December 1st, 2009


Obama AND Disney wank? Don't Make Me Bust a Lung.

Ready for the most preposterous crap you will read all day? It comes to us via Vince Mitchell, in a piece for the Times Of London, arguing that The Princess and the Frog is "capitalizing" on "The Obama era." He writes:
…Why has Disney brought out a black princess now? It's not as if the black population of the world has suddenly increased in size or spending power to attract its attention. No, it is sheer, commercial opportunism on the part of Disney.
"…The high-profile nature of President Obama and his First Lady means that this princess is being launched against a heightened consumer awareness of the dreams of black people coming true and it will receive lots of press coverage."

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Philippine President's term is ending... so she decides to run for Congress.

Arroyo refuses to quit, aims for House seat
Posted date: December 01, 2009

MANILA, Philippines—After keeping her political foes and much of the nation in suspense for weeks and months, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Monday finally laid down her cards: She would leave Malacañang next year—and run for Congress.

Claiming public service was “emblazoned on my DNA (genetic fingerprint),” Ms Arroyo ended speculation about her political plans by declaring she would run as representative of the second congressional district of Pampanga in the May elections.

Her announcement was welcomed by her most ardent supporters but also touched off a storm of attacks from her critics, who accused her of positioning herself to become prime minister if the Constitution were to be amended and the country shifted to a parliamentary system.

Already president for nine years, Ms Arroyo is the second-longest serving Philippine leader after the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled for more than 20 years.

Surveys have rated Ms Arroyo as the most unpopular leader the country has had since Filipinos regained democracy in 1986.

Heeding a clamor

The 62-year-old Arroyo said her decision to run was the product of both her desire to continue serving and heed what she called a “clamor” by her province mates for her to serve them.

“After much contemplation, I realized I’m not ready to step down completely from public service,” she said on the government-run Radyo ng Bayan.

Citing what she said were appeals from her home district in Pampanga for her to stay in government, Ms Arroyo said: “After much soul-searching, I have decided to respond affirmatively to their call.”

“That situation is so hypothetical I won’t even bother to speculate on it,” she curtly replied when asked if she ultimately intended to install herself as prime minister.

She made the remark during the question-and-answer part of the program that sounded like she was reading from a script.

Romulo Macalintal, Ms Arroyo’s election lawyer, said Ms Arroyo would attend Mass in Lubao town Tuesday morning then deliver a message to her constituents in the second district.

Ms Arroyo made it clear she would be “firmly in control of our national government until the last day I am in office [as President].”

“As President, my first commitment is to the nation we all love. My bid for Congress is spirited, but secondary to my duties as President,” she said.

“I am completely confident that I will perform the duties of [the] presidency with the same level of intensity and commitment I have always had. I will remain steadfast and responsible to the nation until my last day in office,” she added in the interview.

In her remaining months in Malacañang, Ms Arroyo promised to “focus on the executive’s duties to help the Comelec perform its role.”

“Then I will work cooperatively with the incoming administration so that they can hit the ground running,” she said.

Not seeking immunity

Ms Arroyo said she would also need only a little time to campaign in her home province, which she had visited this year for nearly 50 times already—more frequently in the weeks leading to her announcement.

She said she was not after the immunity she would get as a member of Congress in the face of threats by her political opponents—should they wrest control of Malacañang in 2010—to send her to jail.

“The only congressional immunity is from libel suit and utterances made in a congressional session—that’s not what I’m after,” she said. “I have come to the conclusion that I can best serve the nation from a seat in Congress should I be elected.”

In breaking one of the biggest stories of her presidency, Ms Arroyo opted for a quick—and seemingly controlled—interview on government radio, rather than face the private media.

Malacañang reporters got her announcement through a replay of the Radyo ng Bayan interview.

Back to teaching?

Ms Arroyo spoke of other options after she steps down in Malacañang.

“I have been thinking of many opportunities and one day, I hope to pursue them. For example, I plan to go back to teaching or work for causes near and dear to me like climate change, improvement of education and the cause of women,” she said.

“These opportunities will remain open in the coming years. But now, the best way to continue to champion the things I love is in Congress.”

