December 11th, 2009

Akuma River

Fuck you, we got ours and we want Obama WATERLOO!


GOP Senator: We Will Unanimously Oppose Newest Health Care Compromise

Senate Republicans predicted on Wednesday that the 40 members of their caucus would unanimously oppose health care reform despite changes made by Democratic leadership to make the product more palatable to conservatives.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) told the Huffington Post that he did not think the dropping of a public option for insurance coverage from the bill would be enough for Democrats to win even the support of moderate Republican Senators Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins, both of Maine.
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My mother would disagree. My s-dad's insurance is currently trying to knock her off since she has a different last name than him and is requiring marriage certificate, join bank statement, notarized documentation and some other stuff for her to keep her coverage. She just turned 61. I think she would like to pay in to the medicare plan. So would my s-dad he is 55 and has diabetes.
Akuma River

The New Democrats = Big Banks Best Friends Forever

Bank-Friendly Dems Extract Big Win For Wall Street

The compromise reached late Wednesday between pro-reform House Democrats and the banker-friendly wing of the party could significantly weaken consumer protection in states where lawmakers support tougher rules against tactics such as predatory lending and excessive ATM fees than historically submissive federal regulators.

Melissa Bean of Illinois and her fellow members of the New Democrat Coalition -- who have collectively accepted massive amounts of money from the financial services industry since 2008 -- temporarily blocked the landmark financial regulatory reform bill from hitting the House floor on Wednesday.

At issue was whether federal regulations should be a floor or a ceiling for consumer protection in the states, particularly as they affect big national banks like JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
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Well that settles that. I'm done with banks. I have one bank (state) and the rest are CU's. Credit Unions FTW!
Akuma River

More Facebook privacy issues

Privacy advocates slam Facebook change

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Privacy advocates slammed revamped Facebook privacy controls on Thursday, saying the change masks a move to get members to expose more information online.

"These new privacy changes aren't so great for privacy," said Nicole Ozer, northern California technology and civil liberties policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) rights group.

"It's great that 350 million people are being asked to think about privacy, but if what Facebook says is true about giving people more control over their information, they have a lot more work to do."

Online rights organization Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) labeled aspects of Facebook's privacy change "downright ugly."
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Politics: No one is Illegal

Rep. Luis Gutierrez renewing push for immigration reform Tuesday

"Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity" to be Introduced December 15

(Washington D.C.) On Tuesday, December 15, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) will introduce new legislation, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), to the U.S. House of Representatives. Gutierrez will be joined by members of many different faiths and backgrounds, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Black Caucus, Asian Pacific American Caucus and Progressive Caucus.

Who: Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-4), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force
Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-12), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-11), Whip of the Congressional Black Caucus
Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15), Chair of Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (CA-6), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus
Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32)
Rep. Joseph Crowley (NY-7)
Rep. Pedro R. Pierluisi (PR-At large)
Rep. Jared Polis (CO-2)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-9)
Rep. Jose E. Serrano (NY-16)
Other Members of Congress

What: Introduction of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation

When: 12:30 pm, Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Where: Room 2220, Rayburn House Office Building

"We have waited patiently for a workable solution to our immigration crisis to be taken up by this Congress and our President," said Rep. Gutierrez. "The time for waiting is over. This bill will be presented before Congress recesses for the holidays so that there is no excuse for inaction in the New Year. It is the product of months of collaboration with civil rights advocates, labor organizations, and members of Congress. It is an answer to too many years of pain --mothers separated from their children, workers exploited and undermined security at the border-- all caused at the hands of a broken immigration system. This bill says 'enough,' and presents a solution to our broken system that we as a nation of immigrants can be proud of."


Four men face charges over teen's suicide

I thought this was an interesting case, in Victoria, Australia. By the sounds of it, these guys should face charges.

THREE Melbourne men implicated in the physical and emotional bullying of a teenage waitress - who later committed suicide - have pleaded guilty to workplace charges.

An inquest into the death of Brodie Rae Constance Panlock, 19, heard she was treated in an ''extremely aggressive and intimidating'' manner at the popular Cafe Vamp in Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn.

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' jules
  • schmiss

Shenanigans Friday: December 11, 2009.

