December 24th, 2009


GOP to Democrats: "Come to The Dark Side. We Have Cooties..."

Obama in Late Push on Health
White House Backs Cost Panel to Clinch Bill in January; GOP Steps Up Opposition

With the Senate set to pass its health bill on Christmas Eve, President Barack Obama is planning to step up his involvement in the final health-care legislation, White House and congressional officials say.

At the same time, Republicans have ratcheted up their attacks on the legislation and begun approaching conservative Democrats to switch parties, in the wake of this week's unexpected defection of Democratic Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama.

Administration officials want what they view as must-have pieces in the final bill to be hashed out in January by House and Senate negotiators. To help pay for expanded coverage, they favor the Senate's tax on high-cost plans over the tax on the wealthy the House approved . The White House is pushing for a strong independent panel to assess Medicare spending and recommend cuts to Congress, according to administration and congressional officials. That is in the Senate bill but not the House version. Mr. Obama "will be taking a more active role," said White House health official Nancy-Ann DeParle.

The Senate on Wednesday completed procedural motions needed to close debate and was scheduled to vote on the bill itself Thursday. The key motions passed with all 58 Democrats and two independents in favor and no Republican support.

The administration is sensitive to criticism the legislation does too little to trim growth of costs. White House Budget Director Peter Orszag says the 40% tax on high-cost, or "Cadillac," plans will encourage employers to look for more thrifty coverage and discourage unnecessary procedures. Cost is the reason for favoring this as well as the Medicare commission.

Mr. Obama said in an NPR interview Wednesday that Cadillac plans "don't make people healthier but just take more money out of their pockets because they're paying more for insurance than they need to."

Opponents of the tax on high-value plans say it will hit many middle-income workers and violate Mr. Obama's pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class. Rep. Tom Price (R., Ga.), head of the Republican Study Committee, called Thursday's planned vote a "Christmas Eve calamity."
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If Obama Was a Liberal We'd Have a Better Bill

Forward the video above to around 1:55. Candidate Obama was against mandates before Pres. Obama demanded them for us all. If Obama was a liberal he would have embraced mandates from the beginning, understanding that they go with the public option, which is the only way to offer choice to people while cutting costs. He didn't.

If Harry Reid was a liberal we'd have a better bill, because he wouldn't have played Let's Make a Deal host, with the biggest winner the insurance companies.

If Speaker Pelosi was a liberal she wouldn't have invited religious leaders into the room to craft language that takes rights away from women we won through the law decades ago.

Liberals wouldn't let something like this happen either:

... We're not changing our health-care system very much at all, in fact. Nothing happens in 2010. Or in 2011. Or in 2012. In 2014, when the bill really begins, the insurance situations of 18 million people change. A full 16 million of those people are uninsured. Aside from the small sliver of people who will pay a surtax on the final few dollars of uncommonly expensive insurance plans, the country simply will not notice this legislation. [...] -
Ezra Klein, The amazing disappearing bill

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Drunken Woman Stabs Boy Over Xbox Playing

A Scottish woman was found guilty of stabbing a 13-year-old boy with a kitchen knife for refusing to stop playing his Xbox.

The 55 year old woman, Isobel Mackenzie, purportedly lunged at the boy and stabbed him in the stomach with a kitchen knife during a fight (or as the Scottish call it, a row.) They were fighting because of the boy's usage of an Xbox and a computer. The woman admitted to being drunk while the boy was under her care, but denied that she had attacked him with the intent to hurt him. Her claim was that the boy hurt himself in order to get her in trouble. Mackenzie was convicted by a jury in Inverness after a 3 day trial. The woman avoided jail-time, but was sentenced to 300 hours of community service.

Here is a sample of the kid's testimony:

She hit me on the back of the head. I stood up and pushed her back. We started fighting. She pushed me back down on the chair. I saw she had a knife. I got up and tried to push her back, and then got stabbed. She lunged at me.

It seems there has been a rash of violence by parents or caretakers to control the gaming habits of their wards. Which, of course, is the most ironic thing I've written all week.

