January 12th, 2010


Nurse Outduels IRS Over M.B.A. Tuition *high fives*

A Maryland nurse accomplished two rare feats in her battle with the Internal Revenue Service: She defended herself against the agency's lawyers and won, and she got a ruling that could help tens of thousands of students deduct the cost of an M.B.A. degree on their taxes.

The U.S. Tax Court handed Lori Singleton-Clarke her victory last month, saying the 47-year-old Bryantown, Md., woman had properly deducted nearly $15,000 in business school tuition. The Tax Court ruling should make it easier for many other professionals to deduct the expense of a Master in Business Administration degree.

After getting word of the court decision, "I nearly yelled the roof off the house," Ms. Singleton-Clarke says. "I still can hardly believe it."

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The Five Best Things Ted Olson Said

Day one of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal challenge to California's Proposition 8 -- the state's law banning same-sex marriage -- is over, and though the televised proceedings won't make it to a screen near you (for the time being), there were still plenty of nuggets worth taking home from the day. Perhaps some of the best lines were reserved for Ted Olson's opening statement, arguing the constitutional case for gay marriage.

But Olson just didn't make his case for gay marriage. He framed his position by stating that the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently ruled throughout its history that marriage is a basic civil right. That's something Olson's partner in crime, David Boies, has also argued in recent writing.

Here goes five of the best bits from Ted Olson's opening statement. Prepare to get your equal rights on.


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Watchdog Group Finds Possible Corruption in Prop. 8 Voting

On November 8, 2008, a majority of California residents voted Yes on Proposition 8, which translated to a resounding No to Gay Marriage. There have been countless stories on the topic—and other socially liberal issues up for a vote—in the media dissecting the results, but a report released last week by the Election Defense Alliance, a national nonprofit election results watchdog group, stating that its exit polls in Los Angeles didn't quite jibe with the actual LA election results, warrants a closer look.


Election Verification Exit Polls were conducted on November 4, 2008, in the 25 most populated counties in California, which included 10 polling sites in Los Angeles County representing 19 precincts. 


The difference between the official results and those of the poll were 5.74%. Given that 24.23% of California voters are in LA County, that translates to 11.48% of total votes, more than enough to set ring alarms set at  the standard "4% +/- margin of error." EDA co-founders Sally Castleman and Jonathan Simon write discreetly that "It is beyond the scope of this study to know if any corruption was due to honest error or intentional fraud," but also say that based on their numbers, "Further investigation is warranted."


For more detailed analysis, read the EDA's paper.


Like ten thousand grooms when all you need is a wife

Divorce Rates Higher in States with Gay Marriage Bans

Over the past decade or so, divorce has gradually become more uncommon in the United States. Since 2003, however, the decline in divorce rates has been largely confined to states which have not passed a state constitutional ban on gay marriage. These states saw their divorce rates decrease by an average of 8 percent between 2003 and 2008. States which had passed a same-sex marriage ban as of January 1, 2008, however, saw their divorce rates rise by about 1 percent over the same period.

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TDS' take on "no terror attacks under Bush":

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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(Click here if the embed code is a douche to you.)

Kind of interesting at the end when they point out that the left isn't immune to these sorts of double standards either.

Tiger advocate mauled to death by pet

So, Darwin awards?

A Canadian man has been mauled to death by a 295-kilogram tiger after winning a lengthy legal battle for the right to keep exotic pets, police said.

Norman Buwalda, 66, was found dead in the tiger's pen on his property in rural Ontario on Sunday afternoon, Ontario Provincial Police Constable Troy Carlson said.

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Parks and Rec - Leslie - Bun

Palin's Fox debut: Politician or pundit?

Source here.

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly told his viewers that his guest Tuesday night will be "the most charismatic politician in the country right now, with the possible exception of President Obama."

What exactly is Sarah Palin – a future presidential candidate or a future pundit? Her new job as a Fox News contributor , which starts tonight, gives her the option, and also sets up the possibility of her attempting a unique path to the Republican presidential nomination.

