December 28th, 2009

Akuma River

Fierce Senator Dem wants to KILL the FILIBUSTER!!!

Tom Harkin May Reintroduce Legislation To Kill Filibuster [UPDATED]

UPDATE: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) told the Washington Post that he would introduce legislation to reform the filibuster in January.

I'm going to reintroduce that again in January. And people are going to say I only worry about this because I'm in the majority. But I come with clean hands! I started when I was in the minority! ...

We've entered a new era here of outright stoppage at all costs. So that's what I'm trying to address with this amendment. I doubt anything will happen. But at least we'll start the process.

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With the news that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) plans to filibuster the current health care bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) options are looking increasingly limited. But one Democratic senator may introduce legislation that would make health care reform a lot easier.

Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa told reporters this weekend that he might reintroduce legislation to end the filibuster, something he first proposed in 1994. The Hawk Eye reports:

"I think, if anything, this health care debate is showing the dangers of unlimited filibuster," Harkin said Thursday during a conference call with reporters. "I think there's a reason for slowing things down ... and getting the public aware of what's happening and maybe even to change public sentiment, but not to just absolutely stop something."

Under Harkin's proposal, debate could be prolonged by the minority -- just not forever.

"You could hold something up for maybe a month, but then, finally you'd come down to 51 votes and a majority would be able to pass," Harkin said. "I may revive that. I pushed it very hard at one time and then things kind of got a little better."

When Harkin fought the filibuster 15 years ago, one of his top allies was none other than Joe Lieberman.

"[People] are fed up -- frustrated and fed up and angry about the way in which our government does not work, about the way in which we come down here and get into a lot of political games and seem to -- partisan tugs of war and forget why we're here, which is to serve the American people," Lieberman said at the time. "And I think the filibuster has become not only in reality an obstacle to accomplishment here, but it also a symbol of a lot that ails Washington today."

What's that code for the table thingy that some of you use? I'm kinda tired of the blockquote one.

Gay activists praise rugby star Gareth Thomas's decision to come out

The shock decision by rugby union player Gareth Thomas to announce that he is gay has triggered speculation that other sports stars might come out. Thomas is Wales's most-capped player and a former British and Irish Lions captain. The fact that he has confirmed his sexuality while still playing the game has been praised by gay rights campaigners.

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SO, do you reckon there'll be a domino effect with more players coming out before retirement? For context, Rugby is very macho, but nowhere near as homophobic as football - still he's very brave for coming out.


*Moderator Elections* - DISCUSSION POST

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Common Questions:
The current mods are not going anywhere, we just need some more help to handle things, probably 2-3 people.

You do not have to be nominated by another member, you nominate yourself in the Submission Post.

While we would prefer, conservative, nightowl, international moderators because we know we have a lack of them, this should not prevent non-conservative, or non-international members from submitting their name.

First IRBD to Vietnam!

Vietnam moved a step closer to its goal of reaching middle-income status by 2010, with the approval by the World Bank’s Board of the first loan to Vietnam from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

IBRD is the low-interest lending arm of the World Bank aimed at reducing poverty in middle income and creditworthy poorer countries. Until now, World Bank support to Vietnam has come from the International Development Association (IDA) which provides credits and grants to the world’s poorest countries.* The newly approved loan is a US$ 500 million development policy loan that supports a program of public investment reforms in Vietnam.

“This is a significant milestone for Vietnam – a country which has moved from the category of ‘Highly Indebted Poor Country’ to middle income status in less than seven years,” said World Bank Vice President for the East Asia & Pacific region Jim Adams. “Weaknesses in public investment processes have been highlighted during the recent macroeconomic turbulence. This loan is aimed at addressing some of these weaknesses.”

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This is pretty cool if you're into international development. I just think roads are sexy. fap</a>

Racism Will Protect Us From The Mooslim Threat. Why Is Obama so Pro-Mooslim?