"The LOLitical and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet."--Mark Twain
Please exploit these resources:
  • macro blanks: browse by ALBUMS
  • macro blanks: browse by TAGS
  • ROFLBOT (for your caption needs)
MOAR Picture Sources:

by ladypolitik

Speshul Note: If you haven't, please check out the last few pages of the Most Influential nomination post! There are still a lot of noteworthy people who don't yet have 5 votes.

Three Reasons to Be Happy About the Reported Deal by Senate Democrats on Health Care

According to reports yesterday, a group of 10 Democratic senators, five centrists and five progressives, has reached a deal to allow health care reform legislation to proceed. We don't know much about the compromise yet, as the senators aren't talking about it pending receiving cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. What seems to be the basic deal, though, is that the public option won't be a part of the legislation, but, instead, the bill will include an expansion of Medicaid and an opportunity for those 55 to 64 to buy into Medicare.

Many are lamenting the demise of the public option, but I thought of three things about the reported deal that actually make me happy:

1) Finally, the Democrats figured out that the power to make a deal lies with them, not with the Republicans. Back in September, I begged the Democrats to forget about the Republicans (who were only pretending to engage as a way of stalling progress), caucus, and come to a compromise that all 58 Democrats and the two independents could support. I have criticized the Democrats for failing to properly use the power of their majority in Congress and the mandate from an overwhelming victory last November, so it's only right I give them their props for finally taking charge.

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I'm not convinced as yet, but if this is a better way to eventually open the door to single payer for everyone, then it might be the best possible way to go.

The Appalachian Trail Saga Continues- Jenny Sanford Files For Divorce!

South Carolina's first lady, a former Wall Street vice president who helped launch her husband's political career, filed for divorce Friday more than five months after his tearful public confession of an affair with an Argentine woman.

"This came after many unsuccessful efforts at reconciliation, yet I am still dedicated to keeping the process that lies ahead peaceful for our family," Jenny Sanford said in a statement.

A spokesman for her husband, Gov. Mark Sanford, had no immediate comment. The divorce complaint was filed in Charleston County Family Court.

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Macros relating to this mess would be much appreciated!
Ani: Amazon Warrior

UN talks: Rich nations must make big emission cuts

COPENHAGEN --Wealthy nations would commit to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade, and the world should strive to nearly eliminate them -- or at least cut them in half -- by 2050 under a draft text circulated Friday at the U.N. climate talks.

The draft pulled together the main elements of a global pact that 192 nations have been negotiating for two years, but left numbers on financing and cutting greenhouse gas emissions -- perhaps the most contentious bargaining issues -- for world leaders to hammer out next week.

The draft accord said all countries together should reduce emissions by 50 percent to 95 percent by 2050, and rich countries should cut emissions by 25 percent to 40 percent by 2020, in both cases using 1990 as the baseline year.

It was meant to focus attention on the broad goals the world must achieve to avoid irreversible change in climate that scientists say could bring many species to extinction and cause upheavals in many parts of the Earth.

"It's time to begin to focus on the big picture," said Yvo de Boer, the top U.N. climate official. "The serious discussion on finance and targets has begun."

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Cardassian guuurl

Blond "Angel of Death" on trial in Argentina

story by AP, headline from AFP

BUENOS AIRES — A former navy captain, dubbed the Blond Angel of Death, went on trial here Friday for the kidnap and murder of two French nuns during Argentina's military dictatorship.

Alfredo Astiz, 58, is charged along with 18 other soldiers of carrying out the killings in the notorious Naval Mechanics School, which became a symbol of the violence of the 1976-1983 dictatorship.

He entered the courtroom Thursday dressed in jeans and blue sweater, eschewing the suits worn by his co-defendants and touting a book about the dictatorship entitled "Kill Again."

Women belonging to the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, a group of mothers whose children disappeared during the dictatorship, covered their heads in unison with the white cloths associated with their movement when Astiz entered the court.

Among the most infamous crimes Astiz is accused of is the murder of nuns Alice Domon and Leonie Duquet, who were kidnapped on December 8 and 10, 1977.

Astiz is also accused of a role in the disappearance of dozens of others, including the founder of the Mothers of the Plaza movement, Azucena Villaflor, a Swedish adolescent and scores of political dissidents.

He has garnered international notoriety for his role in Argentina's so-called "dirty war" against leftist dissidents, and was sentenced in absentia to life in prison by a French court in 1990 and by an Italian court in 2007.