Source: The Escapist

Bolton: "Lets Bomb The Sh*t Out of Iran, Then Say We Are Sorry. We Will Be Greeted as Liberators"

Bolton: Strike On Iran Is No Problem As Long As It’s Accompanied By A ‘Campaign Of Public Diplomacy’

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad yesterday rejected a year-end deadline set by the Obama administration to agree to a U.N.-sponsored proposal for Iran to ship its low-grade uranium abroad for further processing.

On Fox News today, John Bolton — who has wanted nothing short of a military strike on Iran for years — dismissed any talk of sanctions and lamented that if Israel “take[s] a pass” on attacking Iran, then “Iran gets nuclear weapons.” When host Trace Gallagher wondered if attacking Iran might cause the opposition there to coalesce around the regime, Bolton said that wouldn’t be a problem because all that would be needed is an accompanying public diplomacy campaign:

BOLTON: I don’t agree with that, if handled properly. … I think a careful campaign of public diplomacy in the wake of a military strike could explain to the people of Iran who are knowledgeable and sophisticated, that the attack is not aimed against them, it’s aimed against this regime that they dislike so much.

Unfortunately, this kind of public diplomacy campaign didn’t work out so well coinciding with the U.S. war in Iraq. Indeed, just before the invasion, President Bush addressed the Iraqi people, saying the war “will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you. … We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free.”

And while Bolton has routinely ignored questions of how military action will “play out” in Iran and the region, the consequences are real and sobering.

The Carnegie Endowment’s Karim Sadjadpour — an actual Iran expert, not just some war-hawk flack like Bolton — has said that any use of force would all but kill the Iranian opposition movement. “Khamenei and Ahmadinejad would actually welcome a military strike,” he said, adding that “it may be their only hope to silence popular dissent and heal internal political rifts.”

The Wonk Room's Matt Duss has more on how a military strike on Iran "is probably the best way to kill" the Green movement.

GOP: "Constitutional Scholars? We Dont Need No Stinky Constitutional Scholars!"

DeMint And Ensign Look To Right-Wing Think Tanks Rather Than Judges To Interpret The Constitution

Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and John Ensign (R-NV) announced yesterday that they would invoke an unusual Senate procedure — a “constitutional point of order” — to allow the Senate to rule by majority vote on whether the “Democrat health care takeover bill” is unconstitutional.

Significantly, neither DeMint nor Ensign cite a single judge, justice or reputable constitutional scholar who believes that health reform is unconstitutional.  Instead, they rely entirely on a study by the right-wing Heritage Foundation, a radical “tenther” organization which has endorsed the view that Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the federal minimum wage, and the federal ban on workplace discrimination and whites-only lunch counters are all unconstitutional.  Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), rebuts DeMint and Ensign’s constitutional claim by citing numerous constitutional scholars — including right-wing law professor Jonathan Adlerwho all agree that health reform is constitutional. Moreover, as ThinkProgress has previously explained, even ultra-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia disagrees with the tenther attack on health reform.

Sadly, DeMint and Ensign’s attempt to change the meaning of the Constitution by invoking a constitutional point of order is an all too familiar tactic. As CQ reports, Republicans often invoke this procedure to claim that bills they don’t like must therefore be unconstitutionalSen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) recently invoked the procedure to claim that a $200,000 federal grant to an Omaha, Neb. museum somehow violated the constitution. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) used it to protest a bill to enfranchise D.C. residents.

Raising a constitutional point of order is also the first step to invoking the so-called “nuclear option,” an elaborate set of procedural maneuvers Republicans dreamed up while they were still in the majority, that effectively declare the filibuster unconstitutional.  Indeed, despite the fact that Ensign and DeMint now claim the right to filibuster anything the majority does, both senators believed the filibuster must be unconstitutional when it was being used against them.  Ensign claimed that the Senate has a “constitutional obligation” to give President Bush’s most radical judicial nominees an “up-or-down” vote, and DeMint had even harsher words for Democratic senators who opposed majority rule:
The obstructionists should go to the Senate floor, make their arguments, allow senators to draw their conclusions on her nomination and then let us vote. If their arguments are so strong, they should be able to convince a majority to agree. Otherwise, they are simply smearing the integrity of a highly respected jurist to score political points against the president, at the expense of vandalizing the Constitution. . . .

