January 18th, 2010


(no subject)

Here is what my "traditional" Senate model now says, updated with new polling from PPP and the potentially dubious firm known as CrossTarget.

Scenario 1:

Under its original assumptions, the model now projects a very slight Brown edge, 49.3-48.7, which maps to a 55 percent chance of winning. Earlier today, it had given Coakley a 57 percent chance of winning. However, because the odds are under 60 percent, we still call this race a "toss-up" per our nomenclature, as we did before.

But what if we made different assumptions?Collapse )

Is Official, Republican Supports Pro-Rape Agenda... Oh, Wait, Is Brown...

Brown Takes Lead; Campaign Turns Ugly; Rape Remark Leveled At Coakley (VIDEO)

One-time long shot Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown holds a narrow but significant five-point percentage lead in the final Massachusetts Senate poll, just days before the critical election will be held.

The state senator is favored by 51 percent of Massachusetts voters compared to 46 percent who support Attorney General Martha Coakley's candidacy, according to a poll commissioned by the firm Public Policy Polling and released Sunday night. The advantage is within the margin of error.

Brown's late stage lead caps a remarkable electoral turnaround for the Massachusetts Republican -- who many thought would be crushed under the heavy weight of the state's Democratic machinery.

"He got the nomination because every Republican assumed it was a lost cause," said one seasoned Democratic politician in the state. "They were throwing the nomination on the butcher block. And who was left: Scott Brown."
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  • amypond

Happy news!

Australian media crews pull baby from rubble in Haiti

SYDNEY (AFP) – Rival Australian news crews said Monday that saving a life came before doing their jobs when they rescued an 18-month-old baby from underneath the rubble in earthquake-devastated Haiti.

The little girl was lying alongside the bodies of her dead parents who were killed in the 7.0 magnitude earthquake which hit Port-au-Prince on January 12 when the camera crews heard her moans and began to dig her out on Friday.

Richard Moran, a cameraman with the commercial Nine Network, put down his camera and lifted pieces of concrete out of the way while Nine's interpreter and fixer Deiby Celestino climbed into the tangled mess to retrieve the child.

"And then, out of the ruins came this little girl, and I will never forget it. She did not cry. She looked astonished, almost as if she was seeing the world for the first time," Nine reporter Robert Penfold told The Australian.

The images of the child's rescue were captured by Nine's major rival Seven, and footage beamed around the world showed Seven's correspondent Mike Amor holding the dusty little girl and giving her water.

"That moment, it was beyond news," Amor said. "I haven't seen anything so remarkable since the birth of my own child. The emotion for all of us has been incredible."

read the rest of the article at the source.
also video of the rescue.

I know I bolded a lot, but happy news is always worth the read.


ontd_political has been SPOTLIGHTED!

First of all, welcome new members! We are an offshoot of ohnotheydidnt. You can expect snark, sexual objectification of politicians, inappropriate comments, wank, political gossip. We are a fun bunch though, lurk a bit, get the feel for the place, then join. We try our best to welcome everyone with different viewpoints.

Please check our info page and at least browse the rules before doing anything. A copy of the rules can also be found under the cut below.

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- Don't be an idiot.
- Don't be an idiot.
- Don't be an idiot.
- No Porn.

TAG YO SHIT. Tag your posts, it helps us and it helps you to find out what has already been posted. If the tag you want is not there, choose "other" and we will create a tag, or choose the appropriate one. There was discussion of making tags mandatory for a post to be let through the queue, I don't want that personally, so tag your posts and we won't have to make you do it. Simple.

We know what trolls are, don't be one. Our resident troll is afa_mom, we allow her to troll because it is damn hilarious, have fun.

Stand up for your position, expect to be called out. Calling people racial slurs, or other derogatory names is not cool bro. We will ban you. I will ban you.

YOUR BLOG IS NOT AN APPROPRIATE SOURCE. We are not your personal LJ, a blogspot is not an appropriate source. The mods handling the queue will determine if the source is appropriate or not, mod discretion.

Membership is moderated, posting is moderated. Fresh journals are not accepted, journals with little to no activity are not accepted. This is to prevent trolls. New to LJ and not a troll? Too bad so sad, still not going to be accepted, get your comment count up and as Aaliyah says, dust yourself off and try again.

ETA: This is our second spotlight, we have hopefully learned from last time. Stay strong bbs, stay strong.

ETA 2: If you have a problem, want to report something, CONTACT US at the mod community, at ONTDPolitical at gmail dot com, we have Twitters, we're around is what I am saying... If you complain, we will come. Usually pretty quickly, we are Field of Dreams like that yo.

ETA 3: I keep adding stuff D:, reminder that we have a jingle:

thus, ONTDP > LIFE. Join!
NYC- credit eternity_grphx

Glenn Beck's producer bolts for MSNBC.. Oh buuuurn...

A producer on Glenn Beck's 5PM Fox News show has left the network — for rival MSNBC.

