January 5th, 2010

movies | HBIC

ontd_political Photo of the Day: Jan 4, 2010.


An Indian Sikh youth performs a fire breathing act as he take part in a procession from the Sri Akal Takhat at The Golden Temple in Amritsar on January 4, 2010. The procession took place on the eve of the 344rd Birth Anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, considered a forefather in the religion.
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Narinder Nanu (AFP/Getty Images)
Smile

Christian Anti-Defamation Commission Releases Top 10 Instances of Christian-Bashing in 2009



The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission has released its 'Top 10 list of Anti-Christian Acts of 2009' and they point the finger at Larry David, Obama, the Department of Homeland Security, but mostly at gays, and the oh-so-scary gay marching band that participated in the inauguration.

Said Dr. Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission: "It is arguable that anti-Christian hatred has spilled over into material forms of persecution in 2009. Christians were killed and bullied for their witness, ministers and churches threatened with violence and vandalized for standing for marriage, and Christians were fired for not compromising their faith. If these are not bona fide examples of persecution, than I wonder what more it might take?"

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Citadel

(no subject)

Dick Cheney is taking criticism from at least one member of his own party over the former vice president's recent and persistent criticisms of the Obama administration's handling of national security issues.

Ron Paul, the Texas congressman and upstart 2008 presidential candidate, told CNN's Larry King Monday night Cheney is in no place to criticize Obama's handling of the war on terrorism.

"I think he had his eight years, and he's caused a lot of trouble for our country and perpetuated a war in Iraq unnecessary and wrong-headed," said Paul. "I would say it would be best he not be so critical right now."

Paul was a constant critic of the Iraq war during his unsuccessful presidential run. While he is currently not seeking a higher office, his son, Rand, is seeking the Republican nomination for Senate in Kentucky.

Paul's comments come several days after Cheney released a tough-worded statement criticizing the president's response to the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day.

"He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won't be at war," Cheney said in the statement. "He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of 9/11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won't be at war. He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core al Qaeda trained terrorists still there, we won't be at war."'

White House Communications Director Dan Pffeifer later responded the president "is not interested in bellicose rhetoric, he is focused on action."

Via CNN Political Ticker.
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Shocking News: Birtherism Is a Leftwing Conspiracy to Destroy Glenn Beck's Credibility!

Glenn Beck Flooded With Calls From Birthers, Suspects White House Plot

Fox News infotainer Glenn Beck returned to the airwaves this new year, outlining his own twisted spin on Birtherism. While Beck acknowledged that the whole notion of a concerted effort decades ago to plant fake Barack Obama birth records is "a little unlikely," he nevertheless wondered aloud on his radio show whether or not the left was actually behind the rise of Birtherism -- thus trading one unlikely conspiracy theory for an even more unlikely one.
BECK: So there are apparently, apparently there is and I'm just going to there's always games being played behind the scenes at a talk radio show and on television and everything else. It is really, it's very, I don't know, it's disappointing. Rush has called them on the games in radio behind the scenes, Rush has always called them seminar callers. But instead of being coy with the seminar callers or with you, I'm just going to expose the game that is going on. Today there is a concerted effort on all radio stations to get Birthers on the air. I have to tell you, are you working for the Barack Obama administration? I mean, that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
Yes: that would be the dumbest thing in the world, for Obama supporters to pimp Birtherism to right-wing radio hosts. But that's not what's happening! As David Weigel reports, Glenn Beck was recently flooded with calls from Birthers because the Birthers themselves coordinated the calls, in a campaign they dubbed "Operation Flood It," which, I guess, really masks their intentions!

From the website of anti-Obama Birther den ATLAH Worldwide:
Operation FLOOD IT- Jan 4th, 2010...


I want Beck's phone system to crash, everyone press redial over and over.

We need at least 5,000 people to do this...

Call (888) 727-2325 at 9am EST

The left are scared to death of the Obama eligibility issue and anyone that dares to bring it up is immediately attacked and and forced to resign. Just ask Lou Dobbs...

Why is Fox afraid of this issue? This could throw Obama into jail, we are not talking about czars here. That is small potatoes compared to multiple felonies and a conspiracy to deceive 300 million Americans. The ENTIRE house of cards in the Democrat party would topple, because they were all most likely involved in this conspiracy as well.
Fox has the guts to throw jabs at Obama for 4 years, but they do not have the guts to deliver the knockout punch, Obama's ineligibility. WE have to change that...
A script of talking points for would-be Birther phone-jammers, is included.

