August 4th, 2010


Sharron Angle Finds Source of Political Disaster: Fires Lousy Communications Director

Angle Hires New Communications Director Amid Latest Snafu

Hours after her latest interview snafu, Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle is buffing up her communications team by bringing on board an experienced GOP operative to help steady a decidedly shaky campaign.

The Tea Party favorite continued her brand of bizarre if not painfully candid remarks when she told Fox News on Monday night that she wanted the press to ask her only questions she wants to answer. By Tuesday afternoon, the National Republican Senatorial Committee was alerting reporters that Angle had a new communications director on her team.

Jarrod Agen, who previously worked as the communications director for Steve Poizner's failed gubernatorial primary bid in California, will take over the position temporarily filled by Jordan Gehrke.
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Why I Rocked the House By Anthony Weiner

LAST week I got angry on the floor of the House. In this age of cable and YouTube, millions of people evidently saw the one-minute-plus clip. But there has been relatively little focus on why the substantive debate that sparked it matters.

More broadly, while I appreciate the concern over the future of civility in politics, I believe a little raw anger right now is justified. Democrats make a mistake by pretending there is a bipartisan spirit in Congress these days, and would be better served by calling out Republican shams.

The specifics of the debate last week should be an example of an issue beyond partisan dispute. The bill in question was created to help the thousands of citizens who went to ground zero after the Sept. 11 attacks. These are Americans who wanted to help, and who scientific studies now show are falling ill and dying in troubling numbers.

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So here's what's happened on Glee the floor of the House, if you live in a cave or just got out of prison...

Aubrey Beardsley

Study indicates that working mothers can be good parents, news at 11.

Don't Worry, Working Moms


That was the sound of millions of working mothers breathing a sigh of relief, after a new study found that the decision of many mothers to work during the first year of their children’s lives is not such a bad thing after all.

The study showed that, over all, children whose mothers went back to full-time work within the first 12 months after birth performed worse on a series of cognitive tests. But there there were big exceptions: the study also found that children whose mothers improved the family income significantly, or selected high quality child care, or remained sensitive to their children did not have any cognitive setbacks when compared with children of stay-at-home mothers.

The study, released by the Society for Research and Child Development last week, was conducted by three Columbia professors: Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, a child development specialist; Wen-Jui Han, an associate professor of social work; and Jane Waldfogel, a professor of social work and public affairs. It examined data collected on 1,364 children by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care.

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Hmm, so maybe if all those working mothers had access to a good childcare provider their kids would turn out just fine. Shocking, no?
  • luomo

Has An Illegal Immigrant Taken Advantage Of You?

Tea Party Nation is asking its membership to tell the "true story about illegal immigration" and any abuses they've seen. In a new posting to members that is likely to make pro-immigration reform advocates cringe, Tea Party Nation asks about "The Horrors of Illegal Immigration."
They don't mean how illegal immigrants have been taken advantage of. Here's the pitch, in a message talking about President Obama's "regime" and the media's desire for amnesty:
If have been the victim of a crime by an illegal, or if your business has gone under because your competition uses illegals, or if you have lost your job to illegals, we want to know about it. If you have photos and videos of illegals or their supporters doing outrageous things (like burning the American flag or putting the Mexican flag above ours, or showing racist posters), please share those as well. We need to get the true story out about illegal immigration and we need your help to do it.
They set up a forum on their Web site, where tea party fans approved as members also can contribute.
It seems a counter-effort to what Tea Party Nation organizers call "stories about illegals who are just here 'to make a better life' for themselves. One example might be the recent ABC News series on "Illegal immigration in America," which put a real face on illegal immigrants and their struggle.

"The media is ignoring stories of the horrors if illegal immigration," Tea Party Nation organizers wrote. "We must stop illegal immigration. The future of our country, for our children and our grandchildren, depends on it."

