December 16th, 2009

Ani: Amazon Warrior

Colo. court: immigrants tax records are private

DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that authorities violated the constitutional and privacy rights of suspected illegal immigrants when they used tax returns to try and build hundreds of identity theft cases against them.

The ruling affirmed a decision by a Weld County district judge who suppressed evidence against one of the defendants. In that case, investigators raided a tax business that catered to Latinos in Greeley, an agricultural city on the northern plains of Colorado with a heavily Hispanic population.

The investigation, dubbed "Operation Numbers Game," marked the first and only time in the U.S. that authorities used tax returns, which are confidential under federal law, to prosecute suspected illegal immigrants.

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http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ipNICPEKvpkoWRGTZ98KeNtyXXKgD9CJB1MG0
kurt blaine intimacy

The GOP had at most 55 Senators during Bush's presidency (and they still got shit done)

by John Aravosis (DC) on 12/15/2009 11:17:00 AM

I've heard people say that it's not fair to criticize the Democrats for botching health care reform because the Democrats never truly had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Sure, they have 60 votes in principle, the argument goes, but with Lieberman, Nelson, Landrieu, and Bayh counted as four of those votes, it's not really a solid 60.

Perhaps. But then how was George Bush so effective in passing legislation during his presidency when he never had more than 55 Republicans in the Senate? In fact, during Bush's most effective years, from 2001 to 2005, the GOP had a grand total of 50, and then 51, Senators. The slimmest margin possible.

And look at what George Bush was able to accomplish in the Congress with fewer Senators than the Democrats have today:

- John Ashcroft nomination
- Iraq war resolution
- Repeated Iraq funding resolutions
- 2001 & 2003 tax cuts
- Patriot Act
- Alito
- John Roberts
- Medicare Part D

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Source: http://www.americablog.com/2009/12/gop-had-at-most-55-senators-during.html
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  • xerox78

Rwandan Parliament to Vote on Criminalizing Homosexuality this Week

http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/resourcecenter/1048.html

On December 16, 2009, the lower house of the Rwandan Parliament will hold its final debate on a draft revision of the penal code that will, for the first time, make homosexuality a crime in Rwanda. A vote on this draft code will occur before the end of the week. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has learned that the proposed Article 217 of the draft Penal Code Act will criminalize "[a]ny person who practices, encourages or sensitizes people of the same sex, to sexual relation or any sexual practice." If the Chamber of Deputies approves, the draft code will go before the Rwandan Senate most likely in early 2010.

Article 217 violates Rwandans' basic human rights and is contradictory to the Rwandan Constitution as well as various regional and international conventions. IGLHRC, the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), and Rwanda's Horizon Community Association (HOCA) will shortly issue a call to action to demand that the Rwandan Parliament withdraw this article. We urge the international community to act against this proposed law and support the equality, dignity, and privacy of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Rwanda.

This draft provision targeting LGBT people closely follows the introduction of a similar measure in neighboring Uganda, where the nation's parliament is currently debating an Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The proposed Ugandan law would prohibit all LGBT activism and organizing, would further criminalize consensual same-sex conduct between adults, which is already illegal in Uganda, and in some cases apply the death penalty.
' jules
  • schmiss

hobviously....



A bald man with a gray beard and tired eyes is sitting in his oversize Washington office, talking about the economy. He doesn't have a commanding presence. He isn't a mesmerizing speaker. He has none of the look-at-me swagger or listen-to-me charisma so common among men with oversize Washington offices. His arguments aren't partisan or ideological; they're methodical, grounded in data and the latest academic literature. When he doesn't know something, he doesn't bluster or bluff. He's professorial, which makes sense, because he spent most of his career as a professor.

He is not, in other words, a typical Beltway power broker. He's shy. He doesn't do the D.C. dinner-party circuit; he prefers to eat at home with his wife, who still makes him do the dishes and take out the trash. Then they do crosswords or read. Because Ben Bernanke is a nerd.

He just happens to be the most powerful nerd on the planet.

Bernanke is the 56-year-old chairman of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the U.S., the most important and least understood force shaping the American — and global — economy.
Those green bills featuring dead Presidents are labeled federal reserve note for a reason: the Fed controls the money supply. It is an independent government agency that conducts monetary policy, which means it sets short-term interest rates — which means it has immense influence over inflation, unemployment, the strength of the dollar and the strength of your wallet. And ever since global credit markets began imploding, its mild-mannered chairman has dramatically expanded those powers and reinvented the Fed.

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I CALLED IT
this is gonna cause so much butthurt, I love it.

and for anyone who actually reads, Bernanke's childhood = Friday Night Lights y/y
Pride & Prejudice

Vanessa George Jailed Indefinitely

A nursery worker who sexually abused children in her care and swapped indecent images over the internet has been jailed indeterminately.

Vanessa George, 39, from Plymouth, took photographs on her phone of her abusing toddlers at Little Ted's Nursery.

The judge said she would serve at least seven years for her crimes which "plumbed new depths of depravity".

Angela Allen, 39, from Nottingham, who was sent the images, was told she would serve at least five years. She also received an indeterminate sentence. Colin Blanchard, 39, from Rochdale, who forwarded the pictures to Allen after George sent them to him, will be sentenced at a later date.

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Source

Brb off to cuddle my baby sister.

Lieberman won't rule out run as Republican in 2012

Source: www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/12/15/lieberman.senate/index.html



WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat who sits with Democratic caucus, said Tuesday that he would not rule out running for re-election in 2012 as a Republican.

Lieberman angered his colleagues in the Democratic caucus this week by threatening to torpedo health care legislation if it contains a government-run public health insurance or an expansion of Medicare.

Lieberman said he wasn't sure which party, if any, he would represent in his next election.
"I like being an independent, so that's definitely a possibility," the Connecticut senator said. "But I'd say all options are open."

He called running as a Republican "unlikely" but added that he wouldn't "foreclose any possibility."

"I've reached the stage in my career where I'm not measuring every step I take based on how it's going to affect the next election," Lieberman said. "I think if you do that, you end up compromising the quality of your service."

In 2000, Lieberman was Al Gore's running mate when Democrats lost the closest presidential national election in U.S. history. Six years later, he was defeated in the Democratic primary and then ran as an independent to win re-election to the Senate.