Flight 253 Incident Touches Off New Round Of Religious Profiling Promotion

ThinkProgress pulls together a helpful little collection of various luminaries, granted an audience on Fox News, talking about how this past weekend's incident aboard Flight 253 should touch off a new round of intense racial and ethnic profiling against Muslim-looking passengers.

There's something almost childlike in the simplicity of a Peter King, who believes: "100 percent of the Islamic terrorists are Muslim, and that is our main enemy today. So why we should not be profiling people because of their religion?"

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Taliban allows Red Cross to visit detainees for 1st time

For the first time, the Taliban has allowed Red Cross workers to check the conditions of its detainees in Afghanistan.

The International Committee of the Red Cross announced today that its team recently visited three Afghan security forces being held by the Taliban in the northwestern province of Badghis. A small Red Cross team visited the detained Afghan security forces twice in late November, the agency said.

The ICRC says it regularly visits detained people in conflict zones to assess their conditions and treatment, including 136 places of detention in Afghanistan. But last month's visit marked the first time the Taliban allowed the agency access to its detainees since the start of the current conflict in Afghanistan.

"We plan to conduct and repeat visits in other regions, and hope to visit people held by other armed opposition groups, with the aim of ensuring that everyone detained in relation to the armed conflict is treated humanely," said Reto Stocker, head of the ICRC's delegation in Kabul.

The Red Cross did not release information on the detainees' conditions or when they were seized by the Taliban "to protect their identity," ICRC spokesman Simon Schorno told CNN.

The Red Cross will not inform the Afghan government of the captured forces' condition as a matter of standard policy, he said.

"When we carry out visits and submit reports ... this is done only with the detaining authority, which is the Taliban," Schorno said. He noted that the same policy was carried out during Red Cross visits to detainees at the U.S. military's facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Via CNN.

Benefits for gays? Us too, say the unwed

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton won praise in June after pushing to extend many federal benefits traditionally provided to diplomats' spouses to gay and lesbian partners.

Since then, unmarried heterosexual couples have been lining up to ask for benefits too. They have approached the State Department's personnel office and the diplomats' union, arguing that they are entitled to equal treatment. At least one couple has threatened to challenge the rules in court as discriminatory.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which is responsible for policy on federal workers, is weighing such an extension of benefits, U.S. officials say -- to the consternation of conservatives.

"They should have seen this coming," said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who had opposed extending benefits to gays. "It's a Pandora's box."

The family benefits, although a small part of diplomats' overall benefit package, are important to Foreign Service officers. Benefits include paid travel for the partner to and from overseas posts; visas and diplomatic passports; emergency medical treatment; shipment of household possessions; emergency evacuation in times of danger; and education benefits for minor children. Health insurance is not included for gay partners, although spouses are covered.

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Via the Los Angeles Times.
: geek idol
  • schmiss

Today in the impossible game of "TMZ or Politico"

Max Baucus's speech under conservative fire

A speech by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) on health care has been generating buzz on the Internet, as the Drudge Report and others are suggesting that Baucus was slurring his speech and possibly "intoxicated" during his remarks.

"DRUNK WITH POWER? TOP DEM SLURS ON SENATE FLOOR..." reads the Drudge Report headline. writes: "How can one explain this incredibly bizarre performance by Max Baucus on the Senate floor? Was Baucus so intoxicated by the sound of his own voice that he went off the deep end? Or perhaps he was so drunk with power over shaping the Senate health care bill that it explains his strange rant."

On his Facebook page, former congressman Mark Foley commented on the video: "This is the senator that hired his staffer and then took her on trips...and divorced his wife....and they had me run out of town."

An email seeking comment has been sent to Sen. Baucus's office and we will update this post when we hear back.


Further reading: The ‘Drunk’ Smear Politico is asking Baucus for comment whether or not he was drunk during the health care debate, because an anonymous YouTube account claims he was.

