April 10th, 2010

Smiley Jensen

Polish President Among the Many Dead in Plane Crash

Polish leader among 132 dead in Russia jet crash


MOSCOW — Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife died Saturday along with 130 others when their plane crashed while coming in for a landing in western Russia, officials said.

The governor of the Smolensk region, where the crash took place about 11 a.m. (0700 GMT), said no one survived.

"The Polish presidential plane did not make it to the runway while landing. Tentative findings indicate that it hit the treetops and fell apart," Sergei Anufriev said on state news channel Rossiya-24. "Nobody has survived the disaster."


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movies | Sally Brown

"Mrs. Obama's Washington" | Condé Nast Traveler mag.

by David Michaelis | Published May 2010

When Barack and Michelle Obama moved to Washington, she found an embracing city of vast vitality and beauty. Now she wants Americans to see the capital she loves, from the intimate majesty of the White House to the restaurants that the President and she visit on their date nights. "There are many Washingtons," Mrs. Obama tells David Michaelis, "and I want people to share in that, to experience all of those Washingtons."

She sweeps into the Blue Room, eyes alight, the force of her intelligence contained in a grin. "So we're going to greet some people who don't know I'm here," Michelle Obama says wryly.

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Video: Michelle Obama [Surprises] White House Visitors


Long article is LOOOOOONG! Like, not even exaggerating. O_O I only expect other Michelle stans to read the entire thing, but I bolded what I figured were the most endearing parts for everyone else. Anyway, MAY THE STANNING COMMENCE.

genius of love

Polish President Lech Kaczynski In Plane Crash

A plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski has crashed near a Russian airport, officials say.

Russian media reported that 87 people were killed in the crash near Smolensk, and a regional governor was quoted as saying there were no survivors.

Polish officials said Mr Kaczynski was on board along with his wife Maria and several senior government figures.

They were in Russia to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, when the Soviets killed thousands of Poles.

The Russian emergencies ministry told Itar-Tass news agency the plane crashed at 1056 Moscow time (0656 GMT).

Ministry spokeswoman Irina Andrianova said it had been flying from Moscow to Smolensk, but had no details on the identities of those killed.

Smolensk regional governor Sergei Antufiev told Russian TV that no one had survived. "As it was preparing for landing, the Polish president's aircraft did not make it to the landing strip," he said. "According to preliminary reports, it got caught up in the tops of trees, fell to the ground and broke up into pieces. There are no survivors in that crash. We are clarifying how many people there were in the [Polish] delegation. According to preliminary reports, 85 members of the delegation and the crew."

The BBC's Adam Easton in Warsaw says the president was flying in a Tupolev 154, a plane that was designed in the 1960s and capable of carrying more than 100 passengers.

The Polish Foreign Ministry said the president and his wife were aboard the plane. Central bank governor Slawomir Skrzypek was also said to have been on board.

Mr Kaczynski has been a controversial figure in Polish politics, advocating a right-wing Catholic agenda. He has opposed rapid free-market reforms and favoured retaining social welfare programmes.


Holy shit.
LOLitics | Fuck My Life

Two articles on Glenn Beck™.

How Glenn Beck Makes $32 Million A Year
Love him, hate him, or love to hate him, but Fox News' Glenn Beck is a rich man. He made $32 million in 2009, Forbes reports. But reporter Lacey Rose tells us his Fox News contract is the least lucrative of his many projects from books to radio shows to merchandise.

He's a regular empire, and knows it: "I could give a flying crap about the political process," he told Forbes. "We're an entertainment company." Here's the math:

$12 million from book sales from a Simon & Schuster co-venture "typically reserved for authors like Stephen King." 
$50 million from a 5-year contract with Premiere Radio Networks that netted $10 million last year. It's the No. 3 most-listened to show in America.
$4 million from his website, which brings in revenue from ads, "Insider" paid subscription service ($54.95 per year) and retail merchandise sales.
$3 million in speaking fees, including his "Bold Fresh Tour" with Bill O'Reilly .
$2 million from his Fox News contract.
$1 million from his Fusion magazine.
$32 million in 2009!


Exposing Glenn Beck as a Dangerous Fraud

Bob Cesca | April 7, 2010 02:48 PM

So here goes. Beginning with this post, I intend to expose Glenn Beck as a fraud. A dangerous faker who deliberately manipulates his audience by appealing to their basest instincts. As a man who only embraces conservatism and the tea party movement as a means to furthering his significant personal wealth and career as a successful TV goon.


