more than 35 since. The total does not include books about members of the Obama family or Bo, the family dog.

"For those unfamiliar with the American book market, to have this many children's books about a candidate or a president so soon in his term of office is rather unusual," Nel said. "After eight years in office, George W. Bush inspired 17 fewer titles than Obama."

Nel's research on Obama and children's literature focuses on two books, "Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope" by Nikki Grimes and Brian Collier, and "Barack" by Jonah Winter and A.G. Ford.

What's interesting about the books, Nel said, is their portrayal of the 44th U.S. president as a hero, bridge builder and uniter.

Like in many books about African-Americans in history, Obama is traditionally depicted as beating all odds to succeed, but Nel said this has had the undesired effect of obscuring Obama's racial identity.

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Obama/Biden Look

it ain't rocket science.

Palin Needs to Take Herself Seriously
By Marc Ambinder

The key to making a political comeback is to have somewhere to come back from -- and somewhere to return to.

Sarah Palin can't make a comeback because she didn't go anywhere. Not up, not down. Not sideways. Aside from a brief and totally artificial post selection bounce last year, Palin remains a fixed political commodity.

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Not like this isn't news we didn't already know, but it's so easy...and she still can't do it. Fail on, Sarah! Fail on!
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  • xerox78

Teacher charged with putting a "hit" on gay student

Clayton County schools are investigating charges a teacher threatened a student after questioning the teen's sexuality.

Randolph Forde, a teacher at Mundy’s Mill High School, remains on administrative leave with pay, schools spokesman Charles White said Monday.

Jail records show Forde was arrested last month of charges of terrorist threats and released on a $10,000 bond.

School officials postponed the employment hearing scheduled on Tuesday for Forde to face possible disciplinary action, White said, under advice from the district's attorney that there had been no sufficient prior notice.

"We needed to post notice of the hearing a full 24 hours prior, according to the the (Georgia) Open Meetings Act," White said late Monday night.

But Terrence Madden, the student's attorney, said neither he nor his client were informed of the change, and complained that the school district was stalling.

"Nothing has changed as far as evidence," Madden said. "They had no legitimate reason except that it had gone public."

The hearing will be rescheduled within the next two weeks, but probably will be after Thanksgiving, said White, who responded to Madden's complaints: "He can say what he wants to."

According to the student's attorney, Forde pulled the 16-year-old student out of class and asked him if he was gay.

"A child’s sexuality is never a teacher’s business," said Marcia Killebrew, the student's mother. "I feel like the man was being extremely inappropriate."

The next day, the teacher got into a verbal altercation in an algebra class, said Madden.

“The teacher threatened to hit him in his ‘f-ing mouth,’” Madden said.

A few days later, Forde asked another student to “put a hit” on the teenager, according to a police report.

"The suspect advised to the witness that he would pay him to kill the victim," the report states.

The teacher wrote the victim's name on a note and showed it to another student on the school bus, the report says.

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shatner and trebek

Gay weekly Washington Blade closes

By Paul Schwartzman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Washington Blade, the weekly newspaper that chronicled the coming-out of the capital's gay community, was born amid the idealism of 1960s street protests. Monday, the paper died, victim of the unforgiving realities of the nation's sagging newspaper industry.

Last month, the Blade celebrated its 40th anniversary at a swanky downtown Washington party. The paper's nearly two-dozen employees arrived at their downtown offices Monday to start a new workweek, only to be ordered to clear out their desks by midafternoon.

Steven Myers, co-president of the paper's owner, Atlanta-based Window Media, said the company also ceased operations at its other gay-oriented publications, which include the Southern Voice newspaper and David magazine in Atlanta, and the South Florida Blade and 411 magazine in Florida.

As employees in the District newsroom packed up and removed photographs from the walls of the Blade's offices at the National Press Building, Myers declined to explain the shutdown, saying the company would release "a formal statement later this week." Staffers planned to meet at a coffee shop Tuesday to plot a revival of the paper.

"It's a shock. I'm almost speechless, really," said Lou Chibbaro Jr., a Blade reporter who has written for the newspaper since 1976, covering the full arc of the country's gay-rights movement, from early marches through the rise of AIDS and on to the latest battles over legalizing same-sex marriage.

The Blade, born in an era when most gays lived in the closet, grew in size and stature as Washington's gay population blossomed and became more politically active and influential. Chibbaro, who wrote his first front-page story for the Blade under a pseudonym at a time when publicly stating one's sexual orientation could be dangerous, felt the change in dramatic fashion this year, when, while covering a presidential news conference on health-care policy, he was directed to a seat in the front row.

