February 4th, 2010

Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

South Australia Suppresses Online Comments, Repents

South Australia Suppresses Online Comments, Repents

A Draconian South Australian law aimed at limiting online comments about the upcoming elections inflamed much of the population, resulting in an apparent repeal of the law.

The law in question came into effect on January 6 and sought to require any online user commenting on the March 20th state elections in South Australia to publish their real name and post code alongside their comments.
According to Adelaide Now, a definite target of South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson, the law would have applied to comments posted to online news stories, as well any comment made on the election on social sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

The law was not scheduled to be enforced until writs for the March 20th election were issued. The writs could be issued anytime between now and 25 days before the election. The law was to expire at 6:00 PM on election day. An additional aspect of the law would have forced media companies to store commenter’s names and post codes for six months. They could have faced fines of $5,000AU if the information collected was not handed over to the Electoral Commissioner.

Atkinson said the law was all about “honesty,” adding that, “There is no impinging on freedom of speech, people are free to say what they wish as themselves, not as somebody else.”

Specifically Atkinson also labeled the Adelaide Now website, “…a sewer of criminal defamation, it is a sewer of identity theft and fraud.”

It appears that an outraged populace has forced Atkinson’s hands for once, as new information coming out of South Australia indicates that Atkinson will repeal the law.

Adelaide Now reports that Atkinson stated, “I will immediately after the election move to repeal the law retrospectively.”

He added, “It may be humiliating for me, but that's politics in a democracy and I'll take my lumps.”
While repealing the law after the elections would indicate that the law is still in place, Atkinson said it would not be enforced.

It’s important to note, and a little frightening, that the soon-to-be-repealed law was also supported by the Liberal Party, the main opposition to Atkinson’s Labor Party.


And maybe y'all just thought Michael Atkinson was the one dude keeping Australia from getting a 18+ rating for games.

At least he's repealing this terrible, terrible law. 'Cause ugh.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

The sketchiness just keeps on growing...

Parents Tell of Children They Entrusted to Detained Americans

FERMATHE, Haiti — Guerlaine Antoine pushed aside a tub full of laundry, wiped her soapy hands on her T-shirt and rushed barefoot to bring out photos of the 8-year-old boy she entrusted to 10 American Baptists.

“Do you think I would give this child away?” she said, opening a grade school yearbook to show her son, Carl Ramirez Antoine, in cap and gown, at his kindergarten graduation. “He is my only treasure.”

As a Haitian judge on Tuesday questioned five of the 10 Americans who were detained after trying to exit the country illegally with 33 children, the questions swirling around the case threw this town high in the mountains overlooking Port-au-Prince into confusion.

It is home to many of the children the Americans said they had planned to raise at a new orphanage in the Dominican Republic. The Americans said that the children had been orphaned in the earthquake, and that they had authorization from the Dominican government to bring the children into the country.

But it became clear on Tuesday that at least some of the children had not lost their parents in the earthquake.

And while the Americans said they did not intend to offer the children for adoption, the Web site for their orphanage makes clear that they intended to do so.

Collapse )


Oh my god. I hope they throw the book at these "well-meaning" child-traffickers.

Tea Party: Bush Bankrupted America? You Lie! And Who Cares!? We Have a Mooslim Tyrant as President!!

Tea Party profiteer distorts Bush’s fiscal legacy before throwing him under the bus.

Judson Phillips, the profiteer behind Tea Party Nation and the National Tea Party Convention, which begins tomorrow, appeared on CNN today to promote the gathering. Host Rick Sanchez challenged Phillip’s claim that big government spending “started” under President Obama, leading Phillips to, at first, defend President Bush’s legacy by grossly distorting the deficit Bush created. When Sanchez corrected Phillips, he quickly pivoted to attacking the former president, before concluding that it “doesn’t matter” what Bush did:

PHILLIPS: What got the Tea Party movement going is just the absolute sheer magnitude of the spending and what will ultimately come as the tax increases that started with this administration. You know when the Bush administration was wrapping things up, I think the deficit was something like $160 billion, some number like that –

SANCHEZ: No, no, I think I can help you there. $1.2 trillion.

