March 29th, 2010

[1776] mr. adams

Loopholes: Why is it always loopholes?

Coverage Now for Sick Children? Check Fine Print
By ROBERT PEAR
Published: March 28, 2010

WASHINGTON — Just days after President Obama signed the new health care law, insurance companies are already arguing that, at least for now, they do not have to provide one of the benefits that the president calls a centerpiece of the law: coverage for certain children with pre-existing conditions.

Mr. Obama, speaking at a health care rally in northern Virginia on March 19, said, "Starting this year, insurance companies will be banned forever from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions."

The authors of the law say they meant to ban all forms of discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions like asthma, diabetes, birth defects, orthopedic problems, leukemia, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease. The goal, they say, was to provide those youngsters with access to insurance and to a full range of benefits once they are in a health plan.

To insurance companies, the language of the law is not so clear.

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Honestly? I'm surprised it took this many days.
MISC - moustache

Deadly explosions on Moscow Metro system

At least 37 people are reported to have been killed in two explosions on the Metro system in central Moscow.

The first blast happened at the city's central Lubyanka station killing 25, reports quoting security sources said.

A second explosion less than an hour afterwards happened at the Park Kultury station killing 12, Russian news agency Tass reported.

Ten people were injured in the first blast and 12 in the second, Tass said, quoting police and officials.

An emergencies ministry spokeswoman said that at Lubyanka 14 people were killed in the train and 11 on the platform.

"The blast hit the second carriage of a metro train that stopped at Lubyanka, at 0756 (0356 GMT)," Irina Andrianova said.

"There was no fire. Rescuers of the Moscow emergencies department and firefighters are now working at the site," she added.

The headquarters of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), is located just above the station.

The second blast came about 40 minutes later, at 0838 (0438 GMT).

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Over/under on Georgia being blamed for this?
music | Cindy Mayweather

ONTD_Political's PotD: March 28, 2010.

Chinese hostesses pose for pictures on the Tiananmen Square during a plenary session of the National People's Congress inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 9, 2010. China sought to allay concerns about a reduction in its massive investment in US Treasuries, saying it was a responsible investor and any changes were part of normal market operations.

LIU JIN | AFP/Getty Images
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"Blinded By Science: How DNA Evidence Can Confuse Jurors"

THE less jurors know about DNA science, the more likely they are to be swayed by it and find an accused person guilty, research has shown.

Known as the ''white-coat syndrome'', this tendency to be overwhelmed by experts could mean there is a danger jurors place undue weight on scientific evidence.

But a 20-minute presentation to jurors significantly increases their understanding of DNA and its use in criminal trials, and will make them more sceptical and reduce the likelihood they will convict. These are the findings of a study to be released by the Australian Institute of Criminology today.


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[Other] Bill Hader

Attempting To Strip Gays Of Hate Crimes Protections, Oklahoma Removes Protections For Race/Religion

In October, President Obama signed The Matthew Shepard Act, expanding the reach of the 1969 hate crimes law to “authorize the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute certain bias-motivated crimes based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.” Previously, the law only allowed for the federal prosecution of anyone who “willingly injures, intimidates or interferes with another person, or attempts to do so, by force because of the other person’s race, color, religion or national origin.”

State lawmakers in Oklahoma argued that the Shepard Act would trample on the free speech rights of religious leaders “who preached out against the lifestyle of the victim who was attacked.” On March 10, the Oklahoma state Senate thought it was passing a bill prohibiting “local and state law enforcement agencies from sharing information about hate crimes with federal authorities if the state of Oklahoma did not recognize the crime as a hate crime by its own statutes.” Oklahoma state law does not recognize “sexual orientation or gender identity” as a special class and fails to provide gay and lesbians with hate crimes protections.