The Blade's closing comes at a moment of extraordinary optimism for many gays in Washington. The big story Chibbaro and the paper's other writers have been covering is the bill supported by nearly all of the D.C. Council's members that would legalize same-sex marriage in the city.

"Here we are, on the verge of having marriage equality, and it would be real shame if the Blade wasn't there to cover the victory," said Deacon Maccubbin, owner of Lambda Rising, the gay-oriented Dupont Circle bookstore, which had been advertising in the paper since the shop's 1974 opening.

Kevin Naff, the Blade's editor, said Window Media officials told him the company "was forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means liquidation." Window Media's majority stockholder, Avalon Equity Partners, was placed in receivership by the U.S. Small Business Administration last year. Naff and other staffers immediately began an effort to revive the paper as an employee-owned operation.

This week's edition of the free weekly, which had a circulation of 23,000, won't be published. The Blade's Web site, which reported about 250,000 visitors a month, went dark Monday morning.

A small troupe of activists founded the Blade in 1969, a few months after New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, igniting riots and launching the gay rights movement. In its infancy, the paper was known as the Gay Blade and consisted of a single, letter-size sheet of paper that its editor, Nancy Tucker, mimeographed and distributed herself, scooting around town in a Volkswagen to drop off stacks at gay-friendly bars. The paper's mission was to unite an eclectic array of gay groups, including drag queens and government workers, literary buffs and motorcycle enthusiasts; inform readers of gay-related services; and warn them about blackmailers and other scammers.

In the ensuing decades, the Blade's editors became more ambitious, switching to newsprint and dispatching reporters to write about discrimination against gays in the federal government, hate crimes such as the killing of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, and political and health issues generated by the AIDS epidemic.

Yet, equally important, the newspaper devoted itself to more routine stories, casting light on murders and legislation that received little or no attention from mainstream news outlets such as The Washington Post. The Blade was also the place to find advertisements for everything from doctors to lawyers to real estate agents who cater to gays.

"They have become the voice of record for the gay community," said Franklin Kameny, widely recognized as a pioneer of the gay rights movement. At 84 years old, Kameny still made it a weekly part of his ritual to drive to Dupont Circle and pick up the paper each Friday.

"I knew there were financial problems in the background, but I'm in a dumbfounded state of shock by this," Kameny said.

Window Media bought the Blade and other publications in 2001. Like many news organizations, the Blade suffered financially in recent years, although it still managed to turn a profit, said Lynn Brown, the paper's publisher, in an interview on the occasion of the paper's 40th anniversary.

Naff said Monday that he hopes to keep the staff together and relaunch the paper under a new name. He would not provide more details about potential investors or logistics.

"It will be employee-owned," Naff said. "We're not going away."

Asked the name of the new publication, he smiled and said, "Got any suggestions?"

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Sarah Palin's 'Going Rogue': The EW Review

She cooks a mean moose chili (though, as she admits, she “never pretended to have a huge culinary repertoire”). She doesn’t mention Levi Johnston, the father of her daughter Bristol’s baby — not once. Her passages about her son Trig, who has Down’s Syndrome, are incredibly moving. But before you start scanning this review of Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue for a lefty New York bias, let me be clear: I’m not affiliated with any political party. I’ve voted for Democrats; I’ve voted for Republicans. That said, Going Rogue is nothing special, a standard bit of political posturing from someone still eyeing higher office. That’s clear from the jacket photo alone: Palin, hair down, gazing sturdily into the distance, clad in a red track jacket (no fancy duds here), an American flag pinned to her chest. I’m like you, the photo says. “[Todd and I] felt our very normalcy, our status as ordinary Americans, could be a much-needed fresh breeze blowing into Washington, D.C.,” she writes.

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Music: Michael Jackson

A Cast of Pseudo-White Woman Syndrome in Coverage of The Fort Hood Shootings?

I came across this on twitter, with the following message: At least 2 heroes in Ft. Hood tragedy - one a white woman, the other a black man. Why was reporting so off?

Another Media Black Eye: Second Cop -- Not Kimberly Munley -- Brought Down Fort Hood Killer
By Greg Mitchell

NEW YORK (Commentary) With the publication of an interview with Sgt. Mark Todd, the actual cop who gunned down the killer at Fort Hood -- following its account of an unnamed eyewitness last night--The New York Times this afternoon finally underlined what some of us noticed from nearly the start: the media fell hook, line and sinker once again for a military account of what happened during the tragedy.

