February 17th, 2010

South Carolina democrat

South Carolina prepares restraining order against Pres. Obama

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has openly criticized President Obama’s abandonment of the Yucca Nuclear Waste facility in Nevada and is seeking legal recourse. Obama’s decision leaves the Aiken, South Carolina nuclear power site without any place to dump the waste, along with many other nuclear power facilities. Some of the waste was generated over 50 years ago and still needs a place for disposal.

...after meeting with Sanford and South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, the [Aiken] City Council voted to seek a restraining order that would prevent the Obama administration from halting the Yuccan disposal plan.

The SOURCE glows in the dark

Planned Parenthood license plates bill clears Va. Senate

The Virginia Senate, controlled by Democrats, has passed a measure that would create a specialty state license plate with the message "Trust Women/Respect Choice." Some of the application fee money paid by drivers who select the plate would go to the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood.

Drivers in Virginia, which loves its vanity plates, already are allowed to select one with the logo "Choose Life."

Today's action put the Senate's bill on the issue in conflict with one passed by the Republican-controlled House of Delegates on Monday. Delegates chose to strip out Planned Parenthood funding and send the application fees for the plate to a state fund to help pregnant women instead.

Democrats in the Senate fended off an amendment to the bill from state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonberg) that would have followed the House's lead, allowing the creation of the plates but without sending money to Planned Parenthood.

The group had pledged not to use any funds on abortions. But, said Obenshain, an abortion opponent, "Money is fungible. Talk is cheap. It's easy to make that kind of promise."

Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax), who proposed the plate, noted 400 Virginians have already paid for one, with the understanding their money would go to Planned Parenthood. She said the group had abided by regulations that govern the license plate program and argued that rejecting an abortion rights plate could endanger the constitutionality of Virginia's plate that urges people to "Choose Life."

"To adopt this amendment would be to single out this group and this license plate for disparate treatment," she said.

At her recommendation, the amendment was rejected. The bill that would create the plate, along with several other new license plates, passed on a 26 to 8 vote.

Spock/douchebaggery by _kissmygrass
  • lidane

McCain Challenger: Birther Questions Are Legit In Days Of Identity Theft

Of all the idiotic "birther" conspiracies out there, this one takes the cake:

Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) primary challenger, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.), has clearly made the political calculation that the longtime senator and 2008 presidential candidate is vulnerable on his conservative flank.

But how vulnerable is that flank? McCain supporters are sending around a clip of Hayworth's appearance on CNN last night, in which the onetime congressman refuses to flat-out disavow the birther conspiracy movement and even suggests that, in the age of identify theft, questions about President Obama's citizenship are legitimate.

"All I said was this, and I'm responding to what constituents write me about. And they are looking respectively at every office, from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to city council," said Hayworth. "All I'm saying is, for every race cross the country, especially with identify theft in the news, it would be great that people can confirm who they say they are."

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Concern trolling at its finest. Here's hoping the people of Arizona don't vote for this guy over McCain.

Christian Bale

Study: Inbred King Tut had malaria

Egypt's most famous pharaoh, King Tutankhamun, was a frail boy who suffered from a cleft palate and club foot.

He died of complications from a broken leg exacerbated by malaria and his parents were most likely brother and sister.

Two years of DNA testing and CT scans on Tutankhamun's 3,300-year-old mummy and 15 others are helping to end many of the myths surrounding the boy king.

While a comparatively minor ruler, he has captivated the public since the 1922 discovery of his tomb, which was filled with a stunning array of jewels and artefacts, including a golden funeral mask.

The study - carried out by the team at the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo, and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) - provides the firmest family tree yet for Tutankhamun. The tests pointed to Pharaoh Akhenaten, who tried to revolutionise ancient Egyptian religion to worship one god, as Tutankhamun's father. His mother was one of Akhenaten's sisters, it said.

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In historic first, Sarkozy visits Haiti

First visit to former colony by French president since slave revolt in 1804


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - France's national anthem blared across the tarmac on Wednesday as Nicolas Sarkozy made the first visit ever by a French president to Haiti, once his nation's richest colony — offering aid to a country prostrate after a catastrophic earthquake.

Sarkozy promised $370 million over two years to support Haiti during its reconstruction and announced France's decision to forgive Haiti of its $76 million in debt.