There is a reason Americans elected George W. Bush and a large Republican majority in Congress. The majority of Americans trusted our judgment on judicial nominees. There is also a reason Democrats are in the minority. Most Americans did not trust them to make these decisions.
Now that DeMint and Ensign are in the minority, however, it simply must be the case that the Constitution protects minority obstructionism–and that bills opposed by the minority are unconstitutional.

Update In a long, rambling speech on the Senate floor, Ensign also cites an op-ed by right-wing attorneys David Rivkin and Lee Casey as proof that health reform is unconstitutional. The Wonk Room debunks Rivkin and Casey here.
Update Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told Iowa reporters that he doesn't think DeMint and Ensign's effort "means much."

Senate Passes Health Care Legislation 60/39

By a vote of 60 to 39, the Senate passed its version of health care reform. The next step is a conference with the House to form one bill to be voted on by both chambers. Sen. Reid and President Obama will comment shortly on the vote.

Source (front page)

There was giggling or something on the senate floor. I was really freaked out by it, not gonna lie. Reid actually flopped after his aye vote. Dude's gotta be exhausted.

Happy Holidays ONTD_P!

edit: For those curious, Senator Bunning (R-KY) abstained. Also as an FYI, it's probably because he hates the Republican Party's guts.
  • Current Mood
believe balloon boy

Sea Shepherd and Japanese clash further

Japanese authorities and the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd have accused each other of endangering the safety of crews during escalating high sea skirmishes.

The Japanese government-sponsored Institute of Cetacean Research said in a statement on Wednesday that a Sea Shepherd vessel had come dangerously close to a Japanese craft and tried to blind its crew with lasers.

The Ady Gil, which has joined Sea Shepherd ship the Steve Irwin as part of the annual anti-whaling campaign in Antarctic waters, had also "fired ball-like projectiles with a projectile-launching device" during an attack lasting three-and-a-half hours, the centre said.

Sea Shepherd accused the Japanese of using crowd-control sound technology known as a Long Range Acoustic Devices, or LRADs, as well as water cannon, against the Ady Gil crew.

The activists said they responded with lasers to get the Japanese to back off to a safe distance.

The Japanese accuse both Sea Shepherd ships of trailing ropes in failed bids to entangle the whaler's rudder and propellor.

They also accused the Steve Irwin crew of hurling bottles of butyric acid - a rancid liquid that occurs in spoiled butter - during a two-hour conflict on Tuesday.

Steve Irwin captain Paul Watson said the "acid attack" was stink bombs the crew threw at the Japanese in a bid to "annoy them".

Capt Watson said earlier on Wednesday that his crew had been unable to shake off the Japanese security vessel Shonan Maru No 2, which has been chasing and harassing his ship to keep it off the trail of the Japanese whaling fleet.

He said the Ady Gil was called in to create a diversion and allow his crew to pursue the whalers.

The Ady Gil, a 24-metre trimaran "stealth boat" painted with radar deflective paint, had circled the Shonan Maru in a bid to slow it down, he said.

"At first it looked good, and the Steve Irwin was able to put 12 miles between the Shonan Maru No 2 and itself," Capt Watson said.

"But despite being harassed by the Ady Gil for two hours, the Japanese slowly worked their way back to a six-mile distance.

"To accomplish this they had to increase their speed to over 20 knots, a speed at which, unfortunately, the Steve Irwin cannot outrun."

He said the Ady Gil was carrying five crew members - four New Zealanders and one Dutch citizen.

Australian Greens leader Bob Brown has called on the federal government to send surveillance planes or boats to record the dispute.

"This is a whaling war with Kevin Rudd missing from action," Senator Brown said.

"Japan has two naval vessels involved. Rudd should at least send surveillance planes or vessels."

Senator Brown says he is revolted that Japan's fleet was allowed to refuel in Australia en route to killing whales.

HP - Luna is never underdressed


Bill would lower volume of loud TV commercials

Washington (CNN) -- It's after dinner. You're tired. You ease yourself into a comfortable place to watch your favorite TV show. Suddenly you're jolted from your couch potato demeanor by a commercial break.

