September 24th, 2010

Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

"One of the most virulently homophobic" black preachers accused of 'coerced sex' wth men

Men allege sexual coercion by prominent Atlanta pastor

Two Georgia men have filed a lawsuit claiming that prominent Atlanta, Georgia, pastor Eddie Long coerced them into sex.

The suits, filed Tuesday in DeKalb County, Georgia, allege that Long used his position as a spiritual authority and bishop to coerce young male members and employees of his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church into sex.

A spokesman for Long told CNN on Wednesday that the allegations are "a case of retaliation and a shakedown for money by men with some serious credibility issues."

Long "categorically and adamantly denies these allegations," said spokesman Art Franklin.

"Defendant Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as Bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship," the suits allege.

Long is considered one of the nation's top black preachers. His church has more 25,000 members, according to the suit, and was the site of Coretta Scott King's 2006 funeral, attended by then-President George W. Bush and three previous presidents. King was the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Abusing someone's trust and faith to get them to have sex with you? Is beyond disgusting.
The Avengers - Default, AA

Obamacare is even worse than critics thought

Six months ago, President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rammed Obamacare down the throats of an unwilling American public. Half a year removed from the unprecedented legislative chicanery and backroom dealing that characterized the bill's passage, we know much more about the bill than we did then. A few of the revelations:

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Two things. One is that I usually TRY to read from both sides of the political spectrum, so I can get a further grasp of my own political ideas. Hence why I came across this article in the first place. Two is that I've been spoiled by wikipedia. There are no citations in this article whatsoever, and that really bugs me.

So my fellow ontd_political people, do you guys know of any articles/studies that refute what this particular un-sourced opinion piece is trying to say? Links would be very nice. Very nice indeed.

Katy Perry's Duet with Elmo Pulled from Sesame Street

(NewsCore) - Katy Perry's duet with Sesame Street's Elmo has been pulled from the show after complained about Perry's outfit, TMZ reported Wednesday.

The pop singer and the little red monster performed together in an adapted version of Perry's hit song "Hot N Cold," scheduled for broadcast on New Year's Eve.

The clip has already been put up on YouTube and by late Wednesday, New York time, had received nearly 1 million hits.

Producers decided the song would not go to air, though, after complaints from parents that Perry had dressed inappropriately for a children's program.


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I can't find the ONE MILLION HEEEETS video that the article talks about, so here's another youtube posting amongst many others.  DAMMIT ELMO JUST WANTS TO PLAY TAG WITH KATY PERRY LEAVE ELMO ALONE DAMMIT :S


Downhill With the G.O.P.

Published: September 23, 2010

Once upon a time, a Latin American political party promised to help motorists save money on gasoline. How? By building highways that ran only downhill.

I’ve always liked that story, but the truth is that the party received hardly any votes. And that means that the joke is really on us. For these days one of America’s two great political parties routinely makes equally nonsensical promises. Never mind the war on terror, the party’s main concern seems to be the war on arithmetic. And this party has a better than even chance of retaking at least one house of Congress this November.

Banana republic, here we come.

On Thursday, House Republicans released their “Pledge to America,” supposedly outlining their policy agenda. In essence, what they say is, “Deficits are a terrible thing. Let’s make them much bigger.” The document repeatedly condemns federal debt — 16 times, by my count. But the main substantive policy proposal is to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, which independent estimates say would add about $3.7 trillion to the debt over the next decade — about $700 billion more than the Obama administration’s tax proposals.

True, the document talks about the need to cut spending. But as far as I can see, there’s only one specific cut proposed — canceling the rest of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which Republicans claim (implausibly) would save $16 billion. That’s less than half of 1 percent of the budget cost of those tax cuts. As for the rest, everything must be cut, in ways not specified — “except for common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops.” In other words, Social Security, Medicare and the defense budget are off-limits.