Right. I get it. I should probably ignore him. Why should I waste time writing about Glenn Beck again? As hard as it is to believe, most days I intentionally ignore Glenn Beck posts and videos on the blogs. My recurring reaction is generally twofold. One: he's exhausting to watch because just as I'm wrapping my head around one line of googly-eyed horseshit, he belts out another ridiculous, melodramatic or dangerous line, and before I know it, I'm faced with a log-jam of crazy, forcing me to scramble for either an oxygen mask or a stiff drink. And, two: why pay attention to the television equivalent of an escaped mental patient screaming gibberish on the median strip at a busy intersection?

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Yeah-yeah "Preaching To The Choir, Etc!". Read it anyway. The most relevant bits have been bolded for the lazy. On a related note, LOL @ the "Truth" to "Half True/False/Pants On Fire" ratio of Beck's file @ PolitiFact.com.

(P&P) Murder them all


Spanish Judge Indicted for Inquiry Into Franco-Era Abuses

Published: April 7, 2010

MADRID — Baltasar Garzón, the Spanish judge who attained international fame for pursuing leaders like Augusto Pinochet of Chile and Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, was himself indicted Wednesday on charges of abusing his powers to investigate Spanish Civil War atrocities.
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A very recommendable editorial about this by the New York Times.

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  • Current Mood
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U.S., India parents seen as worst behaved at kids' sports?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – More than 35 percent of adults worldwide have witnessed a parent become physically or verbally abusive toward a coach or official at a children's sporting event, according to a joint Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The survey of 23,000 adults in 22 countries by market research company Ipsos showed that irate, screaming, over-enthusiastic parents are not only found in Hollywood films and on television.


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franklin sherman

Pope billboard stencilled with "what looks like a panda"

Two billboards in Marsa advertising the Pope's visit to Malta got the unlikely addition of two stencilled images of what looks like a panda. It is not clear why the "artist" in question juxtaposed the bears with the Pope. The organising committee was alerted yesterday morning and it plans to erase the images.


Akuma River

Iran Prison Break

Iran Prison Break: Attackers Blast Open Iran Jail, Two Escape
| 04/10/10 08:13 AM | AP

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's official news agency reports assailants blasted open a prison wall with rocket propelled grenades in western Iran, allowing two convicted murderers to escape.

IRNA on Saturday quoted Governor Noorollah Arjmoandi saying that the attackers drove up in cars and fired RPGs at the main prison in Ilam province, western Iran.

The semi-official Mehr news agency, however, quoted prison official Ali Reza Babaei as saying that the explosion was caused by a bomb, injuring 19 people, three of them prison guards.

Mehr said the two prisoners who escaped were convicted murderers and one of them had been scheduled to be hanged.

I'll be honest, I'm not sure what to think about this because this is Iran and the Prisoners could be political dissents or gay or some other 'innocent' person...or they could geniunely be murders.

But it is what it is. I'll try to find out some more information on it.
Akuma River

More Mexico Drug Cartel War news

Mexico Drug War: At Least 80 Gunmen Terrorize Town For Hours, Kill 4
| 04/ 9/10 10:50 PM | AP

MEXICO CITY � Police say at least 80 gunmen terrorized a town in northern Mexico for several hours and killed four people.

Sonora state attorney general Abel Murrieta says the assailants arrived in the town of Maycoba in at least 15 pickup trucks, opened fire on the state police headquarters and set it ablaze.

Murrieta said Friday the assailants terrorized the town for at least five hours Thursday afternoon. He said the gunmen are members of organized crime but gave no other details.

In the central state of Morelos, police found the bodies of two men hanging from a bridge in the city of Cuernavaca.

Cuernavaca police say in a statement the bodies were found Friday along with a message that claims federal authorities are protecting an alleged drug kingpin.
Christian Bale

Bilderberg Meeting Found!

The Bilderberg group will conduct its annual meeting June 3-6 in Sitges, Spain (a small, exclusive resort town about 20 miles from Barcelona) behind a wall of armed guards who will seal off the resort in a futile attempt to keep the event secret.