As a member of Tea Party Nation, TPM scanned the stories on the forum. Here are two examples:
I have a friend whose nephew was stabbedin the heart and died because he insisted a drunken illegal move his car out of a driveway where it was parked illegally. The attack came without warning, and the victim was UNarmed. Welcome to America
where far too often we've become prey for these predators.
I have worked construction all my life, and now they are building an apartment building down the street from, and where as I used to be able to walk on a site and procure a job, this site is over run with mexican laborers doing the jobs that I used to do. They speak spanish, and they are most likely Illegals. . .
   Send them packing, I will work the fields if I have to. Any work is good work!


NYC panel clears way for mosque near ground zero

NYC panel clears way for mosque near ground zero

By KAREN MATTHEWS and BETH FOUHY (AP) – 3 hours ago
NEW YORK — A city panel Tuesday cleared the way for the construction near ground zero of a mosque that has caused a political uproar over religious freedom and Sept. 11 even as opponents vowed to press their case in court.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to deny landmark status to a building two blocks from the World Trade Center site that developers want to tear down and convert into an Islamic community center and mosque. The panel said the 152-year-old lower Manhattan building isn't distinctive enough to be considered a landmark.

The decision drew praise from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who stepped before cameras on Governor's Island with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop shortly after the panel voted and called the mosque project a key test of Americans' commitment to religious freedom.
"The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts," said Bloomberg, a Republican turned independent. "But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves, and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans, if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan."

The vote was a setback for opponents of the mosque, who say it disrespects the memory of those killed at the hands of Islamic terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. Jeers and shouts of "Shame on you" could be heard after the panel's vote.
The American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative advocacy group founded by the Rev. Pat Robertson, announced it would challenge the panel's decision in state court Wednesday.
ACLJ attorney Brett Joshpe said the group would file a petition alleging that the landmarks panel "acted arbitrarily and abused its discretion."

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/Personally, I see that it is an issue, but also the disparity between the message of unity and America fighting terrorism, and the opposition to the building of this mosque. The 9/11 attacks have less to do with Islam as a religion in and of itself, and more with terrorism as an entity. Islam does not = terrorism, and vice versa, therefore there should be no problem with building a culture center near Ground Zero. I understand that there are associations, I understand the opposition. But, to me, it's even better to create an environment for education about different religions, when the terrorists' attitude is one of such virulent intolerance. It's one of the best ways to fight back. To be able to build such a center is a great way to express unity and strength. Muslims can be Americans* too.

*not REAAAAAAAL Amuricannnsss though, of course.  


Michael Steele is Such a Cool Boss! Even His Interns Share his Comedic Personality!

Michael Steele Is Having Interns Write Form Emails To Foreign Ambassadors

RNC Chairman Michael Steele is having his interns write emails -- generic, misspelled emails -- in an attempt to set up meetings with foreign ambassadors
, Politico reports.

The emails, strangely, were sent to the embassy's general inbox rather than to the high-level political aides of ambassadors.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Michael Steele And The Interns]

Besides, as former RNC Chairman Jim Nicholson pointed out, what's the point of Steele meeting with ambassadors?

"They can't give any money and they can't vote," he said. "I don't know why you'd take time to do it."

A selection from the email:
As you know, the November election is just 103 days away and the Chairman would like to extend to you an invitation to sit down either at the RNC or at your embassy to discuss the upcoming 2010 midterm elections. ... With literally hundreds of congressional seats up for grabs in just under four months, Chairman Steel [sic] would love to have the opportunity to discuss the Party's outlook with you.
We already know Steele is close to his interns -- but couldn't he get them to spell his name right?

GOP puzzled as Michael Steele courts diplomats

The Republican National Committee is trying to set up meetings between Chairman Michael Steele and foreign ambassadors to the United States, according to an e-mail obtained by POLITICO — an effort that has puzzled diplomats as well as fellow Republicans.
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(no subject)

BREAKING: Federal judge rules Prop. 8 same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

SAN FRANCISCO — California’s voter-approved Proposition 8, which defines marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman, violates the United States Constitution, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Wednesday afternoon.

In his highly-anticipated decision, published online Wednesday afternoon, Judge Vaughn Walker sided with opponents of the November 2008 initiative who sought to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples in California.