Lieberman still sits with the Democratic caucus, which holds 60 seats in the 100-member Senate, the minimum amount necessary to overcome a filibuster.
That dynamic allowed Lieberman to assert his will in the health care debate by threatening to join a Republican filibuster if the health care bill contained the public option or Medicare expansion he opposes.
He acknowledged that his stance angered Democratic colleagues but said he acted on principle, not politics.
"I knew some of them were upset about positions I'd taken," Lieberman said. "But like each of them, I didn't get elected by telling my voters in Connecticut that I would follow the majority of my caucus even if I thought on some things they were wrong. We each have to do what we think is right."
Taking a stand in the polarized political environment means "a bunch of people will think you've done something great and a bunch of people will think you've done something awful," Lieberman said.

However, Lieberman's stance on the health care bill could prompt a backlash from liberal Democrats. He was criticized by liberal groups, and even his wife -- who formerly worked for a pharmaceutical company -- was targeted.

"I've done what I thought was right, but it's no fun to have your colleagues be angry at you," Lieberman said. "It's no fun to have your wife attacked. But, you know, you got to do what you think is right."

bg-fieldtrip

NATE SILVER: Why Progressives Are Batshit Crazy to Oppose the Senate Bill

Pick your subheadline:

a) It's time to stop being polite and start getting real.
b) Here's hoping a picture is worth 1,000 words.



Any questions?

OK, I imagine that there will be a few. Here's how I came up with these numbers.

Senate Bill. These estimates are straightforward -- they're taken directly from the CBO's report on premiums for people at different income levels. A family of four earning an income of $54,000 would pay $4,000 in premiums, and could expect to incur another $5,000 in out-of-pocket costs. The $4,000 premium represents a substantial discount, because the government is covering 72 percent of the premium -- meaning that the gross cost of the premium is $14,286, some $10,286 of which the government pays.

One caution: this reflects the situation before the public option was removed from the bill. But, provided that the subsidy schedule isn't changed as well, that shouldn't change these numbers much.

Status Quo. In 2009, the average premium for a family in the individual market was $6,328, according to the insurance lobbying group AHIP. However, this figure paints an optimistic picture for two reasons. Firstly, the average family size in the AHIP dataset is 3.03 people; for a family of four, that number would scale upward to $7,925, by my calculations. Secondly, the CBO's estimates are based on 2016 figures, not 2009, so to make an apples-to-apples comparison, we have to account for inflation. According to Kaiser, the average cost of health coverage has increased by about 8.7 percent annually over the past decade, and by 8.8 percent for family coverage. Let's scale that down slightly, assuming 7.5 annual inflation in premiums from 2009 through 2016 inclusive. That would bring the cost of the family's premium up by a nominal 66 percent, to $13,149. And remember: these are based on estimates of premiums provided by the insurance lobby. I have no particular reason to think that they're biased, but if they are, it's probably on the low side.

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Source

Okay, as pissed and frustrated as I've been over the last couple of weeks on this issue, Nate has managed to talk me down in a way no one else has. I still think the health care reform legislation is nowhere NEAR as strong as it should be, but he's made some good points here, and broken down the numbers into something that actually makes sense. Damn you, Nate Silver with your analysis and your geeky-hot good looks....damn you.

Hillary Clinton: The Most Pro-LGBT Secretary of State Ever

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been nothing short of a rock star when it comes to denouncing international homophobia. On September 11 this year, she made it a point to talk about how international gay rights are part of the Obama administration's human rights agenda. On World AIDS Day this year, she drew the connections between criminalization of homosexuality and the HIV pandemic. And just this week, Clinton blasted Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act, calling it out as a piece of legislation that would violate human rights and take away human dignity. Fierce advocate for gay rights? Yeah, there's one in the White House. But it might not be the one with the fancier desk and the oval-like office.

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What say you ONTD_P? Agree or Disagree?
mariahbreakdown

Feingold: Blame Obama, Not Lieberman, for watered-down healthcare

Liberals have blamed Lieberman, some publicly and many privately, for forcing Reid to drop the public option, which for many liberals had been a crucial piece of reform.

But most Democratic senators have been careful not to criticize the lawmaker, whose support is necessary to reach the 60 votes Democrats need to pass the bill.

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), among the most vocal supporters of the public option, said it would be unfair to blame Lieberman for its apparent demise. Feingold said that responsibility ultimately rests with President Barack Obama and he could have insisted on a higher standard for the legislation.

“This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don’t think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth,” said Feingold. “I think they could have been higher. I certainly think a stronger bill would have been better in every respect.”

read full story: thehill.com/homenews/campaign/72375-lieberman-expresses-regret-to-colleagues-over-healthcare-tension-
pen

British man jailed for attacking armed burglar

At first I was like yeah OK, that not fair, and then I read on and went, oh OK, headline is a little misleading.

----
A BUSINESSMAN who fought off knife-wielding burglars who were threatening to kill his family has been jailed for 30 months in a British case that has reignited the debate on how far householders can go to protect themselves and their property.

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i want joe biden i need joe biden

White House as helpless victim on healthcare (lol or not)



Of all the posts I wrote this year, the one that produced the most vociferious email backlash -- easily -- was this one from August, which examined substantial evidence showing that, contrary to Obama's occasional public statements in support of a public option, the White House clearly intended from the start that the final health care reform bill would contain no such provision and was actively and privately participating in efforts to shape a final bill without it. From the start, assuaging the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries was a central preoccupation of the White House -- hence the deal negotiated in strict secrecy with Pharma to ban bulk price negotiations and drug reimportation, a blatant violation of both Obama's campaign positions on those issues and his promise to conduct all negotiations out in the open (on C-SPAN). Indeed, Democrats led the way yesterday in killing drug re-importation, which they endlessly claimed to support back when they couldn't pass it. The administration wants not only to prevent industry money from funding an anti-health-care-reform campaign, but also wants to ensure that the Democratic Party -- rather than the GOP -- will continue to be the prime recipient of industry largesse.
As was painfully predictable all along, the final bill will not have any form of public option, nor will it include the wildly popular expansion of Medicare coverage. Obama supporters are eager to depict the White House as nothing more than a helpless victim in all of this -- the President so deeply wanted a more progressive bill but was sadly thwarted in his noble efforts by those inhumane, corrupt Congressional "centrists." Right. The evidence was overwhelming from the start that the White House was not only indifferent, but opposed, to the provisions most important to progressives. The administration is getting the bill which they, more or less, wanted from the start -- the one that is a huge boon to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industry. And kudos to Russ Feingold for saying so:

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), among the most vocal supporters of the public option, said it would be unfair to blame Lieberman for its apparent demise. Feingold said that responsibility ultimately rests with President Barack Obama and he could have insisted on a higher standard for the legislation.
"This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don’t think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth," said Feingold. "I think they could have been higher. I certainly think a stronger bill would have been better in every respect."
Let's repeat that: "This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place." Indeed it does. There are rational, practical reasons why that might be so. If you're interested in preserving and expanding political power, then, all other things being equal, it's better to have the pharmaceutical and health insurance industry on your side than opposed to you. Or perhaps they calculated from the start that this was the best bill they could get. The wisdom of that rationale can be debated, but depicting Obama as the impotent progressive victim here of recalcitrant, corrupt centrists is really too much to bear.
Yet numerous Obama defenders -- such as Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein and Steve Benen -- have been insisting that there is just nothing the White House could have done and all of this shows that our political system is tragically "ungovernable." After all, Congress is a separate branch of government, Obama doesn't have a vote, and 60 votes are needed to do anything. How is it his fault if centrist Senators won't support what he wants to do? Apparently, this is the type of conversation we're to believe takes place in the Oval Office:

The President: I really want a public option and Medicare buy-in. What can we do to get it?
Rahm Emanuel: Unfortunately, nothing. We can just sit by and hope, but you're not in Congress any more and you don't have a vote. They're a separate branch of government and we have to respect that.
The President: So we have no role to play in what the Democratic Congress does?
Emanuel: No. Members of Congress make up their own minds and there's just nothing we can do to influence or pressure them.
The President: Gosh, that's too bad. Let's just keep our fingers crossed and see what happens then.
In an ideal world, Congress would be -- and should be -- an autonomous branch of government, exercising judgment independent of the White House's influence, but that's not the world we live in. Does anyone actually believe that Rahm Emanuel (who built his career on industry support for the Party and jamming "centrist" bills through Congress with the support of Blue Dogs) and Barack Obama (who attached himself to Joe Lieberman when arriving in the Senate, repeatedly proved himself receptive to "centrist" compromises, had a campaign funded by corporate interests, and is now the leader of a vast funding and political infrastructure) were the helpless victims of those same forces? Engineering these sorts of "centrist," industry-serving compromises has been the modus operandi of both Obama and, especially, Emanuel.
Indeed, we've seen before what the White House can do -- and does do -- when they actually care about pressuring members of Congress to support something they genuinely want passed. When FDL and other liberal blogs led an effort to defeat Obama's war funding bill back in June, the White House became desperate for votes, and here is what they apparently did (though they deny it):

The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote against the supplemental war spending bill, threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won't get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said Friday. "We're not going to help you. You'll never hear from us again," Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen.
That's what the White House can do when they actually care about pressuring someone to vote the way they want. Why didn't they do any of that to the "centrists" who were supposedly obstructing what they wanted on health care? Why didn't they tell Blanche Lincoln -- in a desperate fight for her political life -- that she would "never hear from them again," and would lose DNC and other Democratic institutional support, if she filibustered the public option? Why haven't they threatened to remove Joe Lieberman's cherished Homeland Security Chairmanship if he's been sabotaging the President's agenda? Why hasn't the President been rhetorically pressuring Senators to support the public option and Medicare buy-in, or taking any of the other steps outlined here by Adam Green? There's no guarantee that it would have worked -- Obama is not omnipotent and he can't always control Congressional outcomes -- but the lack of any such efforts is extremely telling about what the White House really wanted here.
Independent of the reasonable debate over whether this bill is a marginal improvement over the status quo, there are truly horrible elements to it. Two of the most popular provisions (both of which, not coincidentally, were highly adverse to industry interests) -- the public option and Medicare expansion -- are stripped out (a new Washington Post/ABC poll out today shows that the public favors expansion of Medicare to age 55 by a 30-point margin). What remains is a politically distastrous and highly coercive "mandate" gift to the health insurance industry, described perfectly by Digby:

Obama can say that you're getting a lot, but also saying that it "covers everyone," as if there's a big new benefit is a big stretch. Nothing will have changed on that count except changing the law to force people to buy private insurance if they don't get it from their employer. I guess you can call that progressive, but that doesn't make it so. In fact, mandating that all people pay money to a private interest isn't even conservative, free market or otherwise. It's some kind of weird corporatism that's very hard to square with the common good philosophy that Democrats supposedly espouse.
Nobody's "getting covered" here. After all, people are already "free" to buy private insurance and one must assume they have reasons for not doing it already. Whether those reasons are good or bad won't make a difference when they are suddenly forced to write big checks to Aetna or Blue Cross that they previously had decided they couldn't or didn't want to write. Indeed, it actually looks like the worst caricature of liberals: taking people's money against their will, saying it's for their own good --- and doing it without even the cover that FDR wisely insisted upon with social security, by having it withdrawn from paychecks. People don't miss the money as much when they never see it.
In essence, this re-inforces all of the worst dynamics of Washington. The insurance industry gets the biggest bonanza imaginable in the form of tens of millions of coerced new customers without any competition or other price controls. Progressive opinion-makers, as always, signaled that they can and should be ignored (don't worry about us -- we're announcing in advance that we'll support whatever you feed us no matter how little it contains of what we want and will never exercise raw political power to get what we want; make sure those other people are happy but ignore us). Most of this was negotiated and effectuated in complete secrecy, in the sleazy sewers populated by lobbyists, industry insiders, and their wholly-owned pawns in the Congress. And highly unpopular, industry-serving legislation is passed off as "centrist," the noblest Beltway value.
Looked at from the narrow lens of health care policy, there is a reasonable debate to be had among reform advocates over whether this bill is a net benefit or a net harm. But the idea that the White House did what it could to ensure the inclusion of progressive provisions -- or that they were powerless to do anything about it -- is absurd on its face. Whatever else is true, the overwhelming evidence points to exactly what Sen. Feingold said yesterday: "This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place."