First, it was the "death" of the apparent mass murderer, Major Hasan, not corrected for hours. Then, for days, the story of how a white female cop brought down the shooter, even as she was receiving serious wounds.

Yet I noticed--without great searching--just hours after the attack that scattered eyewitnesses, via the Web and Twitter, were saying that the killer re-loaded after Kimberly Munley went down.

How could he have done that if she had just plugged him four times, supposedly ending the rampage? Some of those witnesses said they yelled at the unnamed second cop to shoot Hasan--which he did, and then went up and kicked his gun away.

Yet for days, the media rarely questioned the military's "official" story of Munley as savior. The New York Times was one of many who put Munley on the front page and declared, on Nov. 7, that she was the person who nailed Hasan. Its headline: "She ran to gunfire, and ended it." It said flatly that she "brought down the gunman."

Later that day, The Associated Press interviewed Todd and he described some of his actions that day, which raised questions about Munley's prime role. Still, most news outlets for days continued to label Munley "the" (singular) Fort Hood hero. It wasn't until two days ago that Todd got feature billing, although usually in a secondary role. Now, in the past day, he is finally getting his due as the original account begins to fall away. The New York Times pushed the envelope with its reports last night and today by James C. McKinley, Jr.

Times executive editor Bill Keller has emailed E&P's Joe Strupp, "My first reaction is, it's a fine piece of reporting that throws a shaft of new light on this tragedy. I'm proud that Jim broke the story yesterday with an unnamed eyewitness, and that he then built on it with Sergeant Todd's confirmation....

"What we and other news organizations (at least the ones I saw) had to go on in the early days was the official account put out by the post commander and the director of emergency services. They said (accurately) that Munley rushed to the scene and that she was shot. They claimed (inaccurately, we now know) that she fired the shot or shots that brought Hasan down. We reported what they said, attributed to them. Our reporters didn't have witnesses questioning that account, though we did raise questions in that first story about whether Todd also shot. It took a while for us to track down a knowledgeable witness willing to contradict the official account -- and when we did, we put it on the front page."

But what else will turn out false about Fort Hood claims from military, e.g. the "Allahu Akbar" shouts?

Yes, Munley is a hero for facing the bullets. And, no, this isn't another Jessica Lynch case, but it does have some disturbing similarities.

Plus: Just coincidence that a white woman got the credit over a black male? We'll soon find out. Perhaps. But this time, put aside the military's official narrative. First time, shame on the source. Second time, shame on the media. Third time?

Source: Editor & Publisher

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# what is that?
  • schmiss

Boo, you whore.

Plouffe Shocker: Edwards Camp Offered To Endorse If Obama Would Pick Him As VP

In the thick of the Democratic presidential primary, a top operative offered up John Edwards' withdrawal from the race and endorsement - on the condition the person he endorsed would offer him a spot on the ticket.

David Plouffe details the deal that "a senior Edwards" adviser" tried to ink before the South Carolina primary, spilling the beans in his book "The Audacity To Win."

Plouffe, then campaign manager for Barack Obama, was worried after the New Hampshire loss and polls tightening in South Carolina.

He said that the rival Edwards camp was in trouble and wanted to make a move with either Obama or Hillary Clinton while Edwards was "at a point of maximum leverage."

In this portion of the book, Plouffe hedges a bit, saying he's not sure Edwards was aware of the effort's specificity.

But he also has direct quotes, suggesting he documented the conversation.

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Joe Trippi Challenges Plouffe’s Claim That Edwards Offered Secret Veep Deal

One of the most interesting claims in Obama adviser David Plouffe’s new book about Campaign 2008 is that John Edwards’ team offered him a secret deal before the South Carolina primary: Edwards would drop out if he were made the Veep candidate.

But in several emails to me, senior Edwards adviser Joe Trippi challenged Plouffe’s claim, saying that Edwards really wanted the Attorney General slot.

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remember when we all wanted an Obama/Edwards ticket? lol ;_;

Asshat Interview of the Day, with Director James Cameron

Via Gawker, we find James Cameron offering his infinite wisdom to Playboy about being "forced to deal with real women" when discussing the intricacies of creating the perfect computer-generated tits for his upcoming movie, Avatar. It starts out making sense but quickly go downhill:

PLAYBOY: We seem to need fantasy icons like Lara Croft and Wonder Woman, despite knowing they mess with our heads.
CAMERON: Most of men's problems with women probably have to do with realizing women are real and most of them don't look or act like Vampirella. A big recalibration happens when we're forced to deal with real women, and there's a certain geek population that would much rather deal with fantasy women than real women. Let's face it: Real women are complicated. You can try your whole life and not understand them.

