December 30th, 2009

Akuma River

Maury would have loved this

Police: Accused shoplifters cause chaos at Walmart

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Chattanooga police said a couple they believe tried to steal a cart full of TVs and a computer caused chaos at a Walmart. According to a news release, Officer Josh Wright was off duty when he saw a man trying to force his way past a greeter with about $2,000 worth of stolen goods Sunday night. Wright displayed his badge, but the man said it was fake and tried to force his way past him. Wright then tackled the suspect and arrested him.

Then the suspect's wife, feigned a heart attack and said she did not know her husband.

After a witness told Wright the couple had been together in the store, the wife followed the witness into the parking lot and attacked her. The witness stabbed her in the arm with a pocket knife, and the wife had to be treated at a local hospital.

The male suspect was charged with theft over $1,000 and assault on a police officer. Charges against the wife were pending.
Akuma River

Full Moon on New Year's Eve/Day

Rare New Year's Eve 'blue moon' to ring in 2010

By ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer Alicia Chang, Ap Science Writer – Tue Dec 29, 7:03 pm ET
LOS ANGELES – Once in a blue moon there is one on New Year's Eve. Revelers ringing in 2010 will be treated to a so-called blue moon. According to popular definition, a blue moon is the second full moon in a month. But don't expect it to be blue — the name has nothing to do with the color of our closest celestial neighbor.

A full moon occurred on Dec. 2. It will appear again on Thursday in time for the New Year's countdown.

"If you're in Times Square, you'll see the full moon right above you. It's going to be that brilliant," said Jack Horkheimer, director emeritus of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium and host of a weekly astronomy TV show.
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I have no plans for New Year's except staying home, watching the countdown, and possibly drinking something alcholic...depends if I'm willing to shell out the cash for it since there are none in the house.

What about the rest of you ontd_p?
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Osama Bin Laden to Help GOP to Win 2010 Elections. Send Money To The GOP Or The Terrorists Will Win!

Republicans see political opportunity in Obama response to failed airplane bomb

Republicans are jumping on President Obama's response to the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a U.S. airliner as the latest evidence that Democrats do not aggressively fight terrorism to protect the country, returning to a campaign theme that the GOP has employed successfully over the past decade.


Since before Obama was sworn into office, Republicans have been building a case that he is weak on national security, and in the wake of the intelligence and security failures that led to last week's incident, they think that narrative might stick. Congressional Republicans and GOP pollsters said they believe the administration's response to the failed attack on a Detroit-bound plane -- along with Obama's decisions on the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the intelligence lapses connected to November's massacre at Fort Hood, Tex. -- damage the Democratic brand.
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DNC Calls GOP Rep. Hoekstra 'Shameful' For Raising Funds Off Botched Attack

The Democratic National Committee is calling a leading Republican lawmaker "shameful" for raising money off the botched terrorist attack on Christmas Day.


Hours after Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee and a Michigan gubernatorial candidate, sent out an email solicitation bashing "weak-kneed liberals" for their response to an attempted attack on a Detroit-bound airliner, the DNC went to work.
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Artists to provide GPS water guide to illegal migrants



SAN DIEGO - A group of California artists wants Mexicans and Central Americans to have more than just a few cans of tuna and a jug of water for their illegal trek through the harsh desert into the United States.

Faculty at University of California, San Diego, are developing a GPS-enabled cellphone that tells dehydrated migrants where to find water, and pipes in poetry from phone speakers, regaling them on their journey much like the words of Emma Lazarus did a century ago to the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free’’ on Ellis Island.

The Transborder Immigrant Tool is part technology endeavor, part art project. It introduces a high-tech twist to an old debate about how far activists can go to prevent migrants from dying on the border without breaking the law.

Immigration hard-liners argue that the activists are aiding illegal entry to the United States, a felony. Even migrants and their sympathizers question whether the device will make the treacherous journey easier.

The designers - three visual artists on UCSD’s faculty and an English professor at the University of Michigan - are undeterred as they criticize a US policy that they say embraces some illegal immigrants for cheap labor while letting others die crossing the border.