So what’s left? Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math. As he points out, the only way to balance the budget by 2020, while simultaneously (a) making the Bush tax cuts permanent and (b) protecting all the programs Republicans say they won’t cut, is to completely abolish the rest of the federal government: “No more national parks, no more Small Business Administration loans, no more export subsidies, no more N.I.H. No more Medicaid (one-third of its budget pays for long-term care for our parents and others with disabilities). No more child health or child nutrition programs. No more highway construction. No more homeland security. Oh, and no more Congress.”

The “pledge,” then, is nonsense. But isn’t that true of all political platforms? The answer is, not to anything like the same extent. Many independent analysts believe that the Obama administration’s long-run budget projections are somewhat too optimistic — but, if so, it’s a matter of technical details. Neither President Obama nor any other leading Democrat, as far as I can recall, has ever claimed that up is down, that you can sharply reduce revenue, protect all the programs voters like, and still balance the budget.

And the G.O.P. itself used to make more sense than it does now. Ronald Reagan’s claim that cutting taxes would actually increase revenue was wishful thinking, but at least he had some kind of theory behind his proposals. When former President George W. Bush campaigned for big tax cuts in 2000, he claimed that these cuts were affordable given (unrealistic) projections of future budget surpluses. Now, however, Republicans aren’t even pretending that their numbers add up.

So how did we get to the point where one of our two major political parties isn’t even trying to make sense?

The answer isn’t a secret. The late Irving Kristol, one of the intellectual godfathers of modern conservatism, once wrote frankly about why he threw his support behind tax cuts that would worsen the budget deficit: his task, as he saw it, was to create a Republican majority, “so political effectiveness was the priority, not the accounting deficiencies of government.” In short, say whatever it takes to gain power. That’s a philosophy that now, more than ever, holds sway in the movement Kristol helped shape.

And what happens once the movement achieves the power it seeks? The answer, presumably, is that it turns to its real, not-so-secret agenda, which mainly involves privatizing and dismantling Medicare and Social Security.

Realistically, though, Republicans aren’t going to have the power to enact their true agenda any time soon — if ever. Remember, the Bush administration’s attack on Social Security was a fiasco, despite its large majority in Congress — and it actually increased Medicare spending.

So the clear and present danger isn’t that the G.O.P. will be able to achieve its long-run goals. It is, rather, that Republicans will gain just enough power to make the country ungovernable, unable to address its fiscal problems or anything else in a serious way. As I said, banana republic, here we come.

Source: New York Times

I didn't bold bc it's short.
the stone
  • gmth

Colbert storms Capitol Hill for migrant workers

Washington (CNN) -- There's nothing funny about the issue of migrant farm labor -- unless Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert is discussing it.

Colbert, accompanied by a media swarm, sarcastically testified on Capitol Hill Friday about the conditions facing America's undocumented farm workers. The popular host of "The Colbert Report" told members of a House Judiciary subcommittee that he hoped to bring attention to the workers' hardships.

"I certainly hope that my star power can bump this hearing all the way up to C-SPAN 1," he joked.

"America's farms are presently far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruits and vegetables," he told the subcommittee, keeping in character with the arch-conservative he plays on television.

"Now, the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. And if you look at the recent obesity statistics, many Americans have already started."

Colbert told the panel that "we all know there is a long tradition of great nations importing foreign workers to do their farm work."

"After all," he said, "it was the ancient Israelites who built the first food pyramids. But this is America. I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican. I want it picked by an American, then sliced by a Guatemalan, and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian."

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants," he declared. "He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."

Colbert appeared before Congress the day after "The Colbert Report" showed video of him packing corn and picking beans on a farm as part of a challenge from a pro-immigrant-labor group.

"I'll admit I started my work day with preconceived notions of migrant labor," Colbert said. "But after working with these men and women ... side by side in the unforgiving sun I have to say -- and I do mean this sincerely -- please don't make me do this again. It is really, really hard."

The brief experience, he said, "gave me some small understanding why so few Americans are clamoring to begin an exciting career as seasonal migrant field workers."

