January 23rd, 2010


One of the 12 Signs of the Apocalypse: Agreeing with Newt Gingrich!

Opinion: Mr. President, Govern as You Promised
By Newt Gingrich

Last November, at the one-year anniversary of his election victory, Obama saw decisive Republican gubernatorial victories in two states he had carried.

On Tuesday, the anniversary of his inauguration, he saw a Republican election victory in Massachusetts effectively derail his health care plans, the initiative on which the president has spent the most time, energy and political capital.

As Obama looks out to the two-year anniversary of his election in 2010, the landscape looks bleak.

Analysts like Charlie Cook are warning that 2010 could become a catastrophic year for Democrats. At best, it is going to be a bad year. Cook's recent National Journal article made the stunning point that since World War II there have been only 12 months in even-numbered (election) years in which unemployment was above 8 percent. All 12 months were in 1982. I was in Congress then, and we lost 26 seats. This year, America will almost certainly have 9 percent-plus unemployment for the entire year. That alone bodes badly for the Democrats.

Next week, Obama will give his first State of the Union address. Between now and then, he needs to stop, rethink, recalibrate, and learn some painful lessons.

He needs to accept that the country was not voting for a left-wing agenda in 2008. Instead, it was voting out a Republican leadership it deemed unable to govern effectively.

The person the American people thought they were voting for in 2008 was a moderate who wanted to bring transparency to government and work with leaders of both parties on common-sense reform.

However, upon taking office, the president turned over massive power to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, who wrote legislation in such a stunningly partisan way that they received almost no Republican votes on any major piece of legislation.

Furthermore, the bills were often written in secret, passed without giving the American people or even Congress a chance to read them, and included special deals for big-business interests, political supporters and key senators as a way to get their support.

This clearly was not change America could believe in.

It is a mystery why Obama thought he could govern as a different person from the one he campaigned as, but he now has a chance to reset his presidency around the principles he espoused during the campaign.

No more secret deals.

No more Pelosi-Reid machine votes.

No more left-wing, Democrats-only strategies.

Republicans would be very smart to approach Obama with a series of reform proposals in health care, national security, deficit reduction and economic growth. Obama would be even smarter to figure out which of these he and the moderates in the Democratic caucus can get behind, and score an easy series of legislative victories that would help both his political fortunes and the country.

They should be small, narrowly focused bills and written in a transparent way. A good starting point would be aggressive steps to fight fraud in Medicare and Medicaid, which Jim Frogue at the Center for Health Transformation estimates costs taxpayers as much as $120 billion a year.

The left-wing leadership in the House and Senate would hate and fight such a change in course. However, moderate Democrats (and most Americans) would breathe a sigh of relief.

A year of President Obama that was more like candidate Obama could make the two-year anniversary of his election much more pleasant than his first.

Well this is a terrifying prospect. I think I might actually AGREE with Newt Gingrich here for the most part (I obviously disagree with the idea that Pelosi/Reid have not tried to work with Republicans, but Obama has done little to keep them in check IMHO). HOLY HELL! What is the world coming to. The apocalypse is obviously getting closer!

South Carolina democrat

Bauer compares giving people government assistance to "feeding stray animals."

Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has compared giving people government assistance to "feeding stray animals."

Bauer, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor, made his remarks during a town hall meeting in Fountain Inn that included state lawmakers and about 115 residents.

"My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better," Bauer said.

SOURCE says don't read the comments if you want to live

Dolly Parton's Words of Gay Rights Wisdom

Funny that a legendary country singer understands a principle about gay rights that at least half (if not more) of the politicians in Washington don't get. Leave it to Dolly Parton to school a bunch of weak-kneed or fire and brimstone politicos.

Parton generally isn't a hotbed of political activism herself. She's no Dixie Chicks. No Bruce Springsteen. Certainly no Rage Against the Machine. But there is one political issue she's willing to speak out on, and for someone who is immersed in some of the deepest red parts of the United States, her involvement is not insignificant.