The thing is, this sort of “drunk” smear against a Democrat giving a slightly slurred speech is not new. Collapse )

Personally ihni if he was drunk, or he's just not a good speaker, or maybe he was tired or has a medical problem. But this is the stupidest ~scandal~ ever invented. Also that was like the first speech Baucus ever gave that made him sound kind of awesome and ass-kicking, so whatever.

GOP Haz Time Machine! 9/11 Did Not Happen During The Bush Administration! Is Clinton's Fault!

Mary Matalin: Bush 'Inherited' 9/11 Attacks (VIDEO)

On CNN Sunday, GOP strategist Mary Matalin repeated a strange new Republican talking point -- the idea that the September 11th attacks didn't happen on President Bush's watch.

Arguing that President Obama was complaining too much about the problems he inherited from his predecessor, Matalin (who worked for former Vice President Dick Cheney) said her White House was saddled with problems too. "We inherited a recession from President Clinton and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation's history," she told host John King on "State of the Union."

Last month, former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino proclaimed that there were no terror attacks under President Bush.

As for Matalin's economic claim, Bush did say that he inherited a recession -- but he got his dates wrong about when that recession began. The National Bureau of Economic Research's Business Cycle Dating Committee says it started in March of 2001, during Bush's first term.

Tea Party Loves Pre-Existing Conditions and Other Goodies That Helps The Free Market

Tea Partiers To Republicans: You Better Call For Full Repeal of Reform, Or Else

It’s now becoming clear that this could be a major issue for Republicans in 2010: the Tea Party movement, as well as high-profile conservatives, are going to demand that candidates call for a full repeal of the Dem healthcare reform bill, presuming it passes.

Multiple figures on the right are beginning to make this demand explicit.

In an interview with me just now, Max Pappas, the Vice President for Public Policy of Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks, said that if the bill passes, politicians should call for a full repeal.

“This has an unusual ability to be repealed, and the public is on that side.” he said. “The Republicans are going to have to prove that they are worthy of their votes.”

He emphasized that all the different parts of the bill fit together, and that Congress would need to try to repeal the whole thing.

This could put GOP candidates in a bind. We first reported that the Dem game plan in 2010 is to put politicians on the spot on this question, but Mitch McConnell this Sunday declined to go that far when Jake Tapper asked him if Republican candidates would call for full repeal. “There’s no question that this bill, if it were to become law, and frankly even if it doesn’t become law, will be a big, if not central issue not only in the 2010 election, but in the 2012 election,” he said.

That’s not good enough for right wing activists. Erick Erickson of criticized McConnell for dodging the question. “Politicians should actually say ‘yes’ when they mean ‘yes’ and ‘no’ when they mean ‘no,’ instead of dancing around the issue,” he wrote.

Newt Gingrich threw down the same gauntlet on “Meet the Press” yesterday when he said, “I suspect that every Republican in 2010 and 2012 will run on an absolute pledge to repeal this bill.”

By insisting on ideological purity and making a bet that the bill will be universally unpopular, conservatives are leaving Republican candidates with no room for flexibility.

This one isn’t going away.

His second campaign ad consisted of "YOUR MOM!".

Andy Martin, GOP Senate Candidate, Accuses Opponent Mark Kirk Of Homosexuality

If there was any question whether or not the 2010 election season was heating up, it was dispelled on Monday morning when a Republican Senate candidate from Illinois released an ad questioning whether his primary opponent is a homosexual.

Andy Martin, a noted conservative dirty trickster, put out a spot on local radio in which he pushes a "solid rumor" that fellow Senatorial aspirant, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), "is a homosexual."

"I helped expose many of Barack Obama's lies in 2008," the ad goes. "Today, I am fighting for the facts about Mark Kirk. Illinois Republican leader Jack Roeser says there is a 'solid rumor that Kirk is a homosexual.' Roeser suggests that Kirk is part of a Republican Party homosexual club. Lake County Illinois Republican leader Ray True says Kirk has surrounded himself with homosexuals."