But in trying to strip gays and lesbians of protection, the Oklahoma State Senate inadvertently cited the wrong section of the U.S. code. The bill stripped rights under Title 18 U.S. Code Section 245, but protections for sexual orientation and gender identity is actually under Section 249. From the bill:

Section 24A.12. Except as otherwise provided by state or local law, the Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma and agency attorneys authorized by law, the office of the district attorney of any county of the state, and the office of the municipal attorney of any municipality may keep its litigation files and investigatory reports confidential, except they shall keep their litigation files and investigatory reports confidential upon request of any federal agency when such request is made for the purpose of an attempt to investigate or prosecute an individual or individuals pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 245, except for those records of any individuals convicted pursuant to Section 850 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

Section 245 of the Code refers to race and religious protections. Therefore, Oklahoma actually passed a statute allowing state law enforcement officials to keep information about crimes motivated by race or religion out of the hands of federal authorities.

“The bill in its current form doesn’t take away rights from gays and lesbians,” Oklahoma State Senate Minority Leader Andrew Rice explained. “It takes away rights for religion and race.” Rice said the error occurred during the creation of the bill. “This is most likely a legislative error or at least a typo,” he said. “Gay and lesbian citizens should be upset because someone tried to take their rights away, but minority groups should be concerned that their rights have already been voted to be taken away by the Senate.” “People who consider themselves Jewish, black, even Christians should be outraged,” he added. The bill will likely be modified before it is voted on in the House.


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I don't even know what to say to this, really.
bg-fieldtrip

CONSERVATIVES USE INGENIUS TACTIC OF IGNORING CENSUS SO THEY CAN NOT STAND UP AND NOT BE COUNTED


Census caught in anger toward Washington - Officials worry low response rate is a form of protest


By RICHARD S. DUNHAM and MEREDITH SIMONS
WASHINGTON BUREAU

March 27, 2010, 7:51AM

WASHINGTON — Texas is counting on the 2010 Census to deliver four new congressional districts, four new Electoral College votes in presidential elections, and millions of dollars in additional federal aid. But, as some elected officials are starting to worry, Uncle Sam can't deliver anything to the rapidly growing Sun Belt state unless Texas residents deliver their forms back to the government.

As of Friday afternoon, only 27 percent of Texas households had filled in and returned their census forms — well below the national average of 34 percent — according to computer data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In Harris County, the response rate is 23 percent. Houston's returns are running at 21 percent.

Contrary to historical trends, some of the toughest challenges facing the agency responsible for measuring the nation's population are not from counting the traditionally undercounted groups such as African-Americans and Latinos. Instead, a new and growing threat to an accurate national head count is coming from anti-government conservatives who may not fill out their forms to protest against “Big Brother” in Washington.

“There's a general distrust of the federal government at every level, starting with Congress and the president, all the way down to executive branch agencies,” says Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Midland.

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Yet another example of how those on the Right end of the political spectrum are too busy using their lizard brains to be able to think in terms of cause and effect relationships.  Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.  Jeez.  *facepalm*

(no subject)

The Disney Tittie Test: Casting Call Requires "Real Breasts" Only



Keira Knightley had to wear a bodice so tight to "enhance" her breasts, she could only have it on for 10 minutes at a time without passing out.

Oh, Disney. Via Big Hollywood, we find the company put out a casting call for the newest Pirates of the Caribbean flick not only explicitly banning fake breasts, but warning that actors will be forced to prove it:

The filmmakers sent out a casting call last week seeking "beautiful female fit models. Must be 5ft7in-5ft8in, size 4 or 6, no bigger or smaller. Age 18-25. Must have a lean dancer body. Must have real breasts. Do not submit if you have implants."

And they warn that there'll be a "show and tell" day.


And what will this "show and tell" consist of, do you ask? They'll be asked to literally run in place during their audition to "prove" the authenticity of their breasts.

Regardless of how one feels about breast implants, no person should have to be subjected to that kind of invasive and degrading bullshit. It's not that surprising to see Disney hold the same old ridiculous standards of beauty to fit the bill for female roles in their film, but a tittie test? Really?

This is not to mention Disney extends its apparent regard for women to the Pirates attraction at Disney World too. I was there in November and it was disturbing, to say the least. So fake boobs don't make the cut, but sexual slavery is a-okay for your kids' viewing. Nice.