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I hope debt relief does something lasting for Haiti's economy, I really do.

Brunching While Black.

This isn't my normal type of post, so I understand if this may not get approved for the community but I thought it might be funny to share.

As Seen on Salon.com
It's very hard being an angry militant Black man.

First, I have to wake up every morning and say a minimum of 68 "The White Man Is Evil" meditations, which is then immediately followed by my morning run (I have to be in shape...for the revolution). I take wide strides while listening intently to my Farrakhan and Rev. Wright mixtape. (Yes, there's a mixtape.) Then I come home and sing Negro spirituals to remind myself that slavery happened. That way, when I run into White people (which I try not to, but it happens...like scurvy), I can be at maximum rage level and can scream at them for all the ills that are within the Black community.

Some of you are thinking to yourself, "I knew it." And to that special, very stupid group I say "calm the 'eff down."

People think I'm way more angry than I actually am. Am I annoyed at ninety-five percent of race and political news that I come across? Absolutely. But I'm not an angry militant. I'm just...observant. (Black Truth #7) I'm not looking for things to be pissed off about. I have never woken up in the morning and thought, "Ya know what I want? To complain about racism. MAN that would be awesome."

I much prefer to do silly things. I was slightly obsessive over my Kill/Death ratio on the XBOX 360 game Modern Warfare 2 (I still suck.) I'm a big fan of the TV show Chuck & I've threatened to throw my television out of the window if LOST ends badly. (Fool me once, shame on Battlestar Galactica. Fool me twice...) I enjoy regular old crap WAY more than discussing race. Of the top three things that I want to do in a day, discussing race and politics is never in the mix. Know what makes me happy?


Yes. I brunch (verb). I love the look of confusion on people's faces (Black or White) when I first tell them that. [It's almost as if you can see their eyes saying "Does he know he's a 6', 200+ pound Negro? You guys don't do that." (Black Truth #6)

But it's true. Salmon carpaccio, a medium rare cheeseburger, and a mimosa at two in the afternoon is what I like to call "perfect." I often mix my bursts of outrage on Twitter with random boasts of Brunching Hard. To some this is really confusing. You can't rage against the machine and then immediately post a ridiculous boast of brunching aptitude with a Twitpic of food! KEEP YOUR PRIORITIES IN ORDER.


To stay embroiled continuously in debate over the deep-rooted issues in this country is to say "I don't want to laugh unironically, ever." I can't sign up for that. I tell people who read my posts that they'll have to absorb some hip hop references, geektastic mentions, and some brunch bragging to deal me. I've even taken it to another level. I recorded the following video as an ode to my brunch love. A bit of hometown pride mixed into one of the silliest yet most enjoyable things I've produced to date. Please take a look at the official music video of "We Brunch Hard." I hope you enjoy it.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go stare menacingly at white babies.
{default} this is how I roll

East India Company: Creating a New Brand for India

With just around a month to go for the re-launch of the East India Company – the world’s first multinational whose forces once ruled much of the globe – its new Indian owner says he is overwhelmed by ‘a huge feeling of redemption’. It’s been a long, emotional and personal journey for Sanjiv Mehta, a Mumbai-born entrepreneur who completed the process of buying the East India Company (EIC) in 2005 from the ‘30 or 40′ people who owned it.

Acutely aware that he owned a piece of history – at its height the company generated half of world trade and employed a third of the British workforce – Mehta, now the sole owner, dived into the company’s rich and ruthless past in order to give it a new direction for the future.

With a $15-million investment and inputs from a range of experts – from designers and brand researchers to historians – Mehta is today poised to open the first East India Company store in London’s upmarket Mayfair neighbourhood in March.

And then there is the inevitable – and daunting – task of launching in India, a country whose resources, army, trade and politics the company had controlled for some 200 years.

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yes i do

(no subject)

Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin took a practical approach to this grassroots political movement Tuesday, telling Arkansas Republicans that Tea Party candidates will not win unless they join an established political party. "Now the smart thing will be for independents who are such a part of this Tea Party movement to, I guess, kind of start picking a party," Palin said at an Arkansas GOP fundraising event Tuesday, according to CBS News.