“It’s about giving water to somebody who’s dying in the desert of dehydration,’’ said Micha Cardenas, 32, a UCSD lecturer.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2009/12/30/help_is_aimed_across_harsh_border/
Citadel

Ladies and gentlemen. Your dream job.

Inside the headquarters of the National Republican Congressional Committee, 25-year-old Adam Conner -- registered Facebook lobbyist, poster of multiple Obama attaboys and a guy whose Facebook photo is a grizzly bear wielding two chain saws -- sits to teach a course. The subject: How to use Facebook better. His student: Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.).

"If we're going to improve our presence on Facebook and really maximize it, what would you recommend as tangible steps?" Roskam asks, thumbing his BlackBerry.

"It looks like you're very comfortable with your BlackBerry," Conner replies earnestly. "Maybe commit to a status message a day? A photo a week? Dive deeper. You'll be surprised at how things that seem routine to you as a congressman are so interesting and cool to constituents."

Conner is Facebook's evangelist in Washington, a social-networking pro summoned by elected officials and bureaucrats alike to teach them, free of charge, how to leverage Facebook -- within strict government rules and security guidelines. The mere existence of Conner's hand-holding lessons illustrates the cultural gulf between Washington and Silicon Valley, and spotlights the complex web of congressional rules that limit social networking among federal workers.

Conner is certainly grateful for his job as associate manager of Facebook's privacy and public-policy division. Compared with many of his highly educated but underemployed peers in Washington, Conner is doing just fine financially, earning about $75,000 a year, with equity to boot. (He declined to give specifics on his salary or stock options.)

But striver that he is, Conner, a 2006 George Washington alumnus who worked on Democrat Mark Warner's exploratory presidential campaign in 2006, chafes at his mechanic's role and the clash of cultures between Facebook's open-book attitude and Washington's need-to-know boundaries.

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via The Washington Post.
Citadel

Iran's online protest faces more savvy regime

It was called the "Twitter Revolution" -- the mass street protests following Iran's questionable June elections that were beamed to the world via social media and other online tools despite the government's media blackout.

This week, a loose, multi-national network of protesters, bloggers, Web developers and everyday Internet users has ramped up again in the wake of renewed anti-government street demonstrations that turned deadly Sunday on Ashura, a Shiite Muslim holy day commemorating the death of 7th Century cleric Imam Hussein.

This time, Internet analysists and online activists involved in the movement have told CNN that a government initially caught flat-footed at how easily information flowed out of the country was ready to fight back.

"It's clear the government has been definitely restricting the Internet in a much more controlled way," said Cyrus Farivar, an Iranian-American freelance journalist who writes about technology issues. "They're definitely paying attention and, at the very least, trying to intimidate people."Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, Tehran's chief prosecutor, said Tuesday that seven people were killed in the Ashura riots. The demonstrations were the deadliest since June. Those left at least eight dead, according to Iran's Supreme National Security Council -- although dissidents and observers have said there were many more.

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Via CNN.
birdmanbirdmanbirdman

Russia in secret plan to save Earth from asteroid: official

MOSCOW — Russian scientists will soon meet in secret to work on a plan for saving Earth from a possible catastrophic collision with a giant asteroid in 26 years, the head of Russia's space agency said Wednesday.

"We will soon hold a closed meeting of our collegium, the science-technical council to look at what can be done" to prevent the asteroid Apophis from slamming into the planet in 2036, Anatoly Perminov told Voice of Russia radio.

"We are talking about people's lives," Perminov was quoted by news agencies as telling the radio station.

"Better to spend a few hundred million dollars to create a system for preventing a collision than to wait until it happens and hundreds of thousands of people are killed," he said.

The Apophis asteroid measures approximately 350 metres (1,150 feet) in diameter and RIA Novosti news agency said that if it were to hit Earth when it passes nearby in 2036 it would create a new desert the size of France.

