December 29th, 2009

Akuma River

A second coup?

A second coup?
by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles
28 Dec 2009 22:254

[ comment ] Former president Mohammad Khatami called the June 12 election a "velvet coup" against the people of Iran. Now as the Green Movement gains momentum, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) seems poised to stage a second such coup.

As predicted, the Green Movement came out in force on December 27, the day of Ashura. Even before the day had ended, the IRGC, its intelligence unit and the Ministry of Intelligence had rounded up political figures, journalists, university activists and others. The police announced the arrest of 1100 people in Tehran on Sunday alone.

In an apparent warning to the Reformist leaders, those arrested included their children and key aides:

Haleh Sahabi, a daughter of Ezatollah Sahabi, leader of the Nationalist-Religious Coalition; she had also been arrested after the rigged June 12 presidential election;

Mohammad Taheri, a son of Ayatollah Seyyed Jalaloddin Taheri, a progressive cleric and close friend of the late Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri;

Mohammad Moein, a son of Dr. Mostafa Moein, former Minister of Science and Research in the administration of Mohammad Khatami, a former Majles deputy, and a reformist candidate in the 2005 presidential election;

Habibollah Nouri, a brother of Abdollah Nouri, Khatami's Interior Minister and an outspoken reformist. In addition, his son Reza and nephew Mehdi have also been arrested, all in Isfahan, where it is estimated that up to 500 people were arrested yesterday.

Leila Tavassoli, a daughter of Mohammad Tavassoli, a leading figure of the Freedom Movement, a reformist group, and Tehran's first Mayor after the 1979 Revolution. Tavassoli is a niece of Dr. Ebrahim Yazdi, the leader of the Freedom Movement.

In addition to these arrests, Mir Hossein Mousavi's nephew, Seyyed Ali Mousavi Habibi, was shot dead on Ashura. Reports indicate that he had been threatened for several days prior to this religious holiday. His body was snatched by a security agent from Ibn Sina hospital and transferred to an unknown location.
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Anna Friel - Black & White pretty

MSNBC criticized for response to terrorism story

MSNBC spent considerable time Monday reporting on the aftermath of an attempted Christmas Day attack on a Detroit-bound airliner, but its executives didn't want to talk about why the story received little attention as it was breaking.

Competitors CNN and Fox News Channel gave much more extensive attention to the story on Christmas night as MSNBC stuck with taped programs on a murder mystery and environmental issues, along with an "undercover" report on the teenage sex trade.

MSNBC has been criticized in the past for failing to respond quickly to breaking news during off-hours, a choice that may complicate its efforts to be seen as a go-to news source. The network is revamping its daytime schedule to be more news-oriented than personality-driven, since the latter approach has proven to be a ratings failure.

On Christmas, an anchor did live cut-ins about once an hour to pass on news of the attempted terrorism, said Jeremy Gaines, network spokesman.

Fox mixed live coverage of the story Friday night with a taped year-end retrospective show with Bill O'Reilly. CNN devoted virtually all of its prime-time hours to the incident, its coverage anchored by Ali Velshi.

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who doesn't like those 9 hour blocks of that Lockup show?
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Akuma River

Mousavi nephew may have been assassinated.

These are a bunch of stories in the press about Iran some of them have been translated into English.

Selected Headlines Tehran Bureau - PBS Frontline

Body of Mousavi's nephew taken from the morgue

Gooya | Dec. 28, 2009

Security and civil forces took the body of Seyyed Ali Mousavi from the Avicenna Hospital morgue [supposedly] to prevent his funeral procession from turning into a widespread protest.

Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi's nephew was reportedly shot dead in the anti-government protests in Tehran on Ashura.
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Akuma River

Update on the Mentally Ill man in China facing Execution, they went through with it

I was asked to post this. Misread the title and didn't know it was about the confirmation of him being executed and told them that it was already up. I was wrong, so here it is.