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Parks and Rec - Leslie - Bun

GOP Fears Democrats Will Stall Swearing-In if Brown Wins Mass. Senate Race

Source here.

Massachusetts Republicans say they fear that if their candidate for U.S. Senate scores an upset victory in the special election next week, Democrats in the state and in Washington will drag out the certification process just long enough that he won't be able to block health care reform.

State Sen. Scott Brown, who is challenging Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley for the seat once held by Ted Kennedy, is sounding the loudest alarm over that possibility.

Recent polling suggests Brown is closing in on front-runner Coakley. And if he does what once seemed impossible -- beat a Democrat for the bluest of blue Senate seats -- he is vowing to be the critical 41st vote against health care reform.

That means Brown could prevent Democrats from breaking a Republican filibuster against the overhaul and, in his words, "send it back to the drawing board."

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Liveblogging Prop 8 Trial: George Washington unable to procreate.

GOD DAMN I WISH I COULD BE WATCHING THIS>>!!!! More at the source here http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/23603

Today plaintiffs attorney Boutrous will continue his questioning of Professor Cott, who is testifying about the history of marriage in America and her book, Public Vows.
Judge Vaughn Walker has entered the courtroom. Attorney appearances will be by signin instead of the litany of podium statements. One other point: is the Attorney General’s lawyer here? All will please respond regarding same-sex marriage amendment’s constitutionality, and whether the AG should have taken a role in that determination. All will please respond by Thursday at 5pm.
Ms Cott, you are still under oath, you understand?
C: yes
B: Good morning, Professor Cott. I have conferred with defendant-intervenor’s attorney regarding exhibits and they have objection (presents list to clerk) I would like to present another statemtn from the opposing counsel’s opening statement, wrt its central purpose being procreation and channelling, naturally procreative sexual activity between men and women into stable enduring unions.
B: What is your opinion?
C: Procreation is A purpose but no means the central purpose. Reminded me of the story of the seven blind men and the elephant: each sees something different, trunk/snake; side/wall; tail/vine. Procreation in a stable union is A purpose, but from the STATE’s perpective marriage has more to do with establishing a HOUSEHOLD and all that implies about social order and governance.
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Dancing Minstrel to Stay at Home.

Congressional GOP wants to keep Steele ‘out of sight, out of mind.’

Last week, RNC chair Michael Steele angered the Republican Party’s congressional leaders when he said that he does not think the GOP can win majorities in Congress in 2010 and that the Party is not ready to lead. “You really just have to get him to stop. It’s too much,” one top Republican congressional aide said. U.S. News reports today that instead of ousting Steele, they’re planning to just ignore him:
“He’s become our Howard Dean,” says a top Republican leadership aide. Steele’s latest remarks that the party won’t take control of the House in the November midterm elections — a prediction he later backed away from — have revived talk of replacing him. But senior party officials say they plan something worse: just ignoring Steele. “It’s going to be out of sight, out of mind,” says one aide. And firing him won’t work. “That would just expedite the talk show where he bashes us all the time,” he says.
Dating back to last March, Republicans have reportedly been unhappy with Steele’s leadership at the RNC, which has included a string of gaffes, ethics problems, relentless self-promotion, and poor fundraising. However, one “influential” GOP strategist said that Steele was most likely going to stick around: “You’re not going to dump the first African-American chairman. That’s the only reason. Otherwise, he’d be gone.” Steele himself has previously said that he would resign if the GOP made him irrelevant. “If they want a figurehead chairman you can have a figurehead chairman, but it won’t be Michael Steele,” he said in May.
Parks and Rec - Leslie - Bun

Irish bookie takes bets on Palin’s FoxNews gig

I hate posting two Sarah Palin articles in one day, but this was just too good to pass up.

Source here.

One day after word came that Sarah Palin is joining FoxNews, Ireland's biggest bookie reports that nearly half of bettors doubt the ex-Alaska governor can keep the gig a year.

