May 20th, 2010

franklin sherman

Coast Gaurd bans reporters from gulf coast "Its BP's rules here, its not ours"

Hours after hearing a demand from a congressional chairman, BP announced the oil company would provide a live broadcast of the oil spill from a government website.

“This may be BP’s footage, but it’s America’s ocean," Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Edward Markey, the chairman who made the demand, said in a statement. "Now anyone will be able to see the real-time effects the BP spill is having on our ocean."

The chairman of a congressional subcommittee called on BP to release live video feeds of the oil gushing from a blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Earlier Wednesday, Markey demanded the broadcast so independent scientists could more accurately calculate the flow rate. He questioned why such data wasn't readily being made public.

"BP thinks it's their ocean," Markey said while chairing a House Energy and Environment Subcommittee hearing Wednesday.

Markey didn't stop with BP, reports CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. He blasted the Coast Guard for what he described as letting BP call the shots.

Coast Guard officials were on a boat with BP contractors who stopped CBS News cameras from viewing an oily beach, and the Coast Guard - which is in charge of the investigation - admits it's had access to live video since Day One but wouldn't let Congress or the public see it, Attkisson reports.

Markey said there was "no excuse for withholding live video for 23 days."
  • turi

Australian 'Family Values' MP David Campbell Resigns After Being Filmed Leaving Gay Sex Club

Australian 'Family Values' MP David Campbell Resigns After Being Filmed Leaving Gay Sex Club

Australian Labor MP David Campbell resigned today after being filmed leaving a gay sauna,  the Herald Sun reports:

Campbell  "Campbell is accused of using a ministerial car to go to a gay club in Anzac Parade, Kensington, in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, on Tuesday evening, Channel 7 reported tonight. It is alleged he stayed for two hours at Ken's, also known as KKK , which is a popular gay sauna. The club lies in Ms Keneally's electorate of Heffron. The club has a $22 entry fee and assures clients discretion as they offer services for men who prefer men. TimeOut Sydney described Ken's as 'today's most popular gay sauna ... The iconic sauna has been servicing queer Sydney's sexual appetites for more than 25 years. Between the dimly lit steam room, sizzling sauna, glory hole maze, dark room and porn theatre, Kens caters for every taste ... Butt Naked nights are towel-free so patrons get to size up their prey before they commit to getting a room, while weekday Lunchtime Specials pull in a crowd who take the concept of Happy Meal to a whole new level.'"

Campbell is married to a woman who has cancer, and has two children.

Said Campbell in a statement: "I have resigned as Minister for Transport and Roads for personal reasons, not for any reasons relating to my Ministerial duties. I apologise to my wife, family, colleagues, staff and the community for letting them down. This will be a very difficult time for my family and friends and I ask for their privacy to be respected."
Same Same reports: "Channel 7 allege that Mr Campbell spent two hours at Kens. Campbell has been member the Wollongong seat of Keira since 1999, and has campaigned strongly as a family man. He is the former NSW police minister."


Pentagon: Missile Critics Use ‘Wile E. Coyote’ Physics

Last week, missile-defense critics Theodore Postol and George Lewis touched off a controversy after they questioned the Pentagon’s claims of test success for the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptor. But in a roundtable yesterday with bloggers, Missile Defense Agency spokesman Rick Lehner suggested, in effect, that the two critics were relying on Looney Tunes physics to go after the program.

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Rand Paul: "civil rights" don't really count when you're at a private business. Or something.

Rand Paul On 'Maddow' Defends Criticism Of Civil Rights Act, Says He Would Have Worked To Change Bill (VIDEO)

Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul believes that the federal government blurred the lines between public and private property when it passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and made it illegal for private businesses to discriminate on the basis of race.

Paul explained his views on "The Rachel Maddow Show" Wednesday, just one day after wholloping his opponent in Kentucky's Republican primary.

Maddow focused on the Tea Party-backed candidate's civil rights stance after he publicly criticized parts of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Paul told Maddow that he agrees with most parts of the Civil Rights Act, except for one (Title II), that made it a crime for private businesses to discriminate against customers on the basis of race. Paul explained that had he been in office during debate of bill, he would have tried to change the legislation. He said that it stifled first amendment rights: 

Maddow: Do you think that a private business has a right to say that 'We don't serve black people?'  

