March 23rd, 2010

LOLitics | Fuck My Life

Beck criticizes John Lewis for "comparing" himself to civil rights activists: "How dare you!"

March 22, 2010 5:40 pm ET

From the March 22 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:


  • Love the irony of Beck screaming at John Lewis, among others, who WERE the forefathers/mothers of the original movement.

  • Did Beck express such rage at the original story of Lewis and Frank being intimidated, assaulted, and called a "nigger" and "fag"? Just wondering.

  • I dont care for Glenn Beck pretending to give a fuck about the original black or GLBT civil rights movements. I could do without the disingenuous white and heteronormative privilege, especially when these issues have *always* intersected with healthcare inaccessibility among histrionically marginalized groups.
  • mswyrr

Meritocracy vs. Reality: is America a "land of opportunity"?

Social Immobility: Climbing The Economic Ladder Is Harder In The U.S. Than In Most European Countries
Dan Froomkin
Huffington Post
March 23, 2010

Is America the "land of opportunity"? Not so much.

A new report from the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) finds that social mobility between generations is dramatically lower in the U.S. than in many other developed countries.

So if you want your children to climb the socioeconomic ladder higher than you did, move to Canada.

The report finds the U.S. ranking well below Denmark, Australia, Norway, Finland, Canada, Sweden, Germany and Spain in terms of how freely citizens move up or down the social ladder. Only in Italy and Great Britain is the intensity of the relationship between individual and parental earnings even greater.

For instance, according to the OECD, 47 percent of the economic advantage that high-earning fathers in the United States have over low-earning fathers is transmitted to their sons, compare to, say, 17 percent in Australia and 19 percent in Canada.

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movies | Impish Fräulein2

ONTD_Political's PotD: March 22, 2010.

Catholic faithfuls hold pictures of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero and Sister Silvia Maribel Arriola during a procession to commemorate the 30 anniversary of the murder of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero in San Salvador, El Salvador on March 20, 2010. More than 10,000 faithful gather to commemorate the slaying of Romero on March 24, 1980 during the Salvadorean civil war.
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Jose CABEZAS | AFP/Getty Images

Germany social welfare ruling sees 'right' to social, cultural life

A landmark court ruling has opened a battle over what social welfare model the traditionally generous German state can offer, raising questions about the balance between human dignity and the need to balance the national books.

Last month, the federal constitutional court said that a sweeping reform established five years ago to reduce what was then seen as an overburdened welfare system was unconstitutional. The reason: It failed to ensure its 6.7 million recipients, especially children, "a dignified minimum income" and give less privileged citizens a "minimum level of participation in social, cultural, and political life."

The court gave Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition until year's end to create a better model. And it unleashed heated debate over the future of Germany's social model at a time when, from France to Greece, social unrest in Europe is widespread.

"The court said that it's not enough to have food, clothes, and a roof – people also have to be able to participate in society, otherwise they become outcasts," says Christoph Butterwegge, a poverty expert at the University of Cologne. "For the constitutional court to define social participation as a right, that's unprecedented."

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franklin sherman

US may try Sheehan for anti-war campaign

US authorities have arrested a number of anti-war protesters, including high-profile activist Cindy Sheehan, during a demonstration in Washington DC.

Eight peace activists were detained after laying coffins near a fence outside the White House during a Saturday rally in which thousands of anti-war protesters gathered at a park in the area to mark the seventh anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq .

They were demanding the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The protesters directed their anger at US President Barack Obama and demanded action against former President George W. Bush and his Vice- President Dick Cheney.

Sheehan, arrested at the end of the march, had earlier said, "We did lose some momentum when Obama came into office, but now we have younger people that are very energetic. They know we can change the world."

Sheehan, who has been and anti-war campaigner since she lost a son in the Iraq war, may stand trial, reports indicate.

She gained repute as a peace activist in 2005 for protesting outside of Bush's Texas ranch.§ionid=3510203

charges include crossing a police line, and four are charged with disobeying an official order.

OK to be Gay in Film - If Character Repents

Film-makers can depict homosexuals for the first time in strictly censored Malaysia - so long as they repent or even go straight in the end, an industry group says.

Strict censorship rules in the mostly Muslim country mean books and films are routinely banned or scenes deleted that are deemed detrimental to moral values or religious sensitivities.

The new censorship guidelines reverse a ban on scenes featuring homosexuality, Malaysian Film Producers' Association president Ahmad Puad Onah said. But there's a catch.

"We are now allowed to show these scenes," he said. "As long as we portray good triumphing over evil and there is a lesson learnt in the film, such as from a gay (character) who turns into a (straight) man.

"Previously we are not allowed to show these at all."

The new rules, he insists, will allow greater freedom of expression for film-makers. But kissing, undressing and obscenity scenes will still be banned.

"We can do almost anything now but we are urged to give due considerations on the film's impact on certain areas like public order, religion, socio-culture elements and moral values."

It is not just homosexuality, subjects such as illegal racing can also be depicted.

A New Sunday Times report at the weekend said a local movie V3 Road Gangster on illegal racing was being shown in the cinemas since it satisfied the rules as the illegal racers either died or were caught by police at the end.

Another movie that has recently passed Malaysian censors was a film featured the life of a transvestite. It will be screened in May.

The Film Censorship Board could not be reached for comment.

asoneill - Yahoo Me

Stay Classy and Uninformed, GOP!

Scary New GOP Poll
John Avlon John Avlon – Tue Mar 23, 12:58 am ET

NEW YORK – On the heels of health care, a new Harris poll reveals Republican attitudes about Obama: Two-thirds think he's a socialist, 57 percent a Muslim—and 24 percent say "he may be the Antichrist."

To anyone who thinks the end of the health-care vote means a return to civility, wake up.

Obama Derangement Syndrome—pathological hatred of the president posing as patriotism—has infected the Republican Party. Here's new data to prove it:

67 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Americans overall) believe that Obama is a socialist.

