December 17th, 2009

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Democrats to White House: F.U.

Democrats Lash Out At Obama Over Health Care Disappointments

Congressional Democrats are starting to voice their anger at President Obama over the way health care legislation has been compromised, blaming him for not fighting harder.

"The president keeps listening to Rahm Emanuel," said Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.). "No public option, no extending Medicare to 55, no nothing, an excise tax, God!" he exclaimed about the Senate health care bill to Roll Call. "The insurance lobby is taking over."

Rep. Dave Obey (D-Wis.), told Politico of Senate delays, "It's ridiculous, and the Obama administration is sitting on the sidelines. That's nonsense."*

While many House Democrats have expressed anger with the Senate for the watered-down bill, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) argued that it was really Obama who let centrists take control. "Snowe? Stupak? Lieberman? Who left these people in charge?" he said. "It's time for the president to get his hands dirty. Some of us have compromised our compromised compromise. We need the president to stand up for the values our party shares. We must stop letting the tail wag the dog of this debate."

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) similarly suggested that blaming Lieberman was ignoring the real culprit -- Obama.


"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."

As Politico's Craig Gordon noted about the president's health care maneuvering, "Time and again, [Obama] rebuffed Democrats' requests to speak up more forcefully about what he wanted -- a strategy that allowed Obama to preserve maximum flexibility to declare victory at the end of the process, no matter what the final bill looked like."

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), pointed to polling that suggests Democrats will face trouble with their base if they don't deliver a strong bill. "Thirty percent of Democrats will not come out and vote if there is no public option in the health care bill," she said. "What does that tell you?"

*This article originally reported that Rep. Obey said "The White House has been useless." That was Transportation Committee Chairman James Oberstar.
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Gay Teachers Are Now Stealing Our Children's Souls!!

Parent Files Complaint Against Gay Teacher Over “Child’s Sense of Innocence”
Innocence: Once a gay guinea pig takes it away, only complaining to the D.C. government will get it back.

Margaret C. Hemenway, identifying herself as a D.C. Public Schools parent, claims to have filed a complaint with Chancellor Michelle Rhee over her seven-year-old child’s “sense of innocence.”
At what exact moment was the first-grader’s innocence whisked away from her, never to be returned? The moment little Hemenway’s teacher at Tenleytown’s Horace Mann Elementary allegedly announced to her first-grade class that she was planning to marry a woman. Think. Of. The. Children. Collapse )
♪ so happy i could die
  • schmiss

Frenemies are enemies who act like friends.

The White House v. Howard Dean



When Howard Dean said the Senate should kill the health care bill, the White House took it personally, hitting back on its blog and at the daily press briefing.

Dean yesterday told Vermont Public Radio: "This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill." His comments came after word that Democrats were dropping both the public option and an expansion of Medicare.

Then today, on Good Morning America, Dean said the bill is "an insurance company's dream" and a "bigger bailout for the insurance industry than AIG."

The administration has not taken too kindly to the former DNC chair's statements.

In a post today on the official White House blog, communications director Dan Pfeiffer called Dean's argument "perplexing" and said "this bill will finally wrest power away from the insurance industry and put it in the hands of American consumers."

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Related: Landrieu And Dean Duel On Hardball

I support passing the bill but when the White House (reportedly) calls Dean "irrelevant" I'm like ~you mad?~. idk if that's smug. DC has been trying to keep Howard Dean down since 2003 (see the linked NY Times article), the Obama administration sadly bought into that CW, and now they're angry that he's actually speaking for people.

ps - the Most Influential People poll is going up tomorrow cause I was out today sorry
look closer / hark! a vagrant!

President Zardari under pressure after ruling



President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan suffered a fresh blow to his precarious position today when the supreme court ruled that an amnesty protecting him from corruption charges was null and void.

The main opposition party called for his resignation on moral grounds only hours after the ruling, but Zardari's office said he had no intention of stepping down.

The ruling paves the way for legal challenges against Zardari at a time when he is deeply unpopular because of public perceptions that he is being too compliant with the US. The Obama administration has been pressing Islamabad to crack down on al-Qaida and Taliban insurgents using sanctuaries in Pakistan to launch operations against Nato forces in Afghanistan.

The court's ruling also leaves thousands of officials, including ministers loyal to Zardari, vulnerable to renewed corruption cases.

more at source

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asoneill - Yahoo Me

Vt. Court Eyes Value of Love of Man's Best Friend

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont's highest court is being asked to decide what a dog's love is worth.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday was to hear a case that began in July 2003, when Denis and Sarah Scheele, who were visiting relatives, let their mixed-breed dog wander into Lewis Dustin's yard and he fatally shot it.