Paul: I'm not in favor of any discrimination of any form. I would never belong to any club that excluded anybody for race. We still do have private clubs in America that can discriminate based on race. But do discriminate.

But I think what's important in this debate is not getting into any specific "gotcha" on this, but asking the question 'What about freedom of speech?' Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent. Should we limit racists from speaking. I don't want to be associated with those people, but I also don't want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that's one of the things that freedom requires is that we allow people to be boorish and uncivilized, but that doesn't mean we approve of it...


Paul argued that Maddow's questions weren't practical, but were instead abstract. She asked Paul to tell that to protesters who were beaten in their struggle for equal rights:

Maddow:... Howabout desegregating lunch counters?

Paul: Well what it gets into then is if you decide that restaurants are publicly owned and not privately owned, then do you say that you should have the right to bring your gun into a restaurant even though the owner of the restaurant says 'well no, we don't want to have guns in here' the bar says 'we don't want to have guns in here because people might drink and start fighting and shoot each-other.'
Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant? Or does the government own his restaurant? These are important philosophical debates but not a very practical discussion...  

Maddow: Well, it was pretty practical to the people who had the life nearly beaten out of them trying to desegregate Walgreen's lunch counters despite these esoteric debates about what it means about ownership. This is not a hypothetical Dr. Paul.
 Paul will face Democratic Senate candidate and Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway in the general election to replace Republican Sen. Jim Bunning on November 2, 2010.

WATCH: Maddow interviews Paul


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


I love how Rachel just lets this guy ramble on and hang himself with his own blather.  Basically he's saying "I'm not saying that I would EVER discriminate against blacks and gays, and I don't think government should EVER discriminate, but private businesses should be able to do whatever they want."

I particularly enjoyed how he tried to somehow make a case that liberals would not only be thrilled to have laws allowing people to carry guns anywhere they like, but then tries to write off the entire discussion they are having as being a theoretical or philisophical one as opposed to one with real-life implications.

I think this guy may be about to have the quickest turnaround in history from huge victory to a piece of political toast.


Uncle V wants you

With Friends like The Club for Growth, the GOP hardly needs enemies

Image courtesy of nonnie9999 at Hysterical Raisins, where she used it for Cereal Wingnuts

Washington Post: Club for Growth's electoral tactics causing headaches for GOP
By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 19, 2010; 4:52 PM

If you want to know how Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) was driven from office, look beyond the Democratic primary he lost Tuesday. Instead, consider the role played by a small conservative group called the Club for Growth.

Specter bolted from the GOP last year to avoid an intraparty challenge from the group's former president, Pat Toomey, who secured the Republican nomination Tuesday and will face Democrat Joe Sestak in November. The group also helped organize the GOP uprising in Utah earlier this month that toppled three-term Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R), and was part of a conservative coalition that forced Florida Gov. Charlie Crist out of the GOP as well.

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From 1999 until last month, I lived in a congressional district in which the Club for Growth interfered with GOP politics. When I moved there, the district was represented by a staunch conservative. He retired in 2004. The GOP nominated a moderate named Joe Schwarz who was easily elected. He wasn't conservative enough for the Club for Growth, who recruited an even more conservative candidate, Tim Walberg, to challenge him. Walberg won both the primary and the general election in 2006. The Club for Growth was thrilled. It didn't last long.

In 2008, Walberg was challenged by Democrat Mark Schauer, who earned a close victory. Thank you Club for Growth. If your candidate hadn't defeated Schwarz, Schauer wouldn't have had a chance at winning in 2008 and Schwarz would still be in office.