This super-difficult-to-penetrate plan, by the way, has been afoot since December 21st, so maybe Glenn Beck should go and get a Google Alert with his name, or something, if he'd like to stay abreast of these sorts of things.
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Jim Greer Resigns, Rightwing Lunatics and Tea Party to Celebrate Victory

Florida GOP Chairman Resigns Under Pressure From Far-Right Activists

On Tuesday, the Republican Party of Florida's chairman Jim Greer announced his resignation.

Pressure had been mounting for Greer's ouster from the far-right of Florida's GOP.

The complaints centered on Greer's party spending, and his support for Gov. Charlie Crist (the more moderate candidate) over Marco Rubio, Crist's challenger in the U.S. Senate race.

Crist picked Greer for the position in 2007, and has continued to defend him.
The Gang
  • acmeeoy

Reclaiming Legal Abortion as a Fundamental Right

By Frances Kissling

How did we get to the point where denial of abortion funding for poor women has apparently become an acceptable tradeoff in the campaign for health insurance reform? Here, the former president of Catholics for Choice traces the history and tells us why justice demands the immediate repeal of the Hyde Amendment.

January 4, 2010

The debate about abortion coverage in health insurance reform is the latest disappointing moment in the efforts of feminists to ensure that the social transformation Roe promised women was equally available to all women, including those who were dependent on the government for health care. To hear President Obama call the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal Medicaid funds for abortion, an “American tradition” is only the most recent of many misstatements about what a fundamental right entails. It seems that prochoice legislators, following the president’s lead, now explicitly consider that throwing women who cannot afford to pay for their own abortions under the bus is a reasonable compromise between those who favor and those who oppose legal abortion and a sensible concession to those who think abortion is immoral.

The compromise is the logical outcome of one of Roe’s essential weaknesses: the fact that the constitutional right to abortion was based on the principle of privacy rather than non discrimination. A private right, even a fundamental one, did not, according to the Supreme Court, require the state to pay for its implementation.

The Hyde Amendment, which was introduced in Congress starting in 1973 and passed for the first time in 1976, was the first and most important defeat the abortion rights movement sustained—and it embodied the profound disapproval and stigmatization of abortion that no other restriction on the right to choose represents. When affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1980 in the Harris v. McRae case, it sent the message that abortion was immoral and that no taxpayer should be obliged to pay for something they think is immoral.

It first passed at a time that anti-abortion forces were pursuing two lines of attack against legal abortion—an effort to pass a human life amendment to the Constitution, which would make all abortions illegal, and an incremental strategy with the Hyde Amendment the first effort to chip away at Roe. The young prochoice movement realized that its naïve assumption that Roe would end the debate about abortion was wrong and that it needed to mobilize both grass roots and elite support for protecting abortion rights. The tactical question was whether the threat to poor women’s access in Hyde or the threat to all women’s access in the human life amendment would be the best organizing vehicle.

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Citadel

Iran's Nobel winner: Crackdown strengthens protests

The Iranian government's efforts to suppress anti-government demonstrations will only increase the opposition's will, Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi told CNN Monday.

"The heavier the crackdown, the more determined people will be to protest, as events in the past have shown. The higher levels of crackdown have radicalized the people," the Iranian lawyer and human rights activist said.

But sanctions on Iran's nuclear program will not damage the Islamic regime -- in fact, they "only increase the nationalistic sentiments of the Iranian people," she warned.

Sanctions should "target issues that impact the government and not those that affect the people. For example, recently the Iranian government, it has been said, will import anti-riot tanks. Not from the United States but from China and Russia," Ebadi said.

"So sanctions should aim to stop these transactions, not to enhance the ability of the Iranian state to increase the crackdown on the people," Ebadi said, speaking to CNN's Zain Verjee by telephone.

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Via CNN. Also related: Iran cites 60 groups as 'soft war' agents, Tehran professors decry handling of protestors.
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Obama Loves Terrorists More Than Real Americans. They Even Get Free Health Care!