Now the Scheeles are asking the court to carve out a new legal doctrine that a dog's owners can sue for emotional distress and loss of companionship, just like parents can when they lose children.

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Source wants to go home and hug a puppy.
Politic ~ Droopy Dog
  • mzflux

Paul Krugman: "The Conscience of a Liberal"



Illusions and Bitterness


Paul Krugman, The New York Times
December 16, 2009, 5:42 pm


There’s enormous disappointment among progressives about the emerging health care bill — and rightly so. That said, even as it stands it would take a big step toward greater security for Americans and greater social justice; it would also save many lives over the decade ahead. That’s why progressive health policy wonks — the people who have campaigned for health reform for years — are almost all in favor of voting for the thing.

The argument about the evil of the individual mandate is, as Jon Cohn says, all wrong. It was wrong during the primaries, when Obama unfortunately used it to demagogue his rivals — helping set the stage for problems now. And it’s still wrong.

And the truth is that health care reform was probably doomed to be deeply imperfect. As Ezra Klein pointed out a few weeks ago, we’re basically in a hostage situation: progressives really, really want to cover the uninsured, while centrists whose votes are needed can take it or leave it. So the centrists have a lot of power — which in the case of Joe Lieberman means the power to double-cross and indulge his pettiness.

Now, in a hostage situation there are times when you have to just say no — when giving in, by encouraging future hostage-takers, would be worse than letting the hostages perish. So the question has to be, is this one of those times? I don’t think so, given the history: as Kevin Drum points out, health reform has come back weaker after each defeat. I’d also point out that highly imperfect insurance reforms, like Social Security and Medicare in their initial incarnations, have gotten more comprehensive over time. This suggests that the priority is to get something passed.

But what’s happening, I think, goes beyond health care; what we’re seeing is disillusionment with Obama among some of the people who were his most enthusiastic supporters. A lot of people seem shocked to find that he’s not the transformative figure of their imaginations. Can I say I told you so? If you paid attention to what he said, not how he said it, it was obvious from the beginning — and I’m talking about 2007 — that he was going to be much less aggressive about change than one could have hoped. And this has done a lot of damage: I believe he could have taken a tougher line on economic policy and the banks, and was tearing my hair out over his caution early this year. I also believe that if he had been tougher on those issues, he’d be better able to weather disappointment over his health care compromises.

So there’s a lot of bitterness out there. But please, keep your priorities straight.

By all means denounce Obama for his failed bipartisan gestures. By all means criticize the administration. But don’t take it out on the tens of millions of Americans who will have health insurance if this bill passes, but will be out of luck — and, in some cases, dead — if it doesn’t.


So here's the lineup:

On one side we have Paul Krugman, Ezra Klein, Nate Silver, and Kevin Drum. These four men emphasize gradual progress and want very much for the proposed Senate HCR bill to pass while we have the momentum, adding that improvements can be made following the bill's passage.

On the other side, we have Dr. Howard Dean, Markos Moulitsas, Keith Olbermann, and Senator Bernie Sanders. These four men are pushing for reconciliation, which would require only 51 votes and allow 10 more years for the Senate to work out the kinks in the current HCR proposal before a bill can become a law.
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    stuck in the middle
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Labor Union Not Happy, Demands a Better Bill

SEIU Urges Changes In Senate Health Care Bill, Calls Out Obama

A top labor leader urged Congress and the White House on Thursday to make major improvements to the Senate health care legislation, suggesting that the labor community could not support the current incarnation.

"I believe this is the moment when we must stand as one and say enough," Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern wrote in a letter to his fellow members.

While he stopped short of formally opposing the bill that is making its way through the Senate, he did express outrage over the concessions made to Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.). "The public option is declared impossible. Americans cannot purchase Medicare at an earlier age. The health insurance reform effort we have needed for a century is at risk," Stern wrote.

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God IS a Hard Act to Follow

Controversial Billboard Of Joseph And Mary In Bed: God 'A Hard Act To Follow'



A billboard at a New Zealand church depicting a downcast Joseph lying beside Mary in bed and the heading "God is a hard act to follow" provoked more than the intended reconsideration of the meaning of Christmas.


The sign was defaced by a paint-wielding vandal just hours after it was erected Thursday outside the St. Matthew-in-the-City Anglican church in Auckland, and triggered passionate and sometimes angry debate on talk radio and the Internet.

Church vicar Archdeacon Glynn Cardy said the billboard was intended to challenge stereotypes about the way Jesus was conceived and get people talking about the Christmas story.