UC Berkeley Wants Your DNA

UC Berkeley is adding something a little different this year in its welcome package -- cotton swabs for a DNA sample.In the past, incoming freshman and transfer students have received a rather typical welcome book from the College of Letters and Science's "On the Same Page" program, but this year the students will be asked for more.The students will be asked to voluntarily submit a DNA sample. The cotton swabs will come with two bar code labels. One label will be put on the DNA sample and the other is kept for the students own records.The confidential process is being overseen by Jasper Rine, a campus professor of Genetics and Development Biology, who says the test results will help students make decisions about their diet and lifestyle.Once the DNA sample is sent in and tested, it will show the student’s ability to tolerate alcohol, absorb folic acid and metabolize lactose.The results of the test will be put in a secure online database where students will be able to retrieve their results by using their bar code.Rine hopes that this will excite students to be more hands-on with their college experience."This type of experience is one of the true, unique values of a Berkeley education. We don't just give you books to read,” Mark Schlissel, dean of the division of biological sciences said. “We involve you in cutting edge issues in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. You won't see this anywhere else in higher education."Previously incoming students were advised to read Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and Stephen Hawking's "A Briefer History of Time" as behavioral guides.There will also be a variety of events and lectures at the campus on lifestyle choices for all undergraduate students who choose not to participate in the DNA program. There will also be a science-themed art contest that will award the four best entries with a full genetic analysis.


Ninjas Rescue Student from Muggers

He looked like an easy target: a medical student sitting alone on a late-night train.

The three men sidled up to the German student and told him to hand over his wallet. When he refused, they followed him off the train, trailing him as he walked past the hotel and pizza joint on Bringelly Road, Kingswood, in the city's west.

When the student, who has asked not to be identified, turned down a dimly lit alley his pursuers thought their moment had come.

It had, but not in quite the way they expected.

The men tripped the 27-year-old student, kicking him as he lay on the ground and grabbing his mobile phone and iPod.

What the assailants did not realise was that they were standing outside Ninja Senshi Ryu - western Sydney's ninja warrior school.

They also failed to notice a ninja, Nathan Smith, standing in the shadows outside the dojo. Mr Smith immediately alerted his sensei, or teacher.

Kaylan Soto, a sensei with 30 years' Ninjutsu training, and three of his students raced out of the dojo towards the startled attackers. All five crusaders were clad in the ninja's traditional, all black uniform.

''We would have been just a silhouette,'' one of the ninjas, Steve Ashley, said. ''It was probably the worst place in Sydney where they could have taken him.''

Mr Soto said it took the three assailants a few moments to realise what was going on. When they did, they shot off. ''You should have seen their faces when they saw us in ninja gear coming towards them,'' he said.

The ninjas gave chase, but the men escaped. Police yesterday said they had made arrests in relation to the attack.

The medical student, who has been in Sydney for eight weeks on an exchange program, was left shaken but suffered only minor injuries.

As for the ninjas, they were back in training last night.

South Carolina democrat

South Carolina wants to be just like Arizona

A state Senate subcommittee meets this morning to discuss a bill that would empower local police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop or detain.

Huffman said today’s hearing is typical of S.C. politics. Legislators send up a “trial balloon” to gauge voter reaction. If they receive positive feedback, they will push it forward the next year, he said.

“Few legislators have the money to do in-depth research on their small districts,” he said. “They can, however, see the anti-incumbent tide rising in other states.

“By taking on a red-meat, conservative issue like an anti-immigration measure, they can go to the most conservative wing of the party — where most of the intra-party opposition has been coming from — and say, ‘See, I’m tackling issues that matter to you!’”

SOURCE also includes links to state senate version and state house version of the bill in question.


Man sues to get passport back to go home to die


Unlike most people caught up in the U.S. immigration system, John Doe Xiong, an 88-year-old Laotian who fought on the American side during the Vietnam War, doesn't want to stay in the United States. He wants to return to his home country to die.

All he needs, he says, is his Laotian passport, which immigration officers took in April 2008 and refuse to return. Xiong is asking a federal judge in San Francisco to retrieve the document and order the government to pay damages for withholding it.

"Mr. Xiong saved the lives of American pilots at the risk of his own, and now the immigration service won't even return his passport," said his lawyer, Kenneth Seeger. "He is a virtual hostage."

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Murasaki Shikibu


NKorea warns of war if punished for ship sinking

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea warns that it will wage "all-out war" if punished for the sinking of a South Korean warship.

Investigators in Seoul said Thursday that evidence proves a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo that sank a South Korean naval ship on March 26.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency quoted a spokesman from the National Defense Commission as refuting the findings as a "fabrication."

The report says Pyongyang will react to any punishment or sanctions with warfare.