The belief that Obama is a “domestic enemy” is widely held—a sign of trouble yet to come.

57 percent of Republicans (32 percent overall) believe that Obama is a Muslim 45 percent of Republicans (25 percent overall) agree with the Birthers in their belief that Obama was "not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president". 38 percent of Republicans (20 percent overall) say that Obama is "doing many of the things that Hitler did". Scariest of all, 24 percent of Republicans (14 percent overall) say that Obama "may be the Antichrist." These numbers all come from a brand-new Louis Harris poll, inspired in part by my new book Wingnuts. It demonstrates the cost of the campaign of fear and hate that has been pumped up in the service of hyper-partisanship over the past 15 months. We are playing with dynamite by demonizing our president and dividing the United States in the process. What might be good for ratings is bad for the country.

The poll, which surveyed 2,230 people right at the height of the health-care reform debate, also clearly shows that education is a barrier to extremism. Respondents without a college education are vastly more likely to believe such claims, while Americans with college degrees or better are less easily duped. It's a reminder of what the 19th-century educator Horace Mann once too-loftily said: "Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."

The full results of the poll, which will be released in greater detail tomorrow, are even more frightening: including news that high percentages of Republicans—and Americans overall—believe that President Obama is "racist," "anti-American" "wants the terrorists to win" and "wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one-world government." The "Hatriot" belief that Obama is a "domestic enemy" as set forth in the Constitution is also widely held—a sign of trouble yet to come. It's the same claim made by Marine Lance Corporal Kody Brittingham in his letter of intent to assassinate the President Obama.

This poll is the latest and most detailed evidence of the extent to which Wingnuts are hijacking our politics. It should be a wakeup call to all Americans and a collective reminder, as we move past health-care reform, that we need to stand up to extremism.



Republicans Scoff At Frum's Thesis, Demand More Obama Opposition

A failed effort by Republican lawmakers to unite behind the defeat of health care legislation has done little to dissuade GOP leadership from offering unbending opposition to the president's agenda.

In a brief interview with the Huffington Post following the House's passage of the health care reform bill, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Cali.) scoffed at the idea that his party misstepped by going all in against Obama's health care proposal. Asked about a widely circulated column by former Bush speechwriter David Frum, which argued that the GOP would have benefited in the long run by having traded support for more conservative legislative language, the California Republican attacked the messenger.

"A former staffer, and you're calling it credible?" Issa said. "We have an obligation to vote, at the end of the day, based on whether we believe it's the right direction, the wrong direction, not withstanding some former Bush staffer. Remember, President Bush was the administration that got us voted out of office. They were the big spenders. So the credibility of the Bush administration on domestic economic policy ain't so good, period. And this is an unaccountable person."

"When you are a staffer, you're unaccountable," Issa went on. "When you're a former staffer, you're really unaccountable. The way it's supposed to work, and the way it does work, when it works, is if you make a good suggestion in the form of an amendment, it is adopted. Good ideas by the controlling party should be incorporated because they're good for America. And to say 'I will only incorporate your good idea if you vote for the bill' is logrolling. It's a quid pro quo, and is tantamount to a bribe. Is that what you're asking for?"

The debate over how the Republican Party should handle the passage of health care legislation has, indeed, been a relatively one-sided affair in the hours since the House voted 219 to 212 on Sunday to put the Senate's version of reform into law. From the halls of Congress to the airwaves of cable news, the GOP has spun a narrative in which they emerge as the big beneficiaries of the Democrats' victory. Even as the debate was happening, members of the Republican Party were placing fliers on the seats of Democratic lawmakers, warning them that they'd be booted from office in 2010. Once the tally became clear, the unwillingness to compromise seemed cemented even further.

"I completely disagree that we played this wrong," Rep. John Campbell (R-Cali.) told the Huffington Post. "What they proposed was just directionally opposite of where we want to go. If you think you ought to go south... and someone is dragging you north, going halfway north instead of all the way north doesn't get you where you need to go."

Instead of self-reflection, the Republican conversation immediately turned to just how forcefully they would and should push for repeal of the bill. A seemingly distraught Frum took to the pages of to ask: "What the hell do we Republicans do now?... Do Republicans write a one-sentence bill declaring that the whole thing is repealed?"

Actually, yes. On Monday, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who just days ago urged Tea Party protesters to launch a Velvet Revolution-like protest to shut down D.C., introduced a bill that totaled all of 40 words. "Effective as of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," it read, "such Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted."

Betting the farm on opposing Obama has been the GOP blueprint for the past year. And it will be going forward. Appearing on a local radio station in his home state of Arizona, Sen. John McCain defined the party ethos quite clearly.

"There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year," he said. "They have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it."
Democratic staffers on the Hill were both amused and aghast. There will, of course, be legislation that earns Republican votes in the near future (just like the recent jobs bill). But for the 2008 Republican nominee -- whose career was once defined by a talent for bipartisan compromise and patriotism -- to be so publicly antagonistic towards reaching across the aisle was a bit jarring, even for the most jaded political observers.

Perhaps sensing that public sentiment was moving its way, the White House didn't push back particularly hard. Instead, aides to the president mustered up mostly perfunctory statements of disappointment.

"If the strategy on the other side is regardless of what the president proposes, to say no, then bipartisanship is going to be difficult," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on Monday. "I think instead of being frustrated about a process, there were many avenues with which to become active in the legislative problem-solving part of the process that I think many wish they might have taken up."


Keep up the crazy, GOP!  You're just ensuring your own obsolescence.

the stone
  • gmth

Averting a Health-Care Backlash

Create a political safety-valve: let people opt out of the mandate. Just don't let them opt back in at will.

Paul Starr | December 8, 2009

No provision of the health-care reforms being debated in Congress is as likely to generate a popular backlash as is the individual mandate -- the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance if they are not otherwise covered. But there is an alternative to the mandate as it is currently structured that can accomplish the same purpose without raising as much opposition.