"This billboard is trying to lampoon and ridicule the very literal idea that God is a male and somehow this male God impregnated Mary,"
said Cardy, who described his church as having very liberal ideas about Christianity.

"We would question the Virgin Birth in any literal sense. We would question the maleness of God in any literal sense," he said.

On the billboard – painted to mimic the fresco style commonly used in church murals – Mary and Joseph are in bed side-by-side. Joseph is looking down. Mary, looking heavenward, appears sad. The caption reads: "Poor Joseph. God is a hard act to follow."

Auckland Catholic Diocese spokeswoman Lyndsay Freer said the billboard implied the Virgin Mary and Joseph had just had sex and was inappropriate, disrespectful and offensive to Christians.

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As a Christian I dont take the Bible too literally and for some the Virgin Birth is the central core of their Faith (if that is what they believe so be it). But I have so say, it is funny (I just happen to have a warped sense of humor).
Akuma River

Gang bangers are more dangerous than terrorist suspects in Gitmo so bring the trials on.

Street Gangs More Deadly Than Guantanamo Detainees: Judge

WASHINGTON — The chief judge of the federal court in Washington told lawyers Thursday that domestic street gangs are more deadly than some Guantanamo Bay detainees who could face trial in U.S. courts.

Judge Royce Lamberth was speaking at an American Bar Association breakfast about Attorney General Eric Holder's recent decision to put the reputed Sept. 11 mastermind and four accused henchmen on trial in New York federal court.

Lamberth didn't refer specifically to those five in his comments, but rejected the suggestion made by some critics of Holder's decision that U.S. courts cannot secure defendants like terror suspects held at Guantanamo.

"The gangs are more murderous, I think, than some of these people at Guantanamo," Lamberth said. "They've certainly killed their share of witnesses here."

Lamberth presided over a 2004 trial in which six members of a gang called Murder Inc. were accused of killing at least 31 people, including witnesses to the gang's crimes. It was one of the city's longest and most tightly guarded trials. The judge and jury were protected by bulletproof glass.

President Barack Obama has ordered the federal government to acquire an underused state prison in rural Illinois to be the new home for a limited number of terror suspects now held at Guantanamo. The federal government will transform the site into a prison that exceeds supermax standards, officials said this week.

Lamberth said he does not want to get into a political debate about whether detainees should be tried in military commissions or civilian courts, but he insisted the court system can handle whatever cases it gets.

"Federal courts are very capable of doing this," Lamberth said.

Some critics of Holder's decision argue that such trials will expose national security secrets to enemy terrorists. But Lamberth argued a trial judge can sort through the classified information in secret before anything is aired in a public courtroom.

Stewart Baker, a former Bush administration homeland security official who attended Lamberth's speech, said afterward he was not convinced on that point.

Such a trial "creates this massive hydraulic pressure to declassify information," said Baker. "We can always do something. Whether you can really protect national security fully is really an open question."

Lamberth said he "bristled" when he heard Holder predict that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the four others will be convicted, and bristled again when defense lawyers spoke publicly about the case becoming a "show trial."

The judge suggested a gag order could be imposed on all the lawyers in any such case to keep the proceedings from getting out of hand.

He also said that it is possible defendants will use the trial to launch anti-American invective, but said: "It's a free country. I don't think that that can be prevented and I think families have to understand that in a free country those things can happen."
Ani: Amazon Warrior

Trafficking victims often deported

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A newspaper report has found federal agencies commonly deport immigrants without asking whether they have been victims of human trafficking.

The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday that up to one-fourth of the victims who might have testified against their traffickers were deported. Those include some workers picked up in an Immigration raid last year at a meat processing plant in Postville, Iowa.

The newspaper also reports some deportees have been sedated or abused on one of two Kansas City-based government airlines in violation of federal regulations. The story was one in a five-part series.

It was based on interviews and reviews of court documents and thousands of pages of reports released under the Freedom of Information Act.

source
panda bear

(no subject)

Palin raises eyebrows with hat



Sarah Palin said she meant no disrespect to the man that elevated her to the national scene after she was photographed wearing a visor on which Sen. John McCain's name had been blacked out.

The gossip Web site TMZ snapped photos of the former Alaska governor vacationing in Hawaii earlier this week in which Palin is shown with a McCain campaign visor with black marker covering the ex-presidential candidate's name.

The Web site declared the hat a "frontal attack on Sen. John McCain," but Palin told Politico she was merely trying to "be incognito" while vacationing in Hawaii.

"I am so sorry if people took this silly incident the wrong way," Palin said in a statement to the Web site. "I adore John McCain, support him 100 percent and will do everything I can to support his reelection. As everyone knows, I was honored and proud to run with him. And Todd and I were with him in D.C. just a week ago. So much for trying to be incognito."
The four term Senator McCain is up for re-election next year.