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Part of me thinks the sinking of the ship was a "whoopsie!" on the North Korean side, which is why they didn't claim any credit for it...but part of me wonders if it isn't part of the plan for easing the transition from Kim Jong-il to his son, to give his son military leadership cred and support.
' jules

Tell us how you really feel

KY Rep: Rand Paul Has 'Embarrassed Kentuckians In The Eyes Of The World'

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) has some strong words for fellow Bluegrass State politician Rand Paul (R). Just a day after he handily won the Republican Senate nomination, Yarmuth said Paul has tarnished Kentucky's image with his highly publicized comments about the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

"Rand Paul has already embarrassed Kentuckians in the eyes of the world," Yarmouth said in a statement. "The Commonwealth deserves better because we are better - and I call on Mitch McConnell and my other colleagues in the Kentucky Congressional Delegation to join me in condemning his despicable views."

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also I found this while I was looking for a pic to illustrate this article, lol wtf.
coin toss
  • 5047

"Men of Good Character"

via Hoyden About Town

In the Northern Territory of Australia, five white men admitted beating an Aboriginal man to death, and the judge declares that this ‘crime is toward the lower end of the scale of seriousness for crimes of manslaughter’ and gives them lenient sentences.

What happened, according to the men’s own telling?

Four of the five men were drinking (the driver was sober), and decided to harass Aboriginal camps. First they drove along a creek bed, screaming abuse and scaring the sleeping people and causing them to flee. One elderly man was missed by a mere metre. Then, they tried a second camp. Then they went back home to get more alcohol and a gun. Then they returned to the first camp, waving the gun. Finally, an Aboriginal man threw a bottle at them and they beat him to death.

And these are, according to the judge, men of good character. And according to the Sydney Morning Herald, what took place was “hooning” and harassment. Hooning, the jolly recreation where men drive their cars too fast. Does that describe it, exactly, SMH?

So basically, these men were out there to cause people to fear for their lives, looking for any excuse for violence, and when they found someone who finally gave them one, they beat the man to death.

This, my friends, is institutional racism, where five white men terrorise several groups of Aboriginal people repeatedly with a car, flourishing a gun, and eventually kill someone.. and the judge still thinks that that the opinions of their friends and employers (most likely given the area also white) are more important than their actions, that they are still good men.

When I heard this news, I was thoroughly enraged and disgusted. I don't know how else to put my rage on this issue.

Franken Introduces Student Non-Discrimination Act in Senate to End Anti-LGBT Discrimination in Schoo

NEW YORK - GLSEN applauds today's introduction of the Student Non-Discrimination Act in the Senate by Senator Al Franken and 22 cosponsors as an important step toward ensuring that all students are valued and respected and can learn in an environment free from harassment and discrimination.

The Senate version is a companion bill to H.R. 4530, introduced by Rep. Jared Polis in the House early this year, which would prohibit discrimination in schools on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Rep. Polis's bill currently has the support of over 100 representatives.

"GLSEN thanks Senator Franken and SNDA's 22 Senate cosponsors for making a commitment to ensuring that LGBT students can learn without the fear of being discriminated against simply for who they are," GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. "SNDA will send a clear message to schools that they must address the hostile environment many LGBT students face in schools."

Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students (86.2%) experience harassment at school because of their sexual orientation, and 60.8% feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, according to GLSEN's 2007 National School Climate Survey.

The harassment clearly affects students' ability to learn. A third of LGBT students (32.7%) missed a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe, five times higher than a national sample of all students.

"It's time that we extend the protections of our nations' civil right laws to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students across the country," Franken said. "No student should be subjected to the ridicule and physical violence that LGBT students so often experience in school. It's time we demanded equal treatment for all of our children under the law."

SNDA is endorsed by more than 25 LGBT, education, civil rights, medical and social justice organizations including: GLSEN, American Civil Liberties Union, American Counseling Association, American Psychological Association, Interface Alliance, NAACP, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Council of La Raza, and School Social Work Association of America.


I'm not here.

House GOP stops major science, technology bill

Funding denied for math and science education, tech-centric business loans

It was strike two for a major science funding bill Wednesday as House Republicans again united to derail legislation they said was too expensive.