"Which party reflects how that smaller, smarter government steps to be taken? Which party will best fit you? And then because the Tea Party movement is not a party, and we have a two-party system, they're going to have to pick a party and run one or the other: 'R' or 'D'."

The comments come 10 days after Palin addressed the so-called first ever Tea Party Convention in Nashville, where she praised the decentralized movement as consisting of "real people, not politicos, inside-the-beltway professionals."

"America is ready for another revolution and you are a part of this," Palin said at the Nashville speech.

Source: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/02/17/palin-tea-partiers-need-to-pick-a-party/?fbid=20XIVNyjIF0

misc. | UNF

Kids' Choice Awards nominate Barack/Michelle Obama in 'Cutest Couple' category

The 2010 Nickeloden's Kids' Choice Awards nominations are in and while some favorites were expected (like Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus), other nominations were a surprise. First up? The Obamas!

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were the only "real" couple nominated in the newlyy-formed category of "Cutest Couple", pit against the ever famous competition of Twilight New Moon character couples, "Edward" and "Bella" and "Jacob" and "Bella" along with "Neytiri" and "Jake" from the movie Avatar.

Cutest Couple Nominees:
Barack and Michelle Obama
Edward and Bella, 'Twilight: New Moon'
Bella and Jacob, 'Twilight: New Moon'
Neytiri and Jake, 'Avatar'


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Picspam the entry moar, bitches.

ETA: Oh, apparently voting begins on 2/25.
Now see, Im not saying people should flood the process with Michelle/Barack votes...
Im just saying Team Creepy shouldnt win. Ya dig?

Bob Cesca: Happy Anniversary, Recovery Act

It seems like just yesterday that Republicans, wingnuts and teabaggers suffered a collective schizoid embolism over the passage and signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

One year ago today, the president signed the bill amidst protestations from Fox News, talk radio and Rick Santelli about how the "porkulus" spending bill wouldn't work -- how it wouldn't stimulate economic growth or create jobs. It was called generational theft, socialism, communism, Nazism and any other -ism that could be quickly plucked from the glossary of Glenn Beck's fifth grade social studies textbook.

Nearly all Republican members of Congress voted against it -- the first shot in their "trash and cash" strategy whereby they screech about the evil stimulus and how it's an unmitigated catastrophe, while also gleefully celebrating the incoming cash in their districts, scores of Republican lawmakers outright begging various cabinet-level agencies for stimulus grant money. In all, 111 members of Congress have engaged in this hypocrisy. One of many reasons why they're consistent only in their unapologetic self-contradictions.


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Christian Bale

UCSD Frat Denies Involvement In 'Ghetto-Themed' Party

UCSD Officials Condemn 'Compton Cookout' Held Last Weekend

SAN DIEGO -- Administrators at the University of California, San Diego are condemning a weekend ghetto-themed party thrown off-campus by fraternity students to mock Black History Month, but they aren't likely to discipline anyone, it was reported Wednesday.

The so-called "Compton Cookout" event urged all participants to wear chains, don cheap clothes and speak very loudly, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Female participants were encouraged to be "ghetto chicks."

"It's insulting, it's derogatory, we're being made fun of, we're being made a mockery of and we're not being taken seriously," said UCSD student Elize Diop, who is black.

The invitation read, "For those of you who are unfamiliar with ghetto chicks -- Ghetto chicks usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes ...," the Union-Tribune reported. Click Here To Read The Full Invitation

UCSD student Chevelle Newell told 10News, "The part where it talks about black women … that's not what I am."

Jeff Gattas, the UCSD executive director of communications and public affairs, told the Union-Tribune that because the event wasn't sanctioned by the university or run by a student organization, university officials don't have a reason to penalize party hosts.

Campus chancellor Marye Anne Fox learned about the party Tuesday and reacted by e-mailing a statement to the university's student body and staff, according to the newspaper, which reported less than 2 percent of UCSD's undergraduates are black.

"We were distressed to learn that over the weekend an offensively themed student party, mocking the commemoration of Black History Month, took place off campus," her statement read. "We strongly condemn this event and the blatant disregard of our campus values." Click Here To Read Chancellor Fox's Full Statement

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Mount Vernon Manifesto Released

A follow-up to this post:

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A Constitutional conservatism unites all conservatives through the natural fusion provided by American principles. It reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America’s safety and leadership role in the world.
A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.

