May 14th, 2010

Akuma River

Alfred and his boss help to save Europe...again

Was the euro saved by a call from Barack Obama?
Talks on the scale of a bailout deal to rescue the single currency were wavering – then the President intervened
By John Lichfield | Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The European Central Bank should perhaps mint a celebratory euro coin with Barack Obama's head on it. As the dust settles and the markets cool (perhaps temporarily), details are beginning to emerge of the frantic background negotiations which generated the €750bn plan to save the euro in the early hours of Monday. US officials – but not just US officials – are giving some of the credit to President Obama.

French presidential sources insist that the hero of the hour was Nicolas Sarkozy but that his newly-adopted policy of presidential decorum prevents him from blowing a whole brass section of trumpets, as he would have done a couple of months ago. The whole deal almost collapsed just after midnight, when EU finance ministers had already been meeting for nine hours. The Italian Prime Minister is said to have brokered a telephone compromise between Mr Sarkozy and Germany's Angela Merkel, which allowed an agreement to be announced just as the Tokyo markets were opening at 2am Brussels' time.
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So, my European cousins, do you think this will work? Or will the market's turn against it?How instrumental do you think Obama was in getting it done? What do your countries think of it? Did Obama putting his hat in help people accept it? Or is everyone still pissed about this?
Rock The Fuck On And Cook Bitches

Please Pack Your Knives and Go....

Top Chef Season 7 will be in DC this time. And some of the guests this season will be worthy of us watching.

According to @PleasePackYourKnives' twitter, the following people have been confirmed as guests:

Buzz Aldrin, Nancy Pelosi, White House chef Sam Kass and @JoeNBC, DC Congressman Aaron Schock, Senator Mark Warner, CIA Director Leon Panetta & @SavannahGuthrie.

Source

OP note...I am excite! I can't wait to see Pelosi on Top Chef.
Marie

LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act Passes

US Passes Bipartisan Bill Demanding an End to the Atrocities and Child Abductions of the Lord’s Resistance Army
By Sarah Ncube

Congress has passed a bill with broad bipartisan support calling upon the Obama administration to lead international efforts to end the threat to civilians posed by the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA. This historic legislation demonstrates Americans’ broad and deep determination to see new action from President Obama to help apprehend Joseph Kony and other top LRA commanders who are wanted by the International Criminal Court. The bill provides support to disarm and disband Kony’s militia, and to restore stability to those areas of Africa that have been terrorized by their history of mass atrocities, child abductions, and other horrific acts.

The House of Representatives passed the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009 (S.1067) by voice vote. This vote constitutes the most significant action Congress has taken to date to end the LRA’s long reign of terror and restore lasting peace for the central African communities devastated by war.

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Reporting

Wearing headscarves, Gazan women compete in rare track meet in Hamas-ruled territory

By The Associated Press (CP) – 6 days ago

GAZA, Palestinian Territories — About 40 women in tracksuits and headscarves have competed in a rare track meet in Hamas-ruled Gaza.

The athletes ran 100, 400 and 1,500 metres in Saturday's championship. Some raced barefoot and others waved to cheering spectators during their races.

Runner Ghada al-Zamt came third in the 1,500 metres. She says women's athletics are not encouraged in Gaza. Participants in Saturday's meet included university students and amateur athletes.

Gaza's Muslim rulers — and most residents — disapprove of women's sports because it can reveal their body shape. It is also difficult for athletes to compete internationally because Gaza's borders have been virtually sealed by Israel and Egypt since the Hamas takeover in 2007.

Source

Report: Austin spends the most on food & drink, Detroit the least

The truth about food spending in America
Dining Out, 2010 Bundle Report

U.S. cities have vastly different grocery and restaurant budgets — but aren't we all eating the same stuff?

At Bundle, we have a healthy obsession with spending. How much, where, on what — and often, how to do a little less of it. In our short life, we've noticed something: our conversations about money keep circling back to food. Restaurant week specials. Bringing our lunches. Bottled water. Growing our own vegetables.