Going down to defeat was the COMPETES Act, which would have committed more than $40 billion over three years to boost funding for the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies involved in basic and applied science, provided loan guarantees to small businesses developing new technologies and promoted science and math education.

Congress enacted a first version of the legislation in 2007 with a large majority in the House and a unanimous vote in the Senate. But in this election year, with Republicans out to show their anti-spending credentials and intent on disrupting the Democratic agenda, things are different.

Republicans support science research, said Rep. Ralph Hall of Texas, top Republican on the Science and Technology Committee. But the Democratic bill "continues to take us in a much more costly direction and authorizes a number of new programs which have little to do with prioritizing investments" in science and technology.

Committee chairman Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., said he had made a "sincere attempt to compromise" with Republicans on a bill he said was essential to reversing trends over the past two decades where the United States has been losing its technological edge to other countries.

Last week Republicans forced Democrats to pull the bill from the floor by pushing through an amendment that combined substantial cuts to many of the main initiatives in the bill with a provision cracking down on federal workers caught viewing pornography on their office computers.

Many Democrats, fearful that a vote against an anti-pornography measure could be used against them in election ads, went along with the GOP amendment.

The legislation presented Wednesday restored the programs the Republicans tried to kill but reduced to three years, rather than five, the life of the measure, thus cutting the original $85 billion price tag to about $47 billion. It also included the anti-pornography provision.

But Democrats made a losing gamble by bringing the bill up under a procedure that prevented Republicans from offering more amendments but requiring a two-thirds majority for passage. The vote was 261-148 for passage, short of the two-thirds needed. Every Democrat supported it, but only 15 of 163 voting Republicans backed it.


The bill is H.R. 5325.

On the Net:



Pakistan blocks access to YouTube

YouTube, LLC

Image via Wikipedia

Pakistan has banned the popular video sharing website YouTube indefinitely in a bid to contain "sacrilegious" material, officials have said.

The censorship on Thursday came a day after the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) ordered internet service providers to block access to the social network site Facebook because of an online competition to draw the Prophet Mohammed.

"We have blocked YouTube. At first we blocked the URL (which was carrying this material (of the prophet), but there were a lot of complaints about the content," PTA spokesman Khurram Mehran said.

Another PTA official said the action was taken after the agency determined that some caricatures of the prophet were transferred from Facebook to YouTube.

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Source: Al Jazeera
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Study Finds Abortion Pill Safe

Though the first documented medical abortion in the U.S. dates back to 1950, it wasn't until 2000 that the Food and Drug Administration approved the contentious medical-abortion drug, mifepristone (still commonly referred to by its clinical-trial designation, RU-486), as an alternative to the conventional surgical procedure. Since then, more than 500,000 U.S. women — and millions more worldwide — have used mifepristone to terminate pregnancy. Now a new study appearing in the August 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reports that the drug, at least in the long term, is safe.


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California Gov. Candidate Proposes "Pedophile Island"


There's a good chance you haven't heard of Douglas R. Hughes, an obscure candidate hoping to succeed Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor of California.

But he's found a good way to garner some attention. He calls it Pedophile Island.

Hughes' website details his plan to keep pedophiles from being "released back into our neighborhoods to rape our children." Here's how it works: Pedophiles and sex offenders get three options - either leave California, stay in prison for life, or move to an island of the California coast made up entirely of their kind.

Hughes, who appears to be a Republican, has designated a small landmass called Santa Rosa Island to become Pedophile Island, arguing that it is currently a waste of taxpayer money used only by park rangers and environmentalists. Pedophiles will be sent there to create a "self-supporting" community where they live out the rest of their lives.

The first pedophiles sent to the island, he writes, will be "a lead team" made up of pedophile police, pedophile fire personnel, pedophile judges, and pedophile forest rangers, among others. They will create what he calls the island's "master plan," which will include building a city hall, medical facility and other needs for the community.

They will also write the Pedophile Island Constitution.

"This 'Island' will represent a way of life that has long since been forgotten: one in which our forefathers came to this land with a wagon, some animals, seed, and tools, looking for water and land to build their lives around," Hughes writes.