PHILLIPS: That was not the — that includes all the Obama spending.

SANCHEZ: No sir, no sir, no sir. Let’s do this together and fairly, George Bush left Obama a deficit of $1.2 trillion. Fact. [...]

PHILLIPS: Well, I’m not — you know, the Tea Party movement does not defend George W. Bush. George W Bush is not exactly one of my favorite people. There’s a whole of things that George W. Bush did that I don’t agree with. But it doesn’t matter whether we like Bush, don’t like Bush — think whatever we think, Bush is not president, Obama is.
Collapse )

GOP Seeks to Renew Friendship with Their BFF to Save America: Bankers and Wall Street, Welcome Back!

GOP Chases Wall Street Donors
Data Show Fund-Raisers Begin Capitalizing on Bankers' Regret Over Backing Obama

Republicans are stepping up their campaign to win donations from Wall Street, trying to capitalize on an increasing sense of regret among executives at big financial institutions for backing Democrats in 2008.

In discussions with Wall Street executives, Republicans are striving to make the case that they are banks' best hope of preventing President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats from cracking down on Wall Street.

GOP strategists hope to benefit from the reaction to the White House's populist rhetoric and proposals, which range from sharp critiques of bonuses to a tax on big Wall Street banks, caps on executive pay and curbs on business practices deemed too risky.

Democrats have dominated Wall Street's fund-raising circles in recent elections. Mr. Obama himself raised millions of dollars from employees of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and other Wall Street firms.
Collapse )
sufjan: mosaic

Jon Stewart is too nice to Bill O'Reilly

part 1

part 2 (the first 2:30 minutes are Jon, the last part is Dennis Miller commenting on him and some woman commenting on their body language? wtf)

highlights for the TL;DW crowd:
-Bill doesn't understand what the word "mechanism" means.
-he sounds like a condescending grandfather.
-Jon thinks Obama's flaw is that he allows too much discussion on important decisions, needs to use more of his executive power.
-Jon has more journalistic integrity on his "fake" news show than Bill does because he's not afraid to go after stupidity on both sides of the aisle.
-Jon says Bill is the most reasonable voice at Fox... which is "like being the thinnest kid at fat camp."

holy editing fail, i wonder what the uncut interview looked like. apparently they will be airing the rest of the interview tonight.

source: 1 and 2

California Budget Crisis Cuts Close to the Bone

Unless the federal government coughs up $6.9 billion dollars more for California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger says he will completely eliminate a host of social programs, including Healthy Families, the state sponsored health insurance for children; CalWORKS welfare program; and In Home Support Services for the elderly, blind, and disabled (IHSS).

“We have a $20 billion budget gap, so difficult, almost draconian, measures have to be put on the table,” explained H.D. Palmer, spokesperson for Governor Schwarzenegger’s Department of Finance.

Ironically, those cuts would come at a time when Californians need the programs most. A new report released this week from the non-profit, California Budget Project, Proposed Budget Cuts Come at a Time of Growing Need, argues that California’s economy hasn’t been weaker since the Great Depression. The 12-page reports notes that Californians are ill-equipped to weather the cuts the governor is proposing.

Collapse )
fuck the mcu

European states keep Swiss bank secrecy under siege

BERNE/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - European states lined up behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel to expose tax cheats in a combined assault on the Swiss banking secrecy laws that help protect them.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble sent shivers through the large Swiss private banking industry this week when he said Berlin was prepared to pay for stolen data belonging to potential tax cheats at a Swiss bank, raising the bar in the fight against tax evasion.

Now, the Dutch, Belgian and Austrian governments have also flagged interest in obtaining a copy of a compact disc with tax-sensitive data that Berlin may soon buy from an informant.