Our salaries are set. So is our rent. Clothes and other big-ticket items are periodic expenses. But when it comes to food, we get several chances a day to save or splurge. Brian Wansink, the director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, estimates we make 227 decisions about what to eat every day — each of which has a small financial impact. Go out for drinks after work? Buy the Hershey's chocolate bar or spring for the Lindt? And couldn't we just order takeout? Because after a day's worth of food-and-spending decisions, I'm too exhausted to think about cooking.

Those tiny decisions add up. The average American household spent $3,778 on groceries in 2009, and another $2,736 in restaurants and bars. Buried in those averages are millions of individual purchases that reflect appetites, lifestyles and values. People in Denver devoted 22 percent of their daily spending to food and drink, more than any other city in the country. Residents of Atlanta spent a whopping 57 percent of their food budget on dining out — more than anyone else in the country, and about 28 percent more than the national average.

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Source

I live in Austin, and while I'm a little amazed we spend the most on food, I'm not really surprised. This is a foodie city full of well-off hippies, yuppies, and hipsters. Dining out is commonplace, and we're up to our eyeballs in organic and health food stores (this is where the flagship Whole Foods is located).

Does your experience in your city match up with its position on the infograph?
TK and Kari

Cougars die young (but sugar daddies live to a ripe old age)


His baby face and taut torso may make her the envy of her friends. But a toyboy husband could send a woman to an early grave.

Research shows that women who tie the knot with younger men tend to die before their time. And the younger her beloved is, the harder it is on her health.

Men, on the other hand appear to thrive when they marry someone younger. In fact, the more youthful his wife, the longer a man lives.
The finding will be a shock to growing numbers of 'cougars' - middle-aged

The disparity was revealed by an analysis of the marriage and death records of two million Dutch men and women.

It showed that men who marry younger women live longer than those who choose a spouse of their own age.

For instance, a man with a wife seven to nine years his junior - often nicknamed a 'sugar daddy' - is 7 per cent less likely to die at any given time than one who picks a woman of the same age.
Catherine Zeta-Jones

Lucky Man: Michael Douglas, who is 25 years older than wife Catherine Zeta- Jones, can expect to live a healthier life

And the bigger the age gap, the longer his life. In contrast, a woman who snags a man seven to nine years younger is 20 per cent more likely to die than one who tied the knot with a chap of her own age.

And for any woman 'lucky' enough to marry a man more than 15 years younger, the risk soars to 30 per cent, say the findings, reported in the journal Demography.

The researchers from Germany's Max Planck Institute for Demographic-Research said it is not clear why marrying a toyboy is so bad for a woman's health.

But they believe men benefit from having a much younger wife because she will be able to nurse her husband as he ages.

She is also more likely to broaden her husband's social circle and interests, boosting his mental and physical health.

And it could be a man has to be healthier - and wealthier - than average to attract a much younger woman in the first place.

At the same time, women may shorten their lives by marrying a toyboy because their husband is likely to be less willing to nurse them through old age.

Researcher Sven Drefahl, said: 'The greater the age difference, the lower the wife's life expectancy.

'The best choice for a woman is to marry a man of exactly the same age.'

source

ngl this saddens the potential future cougar in me.
Citadel

Radar: New Woman To Make "Sexual Charges" Against Roman Polanski

On the heels of yet another petition supporting Roman Polanski, this one signed by famous directors, a new woman will apparently hold a press conference today accusing Polanski of sexual misconduct.

RadarOnline reports that this woman will hold a conference today in Los Angeles with lawyer Gloria Allred, to level "sexual charges" against Polanski. No word yet on who the woman is, or what exactly the charges are, but given Gloria Allred's involvement with both the Tiger Woods and Jesse James scandals, she's become the go-to attorney for those looking to expose celebrities' sexual foibles. Of course, Polanski's acts in 1977 were far worse than a foible, and it remains to be seen whether the new charges will match them in severity.

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' jules

Shenanigans Friday: May 14, 2010.