The vacation comes a month after Palin's memoir, "Going Rogue: An American Life," hit book stores. Palin launched an around-the-country book tour soon after and has since visited more than 30 cities.

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Palin Blink
  • afa_mom

Dick's Sporting Goods - Anti-Christmas company of the year

If you go into a Dick's Sporting Goods store, don't look for "Christmas." It won't be there.

You won't find it in their newspaper inserts or on their website either. And their television commercials...forget it.

In our research of the Top 100 retailers in America, Dick's advertising is likely the most "Christmas-denying" of all.

We searched high and low for "Christmas" at Dick's, only to find they couldn't care less about Christmas.

Sure, Dick's wants you to buy their products...but no retailer in the nation has appeared to go out of its way to ban Christmas more than Dick's.


Source

Here's a list of retailers and where they stand on the War on Christmas
Citadel

Indian sect members vow to marry sex workers (no, really)

More than 1,000 followers of a multi-religious sect in northern India have pledged to marry female sex workers who want to escape exploitation.

Young Hindu, Muslim and Sikh men have been queuing up at the Dera Sacha Sauda (Abode of the Real Deal) in the town of Sirsa as "wedding volunteers".

They say they are doing so to stop the women from being exploited in brothels.

They also claim that their move is part of a campaign to stop the spread of the HIV/Aids virus.

The Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) is one of many religious sects operating in northern India.

Most take root by offering community services, social welfare and spiritual leadership but over time, as their followings grow, they often seek political influence.

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Pride & Prejudice

How many women did Peter Tobin kill?

Peter Tobin, who has been convicted of the murder of teenager Dinah McNicol, was already serving sentences for the murders of two women. Police are now restarting Operation Anagram, tracing Tobin's past movements and examining whether he is responsible for any other unsolved crimes.

"I strongly, strongly suspected and formed the theory that Tobin may have indeed been a serial killer," were the words of Detective Superintendent David Swindle, who led the Angelika Kluk murder inquiry in 2006, the first for which Tobin was convicted. "The fact of his age and the method of [Angelika's] killing, and all the other factors surrounding Tobin, made us think this guy's done this before. It was also while interviewing relatives of Tobin, that we got indications that Tobin may have been involved in other crimes."

After the case, Det Supt Swindle set up Operation Anagram. It led to the discovery of the bodies of 15-year-old Vicky Hamilton and 18-year-old Dinah McNicol - who had both disappeared in 1991. Tobin has been convicted of both their murders.
 
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Source

There are no words. Just... how fucked up can someone get?

Edited for paragraphing problems.
{default} this is how I roll

Glenn Beck gives a huge bigoted rant against India and then fauxpologizes

In support of health care reform, SEIU's website recently highlighted the case of Karlyn Zimbelman, an American who received successful medical treatment abroad because she couldn't foot the $40,000 bill for hip replacement surgery she would have been forced to pay in the United States. And so, she went to India, where the surgery and 13 days of medical care cost her $12,500 -- $16,500 with travel and other costs.

Beck ran parts of a video testimonial from Ms. Zimbelman, who had the audacity to say the following: "I think the American health care system is excellent, but I just think it's so expensive. Where's the money going?" Beck then offered the following explanation of the cost differential (emphasis added):

The best I can figure is all that money goes to high-tech hospitals and doctors who studied at Harvard rather than Gajra Raja medical school. Oh sure, yeah, you know, it's weird. You can buy a Gucci bag on any New York street corner for like four bucks. No different than the 3,000 dollar real thing. They're identical!


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Source 1 | Source 2

I know that the original clip is a week old now but I didn't see it being posted here. :P
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MoveOn Collects Over $1 Million. Thanks Joe Lieberman! They Could Not Have Done It Without You.

MoveOn Hits $1 Million Mark In Anti-Lieberman Campaign

In less than two days time, the progressive action group MoveOn.org has raised more than $1 million for its campaign against Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.).


The five-million-member group launched a fundraising drive on Tuesday after the Connecticut independent successfully killed key provisions from the Senate's health care reform legislation.

The goal was set, initially, for $400,000. By 1:22 p.m. on Thursday they were past the $1 million mark and climbing. The money will go to an ad campaign against Lieberman and into a fund to oppose his re-election in 2012.

The massive and quick response to the plea reflects just how much progressive frustration there is about the man who, eight years ago, was the Democratic vice presidential nominee.