Source
O vachement?

just a quickie for the lulz

Grassley: I control TV remote at home

By Tom Beaumont • tbeaumont@dmreg.com • December 16, 2009

Chuck Grassley said he might vote for a bill that would curb the volume on television commercials. But it’s more about insuring domestic tranquility than forming a more perfect union, he said.

“Since I control the channel switcher in my house, I get tired of my wife telling me to turn it down every time a commercial comes on,” the Republican senator from Iowa told reporters today.

A bill advanced in the House Tuesday that would bar television commercials from being louder than the programs during which they appear.

More importantly, how is it that Barbara Grassley, the senator’s wife of 55 years, grants him the authority over such a vital household device?

“It’s difficult,” Grassley said. “I can move faster than she can.”


http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2009/12/16/grassley-i-control-tv-remote-at-home/#pluckcomments

O RLY? Well, now we see what kind of control monger you really are, you scamp!
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Anti-Rape Amendment Survives. Pro-Rape Corporations and Republicans Still Unhappy and Surprised.

Franken's Anti-Rape Amendment Survives

An amendment that would prevent the government from working with contractors who deny victims of sexual assault the right to bring their case in court has survived attempts to dull its impact and seems poised to become law.

The Senate Committee on Appropriation passed, on Tuesday, a defense appropriations bill that included the "anti-rape" amendment introduced by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.). The legislation was intended to address and prevent a reoccurrence of the assault and rape that Jamie Leigh Jones, a defense contractor for the company KBR, alleged was committed by her fellow employees. But the amendment became a subject of debate after the Department of Defense, Republicans in the Senate, and even the committee chairman, Sen. Dan Inouye (D-Hawaii) raised concerns that it would leave contractors over exposed to lawsuits.

The final product, in the end, proved remarkably strong.
According to a Franken aide, the substance of the language "is unchanged." Under the amendment the government would not be able to do business with companies that deny court hearings for victims of either assault, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress or negligent hiring practice. The controversial Title VII provision, which would allow victims of assault to sue the employers of the alleged perpetrator and not just the perpetrator himself or herself, remains in the bill. Meanwhile, the threshold at which companies will be subjected to the legislation is set at those who have contracts totaling $1 million or more.

All told, the legislation would affect all major and many minor contractors, forcing them to choose between allowing litigation for their employees or forfeiting the hundreds of millions in dollars that are doled out annually in contracts by the federal government.

The Franken amendment includes a national security waiver, meaning that the Department of Defense could circumvent the law if it is deemed dangerous to U.S. safety. But, for that to happen, the Secretary of Defense would have to "personally explain why the waiver was used to Congress and at that point make it public," the Franken aide explained.

"I came to Washington to stand up for folks like Jamie Leigh, and stand up to the powerful interests that too often silence their voices," Sen. Franken said in a statement. "I was gratified to see so many of my colleagues in Congress and so many national civil rights leaders join in this effort. The Jamie Leigh Jones amendment is on its way to becoming law thanks to their work, the work of Chairman Inouye, and the work of the White House. I'm pleased that together, we were able to find a solution that allows victims of assault and discrimination their rightful day in court."

The amendment was initially added to the defense appropriations bill on October 21, 2009 by a 68 to 30 vote. Despite wide support for the measure (and ridicule for the 30 Republicans who opposed it) both the Obama administration's Department of Defense and Chairman Inouye raised concerns while the legislation was being considered in conference committee. Attempts to strip it of the Title VII provision were met with public outcry, which a Senate source familiar with the negotiations says was partially responsible for its ultimate passage.

"The public support surprised a lot of senators and not just the chairman," said the source. "The White House was working with Franken's office to find language that would be enforceable... and I think by the time those talks began everyone was on board, including Chairman Inouye."
Citadel

Harassment across Arab world drives women inside

The sexual harassment of women in the streets, schools and work places of the Arab world is driving them to cover up and confine themselves to their homes, said activists at the first-ever regional conference addressing the once taboo topic.

Activists from 17 countries across the region met in Cairo for a two-day conference ending Monday and concluded that harassment was unchecked across the region because laws don't punish it, women don't report it and the authorities ignore it.

The harassment, including groping and verbal abuse, is a daily experience women in the region face and makes them wary of going into public spaces, whether it's the streets or jobs, the participants said. It happens regardless of what women are wearing.

With more and more women in schools, the workplace and politics, roles have changed but often traditional attitudes have not. Experts said in some places, like Egypt, harassment appears sometimes to be out of vengeance, from men blaming women for denied work opportunities.

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Source.

Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig Have Big Gay Love


Hollywood hunks are certainly no strangers to raking in record-breaking amounts of money at the box office. But how many of them have felt the awe of bringing in massive amounts of money, for charity, doing theatre? For a hint, check the title of this post. For those of you who don't live/work/breathe Broadway plays, let me give you a basic primer on a really incredible thing that goes on here in Midtown Manhattan. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids (BC/EFA), established in 1988, has raised over $175 million dollars for "essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States." Those services include funding health clinics and supportive residences, and giving grants to over 400 AIDS and family resource programs nationwide. They raise this money by calling "upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community."

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So Nate Silver's made another "the bill is still good, quit crying" post

20 Questions for Bill Killers



1. Over the medium term, how many other opportunities will exist to provide in excess of $100 billion per year in public subsidies to poor and sick people?

2. Would a bill that contained $50 billion in additional subsidies for people making less than 250% of poverty be acceptable?

3. Where is the evidence that the plan, as constructed, would substantially increase insurance industry profit margins, particularly when it is funded in part via a tax on insurers?

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Sauce

I want to say that he's right and progressives should cut the crying about this. But then again, I get the feeling that the left deciding that they're happy about the bill will just make Lieberman decide to say he's filibustering it until more shit is taken out, so maybe we should keep bitching about how terrible it is until it's on Obama's desk.

(Also holy fuck this Nate Silver tag is awesome.)
pisces

Why Ringling Bros. is evil-- actually, just the circus, period.

Washington Post published a wonderful article today, bringing the Circuses' abysmal treatment of animals, particularly baby elephants, to light. I have personally boycotted all circuses (except Cirque de Soleil ;-P) on this premise. I can't watch a show, knowing how those animals are tortured, starved, abused, etc. It is based off the interviews of a man, who for 20 years, trained baby elephants for Ringling Bros. He saw horrible things, and even admitted to contributing to the torture and abuse of the babies, himself. He is bringing these practices to the public eye, as it was his animal-loving wife's dying wish. Ringling Bros. of course, denies it all. Of course! Whatever. I only hope that people read this article, and it encourages them to follow suit, and boycott these horrible institutions.