PLAYBOY: How much did you get into calibrating your movie heroine's hotness?
CAMERON: Right from the beginning I said, "She's got to have tits," even though that makes no sense because her race, the Na'vi, aren't placental mammals. I designed her costumes based on a taparrabo, a loincloth thing worn by Mayan Indians. We go to another planet in this movie, so it would be stupid if she ran around in a Brazilian thong or a fur bikini like Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C.

He also excitedly talks about having her nipples being lit by orange firelight in one scene, but unfortunately they had to take it out since the movie is PG-13. Nothing like some good old racist exoticism!

I have to say, talking about "real women" while degrading and dehumanizing them in the process is pretty impressive.

Source, and the full interview here.

Feds: Top e-tailers profitting from billion-dollar Web scam

Words like "scam," "fraud," and "arrest" filled the air during a Senate hearing on Tuesday that focused on the controversial marketing companies that allegedly dupe consumers into paying monthly fees to join online loyalty programs.

Vertrue, Webloyalty and Affinion generated more than $1.4 billion by "misleading" Web shoppers, said members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which called the hearing. Lawmakers saved their harshest rebuke for Web retailers that accepted big money--a combined sum of $792 million--to share their customers' credit-card information with the marketers.

Senate investigators launched their six-month investigation by examining complaints from people who discovered mysterious charges on their credit card bill. According to testimony given at the hearing, some of the alleged victims were unaware that they had become members of the loyalty programs and mistakenly paid fees for years.

The government says the investigation shows that Webloyalty, Affinion and Vertrue "trick" consumers into entering their e-mail address just before they complete purchases at sites such as Orbitz,,, 1-800 Flowers, Continental Airlines, Fandango, and

"When we agree to buy something from retailers we expect a merchant to protect our credit card and other information...what's happening is many online merchants have decided to betray their customers' trust."
--Sen. John Rockefeller

Unsuspecting shoppers are confronted by blocks of dense "fine print" according to the Senate report. Customers then enter their e-mail addresses thinking they are signing up to receive some kind of cash-back offer or coupon. Instead, they are unwittingly agreeing to allow the retailer to release their credit card information to the loyalty programs.

"When people shop online, they have the right to expect that the stores they entrust with their credit card and other personal information will not share it," said Sen. John Rockefeller, (D-West Virginia), the committee's chairman. "What's happening is many online merchants have decided to betray their customers' trust... fine print is the (biggest) scam of all time."

The way the government lays out its findings, it appears the loyalty programs are profiting off of the reluctance of many consumers to read fine print, check their credit card statements, and the blind trust many have in the stores where they shop.

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the best and only way to defeat clean up the problem is to make it unlawful for retailers to ever sell their customers personal information

It's one of those things you would think aren't legal in the first freaking place.
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    Fool's Garden - Lemon Tree

Anti-Abortion Group to Protest Palin. (alternate title: MY GOD ITS FULL OF STARS)

When she was running for governor of Alaska in 2006, Sarah Palin reportedly said that even if her then-14-year-old daughter were raped, she would "choose life" and force her to bear a child. Comments like that that have endeared the fiery Alaskan politician to most pro-life voters, who lionized her for not aborting her Down's Syndrome baby. But Trig isn’t enough to protect Palin from a phalanx of anti-abortion activists who plan to protest her appearance on Thursday to promote her book in the conservative heartland of Indiana. Their reason? They think she's not really pro-life.

For the Denver-based American Right to Life, when it comes to abortion, Palin is as impure as any godless feminist. “[H]er words and actions prove that she is officially pro-choice and stands against the God-given right to life of the unborn,” they write in a new report. ARTL members plan to educate reporters about Palin’s many alleged failings as a true believer, particularly her March nomination of a former Planned Parenthood board member to the Alaska Supreme Court and her refusal to call for a ban on the morning-after pill.

ARTL has claimed credit for ousting Mitt Romney from the 2008 presidential race by exposing his pro-life "conversion" as a fraud with TV ads in the key primary states of Iowa and South Carolina. The group has grown exponentially over the past two years since it split from the National Right to Life Committee over its belief that the evangelical powerhouse had sold out to the GOP by trading candidate endorsements for thousands of dollars worth of donations from the party.

Palin is emblematic of that compromised relationship, according to ARTL. "The pro-life movement has sunk to such a low level that if you don't kill your own child you qualify as a leader," says ARTL spokesman Bob Enyart, referring to Palin’s decision to give birth to Trig.

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Republicans AGAINST scaremongering tactics and FOR Gitmo transfers? WHAAA---?