Jane Norton, GOP Candidate: Obama Values Terrorist Rights Over American Lives (VIDEO)

Efforts to seek political gain from the botched Christmas Day terrorist attack have resulted in plenty of hyperbole. And GOP Senatorial Candidate Jane Norton didn't disappoint in that regard when delivering remarks on the incident to a room full of Colorado voters on Monday.

The former lieutenant governor, appearing at the Jefferson County Men's Club, accused President Barack Obama of being more concerned with the rights of terrorists that with the lives of Americans. Not just as it pertained to matters of national security -- but as seen in the health care bill and "almost every, every area that we are looking at."
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rule 37

Revisionaries: How a group of Texas conservatives is rewriting your kids’ textbooks.

Don McLeroy is a balding, paunchy man with a thick broom-handle mustache who lives in a rambling two-story brick home in a suburb near Bryan, Texas. When he greeted me at the door one evening last October, he was clutching a thin paperback with the skeleton of a seahorse on its cover, a primer on natural selection penned by famed evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr. We sat down at his dining table, which was piled high with three-ring binders, and his wife, Nancy, brought us ice water in cut-crystal glasses with matching coasters. Then McLeroy cracked the book open. The margins were littered with stars, exclamation points, and hundreds of yellow Post-its that were brimming with notes scrawled in a microscopic hand. With childlike glee, McLeroy flipped through the pages and explained what he saw as the gaping holes in Darwin’s theory. “I don’t care what the educational political lobby and their allies on the left say,” he declared at one point. “Evolution is hooey.” This bled into a rant about American history. “The secular humanists may argue that we are a secular nation,” McLeroy said, jabbing his finger in the air for emphasis. “But we are a Christian nation founded on Christian principals. The way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan—he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last twenty years because he lowered taxes.”

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teal deer for the impatient:
+ Ultra-conservatists angry over the apparent 're-writing' of American history
+ Regan and McCarthy are good guys, Democrats hate everyone, global warming and evolution are fake
+ Only the majority can give out civil rights
+ Dr Martin Luther King, Jr does not deserve credits for said civil rights
+ wants to change out the description 'democratic' for 'republican' when describing the country
+ the ultra-conservatives want to play up anti-Islamic feeling


Sauce is pretty pissed off over the situation
eternal sunshine | clementine
  • roostah

(no subject)



A Gay-Marriage Lawsuit Dares to Make Its Case
By Michael A. Lindenberger

The legal case that gay-rights activists feared to see is about to get under way in a federal courtroom in San Francisco. For the next several weeks, plaintiffs will argue that the U.S. Constitution forbids states from restricting marriage to one man and one woman. The case has brought together some of the most powerful appellate attorneys in America but has divided gay-rights lawyers and legal scholars who fear that even if successful, the case could set the issue on a collision course with a less-than-sympathetic U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court has issued powerfully pro-gay-rights decisions at key points in the past 20 years — including striking down criminal statutes forbidding gay sex six years ago. But it has never voiced a word of enthusiasm for gay marriage. That has left scholars and longtime legal veterans of the gay-rights movement fearing disaster for gay marriage, should the issue be decided by the conservative-leaning Justices. "When I try to count the votes in favor of same-sex marriage on the Supreme Court, I have trouble getting to one," Andrew Koppelman, John Paul Stevens Professor of Law at Northwestern University, told TIME.

"The stakes are extremely high," adds law professor Samuel Marcosson of the University of Louisville, author of Original Sin: Clarence Thomas and the Failure of the Constitutional Conservatives. "I think the plaintiffs are (unfortunately) very likely to lose — at least if the case makes it all the way to the Supreme Court — and set a precedent that didn't need to be, and shouldn't have been, set. The case was premature and ill-advised."

The trial begins Jan. 11 in a 17th-floor courtroom in downtown San Francisco, and is expected to last two to three weeks. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker convenes a hearing Wednesday over whether to take the rare step of allowing the trial to be broadcast, despite strong objections by defenders of Prop 8 — the 2008 voter initiative that ended gay marriage in California. Televised or not, the trial will be the first in federal court to answer the question of whether the U.S. Constitution forbids states like California from restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples.

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Source

You can sign a petition asking Judge Walker to televise the Prop 8 trial here.
Pride & Prejudice

As fuel prices increase, British pensioners burn books for warmth

Volunteers have reported that ‘a large number’ of elderly customers are snapping up hardbacks as cheap fuel for their fires and stoves.

