December 2nd, 2009

God //

Harlem Gospel Choir nixes Glenn Beck film role over finances, not politics, it says


The Harlem Gospel Choir has backed out of a holiday performance with controversial conservative talk-show host Glenn Beck, the Daily News has learned.

The famous choir, which has performed for Nelson Mandela and Pope John Paul II, was set to appear in the simulcast film of Beck's novel "The Christmas Sweater - A Return to Redemption," which opens Thursday in theaters nationwide.

The choir canceled the appearance Monday, citing financial reasons.

James Rucker, executive director of Color for Change - which has helped persuade more than 80 advertisers to ditch Beck's show - said the group did an about-face after he called the choir.

"We wanted to make sure they understood who Beck was," Rucker said. "We believe their mission is about spreading the Gospel and and promoting harmony, and we thought Beck was the antithesis of that."

Rucker said the choir's director, Allen Bailey, was hesitant at first.

"They said they didn't know about Glenn Beck," Rucker said. "Their first reaction was, 'Maybe he's a redeemed man.'"

Rucker sent the choir excerpts from some of Beck's shows, including one where he said President Obama "has a deep-seated hatred for white people."

Anna Bailey, the choir's manager, said the decision to pull out was purely financial.

"I had to gracefully back out," she said. "There wasn't enough money to pay our agent's commission. "

Bailey said the choir does not play politics, and the group was unaware that critics consider Beck racist.

"We don't take a political stance," she said. "This is America. Glenn Beck can believe and say what he believes. He has a good forum for him to do that and God bless that. It was just a slight confusion when the booking was made."

Rucker insisted the decision was based on Beck's ideology.

"I think this whole matter makes them nervous," he said. "Who wants to be on the other side of Glenn Beck?"
Akuma River

The British Respond

I love reading how other nations think of our big political moments.

Barack Obama's Churchill moment
Leaders and war. This, really, is what history finally comes down to, is it not?

Leaders and war. This, really, is what history finally comes down to, is it not? Winston Churchill's statue was not put up in front of the Houses of Parliament to commemorate his tenure as chancellor of the exchequer, or his rather forgettable second go at No 10.

In the United States, the reputations of presidents who serve during wartime hang largely on how successfully they waged it. For better or worse, it's the first thing we look at.

In his speech to the American people, Barack Obama made his bid to become a president who will be remembered for the way he handled a war that was not originally his. The troop increase of 30,000, which will take the total number of US soldiers over 100,000 for the first time, is surely the most fateful decision of his presidency thus far, and its success or failure will go a long way toward determining his place in history.
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Akuma River

General: Hoorah let's go


US commander says it's time to take battle to Taliban
McChrystal follows Obama's West Point speech with pledge to better use Afghan troops and convince Taliban they can't win

US and Nato forces will move quickly to engage the Taliban with "greater vigour" following the unveiling of President Barack Obama's revamped Afghanistan strategy, the senior American commander in the country has said.

"Now is the time to go for it," General Stanley McChrystal told his senior commanders during a briefing at his Kabul headquarters this morning.

He said his aim was "to convince Taliban militants they cannot win" and allow them to reintegrate into Afghan society with "dignity and respect".

McChrystal said US and Nato forces will move rapidly to implement nationwide partnerships with Afghan security forces as part of a drive to fight the Taliban insurgency.
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Not for the tl;dr crowd.

Now let's see what wankage this post causes.
Akuma River

It's really about Pakistan

Between the Lines, an Expansion in Pakistan

WASHINGTON — President Obama focused his speech on Afghanistan. He left much unsaid about Pakistan, where the main terrorists he is targeting are located, but where he can send no troops.

Mr. Obama could not be very specific about his Pakistan strategy, his advisers conceded on Monday evening. American operations there are classified, most run by the Central Intelligence Agency. Any overt American presence would only fuel anti-Americanism in a country that reacts sharply to every missile strike against extremists that kills civilians as well, and that fears the United States is plotting to run its government and seize its nuclear weapons.

Yet quietly, Mr. Obama has authorized an expansion of the war in Pakistan as well — if only he can get a weak, divided, suspicious Pakistani government to agree to the terms.