The bills in Congress would impose a fine on people who decline to buy coverage after the system is reformed, unless they have a religious objection to medical care or demonstrate that paying for insurance would be a financial hardship even with the new subsidies being provided. Under the Senate bill, the fines per person would begin at $95 in 2014, rising to $750 two years later. The House bill sets the penalty at 2.5 percent of adjusted income above the threshold for filing income taxes, up to the cost of the average national premium.

The trouble with the fines is that they communicate the wrong message about a program that is supposed to help people without insurance, not penalize them. Many people simply do not understand why the government should fine them for failing to purchase health coverage when it doesn't require people to buy other products.

The rationale for the mandate is that it is necessary to carry out the other reforms of insurance that the public overwhelmingly approves -- in particular, ending pre-existing-condition exclusions by insurance companies. If legislation banned those exclusions without a mandate, healthy people would rationally refuse to buy coverage until they got sick, and the entire insurance system would break down. The mandate is designed to deter people from opportunistically dipping into the insurance funds when they are sick and refusing to contribute when they are healthy.

But Congress could address this problem more directly. The law could give people a right to opt out of the mandate if they signed a form agreeing that they could not opt in for the following five years. In other words, instead of paying a fine, they would forgo a potential benefit. For five years they would become ineligible for federal subsidies for health insurance and, if they did buy coverage, no insurer would have to cover a pre-existing condition of theirs.

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This is kind of old, but given that states are preparing to fight the bill in the courts based on the mandate, this seemed like a relevant idea. I also saw a suggestion on yesterday that I thought was pretty interesting:

"If Congress is not allowed to insist on an individual mandate, what is plan B? One possible idea is to change the law saying that insurance companies may not discriminate against people with preexisting conditions if they sign up for their insurance in the month of January. In other months, they may discriminate. For most people, who will already have insurance if and when such a court decision happens, nothing will change. But for the young invincibles, suddenly they have to rethink their strategy. If they have a car accident in June, or a suspicious lump is discovered in August, they will not be able to get medical care until next January. It changes the picture considerably."

(no subject)

Abortion rights groups have taken differing stands on the healthcare bill, with NOW decrying it and Planned Parenthood optimistically looking forward to changes. But one thing's for sure: abortion is back in the spotlight.

In the Wall Street Journal, Laura Meckler finds evidence to confirm what many suspected: that the need to keep abortion-related funds separate from all other money as per Obama's executive order will cause insurers to drop abortion coverage entirely. A spokesperson for insurance company WellPoint called the process of segregating funds "nightmarish," and said there would be no market for policies with abortion coverage. And a letter from nonprofit insurance company Affinity Health Plan stated that the costs of keeping the money separate would dwarf any revenue companies made from covering abortion.

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Since everyone's talking about abortion

For Beach activists, a goal: Stop clinic from opening

By Kathy Adams
The Virginian-Pilot
© March 23, 2010


If you've driven down Newtown Road in the past month, you've probably seen Diana DeBoe, Frances Bouton or Jim Kerr.

Since Feb. 17, the trio has dedicated about 200 hours to marching and praying on a strip of sidewalk bordering a construction site that they believe will be home to a Planned Parenthood abortion facility.

Erin Zabel, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia, has not confirmed that the project is a new clinic.

Still, the group shares a common goal, along with dozens of others who have volunteered their time: Stop the clinic from opening.

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I wonder what they have to say about those children who are put up for adoption, don't get adopted and are kicked out onto the street at age 18?
' jules

You ready, Joey B?

'A Big Fucking Deal': Biden's Health Care Reform Congratulations To Obama

Vice President Joe Biden, perhaps overcome with excitement during his speech congratulating President Obama on the passage of health care reform, dropped an F-bomb on live television when he turned to Obama and said, "This is a big fucking deal."

The microphone just barely catches it, but listen closely and you'll hear it. This is surely a high point in Biden's long history of verbal gaffes.

VIDEO (and source)

Hey GOP. HE'S RIGHT. u mad?

ETA: &Gibbs;

Sufjan Smile

The New York Times and the Obama health care plan

The New York Times weighed in predictably on Monday with praise for passage of the Obama health care plan. The editorial appearing the morning after the US House vote—titled “Health Care Reform, at Last”—caps a yearlong campaign by the newspaper to promote the legislation.

In keeping with that effort, the piece gushes, “Barack Obama put his presidency on the line for an accomplishment of historic proportions.” The newspaper’s editors argue that the legislation is “a triumph for countless Americans who have been victimized or neglected by their dysfunctional health care system.”

The piece provides misinformation and half-truths about what is actually contained in the bill in a cynical attempt to portray it as a monumental reform crafted with the interests of working families in mind. The analysis is deliberately vague on details, while making sweeping generalizations as to the expected impact of the legislation.

As the representatives of what passes for the liberal establishment in the United States, the New York Times has played a key role in promoting Obama’s health care agenda and characterizing it as a progressive reform. In fact, the Times represents those privileged sections of the ruling elite who stand to profit most from its cost-cutting features and the gutting of health care for ordinary Americans.

In this latest piece lauding passage of the bill, they take their cue from Barack Obama, who stated Sunday night that the legislation represents “another stone firmly laid in the foundation of the American Dream.” The Times argues dramatically, “Over time the reforms could bring about sweeping changes in the way medical care is delivered and paid for. They could ultimately rival Social Security and Medicare in historic importance.”

When the editorial begins to break down the features of the plan, however, even on the basis of the Times’ timeworn brand of convoluted reasoning, it is apparent that the bill has nothing in common with these genuine pieces of reform legislation. While significant tangible benefits were gained through these federally funded programs, the new health care legislation will cut government spending and reduce care and services for the vast majority of Americans.
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Source: World Socialist Website (ran by the International Committee of the Fourth International, a Trotskyist international.)