* It applies the principle of limited government based on the
rule of law to every proposal.
* It honors the central place of individual liberty in American
politics and life.
* It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and
economic reforms grounded in market solutions.
* It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom
and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that
* It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood,
community, and faith.

If we are to succeed in the critical political and policy battles ahead, we must be certain of our purpose.

We must begin by retaking and resolutely defending the high ground of America’s founding principles.


Poll #1526856 Mod Poll: ONTD_P Manifesto Post?

Do you want a post devoted to manifestos written by members?

-Don't Know

Any suggestions?

Texas Governors Race Rich In Comedy... and Truthers


Five senior campaign staffers for Texas Democrat Farouk Shami have resigned, citing "strategic differences" with other Shami aides. His campaign director, senior strategist, press secretary, communications director, and two other senior campaign officials quit after a series of press releases went out without the paid political professionals' authorization or knowledge.

Last week Shami made news with his statement that a conspiracy of government involvement in the 9/11 attacks was possible.

The hair-care magnate also made a remark about the racial mix of the employees at his Houston factory: "A majority of the people are going to be Hispanic and African-American. You don't find white people who are willing to work in factories. And our history proves you know lots of time when they, you know, the white people come to work in a factory they either want to be supervisors or they want to be, you know, paid more than the average person."

I trust he won't be wearing the PLO keffiyeh in any of his campaign stops.
genius of love

Man Infatuated With U.S. VP Breaches 2010 Security

A mentally ill man with a homemade security pass was able to get within metres of U.S. Vice President during a security breach at the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, CTV News has learned.

As dozens of police held back thousands of protestors outside of BC Place in Vancouver, a 48-year-old British Columbia man slipped past several layers of security inside the venue, said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bud Mercer, the head of the 2010 Integrated Security Unit (ISU).

Mercer said the man's target was clear.

"He had an infatuation with the US Vice President."

Biden was seated in a section reserved for dignitaries. Twelve steps away from the VP and out of view of the cameras, the man started making his way down the stairs after the national anthem ended.

That's when two female plainclothes Mounties charged with protecting Biden acted, Mercer said.

"They described him to me as simply not fitting in," he said.

"They approached him, determined that the accreditation he was carrying was forged or fake, confronted him and escorted him out one or two steps at which point he attempted to run and was taken into custody."

Mercer, who heads up the unit tasked with securing the Games, says members of his team were also providing security for the Vice President while he was in Vancouver taking in Olympic events.

Mercer says the man was not carrying a weapon and did not intend to harm Biden.

He had managed to get close to him with a homemade all-access pass.

A picture of the pass obtained by CTV News makes clear it had nothing to do with the Opening Ceremony and appears to be text printed off the internet and laminated.

Mercer says checking passes is the responsibility of the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee and event services on the outside of the venue.

In order to get into the stadium, the public first had to pass through a checkpoint manned by Vanoc staff.

Those people do not fall under the umbrella of the official billion dollar security team which involves thousands of police and military personal.

The man did encounter officers at the next checkpoint -- where he was scanned for potential weapons. But Mercer says police would have assumed his credentials were in order because he got past the first entry point.

He insists the security system did work -- eventually – and that the vice president was never in danger. Mercer said Biden's secret service staff complimented the two Mounties involved.

"I think the exact words were ‘job well done. Remind me not to mess with you,'" he said.

The RCMP says it has not made any changes to it security protocols because of the breech.

Police say the man will not face charges. He has been committed to a psychiatric facility for treatment.


WHAT WHAT WHAT (affirmative action BAN advances in Utah House)

Lawmakers moved quickly Friday to place a ban on affirmative action in the Utah Constitution, despite little evidence the practice is being used or has caused problems.

A resolution that would prevent local governments, state agencies and public colleges from discriminating or providing preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin sailed through a legislative committee only two days after it was made public.

To amend the constitution, the resolution would have to be approved by a two-thirds vote in the state House and Senate and be signed by Republican Gov. Gary Herbert. Voters also would have to approve the measure this fall.

The proposal is likely to have little trouble getting the necessary votes for passage in the GOP-dominated Legislature.