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I don't have much commentary about this except to say that there was rejoicing in our house when we read it in the paper. My mother worked to help dissidents during and bring justice after the Dirty War.
Akuma River

Parker leading in the Houston Mayor Polls - VOTE TOMORROW!!!


Gay Houston Mayor Candidate Annise Parker Ahead In Polls

(AP) HOUSTON -- Houston's openly gay city controller has pulled ahead in the race to be mayor of the nation's fourth largest city, just two days before a runoff election, according to a new poll.

It's believed if Annise Parker wins Saturday's runoff, it would make Houston the nation's largest city with an openly gay mayor.

Parker leads former city attorney Gene Locke 49 percent to 36 percent, according to a poll released Thursday by Rice University in Houston.

Parker has never made her sexual orientation a secret or a focal point during her six years on the City Council and the last six years as controller.

But it took a more prominent role in the mayor's race in the weeks leading up to the runoff as anti-gay activists and conservative religious groups have endorsed Locke and sent out mailers condemning Parker's "homosexual behavior."
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Tea Party Activists To Rep. Perriello: Move Closer To Where We're Protesting

In other fringe movement news, Tea Party activists are making new demands of one of their favorite targets, Representative Tom Perriello (D-Va.): he needs to move his district office somewhere more convenient for the people who choose to protest him constantly, because it's their chief means of funemployment.

From The Hill:
A Christian civil liberties organization on Thursday asked centrist Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello (D) to move his home district office to a location more favorable to protesters. The Rutherford Institute, which was founded by conservative constitutional lawyer John W. Whitehead, penned a letter to the freshman Perriello citing the concerns of a local tea party group and the University of Virginia College Republicans that the location of his Charlottesville office interferes with their right to protest there.
"Unfortunately, it is your choice of office location that has hindered the ability of citizens to effectively communicate concerning issues of the utmost importance to you, Congress and the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia," wrote Whitehead.

Basically, what's going on here is that Perriello's office is in the Glass Building, in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, which houses "several private businesses," all of which apparently share a common parking lot with limited space. And while Perriello's office has "hosted tea party protesters and other concerned constituents inside the office," they'll be considered trespassers if they start carrying on in the parking lot. It's a bit striking to hear that people who were once all het up to burn Periello in effigy are now whining about the inadequacies of the on-site parking lot, but everybody needs a handout, I guess! And in this case, Perriello needs to be more accomodating so that people can harangue him, forever.

Anyway, Perriello has signed a lease to occupy the office in the Glass Building until January 2011, so, suck it, I guess?

Right-wing activists demand that Rep. Periello move office to make protesting him easier. [ThinkProgress]



"Anyway, Perriello has signed a lease to occupy the office in the Glass Building
until January 2011, so, suck it, I guess?"

Ani: Amazon Warrior

Woman, 98, charged with murdering 100-year-old roommate

A grand jury indicted a 98-year-old woman on a second-degree-murder charge for allegedly killing her 100-year-old roommate at a nursing home in Dartmouth.

Laura Lundquist has been charged with strangling Elizabeth Barrow in the Brandon Woods Nursing Home on Sept. 24. Lundquist was sent today to Taunton State Hospital for a competency evaluation prior to being arraigned.

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toronto, le metro, ossington

If "Sex on a Streetcar" were a cocktail, what would it contain?

TTC rejects Ashley Madison ads, despite fare-subsidy offer

[TTC = Toronto Transit Commission = Toronto's public transit agency.]

The TTC has rejected a bid by the Ashley Madison Agency, a website that promotes adultery, to wrap a streetcar with ads promoting the controversial site, along with the slogan, “Life is short. Have an affair.”

The commission’s advertising review committee, comprising six city councillors, made the decision this afternoon after being made aware of the potential ad campaign by the TTC’s ad agency, CBS Outdoor.

“This is an issue about community standards,” said Councillor Joe Mihevc, a TTC commissioner. “We are, at the end of the day, a public body and the citizens of Toronto own the TTC. In this case, the reason why I voted not to accept the ads was because they violate a basic community standard around cheating.”