Macalintal downplayed the possible adverse impact of Ms Arroyo’s candidacy on administration standard-bearer Gilbert Teodoro Jr.’s own bid for the presidency.

“I’m sure Mr. Teodoro has his own campaign strategy,” he said.

Up to history

Macalintal admitted that Ms Arroyo could still pursue public service without seeking another elective post, but he deferred to the President’s decision.

“History will only judge whether she made a good decision,” he said.

In Pampanga, Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Virgilio David urged legal minds to seek a court ruling on whether Ms Arroyo can run for Congress after serving as President.

“I wish some legal luminaries in the country can file a case in the Supreme Court for them to interpret the spirit of the 1987 Constitution on this issue,” David said.

Pampanga Gov. Eddie Panlilio said Monday was a “day of sadness” because Ms Arroyo had lost her sense of delicadeza (propriety), and deprived other leaders of a chance to serve the district.

Ms Arroyo’s half-sister, former Pampanga Vice Gov. Cielo Macapagal-Salgado, felt sad about the news.

“I’m not happy about it,” Salgado said.

She said she herself had decided not to run for Congress because she wanted other province mates to be given the opportunity to serve the district of her father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal.

In Guagua town, residents Crisanta Santiago and Norma Castro welcomed Ms Arroyo’s decision.

“She has been doing a lot of projects in our district,” Santiago said, without saying what project benefited her.

With reports from Leila Salaverria in Manila and Charlene Cayabyab, Inquirer Central Luzon

There are no words for the lack of... oh, I don't know, decency, here.

ANYWAY. I'm not sure if this will generate enough interest around here, but I thought we could turn this into a discussion about... term limits! How do YOU feel about term limits, ontd_p?

Iraq pretty much got scammed

Iraqis spent $80m on ADE651 bomb detectors described as useless


The Iraqi parliament is looking into the sale by a British company of “bomb detectors” costing millions of pounds amid claims that they do not work.

In the past two years Iraq’s security forces have spent more than $80 million (£47 million) on the detectors made by ATSC Ltd, based in Yeovil, Somerset.

The devices, which consist of little more than a telescopic radio aerial on a black plastic handle, were each sold for the price of a new car and are in use at army and police checkpoints across the bomb-ravaged country.

On October 25 suicide bombers drove through checkpoints that were equipped with the detectors and blew up three government ministries, killing 155 people.

The Iraqi parliament is scrutinising the purchase after an article appeared in The New York Times in which the American Major-General Richard J. Rowe Jr, who oversees Iraqi police training for the US, said: “I have no confidence that these work.”

Nadeem al-Jabiri, an Iraqi MP, said: “There is no official investigation going on but the security and defence committee in the parliament, headed by Hadi al-Amiri, is following up this matter as part of the parliament’s duty as a monitoring entity.”

It comes after it was confirmed that the Iraqi Government had spent $85 million (£50 million) on the devices, despite the manufacturer’s admission that they work on the same principle as a dowsing rod. Each detector bought by the Iraqi Government cost up to $60,000 (£35,000).

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I want to link the actual NYT article for the sheer crazy that is Iraqi Maj. Gen. Jehad al-Jabiri:

“Whether it’s magic or scientific, what I care about is it detects bombs,”

“I don’t care about Sandia or the Department of Justice or any of them, I know more about this issue than the Americans do. In fact, I know more about bombs than anyone in the world.”

'During an interview on Tuesday, General Jabiri challenged a Times reporter to test the ADE 651, placing a grenade and a machine pistol in plain view in his office. Despite two attempts, the wand did not detect the weapons when used by the reporter but did so each time it was used by a policeman. “You need more training,” the general said.'
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    Alphaville - Forever Young