Bilderberg’s meeting will follow that of its brother group, the Trilateral Commission, which will gather at the Four Seasons Resort in Dublin, Ireland May 6-10. Leaders of Bilderberg also attend the Trilateralists’ meeting to map their common agenda. About 300 attend Trilateral Commission meetings, which are conducted behind sealed-off, guarded floors of their hotel. About 100 will attend Bilderberg, which seals off the entire resort behind platoons of uniformed police and private security.

Bilderberg hopes to keep the global recession going for at least a year, according to an international financial consultant who deals personally with many of them. This is because, among several reasons, Bilderberg still hopes to create a global “treasury department” under the United Nations. Bilderberg first undertook this mission at its meeting last spring in Greece, but the effort was blocked by nationalists in Europe and the United States. “Nationalists” (a dirty word in Bilderberg) objected to surrendering sovereignty to the UN.

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Magneto puppet
  • drbat

Dog wins mayoral post in Divide

A three-legged dog beat a three-legged cat to become the new mayor of Divide.

Spright, a pit bull mix, won the ceremonious post in an election where votes were bought.

The former stray, known as “Mighty Sprighty” in the campaign, received 4,755 votes. At her heels was runner-up Walter, an orange tabby, with 4,213 votes.

Walter will serve as vice mayor in this unincorporated mountain town with no governing body — that is, until now.

The dollar-a-vote election raised $14,084 for Teller County Regional Animal Shelter. “Everybody really got into it,” said Mary Steinbeiser, shelter manager.

The race had four Republi-cats and 21 Dog-ocrats on the ballot. All candidates had jobs. That was the only requirement.

Walter, a former stray hit by a car, works at Animal Clinic of Woodland Park.

Spright travels with Dr. Lisa Berg at The Mobile Pet Vet in Divide. “She’s my vet truck dog,” Berg said. “I needed to have someone be with me. I’m lonely.”

Berg described Spright as “high-energy, sweet and everybody’s friend.”

As mayor, Spright will preside over parades and other events in Divide and Woodland Park (where, incidentally, the winning two-legged mayor, Steve Randolph, received only 712 votes in this week’s election).

The political animals’ official inauguration ceremony will be noon Sunday at the shelter, 308 Weaverville Road. People and leashed pets are welcome. For more information: (719) 686-7707 or tcrascolorado.com.

  • mswyrr

ex-social security trustee: America, take off your racist goggles and learn to love the immigration!

Why More Immigrants Are An Answer to the Coming Boomer Entitlement Mess
Robert Reich
Friday, April 9, 2010

I was born in 1946, just when the boomer wave began. Bill Clinton was born that year, too. So was George W. So was Laura Bush. And Ken Starr (remember him?) And then, the next year, Hillary Clinton. And soon Newt Gingrich (known as “Newty” as a boy). And Cher. Why so many of us begin getting born in 1946? Simple. My father was in World War II. He came home. My mother was waiting. Ditto for the others.

Sixty years later, we boomers have a lot to be worried about because most of us plan to retire in a few years and Social Security and Medicare are on the way to going bust. I should know because I used to be a trustee of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Those of you who are younger than we early boomers have even more to be worried about because if those funds go bust they won’t be there when you’re ready to retire.

It’s already starting to happen. This year Social Security will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes.
The tipping point came sooner than anyone expected because the recession has kicked so many people off payrolls. But it was coming anyway. And it adds new urgency to reforming Social Security — a task the president’s commission on the nation’s debt is focusing on.

So what’s the answer?
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I like what he's saying. There's something very appealing about the idea that setting aside xenophobic paranoia is the way to help your country economically. Marrying ethical behavior to financial success is a heady combo. But I'm not sure the economic recovery this guy's solution requires will be as strong as he believes. Fair and humane immigration reform is necessary, but I'm not sure I can buy that it's both necessary and the key to solving the Social Security problem. What do you folks think?

Has Twitter ended this man's political career? (Yes. Yes it has)

It looks like a Labour candidate has committed political hari-kari on Twitter. Stuart MacLennan, the PPC for Moray, posted a series of offensive Tweets on the site and the Tories and the SNP are calling for his head.

Here's a screenshot of one of them, containing MacLennan's unfortunate reference to "slave-grown" bananas. Paul Waugh has some more.

Elsewhere, he describes pensioners as "coffin dodgers", calls a fellow train passenger the "ugliest old boot I've ever seen" and makes liberal use of the c-word.