Source + Source + Source
OMG ONOZ by mcity_icons

Minuteman Leader Tells People to Come to the Border Locked and Loaded, Remains Shocked When They Do

And no, that's not an Onion headline:

The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC), the Arizona-based anti-illegal-immigration group whose members keep watch on the border, is disbanding as a national organization, after its leader asked for volunteers to come "locked, loaded, and ready," then got more than she bargained for.

On March 16, Minuteman president Carmen Mercer sent out an email to members, urging them to come to the border "locked, loaded and ready," reports the Arizona Daily Star. She added: "You are strongly encouraged to exercise your rights and duty as an American citizen to carry a long arm and if challenged use it to defend the United States of America." Mercer also suggested changing the group's rules to allow members to track illegal immigrants and drug smugglers, rather than just reporting them to the Border Patrol.

Mercer told the Daily Star that the email had been prompted by anger at the federal government over health-care reform, and over the Department of Homeland Security's claims that the border was secure.

It appears that Minuteman members responded enthusiastically to Mercer's call to arms -- maybe too enthusiastically:

Mercer said she received a more feverish response than she expected and decided the group couldn't shoulder the responsibility and liability of what could occur, she said.

"People are ready to come locked and loaded, and that's not what we are all about," Mercer said. "It only takes one bad apple to destroy everything we've done for the last eight years."


In other words: When I told people to come locked, loaded and ready, I didn't mean locked, loaded and ready.

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High Flyer: RNC Chairman Steele Suggested Buying Private Jet With GOP funds



By Jonathan Strong - The Daily Caller 03/29/10 at 3:40 AM

According to two knowledgeable sources, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele once raised the possibility of using party money to buy a private jet for his travel.

“I know that … regular ongoing use of planes was something that was looked at,” says one person with direct knowledge. “I can’t speak to how serious those inquiries were.” Both sources say Steele considered purchasing a plane outright, or buying fractional ownership in one, through a company such as NetJets.

Steele’s spokesman, Doug Heye, did not deny that such discussions took place, responding that the RNC never had a “plan” to buy a plane. “I don’t know what somebody might have discussed or might not have discussed.”

While Steele has not purchased a plane, he continues to charter them. According to federal disclosure records, the RNC spent $17,514 on private aircraft in the month of February alone (as well as $12,691 on limousines during the same period). There are no readily identifiable private plane expenses for Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine in the DNC’s last three months of filings.

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Apple boycotts Fox News because of Glenn Beck




A two-week old report by the Washington Post is only now gaining traction in the tech section. It appears that Apple has boycotted Fox News based on Glenn Beck and his ludicrous statements, including calling President Obama a racist and branding progressivism a "cancer."

"More than 200 companies have joined a boycott of Beck's program, making it difficult for Fox to sell ads," the Washington Post reports. "The time has instead been sold to smaller firms offering such products as Kaopectate, Carbonite, 1-800-PetMeds and Goldline International. A handful of advertisers, such as Apple, have abandoned Fox altogether. Network executives say they believe they could charge higher rates if the host were more widely acceptable to advertisers."
 

Given that Fox has the largest cable news viewership in the US, Apple's decision to boycott them was no small decision, especially with the impending launch of the iPad. Then again, Apple doesn't have a problem garnering media attention; it'll probably still penetrate a majority of the mindshare market without running a single iPad ad.

(source)
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Sebelius Threatens To Expose Our Children to More Socialized Medicine!

Nation's Mini Leaches Refuses To Pay Taxes or Get Jubs!! Tricycle Welfare Queens Threatens To Destroy CEOs' Profits: "My Corporation, My Choice! Self-Reliance Starts After Leaving The Womb!"

Sebelius To Insurers: It's Over, You Lost, Stop Looking For Loopholes

Kathleen Sebelius warned the insurance industry Monday not to look for loopholes in health care legislation and informed it that she will be writing regulations to ensure that the industry covers children with preexisting conditions, which some insurers insist is not a requirement of the law.

"The American people debated and discussed health insurance reform for more than a year. Congress and the President have acted. Now is not the time to search for non-existent loopholes that preserve a broken system," writes Sebelius, the Health and Human Services Secretary. The letter was sent to top insurance lobbyist Karen Ignagni on Monday and provided to HuffPost by a third party.