TVNewser reports that Fox News veteran Gresham Streigel — who's worked on programs like "The Crier Report", "Your World with Neil Cavuto," and "Fox & Friends" before landing at "Glenn Beck" — left the network weeks ago after pushback from Beck's team.

Streigel now produces for David Shuster on MSNBC and "will eventually settle in to overseeing two dayside hours," the website reports.

Streigel's move is yet another sign of the fluidity of TV producers despite the polarity of TV hosts; Joy Behar's HLN show is staffed primarily by former producers of Glenn Beck's show on that network, for instance.


Prop8 trial summary so far : Bigots Fail is immense. Must read.

American Foundation for Equal Rights rounds up the first week of the Prop 8 trial

January 17, 2010  By Eden James The Source Prop8trialtracker.com  

The American Foundation for Equal Rights, the organization that assembled the legal team challenging Prop 8 in court, has released a summary of the first week of the trial. If you’ve only been able to catch bits and pieces of the proceedings, this should help you get caught up relatively quickly before the trial begins again on Tuesday morning.


Ten witnesses, including Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo and five eminent experts, clearly and convincingly demonstrated critical points in the federal trial on the unconstitutionality of Prop. 8 during its opening week:

    • Marriage is vitally important in American society;
    • By denying gay men and lesbians the right to marry, Proposition 8 causes grievous harm to the plaintiffs and other gay men and lesbians throughout California, and adds yet another chapter to the long history of discrimination they have suffered;
    • Proposition 8 perpetrates irreparable, immeasurable and discriminatory harm for no good reason.

The court also viewed video footage from the deposition of William Tam. Tam is one of the five Official Proponents of Prop. 8, and as such was personally responsible for putting it on the ballot and for intervening in this case to take over the defense of the initiative.

The video footage of his deposition included statements from Tam such as this one, from a pro-Prop. 8 email he wrote:

“They lose no time in pushing the gay agenda — after legalizing same-sex marriage, they want to legalize prostitution. What will be next? On their agenda list is: legalize having sex with children.”

    Please see http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/press-releases/discriminatory-motivations-of-prop-8-exposed-in-court-today/ for additional quotes and details.
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| classy as fuck.
  • schmiss


Martha Coakley: A Democratic Canary in a Coalmine?

Political operatives say the Senate race in Massachusetts between Democratic state attorney general Martha Coakley and Republican state senator Scott Brown is too close to call. But the fact that President Obama felt the need to fly to the Bay State to campaign for a Democrat in one of the most Democratic states in the nation speaks volumes about the ugly climate for Democratic candidates.

Coakley has run an imperfect campaign and has had a rough couple weeks. But, as one senior White House official acknowledged to me, "in Massachusetts, even after a rough couple weeks the Democrat should be ahead." Polls have Coakley and Brown neck and neck.

At the rally in Boston for Coakley yesterday, President Obama said a few things worth paying attention to:

1) Feigned Nonchalance:

The president said of Brown: "I don't know him, he may be a perfectly nice guy. I don't know his record, but I don't know whether he's been fighting for you up until now."

But he also revealed some fairly intimate knowledge of Brown and the race
: "He voted with the Republicans 96 percent of the time," the president said of Brown's time in the Massachusetts legislature. "Ninety-six percent of the time." He took on one of Brown's best lines during the campaign, when he pushed back on a debate question about sitting in "Teddy Kennedy's seat" and said it's "the people's seat."

"There's been a lot said in this race that this is not the Kennedy seat it's the people's seat," President Obama said. "And let me tell you that the first person who would agree with that is Teddy Kennedy."

And he went after one of Brown's signature shticks, his old pickup truck, used to convey Everyman appeal. "You've got to look under the hood," President Obama said. "Forget the truck. Everybody can buy a truck."

Clearly President Obama -- as he should -- is well aware of Brown's record.

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I have no idea if Coakley's going to win, but whatever happens tomorrow keep in mind that the Republicans would have to win all but one of the races ranked as "competitive" and "toss-up" by RPR in order to take back the Senate in 2010. And that includes Delaware (which is tipped to be safely Dem if Beau Biden jumps in), Kentucky (where Rand Paul might just win the primary and hand over a great opportunity for the Dems), Missouri, Illinois, etc.
search me

Businessman sues British Airways 'for treating men like perverts'

Businessman sues BA 'for treating men like perverts'

By Sophie Borland
Last updated at 4:32 PM on 16th January 2010

A businessman is suing British Airways over a policy that bans male passengers from sitting next to children they don't know - even if the child's parents are on the same flight.

Mirko Fischer has accused the airline of branding all men as potential sex offenders and says innocent travellers are being publicly humiliated.

In line with the policy, BA cabin crew patrol the aisles before take-off checking that youngsters travelling on their own or in a different row from their parents are not next to a male stranger.

If they find a man next to a child or teenager they will ask him to move to a different seat. The aircraft will not take off unless the passenger obeys.

Mr Fischer, a 33-year-old hedge fund manager, became aware of the policy while he was flying from Gatwick with his wife Stephanie, 30.