And here, I present, a reasoned, comprehensive socialist response to why the healthcare bill we passed is not just inadequate, but substandard. The passing was monumental for America, a country enshrined in neoliberal capitalist values and unable to grasp the concept of progressivism or social justice except in the case of a few names in the legislature that are dismissed as 'crazy' or otherwise buffoonish, but it doesn't do nearly enough and is by large, bad. And this is speaking as an uninsured American myself. Don't just jump in making conclusions either, please read the article first.

The tl;dr however: This reform does nothing to cut costs, is nowhere near comprehensive and several million Americans will remain uninsured, it is full of nasty compromises and creates a system that benefits corporations by letting them force their labor into substandard insurance bought through the program, invalidating battles won by unions past, and not only that but it's directly acknowledged it benefits corporate america.

Remember all that speculation about how bad the insurance companies would be hit by this? Their stocks went up substantially. The healthcare sector is excited for an influx of profits from Americans forced to buy privatized insurance. You've been hoodwinked into corporate subsidy masked as reform.
Me in Hawaii.

Council cuts down 6000 trees to stop wood sex

The conifers were felled on the 12 hectar site on the outskirts of Darwen, Lancashire, after a "health and safety survey."

United Utilities cleared the huge expanse of forest alongside the busy A666 claiming some of the trees, planted after the Second World War, were in danger of falling down.
But police and councillors have said that the cull was also ordered to discourage strangers from meeting for sexual intercourse at the known 'dogging' hotspot.

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Posted via

Pride & Prejudice

‘I’m like a cab for hire – at up to £5,000 a day’

THE familiar bespectacled figure sitting in the meeting room looked every inch the management consultant. He had just returned from a business trip to Dubai and was now looking across the table at a new commercial opportunity.

Residents of North Tyneside might well have recognised him, because it was Stephen Byers, their MP. He is more widely remembered as a former transport minister who was close to Tony Blair.

The woman on the opposite side of the table was an executive from a communications company, seeking to hire Byers because of his connections in government.

What Byers did not know was that hidden between them in a bowl of potpourri was a tiny video camera pointing directly his way. The woman was an undercover reporter working for The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches programme.

Would he use his government contacts to help influence policy on behalf of a business client? Would he lobby ministers? Would he provide confidential information from within the corridors of power?

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get a popcorn Pictures, Images and Photos
UNI Panthers

because I've seen other posts in here before...

Okay, I just want to start out by saying that I'm a skinny white girl, and I didn't know anything about this before, but you guys (and my bi-racial friend) have really educated me. Also, my friend found a guy who LOVES her hair natural, so she isn't going to weave it for a while. :-D I'm happy she's found someone who likes it for the way it is.

Edit: I had someone point this out in the comments and I hadn't thought about it--when I bring up something I don't know about, I tend to say, "I'm just this skinny, pale white girl, what do I know?" I just self-identify that way, it isn't any sort of commentary about size or appearance, it's more a qualifier; saying "this is what I am so this is why I don't know what that is like". Hope that makes sense, I don't want to offend anyone. :-)

This week we're going to talk about hair. To touch — or not to touch, that is the question.

And as far as I'm concerned the answer is nearly always, no.

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(no subject)

Doctor Visits Lead to Legal Help With Everyday Problems

It was not the normal stuff of a pediatric exam. As a doctor checked the growth of Davon Cade’s 2-month-old son, he also probed about conditions at home, and what he heard raised red flags.

Ms. Cade’s apartment had leaky windows and plumbing and was infested with roaches and mold, but the city, she said, had not responded to her complaints. On top of that, the landlord was evicting her for falling behind on the rent.

Help came through an unexpected route. The doctor referred Ms. Cade to the legal aid office right inside the pediatric clinic at Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati.

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High fructose corn syrup causes greater weight gain than sucrose: now science says it!

A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.

"Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn't true, at least under the conditions of our tests," said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. "When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese -- every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight."

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It's not exactly political, but I know health & science have a strong following here, as do issues of obesity & anything relating to agricultural subsidies.

the stone
  • gmth

Rep. Gohmert Wants To Eliminate The Right To Elect Senators

After a bitter political fight lasting more than a year, President Obama signed health care reform into law today. However, Republicans are still seeking to strike down a bill that will provide health insurance for over 30 million people and ban the most abusive practices of insurance companies.

In the House, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) have introduced legislation to repeal health care reform. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is leading a parallel effort in the Senate. Meanwhile, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) is planning to mount a legal challenge against the bill.

Yesterday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) suggested another response to the passage of health reform: eliminating
the right of American citizens to elect U.S. Senators
. According to a press release from Gohmert's office:

Rep. Gohmert stated, "The usurpation of the rights of the states and of the people perpetrated by the U.S. House last night is blatant, arrogant, and cries out for action. A potentially bankrupting 'mother of all unfunded mandates' needs to be stopped. The courts may or may not do it, but the states are not helpless. Article V of our U.S. Constitution anticipates a time when states perceive a looming crisis and provides an avenue for amending the Constitution. It makes clear that if two-thirds of the states are fed up with the federal government's abusive action, then they simply apply for a convention, and the Congress SHALL call such a convention for proposing an amendment."

Ever since the safeguard of State legislatures electing U.S. Senators was removed by the 17th Amendment in 1913, there has been no check or balance on the Federal power grab for the last 97 years. Article V requires a minimum of 34 states to request a Convention which in this case, would be an Amendment Convention for only ONE amendment.

Aside from the obvious problem of taking away the American people's ability to choose their own leaders, Gohmert's proposal conflicts with GOP's closing argument against health care reform. Remember that conservatives, including Gohmert, argued that the election of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) signaled the public's rejection of the president's plan. Yet, while Tea Party activists flooded Massachusetts and pushed Brown to victory, Gohmert's proposal would have made that effort impossible. The state's overwhelmingly Democratic legislature could have simply appointed a Democrat.