It's an ad for insurance or rum or a credit card -- and it's blaring, invading your calm and boosting your blood pressure.

Marketers want the loud commercials to grab viewers' attention.

A Democratic representative from California, however -- and her fellow politicians in the House -- find them more annoying than effective.

In her crusade to eliminate the nuisance, Rep. Anna Eshoo wrote the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or CALM, which mandates that TV commercials be no louder than the programs in which they appear.

Representatives unanimously passed the bill last month and sent it to the Senate for consideration.

The brief measure directs the Federal Communications Commission to develop regulations preventing ads from being "excessively noisy or strident" or "having modulation levels substantially higher than the accompanying program." The bill also addresses "average maximum loudness."

The volume of television commercials is a common complaint among viewers. One man told CNN, "Every time you put on the TV and try and watch a show, the next thing you get are these really loud commercials."

A woman added, "I usually mute the television."

"This is a dumb bill but I love it. I really do," said media analyst Mark Hughes. He said that for irritated Americans it strikes a nerve, even though it's not a huge political issue.

"It's important to people. And it's important in my household that I don't wake up the kids when they're sleeping, and I don't tick off my wife when she tells me to turn it down" because of a commercial's high volume.

Eshoo said she's been swamped with mail, e-mail and phone calls from people who have thanked her for the bill.

Political strategist John Ashford said there is some attraction to an issue that is manageable, as opposed to the complex issues Congress often struggles with.

"Having worked on Capitol Hill and now working in public relations, I know that when Congress can't solve big problems like Iraq and Afghanistan and 10 percent unemployment and how to implement this health care bill they are trying to pass, they turn to small problems like blasting television commercials."

Under the measure, advertisers and production houses would have one year to adopt technology that modulates and sets sound levels -- and apply it to TV commercials.

The FCC will do its part, a source there said.

CNN's Louise Schiavone contributed to this report.



Libural Ugandans Find Genocide for Gays Too Harsh, Life Imprisoment Much Better. Thats Progressive!

Ugandan official on gays: ‘Killing them might not be helpful’; life imprisonment would be better.

Reuters reports that Uganda may “soften” its Anti-Homosexuality Bill, a draconian attempt to severely punish gay men and women by making some homosexual acts punishable by life imprisonment or even the death penalty. However, Ethics and Integrity Minister Nsaba Buturo is now saying that officials may drop the death penalty in order to impose a “life sentence” on gay men and women, during which time they could work to cure them of their sexual preferences:
Ethics and Integrity Minister Nsaba Buturo told Reuters that the revised law would now probably limit the maximum penalty for offenders to life in prison rather than execution.

“There have been a lot of discussions in government…regarding the proposed law, but we now think a life sentence could be better because it gives room for offenders to be rehabilitated,” he said in an interview.

“Killing them might not be helpful.”
In recent weeks, Uganda has been facing intense criticism from Western government officials and religious leaders. Most recently, five GOP lawmakers wrote a letter to Ugandan President Yoweri Musaveni urging him to block the legislation, although they added that they still believe “marriage is an institution between one man and one woman.”
Politic ~ Benazir Bhutto
  • mzflux

Dean finally comes around, supports passage of Senate bill, citing changes.

Dean: ‘If the Republicans hate it, there must be some good in it’

By David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 -- 12:51 pm

As health care reform legislation grinds its way through Congress, the list of those opposing it has ballooned, and a week ago former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean was among them.

Now, however, Dean says he has defected from the "Kill the Bill" caucus, laughingly telling MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Tuesday that "to see the Republicans up there carrying on the way they are, I basically concluded that maybe we should just pass this thing. ... If the Republicans hate it, there must be some good in it."

A week ago, Dean was not so light-hearted. "This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate," he told Vermont Public Radio after both the public option and the Medicare buy-in had been stripped from the legislation. "Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes."

Dean took a lot of fire for those statements. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) called Dean's remarks "nonsense" and "irresponsible." White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs jabbed that ""I don't think any rational person would say killing the bill makes a whole lot of sense at this point."