Perminov said a serious plan to prevent such a catastrophe would probably be an international project involving Russian, European, US and Chinese space experts.

Interfax quoted him as saying that one option would be to build a new "space apparatus" designed solely for the purpose of diverting Apophis from a collision course with Earth safely.

"There won't be any nuclear explosions," Perminov said. "Everything will be done according to the laws of physics. We will examine all of this."

In a statement dated from October and posted on its website, the US space agency NASA said new calculations on the path of Apophis indicated "a significantly reduced likelihood of a hazardous encounter with Earth in 2036."

"Updated computational techniques and newly available data indicate the probability of an Earth encounter on April 13, 2036, for Apophis has dropped from one-in-45,000 to about four-in-a-million," NASA said.

RIA Novosti said the asteroid was expected to pass within 30,000 kilometres (18,600 miles) of Earth in 2029 -- closer than some geo-stationary satellites -- and could shift course to hit Earth seven years years after that.

source

Badass. Nasa should get in on that.
LOLitics | \o/

"Michelle Obama's Rules for Staying Healthy and Happy".


How Michelle Obama Stays Healthy

The First Lady shares the eating habits, fitness routine, and secrets for inner confidence that she hopes to pass on to her daughters and the nation.


Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Prevention: My first question actually comes from my own mother. She wanted to know, have you always followed a healthy lifestyle, or did you have an "aha" moment?

First Lady Michelle Obama: I've always been a closet jock, but when I got married and had kids, that fell by the wayside. My "aha" moment came when our first daughter, Malia, was 4 months old. My husband's exercise routine hadn't changed a bit; he was still getting his workouts in, and I was getting irritated (laughs). Then I realized he was just prioritizing it differently. So I said, "If I get up and out before the first feeding, I will work out." That will engage my husband to do that first feeding with the baby. So I started getting up at 4:30 in the morning and going to the gym. With exercising, the more you do it, the more you get into it. And the more you see results, the more you're pushing for the next level. That's when it just clicked for me.

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  • STUNNING, FLAWLESS, SEXY, ETC.
  • This is a month old, but--as far as I'm aware--hadn't been posted yet.
genius of love

Harper Suspends Parliament For Two Months

Tories planning new Parliament, to begin March 3

Prime Minister Stephen Harper asked the governor general to prorogue Parliament Wednesday and plans to begin a new session with a throne speech on March 3, his press secretary says.

Dimitri Soudas said the government will present a new budget on March 4.

According to Soudas, Harper spoke with Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean Wednesday morning by telephone.

Parliament is currently on Christmas break and MPs were scheduled to return to the House on January 25. But speculation has been rampant in recent weeks that Harper would ask to shut down Parliament until at least after the Winter Olympics in Vancouver are complete.

The move means a halt to the work of Parliamentary committees, including one that is investigating Afghan detainee abuse, an issue that has been plaguing the Conservatives for months.

"(Prorogation) has the great convenience of course of getting this government out of any kind of political trouble, because Parliament will not be sitting until after the Olympics," CTV's chief political correspondent Craig Oliver said.

Prorogation will also serve another purpose, Oliver said. Harper will likely appoint another group of new Senators, which will mean the Conservatives will finally hold a majority in the Red Chamber, and by extension, on Senate committees, Oliver said.

The Conservatives have been frustrated that the Liberal-dominated Senate has held up legislation already approved by the House, he said.

"So in terms of prime ministerial government power, they will come back to a very different Parliament, one in which the Conservative government will have domination in what has been for years a Liberal-dominated Senate," he said. "So that will be a huge advantage for them."

Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale called the move to suspend Parliament "a shocking insult to democracy."

Source.
hpyy

"Most popular politician on Earth" becomes movie, opposition iz really not amused.

Lula on Screen: Brazil's President as Superhero


The Brazilian officials organizing the film premiere of Lula, Son of Brazil probably weren't thinking of the biopic's subject when they chose the music to be played before the curtain went up. But the subliminal connection with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was hard to ignore: "You're the One That I Want," "I Will Always Love You," the theme to the James Bond and Rocky flicks and then, almost inevitably, just moments before the film began, the uplifting bars of Superman.