Given that his Twitter followers included Sarah Brown, Ed Balls and Ben Bradshaw you might have thought that MacLennan would make more of an effort to stay on message.

This isn't the first time that a Labour figure has fallen foul of Twitter of course. David Wright MP was forced to apologise after he described the Tories as "scum sucking pigs" and hasn't tweeted since.

It's a reminder that the risks of new media for political parties are sometimes as great as the opportunities. As the Labour blogger Luke Akehurst has pointed out: "one ill-considered email, tweet, blog post or Facebook status upset by a candidate or campaigner can provide a lot of ammo for the old-fashioned media to shred a party's campaign with."

At a time when all the parties are on the look out for online (and offline) gaffes by their rivals, it's time for candidates to learn that they can't say on Twitter what they wouldn't say on Newsnight or Today.

UPDATE: I've just heard that MacLennan has been sacked as the party's candidate. Twitter has claimed its first political scalp.

New Statesman

ETA: Oh my word there's another one.

You left-wing scum are all the same, wanting to hand our birthright to Romanian gypsies who beat their wives and children into begging and stealing money they can gamble with, Muslim nutters who want to kill us and put us all under mediaeval Sharia law, the same Africans who sold their Afro-Caribbean brothers into a slavery that Britain was the first to abolish (but you still want to apologize for!)

-- Some UKIP candidate in a blog's comment section. (who, unsurprisingly given the party, was reinstated after apologising)

Holy motherfucking shit

Cable Ties Kissinger to Chile Controversy

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As secretary of state, Henry Kissinger canceled a U.S. warning against carrying out international political assassinations that was to have gone to Chile and two neighboring nations just days before a former ambassador was killed by Chilean agents on Washington's Embassy Row in 1976, a newly released State Department cable shows.

Whether Kissinger played a role in blocking the delivery of the warning against assassination to the governments of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay has long been a topic of controversy.

Discovered in recent weeks by the National Security Archive, a non-profit research organization, the Sept. 16, 1976 cable is among tens of thousands of declassified State Department documents recently made available to the public.

In 1976, the South American nations of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay were engaged in a program of repression code-named Operation Condor that targeted those governments' political opponents throughout Latin America, Europe and even the United States.
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Wow. I knew the Letelier assassination was something the Nixon administration tried to brush aside (act of international terrorism that it was) because the US at the time was oh-so-chummy with Pinochet. So Kissinger is not only just indirectly (or directly) responsible for
one Chilean official's death, but two. Also, everyone needs to watch/read "The Trials of Henry Kissinger."
Akuma River

This shit is getting real - US Consulate in Nuevo Laredo bombed

Bomb Damages U.S. Consulate In Mexico
| 04/10/10 08:27 PM |

MEXICO CITY — An attacker threw an explosive device over the wall around the U.S. consulate in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, breaking windows and startling employees inside but causing no injuries, the U.S. Embassy said Saturday.

The attack, which took place about 11:30 p.m. Friday, is under investigation, embassy spokesman Claude Young said.

Young said the consulate and the consular agency in the border town of Piedras Negras would be closed Monday pending a review of security measures.

Mexican federal prosecutors in the capital said they were reviewing evidence from the scene, including video feeds from security cameras at the consulate.

Nuevo Laredo, across the Rio Grande River from Laredo, Texas, and other cities have seen increased violence in recent weeks as powerful Mexican drug cartels battle over control of lucrative trafficking along the border.

U.S. State Department employees in the area had not been victimized until last month. That's when gunmen separately chased down and killed an American woman who worked at the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez along with her husband in their SUV and another man married to a Mexican consulate worker in a similar vehicle. All three had been at the same party.

In 2008, two men fired shots and threw a grenade – which didn't explode – at the U.S. consulate in Monterrey. Nobody was hurt in that assault, but the gate was left pockmarked. Five days later gunmen again fired at that consulate.

Mom told me that a big drug cartel made a statement the otherday that the US doesn't have enough people to fight the war against drugs and that the drug cartels are bigger than the US.

Mom also said that the new threat is that when marijuna is legalized and regulated that the drug cartels will threaten, take over, and snuff out the competition (ie the farmers growing and selling it legally).

Btw, that American woman who worked for the US State Department was pregnant.