Supporters of the proposition argued that the initiative did not violate the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, and that allowing same-sex marriage would jeopardize family values and procreation.

In his ruling today, Walker disagreed, saying that Proposition 8 violates the equal protection clause by denying gays and lesbians the right to marry a member of the same sex.

Proposition 8 supporters have already begun planning for an appeal to Walker’s decision, which would be heard by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The case is expected to eventually be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A march and rally organized by Prop. 8 opponents has been planned for 5 p.m. at Market and Castro Sts. Wednesday evening. They will march to San Francisco Civic Center Plaza for a 6:45 p.m. rally near City Hall.
franklin sherman

THE TSA IS CHILD PORN - So who actually believed it when they said the naked scanners didnt save?

I sure as hell didnt. And looky here, they have secretly saved over 30,000 images of NAKED citizens.

Feds admit storing checkpoint body scan images

For the last few years, federal agencies have defended body scanning by insisting that all images will be discarded as soon as they're viewed. The Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer, for instance, that "scanned images cannot be stored or recorded."

Now it turns out that some police agencies are storing the controversial images after all. The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse.

This follows an earlier disclosure (PDF) by the TSA that it requires all airport body scanners it purchases to be able to store and transmit images for "testing, training, and evaluation purposes." The agency says, however, that those capabilities are not normally activated when the devices are installed at airports.
Body scanners penetrate clothing to provide a highly detailed image so accurate that critics have likened it to a virtual strip search. Technologies vary, with millimeter wave systems capturing fuzzier images, and backscatter X-ray machines able to show precise anatomical detail. The U.S. government likes the idea because body scanners can detect concealed weapons better than traditional magnetometers.

This privacy debate, which has been simmering since the days of the Bush administration, came to a boil two weeks ago when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that scanners would soon appear at virtually every major airport. The updated list includes airports in New York City, Dallas, Washington, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and Philadelphia.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to grant an immediate injunction pulling the plug on TSA's body scanning program. In a separate lawsuit, EPIC obtained a letter (PDF) from the Marshals Service, part of the Justice Department, and released it on Tuesday afternoon.

These "devices are designed and deployed in a way that allows the images to be routinely stored and recorded, which is exactly what the Marshals Service is doing," EPIC executive director Marc Rotenberg told CNET. "We think it's significant."

William Bordley, an associate general counsel with the Marshals Service, acknowledged in the letter that "approximately 35,314 images...have been stored on the Brijot Gen2 machine" used in the Orlando, Fla. federal courthouse. In addition, Bordley wrote, a Millivision machine was tested in the Washington, D.C. federal courthouse but it was sent back to the manufacturer, which now apparently possesses the image database.
The Gen 2 machine, manufactured by Brijot of Lake Mary, Fla., uses a millimeter wave radiometer and accompanying video camera to store up to 40,000 images and records. Brijot boasts that it can even be operated remotely: "The Gen 2 detection engine capability eliminates the need for constant user observation and local operation for effective monitoring. Using our APIs, instantly connect to your units from a remote location via the Brijot Client interface."

This trickle of disclosures about the true capabilities of body scanners--and how they're being used in practice--is probably what alarms privacy advocates more than anything else.

A 70-page document (PDF) showing the TSA's procurement specifications, classified as "sensitive security information," says that in some modes the scanner must "allow exporting of image data in real time" and provide a mechanism for "high-speed transfer of image data" over the network. (It also says that image filters will "protect the identity, modesty, and privacy of the passenger.")

"TSA is not being straightforward with the public about the capabilities of these devices," Rotenberg said. "This is the Department of Homeland Security subjecting every U.S. traveler to an intrusive search that can be recorded without any suspicion--I think it's outrageous." EPIC's lawsuit says that the TSA should have announced formal regulations, and argues that the body scanners violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits "unreasonable" searches.

For its part, the TSA says that body scanning is perfectly constitutional: "The program is designed to respect individual sensibilities regarding privacy, modesty and personal autonomy to the maximum extent possible, while
still performing its crucial function of protecting all members of the public from potentially catastrophic events."