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twirl / noel

A transphobic article and a rebuttal

"No" to the notion of transgender
by Ronald Gold

What is transgender? Well, there are two sorts who seem to be covered by the name, the drag kings and queens so good at portraying cartoon imitations of straight people, and transsexuals, the folks who report that from an early age they've felt themselves trapped in the wrong bodies. Despite the equipment they were born with that belies their assertions, they say they are really men or really women.

What does it mean to be really a man or a woman? Since it's not about genitalia, it must be about personality, and what, one asks, is a male or a female personality? Even straight people nowadays concede that some men are the warm, loving type that used to be thought exclusive to women, and some women are the strong, action-oriented sort that used to be thought exclusive to men. And lesbians and gay men have always known that people of the same gender can be very different from each other. Isn't it true that those we form mated relationships with are always complementary - even polar opposites - to ourselves?

Let me state it categorically. There is no such thing as a male or female personality. Personality is not a function of gender.

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"Yes" to the reality of transgender
by Suzanne Clayton

Transgender: not a disease, but a normal variation on the human condition that most certainly exists.

What is transgender? It's more than just drag performers and transsexuals. It includes a wide range of people, including gender queer and crossdressers. Then again, maybe there's really no such thing as gender at all? Don't believe me? Well, follow this argument for a moment, and let's see where we come out.

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source 1
source 2

Posted because the first op-ed was written on Bilerico, the largest LGBTQ group blog around. It caused a lot of outrage that you can read on the front page and comments.

Sarah Palin Appears on ‘Tonight Show’

David Letterman has been all but begging Sarah Palin to grace his couch with a visit, but it was his competition, Conan O’Brien, that was granted the favor of a drop-in from the former vice-presidential candidate Friday night.

Ms. Palin made a surprise walk-on appearance with Mr. O’Brien on NBC’s “Tonight” show, as a counterpoint to a dramatic reading — complete with bongos — by the actor William Shatner, from her autobiography, “Going Rogue.”

The former Alaska governor walked out in front of a stunned and delighted audience and performed a dramatic reading of her own — also accompanied by bongos — from Mr. Shatner’s autobiography, “Up Till Now.”

She included passages dealing with Mr. Shatner’s days on the show “T.J. Hooker” and a reminiscence of the night he visited Johnny Carson and thought the host looked like Mr. Spock on the “Star Trek” episode when his brain fell out.


she was--dare i say--kind of funny

(no subject)

Turkey Bans Kurdish Party

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s constitutional court disbanded the only pro-Kurdish party in Parliament on Friday, a move that could threaten efforts to resolve the conflict with the Kurdish minority by peaceful means.

The court in Ankara ruled that the Democratic Society Party was undermining national unity and cooperating with the PKK, the Kurdish rebel group that has been fighting for autonomy in southeastern Turkey since the early 1980s.

The court ejected two party leaders from Parliament, including the party’s chairman, Ahmet Turk, and barred them and 35 other party members from politics for five years.

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- Source

When I was in Turkey we met with someone from the ministry of EU affairs and when we asked her why the Kurds couldn't just be recognized as a minority group and get minority rights status she kindly informed us that there are no Muslim minorities in Turkey.

Direct quote.

She explained, that's just what the constitution says. And this is why Turkey is never going to get into the EU. Which is a damn shame since they've been trying for 50 years and Romania and Bulgaria got in with all of their tomfoolery too. The Kurds are anything but angelic and obviously terrorism is never excusable, but Turkey's got to step it up and they're not. This is only going to cause some epic fail. When people get disillusioned with the political system's ability to bring substantial change, BAD THINGS HAPPEN. This is how the Kosovo Liberation Army got credence with the people there in the 90s.

Flail flail all of this upsets me what do you think ontd?

George and Barbara Bush: 'Let History Decide What We Got Right'

by David Baldacci

I first met George H.W. and Barbara Bush more than 10 years ago. She had sent me a letter introducing herself as a fan of my novels and asking me to speak at her annual literacy fundraiser. I said yes. She also invited me and my family to visit hers at Walker's Point, the Bushes' historic home in Kennebunkport, Maine. My wife, Michelle, and I were excited but nervous--we were especially worried that Collin, our then-2-year-old, would break a priceless family heirloom. So as soon as we entered their front door, Michelle assumed a defensive position in front of Collin. Mrs. Bush immediately put us at ease.

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