"PatriLOLtism is when love of your own people comes first; nationLOLism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.”-Charles de GauLOL
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by marah_sarie
Jon and Gitmo

Who do Americans Prefer NOT to Have as Neighbors?


A recent study by Chelsea Schafer and Greg Shaw found that, as of 2006, over a quarter of Americans would still rather not live near homosexuals.  This percentage has been decreasing, however; in 1990 and 1995, 38% and 30% of people, respectively, wanted to keep their distance:

But tolerance for Muslims and immigrants has not increased alongside tolerance for gays and lesbians.  The data show that rather high levels of tolerance in the ’90s (with about 90% of people being happy to have these groups as neighbors) disappeared and, by 2006, 22% of people did not want to live near Muslims and 19% did not want to live near immigrants.

The data on tolerance for Muslims is likely due to the way the attacks on September 11th, 2001, have been spun to stoke hatred against Muslims.  What do you think about the increased intolerance for immigrants?  Have “foreigners” been collateral damage in the smear campaign against Muslims and Arabs?  If it were simply growing conservatism, wouldn’t we see the same pattern for homosexuals?  Other explanations?

(source)
 


Tories prepare 'bigger cuts than Thatcher'

A famous 'social democrat'

Image by Toban Black via Flickr

Health campaigners have warned that the country should prepare itself for "even bigger NHS Tory cuts than Thatcher" after the government's new Health Secretary said "efficiency savings" were necessary.

Andrew Lansley also insisted that Labour's "substantial increase" in health spending over the last decade was "not sustainable for the future."

The Tory minister dropped the bombshell on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on which he said: "What is sustainable for the NHS is that we deliver efficiency savings in the NHS in the same way as the rest of the public sector."

The Liberal Democrats have accepted Tory proposals on health spending, he added.

Mr Lansley spoke as if the NHS was a business.

He said: "I am determined that we will have an NHS in which the patient shares in making decisions.

"We will need progressively to be more efficient, to cut the costs of what we do now, to innovate and redesign in order to enable us to meet increased demands and to improve quality and outcomes."

Campaign group Health Emergency director John Lister warned that this would mean massive cuts to jobs, hospital beds and A&E departments across the country.

He said: "Mr Lansley is talking about bigger cuts than Labour and, not to put too fine a point on it, people are being conned. There will be even bigger NHS Tory cuts than Thatcher."

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said Mr Lansley's proposals will have "a devastating impact on our hospitals."

He added: "There is nothing left to cut without seriously hitting patient care and waiting lists. What happened to all those election promises about maintaining NHS spending?"


In a worrying Independent interview in 2005, Lib Dem leader and new Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg spoke of "breaking up the NHS."

A Unison spokeswoman said: "It does not come as any surprise whatsoever that Mr Clegg made those comments. Behind Cameron is a whole line of people who firmly believe that people should 'pay for what you get'."


A spokesman for the Lib Dems insisted Mr Clegg was "committed to the NHS free at the point of use and always has been."

Source: Morning Star
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Gays should remain promiscuous and unattached, insists Pope

Pope Benedict XVI iPhone Wallpaper

Image by Photo Giddy via Flickr

Pope Benedict XVI has insisted that same-sex marriage should not be encouraged among homosexuals as it will likely dampen their natural exuberance and flamboyance leaving them mere husks of their former selves like their heterosexual married brethren.

In an address to a huge crowd at the end of a four day visit to Portugal, the Pope was keen to ensure that homosexuals do not find themselves living the miserable married lives experienced by so many Catholic couples.

“Put a Catholic man alongside a gay man and ask who looks happier, I tell you now it is obvious to all - and it’s not the one who will having sex with just one person for the rest of their lives.”

“Being trapped in a loveless relationship is an insidious and dangerous threat to the common good, and I would much rather the gays were not brought down to our level of lifelong tedium.”

“It might not be my cup of tea, but the gays are clearly a lot happier than any Catholic I’ve ever met, so I would strongly urge you keep on doing whatever, or whomever, you’re doing, and not to worry about this horrendous institution we call marriage.”