Swiss Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz said on Wednesday the Swiss would not help Germany or others hunt tax cheats on the basis of stolen Swiss bank data, but tried to defuse the escalating row by saying Berne would not retaliate.

"It is obvious that such a theft is a criminal act," Merz said. "Switzerland should therefore not offer administrative (tax) assistance in such cases either now or in future."

But he added that Switzerland would continue to engage in talks aimed at signing a new treaty with Germany.

Coordinated action by European governments poses a serious headache for Merz at a time when Berne is struggling to honor a deal with Washington to end a tax row against UBS. Merz came under pressure to resign last year for his handling of the UBS case.

Collapse )
Pride & Prejudice

(no subject)

When the UK took the step of allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the armed forces 10 years ago, public opinion was in favour but the armed forces themselves were not.

The situation is very similar in the US today.

An NOP poll in September 1999 found seven out of 10 Britons believed lesbians and gay men should be allowed to serve in the military.

At the same time General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley, a leading opponent of the change, told the BBC: "Two surveys have disclosed that the overwhelming majority of those in military service today find homosexuality abhorrent."

In the US, a Gallup poll of 1,015 US citizens in May 2009 found 69% in favour of allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces - an increase of 6% over five years. Support among "conservatives" had jumped 12% over the same period, from 46% to 58%.

Collapse )

Some pro-DADT people I've talked to about this insist that the two situations are entirely incomparable; I just think they're ignoring any facts that don't benefit them. But maybe that's just me...
Canada - Less Worse

Tories aim to cancel March and April parliamentary breaks

OTTAWA – Stung by public criticism that they put Parliament on an extended Christmas break, the federal Conservatives want to cancel week-long breaks in March and around Easter, saying that MPs have a “lot of work to do.”

Government Whip Gordon O’Connor warned Tory MPs Wednesday to “arrange your schedules accordingly” as the government made plans to sit through scheduled breaks the weeks of March 15 and April 12.

Collapse )

Source: The Toronto Star

FBI Uses Worst Torture Method Ever on Terrorist: They Called His Mom! (The Horror!!)

Reality Lends Credit To Abdulmutallab Interrogation

Thanks to an outbreak of reported-on reality, a beloved War On Terror talking point -- that the FBI's by-the-books interrogation of Umar Farouq Abdulmuttalab was an example of counter-terror malpractice -- can now be considered fundamentally false. Here's Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller:
The family of the failed Christmas Day bomber, Umar Farouq Abdulmuttalab, played a pivotal role in getting their son to start cooperating with federal authorities in sharing information about Al Qaeda, a senior administration official said Tuesday evening.

Abdulmuttalab has been cooperating with authorities and sharing intelligence since last Thursday, another administration official told ABC News.

The family was "instrumental in gaining Mr. Abdulmuttalab's cooperation," said the senior administration official. The information Abdulmuttalab is sharing has been described by other officials as fresh and actionable.
Here's where you score one for that whole "rule of law" thingy:
"One of the principal reasons why his family came back is because they had complete trust in the US system of justice and believed that Umar Farouq would be treated fairly and appropriately," the senior official said. "And that they would be as well."

The FBI and Abdulmuttalab's family approached the subject and "gained his cooperation. He has been cooperating for days,"
the official said.

Also, this is pretty delicious: "Abdulmuttalab was talking to FBI agents on Saturday, at the same time Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, issued the Republican response to the president's weekly address, decrying Abdulmuttalab's presence in the criminal justice system."

Sucks to be Susan Collins!

Over at The American Prospect, Adam Serwer has a lot more on how the particulars of the Abdulmutallab case actually help to deconstruct "several pro-torture, anti-due process myths" that have been injected into the discourse. The big takeaway: law enforcement officials can, do, and should play a vital role in counter-terror efforts, and that working within their Constitutional constraints doesn't inhibit their ability to keep us safe.

Nevertheless, I anticipate that this will continue to be one of those cases in which the media will continue to give significant latitude to a side in this debate that has been thoroughly discredited.