Can someone please tell me how saving naked pictures of thousands of people, including children, is important for national security?

Wyclef Jean to run for president of Haiti

Wyclef Jean says he will run for president of Haiti

Six years ago, hip hop icon Wyclef Jean released a soulful tune called "President," in which he fantasized about what it would be like to lead a country.

That fantasy may come closer to reality when the Haitian-American recording artist announces exclusively on CNN's "Larry King Live" that he intends to run for president of Haiti.

Jean, who had been an outspoken proponent for Haiti through his Yele Foundation, told CNN Tuesday that plans to make the major announcement on King's show Thursday night.

Born in Haiti, Jean shot to fame in the mid-1990s as a member of The Fugees, a U.S.-based hip-hop and reggae group. He performs now as a solo artist.

He was one of the first celebrities to offer aid after the devastating earthquake there in January.

He told CNN late last month that he has filled out the necessary paperwork to make a run at the country's highest office.

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"If I was President" lyrics
Chanel #3

Well, That Was Fast...

Already, the right-wing reactions to the overturn of Prop 8 have begun to hit the 'net. First up, Focus on the Family! Surprise!


Judges who ignore the law and evidence ultimately endure appellate court reversal

Colorado Springs, Colorado (August 4, 2010 )— CitizenLink Judicial Analyst Bruce Hausknecht released the following statement today in response to U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker striking down Proposition 8 and the traditional definition of marriage in a ruling today.
Judge Walker’s ruling raises a shocking notion that a single federal judge can nullify the votes of more than 7 million California voters, binding Supreme Court precedent, and several millennia-worth of evidence that children need both a mom and a dad.
“During these legal proceedings, the millions of California residents who supported Prop 8 have been wrongfully accused of being bigots and haters. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, they are concerned citizens, moms and dads who simply wanted to restore to California the long-standing understanding that marriage is between one woman and one man – a common-sense position that was taken away by the actions of another out-of-control state court in May 2008.
“Fortunately for them, who make up the majority of Californians, this disturbing decision is not the last word.
“We fully expect the judge’s decision to be overturned upon appeal. The redeeming feature of our judicial system is that one judge who ignores the law and the evidence must ultimately endure the review and reversal of his actions from the appellate courts.
“We do want Americans to understand the seriousness of this decision, however. If this judge’s decision is not overturned, it will most likely force all 50 states to recognize same-sex marriage. This would be a profound and fundamental change to the social and legal fabric of this country.
“Our Founders intended such radical changes to come from the people, not from activist judges. Alexander Hamilton, in advocating for the ratification of our Constitution in 1788, argued that the judiciary would be ‘the least dangerous’ branch of government. Today’s decision shows how far we have come from that original understanding.”


Obama - Smooth


It's President Obama's 49th birthday....hope he has a great one in Chicago!!


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Home alone, President Barack Obama turned 49 on Wednesday.

First lady Michelle Obama has taken their youngest daughter, Sasha, to Spain. Their other daughter, Malia, is away at summer camp.

Obama hasn't shied away from talking about his birthday, noting that his hair is getting grayer and his metabolism is slowing down as another year passes. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says that while there's no doubt that the presidency comes with enormous physical and mental strain, Obama "greatly enjoys" the job.

Obama is heading home to Chicago for a birthday celebration dinner Wednesday evening with friends. He'll spend the night in his own house in the city's Hyde Park neighborhood. Meanwhile, the president's birthday – though a year shy of the Big 50 milestone – is being used in this election year as a prime fundraising opportunity for Democratic candidates and party organizations, through mailings, e-mails, parties and other birthday-themed outreach.

On Thursday, Obama will tour an auto plant in Chicago and attend Democratic fundraisers before returning to Washington.

franklin sherman

38 US billionaires pledge 50% of their wealth to charity

Thirty-eight US billionaires have pledged at least 50% of their wealth to charity through a campaign started by investor Warren Buffet and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

They include New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, CNN founder Ted Turner and entertainment executive Barry Diller.

"The Giving Pledge" lists all the families and individuals who have committed to the project.