A House committee approved the measure known as House Joint Resolution 24 with a 10-4 vote Friday. The full House will likely vote on it next week.

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I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!!!

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Rolls Back Non-Discrimination Protections For Gay State Workers

Gay and lesbian state workers in Virginia are no longer specifically protected against discrimination, thanks to a little-noticed change made by new Gov. Bob McDonnell.

McDonnell (R) on Feb. 5 signed an executive order that prohibits discrimination "on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities," as well as veterans.

It rescinds the order that Gov. Tim Kaine signed Jan. 14, 2006 as one of his first actions. After promising a "fair and inclusive" administration in his inaugural address, Kaine (D) added veterans to the non-discrimination policy - and sexual orientation.

McDonnell's office sent along this memo from his chief of staff that they have suggested to reporters prevents any and all discrimination. It reads, in part:
It shall be the policy of the office of the Governor to ensure equal opportunity in the workplace, encourage excellence by rewarding achievement based on merit, and prohibit discrimination for any reason. Hiring, promotion, discipline and termination of employees shall be based on qualifications, performance and results.
But the LGBT trade press sees it as a "sad" development that strips state workers of protections that they had under the last administration.
Kaine declined to comment through spokesman Hari Sevugan, who said McDonnell should be "ashamed" for the new policy.

Sevugan said:
It says a lot about the Republican party that they would anoint as their 'rising star' someone who in 2010 is actually stripping away from Americans legal protections against discrimination. Bob McDonnell is proving his critics right. He said he'd focus on creating jobs, not social issues. But, one of his first acts as Governor was to make it easier for a fellow citizen to be denied a job and he did so as an adherent to a right-wing ideology that allows for such discriminatory behavior. McDonnell's decision is just plain wrong in any context, but especially so in this economic climate.
In another development, the Washington Post reported that a measure passed the Democratic-controlled state Senate that would protect state workers from discrimination due to sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The bill is all-but-certain to fail in the Republican-controlled House of Delegates.

creepy but cute

Revival: Rise of religious fundamentalism around the world

Within hours of the attack on the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, the final letters of hijacker Muhammad Atta, discovered in the trunk of a rental car parked at Dulles International Airport outside Washington D.C., were being dissected by journalists and TV pundits. As the new book Strong Religion tellingly observes, commentators almost uniformly characterized the mindset revealed in these notes as "chilling," "eerie," and "haunting." Once again, it seemed, Americans had been caught in a state of incomprehension: what kind of religious beliefs could propel people to murder thousands of innocent civilians?

Americans had experienced that same incomprehension, drawn out over a longer period of time, in 1979, when militant Iranian students took 52 American citizens hostage within the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Who were these people? What strange religious and political sentiments motivated them to do such things?

An almost identical sense of bewilderment must have struck many highly educated Americans during the early 1980s, when activists on behalf of the Moral Majority and other Protestant Christian groups suddenly became rather visible on the American political scene. This confusion, however, may have been followed by a collective, simultaneous "Aha" moment: of course, "fundamentalism" explained it all. After all, the Reverend Jerry Falwell, who founded the Moral Majority in 1979, actually proclaimed himself a fundamentalist, and those who supported the new upsurge of Christian conservatism seemed to share many of his religious views. Surely they must be fundamentalists too.
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David Aikman
July/August 2003

So I've desperately been looking for articles on this topic, this is the best one I could find (it's a critique of an excellent book) and it's quite old... but extremely relevant specially in the US where the religious right has gained even more ground than 7 years ago. Despite the vocal opposition against fundamentalism, there appears to be a global trend rise in religious fundamentalism since I would say the Regan era. Wahhabism (Islamic extremism) largely arose in the 1980s affecting much of the Arabic world, and of course Afghanistan/Islamic Iran - also in the 1980s/Jewish extremism - really gained ground in the 80s, specially in late 80s with the Palestinian infatida and showed its face with the Rabin assasination (1995)/Religious right in the US also rose in the Regan era-- The past decade has seen a re-spurring of Hindu nationalism with cases of extreme violence/genocide against religious/ethnic minorities in the country-- Is this more of the same, or should we be a little paranoid? And what should those of who are religious do to counter these violent forces?
garf tired

What's the matter with Congress?