Republicans in Congress are gearing up to fight a new White House effort to relocate detainees at Guantanamo Bay to a prison facility in Illinois. But on Sunday, a group of highly respected conservative figures lent their support to the transfer, calling it necessary to "preserve national security" while simultaneously avoiding "sweeping and radical departures from an American constitutional tradition."

In a joint statement prepared by the Constitution Project, David Keene, founder of American Conservative Union, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and former representative and presidential candidate Bob Barr say moving suspected terrorists to the Thomson, Illinois prison facility, "makes good sense." Taxpayers, they note, have already invested $145 million in the facility, which has been "little used." And the surrounding community, they add, could benefit from increased employment once the prison becomes filled.

"The scaremongering about these issues should stop," they add, noting that there is "absolutely no reason to fear that prisoners will escape or be released into their communities."
The letter is a bit of a boost for the Obama administration, which has had great difficulty finding a politically palatable way to transfer prisoners and close Gitmo. Still, having the support of an elected Republican would be preferable. Already, Mark Kirk, the Republican Senate candidate in Illinois, has blasted the administration for considering the Thomson facility.
"As home to America's tallest building, we should not invite Al Qaeda to make Illinois its number one target," Kirk said in a letter circulated Saturday.

Here is the entire statement from Norquist, Keene and Barr::
As it moves to close Guantanamo and develop policies for handling terrorism suspects going forward, the government should rely upon our established, traditional system of justice. This includes our system of federal prisons, which have repeatedly proven they can safely hold persons convicted of terrorism offenses.

We are confident that the government can preserve national security without resorting to sweeping and radical departures from an American constitutional tradition that has served us effectively for over two centuries.

Civilian federal courts are the proper forum for terrorism cases. Civilian prisons are the safe, cost effective and appropriate venue to hold persons convicted in federal courts. Over the last two decades, federal courts constituted under Article III of the U.S. Constitution have proven capable of trying a wide array of terrorism cases, without sacrificing either national security or fair trial standards.
Likewise the federal prison system has proven itself fully capable of safely holding literally hundreds of convicted terrorists with no threat or danger to the surrounding community.
The scaremongering about these issues should stop.
Using a state of the art but little used prison facility like the one at Thomson, Illinois - with any appropriate security upgrades our law enforcement professionals deem necessary - makes good sense for the tax payers who invested $145 million in the facility and who are seeing millions wasted every month at the costly, inefficient Guantanamo facility. It makes sense for the community which will benefit from the related employment and has absolutely no reason to fear that prisoners will escape or be released into their communities.
But most of all it makes sense for America because it is a critical link in the process of closing Guantanamo and getting this country back to using its tried and true, constitutionally sound institutions.


What are everyone on ONTD_political's thoughts about a possible transfer of Gitmo prisoners? I'm curious to know in general as my social psychology lecturer presented us with this article today and at the same time ranted about the idiocy of Barr and co.... yeah....

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Maka-Maka: Communication.

Lesbians make 'better parents', says senior parenting official

Lesbians are better at raising children than conventional couples, a senior member of the Government's parenting academy has said.
By Amy Willis
Published: 5:39PM GMT 15 Nov 2009

Stephen Scott, director of research at the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners, has said his research shows children from lesbian couples do better in life than the offspring of heterosexual couples.

"Lesbians make better parents than a man and a women," Mr Scott told a meeting for the launch of think tank Demos.

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First post, hope I've got this right. I can see the point about women who have bigger aspirations as a parent contributing those beliefs to their children, and that lesbian couples who want to have children are more likely to have those aspirations than, say, a heterosexual woman who gets pregnant accidentally and doesn't want to raise a child but keeps it anyway. On the other hand, the quality of parenting does count for a lot, and I have to wonder why lesbian couples make better parents over gay male couples. What do you think, ontd_p?
Christian Bale

(no subject)

Report: Adult filmmaker plans Jaycee Dugard movie

SACRAMENTO — An adult filmmaker plans to base a movie on the case of Jaycee Dugard, the rape and kidnap victim who was discovered to be living in the backyard of a home near Antioch for 18 years.

According to Sacramento TV station CBS 13, Shane Ryan, an actor and low budget underground filmmaker behind such straight-to-DVD movies as "Amateur Porn Star Killer" and "Sex, Kids, Party," wants to make a movie called "Abducted Girl: An American Sex Slave," based on the Dugard kidnapping.

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default, mask

(no subject)

New drug boosts women's sex drive

Researchers are hailing a new drug called flibanserin as a possible remedy for sexual dysfunction in women.