British man said to be mentally ill executed in China

A British man convicted of drug smuggling in China has been executed, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

Akmal Shaikh, 53, a father-of-five from London, had denied any wrongdoing and his family said he was mentally ill.

The execution took place despite repeated calls from his family and the British government for clemency.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was "appalled and disappointed". Mr Shaikh's family thanked those who had tried to help.
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Sexy Russian seeking Defense System. Must have good warheads.

Putin again is wanting a defense system. Surprise. BBC Tells us this and not much else:

Russia needs "to develop offensive weapons systems" to counter US missile defences and maintain the strategic balance, PM Vladimir Putin says.

Otherwise, the United States would feel "completely protected" and able to "do whatever they want", Mr Putin added.

The US this year dropped controversial plans for missile defence bases in the Czech Republic and Poland, but said it would develop other defensive systems.

Mr Putin said such plans were hindering nuclear arms reduction talks.
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Call for Papers: TMPR Special Issue: Gender and Political Religions

Not sure if anyone in this community would be interested, but I saw this call for papers and found it interesting and timely.

Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions (TMPR) is a Routledge-published quarterly journal, which provides a forum for the exploration of the politics of illiberal ideologies, whether religious or secular. In 2010, TMPR intends to publish a double-issue dedicated to the study of gender and political religions. Empirical work as well as theoretical or conceptual pieces will be included. Deadline for abstracts: January 15, 2010.

More Info.

A lot of my grad friends and I talk about lobbing papers instead of molotovs in order to make things happen. Whether that's writing letters to congressman or writing for publication it seems to get attention. Besides, publish or perish.
Hufflepuff  Darren stan Narhwal

Why American consumers can't add

Why American consumers can't add

Posted: Tuesday, December 29 2009 at 06:00 am CT by Bob Sullivan

When I published "Gotcha Capitalism" two years ago, I was in for a big surprise.  As I talked about systemic hidden fee fraud all around the country, many, many friends (and even co-workers) found me and asked in hushed tones, “What’s a mutual fund?” “What’s comprehensive and collision?” “What’s a mortgage point?”

It was obvious from these conversations that millions of Americans are severely lacking in financial basics, and this shortcoming played a major role in the housing bubble and the resulting economic collapse. I wanted to know why.

 I'm the hidden fee guy, the “Gotcha” guy.  People like me usually rant about dreadful banks are and how unfair big companies are, about how corporate greed caused our economic collapse and about how rampant unfairness built the house of cards that just collapsed all around us and sent the world into a global recession.

But it's impossible to ignore the fact that individual consumers made a lot of really bad choices in the past decade. They bought homes with $2,000 mortgages when they only earned $3,000 a month. They borrowed money at 30 percent interest to buy granite countertops.  Aren’t they to blame for their own demise?  To be an honest journalist, I had to ask: Why are American consumers so gullible, so seemingly out of control? Is there something wrong with us?

Yes, several things. But most important is this: Americans are terrible at math. 

I know you know that. But my research shows we are far worse at math than you think.

Exhibit A: Think about the last time you had lunch with four or more friends. What happened when the bill came?  Everyone pulled out calculators, there was a lot of murmuring and head scratching and still some of your friends just ended up throwing down a $20 bill and hoping for the best.  Now, imagine that crowd in a car dealership or with a mortgage broker. They wouldn’t stand a chance.

Turns out, there's an entire field of study -- albeit a small one -- devoted to this subject. It's called “innumeracy” -- or mathematical illiteracy. It’s a hidden epidemic in our society. And the consequences are dire.

Just as there is a hidden epidemic of people who are functionally illiterate in our country, there is big problem (bigger, by my reckoning) with people who can’t do basic math. There’s no way to function in our society without understanding money, percentages, interest calculation and so on. Yet in a recent government study, less than one in seven American adults ranked “proficient” at math. 

Here are a few examples of innumeracy in action:

According to the Department of Education’s National Assessment of Adult Literacy, U.S. adults are terrible at solving real-world math problems, like calculating tips or comparing prices in grocery stores.  Some dismal results:

*Only 42 percent were able to pick out two items on a menu, add them, and calculate a tip.