How to Get Our Democracy Back

If You Want Change, You Have to Change Congress

By Lawrence Lessig

We should remember what it felt like one year ago, as the ability to recall it emotionally will pass and it is an emotional memory as much as anything else. It was a moment rare in a democracy's history. The feeling was palpable--to supporters and opponents alike--that something important had happened. America had elected, the young candidate promised, a transformational president. And wrapped in a campaign that had produced the biggest influx of new voters and small-dollar contributions in a generation, the claim seemed credible, almost intoxicating, and just in time.

Yet a year into the presidency of Barack Obama, it is already clear that this administration is an opportunity missed. Not because it is too conservative. Not because it is too liberal. But because it is too conventional. Obama has given up the rhetoric of his early campaign--a campaign that promised to "challenge the broken system in Washington" and to "fundamentally change the way Washington works." Indeed, "fundamental change" is no longer even a hint.

Instead, we are now seeing the consequences of a decision made at the most vulnerable point of Obama's campaign--just when it seemed that he might really have beaten the party's presumed nominee. For at that moment, Obama handed the architecture of his new administration over to a team that thought what America needed most was another Bill Clinton. A team chosen by the brother of one of DC's most powerful lobbyists, and a White House headed by the quintessential DC politician. A team that could envision nothing more than the ordinary politics of Washington--the kind of politics Obama had called "small." A team whose imagination--politically--is tiny.

These tiny minds--brilliant though they may be in the conventional game of DC--have given up what distinguished Obama's extraordinary campaign. Not the promise of healthcare reform or global warming legislation--Hillary Clinton had embraced both of those ideas, and every other substantive proposal that Obama advanced. Instead, the passion that Obama inspired grew from the recognition that something fundamental had gone wrong in the way our government functions, and his commitment to reform it.

For Obama once spoke for the anger that has now boiled over in even the blue state Massachusetts--that our government is corrupt; that fundamental change is needed. As he told us, both parties had allowed "lobbyists and campaign contributions to rig the system." And "unless we're willing to challenge [that] broken system...nothing else is going to change." "The reason" Obama said he was "running for president [was] to challenge that system." For "if we're not willing to take up that fight, then real change--change that will make a lasting difference in the lives of ordinary Americans--will keep getting blocked by the defenders of the status quo."

This administration has not "taken up that fight." Instead, it has stepped down from the high ground the president occupied on January 20, 2009, and played a political game no different from the one George W. Bush played, or Bill Clinton before him. Obama has accepted the power of the "defenders of the status quo" and simply negotiated with them. "Audacity" fits nothing on the list of last year's activity, save the suggestion that this is the administration the candidate had promised.

Maybe this was his plan all along. It was not what he said. And by ignoring what he promised, and by doing what he attacked ("too many times, after the election is over, and the confetti is swept away, all those promises fade from memory, and the lobbyists and the special interests move in"), Obama will leave the presidency, whether in 2013 or 2017, with Washington essentially intact and the movement he inspired betrayed.

That movement needs new leadership. On the right (the tea party) and the left (MoveOn and Bold Progressives), there is an unstoppable recognition that our government has failed. But both sides need to understand the source of its failure if either or, better, both together, are to respond.

At the center of our government lies a bankrupt institution: Congress.

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Henry Louis Gate Jr. exposes the secret truth behind REAL Americans.

(psssstttt..... many of them were immigrants at one time or another...) 


I watched episode 2 of  this tonight and CRIED.  Tonight Gates explained to  Stephen Colbert that his Irish ancestor stepped foot to America the same day the
New York Draft Riots  involving the Irish immigrants violently revolting against the draft (to the cost of many black people.)   Colbert immediately caught the parallels between how Irish Immigrants were described and the language around modern day Mexican Americans ....Yamaguchi's ancestor lost his whole family & remarried only to be interned only to have his Japanese family lost under the atom bomb.   If you didn't catch episode one watch it here.   I am ...... just.... I don't know. I can't begin to explain ...YOU MUST SEE  this Documentary. So many people struggled so hard to get to this country and make a life for themselves and their children even when the government and it's people gave them so much hell.  I have no words. 