Now Dean appears to be looking for reasons to backpedal. "The bill was improved," he explained to Maddow, citing a few minor changes made to the Senate version over the last week. "It also is going to a conference committee with a body that did vote for a public option." He acknowledged, however, that the improvements he might hope to see come out of the conference committee "may or may not happen.

"If this bill passes, does it actually provide an appropriate foundation for a public option to be introduced as a separate matter?" Maddow asked.

"Actually, it does," Dean replied. "Once you've got the exchanges set up ... you could modify this at a later date."

This video is from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Dec. 22, 2009.

The Raw Story

original article thanks to capthek

Post office standoff suspect was angry at feds

Alleged gunman told Va. hostages his son had died in Afghanistan

WYTHEVILLE, Va. - A man accused of taking three people hostage in a Virginia post office told them he was angry at the federal government because his son had died in Afghanistan and his beloved truck was about to repossessed, one of the hostages said Thursday.


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So it ended peacefully but I liked the part about how he said the fed had taken away his right to bear arms. By which I mean I don't like it at all --there are too many lies in the air, and too many gummint-hatin' crazies with guns.


EDIT: Per schmanda in comments below:

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movies | Impish Fräulein2

ontd_political Photo of the Day: Dec 24, 2009.

A soldier looks out of the frozen window of a bus before a commemoration at the Hero's Cemetery in Bucharest, Romania, Monday, Dec. 21, 2009. This week Romanians commemorate 20 years since communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu fled Bucharest during a popular uprising on Dec. 22, 1989, after ruling Romania for 25 years. Ceausescu was executed together with his wife Elena on Dec. 25, 1989. More than a thousand people are reported to have lost their lives during the Romanian revolution.
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Photographer | Vadim Ghirda (AP Photo)
Trouble Train

~Top Ten ONTD_Political Posts Of 2009 Nominations~

I need your help recognizing the best posts of 2009! Even if you are a new member, you can help decide which posts deserve these honors! On Monday members will be able to vote. Results will be posted on New Year's Eve.

One nomination per comment please!

Each nomination comment should look like this:

Title of post/short description of post

Direct link to post

If you see an excellent nomination, second it by replying to the original nomination comment. A nomination needs at least 5 seconds to make it to the voting round.

If you have trouble finding posts, use the tags or go on Google and type in "ONTD_POLITICAL + [TITLE/SUBJECT/KEY WORD(S) OF THE ENTRY YOU'RE LOOKING FOR]."

If you have any questions, PM me or leave a comment on this post, and I will respond in a timely fashion!

ETA: We've had lots of issues with tags this year. If you can't find the post you want to nominate, comment with as much description as possible, and I'll do my best to try and find the post. If I'm successful, I'll add it to the list, and mention whoever originally recommended the post.
Aubrey Beardsley

NYT Blog: Report Finds Acorn Broke No Laws

The controversial community organizing group Acorn has not broken any laws in the last five years, according to a Congrssional Research Service report released Tuesday evening.

The report, requested by Representative John Conyers, Democrat of Michigan, said that federal agencies, mainly the Departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development, have awarded money to the group 48 times since 2005. But, in none of those instances did Acorn violate the terms of their funding, the report said.

Since the 2008 elections, the group, which works primarily to expand voter registration and affordable housing, has become a key Republican target. A series of scandals brought to light by conservative activists led to multiple Congressional hearings and repeated attempts to deny it taxpayer funding.

Acorn has been the subject of scores of investigations—a total of 46 inquiries by federal, state, and local agencies, including the FBI and the Treasury Department, and five by Congress as of October 2009, according to the report.

The report found no evidence that voters attempting to cast ballots at the polls had been improperly registered by Acorn, a chief Republican accusation.

The report also said that a sting-style effort to publicize the group’s allegedly illegal activities, may have broken state laws. Two conservative activists set off a firestorm in September when they posed as a pimp and a prostitute seeking financial advice and secretly videotaped Acorn employees offering advice on how the couple could hide their illicit activities and avoid paying taxes.