Colbert appeared alongside, among others, United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez, whose group over the summer launched "Take Our Jobs," a campaign that challenged U.S. citizens to replace immigrants in farm work.

The group, which says only seven citizens or legal residents have taken it up on the offer, argues that immigrant workers aren't taking citizens' jobs, and is pushing for a bill that would give undocumented farm workers currently in the United States the right to earn legal status.

On his show Thursday night, Colbert mocked those deriding his appearance before the committee, saying he agreed that showing up in character would "sully the good name of experts that Republican-controlled Congresses have actually called to testify in the past," like Elmo, the Sesame Street character who promoted music education before a House subcommittee in 2002.

Republicans on the subcommittee were not impressed or swayed by Colbert's appearance.

"Maybe we should be spending less time watching Comedy Central and more time considering all the real jobs that are out there -- ones that require real hard labor and ones that don't involve sitting behind a desk," said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.

"If we did we'd realize that every day ... Americans perform the dirtiest, most difficult, most dangerous (jobs) that can be thrown at them."

Many of these workers, King said, "would prefer the aroma of fresh dirt to that of the sewage of American elitists who disparage them even as they flush."

"It's an insult to me to hear that Americans won't do this work," he added, arguing that the hiring of undocumented workers is driving down wages and taking jobs away from those in the country legally.

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, used the occasion to rip the Obama administration's immigration policy. The notion that there's little competition for jobs between citizens and undocumented workers is a "myth," he claimed.

"We could make millions of jobs available to American citizens ... if the federal government simply enforced our immigration laws," Smith asserted. "Unfortunately this administration is turning its back on American workers."

Democrats were quick to challenge the Republicans' claims.

While Americans will take tough jobs, "study after study" shows that "people would rather have no income and no welfare than take the back-breaking jobs that the migrant farm worker has to do every single day," said Rep. Howard Berman, D-California.

"Were it not for immigrant farm workers in this country, there would be no seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables," he said.

Most of the media attention, however, remained focused on Colbert. The chairwoman of the subcommittee, Rep. Zoe Lofrgen, D-California, told CNN's Dana Bash before the hearing that she didn't think Colbert's appearance was a stunt.

"Celebrities add pizzazz to an issue," she said. "I hope his celebrity will bring attention" to this one.

But another Democrat, Michigan Rep. John Conyers, initially seemed unimpressed with Colbert, asking him to leave the committee room and merely submit his written statement instead.

Colbert noted that he was testifying at Lofgren's invitation, and said that he would remove himself at her request.

Conyers later told CNN he feared Colbert would create a "circus" atmosphere. But Colbert, who engaged in a question-and-answer session with the subcommittee, actually turned out to be "profound," he said.

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Cone of shame

Queen tried to get UK poverty fund to heat palace

By RAPHAEL G. SATTER and GREGORY KATZ – 26 minutes ago

LONDON — Even a monarch needs a little help from time to time — especially when the cost of heating those drafty old palaces spirals past $1.5 million a year.

But a request for assistance from a government fund that provides subsidized heating to low-income Britons has caused a spot of bother for Queen Elizabeth II, long one of the world's wealthiest women.

Her Majesty's application in 2004 was politely turned down by the government — in part because of fear of adverse publicity — and quietly forgotten until The Independent newspaper published the correspondence Friday after obtaining it via a Freedom of Information request.
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Spike personalized

This interview should have been covered on the "real news"

franklin sherman

FBI raids homes of several prominent members of Twin Cities antiwar movement -Anti war=Pro Terrorist


Search warrants were executed on six addresses in Minneapolis and at two addresses in Chicago in an "investigation into activities concerning the material support of terrorism."

The homes of six Twin Cities activists, including three prominent leaders of the Twin Cities antiwar movement, were raided Friday by the FBI in what an agency spokesman described as an "investigation into activities concerning the material support of terrorism."