His wife, who was six months pregnant, had booked a window seat which she thought would be more spacious. Mr Fischer was in the middle seat between her and a 12-year-old boy.

Shortly after all passengers had sat down, having stowed their bags in the overhead lockers, a male steward asked Mr Fischer to change his seat.

Mr Fischer refused, explaining that his wife was pregnant, at which point the steward raised his voice, causing several passengers to turn round in alarm. He warned that the aircraft could not take off unless Mr Fischer obeyed.

Mr Fischer eventually moved seats but felt so humiliated by his treatment that he is taking the airline to court on the grounds of sex discrimination-He is paying all his own legal

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I'm just going to sit back now and read your comments...

spider skank

Planned Parenthood: Like Wal-Mart for your uterus

Thousands of people from across the country are protesting at anti-abortion rally this morning near the site of a large Planned Parenthood facility on the Gulf Freeway in Houston.

The protesters are gathering for a prayer march targeting the facility which they describe as an “abortion supercenter.”

The crowds, which are growing, are gathering in a parking lot behind Catholic Charismatic Center on Cullen Boulevard, near the six-story Planned Parenthood building which is set to open this spring.

The protesters plan to march in a square around the neighborhood before congregating at Planned Parenthood for an early afternoon press conference.

Participants were listening to speeches, concerts and waving anti-abortion signs and flags. Organizers of the rally say they are holding the event on Martin Luther King Day because they believe Planned Parenthood is targeting minority groups since the building stands in the center of predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

“I grew up over here in this neighborhood,” said Vickie Soliz of Houston. “That building used to be the old Sterling Bank. Nobody knew what they were putting in there. They wouldn't do this in Kingwood or The Woodlands.”

The protestors also are trying to highlight Planned Parenthood's plans to carry out late-term abortions at the new location.

Officials with Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas have described claims that the building will be the largest center of late-term abortions in the Western Hemisphere as “nonsense.”

Only one of the six floors will be for clinical space, officials said. Most of the building will be used for administration and family planning.

Planned Parenthood officials have said they will perform abortions only through the 19th week of pregnancy at the new site.

The local chapter's board decided not to perform abortions after that because few women seek them, and there are medical complications and risks in performing abortions past the 19th week.


For those of you unfamiliar with the Houston area (most of you,) Kingwood and the Woodlands are affluent, predominantly white areas.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

U.S. plans formal complaint to China over Google attack; Yahoo critized by Alibaba

U.S. plans formal complaint to China over Google attack

Washington (CNN) -- The United States plans to express formal concern to the Chinese government soon after Google said a cyber attack from China targeted human rights activists.

The attack prompted Google to threaten to close its Chinese site. It also led Google to stop limiting search results in China, which let users access information about topics that are sensitive to the Chinese government, such as the crackdown in Tiananmen Square in 1989. However, censorship of Google results quickly re-appeared.

The U.S. government plans to issue a demarche -- a formal diplomatic message - conveying concern to the Chinese government, probably one day early this week, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

"It will express our concern for this incident and request information from China as to an explanation of how it happened and what they plan to do about it," he told reporters Friday.

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This is gettin' good, y'all. I can not wait to hear China's answer to this, because if there's proof, like iDefense said it has, that it was definitely the Chinese government that hacked into Google, what are they going to do? They've publicly said hacking and cyber attacks are against their own laws, specifically in regards to this.

I also wonder why the censoring of results went back up--is it the Chinese government's doing, or did Google just stop the censoring temporarily to show that they were serious, and put it back while they wait for an Chinese response or they decide what to do in China?


NEW! Yahoo's Chinese partner just brought some!

Alibaba: Yahoo 'reckless' for backing Google

Beijing, China (FT) -- Yahoo's Chinese partner issued a scathing criticism of the US technology company at the weekend, calling it "reckless" for publicly supporting Google's threat to quit the country in protest over a wave of Chinese cyberattacks.

Alibaba Group, in which Yahoo holds a 40 per cent stake, said it had "communicated to Yahoo that Yahoo's statement that it is 'aligned' with the position Google took last week was reckless given the lack of facts in evidence. Alibaba doesn't share this view".

Yahoo had no immediate response.

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I need my popcorn now, because this is getting good. Yahoo and Alibaba have always not really seen eye-to-eye, and so now the problems are starting to show.
  • Current Music
    Jay Chou - Qi Li Xiang
Yuuko - The Witch of Dimensions

Haiti: Dr. Claude Surena Takes 100 Patients Into His Home


Pediatrician Dr. Claude Surena, had treated patients in his two-story hillside home for years. After the earthquake, his residence, which was near the centre of Port-au-prince, survived undamaged, and became a triage centre for over a hundred people.

The shelter provided comfort for the sick, the dying, and the homeless, some of whom sang hymns as they huddled in comfort. The doctors, Surena, along with two others, such as Florida-based gynecologist, Frantz Python, provided care as they were able to, but they were short on supplies. Eighteen patients have died, including a pregnant woman along with the baby.