Additionally, on Thursday, MoveOn.org put out a comic web ad using sock puppets to mock Lieberman as a spotlight-seeking political diva -- and his colleagues in the Democratic caucus as spineless enablers of his behavior.

The spot, which is not part of the broad multimedia ad campaign that the group will launch with its fundraising drive overhaul, has Lieberman at one point demanding that he be given four inches in height in exchange for his vote -- a request that was, naturally, granted.

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Lieberman Has Made Health Care Reform Unpopular

By giving in to Sen. Joseph Lieberman's (I-Conn.) demands on health care legislation, Senate Democratic leadership may have moved closer to blocking a Republican filibuster. But they've also made reform far less popular.


Lieberman's insistence that a government-run insurance option (as well as a provision to expand Medicare) be stripped from the bill has moved Democrats and the White House towards the wrong side of public opinion.

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Crazy Republican Candidate Sues Wikipedia: "Communist Socialist Tool of The Obama Administration!"

Wikipedia Is A Pro-Obama, Tax-Exempt Scam, Senate Candidate Andy Martin Claims

Andy Martin, a U.S. senate candidate, has hit Wikipedia and Wikimedia with a fraud lawsuit, alleging the two foundations are running "a tax-exempt protosocialist scam that seeks to harass Republicans, conservatives and Obama opponents."

Martin, described as an "Internet Powerhouse" in the press release regarding his lawsuit, is seeking an injunction against the two online organizations, which he's labeled as "anti-conservative, anti-Republican and anti-Obama opponent smear operations."

Martin's press release, which notes that he will be attending a conference on Barack Obama's Missing Birth Certificate and College Records, reads:

(NEW YORK)(December 17, 2009) Republican U. S. Senate candidate and insurgent "Internet Powerhouse" Andy Martin will hold a New York news conference Thursday, December 17th to announce that he has sued the "protosocialist" Wikipedia/Wikimedia operation for using tax-exempt resources to run a hate campaign against him at the behest of Wikimedia's Barack Obama supporters.

Martin is in New York for the Second national Conference on Barack Obama's Missing Birth Certificate and College Records.


"No one could characterize the Wikipedia entry on my extraordinary life of public service and personal sacrifice as 'neutral and impartial,'" Martin says. "It is obviously nothing more than a political smear by Barack Obama's rabid supporters. Wikimedia and Wikimedia are tax-exempt protosocialist scams that target conservatives, Republicans and opponents of Obama. I am a triple threat when it comes to being the target of Obama agents.


"I am fighting back. We need to expose Wikimedia's scams. Wikimedia/Wikipedia use tax-exempt resources to spew their venom on innocent victims Martin says. "The public is also a victim of fraud by these leftist Obamabots. I want to bring the facts and the truth about these protosocialist provocateurs to the attention of the American people;


Andy Martin's Wikipedia entry describes him as a "vexatious litigant" and "perennial candidate." The entry notes that he asserts that "Obama's real father is not Barack Obama Sr., but is Frank Marshall Davis, an African American journalist of the 1950s."
Citadel

AFA_MOM, GET YOUR BUNKER TOGETHER TODAY

Without new immigrants, by the middle of the century the nation’s population would begin to decline, the elderly would account for nearly one in four Americans and non-Hispanic whites would remain a majority, according to new projections by the Census Bureau.

But if immigration were to merely slow down, rather than stop, non-Hispanic whites, who now account for nearly two-thirds of the population, would become a minority by 2050, according to the projections. If the pace of immigration increases, that benchmark could be reached as early as 2040.

Depending on the pace of international migration, the nation’s population, 308 million currently, could grow to as much as 458 million by midcentury, with immigrants accounting for up to 136 million of the increase.

Since 2000, the nation’s population has been growing by just under one million immigrants annually. The bureau’s lower estimates assume a range of 1.1 million to 1.8 million; the higher estimates range from 1.5 million to 2.4 million.

Even if no new immigrants arrived, said William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution, the Hispanic share of the population would rise from about 14 percent in 2010 to between 21 percent (with no further immigration) and 31 percent (with the highest projected immigration) in 2050.

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Citadel

Raped? Human Life Alliance Says Birthing Your Attacker's Child is the Only Way to Heal

Few women have suffered like people who are victimized by sexual predators. Be it stranger rape, acquaintance rape, date rape or incest, the person who has been sexually assaulted must deal not only with the physical effects of the attack, but the long-term emotional effects, as well.

And for those girls and women who have not only been victimized but also impregnated by their attackers, the trauma of the attack goes well beyond its initial occurrence.

The Human Life Alliance dedicates a section of its ICARE advertising supplement into shaming women who are impregnated by their attackers into giving birth.