Calling her "gaffe-prone," bookmaker PaddyPower.com adds that the minority group she's most likely to offend first is gays/lesbians/bisexuals (4-1), followed by African Americans and Muslims (both at 6-1).

Least likely to bear the initial insult: the Irish, the infirm and Inuits (all tied at 20-1), and Jehovah's Witnesses (25-1).

The "gotcha media" was not listed.

Not a minority, many might say.

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The President and First Lady reveal family's TV viewing habits

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Like any family, the Obamas have their TV rules. The kids get to watch only on weekends. The president and first lady watch a lot of sports. And no one at all watches Jersey Shore.

President and Mrs. Obama reveal to PEOPLE in a new interview that the girls – Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8 – are limited to Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.

"They can only watch the kid-TV channels for the most part, because you just never know," says Mrs. Obama. The president, however, does make an exception: "Unless they want to watch football with me, which they're always welcome. But somehow they haven't been drawn to that yet."

Also, the girls aren't allowed to watch at all during the week. "We're pretty strict about that," says the president.

The president tends to soak up the sports programming, and typically tunes the channel to ESPN's SportsCenter in the mornings when he and Mrs. Obama work out together.

"I tend to be much more informed about sports than I'd like," Mrs. Obama says, laughing. "No, that's not true," the president says. "Michelle actually knows her sports, which is important in our marriage."

No 'Jersey Shore'
One show that's not on the menu? MTV's Jersey Shore. "I've heard about it," says Mrs. Obama. "Not seen it."

With their TV intake limited, Malia and Sasha have been honing other skills. "We found over the [Christmas] break that they are both very good Taboo players," says Mrs. Obama. In the game, one partner tries to prompt the other to guess a word, without using the word itself or any of five related words on the card.

"We vacation with a bunch of different families, and there were like 13 kids," says Mrs. Obama. "So, the kids all played, and we let them pass if they didn't know what the word was. Kids would just file through it, but Malia and Sasha were focused."

"Very focused," says the president. "They're very quick."

Pie Threat

Having found a happy medium with their entertainment, the president and first lady can now focus on reining in a rogue member of staff – the pastry chef, whom the president says poses a threat to his waistline.

"If you even hint that banana cream pie is one of your favorites," says the president. "Got to resist."


TWiB! Season 3 Ep#2 - "...on the word NEGRO."

The Brooklyn Comedy Company proudly presents the 2nd installment in season 3 of "This Week in Blackness." Host Elon James White (NewsOne, VH1, NPR) continues the new year with the brand new conversation over the word "Negro." With Harry Reid dropping it in closed door conversations and it appearing on the 2010 census. Is the word NEGRO back to its full glory? Watch one Negro...er...Black Guys take on it...

Testify: Historians Take Stand To Explain The Origins Of Marriage

Today, expert testimony begins in Perry v. Schwarzenegger - the trial to overturn Proposition 8 in California, and two historians - one specializing in marriage, the other in gay rights - are preparing to take the stand.

Yesterday's opening arguments set the tone for how each side will frame the case. The LA Times summarizes:

In his opening argument, [Theodore Olson] called marriage "one of the most vital personal rights" and a "basic civil right." Withholding it from gays and lesbians "doesn't make sense," he said.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker asked if the state should simply get out of the business of issuing marriage licenses.

"That may solve the problem," Olson said, but it "would never happen."

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The Latest In The Brazil Truth Commission Saga

Brazil Human Rights Review Effort Stymied

Human rights minister threatens resignation

Brazil’s Human Rights Minister Pablo Vanucchi threatened to resign Sunday if the military are successful in changing a bill creating a truth commission to review human rights violations that occurred during Brazil’s military dictatorship (1964-85).

In late December, Defense Minister Nelson Jobim and the three service commanders threatened to resign to protest legislation sent to Congress December 21 to investigate human rights abuses that heretofore have been protected from investigation by a 1979 amnesty law.

The truth commission legislation, said President Lula da Silva, was partly inspired by Chile’s example in dealing with the human rights legacy of its dictator, Gen. Augusto Pinochet (ST, Jan. 4).