*Only 1 in 5 could reliably calculate mortgage interest.

*1 in 5 could not calculate weekly salary when told an hourly pay rate.

*Only 13 percent were deemed “proficient.”  Worse yet, only 1 in 10 women, 1 in 25 Hispanics and 1 in 50 African Americans made the grade.

*Americans are terrified of numbers when it counts most: 20 million Americans pay someone to file their 1040EZ, a one-page tax form with around 10 blanks to fill out.

Also, these numbers show up in U.S. student math scores, which are abysmal:

*The U.S. ranks 25th among 30 industrialized nations in math scores, down near Serbia and Uruguay. U.S. students thought they had the highest grades of any nation in the study, however.

*Half of 17 year olds couldn't do enough math to work in an auto plant, according to President's National Mathematics Advisory Panel.

*Study after study shows U.S. achievement falls off the cliff during middle school, when subjects like fractions and percentages are introduced -- exactly the skills you need as a consumer or, for that matter, to move on to algebra, calculus and advanced sciences.

But here’s another essential point. How can Johnny learn to add if Johnny’s teachers can’t?

*In 18 U.S. states, not even one elementary math class is required for certification.

*Some teaching colleges allow admittance as long as students have math skills equal to their future students -- that is, as long as they could pass a 5th grade math test.

*It's possible in some states to pass the teacher certification exam (Praxis) without answering a single math question correctly. 

*In Massachusetts, there's a special program to reacquaint teachers with math. The man who runs the program says half of teachers can't answer basic questions involving fractions and has concluded that many elementary teachers are "phobic" about math.

*Teachers seem to be math-averse from the start. College bound seniors headed for elementary education have math SAT scores significantly lower than the national average (483 vs. 515).

There are many, many other reasons why U.S. consumers tripped and fell down a mine shaft during the past two years.  In my new book, "Stop Getting Ripped Off," I lay out a series of other explanations: Greed, laziness, lack of government regulation and magical thinking. And I offer up my own handy guide to solving today’s consumer puzzles, from buying a home to saving for retirement.  But innumeracy is the biggest culprit.

Two years ago, I would have had to lay out a doomsday scenario to draw attention to this ticking time bomb. Well, the bomb’s gone off.  People who were bad at math could hardly have been expected to see through the consequences of an adjustable-rate mortgage, or to make a sound bet on their future earnings potential. These consumers didn’t stand a chance against mortgage brokers, real estate agent and an overheated market. They can’t fight with financial planners over fees that are swallowing one-third of their retirement savings. Heck, they can’t even stop taking out 250 percent APR payday loans, 1,000 percent overdraft protection loans or paying tax preparation firms $100 for three minutes work to fill out simple tax forms.  Now, millions of individuals are losing their homes and are on pace to become destitute in old age.

If I only shine a light on only one topic with this book, I hope it will be the hidden epidemic of innumeracy in America. Because if we can’t add, if we continue suffer from an extreme lack of mathematical self-confidence, any recovery we begin is surely doomed.

Secret Sauce.

I've been saying this for a while... thank goodness math illiteracy is getting more national news.  It's a shame how many people come into my store and can't figure out how much 20% off $150 is, and such.

Jim DeMint: "Labor Unions More Dangerous Than Terrorrists and Bombs. It Is Obama's Fault!"

Who's running the TSA? No one, thanks to Sen. Jim DeMint

An attempt to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day would be all-consuming for the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration — if there were one.

The post remains vacant because Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has held up President Barack Obama's nominee in opposition to the prospect of TSA workers joining a labor union.

As al Qaida claimed responsibility Monday for the thwarted attack and President Barack Obama made a public statement about it, Democrats urged DeMint to drop his objection and allow quick confirmation of nominee Erroll Southers, a counterterrorism expert, when the Senate reconvenes in three weeks.

Obama, speaking from Hawaii, where he and his family are vacationing, told Americans, "We will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable."