Palin uses quote about killing soldiers in her book

Today the Rogue has been caught nabbing a quote from What she thought was a pithy statement from UCLA basketball legend John Wooden was actually by a native American activist called John Wooden Legs and about killing soldiers. Geoffrey Dunn at the Huffington Post points out that the epigram to chapter three, "Drill, Baby Drill" attributes the following quote to coach Wooden:
Our land is everything to us... I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it—with their lives.
The only problem is that the quote was not by Wooden, it was by Wooden Legs. It appeared in an essay called Back on the War Ponies, part of a left-wing anthology. Here's the extract:
Our land is everything to us. It is the only place in the world where Cheyennes talk the Cheyenne language to each other. It is the only place where Cheyennes remember the same things together. I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it—with their life. My people and the Sioux defeated General Custer at the Little Big Horn.
Which makes it more like Kill Baby, Kill. Dunn thinks the only way the error could have been made is if Palin or her ghostwriter had grabbed it from, where it is mis-attributed in the same way. This casts doubt on whether quotes from Plato and Aristotle in Going Rogue are from Palin's own close reading of the texts.
lulz source

Grand Jury to Find Obama Guilty of Treason. We Are Saved!

From Tea Party to Treason
An anti-Obama activist finds a grand jury to consider his extreme charges.

Tea-party style activism has taken some nutty turns before—the Hitler references, the Holocaust pictures. But Walter Fitzpatrick III may be about to push anti-Obama activism to new heights. On Tuesday, he plans to walk into the Monroe County courthouse in tiny Madisonville, Tennessee, and attempt to convince a local grand jury to indict the president on treason and fraud charges.

Fitzpatrick is one of those alternate-reality Americans who believe that Barack Obama is actually one Barry Soetoro, a man who is not an American citizen and thus ineligible to serve as president. Fitzpatrick claims that since March, he has been trying to get federal prosecutors in Tennessee to bring treason charges against the president. All that effort earned him, however, was a visit from the Secret Service.

But then Fitzpatrick evidently discovered that Monroe County has rather liberal rules about grand juries. In most places, only a local prosecutor can present evidence to a grand jury and request an indictment. In Monroe County, any private citizen can show up with a petition and seek an indictment. The most common initiators of such proceedings are usually victims of robberies or assaults, however, not activists trying to unseat the president.
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Pathological Liars Continue Specializing in Attention-Whoring

WASHINGTON – The couple that got into the White House state dinner for the visiting Indian prime minister without invitations denied Tuesday that they were gatecrashers.

Appearing on a nationally broadcast morning news show with his wife, Tareq Salahi said the furor surrounding his and his wife Michaele's attendance at the dinner a week ago has been a "most devastating" experience. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs described President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama as angered by the incident.

Salahi told NBC's "Today" show Tuesday there's more to their side of the story — an explanation that would exonerate them from allegations of misconduct in the breach of White House security. Appearing on the same program, Gibbs insisted the Salahis had not been invited.

"This wasn't a misunderstanding," Gibbs said. "You don't show up at the White House as a misunderstanding."

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Oh really, the officials just happened to be mistaken about the Salahis not being on the guest list for TWO Obama related events? And lol at "Everything we worked for". Their winery is a fucking mess and the only thing she was working towards is getting on the Real Housewives.

Goldman Sachs Solution Against Emerging Angry Proletariats: GUNS, LOTS OF GUNS!

Arming Goldman With Pistols Against Public: Alice Schroeder

“I just wrote my first reference for a gun permit,” said a friend, who told me of swearing to the good character of a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker who applied to the local police for a permit to buy a pistol. The banker had told this friend of mine that senior Goldman people have loaded up on firearms and are now equipped to defend themselves if there is a populist uprising against the bank.

I called Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas van Praag to ask whether it’s true that Goldman partners feel they need handguns to protect themselves from the angry proletariat. He didn’t call me back. The New York Police Department has told me that “as a preliminary matter” it believes some of the bankers I inquired about do have pistol permits. The NYPD also said it will be a while before it can name names.

While we wait, Goldman has wrapped itself in the flag of Warren Buffett, with whom it will jointly donate $500 million, part of an effort to burnish its image -- and gain new Goldman clients. Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein also reversed himself after having previously called Goldman’s greed “God’s work” and apologized earlier this month for having participated in things that were “clearly wrong.”