PETA, Ringling Bros. at odds over the treatment of baby circus elephants

Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, December 16, 2009 Sammy Haddock started working with elephants when he joined the circus at 20, in 1976, a young man's dream. He walked them, groomed them, cleaned up after them. More than once, he later confessed, he beat them. Edit: Sorry everyone, for that... my lj-cut attempt didn't work, but this hopefully fixed it Edit: I can't get the lj cut to work, so I just deleted it, and figured you could read the rest from the link. Again, sorry. Source. X-posted to animal_rights and my personal journal, drezdyndawll
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Killer Tomatoes to Be Send To Gitmo. Sarah Palin Safe. Tomato War Averted.

Costco Protects Palin From Tomatoes By Taking Them Off Shelves

A Costco in Utah took tomatoes off the shelves during a visit by Sarah Palin, after the Alaska Governor was pelted with the fruit on a stop at the Mall of America. Via Harpers, the Salt Lake Tribune reports:


Rappaport stopped at the Salt Lake City Costco to do some shopping, unaware that Palin was scheduled to be there for a book signing. [...]

The clerk told her they had no tomatoes that day.

No tomatoes? At Costco?

As she was leaving, she noticed a man with a store manager's name tag and asked him why they had no tomatoes. He informed her the store did have tomatoes, but they were taken off the shelves for a few hours.

It turns out that Palin had been pelted with a tomato at an earlier stop on her book tour and the management at the Costco was determined it wouldn't happen here.

More Youth Support Same-Sex Relationships

A study conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) in partnership with Harris Interactive found that respect and value for diversity has increased over the past 20 years among American youth. GSRI also reports that today’s youth generally have good intentions with regard to making healthy, positive choices as tweens, teens and young adults. The large-scale nationwide study involved 3,263 male and female students in grades 3–12 and employed both classroom-based and online data collection techniques. The results from the 2009 study were compared to a similar study conducted by GSRI in 1989 to identify statistically significant shifts in attitudes, beliefs, values and intentions.

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florence

Dayum, Get it Regional Superpower Brazil!

Brazil Announces Torture Inquiry

“Truth Commission” to investigate torture crimes during 21-year military dictatorship
Brazil’s Human Rights Minister Paulo Vannuchi announced this week that President Lula da Silva will send a bill to Congress to create a “truth commission” to investigate torture crimes committed during Brazil’s 21-year military dictatorship (1964 – 1985).



When making his announcement, Vannuchi quoted words recently spoken by Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet about her nation’s own human right legacy: “We don’t want more bleeding from old wounds; we want them to heal, and only injuries thoroughly cleaned can heal.”

Both Bachelet and da Silva were tortured during the U.S.-backed military regimes that ruled each country in the 1970s and 1980s, a time when military juntas ruled in most South American countries. Chile, Argentina and Uruguay created truth commissions to investigate human rights abuses during that era, notwithstanding amnesty laws propagated by the military regimes.

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Roll it forward: Los Altos resident to give bikes to children on her birthday

The garage of Cira Nickerson's Los Altos home is packed, wall-to-wall, with a rainbow of children's bikes in all different sizes. Some have girly pink streamers on the handlebars, and others for boys are orange, blue or fluorescent green.

Nickerson decided last December on her 55th birthday that she wanted to buy one bike a week over the next year and donate them to charity. A year later, she has 61 bikes ready to go, and she's set to give them out on her 56th birthday this Sunday. Nickerson, who works as a branch manager at the Palo Alto office of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, said ever since she turned 50, she's spent more time thinking about what each year means. "Every year on my birthday, I spend that very quiet time just going through that set of questions with myself," she said. While she's donated to charities often in the past, she said this year she wanted to do something truly tangible. And for whatever reason, she thought of bicycles. Collapse )

I know it's not political, but it is a nice story about someone giving back. I wanted to share.

that must hurt you poor thing

another reason why modern agribusiness is fucked up shit

Monsanto Seed Business Role Revealed

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Confidential contracts detailing Monsanto Co.'s business practices reveal how the world's biggest seed developer is squeezing competitors, controlling smaller seed companies and protecting its dominance over the multibillion-dollar market for genetically altered crops, an Associated Press investigation has found.

With Monsanto's patented genes being inserted into roughly 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the U.S., the company also is using its wide reach to control the ability of new biotech firms to get wide distribution for their products, according to a review of several Monsanto licensing agreements and dozens of interviews with seed industry participants, agriculture and legal experts.

Declining competition in the seed business could lead to price hikes that ripple out to every family's dinner table. That's because the corn flakes you had for breakfast, soda you drank at lunch and beef stew you ate for dinner likely were produced from crops grown with Monsanto's patented genes.

Monsanto's methods are spelled out in a series of confidential commercial licensing agreements obtained by the AP. The contracts, as long as 30 pages, include basic terms for the selling of engineered crops resistant to Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, along with shorter supplementary agreements that address new Monsanto traits or other contract amendments.

The company has used the agreements to spread its technology -- giving some 200 smaller companies the right to insert Monsanto's genes in their separate strains of corn and soybean plants. But, the AP found, access to Monsanto's genes comes at a cost, and with plenty of strings attached.

Collapse )I was actually surprised that this hasn't been posted already.

For those of you who follow food politics, it's been pretty clear that Monsanto is full of asshats, so it's not so much new news. But I thought that this AP thing really put it all into perspective and into a legal context, especially regarding the patents surrounding Monsanto's genetically modified crops. I wasn't fully aware of how much power Monsanto had over the market until fully reading this thing. And I have such weird feelings about patenting genes and stuff... when entire genome sequences are available for anyone to peruse, it just feels so fucked up to patent genes.

Of course, a lot of people feel like GMOs are fucked up, and I think situations like this show why there should be more legislation surrounding them... but I do feel like the technology is incredibly beneficial, I just don't like how Monsanto has monopolized it.
josh/sam

Obama writes letter to North Korean leader



WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has written a personal letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il as part of an intense effort to draw the reclusive nation back to nuclear disarmament talks, a seniorState Department official said Tuesday.