Obama warned anyone plotting against the U.S. from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia or elsewhere that he doesn't intend to rest at simply strengthening defense.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee announced a hearing to be set for next month to examine how Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian whose name was in a terrorism database, boarded a plane with explosive material.

"Why aren't airline passengers flying into the U.S. checked against the broadest terrorist database and why isn't whole body scanning technology that can detect explosives in wider use?" said committee chairman Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut independent.

Meanwhile, Florida Republican Rep. John Mica said in a statement that the TSA had grown lost and bloated in bureaucracy and called for a review.

Mica also said Congress "must change the process by which TSA administrators serve. There has been no TSA administrator for nearly a year and the next one will be the fifth in eight years. Running a security agency with a revolving door is a recipe for failure."

Janet Napolitano, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, of which the TSA is part, made the rounds of morning television news programs on Monday, backing away from her initial stance that the system had worked in averting attack.

She told NBC that "our system did not work in this instance. No one is happy or satisfied with that. An extensive review is under way."
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Mini-Obama Used To Pal Around With Foreigners.

Third-grade photo captures Obama's grin

A former Manoa resident sent President Barack Obama an old photo of the two of them taken while they were third-grade classmates at Noelani Elementary School, requesting an autograph more than six months ago. He recently received the autographed picture back, as well as a personally signed thank-you note.

Scott Inoue, now a chiropractor in Stockton, Calif., said the small, black-and-white photo had been stashed away for almost 40 years at his childhood home in Manoa. For some reason, Inoue said, as he was growing up he always remembered that photo and wondered what became of "Barry."

The picture -- with the words "Scott & Barry 3rd grade 1969" scribbled at the bottom by Inoue's mother -- shows Obama almost a head taller than Inoue, with their arms around each other. Against a background of Christmas tree drawings, Obama is smiling more broadly than the shyer-looking Inoue.

"He was a lot taller than me; he towered above most of us. I don't know why I remember that photo, but maybe it's because he had one of those personalities. Possibly because he was the only African-American" in a school predominantly attended by Japanese, Inoue said.
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Obama's America remembers Lincoln

In 2009 the US not only inaugurated its first black president - it also honoured the president who paved Barack Obama's way to the country's highest post.

Events across the nation marked the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, celebrating a man widely seen as the greatest US president - the secular saint who redeemed America's original sin of slavery.

Mr Obama has been compared to Lincoln - the lanky junior politician from Illinois who captured the presidency on the strength of his oratory, proving that anyone can make to the White House.

But amid the commemorations, it is easy to forget that Lincoln - a civil-war president - never lacked for critics. Even in this anniversary year, there has been vigorous debate over his legacy.

One lingering source of controversy among historians is Lincoln's moderation on the slavery issue.

Harvard University's Donald Yacovone says complexities have been lost in celebrations that have focused on hero worship.

"A lot of it is superficial," Mr Yacovone told BBC News. "A lot of it is blind to real, not imagined faults that Lincoln represented."

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Via BBC.

That's "Harvard Law School talking, that's not commander-in-chief talking."

Fox News today found a new reason to criticize President Obama's speech on the attempted bombing of Flight 253: His use of the word "allegedly" to describe the suspected terrorist's actions was "Harvard Law School talking, that's not commander-in-chief talking."

On Fox and Friends today, Fox analyst Peter Johnson, Jr. and anchor Alisyn Camerota criticized the president's address yesterday on Flight 253.

Johnson said that he had some "concern" that "there was a detached reserved way in which he was speaking."

He continued: "I wanted a little bit more in terms of communicating to me that he was on it, that our government is all over it, and they're going to do the right thing in terms of protecting us."

Camerota agreed: "You rarely see him getting fired up, but in this instance the use of the term 'allegedly,' to your point, that's Harvard Law School talking, that's not commander-in-chief talking. So he needs to you know change his, some would say, rhetoric."