Has it really come to this? Imagine what emotions must be billowing through the halls of Goldman Sachs to provoke the firm into an apology. Talk that Goldman bankers might have armed themselves in self-defense would sound ludicrous, were it not so apt a metaphor for the way that the most successful people on Wall Street have become a target for public rage.
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Mr. T the Patriot

Tacoma Suspect Is Killed by Police Officer

SEATTLE — A man suspected of fatally shooting four uniformed police officers was shot and killed early Tuesday by a Seattle police officer who chanced upon him during a routine patrol.

The death of the suspect, Maurice Clemmons, 37, capped a huge manhunt that had fanned out through Seattle over the last two days as scores of police chased the trail of the suspect. Police officials said Mr. Clemmons had been carrying a gun that had belonged to one of the four officers, who were killed at a coffee shop near Tacoma Sunday morning.

In an interview, the city’s interim police chief, John Diaz, said a Seattle officer had been patrolling a working-class neighborhood in south Seattle around 2:45 a.m. when he came across an empty car on the street, its engine idling and its hood raised. The officer called in a report on the vehicle, which turned out to be stolen. He was sitting in his patrol cruiser, writing up paperwork, when he saw Mr. Clemmons approaching from behind.

The officer, a seven-year veteran, recognized Mr. Clemmons “immediately,” Mr. Diaz said, and noticed that the suspect was trying to pull something from one of his pockets. He ordered Mr. Clemmons to put his hands up, but he refused and began to move away from the officer. The officer shot at least twice, Mr. Diaz said. Mr. Clemmons was pronounced dead at the scene.
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Little Boots

Captain Crazy Now Leader of Australian Opposition

Tony Abbott is the new leader of the Liberal Party after ousting Malcolm Turnbull by just one vote in a leadership vote today.

Mr Abbott won the final vote against Malcolm Turnbull by 42 votes to 41 after challenger Joe Hockey was knocked out in an earlier vote between all three candidates.

Mr Hockey was knocked out in the first round of voting when he got 23 votes to Mr Turnbull's 26 and Mr Abbott's 35.

Julie Bishop will stay on as deputy leader, after being unopposed for her position.
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As much as I hate the Liberals, this result is actually depressing as it's basically saying goodbye to the ETS and goodbye to an effective opposition.
Akuma River

And so it ends - Suspect who killed 4 cops shot to death stealing a car (he had a gun)

Lakewood police shooting suspect killed by Seattle police officer in South Seattle early this morning
Maurice Clemmons, the suspect wanted in the slaying of four Lakewood police officers, was shot and killed in South Seattle early this morning.

Maurice Clemmons, the suspect wanted in the slaying of four Lakewood police officers, was shot and killed in South Seattle early this morning by a Seattle police officer making a routine check of a stolen car.

The shooting occurred about the same time as Pierce County sheriff's detectives took into custody a man believed to have acted as a getaway driver in Sunday's slayings of the Lakewood officers. Police also booked four people into jail on suspicion of providing assistance to Clemmons, said sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer.

Several other people also will be taken into custody for helping Clemmons, Troyer said.

Clemmons, who was armed with a handgun taken from one of the officers he is accused of killing, was shot in the 4400 block of South Kenyon Street during a confrontation with a South Precinct patrol officer, police officials said. He refused commands to stop and was shot by the officer about 2:45 a.m., the officials said.

Troyer said Clemmons had an older wound to his stomach believed to be the result of a gunshot fired by one of the Lakewood officers killed Sunday. Troyer said he was surprised Clemmons survived that wound.
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Relevant Icon is Relevant

Fox News Distorts CBO Report: Health Care Reform ‘Likely Won’t Bring Private Premiums Down’

This morning, Fox News ran a chyron alleging that the new Congressional Budget Office report on premiums concluded that the Senate health care bill won’t lower health care premiums:


The report actually concluded the opposite — that, on average, premiums would substantially decrease for the majority of Americans purchasing coverage in the individual market and maintain or lower premiums in the small and large employer markets. In fact, almost all of the leads in today’s newspapers get it right:
– “As the Senate opened debate Monday on a landmark plan to overhaul the nation’s health-care system, congressional budget analysts said the measure would leave premiums unchanged or slightly lower for the vast majority of Americans, contradicting assertions by the insurance industry that the average family’s coverage would rise by thousands of dollars if the proposal became law.” [WP, 11/30/2009]