In recent months, in addition to providing White House officials with classified assessments about Afghanistan, the C.I.A. delivered a plan for widening the campaign of strikes against militants by drone aircraft in Pakistan, sending additional spies there and securing a White House commitment to bulk up the C.I.A.’s budget for operations inside the country.
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Yes, the writer's name IS Charlie Brown.

Obama on Afghanistan: Great Speech, Smart Policies, Near-Impossible Task by: Charlie Brown

Charles J. Brown is Senior Fellow and Washington Director at the Institute for International Law and Human Rights and the host of Undiplomatic, a blog on the intersection of foreign policy, politics, and pop culture.
Let's not bury the lede here -- this was one of Obama's best speeches, and perhaps the most important foreign policy speech he'll deliver. He laid out a clear strategy, refuted the key arguments against his approach, and reminded everyone of why this is a war we must fight.

Equally importantly, he served notice to both Kabul and Islamabad that Bush's blank check strategy is over. And he did not pull punches when it came to acknowledging both governments' corruption and ineptitude.

To appreciate just how difficult the President's task was, permit me a few observations -- what I'll call cold hard realities -- about the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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barack eye

Regarding the infamous Shyan Mason quoted in the Richmond case...

MODS: This is an absolute emergency, and so this post absolutely has to go through. A person's livelihood is at stake, and though I share some blame in this for my journal (since edited), this community also shares some blame in regards to certain info posted. Please, let this through, it's hugely important.

If you recall the recent update regarding the Richmond, CA gang-rape case where the six suspects entered not guilty pleas, there was a HUGE uproar in regards to a rage-inducing, rape-victim blaming comment made by a Shyan Mason of Richmond, CA.

She said:

"As far as with the girl, I'm not saying she is a bad person, but I feel that there had to be something that attracted them if they did it -- I don't know,"

Understandably, people were upset. However, some people opted to try and find out more about this Shyan Mason, not just here, but across the net apparently. Leading folks to google her name and see if they could find her.

What turns up at the top of the search is a facebook for a Shyan Mason.


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Akuma River

Stupak the Sequel

I got this warning in my e-mail from Planned Parenthood.

The Stupak abortion coverage ban that passed the House of Representatives last month is headed for the Senate right now — and we urgently need your help.

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch and Democratic Senator Ben Nelson are planning to introduce an amendment to the Senate health care reform bill that is virtually identical to the Stupak amendment. With both Republican and Democratic support for this damaging amendment, it is entirely possible that the resulting health care reform legislation will eliminate access to private health insurance coverage of abortion for millions of women.

We cannot let that happen. We must stop them, and we need your help. Please, send a message to your senators right now.

Once you've sent your message, please don't stop there. As we saw during the vote in the House of Representatives, anti-choice groups will stop at nothing to influence the vote because their goal is to outlaw abortion, no questions asked. We can't afford to let up for even a moment. Everyone who cares about choice, health care, and women must speak up now.

Every day, uninsured women, men, and families visit Planned Parenthood health centers seeking care they can't get anywhere else, and they desperately need Congress to fix our broken system to ensure health care for all. However, eliminating choice for millions of women is a price we can't afford to pay for passing health reform.

The anti-choice Stupak ban in the House and now the proposed Hatch/Nelson ban in the Senate represent a huge step backward for women. If health care reform passes with this kind of amendment intact, it would be the most serious restriction of access to abortion coverage in a generation. I can't let that happen. I hope you can't, either.

Thank you for your action today to stop this aggressive attack on women's health and freedom. Together, we'll stop the U.S. Senate from caving to pressure from the far right. I'll keep you posted on what's next.

The Petition

CRU-man Jones confined to quarters

Scientist in climate change data row steps down

The research director at the centre of a row over climate change data said he would stand down from the post while there is an independent review.

Professor Phil Jones, director of the Norwich-based University of East Anglia's (UEA) Climatic Research Unit (CRU), has said he stands by his data.

Sceptics claim the e-mails, leaked after a UEA server was hacked into, showed data was being manipulated.

The hacking of the computer is being investigated by Norfolk Police.

The files stolen from the computer include documents, detailed data and private e-mails exchanged between leading climate scientists.