Here's the full clip:

To put things in perspective, Johnson recently got some attention for his rhetorical gem of a statement that Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) knows that "the true meaning of Christmas is that you don't destroy babies. You don't destroy children."

Camerota, for her part, once asked "If there is no federal money used to subsidize abortions for low-income women, doesn't that mean there will be more low-income babies?"


Crazy Rightwing Madman Demands Daily Ration of Mooslim Torture to Satiate His Hunger

Flight 253 Threat: Spencer Ackerman, Pat Buchanan Duel Over Law Enforcement Reaction

On today's edition of "Morning Joe", Washington Independent reporter Spencer Ackerman took on MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan over the law enforcement response to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's crotchfire terror attack on NWA Flight 253.

The basic point of contention boiled down to Ackerman advocating for the sensible law enforcement and investigatory process that has successfully prosecuted terrorists by the score, and Buchanan suggesting that Abdulmutallab should have been carted off to some star chamber and tortured.

Unsurprisingly, it's Buchanan that basically comes off as a madman.


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  • pentha

"Sorry not to join the liberal wailing: heroin traffickers deserve to die"

By Leo Mckinstry

This morning, barring an unlikely last-minute reprieve, convicted drug smuggler Akmal Shaikh was executed by firing squad, having been found guilty of trying to bring 4kg of heroin into China.

His case has prompted outrage in this country from politicians and from the trendy metropolitan elite, for whom drug use is a fashionable habit rather than serious criminal offence.

Yet for all this orchestrated wailing, is it not possible that China is right to put Shaikh to death?

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Akuma River

Iran detains Nobel laureate's sister

Iran detains Nobel laureate's sister

CNN) -- Iranian intelligence officials have detained the sister of Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian lawyer and human rights activist said.

Ebadi said Monday that three men and a woman arrived at the Tehran home she shared with her sister, searched the house and seized Nushin Ebadi, 47, and her computer.

"They have detained her so I stop my work," Shirin Ebadi, 62, told CNN's Reza Sayah in a phone call from London. "She has done nothing wrong. She's not involved in human rights work, and she's never participated in any of the protests."
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To sterilize or not, that is the question

Pressure rises to stop antibiotics in agriculture

FRANKENSTEIN, Mo. – The mystery started the day farmer Russ Kremer got between a jealous boar and a sow in heat.

The boar gored Kremer in the knee with a razor-sharp tusk. The burly pig farmer shrugged it off, figuring: "You pour the blood out of your boot and go on."

But Kremer's red-hot leg ballooned to double its size. A strep infection spread, threatening his life and baffling doctors. Two months of multiple antibiotics did virtually nothing.Collapse )

Racism is Constitutional! Who Knew?

Dov Hikind, NY Assemblyman, Calls For Ethnic Profiling Bill (VIDEO)

In the wake of this past weekend's attempted terror bombing, Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind plans to reintroduce his 2005 bill that would allow police to use ethnic profiling to spot terrorists.

Hikind believes that ethnic profiling is not unconstitutional because "he says a 'compelling governmental interest' in using it to save lives."

Under Hikind's bill, race and ethnicity would be fair game for police officers when deciding who to stop, question and search.

Hikind says he personally does not believe in profiling, but "there are exceptional situations where you have to use exceptional means." He continues:

"We can go after 80-year-old men and women getting on a plane. But the reality is that you look at the profile of what terrorists have looked like, where they come from and so on and it just makes sense to use that along with other things."

We're not saying only look at one group. What we're saying is: Let's go with the odds. It makes sense. We do it in baseball, by the way. We do it in many other areas. It surely makes sense to do it if the possibility is there to save the lives of innocent people all over the world."


Could the Prop 8 trial turn into the first television event of the new year?

As an effort to overturn Proposition 8 makes its way to the U.S. District Court in San Francisco next month, a lingering question is whether the upcoming trial over same-sex marriage will be televised.

Such extensive coverage would be a first for a federal court in the Western states, as there has been a long tradition of prohibiting cameras or restricting them to oral arguments and the like.