It's been that kind of a year for Lula; even in the middle of the worst global economic crisis in 80 years, everything went right for him. His government lowered interest rates to a level not seen in decades and foreign reserves rose to a record high. Brazil was last in and first out of the recession; and domestic consumption remained high as the gap between rich and poor narrowed at an unprecedented rate. Rio de Janeiro became the first South American city to win the right to host the Olympics. Meanwhile, Lula's opposition flailed aimlessly. His personal popularity regularly exceeded 70%, leading Barack Obama to call him "the man." In perhaps the most remarkable turnaround, and certainly the most ironic, the former economic basket case even offered to lend money to the International Monetary Fund.

None of this, however, is in Lula, Son of Brazil, the two-hour epic that opens across Latin America's biggest nation on Jan. 1. With a secondary billing that goes "You know the man, but you don't know his story," the film vaults through the episodes that marked Lula's early years and his remarkable rise from poor to powerful. Starting in the scrubland of the northeast where he was born one of eight kids, it follows him to São Paulo, where he suffered at the hands of an abusive and alcoholic father. It shows him as a boy selling fruit and shining shoes for pennies and then struggling through technical college and winning a job as a metalworker in a car factory.

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SOURCE
SOURCE

LOL Veja, you Brazilian Fox News, you. Keep trying to reveal the ~real Lula~ and bringing the lolz. Anyway, can't defend or criticize the movie or how it portrays Lula before seeing it. But my heart  goes to Fábio Barreto (director) and his family, he's been in a coma for over 11 days now after a serious car crash =(. Murphy much?
Thatcher - Ugly Poisonous Creature

More Evidence That Margaret Thatcher Was Racist, Everyone Fairly Unsurprised

Margaret Thatcher complained about Asian immigration to Britain

Margaret Thatcher thought it was "quite wrong" for immigrants to get council houses ahead of "white citizens", previously unpublished government papers show.



Files released to the National Archives show that soon after becoming prime minister, Lady Thatcher privately complained that too many Asian immigrants were being allowed into Britain.

The documents, which are published today under the "30 year rule", shed further light on Lady Thatcher’s attitudes on race and immigration, political issues that have remained controversial ever since.

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No more Fox News?

So I saw an article about this in the LA times, but google brought me to CNN.


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- So long, Simon Cowell.

Time Warner Cable's customers could lose access to "American Idol," "the Simpsons" and some of the NFL playoffs if the cable company fails to resolve a fee standoff with Fox by Dec. 31.

...
On its Web site rolloverorgettough.com, Time Warner Cable claims some networks are demanding up to a 300% price increase, which will make the cable provider hike prices "significantly" for its customers to cover the costs. News Corp. countered that Time Warner Cable is a highly profitable company, and "it can surely afford to fairly compensate broadcasters for that content without raising rates," according to a posting on its Web site keepfoxon.com.

Time Warner Cable paid more than $3 billion in licensing fees to networks in the first nine months of 2009, up 7% from the same period in 2008, the company said in a financial statement. The cable company had an operating income of $4.7 billion this year through the end of September.



Long Source Here
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Shocking News: Tea Party Now Under The Control of White Rich Old Men!

Tempest in the Tea Party
Conservative activists decry GOP consultants for dropping $1,600 on a fancy meal—while hijacking their grassroots movement.

Would a true Tea Party patriot drop nearly $1,600 in donor money for a small meal at a fancy steakhouse? Robin Stublen says no, and he's mad as hell about the profligate expenditures of a GOP political organization that has glommed on to his grassroots movement. Stublen is the organizer of the Punta Gorda, Florida, Tea Party and a member of Tea Party Patriots, a national grassroots organization that has no offices, no president, raises virtually no money, operates largely on volunteer efforts, and, most important, doesn't endorse candidates. But unbeknownst to many, there's another outfit claiming ownership of this conservative movement. It's called the Tea Party Express, and it has dominated Fox News coverage over the past year with its multistate bus tours and political rallies.