Big Government Wont Allow Palin to Donate all of her Speaking Fee Money from Tea Party. Pobrecita!!

Absurdly Premature 2012 Watch, Volume 8: Should the Tea Party Trust Palin?

Written by 2008 NEWSWEEK campaign blogger Andrew "Stumper" Romano, Absurdly Premature 2012 Watch is a weekly column that indulges our collective presidential-election fixation … even though the next presidential election is still (ahem) nearly three years away.

If "the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function," as F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, then both Sarah Palin and her tea-party fans are about to be tested. 


Last month, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee agreed to headline the first-ever tea-party convention in Nashville, cementing her status as the movement's spiritual leader and giving the ever-eager punditocracy a new piece of "Palin-phernalia" to prattle on about—namely, her reported $100,000 speaking fee

Although Palin insisted at the time that she would "not financially be gaining anything" from the event, it wasn't immediately clear where all that money would be going instead. On Wednesday she finally offered up a less cryptic explanation. "My only goal is to support the grassroots activists who are fighting for responsible, limited government—and our Constitution," Palin wrote in USA Today. "In that spirit, any compensation for my appearance will go right back to the cause."

"Right back to the cause." So far, most reporters have focused on the obvious problem here: individuals like Palin "can only donate $5,000 per calendar year to any PAC, including her own, and only $2,400 to a federal-office-seeking candidate per election"—meaning that if giving back to tea-party candidates and tea-party committees were Palin's only goal, waiving the fee would've been a heck of a lot easier than accepting the cash, dividing it into tiny increments, and then returning it to the people who gave it to her in the first place.

But I, for one, am in a rather charitable mood this morning. So let's assume that Palin does ultimately plan to donate her newfound dinero to "the cause." My question is, what evidence do tea partiers have that her cause is their cause? In other words, what reason do they have to trust her?

Just follow the money. While Palin's PAC has occasionally contributed to politicians—such as Michelle Bachmann, Rand Paul, and Marsha Blackburn—with tea-party sympathies or support, she's been just as likely, at least so far, to funnel her resources toward establishment Republicans, many of whom have been deemed insufficiently conservative by grassroots activists and now find themselves campaigning against tea-party-type challengers back home. (That is, when she's not using the money to buy copies of her own book.)

Last year, for example, Palin donated $5,000 to her former boss, John McCain, even though—as a past supporter of climate-change legislation, campaign-finance reform, and amnesty for illegal immigrants—he's considered a RINO (Republican in name only) by many tea partiers, including his new primary opponent, J. D. Hayworth. Still, Palin plans to campaign for McCain—against Hayworth—in the coming months.

Meanwhile, she's chosen to invest in Missouri's Roy Blunt over his tea-partyish foe (Chuck Purgason), and Ohio's Jean Schmidt over hers (Mike Kilburn). When conservatives threatened Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley last year for working with Democrats on health care, Palin sent some cash his way. She even cut a check to global-warming heretic Lindsey "Democrat in Drag" Graham. 

None of which is all that surprising, really: Palin is a politician, and making the right friends is as much a part of positioning oneself for a Republican presidential run as making friends on the right. That said, if tea partiers are looking for a leader who's devoted solely to "the cause," Palin probably isn't their girl. Her intelligence may turn out to be too "first rate" for the gig.

Baby Doc..."show me the money"

Jean-Claude(Baby Doc)Duvalier and his then wife Mechelle former co-dictators of Haiti

At least $4.6m in Swiss bank accounts must be returned to the family of Haiti's former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, a Swiss court has ruled.

A lower court had previously awarded charities the money - but that decision was overturned on 12 January and the ruling released on 3 February.

However, the Swiss government has blocked the release of the money until a law is passed to return it to Haiti.

The exile, known as Baby Doc, allegedly looted millions. He denies wrong-doing.

The court decision was made hours before the Haiti earthquake killed at least 150,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless.