Temperatures this week are forecast to plummet as low as -13ºC in the Scottish Highlands, with the mercury falling to -6ºC in London, -5ºC in Birmingham and -7ºC in Manchester as one of the coldest winters in years continues to bite.

Workers at one charity shop in Swansea, in south Wales, described how the most vulnerable shoppers were seeking out thick books such as encyclopaedias for a few pence because they were cheaper than coal. One assistant said: ‘Book burning seems terribly wrong but we have to get rid of unsold stock for pennies and some of the pensioners say the books make ideal slow-burning fuel for fires and stoves. A lot of them buy up large hardback volumes so they can stick them in the fire to last all night.’

A 500g book can sell for as little as 5p, while a 20kg bag of coal costs £5.

Since January 2008, gas bills have risen 40 per cent and electricity prices 20 per cent, although people over 60 are entitled to a winter fuel allowance of between £125 and £400.

Jonathan Stearn, energy expert for Consumer Focus, said: ‘If pensioners are taking such desperate measures to heat their homes it is shocking. With low wholesale prices and increasing profit margins, there is clearly room for energy companies to make price cuts immediately.’

Ruth Davison, of the National Housing Federation, said: ‘The spiralling cost of energy means heating homes has become a luxury rather than a necessity for many people – particularly the elderly, low paid and unemployed.’

Source
I know it's cold, but good grief. One of the commenters said it was 'just them being thrifty'- I know of no pensioners who'd go back to burning books in their grate just to keep warm.

Cry Havoc !! Iceland leader vetoes bank repayments bill

-Public referendum to be held!


"The participation of the nation in the final agreement is the only viable outcome."

Iceland's president has refused to sign a controversial bill to repay $5bn (£3.1bn) to the UK and the Netherlands.

President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson said he would instead hold a referendum on the bill, following public protests.

The legislation was designed to compensate governments forced to bail out their savers with Icesave accounts following Iceland's banking collapse.

Opponents argue the terms of the payments will unfairly hurt Iceland and its recovery from economic crisis.

Legislation to repay the money was approved by Iceland's parliament in December, but the approval of the president is also required before it can be passed into law.

"The president's decision to call a referendum on the Icesave law is likely to be met with mixed reactions by the Icelandic people. Many believe Iceland is paying too much back to Britain and the Netherlands and want the law courts to decide what the fair repayment amount should be." -Ingibjorg Thordardottir


Video at the link.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8441312.stm
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Mooslim Tyrant Now Pushing the Transexual Gay Agenda! Someone Save Teh Childrun!!

Religious Right Goes Nuts Over Transgender Appointee Amanda Simpson

Amanda Simpson, who was named by President Obama to be senior technical adviser for the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security, has worked in the field for over 30 years. But prominent figures on the religious right are claiming that she was picked only as part of some transsexual agenda.

"Is there going to be a transgender quota now in the Obama administration?" asked Peter LaBarbera, president of the anti-gay group Americans for Truth. "How far does this politics of gay and transgender activism go? Clearly this is an administration that is pandering to the gay lobby."

"Simpson's nomination was forwarded through to President Obama by a gay activist group, making it appear that this appointment of a male-to-female 'transgender' activist to a high level Commerce Department position to be payback to his far-left base for their political support," a spokeswoman for Focus on the Family said in statement.

Matt Barber, associate dean at Jerry Fallwell's Liberty University, said the appointment "boggles the mind" and said that while African-Americans might deserve special treatment, transgender people don't.
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Health Care Industry Spends Tons of Moneys To Prove Reform is Unconstitutional. Free Market Rulez!