Behind it is a well-established Republican political action committee that has raked in tons of money fundraising under the "Tea Party" banner—and it has also spent a lot of that money in a fashion unbecoming a supposedly grassroots insurrection. For instance, according to recent filings with the Federal Election Commission, the PAC that created Tea Party Express dropped $1,597.29 over the summer for a meal for six at a tony Sacramento Chops restaurant, an expenditure that has Stublen seeing red.

"Six people averaged $266; that's not grassroots. I kill bugs and cut grass for a living. I'm splurging when I spend $19 at Chili's. Outback Steakhouse is reserved for Mother's Day," Stublen says.
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GOP to Release New Cook Book: "One Thousand Ways To Cook and Eat Your Own Party"

Pressure mounting on Jim Greer to step down as Florida GOP chairman

Pressure mounted on Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer today as a dozen major GOP donors from all over the state signed a letter urging him to resolve "a crisis in confidence" by resigning.


Greer, who has the backing of Gov. Charlie Crist, has insisted he won't quit. The state party's annual meeting is set for Orlando Jan. 8-9 and Greer has said he will meet with fellow Republican leaders to discuss party finances and operations.

Early this month, Greer accused budget committee member Allen Cox of leaking confidential party financial data and removed him from that panel. But Cox, the party vice chairman, denied leaking information about an alleged $4 million gap between expenses and fund-raising and organized a petition among the GOP state committee to remove Greer.

Besides the alleged deficit, which Greer says is exaggerated and due partly to the sluggish economy making donors less generous, the chairman has offended some Republican activists by taking sides in major primaries. Greer publicly endorsed Crist for the U.S. Senate and Attorney General Bill McCollum to succeed Crist as governor -- but later said he was speaking for himself, not giving Crist and McCollum the party's endorsement.

Today, dissidents are circulating a letter signed by 12 major donors -- including four former U.S. ambassadors from the Bush administrations -- urging Greer to quit.

"We do not take this call for action lightly," said the letter. "It is even more agonizing to publicly call for this plan of action but it would not have come to this had Jim Greer heeded warning calls and implemented a strategic plan of action for our Republican candidates as a competent state chairman should and would."

The letter said Greer's actions "resulted in a crisis of confidence in our party and widespread uneasiness, lack of trust, lack of motivation ... among the grassroots active members of the party, elected leadership and th ose of us who have historically rallied financial support around the state of Florida."

The letter was signed by Al Hoffman of Fort Myers, former ambassador to Portugal; Mel Sembler of St. Petersburg, former ambassador to Italy, Australia and Nauru; Charles Cobb of Miami, former ambassador to Iceland, and Ned Siegel of Boca Raton and Palm Beach, former ambassador to the Bahamas.

Other party donors signing the letter were Richard Beard of Tampa, William Becker of Vero Beach, Seth Bernstein of Orlando, J.C. Demetree of Jacksonville, Earl Durden of Panama City, Ed Easton of Miami, Mark Guzetta of Boca Raton and Charles Hilton of Panama City.
fox-alterreality

CHENEY SEZ: OUR ADMINISTRATION WAS RUBBER AND YOURS IS GLUE!

Republican Hypocrisy on Terrorism Reaches New Levels of Awful

Former Vice President Dick Cheney's public relations apparatus was firing on all cylinders Wednesday morning, with the release of a predictable statement about the failed Underpants Bomber fracas. And by "public relations apparatus" I mean "cable news and Politico."

Needless to say, Cheney is well-qualified to take an authoritative posture when it comes to terrorism. After all, he and his little buddy "kept us safe" from terrorist attacks for eight years, right? Other than the worst terrorist attack in American history, of course, along with the Anthrax Attacks, the Beltway Snipers, the thousands of terrorist attacks on our contractors and soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the attacks on our allies in London and Madrid, Cheney did a fine job keeping us safe (more about this in my book). Good job, Mr. Cheney!