The three-week delay before the ruling had been released was a common feature of Swiss courts, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

More on "Babay Doc" and his father "Papa-Doc"


The Federal Supreme Court reversed the lower court's ruling that the money should go to aid groups in Haiti because the statute of limitations on any crimes committed by the Duvalier clan expired in 2001.

Chibis- ChibiKeith

Obama Takes On Birthers, Uganda Anti-Gay Law At Prayer Breakfast

Obama Takes On Birthers, Uganda Anti-Gay Law At Prayer Breakfast

Speaking Thursday morning at the National Prayer Breakfast, a conciliatory President Barack Obama urged attendees to bypass grievances in their efforts to push forward morally and socially responsible policy.

But at the same time, he made it clear that there are some positions that lie outside that realm of civil discourse, such as birther conspiracies and the targeting of gays and lesbians.

"Civility also requires relearning how to disagree without being disagreeable," Obama declared before a standing-room-only crowd. "[C]ivility is not a sign of weakness. Now I am the first to confess I am not always right. Michelle will testify to that. But surely, you can question my policies without questioning my faith. Or for that matter, my citizenship."

The president's appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast was not without controversy. Days beforehand, the good-government group Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, urged the White House to back out of the affair, which is organized by the fundamentalist religious organization and prominent D.C. institution, the Fellowship Foundation (a.k.a The Family).

"The National Prayer Breakfast uses the suggested imprimatur of the elected leaders who attend to give the Fellowship greater credibility and facilitate its networking and fundraising," CREW director Melanie Sloan said in a statement. "The president and members of Congress should not legitimatize this cult-like group -- the head of which has praised the organizing abilities of Hitler and Bin Laden -- by attending the breakfast."

Obama, obviously, ignored these concerns.

There was also a push for Obama to use the forum to address Uganda's malicious and archaic anti-gay law, which applies the death penalty for the offense of "aggravated homosexuality" and was reportedly put together by officials with ties to the Family. The president did broach the topic (as did fellow speaker and cabinet member, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) but largely in passing:

"We may disagree about the best way to reform our health care system, but surely we can agree that no one ought to go broke when they get sick in the richest nation on earth," Obama said. "We can take different approaches to ending inequality, but surely we can agree on the need to lift our children out of ignorance, to lift our neighbors out of poverty. We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are, whether it is here in the United States or, as Hillary mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda."

Collapse )
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Yup, still getting sketchier...

Interpreters: Detained Americans met with cop, seeking kids' passage

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- Ten Americans accused of trying illegally to take 33 children from Haiti had met with a Haitian police officer and a Dominican official the week before being stopped at the border, interpreters who worked with the group said Wednesday.

One interpreter said the officer offered to help the Americans with the paperwork required take the children out of the country.

The Americans -- five men and five women, some of whom are members of Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho --were arrested in Haiti after being turned back from the Dominican Republic border on Friday night.

A Haitian lawyer representing the Americans told reporters Wednesday that the arrests were illegal and that their clients had only been trying to help.

The Americans, who were interviewed Wednesday by Judge Isai Jean Louis, are to appear Thursday before the attorney general, who is handling the case, lawyer Edwin Coq said.

Around noon Wednesday, Haitian authorities took away for questioning a Haitian police officer who works at the Dominican Embassy, officials said.

They said he would be asked whether he provided illegal paperwork to the Americans to facilitate their efforts to remove the children from the country.

Three interpreters who had translated for the Americans told CNN that the Americans met last week at least twice with the officer -- at the embassy and consulate.

The Americans have said they had the permit they thought they needed from the Dominican authorities, but the Dominican consul general told CNN that that was not the case.

Collapse )


Sketchier and sketchier, y'all.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Painful plight of Haiti's 'restavec' children

Painful plight of Haiti's 'restavec' children

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- For more than a week, Sende Sencil had gone without bathing, until two young American doctors at the hospital where she was being treated took the 9-year-old girl for a short walk outside to a shower to wash off the filth and grime.