That would be gay rights. And when it comes to supporting gay rights, she comes down with a pretty simple yet universal message: gay rights are human rights.


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panda bear

(no subject)

US Marines End Role In Iraq

The U.S. Marine Corps wrapped up nearly seven years in Iraq on Saturday, handing over duties to the Army and signaling the beginning of an accelerated withdrawal of American troops as the U.S. turns its focus away from the waning Iraqi war to a growing one in Afghanistan.

In Baghdad, meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden held talks with Iraqi leaders amid rising tensions over plans to ban election candidates because of suspected links to Saddam Hussein's regime.

The White House worries the bans could raise questions over the fairness of the March 7 parliamentary elections, which are seen as an important step in the American pullout timetable and breaking political stalemates over key issues such as dividing Iraq's oil revenue.

The Marines formally handed over control of Sunni-dominated Anbar, Iraq's largest province, to the Army during a ceremony at a base in Ramadi – where some of the fiercest fighting of the war took place.

Iraqi and American color guards stood together at attention as both countries' national anthems were played by a U.S. military band.

Sharing the front row at the handover ceremony with American Army and Marine generals were some of Anbar's influential tribal sheiks in traditional checkered headdresses and gold-embellished robes. Their decision to shift support to the Americans is credited with sapping the insurgency of much of its strength.

Maj. Gen. Terry Wolff, the Army commander who assumed responsibility for the province, said he hoped security gains cemented by U.S. troops and their Iraqi counterparts should ensure a smooth transfer despite the overall drawdown in American forces.

"The goal that we all seek is the Iraqis securing their own election, and that the election is fair and the election is free," he told reporters after the handover. "It's all based on the fact that the Iraqis, and particularly the Anbaris, can secure themselves. And that's the encouraging aspect."

If all goes as planned, the last remaining Marines will be followed out by tens of thousands of soldiers in the coming months. President Barack Obama has ordered all but 50,000 troops out of the country by Aug. 31, 2010, with most to depart after the March 7 parliamentary election.

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The Hawaii Senate approved same-sex civil unions Friday, potentially setting up the measure for final passage as soon as next week.

The Senate passed the bill on an 18-7 vote, moving it to the House and signaling that the Senate's Democratic majority has enough votes to override a possible veto from Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.

The House has yet to decide if it will vote on the bill. House leaders say they will take up the bill if they have a veto-proof two-thirds majority but may let it die if they have only a small majority.

"It's very close," said Democratic Speaker of the House Calvin Say. "During an election year, this issue is so divisive that it may hurt many of our members."

The bill would grant gay and straight couples the same rights and benefits the state provides to married couples.

Five other states - Colorado, Wisconsin, Maryland, Maine and New Jersey - allow civil unions. Five states - Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut - permit same-sex marriage.

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(no subject)

Can a film stop homophobic bullying?

The statistics on homophobic bullying in schools make for a disturbing read. According to a study last year by Stonewall, teachers reported anti-gay incidents to be even more prevalent than racist ones, with 41 per cent of gay children having been beaten up. Ninety per cent of secondary school teachers said that they had heard anti-gay taunts among pupils, and the same proportion said that they have never received any training in how to respond to it. A recent Ofsted report described homophobia in British schools as “endemic”. Many blame the residue of Section 28, arguing that it confused and muzzled teachers in its banning of the “promotion” of homosexuality.

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Fake bomb detectors banned; maker arrested

The UK government has announced a ban on the export to Iraq and Afghanistan of some so-called "bomb detectors".

It follows an investigation by the BBC's Newsnight programme which found that one type of "detector" made by a British company cannot work.

The Iraqi government has spent $85m on the ADE-651 and there are concerns that they have failed to stop bomb attacks that have killed hundreds of people.

The ban on the ADE-651 and other similar devices starts next week.

read it here

[governmental and institutional perfidy doesn't surprise me any more, but I'm still shocked and disheartened that some people are still all too ready to sink to such despicable depths]

Himalayan glacier report not backed up ( whoops, more bad science )

GENEVA - A United Nations warning that Himalayan glaciers are melting faster than any other place in the world and may be gone by 2035 was not backed up by science, UN climate specialists said yesterday - an admission that could energize climate change critics.