"As traumatic as rape is," the supplement advises, "abortion does not un-rape the mother. In fact, studies show that most women who become pregnant through rape don't want an abortion."

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Akuma River

Nate Silver's Response to 20 Responses

20 Questions, 20 Responses

I'm happy that this debate seems to be evolving into something a little more civilized on all sides. This is my response to Markos Moulitsas (DK) at Daily Kos and Jon Walker (JW) at FireDogLake who were kind enough to respond to the 20 questions I posed earlier. This is a lot of text, so I apologize in advance for any typographical or readability issues.
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garf tired

Never good enough for them.

Sen. Nelson: Abortion Compromise 'Not Sufficient'







WASHINGTON — A moderate Democrat whose vote could be crucial said Thursday an attempted Senate compromise on abortion is unsatisfactory, raising doubts about whether the chamber can pass President Barack Obama's health care overhaul by Christmas.

"As it is, without modifications, the language concerning abortion is not sufficient," Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a key holdout on the health care bill, said in a statement after first making his concerns known to Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Nelson said there were positive improvements dealing with teen pregnancy and adoption, and that he was open to further negotiations. But in a radio interview earlier in the day with KLIN in Lincoln, Nebraska, Nelson also said that abortion wasn't his only concern and he didn't see how the Christmas deadline was achievable.

The development came with Senate leaders working round the clock trying to finalize their 10-year, nearly $1 trillion bill in time for a final vote on Christmas Eve. Nelson is emerging as a major obstacle – perhaps the only remaining one – since Democrats need his vote to have the 60 necessary to overcome Republican stalling tactics.

"Senator Reid will continue to work with Senator Nelson and other senators as we work to get 60 votes," said Reid spokesman Jim Manley.

At the same time, liberals were criticizing the Senate bill for lacking a government-run insurance option, with former Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean calling the measure a boon for insurance companies. Andrew Stern, head of the 2.1 million-member Service Employees International Union, said he was deeply disappointed in the bill but stopped short of urging rejection.

The Obama administration and its allies – including former President Bill Clinton – pushed back on the criticism. Clinton said that while the bill isn't perfect, inaction would be a mistake.

"Allowing this effort to fall short now would be a colossal blunder, both politically for our party and, far more important, for the physical, fiscal, and economic health of our country," he said in a statement in which he alluded to his own failed effort to remake health care in the 1990s.
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The attempted abortion compromise offered to Nelson was written by another anti-abortion Democrat, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, among others, and was an attempt to secure Nelson's support for the health care bill while also keeping liberals on board. It's the Democrats' latest attempt to strictly separate public and private money that could pay for abortion coverage under a remade health care system in which many lower-income people would be using new federal subsidies to buy health insurance.

Several previous attempts have been dismissed by Roman Catholic bishops and anti-abortion groups as accounting gimmicks, and this one looks like it may fare no better. The language has not been made public but is already drawing criticism from outside groups.

Speaking to reporters, Casey declined to directly address Nelson's objections but said he would keep trying for a compromise.

"We're trying to get this right," Casey said. "I've had ideas on the table for a while now, I'm still working through them and we'll keep talking to anyone who wants to discuss it."

According to Casey, the proposed compromise included a two-year increase, from $10,000 to $11,000, in an adoption tax credit; $250 million over 10 years in new funding to help pregnant teens and others with alternatives to abortion and stronger "conscience clause" language to give protections to health care providers who don't want to perform abortions. Casey declined to go into additional detail, but according to anti-abortion groups and others briefed on the language, another element would allow individuals opposed to abortion to seek assurances that none of their premium dollars would pay for that service.

That provision, in particular, angered anti-abortion activists.

Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, said that in her understanding the new language "still allows federal subsidies for plans that cover abortion on demand, which is entirely unacceptable."

"The proposed opt-out clause is particularly offensive," Schmit-Albin said. "The federal government would treat abortion on demand as if it was really health care, and then allow people to apply for status as conscientious objectors? Give me a break."

The abortion issue also threatened to derail health care legislation in the House, before Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed to the demands of anti-abortion Democrats, who added stringent restrictions to the bill that infuriated liberals.

In the House bill, any health plan that receives any federal subsidies could not offer abortion coverage. The Senate language as filed – and apparently under the attempted compromise – would allow federal subsidies to go to health plans that offer abortion coverage but would attempt to ensure that only private money went for the procedures.

Source
lolwut

Is Putin a father again? The alleged mother denies it on blog.

A son in Putin's Yule stocking



Vladimir Putin has a lot to celebrate this Christmas. Not only has the Russian strongman consolidated his control over the proletariat -- and all their oil and gas -- he's also been given his first son, sources say.