The military demands that the commission also investigate abuses committed by leftist armed groups that resisted the military regime, among which groups were several members of da Silva’s cabinet and many of his close political associates.

“No way can you put torturers and tortured on the same level,” said Vanucchi in an interview with Folha de Sao Paulo. “One side acted illegally with the support of the State and the other was judged, imprisoned, disappeared and killed.”

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Hoping this gets through before Lula's time is up. Like the article says, it's kinda like what Bachelet is doing with the memory museum in Chile (which the right is equally butthurt over because it doesn't cover "pre-1973 left wing terrorism" i.e. something that was virtually non-existent).

Okay, now when the next conservative wingnut says "lawyer up", I want to see someone call them out.

GOP Criticism Of Obama On Underwear Bomber Is Way Off-Base, Says JAG

If Republican critics of President Obama are to be believed, the administration made one of the biggest blunders in national security history when it placed the accused underwear bomber in the criminal justice system as opposed to the military alternative.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was about to spill the beans on all of al Qaeda, the argument goes, before the White House tied both hands behind its back -- unilaterally limiting the type of interrogation procedures it could use on the suspect and then providing him unnecessarily with an attorney.

It's simply not true, say legal experts, including officials who formerly served in the military tribunal system.

James Cullen, a retired brigadier general who served as a JAG officer, tells the Huffington Post that there are narrow differences between the legal and interrogation proceedings Abdulmutallab was subjected to and those which would have happened in a military commission.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the suspect would have been granted access to a lawyer if he had been put in a military system. In fact, he may have had easier access to an attorney.

"The military is not some type of Soviet show-trial kangaroo court," said Cullen. "Absolutely he would have gotten a lawyer."

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DADT Repeal: Dems Move Forward With Plans

Congressional negotiators and White House officials are moving forward with plans to add the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell to the upcoming defense authorization bill, Democratic sources tell the Huffington Post.

In Congress, members are being whipped to ensure that the votes will be there for passage, should the legislation be placed in the bill. At this juncture, aides say, the prospects look good. Meanwhile, a source close to the White House says the president has instructed the Defense Department that he believes the repeal of DADT should be placed in the authorization bill.

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You know what the world needs? Makeup for your vag.

Anti-aging mania and marketing: Not just for your face anymore! Now there's My New Pink Button, genital cosmetic colorant. Or, as our tipster calls it: Pussy dye. So, are you a Marilyn, a Bettie, a Ginger or an Audry?

See, My New Pink Button comes (HEH) in four shades: Marilyn is the lightest and "good for beginners." What's Bettie like? "Think of that favorite lipstick you wear for those dressy black tie affairs." Audry is a "bold burgundy pink color" for "the woman that loves to be daring." Ginger was "developed for 'Women of Color.'"

According to our tipster, the product was invented by a woman "of a certain age" who discovered that she had "lost her luster" down there. You probably know what I'm going to say next, but here goes, anyway:

WHAT THE FUCK. Women make about 75¢ for every dollar that men earn. Shoes, handbags and fashion "must-haves" are aggressively marketed to us. We're expected to be thin, wrinkle-free and not have any gray hair (which, of course, is "distinguished" on a man). Vogue declared armpits are "nasty." Anal bleach exists. And now we need to shell out cash so that our labia can to be the "right" color?


So sometimes your ladybits change color when you age or after you have children. Who cares? Why be embarrassed? If your parts work, and there's someone in your life who wants to get up close and personal and explore your secret garden, you should have no complaints. My New Pink Button is pitched as a product which "restores sexual confidence to Women everywhere!" But it seems like it could actually instill anxiety — if you didn't know you were supposed to have a "youthful" look between your legs, doesn't the discovery of this stuff foster insecurity?

Apparently the ingredients are FDA approved, although the website's FAQ states, "Like any other cosmetic product, if you experience discomfort, discontinue use." Guess what? I'm already experiencing discomfort, and I haven't even touched the stuff.