Beaming, and in clean clothes for the first time since the earthquake, Sende, who was thought to be an orphan, returned to the hospital's tents with the doctors.

As they walked, a man approached them on the street and reached out to grab Sende.

"I'm looking for her. She's my family," the doctors remember the man saying in broken English. "I'm taking her home."

Pediatricians Tina Rezaiyan and Liz Hines, had been looking forward to the day when Sende's parents might come to claim her, but this was not what they'd anticipated.

"She was trembling and hiding behind us. She was so scared of him," said Hines, a second-year pediatric resident at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

"She was terrified. She'd been holding Liz's hand, and she clung to it and wouldn't let go," said Rezaiyan, also a second-year pediatric resident at Hopkins. "He kept trying to grab her, and I had to put myself between him and Sende."

Collapse )

(no subject)


Collapse )

The discovery will reopen the emotive debate in Turkey about "honour" killings, which are particularly prevalent in the impoverished south-east.

Official figures have indicated that more than 200 such killings take place each year, accounting for around half of all murders in Turkey.


Honor killings are awful enough, but the sheer awfuness, medievalness...I'm not a fan of the death penalty, but in this case I'd go for death by 1000 paper cutss

One right winger is an Obama fanboy...

Obama Calls Piñera To Express Commitment To Chile

Sebastian Piñera made his first connection with the U.S. this week, as the official, future leader of Chile.

Tuesday afternoon, the President-elect was conversing in his home with Minister of Interior Edmundo Perez Yoma when he was obliged to leave to answer a phone call.

On the other side of the line was U.S. President Barack Obama calling to congratulate him on his recent “historic electoral victory.”

Obama highlighted the close relationship enjoyed between the U.S. and Chile based on similar interests and values, promising to continue working closely with Chile’s government.

According to those near Piñera at the time, the conversation was “cordial, interesting and very productive.”

Piñera confirmed his attendance at the Energy and Security Workshop that will be held in Washington, D.C. in April, where topics such as the development of nuclear energy will be heard.

Obama had extended this invitation in October to the Chilean government for current President Michelle Bachelet.

Piñera told Obama of his hope to have a bilateral meeting during this workshop. He also invited Obama to visit Chile this year.

IDK this is funny because Piñera ripped off of Obama so much in his past campaign (~cambio~). Also, he used to have this video up on Youtube congratulating Obama on his victory, but for some reason he took it down :( It was lulzy and ended with an Obama photo montage. Also this article is an excuse for me to post this picture:

K-Box caricature

As problematic as I find "Avatar," if the Chinese government hates it, it can't be ALL bad ...

In China, Moviegoers Choose Avatar over Confucius — Newsweek.com

Confucius Says: Ouch
'Avatar' trumps China's great sage.

Hu Yuanjia / ChinaFotoPress-ZUMA
Chinese audiences demanded the return of 'Avatar'.

By Melinda Liu | Newsweek Web Exclusive
Feb 4, 2010

When the Chinese Film Board announced it would yank the wildly popular Hollywood film Avatar — and replace it with a made-in-China biopic about Confucius, the ancient philosopher whose ethos promotes respect for hierarchy — it seemed like a classic East-West clash of civilizations. After just three days in theaters, Avatar had taken in $76 million in China by Jan. 17, to become the country's all-time top-grossing film. That blowout must have riled the local film industry's bean counters, who hate the fact that first place has been dominated by foreign films such as 2012 and Titanic. So authorities, citing Chinese law — and the film's comparatively paltry take in 2-D theaters, told more than 1,600 2-D cinemas nationwide to pull the plug on Avatar, though they were allowed to keep showing it in more than 800 3-D theaters. The government also urged theater operators to ensure that at least two thirds of the movies they show are domestic productions. (Imports are limited by law to 20 movies shown in theaters annually, typically for just 10 days each.) They didn't think any of that would be a problem.

Collapse )

Evil German Volkswagen engineer? Your response?