An FBI spokesman Steve Warfield confirmed that six Minneapolis homes were raided this morning.

Among the homes raided were the apartments of Jessica Sundin, who was a principal leader of the mass antiwar march of 10,000 on the opening day of the Republican National Convention two years ago, and Mick Kelly, who was prominent in that protest and among those who announced plans to march on the Democratic National Convention in Minneapolis, if the city is selected to host it in 2012. Neither has been arrested.

Kelly said in an interview this morning he had "absolutely not" been involved in illegal activities.

A raid was also in progress at the home of Meredith Aby, another local antiwar leader who was frequently the spokeswoman for the march on the GOP convention. Sundin and another source said that a fourth raid took place at the home of Tracy Molm, a leading activist in Students for a Democratic Society, an organization at the University of Minnesota. The source said raids occurred at the addresses of two other activists whose names he did not disclose.

Supporters of Sundin, Kelly and Aby had gathered on the sidewalks outside each of the residences.

Ted Dooley, an attorney, said he had reviewed the search warrant issued in the raid on Kelly's apartment. "It's a probe into the political beliefs of American citizens and to any organization anywhere that opposes the American imperial design," he said.

Officials: Sheriff Joe's Office Charged Luxury Trips To County, Misused Up To $80 Million

Joe Arpaio, the Arizona sheriff infamous due to his attention-grabbing immigration enforcement related stunts and the accusations his office discriminates against Latinos, allegedly misused millions in funds intended for jail operations, Maricopa County officials said Wednesday.

Excerpts of the reports, obtained by TPMMuckraker, show officials from Arpaio's office made trips to Orlando, D.C., Honduras, Tempe, Belize, Alaska and Puerto Rico on the county's dime and racked up other questionable expenses, like $741 at Sardella's Pizza and Wings. The county was also charged $350 for a hotel room upgrade for one official's spouse. One employee went on multiple extradition trips without submitting receipts for the $62,750 he or she spent -- including $1,341 on Disney World Yacht Club Resort food and entertainment.

Others expenses charged to the county, according to the report, include $1,684 for a portable generator for parade lights on an army tank; $635 at Buca di Beppo when members of the Honduran National Police were in town; and $500 on a carriage ride.

The Maricopa County Office of Management and Budget unveiled the first evidence of misuse of public funds by Arpaio's office to the county Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, which the Arizona Republic reported were the result of hundreds of hours of staff research.

In a press release, officials said that Arpaio's office was evasive and that he has chosen to fight efforts at transparency in his use of public money. But, based on the limited amount of data provided by the sheriff's office, Maricopa County officials said the office had misspent money since at least March by using jail funds on non-jail related operations.

Jail operations are funded by an exclusive tax levy -- passed in a voter referendum in 1998 -- and are supposed to be distinct from the sheriff's office's funds. County officials charge that Arpaio's office allegedly used the jail operations funds for sheriff's office expenses -- such as salaries for deputies who worked on public-corruption investigations into county supervisors and judges.

A further review found that misspending dated back to at least 2006 at a rate of $16 million per year and that retroactively, Apraio's office may have misspent up to $80 million.

County officials additionally allege that the sheriff's office deliberately misused procurement codes and made capital purchases during spending freezes; used outside bank accounts; had problems handling inmate cash; demonstrated extradition travel irregularities; improperly used county credit cards; and spent public funds unusually.

A PowerPoint presentation issued yesterday also quoted Arpaio's letter of support in favor of the 1998 jail tax that he's now accused of misusing revenues from. "I pledge to you that the new jail will be the most efficient, cost-effective use of the sales tax revenue of any major jail built in the United States," he wrote.

General funds from the county may have to be used to pay as much as $64 million back to the jail operations budget.


(In off-screen announcer's voice)  How long will it take Governor Jan Brewer to throw her former best buddy and anti-immigration fetishist Arpaio under the bus?  Let's watch and see.