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Lol'd at "allegations by climate 'sceptics'". That stings.
The denialosphere is madly - and predictably - fapping fawning over this...

GOP's New Solution To The Economy: Tax Cuts AND Trickle-Down Economics!

Who Is Sitting At The GOP’s Economic Roundtable?

House Republicans, “promising not to be flat-footed on efforts to revive the economy,” are preparing what they’ve called a “one-two punch” this week, in an attempt to counter the jobs summit that is being held at the White House tomorrow. With the CBO report yesterday showing that the stimulus package — derided by Republicans for months — has saved or created between 600,000 and 1.6 million jobs, the GOP is trying to roll out a jobs plan that it can call its own.

The administration’s summit will feature “more than 100 business, union and nonprofit leaders and economists,” so House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has organized an parallel economic roundtable, to provide a platform “for economists who have a different perspective on how Obama’s agenda has affected the economy.”

So who is the GOP betting on to design policies adequate for combating the effects of the great recession? Mostly former Bush administration and McCain campaign staffers, who have advocated disastrous tax and budget policies. Here’s a rundown:
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But Minorities Are a 100 Times More Likely To Commit Voter Fraud! Look What Happened! We Have Obama!

Judge rejects RNC bid to end minority voter protections

A federal judge in New Jersey on Tuesday rejected an attempt by the Republican National Committee to end nearly three-decade-old restrictions on GOP "ballot security" programs that historically discriminated against minority voters.

In a ruling that extended the restrictions for at least another eight years, but also slightly narrowed the consent decree containing them, U.S. District Court Judge Dickinson Debevoise of Newark asserted that “voter intimidation presents an ongoing threat to the participation of minority individuals in the political process.”

The consent decree stems from a lawsuit brought in the early 1980s in New Jersey by the Democratic National Committee, which accused the Republican National Committee of suppressing minority voters under the guise of guarding against voter fraud, partly by challenging their registrations if mail sent to their residences was returned as undeliverable, and by stationing off-duty police around polling places in minority neighborhoods.

The resulting consent decree, which barred the RNC from launching any ballot security programs without prior court approval, was expanded in 1987 to cover the entire country.

But the RNC, in a motion filed with little fanfare the day before Barack Obama’s historic presidential election victory, argued that since the 1980s, the risk of fraud has increased, while the need for minority voter protection measures has decreased.

The DNC countered that the RNC was exaggerating the danger of voter fraud and said the potential for such fraud is outweighed by the risk of voter intimidation efforts by Republican groups, pointing to a recent decision by the New Jersey court that the RNC had engaged in illegal voter challenges as recently as the 2004 presidential election.

The RNC contended that the consent decree had been interpreted too broadly and made it tougher for Republicans to ensure an even electoral playing field. Plus, it said it had no incentive to intimidate minority voters, pointing to its own election of Michael Steele, who is African-American, as chairman, and asserting that Obama’s election meant existing voting rights laws would be adequate to protect minority voters without the decree.

They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!

Lou Dobbs: 'Who The Hell Does This President Think He Is?'

Former CNN host Lou Dobbs lashed out at President Obama on Tuesday for working on an international climate change treaty, suggesting it was a step toward monarchy and demanding, "Who the hell does this president think he is?"

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a long-time climate change denier, said the president was planning to commit the U.S. to emissions standards set by House legislation that is stalled in the Senate.

"Senator, this begs the question, if I may put it forward right now: Who the hell does this president think he is?" Dobbs said angrily.

"I don't know, because you can't do that," Inhofe responded. "And I think it's certainly disingenuous to mislead countries into thinking that a president is -- you know, this is not a kingdom, He's not able to do that."

"Not yet!" Dobbs cut in.


In reality, President Obama is merely planning to pledge a provisional target -- "the first time in more than a decade that an American administration has offered even a tentative promise to reduce production of climate-altering gases."


Psst, Lou? He's the PRESIDENT. Suck it up, Sunshine.

Macro credit to [info]ladypolitik

Obama Spock Comparison 'A Compliment To Him And To The Character': Leonard Nimoy

WASHINGTON — He shows a fascination with science, an all-too deliberate decision-making demeanor, an adherence to logic and some pretty, ahem, prominent ears.