President Obama made the ban on denying children with preexisting conditions a central part of his argument in the closing weeks of the reform fight, saying that kids would be protected almost immediately after the bill passed.
(The rule would activate in six months.)

But insurers argued that what the law really said was that if they choose to cover children, they must cover expenses arising from preexisting conditions. But they claim that doesn't mean they have to offer insurance at all to that child. Without a public insurance plan for children to opt in to, their only choice is the private market.

Sebelius's letter is an attempt to persuade the private industry to follow the spirit of the law
. When Congress returns after the two-week recess, progressive Democrats will again be looking at ways to add a public option to the law. By threatening to refuse to insure sick children, insurers only make the case that much more persuasive.

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flames

'Christian warriors' allegedly plotted attack on cops

'Christian warriors' allegedly plotted attack on cops

By COREY WILLIAMS and DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writers

DETROIT – Nine suspects tied to a Christian militia that was preparing for the Antichrist were charged with conspiring to kill police officers, then kill scores more by attacking a funeral using homemade bombs, federal prosecutors said Monday.

The Michigan-based group, called Hutaree, planned to use the attack on police as a catalyst for a larger uprising against the government, according to newly unsealed court papers. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said agents moved quickly on the group because its members were planning a violent mission sometime in April.

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It's stories like this one that REALLY freak me out.  Thank goodness the FBI was on top of this.

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Michael Steele Evil Plot To Kill Liburals With Uncontrollable Outbursts of LOLZ Continues

RNC's Cash Cows Donors Demands The End of The LULZ: But Tropical Paradise Islands, Luxury Hotels, Private Jets, Whores Houses, Strippers, Lezbians Gir-on-Girl Action Are An Important Tool For Our Democracy!

Michael Steele Called Tone Deaf By GOP Brass, Urged To Resign

In the world of politics, there was plenty of eye-rolling and mockery at reports that Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele spent lavishly on gratuitous and questionable expenditures in February.

For Republican donors and strategists, however, the revelation sparked yet another round in a lengthy debate over whether the rambunctious GOP leader really is the right fit for the party in the minority.

On Monday morning, the Daily Caller reported that the RNC spent thousands of dollars on high-end travel arrangements, swanky hotels and, most remarkably, "meals" at a lesbian-and-bondage-themed nightclub in West Hollywood. The latter expense, naturally, grabbed most of the attention and the cleverest of headlines -- prompting the RNC to simultaneously state that it would investigate the expenditures and that it wasn't Steele who went to the club.

But the damage had already been done. While several GOP strategists are willing to grant Steele a pass -- under the rubric that one has to spend lavishly to raise lavish amounts of money -- several big donors and party officials are completely baffled.
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RNC Says Member Will Return $2,000 Reimbursed for Visit to Bondage Club



The Republican National Committee say it's getting back nearly $2,000 that it reimbursed to a member for a night out at a bondage-themed night club in West Hollywood.

Doug Heye, a spokesman for the RNC, on Monday would not say who the donor was, but announced the committee got a commitment that the cash would be returned.

"The RNC has not only requested that that money that was sent out as a reimbursement be repaid by the member but we've got the commitment that will be done," Heye told Fox News.

Earlier in the day, Heye issued a statement after the Daily Caller reported that the organization reimbursed a member $1,946 for a February trip to Voyeur, a risque nightclub recently featured in The Los Angeles Times as the new hotspot.

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(no subject)

Same-sex weddings open the door to finding the right male attire for women



When Robin Cloud told her friends she was getting married, they offered to help in the way that friends offer to help, at least for straight weddings.

"They said: If you need anything, I'd love to go dress shopping with you."

And Robin responded in the way she had learned to respond, at least to straight people.

She said: "I am the Ellen of the relationship."

That, says Cloud, a 35-year-old lesbian who hasn't worn a dress in more than a decade, "seemed to clear it up for them."