– “The Congressional Budget Office said Monday that the Senate health bill could significantly reduce costs for many people who buy health insurance on their own…” [NYT, 11/30/2009]

– “On average, 134 million Americans insured through large employers will see no rise in premiums and may pay 3 percent less than they would if Congress failed to pass a health-care overhaul plan, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said yesterday. Subsidies also will lower costs as much as 59 percent for 18 million people buying their own insurance.” [Bloomberg, 12/1/2009]
Of course, the unchanged or slightly-reduced premiums come “in addition to the higher quality benefits that those in the exchange will receive.”

Fizzy Good Make Feel Nice

Same Sex Marriage Passes D.C. Council, 11-2

Same-Sex Marriage Passes D.C. Council, 11-2

No big surprises in the first D.C. Council vote on legalizing same-sex marriage: the Council today voted 11-2 to approve the "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009," with Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) and Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) the only dissenters.

The historic legislation still needs to pass a second vote in the Council in the next month, at which point it will be sent to D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty for his signature. Fenty has promised he will sign the bill.

During a brief debate period before the vote, David Catania (I-At large), the bill's champion, remarked that when he first joined the Council in 1997, he never imagined that he would see the day when the body would take up such legislation.

Barry was perhaps the only vote in question today. While in the past the Ward 8 Council member has promised to support same-sex marriage, earlier this year Barry flip-flopped on the issue and voted against recognizing gay marriages that are performed legally in other states.

"The African American community has much different views on this issue," Barry said today, noting that he would have preferred to see a ballot initiative on gay marriage.

In voting for the bill today, the Council also sent a firm message to the Washington Archdiocese, which has threatened to stop providing services inside the District of Columbia through its Catholic Charities group should the bill pass as it's currently written. Ward 6's Tommy Wells made a point of listing other religious groups that already provide services in D.C. that could step in to fill the gap.

≈ gheys; everywhere
  • schmiss

( ゚ ヮ゚)

Jason Chaffetz: Bring home Afghan troops

Saying it’s time for Republicans to do more than “take pot shots at ACORN,” freshman Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz will call on President Barack Obama on Monday to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan.

Chaffetz’s push for a troop withdrawal — to be unveiled in a speech at the Hinckley Institute of Politics in Salt Lake City — runs counter to the position of House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio and other leading Republicans in Congress. But it also reflects the divisions within the conference about the question of Afghanistan. Chaffetz told POLITICO the issue “has been probably the most difficult one as a freshman in the minority.”

“So much of this is easy, black and white, but Afghanistan is very different and very difficult,” he said.

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I was really disappointed with Rachel last night as she gave this story about a minute and a half of coverage while making jokes about Chaffetz's suggestion earlier that Miss California could go into politics. I mean yeah, the guy is extremely conservative, but that's what makes this even more noteworthy. Really don't know why you would skim over this and then dedicate a whole segment to Tiger Woods (seriously, pundit people, ENOUGH WITH THAT STORY).

Anyway... you may also recognize Mr. Chaffetz from this classic Better Know a District.

And here's National Review's spin on the story if anyone cares.
the ring

Richmond gang rape suspects enter not guilty pleas

RICHMOND, CA (KGO) -- The six young men accused of gang raping a girl outside the Richmond High School homecoming dance were all in court Tuesday morning.
All six suspects entered not guilty pleas to various sex related felony charges.
Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom. The defendants appeared in orange jump suits behind a bullet proof glass enclosed barrier. Their friends and relatives packed the courtroom. One person was ejected for trying to communicate with a defendant, otherwise there was no other disturbance.
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S. Africa to treat all HIV-positive babies

New policy changes to take effect in April, president Jacob Zuma announces

PRETORIA, South Africa - South Africa will treat all HIV-positive babies and expand testing, the president announced Tuesday, a dramatic and eagerly awaited shift in a country that has more people living with HIV than any other.

President Jacob Zuma's speech on World AIDS Day was viewed as a definitive turning point for a nation where the previous administration distrusted drugs developed to keep AIDS patients alive and instead promoted garlic treatments. One Harvard study said that resulted in more than 300,000 premature deaths.