"When wingnuts hijack a political party -- ultimately, they take it off a cliff" --John Avlon.

Club for Growth targets Gingrich

The conservative Club for Growth is hitting back at former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for criticizing the small government group during an appearance in Utah for Republican Sen. Bob Bennett. The Club is actively working to defeat Bennett, who is seeking re-election in November.

Several Republicans are challenging Bennett from his right flank as he seeks a fourth term, largely because of his vote in favor of the Wall Street bailout in 2008. While the Club has said they will oppose Bennett, they haven't said which candidate they will support instead.

But Bennett has the backing of the National Republican Senatorial Committee - which as a rule supports Republican incumbents - and on Wednesday Gingrich showed up in Salt Lake City to lend a hand.

"I wish the Club for Growth would spend as much time and energy to defeat liberal Democrats as they do dividing Republicans," Gingrich told a crowd at Bennett's formal campaign launch, according to the Deseret News.
"I try to defeat liberal Democrats. I don't spend much time trying to defeat Republicans."

That prompted the influential conservative group to take a shot at Gingrich for backing "ultra-liberal" Dede Scozzafava in last year's special election in New York's 23rd district. The moderate Scozzafava quit the race after being harangued by conservative activists who supported Doug Hoffman. Democrat Bill Owens eventually won the race.

"Newt has proven time and again that he will support any Republican, regardless of policies and principles," said Club president Chris Chocola in a statement. "That's his right, but the Club for Growth PAC puts principles over party,"

"Newt was wrong about New York-23, and he's wrong about Utah," Chocola continued. "And pretty soon, Bennett will wish Newt never gave him the kiss of Dede."

Maybe if The 9 Year old Black Kid Was a White Fetus The Pharmacist Would Have Given a Damn...

Zumante Lucero, 9 Year Old Boy, Dies After State Makes Error Processing Medicaid Case

Zumante Lucero, a 9 year-old Denver boy with asthma, died in July after a severe attack. His family had previously been on Medicaid, but was unexpectedly cut off from the program, and lost access to medication as a result. Zumante's doctors believe that access to a prescription that helped control inflaming in his lungs could have saved his life.

Since Zumante's death, it has become clear that the Lucero family should have had prescription drug benefits under Medicaid, and the State of Colorado erred in cutting them off of coverage.

According to Zuton Lucero, Zumante's mother, she called Denver Human Services every few days for months. Human Services responded by affirming that all of her children were in fact covered under Medicaid. However, when local pharmacists' computers did not register the family as having prescription drug coverage. This pattern continued until Zumante's death in July.

A group of lawyers is now considering suing the state for rampant flaws in its benefits management system. State officials have said that errors in a $243 million computer system installed in 2004 are to blame for mistakes like the one that led to Zumante Lucero's death.

The Colorado Benefits Management System's computer problems also account for rampant delays in processing food stamp cases. For fiscal year 2008, the most recent with available data, Colorado ranked 52nd in the country (behind Guam) in getting food stamps out on time.
Collapse )

Palin Continues Fighting Against "Crude and Demeaning Name Calling."

In the wake of Palin’s demand that Rahm Emanuel be fired for saying the liberal activist strategy on health care was “fucking retarded,” a bunch of people have been asking how she’d react to Limbaugh’s tirade on the air yesterday.

“Our political correct society is acting like some giant insult’s taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards,” Rush said, adding that Rahm’s meeting yesterday with advocates for the mentally handicapped was a “retard summit at the White House.”

I asked Palin spokesperson Meghan Stapleton for comment on Rush’s rant, and she emailed me this:

“Governor Palin believes crude and demeaning name calling at the expense of others is disrespectful.”

It hardly has the passion of her response to Rahm, and there’s no call for him to step down. But given Rush’s stature among conservatives, it’s pretty interesting that she went this far, denouncing his on-air rant as “crude and demeaning name-calling.”

via http://www.theplumline.whorunsgov.com


Please donate to save America's most endangered species, black babies (free T-shirt with donation!)