"Mark Kirk should tell Republican voters the truth."

The seedy spot seems to take a page out the Karl Rove playbook -- in which allegations of homosexuality are pushed by innuendo and 'simple demands for the truth.' In a statement to a local Illinois station, the Kirk camp vehemently condemned and denied its content.

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Via Huffington.
:(, boyd, teen wolf

Barefoot Bandit Eludes Police

Catch me if you can: 'Barefoot bandit' eludes US police

SEATTLE, Washington (AFP) – Eighteen-year-old Colton Harris-Moore is achieving folk hero status as the "Barefoot Bandit" in the US and Canada after a string of burglaries and dare-devil escapes from the law.

Romanticized by some as a latter-day "Billy the Kid" figure but regarded by others as a common thief, Harris Moore has a criminal record stretching back to when he was just 12 and a penchant for kicking off his shoes before fleeing.

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ONTD_P, should this man be hailed as a masked thief of the night or should he be brought in ASAP and the book be thrown at him? imho, I'm amused. He sounds like he's just doing it for the thrill xD
nobody / travis

China shopping centre builds 'car park for women'

A shopping centre in China's Hebei province has built a car park with wider spaces that it says is designed especially to suit women drivers.

The women-only car park in Shijiazhuang city is also painted in pink and light purple to appeal to female tastes.

Official Wang Zheng told AFP news agency the car park was meant to cater to women's "strong sense of colour and different sense of distance".

The parking bays are one metre (3ft) wider than normal spaces, he said.

The Wanxiang-Tiancheng shopping centre had also "installed signs and security monitoring equipment that corresponded more to women's needs", he said.

The Global Times website says female parking attendants have been trained to help guide women drivers into their parking spaces. The bays also have extra lighting.

Driving in China is a dangerous activity, with more than 200 deaths in road accidents each day last year, AFP reports, citing police statistics.

TxVoodoo layout icon

Senate approves Lubinski, nation’s first gay U.S. Marshal

Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced on Monday that the United States Senate has confirmed Minneapolis Police Department Assistant Police Chief Sharon Lubinski as the nation’s newest United States Marshal. Lubinski is widely considered to be the first lesbian to hold that post and one of only a handful of women in history to serve as a Marshal.

Klobuchar made the recommendation earlier this year to President Obama, who nominated Lubinski.

“Sharon Lubinksi will be an excellent U.S. Marshal. It was a pleasure to recommend her to the President, and I was honored to vote for her,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “Her mix of experience managing a large, urban police department and working in a rural sheriff’s office makes her uniquely qualified for this position. I know she will make Minnesota proud as she serves in this role.”

SOURCE is Very Minnesotan

As someone just said to me on twitter, "I will love the day that we don't have to put "first" in front of an adjective describing anyone."

A Peril in War Zones: Sexual Abuse by Fellow G.I.’s

BAGHDAD — Capt. Margaret H. White began a relationship with a warrant officer while both were training to be deployed to Iraq. By the time they arrived this year at Camp Taji, north of here, she felt what she called “creepy vibes” and tried to break it off.

In the claustrophobic confines of a combat post, it was not easy to do. He left notes on the door to her quarters, alternately pleading and menacing. He forced her to have sex, she said. He asked her to marry him, though he was already married. He waited for her outside the women’s latrines or her quarters, once for three hours.

“It got to the point that I felt safer outside the wire,” Captain White said, referring to operations that take soldiers off their heavily fortified bases, “than I did taking a shower.”


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GOP Welcomes Parker Griffith With Their Brand of Hazing

Parker Griffith Attacked For Ties To Dean, Reid By GOP Rival

A leading GOP congressional candidate in Alabama has greeted Rep. Parker Griffith's entrance into the Republican Party with a mailer tying him to prominent Democratic politicians.