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SOURCE

Oh, Bob Cesca....ILU  <3
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GOP Accuses Napolitano of Being a Dude: "She Wasnt Emotional or Hysterical!"

Napolitano Assailed For Not Showing Sufficient 'Emotion' In Response To Flight 253 Incident

Raw Story pulls out another objectively idiotic statement from the frantic Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.):

In the wake of the attempted bombing of a plane bound for Detroit, Rep. Peter King (NY-R) criticized Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for appearing "bored."

"What I was critical of here was that first of all we went almost 48 hours before anyone from the administration came out and even spoke about what happened," explained King Monday.

"Finally, Janet Napolitano comes out and the first thing she said was everything worked well. And she seemed almost like she was bored to be there. There was no intensity. There was no show of emotion," he said.


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White House to Dick Cheney: "Sit Down and Shut Up. Biatch"

White House Responds To Cheney: Your 'Bellicose Rhetoric' Did Nothing

The White House responded sharply to criticism from Dick Cheney over the administration's response to a botched terror attack. In a blog post, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said Obama "is not interested in bellicose rhetoric" and called Cheney's jabs "strangely off-key" when national security is at stake.

Republicans saw the failure to prevent the attempt to blow up a plane on Christmas Day as a political opportunity, a chance to make the president look weak.

"[W]e are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren't, it makes us less safe," Cheney said in a statement to Politico. "Why doesn't he want to admit we're at war? It doesn't fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn't fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency -- social transformation -- the restructuring of American society."

Now, after avoiding the partisan scuffle in favor of addressing the intelligence failures, the White House is responding.
To put it simply: this President is not interested in bellicose rhetoric, he is focused on action. Seven years of bellicose rhetoric failed to reduce the threat from al Qaeda and succeeded in dividing this country. And it seems strangely off-key now, at a time when our country is under attack, for the architect of those policies to be attacking the President.
Democrats in Congress, meanwhile, have been blaming Bush for releasing from Guantanamo in 2007 two detainees who apparently helped lead the al Qaeda cell in Yemen linked to the bombing attempt.
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8 Republicans Supports Protecting America From Terrorism So Long is Cheap

Eight GOP Senators Opposed Bill That Funded Airport Screening And Explosive Detection

Some of the same Republican lawmakers currently criticizing the President for softness on terrorism voted back in July 2007 against legislation that, among other reforms, provided $250 million for airport screening and explosive detection equipment.

The Improving America's Security Act of 2007 was a relatively non-controversial measure that effectively implemented several un-acted-upon recommendations from the 9/11 Commission. Eighty-five Senators voted in favor of the bill's passage. Seven missed the vote (several of whom were on the campaign trail, including Barack Obama, John McCain and Chris Dodd).

Eight Republican Senators, however, voted against passage, including Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Tom Coburn (R-Okl.) Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), James Inhofe (R-Okl.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ari.).
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JS &amp; DS - NYC

Rush rushed to hospital



From CNN's Breaking News Twitter


Radio host Rush Limbaugh was rushed to a Honolulu hospital with chest pains, sources told KITV. More to come on CNN.com




More info

HONOLULU -- Conservative radio talk host Rush Limbaugh was rushed to a Honolulu hospital on Wednesday afternoon with chest pains, sources told KITV.Paramedics responded to the call at 2:41 p.m. at the Kahala Hotel and Resort.

Limbaugh suffered from chest pains, sources said. Paramedics treated him and took him to Queen's Medical Center in serious condition.He was seen golfing at Waialae Country Club earlier this week. The country club is next to the Kahala Hotel and Resort.The radio show host had been in the islands during the holidays. Coincidentally, his visit comes at a time when two of the nation's most powerful Democrats, President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are also staying in Hawaii.In 2001, Limbaugh received a cochlear implant after he suddenly lost hearing due to autoimmune inner ear disease. Limbaugh underwent treatment in 2003 for an addiction to prescription painkillers, including Lorcet, Norco and hydrocodone.