Watch Rep. Gohmert on the House floor:


Fox News Shocked That VP Haz Pottymouth! F-Word Destroys America's Purity!

F-Bomb Grounds For Impeachment: "Crime Against Humanity. It Corrupts The Mind of Our Children and Weakens The Resolve Of Our Allies"

Fox News Makes A ‘Big F—ing Deal’ Out Of Biden’s Private Remark At Bill Signing Ceremony

Expressing his great enthusiasm for what he called “a historic day,” Vice President Biden turned to President Obama at this morning’s health care bill signing ceremony and whispered, “This is a big f—ing deal!” In their eagerness to distract from the bill signing, Fox News jumped on the comment, breathlessly reporting it as a scandal.

Fox News’ official Twitter account first tweeted Biden’s quote:
Immediately after President Obama signed the health care reform legislation, Fox News’ Trace Gallagher brought up the “news,” saying that it was crossing their “urgent wires.” “We’ll play that for you if we can,” he promised. Bret Baier called Biden’s comment “striking”:
GALLAGHER: We also had crossing the urgent wires…the possibility that Vice President Joe Biden might have slipped up and dropped an f-bomb when he was addressing the President. [...]

I want to add some more context about what I was saying about the comment that Vice President Joe Biden made to the President and it says here, in our urgent queue, that when he was hugging the President, he leaned over and said, “This is a big bleeping deal.” We’ll play that for you if we can. [...]

BAIER: It was pretty striking for Vice President Biden to turn to the President and say, “This is a big blanking deal,” using the f-word with the microphones picking it up, and I’m sure we’ll take about that later.
Of course, Fox is eager to find a source of distraction to avoid covering the substance of the health care policy. Over the course of the year-long health care debate, Fox propagated baseless stories about “death panels,” fears about a “government takeover,” and claims that health care beingunconstitutional.”

Man Who We Think is Black Received Faxes That In Our Yesteryears Would Had Been Considered Racist

On New Era of Non-Racism, 9 out of 10 Americans Unaware that Racism Haz Ended

Clyburn: Racist Faxes, Image Of Noose Were Sent To Office (VIDEO)

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) received racist faxes Monday in the wake of Sunday's House vote approving health care reform legislation.

Clyburn, a veteran of the civil rights movement, told Keith Olbermann Monday that faxes sent to his office had racist images including a noose. "If you look at some of the faxes that I got today, racial slurs, nooses on gallows, and I'm telling you, some very vicious language. This stuff is not all that isolated. It's pretty widespread. I hope it's not too deep."

Olbermann read Clyburn a National Review reader's statement that racism is dead, and asked Clyburn if he could explain the logic behind it.

Clyburn: "Well, you know, I've always said that we are but the sum total of our experiences. And I think that if you have never experienced it, maybe you don't recognize it when it's there in front of you. But when you've been through this and you look into the eyes of people like we did on Saturday, you know that there's something very much alive in the hearts and minds of a lot of people in this country."

Olbermann apologized to Clyburn for the the protesters' actions.


The racist faxes sent to Clyburn's office follow a string of offensive, threatening, and destructive incidents directed at Democratic supporters of health care reform legislation.

On Saturday, Tea Party protesters in a crowd backed by Republican lawmakers called Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) a "nigger" and at least one protester spat on Rep. Emaneuel Cleaver (D-MO). The slurs and spitting came as Lewis and Cleaver joined other Democratic lawmakers in marching to the House . Lewis and Cleaver are black. Protesters in the same crowd called Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) a "faggot." Frank is one of a few openly gay members of Congress.

An anti-reform protester called Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Tex.) a "wetback" last week at a townhall meeting in his home district, according to a staffeer.

Police in Tuscon, Arizona are investigating vandalism at the office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). Early Monday morning, someone sent a message to Giffords and either kicked or shot out the glass door to her office.

(no subject)

Political Savvy Sarah Palin Supports Destruction of GOP Formation of a Third Party. New Party Will Be Re-branded as "New GOP". Old GOP Will Be Renamed "Classic GOP".

Palin Supports Creation Of Third Party: ‘That Can Be Part Of A Healthy Process’

For months, Republicans have been trying to co-opt the tea party movement, supporting its activities and pandering to activists while discouraging them from forming a third party. RNC Chairman Michael Steele met with tea party leaders in January to encourage them to join the GOP, while Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) warned the movement not to “fractionalize the Republican Party.” Even tea party favorites like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) have come out against an official tea party, saying that he wants to “avoid a third party by giving Republicans and independents good choices in Republican primaries.”

But appearing on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show last night, contributor Sarah Palin had surprising take, seemingly endorsing the idea of third party to keep Republicans honest:

HANNITY: If it’s a strong conservative that gets the Republican nomination and then a tea party member runs as a third party candidate, do you have any worry about that?

PALIN: I do have a little bit of worry about that but at the same time that can be part of a healthy process, though. A third party candidate can really shore-up a Republican candidate in terms of that Republican candidate having to be very strong and sharp and debate aggressively, regarding the positions that they have taken.

A third party candidate, I think, Sean, can actually help in this process.
And if nothing else a third party candidate is going to help keep the Republican Party being held accountable, too.
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Ann Coulter Does It Again!

Coulter tells Muslim student to 'take a camel'

American right-wing antagonist Ann Coulter was in fine form as she spoke to about 800 people at the University of Western Ontario in London Monday night.

Coulter drew applause when she attacked the health-care overhaul bill U.S. President Barack Obama will sign into law Tuesday.

But the regular Fox News commentator drew outrage from some, including a 17-year-old Muslim student who asked her a question about her views on Muslims.

Coulter has said all terrorists are Muslims and has suggested all Muslims be banned from airlines and use flying carpets.

When the student said she didn't have flying carpet, Coulter told her to "take a camel."