Originally created to treat women suffering from depression, the pill was later found to increase the number of sexual encounters and overall sexual satisfaction among women who have hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

HSDD is a controversial dysfunction that not everyone in the medical field agrees exists. Those diagnosed with it, however, are said to experience "diminished feelings of sexual interest or desire that causes marked distress."

Over 1,000 pre-menopausal women from across the U.S., Canada and parts of Europe were included in the clinical trial funded by German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim.

The study found women who took 100 milligrams of flibanserin each day experienced an increased libido after four weeks.

Participants also reported nearly doubling the number of sexual events, which included sexual intercourse and masturbation, from about two a month to just under five by the end of the trial, said principal investigator John Thorpe. Collapse )

1) Is this fixing a non-problem? Do you really think "low sex drive" is a serious enough condition to justify medication?
2) Isn't this something of a marital date-rape drug? ("Honey, I don't think we're having enough sex, so I got you some pills...")

Better not cough: Santas lobby for swine flu shots

CONCORD, N.H. – Forget cookies and milk. Santa wants the swine flu vaccine.

Many of the nation's Santas want to be given priority for the vaccine and not just because of those runny-nosed kids. There's also the not-so-little matter of that round belly. Research has suggested obesity could be a risk factor.

Swine flu has become such a concern that the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas featured a seminar on the illness at a recent conference in Philadelphia. The group also urged its members to use hand sanitizer and take vitamins to boost their immune systems.

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Damn, there's always something around Christmas that makes it srs business. But I think it's waaay overkill to sanitize your hands between every kid you touch. That'll just dry out your hands and let bacteria through the cracks.
music | sleigh anne.

Teabaggers punk'd by anti-racists who get them to cheer rant against European-American immigrants

The teabaggers are getting ready for the next round of wingnuttery against the Obama administration. It sure looks like they lost on health-care reform, but they have already been organized for a long time around the issue of immigration, so they are ready and rarin' to go careening off the far-right cliff.

This weekend, the nativist right-wingers at ALIPAC and the National Policy Institute organized a series of "Tea Parties Against Amnesty.

However, at the rally in Minneapolis, the demonstrators got punk'd by a young man who called himself "Robert Erickson".

"Erickson" got up and delivered a rant against European immigration. At first the crowd was whooping and hollering as he talked about the rights of "real Americans" -- but then it gradually tapered off as he went on and they realized they'd been had.

Here's the speech:

Hi, my name is Robert Erickson and I’m really excited to be here. Its people like all of you, and events like this that make our country great! Give yourselves a round of applause!

I just want to talk about a couple themes this afternoon because I love this country and I want to see America be the best place it can be.

Mr. Gutierrez is getting ready to propose an immigration bill in just a few short days, and we have to make sure he knows that we want a bill that's tough on immigration. Now is the time for us to stand up and make our voices heard!

In Minneapolis, where I’m from, we have a huge immigrant population that’s been causing a number of problems. With the economy in recession, and so many people getting laid off, and unable to find work, immigrants should not be competing for the few jobs that are out there. It's just not fair to the folks who have a claim to this land and the right to be here. All across America, they are contributing to the flooding of our job markets making it hard for Americans to find jobs. Well, I'm fed up, and it's time to let our politicians know that enough is enough, and we're not gonna take it any more!

We need to secure our borders to protect our country. We need to restore order and put an end to the anarchy that's sweeping the nation. We need tougher immigration laws to make sure that we send these people back where they came from. We need to protect the sovereignty of the real Americans. We need to hold our politicians accountable.

It's no secret that with an invasion of immigrants comes waves of crime. We see them involved in massive theft, in murder, and bringing diseases like smallpox, which is responsible for the death of millions of Americans. These aren't new problems, though -- they have been going on for hundreds of years, and continue to this day.

I say it's time for us to say enough is enough! Are you with me? Are you with me? Let's send these European immigrants back where they came from! I don't care if they are Polish, Irish, English, Italian, or Norwegian! European immigrants are responsible for the most violent and heinous crimes in the history of the world, including genocide and slavery! It's time to restore the sovereignty of people native to this land!

I want more workplace raids, starting with the big banks downtown. There are thousands of illegals working in those buildings, hiding in their offices, and taking Dakota jobs. Let's round them up and ship them out. Then we need to hit them at home where they sleep. I don’t care if we separate families, they should have known better when they came here illegally!

If we aren't able to stand up to these European immigrants, who can we stand up to? We need to send every one of them back home, right now.

Thank you very much, and we'll see you in the streets!