Also on Tuesday, a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, rejected the administration’s request to reconsider its ruling that a House resolution barring the group from receiving federal funding was unconstitutional. Earlier this month a judge ruled that the law constituted a “bill of attainder,” legislation intended to punish specific people or groups.

In November the Justice Department also concluded that the Obama administration can legally pay the group.

(Source. I found the link via LGF, which also informs me that the audio on the tapes of the "sting operation" against ACORN was edited.)

GOP: "Being Poor is Unconstitutional, Being Black is Unconstitutional... You Get The Message"

Will Obama Block Sen. McConnell’s Attempt To Dismantle Legal Services For The Poor?

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is a federally funded provider of legal services to the poor. By law, no more than six members of the LSC’s 11-member board can be controlled by the same party, so the president traditionally nominates six members of his choosing, and the party-out-of-power’s Senate leader selects the other five.

In 1981, President Reagan tried to dismantle LSC by nominating the head of a right-wing legal organization called the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) to chair LSC’s board, although this nomination was eventually withdrawn due to outrage over Reagan’s decision to nominate an attorney to the LSC board who fundamentally disagreed with LSC’s mission.  Now, however, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants to refight this battle by selecting another PLF attorney named Sharon Browne:
A member of the right-wing Federalist Society, Browne has worked on behalf of a panoply of conservative legal causes while at the industry-funded PLF, including opposing race-based school district assignment policies, and supporting Prop 209, a California ballot initiative to end most affirmative action programs in the state.

A look back at history makes clear that PLF, which describes itself as a promoter of free enterprise, private property rights, and limiting the role of government, is ideologically opposed to the mission of the LSC, a non-profit created as part of President Johnson’s Great Society initiative to provide free or low-cost legal services to the poor, and which was chaired in the late 1970s by Hillary Clinton, then an Arkansas lawyer.
In 1998 and 2003, PLF infamously participated in two Supreme Court decisions known as the “IOLTA cases,” in which a coalition of right-wing organizations tried to have a primary means of funding legal services for the poor declared unconstitutional(the justices ultimately rejected their claim, but in a 5-4 decision with Justice O’Connor casting the key vote). Although Browne does not appear to have worked on this case, her resume is riddled with assaults on laws intended to fight racism — including a key role in the recent Parents Involved case where Chief Justice Roberts wrote an opinion claiming that it is unconstitutional for school boards to desegregate public schools.

Browne’s appointment to the LSC board, however, is not etched in stone.  Although presidents have historically deferred to the other party’s nominees to this board, nothing requires them to do so. If President Obama wants to prevent Mitch McConnell from succeeding where Ronald Reagan failed, he has the power to withdraw Browne’s nomination.
garf tired

Santa Huffington shares her "gift" list!

Arianna Huffington's annual gift list:

A recent CNN poll found that during this economically troubled holiday season 68 percent of Americans are buying gifts that their friends and family need, compared to 27 percent who are buying gifts they think they would enjoy.

As for me, as part of my annual tradition of getting gifts for my favorite -- and not so favorite -- public figures, I'm going for the middle ground, choosing gifts they need... and that I think you might enjoy.

Here's this year's list:

Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Mitch McConnell and the other congressional obstructionists: a DVD of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, so they can see the proper use of a filibuster -- to fight corruption, not promote it.

Health insurance and drug company lobbyists: Nothing -- they're getting enough from the Senate and the White House this Christmas.

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Though I gotta say OUCH on the Gaga one since I <3 her lol.

So, ONTD_P, lets hear your gift lists for some of our favorite public personas~

My first: For Sarah Palin - Grammar Slammer Deluxe


On the day before Christmas, one C-SPAN viewer took their unhappiness with the Senate's newly passed health care legislation to a new, personal, level: taking down her Christmas tree.

Bunny from Kansas called in to C-SPAN to express her disappointment. "I'm so disappointed," she said. "I have taken my Christmas tree down, I've taken my Christmas wreath off my house, I've taken all the lights down. This is supposed to be a nation under God, and it isn't."

Bunny then took it one step further by wishing that "every light in the nation go out, especially in the White House." Her reasons for such extreme measures were vague but included "genocide on the seniors."