Les Phillip, who is now running a primary campaign against Griffith, put out a mailer on Monday noting the fundraising that Griffith did on behalf of former DNC Chair Howard Dean and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. That fundraising, of course, occurred when Griffith was a Democrat.

The Alabama pol officially switched political parties last week, citing differences with Democratic leadership. But opposition research is complicating that explanation.

Phillip, who has won the endorsement of several prominent conservative figures (including former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee), highlights two separate $1,000 donations Griffith made to Dean and Reid's respective campaign committees. Playing up the findings a bit, the mailer accuses Griffith of giving "THOUSANDS in campaign cash to Liberal Democrats."

Also pictured on the mailer is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). That's a bit odd. Griffith doesn't appear to have donated to the House leader's campaign committee. Nor was he an avid backer. In fact, before actually switching parties Griffith made it quite clear he no longer supported Pelosi in her current post.
Trouble Train

~Top Ten ONTD_Political Posts Of 2009 Voting Round~

Thanks to all who participated! Now it's time to vote for your favorites

These nominations received at least 5 seconds:

- Uncle Pat It's Time For Your Medication- 11 seconds
- Health Care Reform Live Post Part 1 Part 2, Part 3 - 10 seconds
- All Iran Election Live Posts - 14 seconds
- Don't Cry For Me Argentina '09/Mark Sanford Drama - 8 seconds
- Carrie Prejean On Larry King - 8 seconds
- Sarah Palin Resigns As Governor Of Alaska - 5 seconds
- Obama Inaugural Live Post - 7 seconds
- Glenn Beck Writes Incest Fic To Show Being Gay Is Bad- 9 seconds
- Balloon Boy Live Post - 8 seconds
- The 56 Year Old Virgin- 5 seconds
- Misogynistic Gay Columnist Spammed With Lesbian Porn- 8 seconds
- New Hampshire Court Orders Christian Homeschooler To Attend Public School/afa_mom trolling - 11 seconds
- Pro Life Palin Stan Writes In Bleeding Text - 8 seconds
- Creepy Dude Confesses To Upskirting Women - 8 seconds

Please vote for TEN or all but 4:

Poll #1504575 Best Of ONTD_Political 2009
This poll is closed.

What Are The Top 10 Posts Of 2009?

Uncle Pat, It's Time For Your Medication
Health Care Reform Live Posts
Iran Election Live Threads
Mark Sanford Drama
Carrie Prejean On Larry King
Sarah Palin Resigns
Obama Inaugural Live Post
Glenn Beck Writes Incest Fic
Balloon Boy Live Post
56 Year Old Virgin
Columinist Spammed With Lesbian Porn
NH Homeschooling/afa_mom trolling
Palin Stan Writes In Bleeding Text
Creeper Confesses To Upskirting
movies | Impish Fräulein2

ontd_political Photo of the Day: Dec 28, 2009.

An injured Iranian opposition supporter flashes a V-sign during clashes with security forces in Tehran on December 27, 2009. At least five protesters were killed in clashes with security forces in central Tehran as the opposition used a Shiite mourning event to stage anti-government protests, an opposition website said.
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Amir Sadeghi (AFP/Getty Images)
  • de_wood

Top 10 Underreported Stories of 2009

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10. Experimenting with Children

In February, 21 scientists and advocates from around the globe accused researchers at Tufts University of violating the Nuremberg Code — a set of ethical research principles drafted after World War II — by conducting risky experiments on humans. The trials in question studied whether golden rice — a genetically modified form of the grain fortified with beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A — can ameliorate vitamin A deficiency, which causes up to half a million cases of blindness a year. The signatories' complaint: Golden rice had not been approved for human consumption. For that reason, they said, feeding it to human subjects in China — including children as young as 6 — was "unethical and potentially dangerous." Tufts issued a statement saying it "fully supports its researchers and their work with" golden rice, adding that the necessary review boards had approved the study.

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