Columbus Go Home! Columbus Go Home! Columbus Go Home!

Not surprisingly, the organizers were pissed. Sally Jo Sorensen at BlueStemPrairie was there to watch, and she reported that some of the nativists started getting violent:

Most of the MINN-SIR supporters were slow to catch the satire, and so the cheering from that side of the crowd took a while to subside. As they realized they'd been punked, they stood in a cold, stunned silence, while the 30 or so counter-protesters urged Columbus to go home.

Unfortunately, some of the pro-MINN-SIR audience made up for what they lacked in humor through the use of violence. Both Danielson and I saw middle-aged men attack young protesters, knocking one off a bike before he started throwing punches at the young man.

Just as shocking was the reaction of the state police working the rally, who pushed back those being attacked, rather than those attacking the counter protesters.


Joe Biden To Be First Vice President In Office To Appear On "The Daily Show"

New York City (CNS) - Jon Stewart may have a few vices, but this is the first time that he'll have a sitting Vice President in his midst.

Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to appear on the November 17 (THAT'S TONIGHT DON'T FORGET BITCHES) episode of the Comedy Central news show "The Daily Show." The show, which will air 11 p.m. ET/PT, is a "Daily Show" first: the only episode yet to have a vice president appear while holding the office.

This is not Biden's first time sitting on the "Daily Show" panel, however. The former Delaware senator has been a "Daily Show" guest five times before, most recently in an August 2007 episode, while he was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination for the 2008 election. He also discussed these plans in the episode he appeared in directly before this, in January 2007.

Though he has not been on the show since being elected, President Barack Obama also has been a frequent "Daily Show" guest, with his last appearance only weeks before the 2008 election. Since being in office, Obama has recently appeared on other talk shows, such as "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "The Late Show with David Letterman" and Comedy Central's own "The Colbert Report," which airs alongside "The Daily Show."

"The Daily Show" has had numerous political guests, including former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter; former Vice President Al Gore; Senators John McCain and John Kerry; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; Secretary of State Hilary Clinton; and Speaker of the House Representative Nancy Pelosi.

"Daily Show" host Stewart welcomed General Pervez Musharraf, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in September 2006, which was the show's first time featuring a sitting head of state. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bolivian President Evo Morales, former Mexican President Vicente Fox and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf have also been "Daily Show" guests.


WUT? Tea Party Encourages Violence? That's A Lie!

Tea Party Proponent Threatens To "Do What They Did At Fort Hood" To Michigan Newspaper

Over at Editor And Publisher's E&P Pub blog, Greg Mitchell brings word of a disturbed woman who called up a Gannett News customer service center and threatened to go to the offices of the Times Herald of Port Huron, Michigan, and "do what they did at Fort Hood." Hopefully she is being investigated for her Islamo-fascist leanings!

Apparently, what touched the woman off was an editorial in the Times Herald which dared to criticize Representative Candice Miller (R-Mich.) for "for continuing to participate in" the Michele Bachmann Tea Party rally on November 5, 2009, "after it turned nasty." The editorial went on to cite examples of the nastiness to which the editors objected:
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Tea Party Protest Turns Violent (VIDEO)

Tea Partiers tussled with counter protesters during at least two of the nationwide anti-immigration Tea Party rallies on Saturday.

In Ft. Lauderdale, several Tea Partiers brawled in the street with counter protesters from the Florida Chapter of Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER).

The video, which was shot by Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), shows two Tea Partiers with their own video cameras making their way through the area designated by police for counter protesters from ANSWER. As the Tea Partiers reach the end of the ANSWER group, one of the Tea Partiers can be seen having an argument with one of the ANSWER counter-protesters when that counter-protester pummels him with his sign.

The brawl quickly spilled into the road, with some joining in and some trying to break up the fight. By the end of the incident, both Tea Partiers were on the ground, being battered by counter-protesters. 62 year-old Dave Caulkett of Floridians for Immigration Enforcement says he was kicked in the face just before being let up from the ground.

Police did not intervene on the video, but sirens can be heard in the background. It is unclear why no police were present to keep the peace between the two opposing groups.

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Article Calls Obama a Libural Pussy and His Mom a Whore.