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misc - cake - strawberry cake

"Reasonable Accomodations" debate continues

Tolerating the Intolerant

The Copts, Egypt's indigenous Christians, like many other Eastern Orthodox Christians, celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7, according to the Julian calendar. The midnight mass and Christmas day are joyous celebrations for Egypt's Christians, as they are for Christians around the world.

But there was no joy among Christians in Egypt at the start of this new decade. As celebrants were leaving a Coptic church in Nagi Hammadi shortly before midnight on Jan. 6, a hail of machinegun fire abruptly changed the giggling of children and the well-wishes of adults into screams of pain and agony.

Six people, aged 16 to 26, were murdered on the spot. Two others died later in hospital. A Muslim guard at the church was also killed.

Over the next two days, more Christian families were attacked by Muslim mobs, resulting in widespread destruction of property and businesses.

When I shared the event with my colleagues on Jan. 8, hardly anyone had heard the news. There was very little coverage in the Western media. And in the days that followed, hardly anyone was concerned when five churches were destroyed in Muslim Malaysia or when a Protestant church had burned to ashes in Muslim Algeria. A massacre of Christians in the Muslim part of Nigeria soon followed. Vicious attacks on Christian minorities occurred in three supposedly moderate Muslim countries within a single week. But not an eyebrow was raised.

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I...don't know if I like this article or not. :|
Hairspray: Velma - WTF?

Marine's dad ordered to pay protesters' court fees

BALTIMORE — Lawyers for the father of a Marine who died in Iraq say a court has ordered him to pay legal costs for the anti-gay protesters who picketed his son's funeral.

The protesters are led by Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church. Albert Snyder of York, Pa., had won a $5 million verdict against Phelps, but it was thrown out on appeal.

On Friday, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Maryland ordered Snyder to pay the costs of Phelps' appeal.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed earlier this month to consider whether the protesters' provocative messages, which include phrases like "Thank God for dead soldiers," are protected by the First Amendment.

Lawyers say Snyder already is struggling to come up with the fees associated with filing the brief with the high court.

(Source)

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If you want to donate to Mr. Snyder, Go Here!

I've tried to comment on this but it all comes out as Angrish.
hpyy

Get laid, save rainforest.

How condoms could save the world's forests


A new programme from the world's largest single buyer of condoms could boost rubber tapping and reduce deforestation, says Conor Foley from Green Futures, part of the Guardian Environment Network.

Brazil's reputation as a "sexy country" dates back to the seminal work of Gilberto Freyre, who wrote a rather idealised account of how its sensuous and promiscuous past had produced a beautiful inter-racial population. Although the country's shocking levels of contemporary inequality and violence cruelly mock his central thesis of a 'racial democracy', the 'sexy Brazil' image lives on. It's there in Rio's famous carnival, in the beautiful bodies in bikini-floss that adorn its beaches and, more darkly, as home to one of the world's largest prostitution and sex trafficking industries.

But Brazil has also developed a highly effective anti-HIV/AIDS campaign, which is widely credited with having prevented the type of epidemic that has devastated other developing countries. It's succeeded despite the wrath of the Catholic Church, of the previous US Administration – which made health funding conditional on countries signing 'morality pledges' – and of the big drug companies, whose patents Brazil has flouted to bring down the cost of antiretroviral drugs. In the face of such criticism, Brazilian officials refused to change their approach, arguing that a key part of their success has been because they deal in an accepting, open way with high-risk groups. The Director of its national AIDS programme famously rejected the US Government's restrictions as "theological, fundamentalist and Shiite".

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*Ignores the last sentence* Come on, you guys, will you please just help us here?
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SARAH PALIN GETS SHOW ON DISCOVERY CHANNEL, IS INDEED NOTHING BUT A MAMMAL

TLC Acquires ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska’
March 25, 2010...By BRIAN STELTER

Discovery Communications‘ TLC cable channel has acquired “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” a documentary series about the former Alaska governor and her state.

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I wonder if the program will include her shooting wolves from helicopters.

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/tlc-acquires-sarah-palins-alaska/?hp
cat || RAWR

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

No bolding. I think the entire thing needs to be read.