In a 2007 report, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the Himalayan glaciers are likely to disappear within three decades if the present melting rate continues. But a statement from the panel now says there is not enough scientific evidence to back up those claims. The warning in the report “refers to poorly substantiated estimates of rate of recession and date for the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers,’’ the panel said. “In drafting the paragraph in question, the clear and well-established standards of evidence, required by the IPCC procedures, were not applied properly.’’

The Himalayan glacier claim, made in the group’s voluminous Nobel-receiving report, was little noticed until The Sunday Times said the projection seemed to be based on a news report.

The leaders of the UN panel are investigating how the forecast got into the report, Chris Field, director of the ecology department at the Washington-based Carnegie Institution for Science, said.

The UN panel did not give a new estimate of when Himalayan glaciers might melt away, but said “widespread mass losses from glaciers and reductions in snow cover over recent decades are projected to accelerate throughout the 21st century.’’


DS Xmas

Haiti Donation Roll Call!

Our total so far...(I'm counting every page)

approximately $7,858.94!!

(That's about 316,888.02 Haitian Gourdes!!!!)

which according to unicef, we have provided about:
1,159,306 water purifying tablets, so the people have clean water
97,373 packets of oral rehydration salts to help save the lives of people suffering from diarrheal dehydration due to drinking contaminated water
16 handpumps to provide an entire community with safe drinking water
13 tons of high-protein porridge like mix to provide crucial nutrition in this time of emergency

That's so awesome you guys!

I thought this was really cool, so I decided to bring this over to ONTD_P, if the mods are cool with it.

As we all know, Haiti needs all of the support it can get, and I think all of the outpouring of support from the various people in this community (and in other places all over) has been nothing short of amazing.

lj user rockinrachell has posted an LJ entry here where she is adding up everyone's donations who are affiliated with ONTD (previously the original ONTD community, but now ontd_ai and ontd_startrek have joined in)

So far, ONTD members have reportedly donated over 85,00093,000 dollars!!

It's really fantastic what we, the members of livejournal communities, are capable of.

While no one is obligated to report how much they have donated, if you have not commented in that post (or the original thread that appeared in a different ONTD entry), feel free to comment either in this post (so we can see how much we donated as a community!) or comment in the original post, linked above.
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Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

$80,000 per song PSP award slashed 97%

Judge slashes "monstrous" P2P award by 97% to $54,000

Judge Michael Davis is the senior federal jurist in Minnesota. He presides over the gleaming 15th floor courtroom where, earlier this year, P2P user Jammie Thomas-Rasset was slapped with $1.92 million in damages for sharing 24 songs. Davis made no comment on the amount of the award and showed no emotion as it was read out.

But now we know how he rely [sic] feels about the jury's work in that case: it led to a "monstrous and shocking" damage award that veered into "the realm of gross injustice."

Davis used his power of remittitur today to slash the damage award by 97.2 percent, from $1.92 million down to $54,000—and he suggested that even this lower amount was too high.

Justice isn't only for the sympathetic

Thomas-Rasset, the first defendant to take an RIAA-backed P2P lawsuit all the way to trial, turned out not to be an especially sympathetic defendant.

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$80,000 per song was just insane, and I'm glad the judge changed it.
stock | Teddy and Puppy

ontd_political Photo of the Day: Jan 23, 2010.

Phara Thes, 21, holds her newborn baby Jims Silvera at the US 82nd Airborne Division's forward operating base in Port-au-Prince, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010. International aid flowing into Haiti after last week's earthquake has been struggling with logistical problems, and many people are still desperate for food and water.

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Jae C. Hong | AP Photo
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Cops beat up a kid for walking while black, make shit up.