Pruden: Obama lacks "blood impulse" for what America "is about" due to "Kenyan father," "mother attracted to men of the Third World"

From Washington Times editor emeritus Wesley Pruden's November 17 column (emphasis added):

So far it's a memorable trip. He established a new precedent for how American presidents should pay obeisance to kings, emperors, monarchs, sovereigns and assorted other authentic man-made masters of the universe. He stopped just this side of the full grovel to the emperor of Japan, risking a painful genuflection if his forehead had hit the floor with a nasty bump, which it almost did. No president before him so abused custom, traditions, protocol (and the country he represents). Several Internet sites published a rogue's gallery showing how other national leaders - the prime ministers of Israel, India, Slovenia, South Korea, Russia and Dick Cheney among them - have greeted Emperor Akihito with a friendly handshake and an ever-so-slight but respectful nod (and sometimes not even that).
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Michele Bachmann Accused of Ethics Violation

Michele Bachmann Investigation Requested By CREW

Watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has requested an investigation into whether Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) broke House rules in organizing an anti-health care reform rally on November 5.

In a letter sent to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), CREW contends that Bachmann violated House rules by using her official member's website to garner "grassroots lobbying" for the health care protest in question.

The Members' Handbook specifies: The content of a Member's Website... [may] not include grassroots lobbying or solicit support for a Member's position." CREW argues that Bachmann broke this rule.
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White House: Israeli housing plans dismaying

WASHINGTON – The White House rebuked Israel with heavy criticism Tuesday after the Jerusalem city government moved toward the construction of 900 additional housing units in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim for the capital of their future state.

President Barack Obama has made restarting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians a top foreign policy goal. To that end, he has demanded that Israel cease building new or expanding existing Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Israel insists that East Jerusalem will never be surrendered to Arab rule and that the entirety of the city will remain the capital of the Jewish state. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordanian control in the 1967 Mideast War and annexed it.

The city is considered holy by the three monotheistic religions — Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered restraint on settlement building in the West Bank, where Palestinians want to create an independent state, but has refused to budge from Israel's long-standing insistence that the status of Jerusalem is not open for negotiation.

In criticizing the Israeli housing plan, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said:

"We are dismayed," and he criticized the Israelis as making "it more difficult for our efforts (toward peacemaking) to succeed."

Netanyahu's office quickly fired back that the Jerusalem neighborhood in question, Gilo, "is an integral part of Jerusalem. ... Building in Gilo has continued unabated for decades, and there is nothing new in the current planning and construction."
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story of my life (rude ginger bitch here

Yes, folks, the electric chair is still available! Hurry, supplies are limited!

Va. inmate who killed 2 executed by electric chair

Associated Press Writer
JARRATT, Va. (AP) - A former Army counterintelligence worker has been executed by electric chair in Virginia for killing a couple in 2001.

Larry Bill Elliott was pronounced dead at 9:08 p.m. Tuesday at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt. The last execution by electric chair in the U.S. was in June 2008.

Elliott was put to death for the January 2001 shooting deaths of 25-year-old Dana Thrall and 30-year-old Robert Finch.

Prosecutors said Elliott killed the couple to win the love of former stripper who was involved in a bitter custody dispute with the man who was killed.

In the death chamber, Elliott said his attorneys would read a statement after the execution.

At 60, Elliott was Virginia's oldest death row inmate. Virginia death row inmates can choose between the electric chair and lethal injection.


I don't understand why anybody would choose the electric chair over lethal injection. Oh well.

Also, according to Wikipedia, the only places in the world which still reserve the electric chair as an option for execution are the U.S. states of Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
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Akuma River

Award winning ads that help put more money into big pharma

Award-Winning Health Care Ads? A New Kind Of Clio Award (VIDEO)

While health care reform continues to be something of a national obsession, ad industry bigwigs were recently honored with the first-ever Clio awards in the health care category.

Slate breaks down some of the winners which were announced on Friday night in New York City. The event honored the top advertising campaigns in the health care industry, with separate categories for Television/Cinema/Digital, Print, Innovative Media and more.

Slate contributor Seth Stevenson called the awards "a sort of Paralympics of advertising," noting the difficulty for pharmaceutical ads to compete at the regular Clio Advertising Awards due to FDA regulations requiring pharmaceutical ads to list their often not-so-pleasant (and numerous) side effects.

Ambien's "Silence Your Rooster" campaign took home "Best of Show" in addition to earning the top prize in the Television category. (To view the ad, you can visit their website and check out the videos at the link above.)

Below, we've compiled some of the other award-winners, including two commercials from GE that bring modern health care to rural India and China, and an ad for Nuva Ring, featuring a swimsuit-stripping synchronized swimmer. A complete list of the Clio Health care winners of 2009 is available here.

Which ad is your favorite? Check out our video slideshow below and vote for the best spot.
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How much do you want to bet that Big Insurance doesn't want to pay for Big Pharma's new life-saving goods?