Speech

The Pope’s speech came at the Catholic shrine of Fatima where the Pope finally seemed to be understanding what everyone else understood a long time ago, that the recent child abuse scandals were the fault of the church.

He told his congregation, “It seems pretty pointless denying it any more, seeing as everyone with access to a newspaper or the Internet knows the truth. So yes, the child sex abuse scandals were caused by sin from within the church. Happy now?”

“Can we now look forward to my trip the UK in peace? I will have many sinners to berate, so it would be better if we could leave our own sins behind by then. Thanks.”


Source
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Dragon Age Inquisition

Oh good god, Governator.

Schwarzenegger budget would eliminate welfare
By Kevin Yamamura


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked lawmakers Friday to eliminate the state's welfare program starting in October and dramatically scale back in-home care for elderly and disabled as part of his May budget revision to close a $19.1 billion deficit.

The Republican governor also proposed cuts to state worker compensation. Besides asking for a 5 percent pay cut, 5 percent payroll cap and 5 percent increased pension contribution, Schwarzenegger has proposed cutting one day per month of pay in exchange for leave credit.

The proposal would affect all state workers under the governor's authority, regardless of whether they are general fund or special fund employees. Employees would not be able to cash out any of this unused leave credit when they leave from state service.

The governor did not propose any new tax hikes.
Schwarzenegger proposed eliminating state-subsidized child care for all but preschoolers as a way to reduce the states education funding guarantee.

He agreed, however, to fully fund state parks.



Sauce.

Ban the Burqa?

There have been a lot of discussions lately about banning the burqa. This article provides quite a detailed analysis of the various arguments for and against the ban.



The proposal of a burqa ban by a[n Australian] Federal Liberal Senator has created an unlikely coalition of support from both the conservative and progressive ends of the political spectrum. United by a common desired outcome, the underlying rationale for support varies widely. Among neo-conservatives, the burqa is a potential weapon of mass destruction, or at least is likely to conceal one. To the conservative cultural warriors, banning the burqa is the first step in the long war to de-liberalise modern society. The secularist support for a ban comes from the underlying fear that the religiosity of Islam will undo the advances in secularisation that occurred in Christian society. Finally, the progressive support for a ban comes from extreme distaste for the subjugation of women that the burqa represents.

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(no subject)

Study: White and black children biased toward lighter skin

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • CNN commissioned study on children's racial beliefs, attitudes and preferences
  • Study shows black and white children are biased toward lighter skin
  • Test aimed to re-create landmark Doll Test from 1940s
  • Study also showed children's ideas on race change little between ages 5 and 10
See the results of the CNN-commissioned study on children's racial beliefs, attitudes and preferences, and see the children as they take the test on a special "AC360°" in front of a live studio audience, tonight at 10pm ET

(CNN) -- A white child looks at a picture of a black child and says she's bad because she's black. A black child says a white child is ugly because he's white. A white child says a black child is dumb because she has dark skin.

This isn't a schoolyard fight that takes a racial turn, not a vestige of the "Jim Crow" South; these are American schoolchildren in 2010.

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Source
Buffy lol

David Cameron (AKA massive shitbag) uses side entrance of Scottish Parliament to avoid protests

Cameron avoids Holyrood protesters

David Cameron has avoided angry protests as he made his first visit to Scotland since becoming Prime Minister.

Hundreds of noisy demonstrators had gathered to greet the newly installed PM on his arrival outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

But instead of entering through the Queensberry House entrance at Holyrood as expected, Mr Cameron went straight into the building via the underground car park.
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Source:http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5gWdLsr9f-ExVaDbwUkk18q8Ow4WA

I'm really pleased it went well, although despite making the facebook protest event I had to miss it due to a uni interview :( So glad to see people turning out in decent numbers!
cloak, capas, student, praxe

Here's a reasonable argument in the transgenics debate

GM crop use makes minor pests major problem








Growing cotton that has been genetically modified to poison its main pest can lead to a boom in the numbers of other insects, a ten-year study in northern China has found.