He argues that the island is the best way to "provide pedophiles with a society of like individuals where they can live and work without conflict and do no harm to children - a humane place for these sick people to live out their lives if they so choose."

Hughes is not the only candidate running on a platform in part predicated on aggressive handling of pedophiles and sex offenders. In Alabama, GOP candidate Tim James is running an ad calling for sex offenders to re-register with the state every 90 days, even though "some politicians" think it might "inconvenience" them.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that sex offenders can be imprisoned even after their sentences expire if they are seen as mentally ill and sexually dangerous.

Hughes' Pedophile Island webpage:
franklin sherman

Rand Paul responds to lies claiming he wants to repeal the Civil Rights Act

In response to liberal media attacks, Dr. Rand Paul today released the following statement:

“I believe we should work to end all racism in American society and staunchly defend the inherent rights of every person. I have clearly stated in prior interviews that I abhor racial discrimination and would have worked to end segregation. Even though this matter was settled when I was 2, and no serious people are seeking to revisit it except to score cheap political points, I unequivocally state that I will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Let me be clear: I support the Civil Rights Act because I overwhelmingly agree with the intent of the legislation, which was to stop discrimination in the public sphere and halt the abhorrent practice of segregation and Jim Crow laws.

“As I have said in previous statements, sections of the Civil Rights Act were debated on Constitutional grounds when the legislation was passed. Those issues have been settled by federal courts in the intervening years

“My opponent’s statement on MSNBC Wednesday that I favor repeal of the Civil Rights Act was irresponsible and knowingly false. I hope he will correct the record and retract his claims.

“The issue of civil rights is one with a tortured history in this country. We have made great strides, but there is still work to be done to ensure the great promise of Liberty is granted to all Americans.

“This much is clear: The federal government has far overreached in its power grabs. Just look at the recent national healthcare schemes, which my opponent supports. The federal government, for the first time ever, is mandating that individuals purchase a product. The federal government is out of control, and those who love liberty and value individual and state’s rights must stand up to it.

“These attacks prove one thing for certain: the liberal establishment is desperate to keep leaders like me out of office, and we are sure to hear more wild, dishonest smears during this campaign.”

your daily serving of lulz

ATMs a mystery to senator

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has been fighting unsuccessfully this week for a vote on his proposal to limit the fees charged for using the ATM of a financial institution other than your own. It might help if he showed some of his Senate colleagues the ATM in the basement of the Capitol, which prominently displays one of those “Fee Notice” signs that frustrate so many constituents. Customers with ATM cards not issued by the U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union face a $2 fee for withdrawals from the machine, on top of whatever fees their own banks charge.

Lawmakers walk past that ATM all the time on their way to votes on the Senate floor, but don't expect to see Sen. Ben Nelson stopping to grab some quick cash.

The Nebraska Democrat pleaded ignorance when asked this week whether Congress should cap ATM fees. Nelson said that while he's no fan of unnecessary fees, he's unfamiliar with the charges.

“I've never used an ATM, so I don't know what the fees are,” Nelson said, adding that he gets his cash from bank tellers, just not automatic ones. “It's true, I don't know how to use one.

“But I could learn how to do it just like I've . . . I swipe to get my own gas, buy groceries. I know about the holograms.”

By “holograms,” Nelson clarified that he meant the bar codes on products read by automatic scanners in the checkout lanes at stores such as Lowe's and Menard's.

“I go and get my own seating assignment on an airplane,” Nelson said. “I mean, I'm not without some skills. I just haven't had the need to use an ATM.”
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GOT -- Cersei throne colors

PA Attorney General Subpoenas Twitter to Identify Anonymous Critics

Tom Corbett Goes After His Anonymous Twitter Critics
By Mark Scolforo

An American Civil Liberties Union lawyer said Thursday his organization is helping two anonymous Twitter users fight an effort by prosecutors to unmask them after they tweeted criticism of the Pennsylvania attorney general, who is running for governor.

ACLU attorney Vic Walczak said he will ask a judge to throw out a subpoena seeking the identities of the two Twitter users, "bfbarbie" and "CasablancaPA," if an agreement with Attorney General Tom Corbett's office can't be worked out.

Walczak said the subpoena by a statewide investigative grand jury is an unconstitutional retaliation that violates First Amendment free-speech protections.