Via Jezebel, and the product's official site.
fuck the mcu

Watching TV shortens life span, study finds

Watching television for hour upon hour obviously isn't the best way to spend leisure time -- inactivity has been linked to obesity and heart disease. But a new study quantifies TV viewing's effect on risk of death.

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Researchers found that each hour a day spent watching TV was linked with an 18% greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, an 11% greater risk of all causes of death, and a 9% increased risk of death from cancer.

The study, released Monday in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Assn., looked at health data among 8,800 men and women older than 25 who were part of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study. Participants recorded their television viewing hours for a week, and researchers separated the results by amount of viewing: those who watched less than two hours of TV a day, those who watched two to four hours a day, and those who watched more than four hours a day.

The subjects also had oral glucose tolerance tests to determine blood sugar and gave blood samples to establish cholesterol levels at the beginning of the study. People with a history of cardiovascular disease were not included. In a follow up about six years later, 87 people had died due to cardiovascular disease and 125 of cancer.

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Temple of Moneytheism Continues to Anger Nation.

Faith Leaders To Move Their Money Out Of Bank Of America Unless Demands Are Met

A group of faith and labor activists and local political leaders is meeting with Bank of America officials Tuesday night in Antioch, California in an effort to force the bank to do a better job of modifying home loans. If Bank of America doesn't right ship, the group says they'll take their money out of the bank.

The coalition is led by People Improving Communities through Organizing, which boasts 1,000 member congregations across the country. The group also includes the NAACP, the Center for Responsible Lending and the SEIU, among others.

"We're here to offer Bank of America an opportunity to stop being bad for America and [instead] be America's financial champion," said Rev. Tony Pierce of Illinois People's Action on a conference call with reporters.

"The overall foreclosure rate has continued to increase," said PICO's Tim Lilienthal. "Recent reports show that 14 percent of all mortgage loans -- nearly one out of ever seven homeowners -- are delinquent or in the foreclosure process."

The Treasury Department announced in December that Bank of America permanently modified only 98 mortgages under the Obama administration's homeowner help plan last year.
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Christian Bale

10 symptoms of 'Obama Stockholm Syndrome'

Many political analysts and pollsters have been noticing the growing number of citizens reporting Obama Voters Remorse, or OVR. Americans experiencing OVR report symptoms such as job loss, savings evaporation, hypocrisy exhaustion, national-debt insomnia and global-warming skepticism.

Yet the most significant political news may be that Obama Voters Remorse is rarely found in a certain substrata of the population, our "political elites," who instead exhibit symptoms of a new epiphenomenon known as Obama Stockholm Syndrome. Persons experiencing OSS display a compulsive and irrational need to reaffirm their vote for Obama no matter what happens in the real world. Thus, they are curiously immune to attacks of Obama Voters Remorse.

The demographic differences in the two groups are extraordinary.

While Obama Voters Remorse has been detected across diverse segments of American society, from construction workers in the Mountain West, senior-citizen retirees in the South and soccer moms in Pennsylvania, the symptoms of Obama Stockholm Syndrome are confined almost entirely to four insular populations. OSS is most likely to be found among university faculty clubs, mainstream-media newsrooms, windmill-farm technicians and Hollywood celebrities. Nevertheless, OSS can strike anywhere the New York Times is sold.

The following list of the 10 most common OSS symptoms may help concerned citizens recognize this affliction in friends or relatives and assess the seriousness of the condition. Treatment and rehabilitation are possible if the disease has not progressed to Stage Four.

The afflicted person should be asked to agree or disagree with each of the following 10 statements, with one to five points awarded depending on the degree of agreement with the statement. Appropriate treatment will be based on the person's score on a scale from 10 to 50 points.

1. You believe that the Obama bumper sticker on your Prius automatically extends its warranty to the year 2016.

2. You think Obama should have won the Nobel Prize in Philanthropy for giving away other people's money.

3. You believe that the 1.5 million people who protested excessive government spending on the Capitol Mall on Sept. 12 were all part of a vast right-wing conspiracy.