Alina Kabaeva, the gorgeous, 26-year-old rhythmic gymnastics champion, recently gave birth to a boy in Moscow and named the baby Dimitry, a moniker he'll share with Putin's handpicked president, Dimitry Medvedev.

Kabaeva has been identified as Putin's girlfriend ever since she retired from competition in 2006 after winning two Olympic medals and 18 World Championship medals to become the most decorated gymnast in history.

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Source 1
Source 2

Not my favorite source, but by far, the most reputable. I don't want to believe it, since Putin and his wife are my OTP ;____;

Taylor Pugh: 4-Year-Old Texas Boy Suspended For Long Locks

BALCH SPRINGS, Texas — Pre-kindergartner Taylor Pugh likes his floppy hair just how it is: long on the front and sides, covering his earlobes and shirt collar. But his long locks violate the dress code in his suburban Dallas school district. So Taylor again Wednesday found himself facing in-school suspension, sitting in a library with a teacher's aide while his friends played and learned together in a classroom. "They kicked me out that place," said Taylor, 4, who prefers the nickname Tater Tot. "I miss my friends." Taylor's parents say he plans to eventually cut his hair and donate it to a charity that makes wigs for cancer patients. But they're not happy with the district's rules. It appears the school district "is more concerned about his hair than his education," said Taylor's father, Delton Pugh. "I don't think it's right to hold a child down and force him to do something ... when it's not hurting him or affecting his education."

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Awww..what a sweet little boy. Way to make a 4 YEAR OLD feel bad assholes!
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Senate to meet at 12:01am Friday morning!

US Senate To Vote Early Friday Morning On Defense Spending Bill

By Corey Boles, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. Senate is expected to cast a strong bipartisan vote to clear a key procedural hurdle on a bill to set the Pentagon's budget, but lawmakers won't do so until the early hours of Friday morning.

In a bid to delay the possibility of votes on sweeping health care legislation, the Republican minority is forcing all 30 hours of debate on the defense spending bill. That time expires at 1 a.m. EST Friday, when lawmakers will have to return to the Capitol to vote for the bill.

That will start another 30 hour clock ticking, with a final vote on the Pentagon budget bill then expected sometime early Saturday morning.

The delaying tactics are evidence of the poor state of relations between Republican and Democratic lawmakers as a potential vote on health care legislation inches closer.

Wednesday afternoon, Republicans invoked their right to hear any amendment read out in full by the clerk of the Senate.

The amendment they chose to invoke the right on was a more than 750 page measure introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).

As the clerk entered his third hour of reading, Sanders withdrew the amendment, bringing the reading to a close.

As for the defense bill itself, a near unanimous vote is expected. Sen. Russ Feingold (D., Wis.), an ardent opponent of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, is expected to vote against the measure, but he won't likely be joined by many other senators.

It lays out $636 billion for the Pentagon for the remaining 10 months of fiscal 2010. Once it is approved on Saturday, it will complete Congress' must- pass spending duties, more than two months after the beginning of the fiscal year.

The bill also includes short-term extensions of a number of expiring federal programs, deferring decisions on whether to reauthorize them until the end of February. These include a two month extension of federal jobless benefits and subsidies to people who lost their medical insurance when they were laid off. The federal highway program is also extended for another two months.

The House voted Wednesday to approve the legislation, meaning it will go to President Barack Obama for his signature if the Senate, as expected, approves it on Saturday.

-By Corey Boles, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-6601; corey.boles@dowjones.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires
12-17-091743ET
Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Watch it live at http://cspan.org/Watch/C-SPAN2.aspx
Vote to take place at 1am ET.
Lisa&Nelson

Drunk 4-Year-Old Steals Christmas Presents

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WTVC-TV) - A 4-year-old boy, beer in hand, is accused of stealing Christmas presents from his neighbors. It's a strange story, but also a sad one.

April Wright is 21 years old and is going through a divorce with her husband who is in jail. She says she is not sure how her 4-year-old managed to get out of the house, open a beer, and steal the neighbors presents from under their tree. Now she's just glad he's okay and says she won't let it happen again.

The child, Hayden Wright, was found around 1:45 am Tuesday, wandering the streets of his neighborhood. In a police reports, officers said he was wearing a little girl's dress and drinking a beer. The police report says the child had to be taken to the hospital to be treated for alcohol consumption.

April Wright said, "Biggest concern was him being out there, getting kidnapped, getting run over, the alcohol, having to have his stomach pumped."