REPORT: Challenges To Constitutionality Of Health Reform Funded By Health Industry Money

Since Democrats secured 60 votes to pass health care reform legislation — and passage became inevitable — prominent conservatives relaunched an under-the-radar campaign to invalidate reform through the legal system. On the eve of the final health care vote in the Senate, Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and John Ensign (R-NV) invoked a “constitutional point of order” to allow the Senate to rule by majority vote on whether the “Democrat health care takeover bill” is unconstitutional. Legislatures in approximately 14 states — organized by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a “business-friendly conservative group that coordinates activity among statehouses — have also introduced initiatives to ratify constitutional amendments that would repeal all or parts of the pending health care reform legislation, and Attorney Generals in at least 13 states are challenging a deal secured by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) to fund Nebraska’s Medicaid expansion for perpetuity.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), the attorneys generals from South Carolina, Washington, Michigan, Texas, Colorado, Alabama, North Dakota, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Utah, Florida, Idaho and South Dakota “wrote that they consider the [Nebraska] provision ‘constitutionally flawed’ and demanded that it be stricken from the final bill.”

Yesterday, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal explaining “Why the Health-Care Bills Are Unconstitutional.” “The policy issues may be coming to an end, but the legal issues are certain to continue because key provisions of this dangerous legislation are unconstitutional,” he wrote, and went on to challenge the constitutionality of the individual mandate, the so-called sweet heart deal for Nebraska, and the requirements for states to establish health insurance exchanges and insurance regulations.

The effort may prove a strong political organizing tool for conservative activists, but the legal reasoning has little support beyond the right fringe of the Republican party and the health care industry. Several weeks ago, the New York Times reported, “The states where the [constitutional] amendment has been introduced are also places where the health care industry has spent heavily on political contributions.” The industry has also contributed heavily to the campaigns of at least 7 of the 13 attorney generals threatening to sue the federal government over the Nebraska provision. (Campaign finance data was not readily accessible for the other 6 attorneys generals.)

An analysis conducted by the Wonk Room of available campaign finance disclosures for AGs from South Carolina, Washington, Michigan, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah and Idaho reveals that the health industry contributed heavily to their campaigns. For instance, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett (who is also running for Governor) accepted some $24,300 from the health care industry for his campaigns, including $10,300 from Pfizer PAC, $3,500 from Aetna Inc. PAC, and $2,500 from United Health Group Inc. Read the full analysis here.
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Michael Steele Seeking The Racist Vote

Steele uses racial epithet to argue that the GOP doesn’t need to be more moderate: ‘Honest Injun on that.’

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has been out aggressively promoting his new book, “Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda,” which was just released yesterday. He went on Sean Hannity’s Fox News last night to discuss Republican principles and insisted that the Republican Party does not need to modernize. “Honest Injun on that,” he said to underscore his point:

HANNITY: There are those that are saying for the Republican Party to be successful, they’ve gotta quote be more moderate.

STEELE: No, no! But that’s what’s gotten us into trouble, when we walked away from principle. Our platform is one of the best political documents that’s been written in the last 25 years. Honest Injun on that. It speaks to some core conservative principles on the value of family, faith, life, economics. Those principles don’t change.
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Bank of America Tries to Use the Chewbacca Defense


Judge Rakoff Slaps Bank Of America Again - And Loves Ballroom Dancing (VIDEO)


Judge Jed S. Rakoff is at it again. In his latest salvo in Bank of America's civil trial with the SEC over the Merrill Lynch bonus scandal, Judge Rakoff blasted the bank's attempts to use news reports as evidence at trial.

To recap, the SEC is suing Bank of America for misleading investors about its intentions to pay out year-end bonuses to Merrill Lynch employees. While it was buying Merrill, the bank maintained in its regulatory filings that no bonuses would go to Merrill workers.

At issue in the most recent court proceedings is whether or not media reports of the bonuses could be used as evidence. According to this ruling, Bank of America is apparently arguing that, because of several prominent media outlets reported in that Merrill bonuses would be doled out, the bank was absolved of, um, having to tell the truth.

From Rakoff's ruling:

"In effect, the bank is arguing that, even though it expressly warned its shareholders to disregard the media, it can now defend itself by asserting that a reasonable shareholder would have disregard these warnings and, by consulting the media, perceived that the bank's alleged lies were immaterial. Even a zealous advocate might perceive that such an argument hints at hypocrisy. "

When he's not in full-blown acerbic mode, Rakoff apparently enjoys cutting a rug. At the Business Insider, Erin Geiger Smith passes along this video. (Rakoff appears at the 1:50 mark.)
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general || i'm furious!11
  • brecho

NEW YORK DEMOCRATS WANTS OUR CHILDREN TO DO DRUGS AND FOR TAXES TO PAY FOR IT

NYC prosecutor blasts 'heroin how-to' pamphlet


New York City’s top narcotics prosecutor says a Health Department pamphlet that teaches heroin addicts how to shoot up safely is wrongheaded because there is no safe way to inject heroin.
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DEA rips NYC-funded handbook on heroin


‘Step-by-step instruction on how to inject a poison,’ drug agent says


NEW YORK - A New York City-funded guidebook for heroin users offers information on how to prepare drugs carefully and care for veins to avoid infection.
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Public Officials Attack City’s Heroin Pamphlet


If you’re going to do drugs, do it right, because even drug addicts deserve to have their lives protected.