They all add up to a quite logical conclusion, at least for "Star Trek" fans: Barack Obama is Washington's Mr. Spock, the chief science officer for the ship of state.

"I guess it's somewhat unusual for a politician to be so precise, logical, in his thought process," actor Leonard Nimoy, who has portrayed Spock for more than 40 years, told The Associated Press in an e-mail interview. "The comparison to Spock is, in my opinion, a compliment to him and to the character."

Until now.

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Macro credit to [info]charterzard

San Diego Has Over 2,000 Untested Kits

CBS News has learned that the San Diego Police Department has more than 2,000 untested rape kits in storage that have not been sent to the city’s crime lab.

A CBS News investigation uncovered thousands of rape kits nationwide that had never been sent to crime labs and thousands more waiting to be tested in city and state laboratories.

“The San Diego Police Department has a remarkably good sex crimes unit, so if there’s any chance that testing a kit could lead to a successful prosecution then we test it,” said Michael Grubb, San Diego PD Crime Lab Manager. According to Grubb, the department has 2,065 rape kits in storage that were never sent to the crime lab.

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  • Current Mood

Another case of soldier-on-soldier violence. :(

2 NY soldiers stabbed to death, a 3rd in custody

Associated Press Writer

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A Fort Drum soldier was arrested at a hotel in southern Ohio early Wednesday on a warrant charging him in the stabbing deaths of two fellow servicemen at an apartment near the military post in northern New York.

The bodies of Waide James, 20, and Diego Valbuena, 23, each with multiple stab wounds, were found Tuesday morning in an apartment complex housing mostly military families in Evans Mills near the post's main entrance. Fort Drum is the 10th Mountain Division's home base.

A warrant was issued charging Joshua Hunter, 20, with two counts of second-degree murder, county prosecutor Cindy Intschert said at a news conference. Based on a tip provided by New York authorities, Hunter was arrested at a hotel in Wheelersburg, Ohio, at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, said Capt. David Hall of the Scioto County Sheriff's Office.

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The first time this sort of thing happened, it was tragic and disturbing. Now, I think it's also an incontrovertible sign that we're not paying enough attention to something important in our military -- whether it's initial psychological screening or giving soldiers the mental health assistance they need. At least conservative pundits won't be able to jizz themselves about Muslims this time.

Also, this is my first post, so let me know if there are any problems.
  • Current Mood
Christian Bale

Gays need to stop stuffin’ it down Utah senator’s throat

While he has the right to his opinion, Senator Buttars probably could have come up with a better way to tell gay rights activists where they could ram their agenda.

Utah state Sen. Chris Buttars said: “I don’t mind gays. I just don’t want ’em stuffin’ it down my throat all the time, and certainly in my kid’s face.”

The Utah Republican has been a staunch opponent of LGBT rights — until now. He authored the state’s anti-marriage law. But certainly he wouldn’t go against the wishes of the Mormon church.

Because the Mormon church has now supported protection for gays and lesbians in housing and employment in Salt Lake City, the senator might support those rights statewide. He may even sponsor the bill.

' jules
  • schmiss

ε=ε=ε=┌(;*´Д`)ノ oh hai.

Hello ontd_political!

A few days ago I posted Foreign Policy's list of the year's top thinkers. Several people suggested in the comments that they could make a better list. And you know what, maybe they're right! So, starting next week, we are going to do this thang.

Who do you think were the most influential global figures of the year? Despite the America-centricness of the banner, people from all over the globe are eligible for our list, and we will be asking everyone to leave a blurb - so being "obscure" shouldn't keep the rest of the community from recognizing each nominee's importance.

So get your thinking caps on! The only criteria are that your nominations must be real people (sorry Doctor Who fans) & notable on a major scale (I doubt we'll have a problem here, but I have a few requisites just in case). Oh, and being a member of the community will automatically disqualify you, sorry afa_mom.