An anti-abortion group targeting African-American women has begun putting up dozens of billboards around metro Atlanta, declaring black children to be “an endangered species.”

This is what they look like

Ryan Bomberger, co-founder of the Radiance Foundation, said 35 should be up by Feb. 15. “We’re aiming for a lot more, but that’s where we’re at,” Bomberger said.

The billboards were announced at a state Capitol news conference at which another group, Georgia Right to Life, announced that it would back legislation this session that would make it a crime to “solicit a woman to have an abortion based on the race or sex of the unborn child.”

The two groups are citing what they say are federal statistics that indicate 56 percent of abortions in Georgia are performed on African-American women, though black make up 30 percent of the general population.


Farmer loses High Court fight to save Hidden Castle

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

A farmer who built a castle hidden behind a stack of straw bales has lost a High Court bid to save it from being demolished.

Robert Fidler, of Salfords, Surrey, built the home - complete with turrets - without planning permission.

He kept it hidden until August 2006 but was ordered to tear it down by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council in 2008.

Collapse )


This has been going on for a while. I googled but didn't see it posted anywhere.

US targets global violence against women.

US politicians have called for a $US175 million aid package to combat violence against women and girls in poorer countries such as Haiti and Afghanistan.

"Every day, too many women and girls across the globe endure horrific acts of violence," said Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, who is backing a Bill that would make preventing violence against women central to US foreign policy.

Collapse )

Big Freakin' Hero Al Franken Tells NBC Universal/Comcast to SHUT IT DOWN!

Seriously, it must be every Hollywood creative's fantasy to confront their one-time bosses and excoriate their business practices. This afternoon, Al Franken got that chance. Of course, he wasn't doing it as a former NBC comedy writer/performer on Saturday Night Live back when he was beholden to the company that employed him. Or even as a former Air America liberal talk radio host. No, he faced off against NBCU Up on Capitol Hill as a U.S. Senator at today's Judiciary Committee' Anti-Trust Subcommitee hearing regarding the proposed Comcast/NBC Universal/GE merger. Frankly, I love what he said because it's all so very true. And Big Media needs a bitchslapping like this more regularly. Pity Jeff Zucker: here's one defiant late night comedian whom NBCU's Captain Queeg can't fire or put on ice.

Collapse )

www.deadline.com/hollywood/comcast-may-get-zucker-punched-by-congress/In short, Franken not only doesn't want the NBC Universal/Comcast merger to happen, but he also suggests re-inforcing Fin-Syn laws.


Joe Arpaio's Office Destroys Incriminating Evidence "By Mistake"

Joe Arpaio's Sheriff's Office Faces Possible Sanctions For Destroying Racial Profiling Records

A federal judge will decide whether to impose sanctions against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office for its acknowledged destruction of police records in a lawsuit that accuses deputies of racially profiling countless Hispanics in immigration sweeps.

U.S. District Judge Murray Snow heard arguments Thursday over whether the law enforcement agency should be punished for throwing away and shredding officers' records of traffic stops and for not handing over all its e-mails about the sweeps.

Since early 2008, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has run 13 immigration and crimes sweeps consisting of deputies and posse volunteers who flood an area of a city – in some cases heavily Latino areas – to seek out traffic violators and arrest other violators.

The lawsuit alleged that officers based some traffic stops on the race of Hispanics who were in vehicles, had no probable cause to pull them over and made the stops so they could inquire about their immigration status.
Collapse )

Working out how much UK MPs need to pay back to the treasury cost more than they owe

MPs told to repay £1.1m expenses

MPs should repay £1.12m of their second home expenses, an audit of claims dating back to 2004 has said.

Collapse )


Licence fee sauce (worth visiting for some graph type things that I cba to reproduce here ;))

Mods, not seen this posted already, but if it is a duplicate, sorry :)
  • Current Music
    Question Time (BBC1)