That’s the message New York City health officials say they were trying to convey in a city-funded and distributed pamphlet on “tips for safer use” of heroin that has raised the hackles of public officials, including the city’s special narcotics prosecutor, over the last few days.
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I listed to this on Sean Hannity while a friend drove me to the drs. I figured there was a bit more to the story than the New York Post said, and there was. There was also some stuff about wasting tax money but those seemed more like blogs, from what I found.
≈ YEAAAAAAARGH
  • schmiss

So. uh.

Impromptu mod post time!

It seems ONTD_P has been subject to some, uh, interesting posts tonight! I caught the last one and kryptonitepussy has been b&ed from the community and the entry deleted while marked as spam. I don't know who made the earlier ones since I missed them, but if it was a different user, PLEASE let me know.

And to carbonmonoxide, if this was a hacking, please comment on the open post at ontdp_mods. Otherwise I guess you're just banned or whatever. PFitz will be watching you.



Although thinking gay porn was the best thing to spam ONTD_P with? Um...



Gurl please, most of us probably have more explicit shit on our hard drives.

CARRY ON.
movies

The Violent Romantic Comedy

When I was 15, for some bizarre reason, I saw War of the Roses (trailer). The movie stars Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas, who play a married couple in the midst of a divorce and basically spend the entire movie trying very, very hard to hurt each other physically and emotionally. It’s a violent, violent comedy.

I remember really liking it and telling my Dad who, with his usual gentle wisdom, said something to the effect of “it’s never funny when two people who are supposed to love each other try to hurt each other.” I was chagrined.

I was reminded of this moment when I watched the trailer for Bounty Hunter, sent in by Ryan G. In the movie, Jennifer Aniston plays a woman who fails to show up in court and is then, essentially, violently kidnapped by her bounty hunter ex. The trailer:



Now, 20 years later, I’m with my Dad.

(Trigger warning for all the links below.)

What it is about U.S. society that makes sexually-charged violent hate so funny? Are we, as the bemoaners claim, anesthetized to violence? Is it an internalized sense that men and women are at war? Is it the idea that (heterosexual) relationships are, ultimately, a zero sume game? Is it a conflation of sex and power, and a constant affirmation that good sex (and relationships) include violence, that makes a movie such as this so titillating? Is it a true hate for the other, supposedly opposite sex? In other words, why doesn’t this trailer, for most, inspire disgust instead of anticipation?

Via Sociological Images.
Christian Bale

$1.5 Billion Shelled Out On World’s Tallest Building



Economic ruin can’t dampen spirits in Dubai, especially when they’ve made the rest of the world their architectural bitch. Yeah, that’s right, I said it. The country recently unveiled its $1.5 billion pet project: a 828 meter high architect’s wet dream called the Burj Khalifa. The tower, which took six years to complete, will house 1,044 luxury apartments, 49 floors of office space and an Armani-branded hotel (snazzy, snazzy!). The tower dwarfs such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and even the Empire State Building (which is only half the size of the Burj Khalifa). However, despite this architectural achievement, the region is still suffering the effects of a crappy economy and its ridunkulous expenditures to finance the creation of this tower and other ambitious building projects isn’t helping matters. And to just sprinkle on a little more hateration, it turns out that the top 30 floors or so are generally useless for anything other than storage space because they are so small and narrow. Weak sauce, Dubai, weak sauce.

Source: F-Listed & CNN
default, mask

(no subject)

MPs urge '70m population cap' in party manifestos



A cross-party group of MPs and peers have called on the main parties to make a manifesto pledge not to allow the UK's population to exceed 70 million.

Former minister Frank Field is among those arguing current immigration rates, unless restricted, will impact on public services and quality of life.