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Source

Transgenics is a debate that needs to happen, but I get frustrated by the amount of idiotic arguments being thrown from both sides. I stopped shopping at a store that, on Christmas, had bags with reindeer-dogs, carrot-pine trees and the like with the slogan "Say no to a transgenic Christmas". Please stop spreading stupid fears. Talk about the real issues.

 
Sufjan Smile

Compromising justice

Nicole Colson looks at Barack Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court--and why progressives are right to be worried about what she'd do as a justice.


Elena Kagan, flanked by Barack Obama and Joe Biden, during a White House press conference

The Obama administration went with every Washington insider's odds-on favorite in announcing its nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens: Elena Kagan, the current Solicitor General of the United States.

Kagan's nomination prompted the predictable chorus of right-wing indignation. Republicans claim that she's "inexperienced," having never been a judge before. That's true--but Bill Clinton had nominated Kagan to be a federal judge, and Senate Republicans blocked her with a filibuster.

Dozens of past Supreme Court justices didn't have experience as a judge when they were appointed--including conservative hero William Rehnquist. Clarence Thomas had been a judge for 16 months when he was nominated.

More outrageous are the personal attacks on Kagan. National Review blogger Ed Whelan slammed Kagan after the Washington Post wrote that she is "such a product of New York City that she did not learn to drive until her late 20s." This, according to Whelan (in a post titled "Not the NASCAR justice"), "nicely captures Elena Kagan's remoteness from the lives of most Americans."

Lived in New York! Learned to drive late! Clearly, she's a public-transit-loving, liberal commie.

And, of course, the right-wing rumor mill is in overdrive speculating on the 50-year-old and unmarried Kagan's sexual orientation. Far-right groups including the "American Family Association" and "Americans for Truth" have demanded that Kagan answer whether she is a "practicing homosexual." Focus on the Family, another far-right group, has declared that it will not tolerate a gay Supreme Court justice.
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Source: Socialist Worker

A critique of Kagan from the socialist perspective. I think it's a fair article, it gives credit where credit is due, and is prudent with criticism -- the harshest of which it reserves for Obama and the administration themselves.

It's good to remember too that on these issues, Kagan will be further right than Stephens, who has consistently crusaded against the same expansion of executive power/counter-terrorism law that Kagan purportedly supports, so while it's a marginal shift, it remains ever still, a shift to the right.
jew roll

Buchanan: Too many Jews on Supreme Court

FUCK YOU, BUCHANAN!

WHERE MAH HEBS AT?!


What if, instead of gay-baiting Elena Kagan, conservatives religion-bait her? "If Kagan is confirmed, Jews, who represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats," former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan gripes.

Writing for World Net Daily, the MSNBC pundit and member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans responded to black leaders' concern that Kagan hired too many white people at Harvard Law.

If Kagan is confirmed, Jews, who represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats.

Is this the Democrats' idea of diversity?

Then, Uncle Pat segues into a lament for the power WASPs and caucasian Catholics of yore:

But while leaders in the black community may be upset, the folks who look more like the real targets of liberal bias are white Protestants and Catholics, who still constitute well over half of the U.S. population.

Not in living memory has a Democratic president nominated an Irish, Italian or Polish Catholic, though these ethnic communities once gave the party its greatest victories in the cities and states of the North.

What happened to the party of the Daleys, Rizzos and Rostenkowskis?

And not in nearly half a century has a Democratic president nominated a white Protestant or white Catholic man or woman.

He then praises Republicans for nominating white judges. Phew, there is a safe haven still for white people who think a guy arrested leading people around a desert was the son of God. [WND, TPM, pic of Pat from 1996 via AP]


whatcha gawkin' at?
text - run and run

Militant Red Shirt Leader Wounded

BANGKOK -- Anti-government protesters set fire to a police bus down the street from Japanese and U.S. embassies in central Bangkok after troops fired tear gas Friday in a burst of new violence after nightlong clashes left one person dead.