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meredith [grey's anatomy]
  • germli

I have family in Haiti.... :(

Major catastrophe as earthquake smashes Haiti

Damage reported: A map showing the earthquake location in Haiti (ABC News)

Haiti's ambassador to the US says a "catastrophe of major proportions" is unfolding in his country this morning after a major 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit near the capital Port-au-Prince.

The epicentre of the quake, which was initially reported off the coast, was located inland, 10km west of Carrefour, close to the capital, and was only 30km deep.

An AFP correspondent said the ground shook for more than a minute.

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warmsound: For anybody who's interested in knowing about any organizations who will be providing disaster relief:

http://twitter.com/nonprofitorgs <-- they're posting new information as they're getting it about the earthquake, and they'll have links to any organizations that will be involved in providing aid. Their updates have been entirely devoted to Haiti since the news broke.

davincicomplex: If anyone wants to donate to Partners in Health, which runs clinics in Haiti, mostly dealing with HIV+ patients and Tuberculosis, but ultimately providing all kinds of services to the rural poor, here is their website: http://www.pih.org/youcando/donate.html

abiding: RT @wyclef Please text "Yele" to 501501 to donate $5 to YELE HAITI.Your money will help with relief efforts. They need our help..please help if you can about 1 hour ago from web

RT @marvinady http://twitpic.com/xuwfz - PHOTO: Another car crushed in Haiti 5 minutes ago from web

#Pray4Haiti #helphaiti RT @xanpearson Another picture out of Haiti RT: @mparent77772 Haiti earthquake pic http://bit.ly/5j4mfH 5 minutes ago from web

#Pray4Haiti RT @missturman: Images from #haiti Twitpic / bluecorp http://ow.ly/VPPv #helphaiti 6 minutes ago from web

Please send all your positive thoughts, prayers, etc to all of those in Haiti and around the world with loves ones there. Greatly appreciated. :)

Ice Cubes Proves That Planet is Not Melting

Fox Thinks Winter Chill Disproves Global Warming; Experts Disagree

In recent days, conservatives have seized on the cold snap gripping the southeast region of the country to cast doubt on global warming. “Hey Al Gore: we want our global warming, and we want it now,” said Newsbusters’ Mark Finkelstein. In his newsletter today, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wondered about “Al Gore’s explanation for this miserable, persistent chill,” and the National Review’s Mona Charen claimed that the “cold snap has spurred the ‘warmists’ to spin control.”

For the past week, Fox News host Neil Cavuto has been giving a daily “Fox News global warming alert,” which consists of him telling viewers how cold it is. “It is still cold,” Cavuto said yesterday, adding that it’s “not your recent garden variety global warming.” “It’s freezing across the entire globe,” Cavuto shouted on Saturday. Former Nixon speechwriter and actor Ben Stein responded, “Maybe somebody in the government will wake up and say, ‘Hey, it’s colder. It’s not hotter.’ Maybe all this talk about global warming needs to be rethought.” Watch a compilation:
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HALE NO. When The NRA is The Voice of Reason, You Know SH*T Will Happen...

Chuck Norris Hunts for Obama's 'Secret Vault' as Interpol Conspiracy Theories Get Wilder

The conspiracy theories about President Obama's executive order on Interpol are getting wilder by the day.

Invoking no less an authority than Glenn Beck, movie tough guy (and political activist) Chuck Norris has taken aim at Obama's Dec. 17 executive order extending certain "privileges, exemptions, and immunities" to Interpol, otherwise known as the International Police Organization, based in Lyon, France.

As we reported last weekend, thanks in part to the comments of Beck and Newt Gingrich (as well as the National Review's Andrew McCarthy) the order has spawned a rash of conspiracy theories in the conservative blogosphere claiming that Obama has given Interpol (or "the global police force," as the critics like to call it) new powers to investigate and even lock up U.S. citizens.