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(no subject)

From Michael Vick's involvement with dog fighting to Tony Gonzalez posing nude for an anti-fur ad, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals hasn't had trouble staying involved with sports.

After the death of Uga VII, the University of Georgia's bulldog mascot, PETA requested to Georgia Athletic Director Damon Evans that the school use either an animatronic or a costumed mascot.

"Like other dogs, bulldogs love to run and play, but their compromised respiratory system causes these playful animals to struggle for breath," wrote Desiree Acholla, the animal rights group's specialist in animals that are used in entertainment. "Poor ventilation and hot or humid weather can be deadly for a purebred bulldog."

Even if the university hasn't responded, there has already been plenty of reaction.

"I can assure the friendly, caring folks at PETA that very few, if any, dogs are treated better, or are more beloved, than Uga," wrote Matt Hayes of the Sporting News. "I can safely say that the UGA mascots live better, live larger, than a majority of Georgia fans."


Amanda Knox: As Sweet And Innocent As A Montmartre Housebreaker

Defense: Amanda Knox isn't a cold-blooded killer with a penchant for sordid, Cruel Intentions-style sex games! Rather, she's an adorable gamine who skips around Paris to a whimsical accordion score!

Just when you thought the Amanda Knox murder trial couldn't become anymore luridly bizarre, defense attorney Giulia Bongiorno went ahead and upped the ante. The prosecution, you'll recall, has made the case that the 22-year-old, in concert with ex-boyfriend Rafael Sollecito and friend Rudy Guede, murdered Knox's roommate, British student Meredith Kercher during a night of sinister debauchery in 2007. Bongiorno, however, paints a different picture. A candy-colored one! As UPI reports,

Bongiorno, in a blistering critique of the prosecution's case in the hotly debated trial, compared Knox to the naive character played by actress Audrey Tautou in the French film "Amelie," which Knox and Sollecito contend they were watching together the night Kercher was slain... "There is a more simple truth to Amanda," the Web site quoted Bongiorno as saying. "She looks at the world with eyes of Amelie: A naive, slightly extravagant, spontaneous young girl who is 60 percent imagination and 40 percent reality."

Of course, this is largely apiece with the embattled case, in which Knox has been treated, always, as a decidedly female killer. Her demeanor and appearance - viewed by some as preternaturally calm and cheerful - have been criticized. Certainly, presenting the young woman as a cheerful naif would be a much more attractive explanation for behaviors like sporting "All You Need Is Love" tees, going on lingerie-shopping sprees, doing cartwheels, and riffing on rabbit shaped sex toys, then the sociopathic callousness the prosecution has suggested. Coverage of the case, and of Knox, has always been aggressively pink-hued. The Daily Mail, that arbiter of taste, quickly took up the attractive student's MySpace nickname, "Foxy Knoxy" and described her as, for starters, as "like a Hollywood diva sashaying along the red carpet."

If the prosecution has its way, she's what the Guardian termed "a manipulative femme fatale who helped to kill her friend in an orgiastic sex game" - the ultimate villainness out of B-movies. If the defense is to be believed, she's instead the ingenue. It makes us wish, not for the first time, for some more nuanced female characters - and a swift end to the sensationalistic tragedy.


It's official: Comcast buys controlling interest in NBC Uni from GE

NEW YORK - Comcast and General Electric Co. agreed to a deal under which Comcast will take a 51 percent share of NBC Universal, CNBC's David Faber reported, citing sources close to the situation.
"There's nothing left but to process paper," Faber said a source told him, adding that the two companies would announce the agreement on Thursday.

The news comes hours after GE agreed to pay reportedly $5.8 billion to buy out the 20 percent remaining portion of NBC Universal it doesn't already own from French media conglomerate Vivendi SA.
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{default} this is how I roll

Ask Amy To Rape Victim: "First, You Were A Victim Of Your Own Awful Judgment"

In her latest column, advice columnist Amy Dickinson says she hopes a letter from one of her readers "will be posted on college bulletin boards everywhere." After reading Dickinson's advice for said reader, I sincerely hope this isn't the case.