"She was really suffering," Surena said. "The most difficult thing emotionally is that you know how to do it, but you don't have the materials do it."

The Canadian Press - Haitian doctor takes more than 100 patients into his home as refuge from devastation by Mike Melia (Jan 15th, 2010)

Good News Network - Haiti Doctor Takes 100 Patients Into His Home (Jan 17th, 2010)
- AP article + the video where the post image was capped from

Comment: The people in the video was so calm, they have it together and they have doctors, but not enough supplies. There was a worry expressed by western NGOs that airdrops might cause riots...but this looked like a place that could use and would use well, airdropped supplies.

ETA Update:

Dominican Today - ShelterBox delivers disaster relief to Haiti (Jan 18th, 2010)
- "Rotary Club disaster relief coordinator for Haiti, Dr. Claude Suréna, president of the Haitian Medical Association, will lead the efforts of Haiti's 16 Rotary clubs with ShelterBox to ensure that this relief will be deployed effectively to the thousands homeless in need."

Shocking News: Bankers Love Taxes! Water is Not Wet!! Wait... Never Mind...

Obama Bank Tax Could Face Legal Battle From Wall Street

Critics of the Obama administration's proposed bank tax have called the levy arbitrary, punitive and unfair. Now they may repeat those same claims in court.

The banking industry, the New York Times reports today, is hoping to stave off a tax that could cost the largest firms more than $1.5 billion each.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the banks' top lobbying group, the NYT reports, is currently considering challenging the constitutionality of Obama's Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee. According to an email from SIFMA to Wall Street's banks obtained by the NYT, the tax "would unfairly single out and penalize big banks."

Since its unveiling last week, Wall Street insiders have been united in their claims that the fee is merely a populist, punitive and unfairly distributed political maneuver. Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said the fee would be eventually passed along to bank customers and was "nothing more than another tax on the American public."

The Obama administration projects the tax could raise up to $117 billion over the next 10 years, and will target the liabilities of banks, insurers, thrifts and financial holding companies with combined assets of over $50 billion. Last week, President Obama said the lavish bonuses many banks are expected to announce were "obscene."
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Oh, look! Socialist markets!!!!

Chavez takes control of foreign supermarket

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez has seized control of a foreign supermarket chain, Exito, after he accused the company of hiking its prices

The joint French-Colombian supermarket chain was guilty of breaking Venezuelan law on price controls and would now pass into state hands, Mr Chavez said.

He said any other company increasing prices also risked nationalisation.

Exito was among more than 200 stores accused of raising prices during the country's recent currency devaluation.

The supermarket chain had already passed under temporary government control after the devaluation.

But now President Chavez has taken it a step further.

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Chavez halts energy rationing in Venezuela's capital

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has reversed his decision to ration electricity in Caracas a day after nationwide power cuts were announced.

Mr Chavez said there had been mistakes in introducing rolling blackouts in the capital, and people did not know when their neighbourhoods would be affected.

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Things seem so messy over there right now =(. But LOL, keep up the good work ruining your reelection, Chávez bb.

The Santa Clausification of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a democratic socialist.

He never called himself that in public. Cold War red-baiting was still powerful and haunted him even before his rhetoric turned to class. But his organizing was increasingly in that vein and privately he spoke of his support for democratic socialism. He was organizing a Poor People's Campaign and talking about the necessity to build an interracial movement for economic justice.

In this and in many other ways, King was a radical. But, from watching most of the news coverage of the 40th anniversary of King's assassination today, you wouldn't know it. The absence in our collective memory of of King's leftism is just one of the aspects of what Cornell West calls the Santa Clausification of MLK:

He just becomes a nice little old man with a smile with toys in his bag, not a threat to anybody, as if his fundamental commitment to unconditional love and unarmed truth does not bring to bear certain kinds of pressure to a status quo. So the status quo feels so comfortable as though it's a convenient thing to do rather than acknowledge him as to what he was, what the FBI said, "The most dangerous man in America." Why? Because of his fundamental commitment to love and to justice and trying to keep track of the humanity of each and every one of us. [...]

... [I]n the market-driven world in which celebrity status operates in such a way that it tries to diffuse all of the threat and to sugarcoat and deodorize what actually is rather funky.

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Source. Oh, and 'cause it's awesome, Ten OTHER Things Martin Luther King Said.

EDIT: Fix'd for Son of HTML Fail.

When Enhanced Interrogation Techniques Goes Wrong.

1. “Asymmetrical Warfare”

When President Barack Obama took office last year, he promised to “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great.” Toward that end, the president issued an executive order declaring that the extra-constitutional prison camp at Guantánamo “shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order.” Obama has failed to fulfill his promise. Some prisoners are being charged with crimes, others released, but the date for closing the camp seems to recede steadily into the future. Furthermore, new evidence now emerging may entangle Obama’s young administration with crimes that occurred during the Bush presidency, evidence that suggests the current administration failed to investigate seriously—and may even have continued—a cover-up of the possible homicides of three prisoners at Guantánamo in 2006.