The Angry Tranny: Tone Arguments and Trans Women



Despite being a mostly-unknown trans activist and blogger whose target audience is usually quite small, I recently found myself at the centre of some internet drama over a piece I wrote at my blog critiquing Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” video for what I perceived as transmisogynist content. My arguments were initially picked up and discussed on a few feminist blogs, Twitter, and the typical places I was used to seeing these kinds of ideas debated. A few days after I put up the post, though, it was cross-posted in its entirety to Oh No They Didn’t, a pop culture community on Livejournal. Almost immediately, my page hits increased by orders of magnitude. With the shift from academic/queer/Feminist/oppression politics sites to a mainstream audience came a nearly complete disintegration of argument, and my inbox and comment queue began to fill with hate mail. In almost every letter the author concluded with an accusation like “And maybe you ****ing trannies would get somewhere if you weren’t so ****ing angry!”

I get the irony.
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Doctor Who (Rose) Frustrated Face

Candidate Draws Criticism For Controversial Ads

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Missouri man who is running for the United States Senate is making national headlines -- not for his political platform, but for his radio campaign ads.

Some people have described the advertisements for candidate Glenn Miller as racist and hateful.

The program director at KMBZ 980 said they had no choice but to run the ads. The spots ran during a conservative talk show on the local station.

"It's time for white men to unite, join together and take back our country," one of the ads hails.


Miller, who is from Springfield, Mo., is running for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Kit Bond.

"We've sit back and allowed the Jews to take over our government, our banks, our media," Miller said in one of the ads. "We've allowed tens of millions of foreign mud people to invade our country."

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Source: Fired Up Missouri (more of Glenn Miller's charming ads are at the Fired Up MO link)
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video of a news report on the ads and who Glenn Miller is
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Netanyahu: "Obama is No Threat To Israel. No, Really! I Mean It This Time!"

Obama Greatest Disaster For Israel: Threat Assessment Level To HOLY SH#T! False Alarm: Threat Assessment Level Downgraded To Frenemy.

Israel's Netanyahu rejects "Obama disaster" headline
(Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected on Sunday a description of President Barack Obama as Israel's "greatest disaster," a phrase a best-selling newspaper attributed to an anonymous confidant of the premier.


Both leaders are locked in a deep disagreement over Israeli settlement in occupied territory in and near Jerusalem. Analysts have described as a humiliating snub Obama's low-profile White House talks with Netanyahu on Tuesday.

In a banner headline, Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth, quoted an unidentified Netanyahu confidant as saying: "We've got a real problem. You could say that Obama is the greatest disaster for Israel -- a strategic disaster."

A statement issued by Netanyahu's office said: "The prime minister emphatically rejects the anonymous quotes about President Obama that a newspaper attributed to one of his confidants, and he condemns them."
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mus | like a bird in a cage

Comedian: "Baww, they won't let me harass people!"

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Probably no one thinks now that an ugly exchange comedian Guy Earle had with lesbian Lorna Pardy and her friends at a Vancouver comedy club three years ago was very funny.

Earle, volunteer master of ceremonies at Zesty's restaurant's open-mic comedy night, called Pardy and her two friends "dykes," among other things, and made explicit suggestions about their sexual practices apparently because he thought they were being disruptive.

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I have no comment on the original case besides "ugh, disgusting" but the name of Earle's lawyer intrigued me. I've mentioned in comments before that I went to high school with a girl whose surname was Millar, and she was this incredibly obnoxious right-winger- believed in bootstraps and restricting abortion so that it wasn't available to "twelve-year-old sluts." It wouldn't surprise me if they were related.
movies | Impish Fräulein2

ONTD_Political's PotD: March 29, 2010.


A brand new silver Tata Nano, heralded as the world's cheapest car, stands in flames on the suburbs of Mumbai, India, Sunday, March 21, 2010. The car belonging to Satish Sawant, a software engineer, burst into flames as he was proudly driving it home from the showroom, draped with a celebratory garland of marigolds. Sawant managed to get his wife and five-year-old son out of the back seat before the smoke billowing from the rear engine turned into flames that engulfed the tiny car.
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AP Photo