The tentative plan goes like this:

Dec. 2 -- Announcement post
Dec. 9 -- Nomination post
Dec. 16 -- Voting post
Dec. 23 -- Reminder to vote post
Dec. 30 -- Results post

As you can see: THIS IS NOT THE NOMINATION POST. It is a "get your nominations ready, eventually" post. ;P

If you would like to share any questions, suggestions, complaints, musings, manifestos, or heartfelt soliloquies, feel free to leave them here. Thank you for reading and have a pleasant evening!



Argentine leaders throw chairs, punches in public

(AP) BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentine lawmakers pushed, punched and threw chairs at each other during a raucous session to choose the president of a northern province's lower house.

At least 10 legislators were slightly injured during the chaotic scuffle in Chaco, 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) north of the capital, Buenos Aires.

Chaco Gov. Jorge Capitanich said he regrets the violence, which broke out when officials from the governing party tried to stop opposition lawmakers from entering a session of the legislature.

Legislators were seen on local television hurling plastic chairs and pushing and shouting at each other.


Awwww, so maybe nobody here really cares about Chaco politics, but that's just priceless.

ETA: more karate politicians, courtesy of


FINAL ETA: I'd like to apologize for causing wank. It was not my intent, and I didn't realize how truly infamatory my commentary was until the comments started rolling in, and I dug myself a new hole trying to comment back. I'm still a little new at this, and I promise to think my words more clearly in the future.

Tried to find an article for this. Sorry, dears. But I have a MESS of sources!

Source at ESPN

Here's a YouTube link in case the ESPN play doesn't work for you. Embedding disabled:

Here's a quick description from elsewhere:

ESPN's "Outside the Lines" airs Sunday, at 9 a.m.

This Sunday, from ESPN, OTL features:

Mackenzie McCollum looked forward to her senior season as the starting setter on the Arlington Heights (Ft. Worth, Texas) High School volleyball team, but things changed dramatically when the school discovered she was pregnant.

After she decided to keep the baby and continue to play volleyball, she was ridiculed by some students.

She learned her coach revealed her condition to the team against her wishes, and saw a significant drop in playing time, which she claims was because of her pregnancy.

The U.S. Department of Education has opened an investigation into allegations the school district discriminated against McCollum, which would be a violation of Title IX. Paula Lavigne reports on the policies pertaining to a pregnant high school athlete.

“She said, 'I'll just get an abortion. I'll just end it. This'll be over. Why are they doing this to me? Why is this happening?’” -- Barbara Horton, Mackenzie’s mother, about the ordeal leading her daughter to consider terminating her pregnancy

“One of the other players was really concerned and she's like, ‘Well is she hurt? Did she get sick?’ And our coach is just like, ‘No, she's pregnant.’ And I just kind of stopped. I was just like, ‘Did he just say that?’” -- Whittney Davis, Mackenzie's friend and teammate, recalling the team meeting when their coach revealed Mackenzie’s condition

“I felt like this (volleyball) was the one thing that I could count on, that everything would be OK, and everything would work out. And then that, too, was taken away, so it made me feel like I was kind of left with nothing to really count on.” -- Mackenzie McCollum, feeling her playing time was cut because she was pregnant.

Source, also with ESPN imbed


WHERE do I begin?

Okay, we'll take the coach outing her as wrong and bad and fail.

But otherwise...




Its protecting the stupid, is what it is!

NO. We do NOT need to spend taxpayer money on fighting PREGNANT TEEN "DISCRIMINATION." Around the 7:35 mark the mother starts yammering about her goal to change school policy to accommodate pregnant athletes.





Pregnant and teen should not go together. Pregnant teen athlete is a disaster waiting to happen.

Look at me. I can't even articulate!

I also eyeroll at her saying abortion went against her Christian beliefs.

Dear, you're pregnant. You're ALREADY AGAINST your Christian beliefs.

To that credit, though, abortion is still a highly personal decision, and she may just be carrying to term and adopting out. Its not relevant to the situation and wasn't discussed.

*waves hand* Have at it, I'll be in shortly once I calm down, and maybe other input will give me new ideas.

ETA: Once again, I want to mention that I AGREE THE COACH WAS WRONG.

I agree that pregnant woman AREN'T FRAGILE.

I don't think a 17 year old who is pregnant should be playing school sports where she is a liability, and could harm the baby.