(Never mind, as we pointed out, that contrary to the Man From U.N.C.L.E. fantasies of the blogosphere, Interpol officers actually don't have the authority to arrest anybody on U.S. soil. The group is, instead, an international organization of police agencies whose purpose is to share information: it maintains master databases—of stolen passports, for example—and posts "red notices" of criminal suspects, including terrorists, drug traffickers, and child pornographers, who are wanted by law-enforcement officials in its 188 member countries.)
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Friday, January 08, 2010

Over the past year, we have reported several times on the abundance of rumors being circulated regarding firearm issues. Among other things, we've heard phony tales circulating about such things as guns being banned for the elderly, ammunition with expiration dates, a requirement that guns be listed on tax returns, and a prohibition on gun and ammunition imports. The latest scuttlebutt has to do with a recent Executive Order by President Obama concerning the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).

Some have argued that the order would make INTERPOL and its officials immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution, and that it would therefore allow INTERPOL personnel to seize firearms, kidnap Americans, and otherwise violate U.S. citizens' rights. Our legal staff has reviewed this order and does not believe it poses any of these threats.

President Obama's order amends a 1983 order by President Reagan, in which the U.S. recognized INTERPOL as an international organization that is entitled to certain legal immunities under the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA).
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UKIP try, fail to allow git into the country.

A ban on a US radio presenter entering the UK will be upheld, the government has said.

Michael Savage, known for his strong views on homosexuality, Islam and abortion, was barred from entering the country in May last year.

The shock jock, whose real name is Michael Weiner, was placed on a list of undesirables by former home secretary Jacqui Smith. He was listed alongside murders and terrorists on the blacklist.

Others banned included the Westboro Baptist Church, Hamas MP Yunis Al-Astal and ex-Ku Klux Klan leader Stephen "Don" Black.

The DJ says that while he has been accused of homophobia and racism, he has never incited violence.

On homosexuality, he once said: "The gay and lesbian mafia wants our children. If it can win their souls and their minds, it knows their bodies will follow."

Another of his pet topics is autism, which he claims is a result of "brats" without fathers.

He has also made comments about killing Muslims, although in one broadcast he cited extremists' desires to execute gays as a reason for deporting them.

Savage threatened Smith with a £100,000 lawsuit for damages after he was banned.

His case was argued in the House of Lords today.

UKIP leader Lord Pearson said the offensive remarks should be taken in the context of the show and pointed out that Savage had donated a rare botanical collection to Kew Gardens which he was barred from visiting.

But security minister Lord West countered that the remarks could lead to "intercommunity violence" and civil unrest.

He said that Savage had made comments about gays and Muslims which were "deeply offensive".

Lord West did not read out any of the alleged comments, saying he did not wish to quote them in the Lords. Instead, he said he would submit a copy to the Lords' library.

Source: Pink News
batman + dick;

Intentional Humiliation of the Turkish Ambassador Over a TV Series

Israel rebukes Turkey over a television series

Israel has issued a stern rebuke to Turkey's ambassador over a television series which depicts Israeli intelligence agents as baby-snatchers.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was caught on camera urging cameramen to note the ambassador's low seating position at a meeting on the issue.

The incident has been widely seen in Israel as an intentional humiliation.

And Turkey has summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest against the treatment of its ambassador in Israel.

A Turkish diplomat said the Israeli ambassador, Gabby Levy, had been summoned to a meeting the Turkish foreign ministry's under-secretary in Ankara.

"We demanded an explanation and conveyed our annoyance," the Turkish diplomat told the AFP news agency.

Although the Israeli ambassador was reprimanded over the incident, he was not subjected to the indignity of squatting on a low sofa, says the BBC's Jonathan Head in Istanbul.

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movies | Impish Fräulein2

ontd_political Photo of the Day: Jan 12, 2010.

Vice President Joe Biden attends the funeral Mass for his mother, Jean Biden, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware.
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Susan Walsh (AP Photo)

Joe's eulogy for his mom | Funeral service for "Mom Mom" Jean Finnegan Biden


:( ...Cyber-Hug Circle for Joe, you guys.