Late in the evening on June 9 that year, three prisoners at Guantánamo died suddenly and violently. Salah Ahmed Al-Salami, from Yemen, was thirty-seven. Mani Shaman Al-Utaybi, from Saudi Arabia, was thirty. Yasser Talal Al-Zahrani, also from Saudi Arabia, was twenty-two, and had been imprisoned at Guantánamo since he was captured at the age of seventeen. None of the men had been charged with a crime, though all three had been engaged in hunger strikes to protest the conditions of their imprisonment. They were being held in a cell block, known as Alpha Block, reserved for particularly troublesome or high-value prisoners.

As news of the deaths emerged the following day, the camp quickly went into lockdown. The authorities ordered nearly all the reporters at Camp America to leave and those en route to turn back. The commander at Guantánamo, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, then declared the deaths “suicides.” In an unusual move, he also used the announcement to attack the dead men. “I believe this was not an act of desperation,” he said, “but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.” Reporters accepted the official account, and even lawyers for the prisoners appeared to believe that they had killed themselves. Only the prisoners’ families in Saudi Arabia and Yemen rejected the notion.

Two years later, the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which has primary investigative jurisdiction within the naval base, issued a report supporting the account originally advanced by Harris, now a vice-admiral in command of the Sixth Fleet. The Pentagon declined to make the NCIS report public, and only when pressed with Freedom of Information Act demands did it disclose parts of the report, some 1,700 pages of documents so heavily redacted as to be nearly incomprehensible. The NCIS report was carefully cross-referenced and deciphered by students and faculty at the law school of Seton Hall University in New Jersey, and their findings, released in November 2009, made clear why the Pentagon had been unwilling to make its conclusions public. The official story of the prisoners’ deaths was full of unacknowledged contradictions, and the centerpiece of the report—a reconstruction of the events—was simply unbelievable.

According to the NCIS, each prisoner had fashioned a noose from torn sheets and T-shirts and tied it to the top of his cell’s eight-foot-high steel-mesh wall. Each prisoner was able somehow to bind his own hands, and, in at least one case, his own feet, then stuff more rags deep down into his own throat. We are then asked to believe that each prisoner, even as he was choking on those rags, climbed up on his washbasin, slipped his head through the noose, tightened it, and leapt from the washbasin to hang until he asphyxiated. The NCIS report also proposes that the three prisoners, who were held in non-adjoining cells, carried out each of these actions almost simultaneously.

Al-Zahrani, according to the report, was discovered first, at 12:39 a.m., and taken by several Alpha Block guards to the camp’s detention medical clinic. No doctors could be found there, nor the phone number for one, so a clinic staffer dialed 911. During this time, other guards discovered Al-Utaybi. Still others discovered Al-Salami a few minutes later. Although rigor mortis had already set in—indicating that the men had been dead for at least two hours—the NCIS report claims that an unnamed medical officer attempted to resuscitate one of the men, and, in attempting to pry open his jaw, broke his teeth.

The fact that at least two of the prisoners also had cloth masks affixed to their faces, presumably to prevent the expulsion of the rags from their mouths, went unremarked by the NCIS, as did the fact that standard operating procedure at Camp Delta required the Navy guards on duty after midnight to “conduct a visual search” of each cell and detainee every ten minutes.
The report claimed that the prisoners had hung sheets or blankets to hide their activities and shaped more sheets and pillows to look like bodies sleeping in their beds, but it did not explain where they were able to acquire so much fabric beyond their tightly controlled allotment, or why the Navy guards would allow such an obvious and immediately observable deviation from permitted behavior. Nor did the report explain how the dead men managed to hang undetected for more than two hours or why the Navy guards on duty, having for whatever reason so grievously failed in their duties, were never disciplined.

A separate report, the result of an “informal investigation” initiated by Admiral Harris, found that standard operating procedures were violated that night but concluded that disciplinary action was not warranted because of the “generally permissive environment” of the cell block and the numerous “concessions” that had been made with regard to the prisoners’ comfort, which “concessions” had resulted in a “general confusion by the guard and the JDG staff over many of the rules that applied to the guard force’s handling of the detainees.” According to Harris, even had standard operating procedures been followed, “it is possible that the detainees could have successfully committed suicide anyway.”

This is the official story, adopted by NCIS and Guantánamo command and reiterated by the Justice Department in formal pleadings, by the Defense Department in briefings and press releases, and by the State Department. Now four members of the Military Intelligence unit assigned to guard Camp Delta, including a decorated non-commissioned Army officer who was on duty as sergeant of the guard the night of June 9–10, have furnished an account dramatically at odds with the NCIS report—a report for which they were neither interviewed nor approached.

All four soldiers say they were ordered by their commanding officer not to speak out, and all four soldiers provide evidence that authorities initiated a cover-up within hours of the prisoners’ deaths. Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Hickman and men under his supervision have disclosed evidence in interviews with Harper’s Magazine that strongly suggests that the three prisoners who died on June 9 had been transported to another location prior to their deaths. The guards’ accounts also reveal the existence of a previously unreported black site at Guantánamo where the deaths, or at least the events that led directly to the deaths, most likely occurred.
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Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Google news that doesn't involve China!