A media coalition, including the major broadcast networks, Dow Jones & Co. and Hearst Corp., is asking U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker for permission to broadcast and webcast the proceedings, which are scheduled to begin Jan. 11, with cabler In Session (TruTV's daytime format, formerly known as Court TV News) providing the gavel-to-gavel pool.

The plaintiffs who are seeking to overturn Proposition 8, a state constitutional ban on gay nuptials that passed in California in 2008, do not object to the idea, nor do their attorneys, Ted Olson and David Boies.

But defenders of the proposition do object, citing that the exposure will subject witnesses and litigants to the "potential for intimidation" and that perhaps the "right to a fair trial will be undermined."

In a letter sent to Walker on Monday, their attorney, Charles Cooper, referred to the aftermath of the 2008 election, a time marked by protest rallies, marches and, in some cases, boycotts of those who contributed to the Yes on 8 campaign, including one website that identified donors and their addresses with a Google map overlay.

Indeed, some potential witnesses have indicated that they will not be willing to testify at all if the trial is broadcast or webcast beyond the courthouse," Cooper wrote.

The case, officially called Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, was filed in May by Olson and Boies, after marriage equality supporters exhausted their efforts before the state Supreme Court. A group of entertainment industry activists, including Rob Reiner, Bruce Cohen and Dustin Lance Black, are backing the effort via the American Foundation for Equal Rights, led by political consultant Chad Griffin.

Although there are no procedures in place for televised trials in the circuit, there has been a recent movement afoot to test the waters in federal civil cases that do not have a jury -- just what the Prop. 8 case is. Earlier this month, the Judicial Council for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an announcement that cameras would be allowed in such cases on an "experimental basis," citing the need to keep the public better educated about the judicial process. But such a move in the Prop. 8 case still has to be cleared with Walker.

Given the media interest, Walker already has made arrangements for an overflow courtroom with a closed-circuit feed, and will allow reporters to text and even tweet during the proceedings -- as long as it is not disruptive.

Attorney Thomas Burke, representing the media coalition, said that they anticipated there would be some opposition to the effort, but he noted that because the trial will be public, witnesses will be identified whether cameras are present or not.

Of Cooper's concerns over privacy, Burke said, "That is not an argument for a wholesale ban on coverage."

Burke added that their goal is to obtain "access in the broadest way" yet consistent with conditions placed on them by Walker.

Moreover, given the historic nature of the case, interest among the public in the details of the proceedings are significant, Burke suggested. "It is not about a crime or an individual," he said. "The issues in this case are political, social, religious. It has got it all."

Vt. judge: Birth mom must give child to ex-partner

MONTPELIER, Vt. – The birth mother of a 7-year-old Virginia girl must transfer custody of the child to the woman's former lesbian partner, a Vermont judge ruled, adding that it seems the woman has "disappeared" with her daughter.

Vermont Family Court Judge William Cohen ordered Lisa Miller of Winchester, Va., to turn over daughter Isabella to Janet Jenkins of Fair Haven at 1 p.m. Friday at the Virginia home of Jenkins' parents.

But in the Dec. 22 order denying Miller's request to delay the transfer of Isabella, Cohen wrote: "It appears that Ms. Miller has ceased contact with her attorneys and disappeared with the minor child."

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*Moderator Elections* - REMINDER

This is a reminder that you have 3 hours 1 HOUR to submit yourself for the Moderator Elections.

The post to Submit yourself is here

The post to Discuss the elections is here

[*] You do not need to be nominated by another member, you nominate yourself.
[*] While we are looking for conservative, international, and nightowl mods, this does not mean that people who are not conservative, or not from outside the US are barred from submitting themselves. We want the BEST mods, not necessarily the most conservative ones.

Republican calls on Napolitano to resign

Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) on Tuesday became the first lawmaker to call on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to resign after the recent attempted airline bombing.

The veteran member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee called for Napolitano's ouster in the wake of the attack on the Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day. 