The Balanced Migration Group said the BNP continued to exploit the issue.

Labour says its points-based migration system is working but the Tories want an annual cap on incoming workers.

All the main parties are sceptical about setting population targets which they believe is unrealistic and counter-productive.

Last year the Office for National Statistics said if current trends continued, the UK population would rise by 10 million to more than 71.6 million by 2003 - the fastest rise in a century.

Two-thirds of that increase would be caused, directly or indirectly, by migration to the UK, it suggested. Collapse )

[source]
Defaulto

Malawi gay wedding couple lose bail appeal

A Malawian judge has rejected a bail application by two gay men charged with public indecency after getting engaged.

Nyakwawa Usiwa-Usiwa said Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza would be safer in custody while they wait their trial - expected to start next week.

The pair, believed to be the first gay couple in Malawi to start the process of getting married, pleaded not guilty to the charges last week.

Homosexual acts carry a maximum prison sentence of 14 years in Malawi.

Denying them bail, Mr Usiwa-Usiwa said: "The accused have the right to bail but considering the public interest their case has generated it is the view of the court that they are safer in police custody than out there."

He said the pair would be given bail on 10 January if prosecutors had not finished investigating by then.

Cheering crowds

The BBC's Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre, where the case was held, says Mr Monjeza looked downcast throughout the hearing and burst into tears when the magistrate remanded them in custody.

At their court appearance last week, the 26-year-old had hinted that he would consider calling off the proposed wedding.

"I am sad I am going back to Chichiri Prison," he said.

"The conditions are terrible there. People are exaggerating this thing. I may just as well dissolve this marriage."

After the latest hearing the pair were surrounded by hundreds of people who were chanting and cheering.

Our correspondent says Mr Chimbalanga, 20, who dresses in women's clothes, acknowledged the crowd with a wave as they shouted: "Aunt Tiwonge, Aunt Tiwonge".

The pair face three charges of unnatural practices between males and gross indecency.

Malawi is a deeply conservative society but recently a group of campaigners came together to form a gay rights organisation, Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP).


CEDEP's executive director, Gift Trapence, says the laws used to arrest the couple are invalid because they are against the Bill of Rights enshrined in the 1995 constitution.

Correspondents say some voices in government have also started to call for more openness about homosexuality as the authorities try to tackle high rates of HIV/Aids.


BBC
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Murderer Subpoenas Ghost of Abortionist So He Can Be Send to Ghost Jail.

Ex-Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline Subpoenaed In George Tiller Murder Trial

Defense attorneys for a man charged with killing one of the nation's few late-term abortion providers have subpoenaed two state prosecutors who tried unsuccessfully to convict the victim, Dr. George Tiller, on criminal charges.

Defense attorney Mark Rudy said Tuesday that misdemeanor charges filed by former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline and new charges prosecuted later by Deputy Attorney General Barry Disney demonstrated that they believed Tiller's actions had been lawless – even though they both failed to convict him.

Scott Roeder, 51, of Kansas City, Mo., is set to go on trial Jan. 11 on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault. Roeder has publicly admitted killing Tiller to save the lives of "unborn children" and has said he does not regret his actions.

Rudy told The Associated Press that Kline's investigations "came to the conclusion (Tiller) was engaged in unlawful conduct relative to his profession." Kline's charges in 2006 were dismissed in a jurisdictional dispute with the local prosecutor.
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' jules
  • schmiss

Bad day.

In shocker, Dorgan announces retirement



Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) announced this evening that he’s retiring at the end of his term, a shocking development that threatens Democratic control of his Senate seat next year.

Dorgan was up for re-election in 2010, but the third-term senator wasn't facing any strong Republican opposition-- but was facing the growing possibility of a serious challenge from popular Gov. John Hoeven (R-N.D.).

In his statement, Dorgan said his retirement was borne out of the desire to spend more time with his family.

“Over this holiday season, I have come to the conclusion, with the support of my family, that I will not be seeking another term in the U.S. Senate in 2010. It is a hard decision to make after thirty years in the Congress, but I believe it is the right time for me to pursue these other interests," Dorgan said in a statement.

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Colorado Gov Ritter to retire

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) will not seek a second term this fall, according to Democratic sources briefed on his decision.