The letter was delivered to North Korean officials last week by Obama's special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, during a visit to Pyongyang aimed at restarting the stalled negotiations, the official said.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the diplomacy, would not describe the contents of the letter but said they fit with Bosworth's general message.

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source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091216/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama_north_korea
; husband

SBF SEEKS SOCIAL VALIDATION: WHY ARE SO MANY BLACK WOMEN SINGLE?!?!?

by Special Correspondent Wendi Muse

I am 26 years old, have a college degree, and middle class. I am typically well-dressed and well-groomed. I have never been called ugly, quite the opposite, and I speak several languages. I am nice, courteous, and well-spoken. My big “flaw”? I’m black, female, and single.

At least according to the world of Helena Andrews, whose classist, heteronormative, and strikingly self-defeatist attempt at explaining the “Big Marriage Gap” (from now on referred to as the “BMG”) for black women in comparison to their non-black female peers in their 20s and 30s, is not only oversimplified, but a typical regurgitation of anecdotes about black female dating (or lack thereof) we see in the news every few months. While Nadra pointed out most of the flaws in Andrews’ reasoning in her piece “Successful, Black and Lonely,” the first of several Racialicious pieces on Andrews’ original article for the Washington Post, I plan to venture away from criticism and more into the territory of uncovering the elusive “why” Andrews so poorly investigates.

While many articles have focused on the statistics of black women being on the low end of the national statistics for women rushing to the alter, the nation’s marriage rates seem to have been on a steady decline for quite some time, particularly as rights were afforded to those who cohabitated, as the increasing pressure for costly weddings were met with not-so-sufficient bank accounts and pocketbooks, and the meaning of family shifted to include single parents, same-sex couples with adopted children, divorced couples, and so on. Marriage was no longer viewed through the same cultural lens as it was in years past. It became less obligatory in American culture and more of a privileged option for those who fell within the scope of eligibility and who had the financial resources to afford it (or the time to head over to Vegas for a drive-thru ceremony).
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Source: Racialicious
Akuma River

The Bill is still good and SHOULD get passed.

I have two articles from Ezra Klein on why we shouldn't give up.

The importance of the individual mandate

Markos Moulitsas explains his opposition to the Senate bill, and says it all comes down to the individual mandate. "Strip out the mandate," he says, "and the rest of the bill is palatable. It's not reform, but it's progress in the right direction. And you can still go back and tinker with it at a later time."

I'm sympathetic to his thinking. This was, of course, Barack Obama's position during the 2008 campaign, and it led toarguably the most bitter policy dispute in the race. But after winning the presidency, the Obama administration flipped on it, and they were right to do so. Here's why.
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DC: Cherry Blossoms

Feds Revising Asylum Detention Policies

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration said Tuesday it will stop detaining asylum seekers who have a credible fear of persecution in their home countries.

To be released into the U.S., the asylum seekers will have to establish the credible fear and their identities and show they are not dangerous or a flight risk, said John Morton, Department of Human Services assistant secretary overseeing Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Foreigners who arrive at a port of entry and are found to have a credible fear will automatically be considered for release into the U.S., Morton said. Asylum seekers still will spend time in detention while they undergo interviews and their information is checked, but the administration hopes to reduce the length of their stay with a policy change, ICE said.

Their stay in the U.S. will be considered temporary until a final decision is made on their asylum claim. Currently, foreigners who come to the U.S. without valid documents can be immediately removed from the country, without a hearing. Also, requests for release must be made in writing, ICE said.

Brian Hale, ICE spokesman, said the new policy also will apply to people seeking asylum and already in detention. The advocacy group Human Rights First reported last April that from 2004 to 2007, the rates of temporary release of asylum seekers dropped from 41.3 percent to 4.2 percent. The Bush administration toughened criteria for asylum seekers to win release from detention in 2007.

Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, said those rules were ''unduly harsh'' and cheered the changes Tuesday. Immigrant advocates wanted to see more details on the change before commenting. Steve Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for tougher immigration laws, said detention ensures people show up for hearings.

''The overwhelming amount of people who apply for asylum don't get it and that's why they don't show up. Lack of detention destroys the credibility and meaningfulness of immigration courts,'' Camarota said. source
mariahbreakdown

20 Answers (response to Nate Silver's 20 questions for bill killers) (long)

Let me say up front that my disagreement with the "support the current bill" crowd is based on policy and political considerations, but I can see how reasonable people can come to the opposite conclusion. I don't think supporters of this wreck of a bill are stupid or compromised or anything like that. I'm not like Joe Klein railing against "assorted nonsense from left-bloggers", which so reminds me of his ad hominems during the Iraq War debate. How'd that turn out, Joe? In short, there appears to be a divide between those who think the insurance industry will play nice, even with little incentive to do so, and people like me who don't.

They believe that government will enforce the new regulations, people like me have seen entire industries employ armies of lawyers and lobbyists with the sole intent of undermining and avoiding such regulations. I'm a half-empty guy, others are half-full. Regardless, this is a fantastic debate. For critics who bemoaned the lack of policy discussed on blogs, this year has certainly proven that when we do have the opportunity to impact policy (i.e. a Democratic-run government), we certainly can get into the weeds on policy.

Ezra Klein takes me to task for my opposition to the mandate, pointing out that Switzerland, among other systems, have mandates that require citizens to purchase health insurance from private insurers. It's true. They do. Those countries also have strict regulatory regimes that heavily regulate those insurance companies. In Switzerland, for example, insurance companies cannot profit from the essential benefits plan everyone must purchase.

That's kind of an important detail missing from the Senate's monstrosity of a bill. In addition, Switzerland also strictly regulates the price of medicines and medical devices -- something this Senate has explicitly refused to allow. Give me those kinds of restrictions to the Senate bill, and I'll rethink my opposition. Then there's Nate Silver and his 20 questions For Bill Killers, which I'll happily answer: Collapse )
Ani: Amazon Warrior

FARC and ELN uniting



The FARC and ELN are moving towards an alliance to deal "firmly and belligerently" with the government of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, announced guerrilla commanders Wednesday. "We went to work for unity to face, firmly and with belligerence, the current regime," expressed the National Secretariat of the FARC and the Central Command of the ELN in a joint statement released by the New Colombia News Agency ANNCOL, headquartered in Stockholm.