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Original victim-blaming column post

I first saw this being mentioned on the flist and wanted to spread the message. You can email Amy Dickinson for feedback at or you can find her at her Twitter account.
  • Current Mood

Michael Steele Takes "Purity Test" As Sneaky Personal Attack: Paranoia or Just Stupid?

GOP Purity Test Designed To 'Stick It' To Steele: Ally

An ally of Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele says that a "purity test" suggested for the party platform is just
a publicity stunt orchestrated by his political opponents.

"You've got a few backbenchers who are unhappy," Shawn Steel, an RNC member from California, told CNN. "They don't have the power they once had under the previous chairman, and that's what motivating this. This is an attempt to stick it to Chairman Steele by the losers."

The resolution being proposed would demand that candidates adhere to ten core principles or lose party backing. Both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush would have failed.

On Tuesday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) became the latest Republican leader to come out against the resolution.

"I think the more people look at that, the more they realize that's not a good idea," Cornyn said. "Republicans have always been the party of grassroots, not of top-down command and control. I think we ought to have these fights about what the republican party represents in republican primaries, and nominate the strongest candidates to win in November."

Michele Bachmann Supports Free Market, Homeless People Not Real Americans Anyway. Karma Says Hello.

Bachmann’s district continues to lead state in foreclosures

In 2008, Rep. Michele Bachmann’s district had the highest number of foreclosures in Minnesota and the highest rate of foreclosures. Now, as 2009 draws to a close, that trend continues. According to new data from HousingLink and county sheriffs’ offices, the Sixth Congressional District is being disproportionately impacted by the foreclosure crisis despite its representative’s reticence to vote for foreclosure relief legislation.

Bachmann’s district had 1,097 foreclosures in July, August and September of 2009, the highest in the state and almost three times as many as Rep. Tim Walz’s district, which had the state’s lowest number of foreclosures, at 396.

As the Minnesota Independent noted in April, the second-term Republican voted against every major piece of foreclosure-relief legislation brought before the House:
Bachmann voted against five key foreclosure relief bills, including the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, which would set standards for mortgages and reduce predatory lending, and the Neighborhood Stabilization Act, which would provide funds for buying and rehabilitating foreclosed properties in affected neighborhoods. She also opposed the Expanding American Homeownership Act, which allows more people to qualify for FHA-backed mortgages, and the Expand and Preserve Home Ownership Through Counseling Act, which aims to improve financial literacy. Bachmann additionally voted against the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, a law signed by President Bush that contained many provisions to assist struggling homeowners and also the only one of the bills to become law.
And since April, she successfully spearheaded an effort to strip the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) of Housing and Urban Development funds aimed at preventing foreclosures in low and middle income neighborhoods.

Bachmann did, however, cosponsor a bill “to direct the Architect of the Capitol to acquire and place a historical plaque to be permanently displayed in National Statuary Hall recognizing the seven decades of Christian church services being held in the Capitol from 1800 to 1868, which included attendees James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.”

Here’s a breakdown of foreclosures by Congressional district for the 3rd quarter of 2009:


Bachmann’s office has not responded to the Minnesota Independent’s request for comment.

Students Respond to Westboro Baptist Church Protestors

Brookline High students answer anti-gay protestors

Brookline High School students stayed after school Tuesday to counter the message of an anti-gay and anti-Jewish protest staged by Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church.

By Brock Parker, Globe Correspondent

Holding up signs and singing songs, hundreds of Brookline High School students all but drowned out the message of a group of anti-gay and anti-Jewish protestors outside the school Tuesday afternoon.

Superintendent of Schools William Lupini said he wished the protestors would “go away,” but he said he liked seeing the way Brookline High School students reacted to the protest.

“We’re pretty proud about how the kids responded to this,” Lupini said.

The high school students gathered at the front of the school to counter the protest of a half-dozen representatives from Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church at about 3 p.m.

The church members held up sings saying “God hates Jews” and “God hates fags” and chanting to the tune of Christmas songs. The group also staged protests in Boston Tuesday.

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