Googlers Create Haitian Victim Information Portal

Google engineers have created a portal to collect and disseminate whatever may be known about the fate of people in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, an attempt to create a single clearinghouse for information that is being culled by plenty of sites but remains overall a dispersed and disorganized mess.

The idea is to get the world’s media and NGOs to coalesce around what would amount to a single, authoritative Haiti victim Wiki for anything that might be known about the hundreds of thousands of people killed, wounded and left homeless by last Tuesday’s quake, which leveled major portions of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and left some 200,000 and counting dead.

The site, Google Crisis Response: Haiti Effort, is scraping other sites and soliciting information directly from the public. There is an embeddable widget and an API is in the works so that the service can go viral while remaining organized. The service can be access in English, French and Creole.

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The source has screen caps of what the pages look like. Good on the people working at Google for doing this. And spreading the word about this might help it become more effective--the more people that know about it, the better.

Scott Brown Calls Scott Brown TV Persona a Liar! Is All The Libural Medias Fault

Brown Campaign Now Says “He Doesn’t Believe” Obama Born Out Of Wedlock; But No Apology

As you may have heard, an incendiary video is making the rounds in which Scott Brown questioned whether Obama’s parents were married when he was born — and Dems are pounding him over it.

But a Brown campaign spokesman has now clarified his stance in an email to me, saying Brown “doesn’t believe” it’s possible Obama was born out of wedlock — though he isn’t apologizing for the remark and even appeared to blame it on Martha Coakley.

In the 2008 video, which is below, Brown defended Sarah Palin’s family follies, and then seemed to chuckle as he questioned whether Obama’s mother was married when he was born:

BROWN: Barack’s mom had him when she was, what, 18 years old?

GUEST: And married!

BROWN: Well, I don’t know about that.

The record shows, of course, that Obama’s parents were married when he was born. Asked directly whether Brown believes it’s possible Obama was born out of wedlock, Brown spokesman Eric Fehrnstom emailed:

He doesn’t believe that. This is more desperate campaigning from Martha Coakley. When she isn’t calling for higher taxes, she’s making things up about Scott Brown.

This walk-back comes after the Brown campaign initially refused to directly address or clarify his previous remarks — and after Dems pummeled Brown over them today.


Update: DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan pounces:

“Why did he say it then? Whether it’s on this issue, or choice or taxes, Scott Brown has a disturbing and telling history of saying one thing at one time, and another thing later on. The only thing that’s clear is that Scott Brown is not who he says he is.”


Norm Coleman's Evil Plan Backfires. Calls It Quits. Will Spend More Time With Family.

Text of Norm Coleman's statement on Facebook

I love Minnesota and I love public service, but this is not the right time for me and my family to conduct a campaign for Governor.

Timing is everything. The timing on this race is both a bit too soon and a bit too late. It is too soon after my last race and too late to do a proper job of seeking the support of delegates who will decide in which direction our party should go. The commitments I have to my family and the work I am currently engaged in do not allow me to now go forward.

At the moment, I am tremendously energized by the work I am currently involved in to create a positive, center right agenda for this country. Anger on the left and anger on the right will get us nowhere. In Minnesota, we face a jobs deficit, a budget deficit and a bipartisanship deficit.

We must all put aside the bitterness and sniping and remember that behind every job loss and every home foreclosure is a Minnesota family losing hope and confidence.

I think I can be part of recreating a more civil and respectful politics, a politics that better expresses the will of the vast majority of people.
I will continue my efforts to work with Republicans, Independents and moderate, common sense Democrats across the country to advance the values of fiscal responsibility, entrepreneurship, effective government change, national security and respect for life.

That’s where America is philosophically and we need well-thought-out policies that express it. My thanks to the many folks who encouraged me to run, but I’ve learned there are lots of ways to serve without an official position. Dr. King said everyone can be great because everyone can serve. We all need to seek out how our service can do the most good, and at this moment in my life, I’ve found mine.

Thanks. God bless you.

The story of an 8 year old on the no fly list

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“Meet Mikey Hicks,” said Najlah Feanny Hicks, introducing her 8-year-old son, a New Jersey Cub Scout and frequent traveler who has seldom boarded a plane without a hassle because he shares the name of a suspicious person. “It’s not a myth.”

Michael Winston Hicks’s mother initially sensed trouble when he was a baby and she could not get a seat for him on their flight to Florida at an airport kiosk; airline officials explained that his name “was on the list,” she recalled.

The first time he was patted down, at Newark Liberty International Airport, Mikey was 2. He cried.

After years of long delays and waits for supervisors at every airport ticket counter, this year’s vacation to the Bahamas badly shook up the family. Mikey was frisked on the way there, then more aggressively on the way home.

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This race isn't about feet, it's about issues...

In his toughest comments to date,
Harold Ford cast Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Monday as a "weak" puppet of the state's political establishment who has failed to connect with voters after a year in office.