The road to unity was outlined at a meeting which took place in "an atmosphere of brotherhood and camaraderie," between the two rebel groups, who until now have not only been battling the government, but also fighting amongst themselves in Colombia's decades-long civil war. The ANNCOL news network has been considered to be the public relations wing of the FARC, and Colombian authorities are looking for a man believed to be the FARC's contact within the agency. "Only unity and resolute action by the Colombian patriots, democrats, revolutionaries and all those who keep faith in a political solution can end the war, find peace and enable the construction of a new Colombia," added the two rebel groups.

In the ANNCOL report, the rebels set out a decree containing the following orders:
1. Stop the confrontation between the two forces from the publication of this document.
2. Do not allow any collaboration with the enemy of the people, or make public accusations.
3. Respect for non-combatant population, their property and interests and their social organizations.
4. Make use of thoughtful and respectful language between the two revolutionary organizations.

The report included rhetoric against Uribe’s government, which has dealt serious blows to both guerrilla groups since coming to power in 2002, and against the United States, which the rebels described as the “puppeteer” or real power behind the administration. Uribe’s government has imposed "mafia tactics and institutional repression at gunpoint,” the statement said. “The current regime of Alvaro Uribe's government has become the most vicious puppet empire and is trampling national dignity, and the desires of Colombians,” the statement said. “Our only enemy is U.S. imperialism and its lackey oligarchy, against them we commit all our energy, fighting and revolutionary.”

source
Akuma River

Are the Dems in danger or are they prepared to ekk out another victory?

Could It Happen Again? GOP Aims For 2010 To Be '94 Repeat

The Republicans are planning to fight furiously to try and recapture control of the House of Representatives in 2010, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who helped orchestrate the Republican revolution 15 years ago, thinks it's possible for a repeat.

"I think you could easily have a bigger backlash in 2010 than we had in 1994," Gingrich (R-GA) told Newsmax TV recently.

Looking at generic polls of party preference, Republicans like what they see, and most Democrats acknowledge they will lose seats next fall.

But a Republican House takeover? Pretty unlikely it seems, as TPMDC explored the question by talking to political consultants and campaign hands to see what conditions existed in 1994 and whether they exist now.
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What do you guys think?
by alexia_drake

Italian man overpowered as he targets Silvio Berlusconi

A young Italian man was overpowered by police guards as he attempted to enter Silvio Berlusconi's hospital room in the second security scare in a matter of days.



Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The 26-year-old managed to gain access to the building at around 2am on Wednesday and took a lift to the eighth floor where the prime minister was recuperating.
Anti-terrorism police confronted the intruder and tackled him as he got within yards of the Italian leader's room.
He was unarmed but police found hockey sticks and two kitchen knives in his car, which was parked in a car park beneath the hospital.

Anti-terrorism officers said the unnamed man appeared to be suffering from "psychological problems" and had "wanted to pay a visit" to Mr Berlusconi.


Mr Berlusconi, 73, had been due to leave Milan's San Raffale hospital yesterday but was unexpectedly kept in for a fourth night because he was suffering from "persistent pain" and was having to eat through a tube.

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Source

Akuma River

House passes jobs package with NO gop votes

House Passes $154 Billion Jobs Package, With No GOP Votes

WASHINGTON — Democrats in the House Wednesday muscled through a year-end plan to create jobs, mixing about $50 billion for public works projects with another almost $50 billion for cash-strapped state and local governments.

The unemployed would get continued benefits. But conspicuously absent from the plan were President Barack Obama's recently announced proposals to give Social Security recipients $250 payments, a tax credit for small businesses that create jobs and a program awarding tax credits to people who make their homes more energy efficient.

Not a single Republican voted for the plan, which passed on a 217-212 vote after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., worked the floor for an hour. The measure now goes to the Senate, which won't consider the measure until next year and which generally has a smaller appetite for such deficit-financed economic stimulus measures.
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Disney: Ariel/Flounder Happy

Brazilian court orders son be returned to U.S. dad

(CNN) -- A Brazilian court ordered Wednesday that 9-year-old Sean Goldman be returned to the custody of his father, David, in the United States, but his Brazilian relatives were expected to try to block the order, a Brazilian official said. Outside his home in New Jersey, David Goldman told reporters he was heartened by the news, but would not consider his efforts successful until he and the boy are reunited. "I'm hopeful," he said. "I can't be optimistic because I've gone down there so many times, always under the guise that the rule of law will be followed and Sean will come home to me and his family, and that doesn't happen."

The 3-0 ruling by the Federal Regional Tribunal in Rio de Janeiro upheld a June decision by the 16th Federal Court in Rio, which ordered Sean returned to his home in New Jersey in accordance with the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abductions. But a Brazilian official with knowledge of the case predicted Wednesday's order would be appealed. So far, the boy's Brazilian family has filed 40 appeals, most of them procedural but one substantive. The Brazilian high court is to take up any appeal on Thursday, said Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, who has been pressing the case for his constituent.

"Frankly, every possible nuance has been appealed by the other side," he told CNN's "Situation Room." "Remember, this is an abducting family, they're kidnappers, but they have had a great deal of sway with the court." The Supreme Court could still allow Sean Goldman to be returned to his father in the United States while it decides any appeal. Goldman, a former model, said he had last spoken with his son in June, but they did not discuss the custody battle.

The case began in 2004, when his wife, Bruna Bianchi, took their 4-year-old son from their home in New Jersey to Rio de Janeiro for what was to have been a two-week vacation. She never returned, instead remarrying there and retaining custody of their son. She died last year in childbirth. Goldman has argued that, as the sole surviving parent, he should be granted custody. But the boy's stepfather and his other Brazilian relatives have argued that it would be traumatizing to the boy to remove him from what has been his home for most of his life. The case has drawn high-profile input, including pressure for the boy's return from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said Wednesday in a statement that she was pleased to hear about the decision.

"We appreciate the assistance and cooperation of the government of Brazil in upholding its obligations under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction," she said. "And it is my hope that this long legal process is now complete and that the Goldman family will be reunited quickly."

source
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Eff the police

Bail hearing for Pa. police accused of cover-up

SHENANDOAH, Pa. – After taking part in a fight that left a Mexican immigrant mortally wounded on the street, teenagers Brandon Piekarsky and Derrick Donchak fled. They didn't get very far before running into two police officers responding to a 911 call about the assault.