The site says the pledge is a "moral commitment" not a "legal contract".

The campaign was started in June to convince US billionaires to give away at least half of their fortunes either during their lifetimes or after their deaths.

"We've really just started but already we've had a terrific response," Mr Buffett said in a statement.

He added: "The Giving Pledge is about asking wealthy families to have important conversations about their wealth and how it will be used."

Those who pledge their money to "philanthropic causes and charitable organisations" must publicly state their intention through a letter of explanation.

'Improving education'
Other billionaires who have pledged large sums of their money include film producer George Lucas, philanthropist David Rockefeller and oil investor T Boone Pickens.

"I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. It is the key to the survival of the human race," Mr Lucas wrote in his Giving Pledge letter.

The organisation says many of the donors have committed to donating sums far greater than the 50% minimum level.

"While the Giving Pledge is specifically focused on billionaires, the idea takes its inspiration from efforts in the past and at present that encourage and recognize givers of all financial means and backgrounds," says

Mr Buffet along with Mr Gates and his wife, Melinda, held numerous dinners with US billionaires in the past year to promote the campaign and urge America's financial elite to pledge.

"I've long stated that I enjoy making money, and I enjoy giving it away. I like making money more, but giving it away is a close second," Mr Pickens wrote in a letter on

Mr Buffet, the chief executive of the investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, pledged 99% of his money to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and family charities in 2006.

Forbes Magazine estimated Mr Buffet's wealth at $47bn (£29bn) in March.

Bill Gates, who Forbes rates as the world's second wealthiest person, has also given away more than $28bn to his foundation.

There are 403 billionaires living in the US, according to Forbes.

Homeless Student Beats Huge Odds to Study


Diego Sepulveda has always wanted to go to college at UCLA, but he never thought it would be possible.

"Ever since high school, I always knew I wanted to go to UCLA but I never saw it as accessible or affordable or even just a possibility," he told ABCNews.

Now Diego has done what he once thought was impossible. At 22 years old, he's a senior at UCLA studying political science.

But affording his dream has been a challenge: Diego is essentially homeless.

His immigrant parents work in sweatshops, forking over what little they can to help. Diego himself has worked at Subway and McDonald's franchises to earn money.

The hitch? This gifted student is not a U.S. citizen.

Diego is an illegal immigrant. His family came to California from Mexico when he was four years old.

Not having citizenship strips Diego from many of the government programs that typically help low income, gifted students.

"I can't receive any scholarships, I don't receive work studies," Diego said. "I just have a dream like everyone else."

"All my money went to I was walking around hungry all the time," he said. "I didn't have clean clothes, a lot of the time I wore the same things for maybe three days."

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This Liberal Hippie Radical Leftist Will Never Be Elected President

Flashback: George Washington in 1790 — The U.S. government ‘gives to bigotry no sanction.’

In 1790, President George Washington wrote a letter to the Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island, affirming the values of tolerance and religious freedom that he saw as the bedrock of the country that he had had helped found, and done so much to secure.The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy,” Washington wrote, “a policy worthy of imitation.” He continued:
All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens. [...]

May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.
The debate over the Ground Zero Mosque is, in fact, a debate over American values. Newt Gingrich has been trying to claim that the construction of the mosque is “explicitly at odds with core American and Western values,” while Mayor Bloomberg correctly noted yesterday that “we would betray our values if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else.” If the conservatives who have been attacking the mosque think that George Washington was wrong about American tolerance and religious freedom, let them say so explicitly. Visitors Agree that Prop 8 Violates The United States Constitution

Interesting. As of 10:42 EST A poll on indicates that a slight majority believes that Propisition 8, the controversial California Constitutional amendment that denies same-sex couples the right to marry, violates the US Constitution. The options for the poll are as follows:
  • Yes -- Prop. 8 violates the Constitution.
  • No -- Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman.
  • I don't care what the judge thinks about the Constitution. I'm not sure but shouldn't the voters views count for something?
  • Other (leave a comment).

The votes probably don't reflect the core values of many of FOX's viewers but they are interesting.

Source:, Me