"There is no doubt that Sen. Gillibrand is weak in many places across the city and the state," Ford told the Daily News in an interview. "At best, there is interest in hearing an alternative."

Ford, a former congressman from Tennessee, is mulling a Democratic primary challenge against Gillibrand and said he expects to make up his mind within the next 30 days.

But he insisted that what's driving his decision is not how much money he can raise or what politicians are behind him, but rather the complaints her hears from voters about government in general - and Gillibrand in particular.

"The most important strategists are those [voters] who say, 'Look, I don't know who the senator is, I am not sure what she has done, or what she is doing,'" Ford said of Gillibrand, who was appointed by Gov. Paterson a year ago to fill Hillary Clinton's vacant Senate seat.

As for being a carpetbagger from Tennessee, Ford argued that Gillibrand and he are not so different when it comes to running for statewide office in New York.

"For both of us, it would be the first time we have been on the ballot in 95% or more of the state," he said of Gillibrand, a one-time congresswoman from upstate.
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Do not make fun of the man's pedicures.

Haitian's Misery Ruins Barbecue

Luxury Cruise Ship Docks On Private Haitian Beach, Just 60 Miles From Devastation

BoingBoing reported this morning on a Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines ship that made its scheduled docking at a private beach. Though the cruise ship delivered 40 pallets of relief supplies while it docked, vacationers frolicked and held a barbecue on the private area, just miles from the devastation caused by the 7.0 earthquake last week.
From The Guardian:
The decision to go ahead with the visit has divided passengers. The ships carry some food aid, and the cruise line has pledged to donate all proceeds from the visit to help stricken Haitians. But many passengers will stay aboard when they dock; one said he was "sickened".

"I just can't see myself sunning on the beach, playing in the water, eating a barbecue, and enjoying a cocktail while [in Port-au-Prince] there are tens of thousands of dead people being piled up on the streets, with the survivors stunned and looking for food and water," one passenger wrote on the Cruise Critic internet forum.
Magneto puppet
  • drbat

Malawi government defends gay couple's prosecution

BLANTYRE, MALAWI -- Malawi's government said Monday that it is unmoved by international criticism of the trial of a gay couple charged with unnatural acts and gross indecency, felonies for which they could be imprisoned for up to 14 years.

In a statement Monday, Malawi's Information Minister Leckford Mwanza Thoto made no apology for the laws that criminalize homosexual acts. He said Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were "clearly breaking the laws of Malawi."

"As government we cannot interfere in the court process," Thoto said. "We depend on our Western friends, yes, but we are a sovereign country."

Forty percent of Malawi's budget is funded by international donors.

Monjeza, 26, and Chimbalanga, 20, have been jailed since their arrest Dec. 27, the day they celebrated their engagement with a party that drew crowds of curious onlookers in this conservative southern African country. Hearings in the trial also have attracted crowds.

A verdict is expected next month.

Amnesty International has called for the couple's immediate release. More than 20 members of the Scottish parliament have condemned the arrest, calling on their government to review its development aid package for Malawi. OutRage! - a gay rights group - has called on Britain to intercede on behalf of the gay couple.

Mauya Msuku, the couple's lawyer, said the laws under which Monjeza and Chimbalanga were charged were archaic and unconstitutional.

"The penal code criminalizes homosexuality or same-sex marriages but under the Bill of Rights in the new Constitution it is clearly stated that no one should be discriminated against on the basis of - among other things - sexual orientation," he said.

Msuku has asked Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo for a constitutional review. Munlo has yet to set the date for a Constitutional Court hearing.

Recently, a group of Malawi human rights activists formed the Center for the Development of People to fight for the rights of homosexuals and other minorities.

In Africa, only South Africa has legalized same-sex marriage, and in South Africa the gap between the liberal constitution and societal attitudes can be wide. Uganda will soon debate a proposed law that would impose the death penalty on some gays, though Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has told colleagues he believes the bill is too harsh and a Cabinet minister has called - so far unsuccessfully - for the bill to be scrapped.


Tem gente de toda cor, tem raça de toda fé...

Brazil Catholic Church attacks government initiative on abortion and gay rights

Brazilian president Lula da Silva and his National Program on Human Rights which last week apparently overcame military intransigence, now faces another formidable voice in the country’s politics: the Brazilian Episcopacy, disappointed with the abortion and gay marriage proposals.

The Brazilian Confederation of Bishops, CNBB, openly criticized the de-criminalization of abortion, same sex civil marriage and the right for gay couples to adopt, all initiatives proposed by President Lula da Silva’s human rights initiative sent to Congressional consideration last December 21st.

CNBB also criticized the proposal to eliminate all religious symbols from all public places, “an intolerant attitude”
which pretends to ignore the long rooted historic traditions of Brazil, said the release announced Saturday and commented Sunday in all of the country’s Catholic churches.

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ETA: this topic's relevance probably is clearer once you know Brazil has the biggest number of Catholics in the world (125 million people, 74% of the population - in 2000). Then again, not all of them practice their religion that much.