Coulter warned to tread lightly

Even before she spoke in London — the first of three speeches this week on Canadian soil — Coulter received a pre-emptive and private caution about the limits of free speech in Canada from the provost of the University of Ottawa, where she appears Tuesday.

The letter was immediately leaked to select conservative news organizations, with Coulter telling one that the university was "threatening to criminally prosecute me for my speech."

For a strident provocateur who is speaking on "Political Correctness, Media Bias and Freedom of Speech," the University of Ottawa warning — however tepid — was pure oxygen for the fire.

After mentioning the Charter of Rights and Canada's free speech laws, vice-president academic and University of Ottawa provost Francois Houle invited Coulter to "educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada."

He noted, by example, that "promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges."

Warning just fuel to fire, say critics

Coulter's representatives did not respond to an interview request Monday from The Canadian Press.

However, she told in an email that: "The provost of the U. of Ottawa is threatening to criminally prosecute me for my speech there on Monday — before I've even set foot in the country!"

Even critics of Coulter say attempting to muzzle her only gives her a louder bark.

"In terms of putting limits on what she … should say or shouldn't say, I'm not sure that helps," said Ottawa Centre New Democrat MP Paul Dewar.

"It might add fuel to the fire that she will be probably starting tomorrow."

Liberal MP Scott Brison told Coulter's political opponents to "vote with your feet."

"If you don't agree with what she has to say, then ignore her."

Coulter wraps up her Canadian tour at the University of Calgary on Thursday.

MISC - moustache

Tea partiers told to 'drop by' Tom Perriello's home

A tea party organizer angry over Rep. Thomas Perriello’s (D-Va.) vote in favor of health care reform published what he thought was the freshman member’s home address on a blog, in case any readers “want to drop by” and provide a “personal touch” to their views.

Rather than giving out Perriello’s address however, the tea party activist mistakenly printed the home address of the congressman’s brother. Perriello’s brother and wife have four children under the age of 8.

In the post, the author gives out the address to his “friends” in Perriello’s district.

“Just in case any of his friends and neighbors want to drop by and say hi and express their thanks regarding his vote for health care,” the author writes. “I personally believe it’s so important for representatives to remain fully grounded and to remember exactly what it is their constituents are saying and how they are telling them to vote. Nothing quite does that like a good face-to-face chat. It has a much more personal touch to it.”

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Murasaki Shikibu

1st Sikh in decades graduates Army officer school

1st Sikh in decades graduates Army officer school

The soldiers in standard-issue fatigues and combat boots stood side-by-side repeating their creed: "I am an American soldier. I am a warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army values ..."

Capt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan was no different except that he wore a full beard and black turban, the first Sikh in a generation allowed to complete U.S. Army basic officer training without sacrificing the articles of his faith. He completed the nine-week training Monday after Army officials made an exemption to a policy that has effectively prevented Sikhs from enlisting since 1984.

"I'm feeling very humbled. I'm a soldier," said the 31-year-old dentist, smiling after the ceremony at Fort Sam Houston. "This has been my dream."

Rattan had to get a waiver from the Army to serve without sacrificing the unshorn hair mandated by his faith. An immigrant from India who arrived in New York as a teenager, Rattan said he hopes his military commitment will allow him to give back to his adopted home country and will help diminish prejudice Sikhs sometimes face in the U.S.

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No bolding, since I'm at work and busy. ^^;;

The military is making baby-steps, and I'm glad people are trying to get the overall policy changed. I hope if follows what Singh said in the last line, and lets everyone who wants to, and is able to, serve (*flips off DADT*).

And I wonder why they eliminated that exception 1984.
storm hawks || let me explain
  • brecho

women's history month with brecho: day twenty-three

I wish this covered more on reproductive health, but it's overall a solid article. I would have tried to look longer but I've got a mild fever. So no bolding either. Apologies!

What The Health Care Bill Means For Women

The new health care bill represents one of the biggest challenges to U.S. social policy in decades. And for several reasons it may have an especially large impact on women in the U.S. That's because women make the majority of family health care decisions, and on average they live longer than men and require more medical care over a longer period of time. In addition, women have special health care needs--primarily around pregnancy, childbirth and childcare.

In heralding the bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi specifically focused on how it would benefit women: "It's personal for women. After we pass this bill, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing medical condition."
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Australia's Internet Censorship Agenda Slammed By Tech Giants

Australia's biggest technology companies, communications academics and many lobby groups have delivered a withering critique of the government's plans to censor the internet.

The government today published most of the 174 submissions it received relating to improving the transparency and accountability measures of its internet filtering policy.

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HP - Curtain = no more buttsecks :(

Taking a zip-line to school...I guess the next coolest thing to taking a flying broom



It may not be the safest way of getting to school but for children in a remote village in Colombia, South America, traveling by flying fox is much faster than the bus.

For Daisy Mora, 9, and the rest of the people in her village, a steel cable flying fox is the only way of getting to the outside world, the Daily Mail reported.

Despite her youth, Daisy is expected to travel down the flying fox at speeds of up to 62km/h (nearly 40 mph...I just used an online converter) with her younger brother attached beside her in a sack.

It's a high pressure journey, with a 400m drop into the Rio Negro river facing her if the pulley system gives way.

A couple more photos at the source.

DAMN THESE KIDS ARE HARDCORE! I really hope that none of them get hurt though. This seems super risky...
[misc] your own sun
  • sarken


UPDATE! BREAKING NEWS! AAAOOOGAAA! LATE BREAKING DEVELOPMENT ON THIS EARTH-SHATTERING STORY!: Tonight at 9:00 Eastern on MSNBC, The Rachel Maddow Show will host a VERY SPECIAL GUEST -- Rachel Maddow herself! Make sure to tune in for this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW.