"It's a prized American right to criticize government officials, and to do so anonymously," Walczak said.

A Corbett spokesman said the subpoena was partly related to a Friday sentencing hearing for former Democratic legislative aide Brett Cott. He is one of three people convicted in March of public corruption charges in the ongoing investigation into the alleged illegal use of legislative employees and government resources to run political campaigns.

The grand jury on May 6 subpoenaed the identities and other information about the two users from Twitter Inc. Corbett's office has been using the highly secretive grand jury process for the past several years to look into public corruption allegations involving the General Assembly.

Twitter attorney Timothy Yip issued a statement that the company only discloses user information under "limited circumstances."

If the company believes it is legal to do so, Twitter notifies users whenever it receives requests for their information that it believes it is obligated to share, Yip said.

"This policy is designed for maximum transparency and gives users an opportunity to object," he said.

A Twitter spokesman said the company had not turned over any information to Corbett's office as of Thursday afternoon.

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Another article covering the story
Nick Cave - Beauty School Drop Out

Mother of student who questioned Michelle Obama will not face action

Y'ALL CAN REST EASY. SORRY, world_dancer

The mother of a Maryland second-grader who questioned First Lady Michelle Obama about the Obama administration's immigration policy will not be deported, federal officials said Thursday.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement will not take action against the mother, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

“ICE is a federal law enforcement agency that focuses on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes criminal aliens who pose a threat to our communities," spokesman Matthew Chandler said in an e-mail. "Our investigations are based on solid law enforcement work and not classroom Q and As.”

On Wednesday the little girl asked Obama why the president was "taking everybody away that doesn't have papers."

"That's something that we have to work on, right? To make sure that people can be here with the right kind of papers," Obama said.

"But my mom doesn't have any papers," the student said as the first lady ended her answer.

The exchange went viral almost immediately and provided the most unscripted, "real world" moment of an otherwise over-scripted series of events in honor of Mexican President Felipe Calderon's state visit.

In an interview conducted in Spanish after the event, the 7-year old girl told a reporter: “I’m a big girl and I don’t want to be left with nothing. I could almost die.”

“My mommy wants papers so that she can be here legally, so that she doesn’t have to go to Peru,” the girl said (according to a rough translation by the bilingual Eye.)

ICE removed a record 387,790 illegal immigrants in the year ending Sept. 30, 2009, according to the agency. That's a 5 percent increase over the same period in 2008, when the agency removed 369,221 illegal immigrants. The agency deported 298,401 of those immigrants in 2009, and the rest left on their own power.

Sauce is the Wa Po-Po

They better keep their word D: But idk, it's ICE.

The only escape from hellish iPhone factory was suicide

Apple's parts supplier Foxconn faces more controversy.

Last time a reporter tried to penetrate Apple's veil of secrecy, security guards employed by their parts supplier, Foxconn, beat up the reporters involved. But questions had to be answered in the wake of the suicide/potential murder of a Foxconn employee which occurred after the employee lost an iPhone prototype.

Chinese newspaper Southern Weekly was determined to find out the true story, and sent a reporter in undercover, posing as a new employee. Given the fact that Foxconn's Shenzen plant that builds Apple's iPads, iPods, and iPhones has 400,000 employees, that part wasn't too hard.

What was hard, was for the reporter to endure the plant's reportedly hellish working conditions for 28 days.

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Source wants to know if everyone is enjoying their shiny new iPads.

Comparing Nashville floods to Katrina is racist

Of Faulty Comparisons and Racial Animosity: Nashville, New Orleans and the Politics of Disaster

[...] in the wake of the recent catastrophic flooding in Nashville--which did nearly $2 billion in damage, claimed around two dozen lives, destroyed thousands of homes and did incalculable harm to several iconic businesses and landmarks--there have been two distinct narratives developing, both locally in Middle Tennessee and on a national level. One of these is an uplifting one, which reflects well on the state of humanity. The other is crass, and inherently rooted in racial and class biases that should have no place in discussions of events such as these.