This just in. Right, so that's enough of me posting for a day. Might be back this week with more Haiti, Argentina and Honduras!

Turd Sandwich vs Giant Douche: Haiti Edition.

French Minister Rips US: 'This Is About Helping Haiti, Not About Occupying Haiti'

The United Nations must investigate and clarify the dominant U.S. role in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, a French minister said Monday, claiming that international aid efforts were about helping Haiti, not "occupying" it.

U.S. forces last week turned back a French aid plane carrying a field hospital from the damaged, congested airport in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, prompting a complaint from French Cooperation Minister Alain Joyandet. The plane landed safely the following day.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner warned governments and aid groups not to squabble as they try to get their aid into Haiti.

"People always want it to be their plane ... that lands," Kouchner said Monday. "(But) what's important is the fate of the Haitians."

But Joyandet persisted.
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Parks and Rec - Leslie - Bun

3 Shot Near Martin Luther King Events in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO — Three people have been wounded when gunfire erupted near crowds attending Martin Luther King Jr. holiday activities in San Antonio.

The shooting happened about 4 p.m. Monday outside a Church's Fried Chicken restaurant in a commercial and retail strip along South New Braunfels Avenue, east of downtown San Antonio.

WOAI-TV in San Antonio quotes witnesses as saying several girls began fighting outside the restaurant when someone drew a gun and fired at least two shots.

The scene is near the end point of San Antonio's MLK Day march, which ended several hours earlier. WOAI-TV reports dozens of people at the restaurant ran for cover after hearing the shots.

No identities have been released of the injured, but early news reports quote police as saying none of the wounds appear to be life-threatening. The reports say two armed teenage boys have been taken into custody.

This is the only article I could find on this right now. I can't believe the way people act these days.
just no / sheldon

Airline’s ‘cougar’ ad blasted by rape victims

An advertisement for an airline competition that portrays older, single women as "cougars" who prey on young men at night is to close on Monday after incurring the wrath of both male and female rape victims in New Zealand.


The promotion by the airline's Grabaseat discount airfare site encouraged women aged 35 plus to send in photographs of themselves to compete for tickets to next month's Wellington Sevens.


New Zealand's Rape Prevention Education has labeled the ad appalling, disgusting and degrading to women, adding that some Air New Zealand staff were also concerned about the promotion.

"They find it degrading and that it is encouraging potentially harmful behavior, so my question is why is our national carrier promoting sexually predatory behavior?" director Kim McGregor told the NZ Herald newspaper.

"We have also had complaints from male survivors who have been raped by women and they are very distressed that their situation is being laughed at and made out to be humorous," she said.

Full article @ source
' dreams they dreamed awake
  • schmiss


Democrats Seeking to Push Health Bill Through House

The White House and Democratic Congressional leaders, scrambling for a backup plan to rescue their health care legislation if Republicans win the special election in Massachusetts on Tuesday, are preparing to ask House Democrats to approve the Senate version of the bill, which would send the measure directly to President Obama for his signature.

A victory by the Republican, Scott Brown, in Massachusetts, would deny Democrats the 60th vote they need in the Senate to surmount Republican filibusters and advance the health legislation. And with the race too close to call, Democrats are mulling several options to save the bill, which could be a major factor in how they fare in this year’s midterm elections.

Some Democrats suggested that even if their candidate, Martha Coakley, eked out a narrow victory on Tuesday, they might need to ask House Democrats to speed the legislation to the president’s desk, especially if lawmakers who previously supported the bill begin to waver as they consider the political implications of a tough re-election cycle. It is unclear if rank-and-file Democrats would go along.

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What a dastardly plan. I only hope it works.


Sniper Jesus Liberated Iraq and Afghanistan

U.S. Military Weapons Inscribed With Secret 'Jesus' Bible Codes
Pentagon Supplier for Rifle Sights Says It Has 'Always' Added New Testament References

Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found.

The sights are used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the training of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers. The maker of the sights, Trijicon, has a $660 million multi-year contract to provide up to 800,000 sights to the Marine Corps, and additional contracts to provide sights to the U.S. Army.

U.S. military rules specifically prohibit the proselytizing of any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan and were drawn up in order to prevent criticism that the U.S. was embarked on a religious "Crusade" in its war against al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents.

One of the citations on the gun sights, 2COR4:6, is an apparent reference to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the New Testament, which reads: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

Other references include citations from the books of Revelation, Matthew and John dealing with Jesus as "the light of the world." John 8:12, referred to on the gun sights as JN8:12, reads, "Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Trijicon confirmed to ABCNews.com that it adds the biblical codes to the sights sold to the U.S. military. Tom Munson, director of sales and marketing for Trijicon, which is based in Wixom, Michigan, said the inscriptions "have always been there" and said there was nothing wrong or illegal with adding them. Munson said the issue was being raised by a group that is "not Christian." The company has said the practice began under its founder, Glyn Bindon, a devout Christian from South Africa who was killed in a 2003 plane crash.
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