Teen violist alleges Pittsburgh police brutality

PITTSBURGH – The photos taken by Jordan Miles' mother show his face covered with raw, red bruises, his cheek and lip swollen, his right eye swollen shut. A bald spot mars the long black dreadlocks where the 18-year-old violist says police tore them from his head.

Now, 10 days after plainclothes officers stopped him on a street and arrested him after a struggle that they say revealed a soda bottle under his coat, not the gun they suspected, his right eye is still slightly swollen and bloodshot. His head is shaved. The three white officers who arrested him have been reassigned. And his mother says she is considering a lawsuit.

"I feel that my son was racially profiled," Terez Miles said. "It's a rough neighborhood; it was after dark. ... They assumed he was up to no good because he's black. My son, he knows nothing about the streets at all. He's had a very sheltered life, he's very quiet, he doesn't know police officers sit in cars and stalk people like that."

A judge continued the case until Feb. 18 after the officers failed to appear at a hearing Thursday, Miles' attorney, Kerrington Lewis, said.

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There's a picture of the kid at the source, and OMFG. D:

And yeah, forgive me if I don't think a damn thing will happen to the cops who beat up that poor kid.
  • Current Music
    Beyonce - If I Were a Boy

Saudi Prince Appoints New Successor for Fox Media Empire. Murdoch to Be Buried Soon...

Right-wing Saudi dynasty endorses right-wing Fox News dynasty.

This week, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud of Saudi Arabia — the largest shareholder of News Corp outside the Murdoch family — endorsed Rupert Murdoch’s son James to succeed the elder Murdoch when he retires. Alwaleed, King Abdullah’s nephew, is Saudi Arabia’s richest person and the world’s 22nd wealthiest (Murdoch is number 132). He holds large stakes in many American companies, including Citi. The prince met with Murdoch last week to discuss a “future potential alliance with News Corp,” and he told Charlie Rose Wednesday about his respect for the Murdoch dynasty:
ALWALEED: I met with Mr. Rupert Murdoch and Mr. James Murdoch. We are always in tough. I’m second biggest shareholder there. And no doubt that News Corp is moving on all the fronts. You’ve seen how FOX rating is skyrocketing. … James is now managing Europe and Asia. … I’ll be the first one to nominate him to be the successor of Mr. Rupert Murdoch, god forbid if something happens to him. … I have full confidence in [James], full trust in him, and he’s capable. He’s really Rupert Murdoch in the making, and he’s almost there now.
Alwaleed came to most Americans’ attention following the 9/11 terror attacks when New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani turned down a $10 million donation from Alwaleed over a controversial comment he had made about U.S. foreign policy. As Media Matters noted, several Fox News personalities criticized Alwaleed at the time. Fox News host Sean Hannity called Alwaleed’s comment an “egregious, outrageous, unfair offense.” That was before Alwaleed purchased a seven percent stake in its parent company.
fuck the mcu

Bristol Palin vows no more pre-marital sex - and says other women should follow her lead

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Bristol Palin's goal? No more pre-marital sex.

The 19-year-old mom told Oprah Winfrey on Friday she's been depressed since the birth of her 13-month-old son, Tripp, and she won't make the same mistake twice.

"I just think it's a goal to have, and other women should have that goal,"
Palin said of her chastity oath.

Oprah said she "bristled" when she heard Palin would go without sex until marriage.

"Don't you think you are setting yourself up?," Oprah asked. "No, I don't," she responded.

Palin has been on her own with Tripp since his birth.

TMZ.com reported Palin is after $1,750 a month in child support from her hunky high school sweetheart Levi Johnston, who recently scored a huge payday with a photo spread in Playgirl magazine.

"I have a kid in my life, and it's my full-time job now," the born-again virgin told Oprah.

"I have this big, supportive family and stuff, but I just felt so alone," she said.

Her mom, vice presidential candidate-turned-conservative TV pundit Sarah Palin, said Friday "it was a shock" to find out her daughter was pregnant.

"Like so many other parents, I thought, 'not my kid,'" Palin said.