What made America? What makes us? These two questions are at the heart of the new PBS series Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Building on the success of his series African American Lives (called by the New York Times “the most exciting and stirring documentary on any subject to appear on television in a long time”) and African American Lives 2, Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. again turns to the latest tools of genealogy and genetics to explore the family histories of 12 renowned Americans. The series premieres nationally Wednesdays, February 10 – March 3, 2010 from 8 – 9 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings).

Looking beyond the black experience to the wider immigrant experience, Professor Gates unravels the American tapestry, following the threads of his guests’ lives back to their earliest origins around the globe. Along the way, the many stories he uncovers — of displacement and homecoming, of material success and dispossession, of assimilation and discrimination — illuminate the American experience. Professor Gates’ guests include professor and poet Elizabeth Alexander, who composed and read the poem at President Barack Obama’s inauguration, chef Mario Batali, comedian Stephen Colbert, novelist Louise Erdrich, journalist Malcolm Gladwell [author of Blink] actress Eva Longoria, musician Yo-Yo Ma, director Mike Nichols, Her Majesty Queen Noor, television host/heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, actress Meryl Streep, and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

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Rise in genetic testing mirrors drop in inherited diseases

The Globe and Mail

Some of the world's most devastating inherited diseases appear to be declining, and a few have nearly disappeared, because more people are using genetic testing to decide whether to have children.

Births of babies with cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs and other less familiar disorders seem to have dropped since testing came into wider use, The Associated Press found from interviews with numerous geneticists and other experts and a review of the limited research available.

Many of these diseases are little known and few statistics are kept. But their effects — ranging from blood disorders to muscle decline — can be disabling and often fatal during childhood.

Now, more women are being tested as part of routine prenatal care, and many end pregnancies when diseases are found. One study in California found that prenatal screening reduced by half the number of babies born with the severest form of cystic fibrosis because many parents chose abortion.

More couples with no family history of inherited diseases are getting tested before starting families to see if they carry mutations that put a baby at risk. And a growing number are screening embryos and using only those without problem genes.

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ontd_political PotD: Feb 17, 2010.

Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Monday Feb 8, 2010 with a crew of six. The crew is on a mission to deliver parts to the International Space Station.
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Jon Bahr | European Pressphoto Agency + chagood's photostream @ Flickr

soap&skin 2012
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Is the fat acceptance movement bad for our health?

Deb Lemire has always been "short and square," a figure she inherited from her grandmother and passed on to her child. So when Lemire took her daughter in for a wellness visit and the well-meaning pediatrician pulled her aside to talk about her daughter's weight, the 47-year-old burst into tears "because I was the 10-year-old being told I was overweight."

She took her daughter to a nutritionist, who said her dietary habits were good. So Lemire decided not to push the issue. "I have spent my whole entire life dieting and feeling like my worth was attached to my weight," says Lemire. "I wasn't going to tell her she has to change who she is. But we're going to encourage healthy behaviors [and] not worry about translating that into a size that's 'OK.' That message is not going to come from me -- she'll get that enough from other people."

Lemire also happens to be president of the Association for Size Diversity and Health, a group that advocates that people can be healthy at any size. Her group is just one of several in a growing trend sometimes called the fat acceptance movement.

From the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, which portrays underwear-clad women who tend to be larger than the average model, to the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, which fights size discrimination, many organizations and businesses are championing a new definition of beauty -- one that is not dictated by waist size.

Although most people agree that promoting super-skinny models as the feminine (or masculine) ideal isn't healthy, will the opposite -- accepting that being overweight or obese is fine -- undermine the progress being made toward heart health?

In fact, experts have recently found that the decades-long efforts to limit one serious heart risk -- smoking -- is expected to pay off with longer life spans. Unfortunately, the rise in obesity will likely undercut that progress.

Can you be fat and fit?

Expert opinion is pretty much unanimous: Being overweight is bad for your health, particularly for your heart.

"Obesity is probably the only risk factor that has such a global negative impact on so many risk factors for the heart," says Barry Franklin, Ph.D., the director of the Cardiac Rehab Program and Exercise Laboratories at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Obesity's heart disease risk factors include high blood pressure, inflammation, metabolic syndrome, and trouble with blood-fat levels, such as higher triglycerides, low HDL (good cholesterol), and high LDL (bad cholesterol). Obesity is also associated with sleep apnea.

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