The fighting, which so far has claimed 30 lives and injured hundreds since anti-government Red Shirt protesters began camping in the capital on March 12, plunged Thailand deeper into political uncertainty, with both sides hardening their positions.

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My great-uncle is a retired Peace Corps volunteer, currently living in Bangkok.  He says the government really wants to stop the rally now, as Thai schools open on Monday and there are 16 schools near the rally area.
Obama-chill

Fierce President.....iz fierce about oil industry blame gaming.


Obama's Gulf Oil Spill Response: The System Has Failed (VIDEO)

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Friday angrily decried the "ridiculous spectacle" of oil industry officials pointing fingers of blame for the catastrophic spill in the Gulf of Mexico and pledged to end a "cozy relationship" between the oil industry and federal regulators that he said had extended into his own administration.

Obama said he shared the "anger and frustration" felt by many Americans, and promised he would "not rest or be satisfied" until the leak had been capped, the spill had been cleaned up and gulf residents could return to their livelihoods.

He also acknowledged differing estimates about just how disastrous the damage from the leak could become. He said the administration's response has "always been geared toward the possibility of a catastrophic event."

With millions of gallons of oil fouling the fragile Gulf ecosystem after a drilling rig exploded April 20 and later sank, Obama said: "It's pretty clear that the system failed and it failed badly." Eleven workers were killed in the accident.

Obama slammed BP and other companies responsible for equipment involved in the spill for pointing fingers at each other instead of accepting responsibility.

There's "enough blame to go around and all parties should be willing to accept it," the president said.

 

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Source is waiting for the President to throw an oil executive's ass out of the window.

All in favor of the amended Springfield/pervert bill?

GOP Kills Science Jobs Bill By Forcing Dems To Vote For Porn

In an example of Republican obstructionism rendered beautiful by its simplicity, the GOP yesterday killed a House bill that would increase funding for scientific research and math and science education by forcing Democrats to vote in favor of federal employees viewing pornography.

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), the ranking member of the House science committee, introduced a motion to recommit, a last-ditch effort to change a bill by sending it back to the committee with mandatory instructions.

In this case, Republicans included a provision that would bar the federal government from paying the salaries of employees who've been disciplined for viewing pornography at work.

To proceed with the bill and bring it to a final vote, Democrats would have had to vote against the motion to recommit, and against the porn ban.
 
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Source

Bill defeated

Edit: The Atlantic Wire has more on what happened and why. An especially good summary on the motion to recommit is also there:

As a general matter, the rule was probably intended to provide an opportunity to dot an 'i' or cross a 't' that had been overlooked by the committee that had marked up the bill. In other words, it's always possible for someone to find some flaw in the language of a bill at the last moment and the 'motion to recommit' allows for last second corrections to be made. However, over time the minority in the House realized that the procedure could be used to kill a bill that could not be killed in any other way. For example, they could say that the bill is a very fine piece of legislation but it neglected to condemn child molestation and, also, to phase out the departments of Education and Commerce.

The majority party is then faced with the choice of voting in favor of child molestation or voting for the abolition of the departments of Education and Commerce. The normal response is to vote against child molestation and then pull the entire bill off the floor.

Backlash against Nick Robinson’s pro-Tory bias

Nick Robinson

Image by Matito via Flickr

A Facebook group criticising Nick Robinson’s pro-Tory bias has attracted over a thousand followers within a few days.

This group believes that Nick Robinson is too biased to serve as the BBC’s political editor.

Former president of the Oxford University Conservative Association and one-year National Chairman of the Young Conservatives, Nick Robinson is consistently unable to disguise his bias in favour of the Conservative Party. We therefore believe the BBC should install a new and more balanced political editor as soon as possible.