Ritter, elected in a landslide in 2006, had seen his political fate dip considerably in the intervening years, and faced an extremely difficult re-election race against former Rep. Scott McInnis (R) in November.

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Shitty day for Democratic prospects! on the one hand Dorgan wasn't that great of a senator, still this is almost guarenteed to go Republican in 2010 now. Ritter's seat is more competitive but it still might have been easier to carry with an incumbent.

gotta get that recruiting on point guys...
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Conservative Rightwing Lunatic Epic Fail At Life Part II (Learn How To Use The Fax, Idiot!)

Backwards-Faxing, Mexican-Despising Bleeding-Marker Bandit Strikes Again



One of these days, this furious backwards-faxing immigration goblin is going to set aside his rage for a few seconds to learn how to load a piece of paper into a fax machine properly, and from then on he will no longer have to press his magic marker hard enough for it to bleed legibly onto the opposite side, as a hedge, to make sure Hill Staffers understand his comical ultimatums. Just kidding, he will never learn how to do these things. (The goblin could be a she, of course, but it just doesn’t seem like that’s the case, for whatever reason, does it?). Page two after the jump. It’s similar to page one!
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Israeli war criminals scared to come to UK, Gordon Brown wants to pander

A group of Israeli military officers have delayed an official visit to Britain over fears they could be arrested on war crimes charges.

Danny Ayalon, Israel's deputy foreign minister, said on Tuesday that four officers invited to the UK by the British army would not be travelling "as we do not have a 100 per cent guarantee that they will not become objects of criminal lawsuits".


The officers, who hold ranks from major to colonel, are the latest in a string of Israeli politicians and military officials to call off travel to Britain due to fears over possible legal action.

Last month, Tzipi Livni, the leader of Israel's opposition Kadima party and foreign minister during last year's Gaza war, cancelled her UK trip after an arrest warrant was issued by a British court.

The warrant was issued under the concept of universal jurisdiction, which empowers judges to issue warrants for a visitor accused of commiting war crimes anywhere in the world.

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Source: Al Jazeera
NYC- credit eternity_grphx

Joey B. telling about his love of trains and why they're awesome.

Why America Needs Trains
By Joe Biden

One of the Capitol Hill newspapers estimated that I've taken more than 7,000 round trips on Amtrak over the course of my career. But the one I made on Jan. 17, 2009 was a bit different. When I got there, there were 8,000 people standing in the freezing cold. And I wasn't racing to reach the 7:46 a.m. Metroliner (later, the Acela) that I had taken thousands of times before.

I was meeting up with the train that would carry President Obama and me to our inauguration.

That day, Gregg Weaver, a conductor who started riding Amtrak the same year I did--1972--introduced me to the crowd. As Gregg spoke, it struck me that over the years, Amtrak provided me with more than a way to get to Washington to serve the people of Delaware every morning and a way to get home to my family each night. It has provided me another family entirely--a community of dedicated professionals who have shared the milestones in my life, and who have allowed me to share the milestones in theirs.

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Source

TRAIN!!!
≈ YEAAAAAAARGH
  • schmiss

SHIT JUST GOT REAL

Chris Dodd to step aside



Embattled Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd (D) has scheduled a press conference at his home in Connecticut Wednesday at which he is expected to announce he will not seek re-election, according to sources familiar with his plans.

Dodd's retirement comes after months of speculation about his political future, and amid faltering polling numbers and a growing sense among the Democratic establishment that he could not win a sixth term. It also comes less than 24 hours after Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) announced he would not seek re-election.

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is widely expected to step into the void filled by Dodd and, at least at first blush, should drastically increase Democrats' chances of holding the seat.

Blumenthal, who has served as state Attorney General since 1990, is the most popular politician in the state and has long coveted a Senate seat; he had already signaled that he would run for the Democratic nomination against Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) in 2012. (A sidenote: Assuming Blumenthal gets in to the race, Rep. Chris Murphy could be the long-term beneficiary as he is widely regarded as a rising star and would be at the top of the list of Democratic hopefuls to challenge Lieberman in 2012.)

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OMG..... I kind of expected it but now that it's happened I'm freaking out!

UPDATE!!!

Sen. Chris Dodd to announce he's retiring ahead of re-election, NBC News confirms
http://www.msnbc.msn.com