These were no ordinary officers. Patrolman Jason Hayes dated Piekarsky's mother, and Lt. William Moyer's son played with Piekarsky on the high school football team. Their commanding officer, Chief Matthew Nestor, was a friend of Piekarsky's mother and even vacationed with her.

Rather than place the popular white football players under arrest, the officers let them go — beginning a cover-up in their racially tense coal town, federal prosecutors allege.

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--

Less then two years for beating someone to death. Jesus.

And also, WTF with the cops, good lord. Guess they wanted to protect those "good kids," eh?

Ugh.
normal

BBC Leaves Common Sense At The Door. Is Genocide Such a Bad Thing? It Makes Great Population Control

BBC Slammed For Debating Ugandan Bill To Kill Gays

The British Broadcasting Corp. suffered criticism from lawmakers Wednesday for inviting debate on whether homosexuals should face execution in Uganda.


The broadcaster launched an on-line debate over a proposed Ugandan law that would punish some homosexual acts by life imprisonment or death. Legislation being considered in the African country would impose the death penalty on some gay Ugandans, and their family and friends could face up to seven years in jail if they fail to report their homosexuality to authorities.

BBC's "Africa Have Your Say" Web site asked for people's views on whether Uganda has gone too far and whether there should be any laws against gays.


The page's title was originally "Should homosexuals face execution?" but was later changed to "Should Uganda debate gay execution?" Several British politicians said the taxpayer-funded broadcaster should not treat the execution of gays as a legitimate topic for discussion.

"We should be looking at what is going on in Uganda with abhorrence," said lawmaker Eric Joyce of the ruling Labour Party. "We should be condemning it, and the BBC should be condemning it. ... Instead it seems to have thought it appropriate to come up with something that suggests it's a subject for discussion."

Lynne Featherstone, a lawmaker from the opposition Liberal Democrats, said she has written to BBC executives seeking an apology and an end to the Web discussion.

"Suggesting that the state-sponsored murder of gay people is OK as a legitimate topic for debate is deeply offensive," she said.


The forum attracted more than 600 comments and triggered a lively Twitter discussion.

The BBC's World Service Africa program editor, David Stead, defended the debate. In a blog posted on the BBC Web site, he said editors had "thought long and hard about using this question" and sought to reflect the diverse views about homosexuality in Africa.

"We agree that it is a stark and challenging question, but think that it accurately focuses on and illustrates the real issue at stake," he said.
normal

Detroit to Get More Bootstraps. Now Get a Job You Lazy Bastards!

Detroit's Unemployment Rate Is Nearly 50%, According to the Detroit News

Officially, Detroit's unemployment rate is just under 30 percent. But the city's mayor and local leaders are suggesting a far more disturbing figure -- the actual jobless rate, they say, is closer to 50 percent.

As many have noted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which culls federal unemployment data, does not account for all of the jobless in its widely-quoted national unemployment figures. Among those omitted: part-time workers who are looking for full-time jobs and frustrated job seekers who abandon their job search altogether.


(For some context, the official national unemployment rate is 10 percent, but the "underemployment rate" is 17.2 percent.)

Detroit city officials argue that, when workers who are underemployed are added to the calculation, the number of city residents who are out of work is close to one in every two.

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Akuma River

(no subject)

The buzz around Trafigura and Carter-Ruck is getting louder again on the web
As reports vanish from mainstream media websites, the buzz about Trafigura and Carter-Ruck gets louder on blogs and other online outlets

The BBC report can no longer be found online

In May, Trafigura's lawyers announced that they had brought libel proceedings against the BBC over its Newsnight broadcast on Trafigura. Now, the BBC's Trafigura feature has disappeared from its website. But as reporting about the company involved in toxic waste dumping scandals in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast vanish from mainstream media sites, there is renewed activity elsewhere on the internet.

Several blogs and other online media have picked up the issue of the vanished Newsnight report. On the blog "Don't Get Fooled Again" Richard Wilson asks "UK's dysfunctional libel system strikes again? Newsnight feature on Trafigura disappears from BBC website". Journalist and conservative candidate Ian Dale writes on his blog about "BBC caves in to Carter-Ruck threats over Trafigura film". On The New Statesman rolling blog, George Eaton reported that "BBC removes Trafigura story after legal threat".

Last, but not least, Judith Townend asks on Journalism.co.uk "Where has the BBC's Trafigura feature gone?", and reports that a spokesperson for the BBC said: "We haven't got anything to say on this. As discussed earlier we are often not able to comment if there's a live legal action."

Meanwhile, Trafigura is buying relevant sponsored links on Google's search page to promote its side of the story.

Searching for Trafigura on Google brings up links sponsored by the the oil company As mainstream media has fallen silent, the buzz about Carter-Ruck on alternative media is getting louder again. Links to the BBC Newsnight report to YouTube are blogged, the video has been published on Wikileaks and the keywords "Trafigura" and "Carter-Ruck" are all over Twitter again.

You wonder if they will ever learn.


Let me see if I am understanding this correctly. The BBC did a newstory on an oil company about they were doing really bad and evil things and the company decided to sue them. Now it seems that an online copy of that news report is taken off the BBC website. And no one in the msm is taking a hit on this?

Would this fly in the US?

What do you British ontd_p'ers and peeps from the UK think about this?

Is this a BIG thing to worry about?

After 35years in prison, DNA says he didn't do it

Bartow, Florida (CNN) -- After more than three decades in prison, James Bain is eager to be able to help his wheelchair-bound mother.

If all goes as planned in a Florida courtroom Thursday, Bain, 54, will be allowed to go home for the first time in 35 years -- free from his life sentence thanks to a DNA test that showed he was not the man who took a 9-year-old Lake Wales, Florida, boy from his bed in 1974 and raped him.
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source

For those wondering how the State of FL will financially make it up to this man:

A wrongfully convicted individual found innocent by a prosecuting attorney or administrative court judge is entitled to $50,000 (adjusted for cost of living increases) annually, up to a maximum of $2 million, as long as he has no prior felony convictions. He is also entitled to 120 hours of tuition at a career center, community college or state university and reimbursement for any fines or costs imposed at the time of his sentence.

Now, personally, that isn't enough for 35years.