UPDATE PER TMZ

UPDATE: 11:29 PM EST -- Sources inside the hotel tell TMZ the hotel took drastic measures to get the mystery patient -- reported to be Rush Limbaugh -- out of the resort without being seen.

We're told hotel security shut down a wing of the hotel and the guest elevators -- the patient was transported using the employee elevator bank.
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Iranian Regime Giving Gold Stars To Political Dissidents and Enemies of The State, I Mean Students.

Regime Wages a Quiet War on 'Star Students' of Iran



Behind the drama unfolding in the streets of Iran, the regime is quietly clamping down on some of the nation's best students by derailing their academic and professional careers.


On Wednesday, progovernment militia attacked and beat students at a school in northeastern Iran. Since last Sunday's massive protests nationwide, dozens of university students have been arrested as part of an aggressive policy against what are known as Iran's "star students."

In most places, being a star means ranking top of the class, but in Iran it means your name appears on a list of students considered a threat by the intelligence ministry. It also means a partial or complete ban from education.

The term comes from the fact that some students have learned of their status by seeing stars printed next to their names on test results.
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Brum DJ canned for cutting short Her Maj

Aborts Liz II's 'bo-ring' Xmas message

A Brum-based DJ has been given his marching orders after cutting Liz II's live Xmas broadcast and declaring: "Two words: Bor-ing."

BRMB presenter Tom Binns was binned after listeners from the station, plus those tuning into Wyvern in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, Mercia in Warwickshire, and Beacon Radio in the Black Country, were deprived of their little bit of Yule cheer from Her Maj.

David Lloyd, group programme and marketing director, declared: "On Christmas Day, one of our presenters, Tom Binns, made some inappropriate comments surrounding the Queen's speech.

"We do not condone what he said in any way; whether said in jest or not. We are making contact with the small number of listeners who were offended by Tom's comments and have complained to us to convey our apologies, and have also apologised on air."

According to the BBC, Binns was a freelancer worrying the airwaves on a show-by-show basis. Lloyd said he "would not be featuring again".

While the royal outrage is a serious matter indeed, it's not BRMB's finest hour. In 2003, it was fined £15k after it brilliantly challenged four people to sit on blocks of dry ice in order to win "tickets and back stage passes for a music festival in the city".

The result was "four people being treated in hospital for severe frostbite", with two women and a man laid up for 10 weeks "recovering from extensive skin grafts". ®

Source: The Register
Maybe if they'd fired him for confusing syllables and words I'd understand, but wut? She is boring. The Channel 4 message from Katie Piper was much more interesting.

ETA: Turns out the speech wasn't even supposed to have been broadcast in the first place.
Akuma River

Iran makes its move, Parliament calls for the arrest of Mousavi and other opposition leaders

Photobucket
Iranian women attend a pro-government rally Wednesday in Tehran with a poster showing Aayatollahs Khomeini and Khameini.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/12/30/iran.rallies/index.html

(CNN) -- Iran's parliament has asked authorities to arrest "the main instigators and directors" of Sunday's violent anti-government protests, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported Wednesday, the same day massive pro-government rallies were held in Tehran and other cities.

Legislator Hassan Noroozi named three people he said "must be arrested": Mehdi Karoubi, Mir Hossein Moussavi and Fa'ezeh Hashemi. Karoubi and Moussavi are opposition politicians who challenged President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June's elections. Hashemi is the daughter of the former reformist president, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

"They must not remain on the sidelines and be safe," Noroozi said. "Those who issue statements and invite people to create chaos in the streets and attack one another must be dealt with according to Islamic laws."

In Sunday's protests, at least seven demonstrators were killed in clashes with security forces, although the Iranian government has denied that its security forces killed anyone.

Still, a video released Tuesday appeared to show green and white Iranian police vehicles driving into crowds of protesters and running over at least one. Other videos purported to show people said to have been killed by the police vehicles. Iranian authorities reported that most of the seven dead had died after being struck with "hard objects or due to similar causes," according to chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi.
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Thoughts?