Earlier this year, some Republicans called on Napolitano to step down after her agency issued a report warning of the dangers of right wing "extremists."

Burton made his remarks on Twitter:

Secretary Janet Napolitano should resign, saying ‘the system worked,’ undermines the confidence of Americans #redin #tcot

Napolitano came under fire after she said Sunday that "the system worked," noting the crew of Flight 253 "took appropriate action" to address the terrorist plot as it unfolded.

But her remarks were met with instant criticism, prompting the Homeland Security chief to clarify herself during a round of media appearances Monday morning.

The secretary then conceded on Monday that the system did not work. 

“Our system did not work in this instance," Napolitano told "The Today Show." "I think the comment is being taken out of context."

Other Republicans, such as House intelligence committee ranking member Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), have criticized the handling of the attempted bombing, saying that the administration has not done enough to address terrorist threats on the United States. 

The Obama administration and several congressional committees have said they will launch full investigations into the attack allegedly carried out by 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Abdul Farouk Adbulmutallab.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs over the weekend stressed that the attack should be a "nonpartisan issue."


The comments. Oh the comments. Look at this little gem:
"Janet looks and acts like she should be doing the dishes and cleaning up at home…not running the security of our country…please…this administration is such a joke."
' love stinks yeah yeah
  • schmiss

(no subject)

Rove: Champion of "traditional" divorce

Karl Rove is an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage, citing "5,000 years of understanding the institution of marriage" as his justification.  He also famously engineered multiple referenda to incorporate a ban on same-sex marriage into various states' constitutions in 2004 in order to ensure that so-called "Christian conservatives" and "value voters" who believe in "traditional marriage laws" would turn out and help re-elect George W. Bush Yet, like so many of his like-minded pious comrades, Rove seems far better at preaching the virtues of "traditional marriage" to others and exploiting them for political gain than he does adhering to those principles in his own life:  
Karl Rove granted divorce in Texas

Karl Rove, former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, has been granted a divorce in Texas after 24 years of marriage, a family spokesperson said. Dana Perino, the spokesperson, said: “Karl Rove and his wife, Darby, were granted a divorce last week. The couple came to the decision mutually and amicably, and they maintain a close relationship and a strong friendship" . . . A family friend told POLITICO: "After 24 years of marriage, many of which were spent under incredible stress and strain during the White House years, the Roves came to a mutual decision that they would end the marriage."
Rove obtained his divorce under Texas' "no-fault" divorce law, one of the most permissive in the nation.  That law basically allows any married couple to simply end their marriage because they feel like it.  Texas, needless to say, is one of the states which has constitutionally barred same-sex marriages, and has a Governor who explicitly cites Christian dogma as the reason to support that provision, yet the overwhelming majority of Texan citizens make sure that there's nothing in the law making their own marriages binding or permanent -- i.e., traditional.  They're willing to limit other people's marriage choices on moral grounds, but not their own, and thus have a law that lets them divorce whenever the mood strikes.  That's the very permissive, untraditional and un-Christian law that Rove just exploited in order to obtain his divorce.

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1. ew who would marry him
2. it's funny that his first wife was someone named Valerie
misc - cake - strawberry cake

The Godfather: Part IV, or something like that

Mob retaliation possible after Rizzuto slaying

Mafia experts are warning of a potential organized crime war following reports that Nick Rizzuto Jr., the son of Canada's most powerful mobster, has been killed in what they call a "shocking" murder.

Rizzuto — the eldest son of Vito Rizzuto, the so-called head of Canada's Mafia — was gunned down on Monday in broad daylight on a residential street in Montreal's Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood.

The brazen assassination took aim squarely at the entire Rizzuto clan and its leadership, not just Nick Jr., according to Antonio Nicaso, an author and expert on the Mafia.

Attacking an eldest son sends a clear message, and "this is an unprecedented challenge to the power of the Rizzuto clan family," Nicaso told CBC News.

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For some reason it continues to surprise people that Canada has gangs and mafia activity that doesn't involve smuggling maple syrup or something.