Scott Brown Seeks Donations For Senate Run Against…Rachel Maddow?
by Colby Hall | 5:42 pm, March 23rd, 2010

Here’s a weird story. A group of loyal fans of Rachel Maddow started a Facebook Group encouraging the MSNBC host (and part-time resident of Northhampton, MA) to run for Senate, challenging the newly elected Scott Brown. The state Democratic Party chair John Walsh got wind of this, and in what appears to be a failed direct Tweet, sent his email address and cell number to @maddow, in hopes of…chatting? This, then, inspired the Brown campaign to, yes, ask for donations to fend off the “liberal MSNBC anchor!”

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sufjan: mosaic

Good news! Constance McMillen's high school will get a prom... but she's not allowed to attend.

Lesbian Constance McMillen excluded from alternative prom organized by students’ parents.

Yesterday, Constance McMillen appeared in federal court and asked a judge to reinstate her school’s prom after administrators called it off when she challenged the ban on same-sex couples at the dance. “I feel like I had the right to go to the prom just like someone straight,” McMillen said. School officials have repeatedly said that they canceled the prom because of “distractions to the educational process” caused by McMillen’s request, although upon cross-examination at the trial, officials “conceded no classes were canceled before or after the school board decision.” School administrators had suggested that a private organization could instead host an alternative prom, but the Clarion-Ledger reports that McMillen has even been excluded from that event.

The school board’s response states parents have organized a private prom at a furniture mart in nearby Tupleo. [...]

“Constance has not been invited, so it is clear to me that what is happening is that the school has encouraged a private prom that is not open to all the students,” she [ACLU attorney Christine Sun] said. “That’s what Constance is fighting for — a prom where everyone can go.”

McMillen said that when she returned to school after administrators had canceled the prom, she received some “some unfriendly looks from classmates,” and one student told her, “Thanks for ruining my senior year.” U.S. District Court Judge Glen Davidson “did not say when he would rule on the request for an injunction, but he acknowledged ‘time is of the essence.’”


can we pool together to throw her and her girlfriend a prom? i can guarantee that an ontd_political prom would be way more fun than anything her high school was going to put on in the first place.

Vandals hit five Dem offices, threaten to ‘assassinate’ children of pro-reform lawmakers

Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported that several Democratic offices around the nation had been vandalized in the days surrounding the House health care vote. Vandals have struck the Tuscon office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), the Monroe County Democratic Committee headquarters in upstate New York, Rep. Louise Slaughter’s (D-NY) Niagara Falls office, the Knox County Democratic headquarters in Ohio, and the Sedgwick County Democratic Party headquarters in Wichita, KS. The local Rochester ABC affiliate now has more information on the upstate NY vandalism, including an assassination threat against the children of lawmakers who voted for health reform:

No one was inside when the brick was hurled through the Democratic Patry Headquarters on University Avenue. Attached was a note quoting conservative Barry Goldwater: “Exremism [sic] in defense of liberty is no vice”. [...]

[Rep. Louise] Slaughter has been at the center of the push for reform. Last Thursday she received a chilling recorded message at her campaign office. “Assassinate is the word they used…toward the children of lawmakers who voted yes.”

The FBI is now investigating.

Pictures of the note attached to the brick thrown at the Monroe County Democratic Committee headquarters:

Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars is taking credit for inspiring the vandalism, saying that he’s urging people to break Democratic offices’ windows. He insists that he’s not advocating violence.


There are no words. Honest to God, there are no words. A couple of months ago, something like this might have drawn a tear or two, I mean, threatening adults is one thing, but fucking KIDS?

Ann Coulter's Speech At University Of Ottawa Cancelled

Organizers have cancelled a University of Ottawa speech by right-wing American pundit Ann Coulter after deciding it wasn't safe to hold the event.

The move followed boisterous demonstrations outside that some sponsors of the appearance feared could turn violent.

“There was a risk there could be physical violence,” said Canadian conservative activist Ezra Levant, who was scheduled to introduce Ms. Coulter.

Authorities evacuated the University of Ottawa building where Ms. Coulter was due to speak after someone triggered a fire alarm.

The evacuation took place as throngs of anti-Coulter demonstrators yelled for her to leave.

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i was there, it was cancelled after pandemonium that resulted chiefly from very poor organization. there was a crowd of over a thousand (the auditorium holds 450) and crazies on both sides in attendance, but in the end it was anti-coulter crazies who resorted to actual violence against student organizers and had to be thrown out by the cops.

ETA: i talked to my friend who's involved with the conservatives on campus and was helping organize the event. (he thinks coulter is crazy too for the record.) this whole thing was just such a clusterfuck. they didn't have the means to organize it correctly and prevent the riot from happening. he was working the doors, and he was being harangued by masses of angry people trying to get in who hadn't registered, and registered people who were pissed off about the crowds, etc. and he was being hounded by the press, who were yelling questions at him like who organized this, where was she, etc, just waiting for him to say something stupid so they could publish it. and then someone (there is no doubt in my mind it was a protester) pulled the fire alarm and things went to a new level of crazy. the cops were trying to get everyone out but no one was leaving. the people already inside and seated had to leave and line up again. people were getting into heated arguments waiting to get in, protests were in full swing outside, it was nuts. there was no conceivable way to get people seated and settled, and if they had i do believe that coulter would have been attacked, so it was cancelled. hardcore protesters wouldn't leave the building and had to be removed by the police. they were chanting stuff like "we have a right to be here" and "it's not really cancelled".

in my opinion the protests went way too far. yes she likely would have said something hateful and ridiculous, but using force and numbers to get the event cancelled is not the right course of action. if you disagree with her, ask her a tough question. something like this sets a nasty precedent and gives the university a nasty reputation.

that being said FUCK ANN COULTER

"An open letter to conservatives". (or "An Epic of Epic Epicness".)

Dear Conservative Americans,

The years have not been kind to you. I grew up in a profoundly Republican home, so I can remember when you wore a very different face than the one we see now.  You've lost me and you've lost most of America.  Because I believe having responsible choices is important to democracy, I'd like to give you some advice and an invitation.