Creator Peter Tennant lists six examples of Robinson’s Tory bias during the election:

a) Comparing Cameron to Disraeli before he’s even taken office;

b) Talking about Downing Street as a ‘Labour free zone’;

c) Talking about Gordon Brown as the ‘unelected prime minister’;

d) Talking about the Conservatives as having ‘won’ the election;

e) Talking about a rainbow coalition as a ‘coalition of losers’;

f) The clear pleasure on his face when the Tories returned to power.


There’s also a group annoyed at Adam Boulton for his pro-Tory bias
[hat-tip Roy Greenslade].

Update
There is in fact a much bigger group calling for Kay Burley to be sacked. Among examples of her partial reporting was this interview where she claimed people voted for a Hung Paraliament and that protestors who want electoral reform should “just go home”.


Source: Liberal Conspiracy
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DA "Buzz" Franklin Breaks Silence: "Reporters Slanted Coverage" (Tonya Craft case)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

 
By David Carroll
dcarroll@wrcbtv.com
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- The District Attorney of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit has broken his silence on the Tonya Craft trial and verdict.

Herbert E. "Buzz" Franklin faxed a statement to WRCB during Friday afternoon's newscasts and referred to "a hostile environment" for his prosecution team, created by "local reporters (who) openly took sides" and "the Internet blogosphere."

He writes that statements attributed to "some jurors" that Ms. Craft  "didn't look like someone who would commit such a crime" were troubling.

Mr. Franklin also defended Judge Brian House, and called part of the defense strategy "shameful." 

Channel 3 Eyewitness News has requested on-camera interviews with Mr. Franklin and Assistant District Attorneys Len Gregor and Chris Arnt since the verdict was announced Tuesday, and they have not responded to our requests.
 

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Source
Follow up to this post.

I think he brings up an relevant concern, in that the environment surrounding this case along with the villainization of the victims will make it unlikely that future victims will come forward for fear of the same happening to them. And like he says, there is rarely hard evidence of molestation; the prosecution relies on the testimony of victims for a conviction. It's a very delicate balance, I think, between protecting the rights of the accused and protecting the victim and possible future victims.
Reporting

Lithuania Adopts Homophobic Law

he Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information adopted in Lithuania came into force on March 1, 2010. It restricts any public dissemination of information which affects the “mental health, physical, intellectual or moral development” of children under 18.

This law, originally adopted by the Lithuanian government on July 14, 2009, has been criticized by Amnesty International and the European Parliament for its homophobic and discriminatory provisions.  In its original version the law prohibited the publication of "information which agitates for homosexual, bisexual and polygamous relations" in places, including schools, public spaces and media which are accessible to persons under 18 years of age.

Amnesty International
called on the authorities of Lithuania to remove all restrictions on the distribution of public information relating to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people decreed in a new law.  “This law would violate the freedom of expression and will directly discriminate against people on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said John Dalhuisen, expert on discrimination at Amnesty International.

"It would stigmatize gay and lesbian people and exposes advocates for their rights to the risk of censorship and financial penalties.”

The law was described as an anachronism in the European Union by the above-mentioned entities.

New amendments go even further, however, as they would potentially criminalize almost any public expression or portrayal of, or information about, homosexuality.  

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Darth-wheee

John McCain's 'Complete The Danged Fence' Ad Spoofed With Star Wars Theme



Since it's Friday, I figured you'd enjoy this delightful video, which mashes up Arizona Senator John McCain's "complete the danged fence" ad with Star Wars. Surely this is something that everyone on the Morning Joe show can laugh about, if they aren't laughed out already, thinking about that terrible ad.

WATCH:


Source is your real father, Luke

Since it's very timely.....and it's just damn funny.  Not to mention being the epitome of ONTD!

Climate Change Too Hot to Handle

The world is warming too quickly for lizards to adapt, and 20 per cent of species could be extinct by 2080, a new study shows.

In Australia, lizards living in the central desert areas and alpine districts are most at risk if current climate change trends continue.

Even if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, a 6 per cent decline in the world's lizard populations by 2050 is almost unavoidable, an international team of scientists has concluded.

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You know what we haven't gotten enough of? Sarah Palin.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Sarah Palin told NRA members meeting here that the only reason President Obama and his allies aren't trying to limit gun ownership rights is the fear of a political backlash.