The first narrative is a justifiably proud one, issued since the flooding by Nashville residents and those with ties to our city. It is a narrative that revolves around the way in which, in the wake of tragedy, so many people have pulled together, volunteered to clear debris or to rebuild damaged structures, or just pitched in however they could to help their neighbors (or in many cases, people they don't even know). No doubt about it: these individuals demonstrate the decency of average, everyday people in moments of crisis.

But the second narrative, as articulated by far too many in the past two weeks, while it praises those local efforts, does so specifically by attempting to contrast the good and decent people of Nashville with the presumably undesirable and indecent folks in certain unnamed but easily identifiable other places, who have in recent years experienced massive flooding. In other words, the black and poor of New Orleans, inundated when the levees protecting their city gave way to flood waters generated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. And so we have been subjected to claims by Nashville columnist David Climer (of the local daily, The Tennessean), that the reason the flooding here didn't receive enough media attention was because in order to get headlines, you have to "start looting." But, as Climer made sure to point out, in his May 9 essay, "We're better than that. Our city never lost control." Got that? We are good. They are bad. Praise us. Screw them.

Full article, which does a great job of dispelling the comfortably privilege-ridden misconceptions and deconstructing the arguments.
' the mirror's gonna steal your soul


The Director of Intelligence Is Gone

Adm. Dennis Blair (Ret.) intends to offer his resignation as the nation's intelligence chief, four sources said today. A U.S. official said that a search is underway for his replacement. Two days ago, a Senate committee released a scathing report on the efficacy of Blair's Office of the Director of National Intelligence, particularly the National Counterterrorism Center, which apparently did not view the integration of tactical threat intelligence as its top priority.

Blair has worn out his welcome at the White House. The National Security Staff lost confidence in his ability to prioritize and to solve the intelligence community's mammoth bureaucratic hassles. The U.S. official said that the White House has interviewed "several strong candidates." Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, the chairman of the president's intelligence advisory board, and Gen. James Clapper (Ret.), the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, are seen by other intelligence officials as top candidates. Clapper will face a tough confirmation, and his career profile is similar to Blair's. Hagel would be feared by the military intelligence establishment, but he gets along with CIA director Leon Panetta, who will not be leaving his job.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra, the ranking member on the House intelligence committee, said in a statement that Blair's resignation "is the result of the Obama administration's rampant politicization of national security and outright disregard for congressional intelligence oversight."


No offense to Clapper but me want Hagel
' love is running wild

What is this feeling you call "optimism"?

Poll: Sestak Takes Lead Against Toomey

The new Rasmussen poll of the Pennsylvania Senate race shows Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak jumping into the lead over Republican former Rep. Pat Toomey, in the wake of Sestak's upset victory over incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

The numbers: Sestak 46%, Toomey 42%. The poll of likely voters has a ±4.5% margin of error. Two weeks ago, Rasmussen had Toomey edging out Sestak by 42%-40%, and also had Toomey leading Specter by a much wider 50%-38%. The TPM Poll Average, composed entirely of pre-primary data except for this new survey, has Toomey ahead of Sestak by 39.6%-37.7%, with Sestak clearly gaining since March.

The pollster's analysis finds that Democratic voters are rallying around their nominee, now that the primary is over: "Support for Sestak among Democrats in Pennsylvania jumped from 64% to 80% since the Primary election. Toomey's support among GOP voters in the state has changed little over the past two weeks."


Rasmussen putting a Dem in the lead? :O
And Toomey released this bromantic TV ad today.
  • erg

Humane society saved by dog: No help for dog? 

Above the Berkeley, CA., humane society was a residential rental unit. The new tenants have a dog, who woke the owner, who called the fire department, saving what's left of the humane society and the animals therein.

The humane society is now pleading for volunteer help and donations on their website, with no mention that the dog, and his family are now homeless, staying with friends. 

How does that work?

Smallpox demise link to HIV boom

The worldwide eradication of smallpox may, inadvertently, have helped spread HIV infection, scientists believe.

Experts say the vaccine used to wipe out smallpox offered some protection against the Aids virus and, now it is no longer used, HIV has flourished.

The US investigators said trials indicated the smallpox jab interferes with how well HIV multiplies.

But they say in the journal BMC Immunology it is too early to recommend smallpox vaccine for fighting HIV.

Kill no cure

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