First, the invitation:  Come back to us.

Now the advice.  You're going to have to come up with a platform that isn't built on a foundation of cowardice: fear of people with colors, religions, cultures and sex lives that differ from your own; fear of reform in banking, health care, energy; fantasy fears of America being transformed into an Islamic nation, into social/commun/fasc-ism, into a disarmed populace put in internment camps; and more.  But you have work to do even before you take on that task.

Your party -- the GOP -- and the conservative end of the American political spectrum has become irresponsible and irrational.  Worse, it's tolerating, promoting and celebrating prejudice and hatred.  Let me provide some expamples -- by no means an exhaustive list -- of where the Right as gotten itself stuck in a swamp of hypocrisy, hyperbole, historical inaccuracy and hatred.

If you're going to regain your stature as a party of rational, responsible people, you'll have to start by draining this swamp:


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(source) I tried picking note-worthy and specific parts, but the whole damn thing is note-worthy and relevant.
  • mswyrr

Better Know a Foremother, Part 2: Kickass Communist Woman Edition

Free Love and Revolution: A Forgotten Soviet Heroine
Bowdoin Campus News
March 14, 2010

Social revolution. Sexual liberation. Economic parity. During Women's History Month, Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies Kristen Ghodsee salutes one woman who helped to shape a new world order.

Q: Who is your favorite unsung heroine of women's history?

KG: I would have to say Alexandra Kollontai (1872-1952), who was a very forward-thinking Russian political activist who wrote about motherhood and marriage, women and socialism, and sexual freedom. These were very progressive ideas in the early 20th century. She was one of the few women appointed in Lenin's government, serving as Commissar for Social Welfare and was a leading figure in the women’s section of the Communist Party. She became a vocal critic of Soviet bureaucratization and got kicked out and sent abroad as a diplomat in Norway, Sweden and Mexico.

Interestingly, she does return to Russia during Stalin's time and he lets her live. She was the only living critic of the Soviet Union that Stalin doesn't touch. It's unclear why, but I think he valued her diplomatic abilities: between 1946 and 1952 he made her an advisor to the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Kollontai was involved in the creation of the first Soviet family law code, which included the decriminalization of homosexuality, abortion for women, "legitimacy" and support for all children regardless of their parents' martial status, and no fault divorce. Many of the most progressive aspects of this code--like abortion rights and the decriminalization of homosexuality--were stripped away in the 1930s. Her novella The Love of Worker Bees is a very enjoyable read and a great primary source for the tensions between Communism and feminism in Kollontai's experiences as a leading Bolshevik woman.

And now for some good news

Obama, Democrats Begin Reaping Political Benefits Of Reform

Only hours after the president signed health care reform legislation into law on Tuesday, the immediate political benefits for the Democratic Party are already coming into focus.

According to a Gallup/USA Today poll conducted the day after health care legislation passed the House of Representatives, 49 percent of the respondents think the passage of reform is a "good thing," compared to the 40 percent who think it is bad. The numbers are a welcome relief for a party and a presidency that had been bleeding popular support over the course of the past six months.

Democrats didn't just get a health-care-related boost in the realm of public opinion. The Democratic National Committee reported raising more than $1 million in donations on Tuesday even without making a direct ask. The money is expected to pour in for other campaign committees as well.

Responding to the growing GOP effort to get the legislation repealed, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee launched a new fundraising toolbar on its website, pointing out which Republican senatorial candidates are ready to take away what particular benefits of reform.

Meanwhile, over at the White House the mood was downright jubilant.
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EDIT: Son of a bitch! Sorry!
  • Current Mood
LOLitics | Nerdbama

ONTD_Political's PotD: March 23, 2010.

Hot Air From The "Dark Side": [A hot air balloon], shaped like the head of the character Darth Vader from the Star Wars films, [flies] over Malaysia's administrative capital Putrajaya on the first day of the 2nd Putrajaya International hot air balloon fiesta 2010 on March 18, 2010. 22 hot air balloons took part in this annual event from countires such as France, Netherlands, US, Belgium, Japan, Korea, Germany, Switzerland and Japan.
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Mark Baker | AP PHOTO

Savior of Fetuses Wont Apologize. "House Can Frak Itself!"

Neugebauer Predicts A Rain of Money Will Soon Come To His Way!

Neugebauer Won’t Apologize To House For Outburst That His GOP Colleague Calls ‘More Wrong’ Than Joe Wilson’s

On Sunday night, as Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) was in the midst of a speech advocating for the passage of health care reform, a Republican lawmaker yelled “baby killer” at the pro-life Democrat. The heckler was initially unknown, but yesterday Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) issued a statement admitting that he yelled at Stupak and apologized for his behavior. Neugebauer claimed, however, that his outburst was not personally directed at Stupak:

Last night was the climax of weeks and months of debate on a health care bill that my constituents fear and do not support. In the heat and emotion of the debate, I exclaimed the phrase ‘it’s a baby killer’ in reference to the agreement reached by the Democratic leadership. While I remain heartbroken over the passage of this bill and the tragic consequences it will have for the unborn, I deeply regret that my actions were mistakenly interpreted as a direct reference to Congressman Stupak himself.

“I have apologized to Mr. Stupak and also apologize to my colleagues for the manner in which I expressed my disappointment about the bill. The House Chamber is a place of decorum and respect. The timing and tone of my comment last night was inappropriate.”

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) downplayed Neugebauer’s outburst in an interview with Politico, saying that she doesn’t “think it’s going to be as big a deal as” Rep. Joe Wilson’s shouting “you lie” at President Obama while he was addressing Congress. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), however, told Don Imus today that the “baby killer” incident was “more wrong” than Wilson’s because he thinks it was a “personal attack” on Stupak’s motives. Watch it:

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