Wright says she woke up that night at 1:45 am and panicked when she found Hayden was gone. She says she put safety devices on all the doors so her kids couldn't get out, but Hayden was able to break the safety device off the doorknob and get outside.

Once out, Wright says her four year old followed his father's footsteps and was found on Blue Spruce Road, drinking.

"He runs away trying to find his father," she said. "He wants to get in trouble so he can go to jail because that's where his daddy is."

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office report says Hayden rang the doorbell a few houses down and the neighbor answered, finding the child holding a partially consumeed 12-ounce beer.

Wright said, "He got it out of my father's cooler in the back and how he got it open I don't understand because it was one of those tab beers."

But it doesn't stop there. The report said Hayden then snuck into a neighbor's house through an unlocked front door, and stole five wrapped Christmas gifts. One was a girl's brown dress which Hayden was wearing when police found him.

"Going to the neighbor's house and taking their presents, very embarrassing," said April.

She admits she was not just embarrassed, but scared, and rushed to the hospital that night with Hayden. She said she tries to be a good mother and loves her son, but now feels like a failure.

"Kids do things like this and it's out of your control, you can do the best you can as a mother, everyone makes mistakes, it was an honest mistake," she said.

Wright did meet with child protective services today who told her she will get to keep custody of Hayden.

grrm sux

Vatican defrocks exorcist archbishop who married

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - African Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who practiced exorcism, faith healing and created a scandal in the Catholic Church when he married a Korean woman, has been defrocked, the Vatican said on Thursday.

A Vatican statement said Milingo, excommunicated in 2006, was no longer a priest. It referred to him as "Mister Milingo."

The unusual action was taken because Milingo, originally from Zambia, had been threatening to illegally ordain bishops as part of a breakaway church that would allow priests to marry, a spokesman said.

The Vatican excommunicated the archbishop, 79, when, in a blaze of publicity in Washington, he ordained four married men as priests as part of his group "Married Priests Now."

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normal

Tea Party to Start Patriotic Caucus. GOP Not Welcome.

Tea Party Movement Plans 2010 Caucus

The Tea Party movement hopes to calm dissension in its ranks in time for an April meeting of what is being called the Patriot Caucus
. The conference will take place the weekend of April 16 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania -- a site chosen to invoke the essence of George Washington, whose army held Valley Forge through the desolate winter of 1777-1778. Over that winter Washington lost over 2,000 men to such maladies as typhoid, jaundice, dysentery, pneumonia, and simple malnutrition. The Tea Party movement hopes for a more successful winter.

This is very possible. The Tea Party movement will use the next few months to develop and strengthen the bonds between its sometimes-warring factions, and, in fact, they have already begun. Four major groups have joined forces and pooled their resources, as evidenced by the top of the TaxDayTeaParty.com website. The result is the Patriot Caucus, a joint effort of American Liberty Alliance, FreedomWorks, the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition and Tea Party Patriots, the same groups working to plan a 2010 Tax Day Tea Party on April 15 -- one day before the Caucus. All four groups worked together this summer to support the Tax Day Tea Parties and the town hall protests but not in such a tight-knit coalition.

The Caucus identifies itself as not just another Tea Party organization but an "unbiased infrastructure" which will exist only to identify and facilitate communications between like-minded Tea Party groups. The Patriot Caucus Facebook group already boasts over 2,000 members. The group's oldest wall entry was posted December 4, but the Caucus itself did not "go live" for another four days, when their planning wiki went online. The founding conference will include "intense training, debate panels and general session special guests" as well as the first election of "the 155 delegation of the national Patriot Caucus." There's a [sic] in there somewhere.

Why start a non-organization to organize other organizations? Messaging, apparently. According to the overview published on the Caucus wiki,

"We believe a part of the problem is the fact that those who advocate in favor of one idea over another, or one effort over another, do so because of partisanship or bias for the group he/she is involved in. This, of course, is natural and expected. But it does us little good in the end.

As an example, there are constant emails floating around within the movement that say, "why is your group doing that when our group is doing the same thing?" These are perfectly legitimate emails and great questions. But the more important question is, why did the two groups not conference with each other before the plans were made? We can't fault a group for making plans. We can, however, fault the movement for not properly communicating about potential plans as they're brewing."


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In non-rapey, non-ragey, non-Tiger Woods related news..

Thomson Correctional Center to House Guantanamo Bay Detainees

Wednesday 16 December 2009
by: Mary Susan Littlepage

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President Barack Obama has directed the federal government to buy the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Illinois, to house Guantanamo Bay terrorist detainees. News of the arrangement leaked out last week in a confidential memo obtained by the web site Big Government, and it became official on Tuesday.

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alternate: CNN source