"Don't doubt for a minute that, if they thought they could get away with it, they would ban guns and ban ammunition and gut the Second Amendment," Palin told the annual NRA gathering Friday. She urged some 9,000 NRA members to "stop them in their tracks."

The NRA's "Celebration of American Values" event was part political rally, part Tea Party gathering, with a parade of mostly Republican warm-up acts before Palin, the day's star, spoke. An NRA member, she electrified the crowd with a speech that defended Alaska, the Second Amendment and America, and attacked President Obama, the "lamestream media," and gun control activists -- "anti-Second Amendment rights activists," she called them.

While some might dismiss her as an "NRA gun-nut chick," she said, those folks don't get it. "Criminals are, of course, to blame for the crimes," she said. "It's the bad guys, not the piece of metal." All gun bans do is "take them away from law-abiding citizens."

Palin said Second Amendment rights – which "protect the weak from the strong" -- are "so important especially" for women and minorities.
In front of this friendly crowd that interrupted her speech with applause and stood for much of it, she attacked hypocritical "celebrities, Hollywood types," who produce violent "shoot 'em-up action films." They employ armed bodyguards and live in gated communities, she said, but "have a problem with you owning a gun to protect you and your family."
"Those left-wing groups are supposed to be so tolerant of everybody's lifestyle, but they're intolerant of our lifestyle."

Palin took a comedy break midway through her speech to embrace her "redneck" spirit, saying that some jokes she has heard "aren't funny, these are me." If shopping for dinner involves an orange vest or camo, then you're a redneck? That's me, she said.
But, turning her remarks toward politics and November, she said, "I can't wait for these midterm elections . . . We'll show them what we think of this fundamental transformation of America that we have been promised."

Chelsey Vanderpool of San Diego gave her a thumbs-up. "She seems honest, a real person," said the 25-year-old student, who has served in the Navy. Her husband is deployed and most of her family is military, she told me.

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/05/14/sarah-palin-tells-nra-convention-obama-would-ban-guns-if-he-coul/
Darren/People Photoshoot

Palin identifies as a "redneck"

Palin: 'Fine with me' to be called a 'redneck'



(CNN) – She's a politician, an author, cable news contributor and sought-after speaker. But perhaps former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is interested in a new title: comedienne.

In what can only be described as a bit of a schtick, Palin had some fun Friday with the notion that she and her family might be rednecks.

Speaking at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, Palin claimed that some in the media have tried to portray members of the Tea Party movement as "violent or racist or rednecks."

"And I don't really have a problem with the redneck part of it, to tell you the truth. I don't," the former vice presidential candidate told the crowd. "That's fine with me."

Palin told the gun rights supporters how she recently searched online for the best redneck jokes to prepare for an appearance in Alabama where she was introduced by a radio personality named "Bubba."

"But, I'm reading them [thinking] these aren't funny, these are me," Palin said to laughter. "They really are."

Holding what looked like a BlackBerry, Palin told some of the jokes to the NRA crowd.

"'You're a redneck if directions to your house include turn off the paved road.'" "Yep," Palin said rhetorically, "Go to Wasilla, turn off the paved road. That's where we are."

"'You may be a redneck if you're ever involved in a custody fight over a hunting dog.'" "Todd and I? No. But, we have friends – yep, truly – a custody fight over their hunting dog."

" – 'If you yell at your husband, come move this transmission so I can take a bath.'" "I thought that one was funny," Palin told the crowd.

"-'If you use your fishing license as a form of i.d.'" "Well, I do that all the time in Dillingham," Palin said. "That's how you cash your checks."

Palin also told jokes about having steel toes in your "best shoes," going hunting on your honeymoon, getting the septic tank pumped as an anniversary present, having Thanksgiving dinner served on a ping-pong table, thinking Wal-Mart is expensive, and spending the night in the bed of your truck rather than paying for a hotel room.

Source

Lol....I can't even.