October 8th, 2010

Meng WTF

In which Oregon House Candidate Art Robinson (R) dodges & insults Rachel Maddow for 18 minutes

Watch as Mr. Robinson ignores the initial question of if he cares who backed the Anonymously funded attack ad on his opponent, Pete DeFazio. Followed by Maddow asking about him to clarify his past scientific studies and newsletters about radioactive waste disposal and his belief in governmental AIDS conspiracies.

Rachel literally has a gif worthy head-desk moment around the 17 minute mark after the constant dodging, filibustering, and patronizing attitude when he says he can't hope to teach her his SOUND UNBIASED SCIENTIFIC THEROEM bat-shit loopy junk science.
the stone
  • gmth

PPP Poll: Joe Lieberman Trailing Very Badly In 2012 Re-Election Bid

A new survey of Connecticut by Public Policy Polling (D) provides a fascinating look into the possible future of independent Sen. Joe Lieberman. To be exact, the former Democrat is incredibly unpopular with most voters -- and only marginally popular with Republicans -- and would have a hard time avoiding a landslide defeat should he run again in 2012.

Lieberman's political journey over the last four years has sure alienated a lot of folks. After he lost the 2006 Democratic primary, he was then re-elected as an independent with unofficial Republican support. He then campaigned aggressively for John McCain for president in 2008, and spoke at the Republican National Convention -- but after McCain lost, he settled back into place in the Democratic caucus. Then he helped to stop the public option during the health care debate, promising to support a Republican filibuster, but also voted for final passage of the eventual law sans public option.

Lieberman's approval rating stands at only 31%, with 57% disapproval -- even lower than the 36%-54% for Sen. Chris Dodd, who is retiring. Broken down by party, Lieberman's rating is 20%-69% among Democrats, 46%-41% among Republicans, and 31%-56% among independents.

Respondents were also asked this question: "Generally speaking in 2012 will you vote to reelect Joe Lieberman or would you rather replace him with someone else?" The answer was only 24% to re-elect him, against 66% who would vote to replace him.

PPP also tested three-way race for Lieberman, Rep. Chris Murphy as the Democratic nominee and Republican financial commentator and Ron Paul activist Peter Schiff (who recently came in third place in the Republican primary for Senate) as the Republican candidate. The result was Murphy 39%, Schiff 25%, and Lieberman 19%.

Another three-way race put in Gov. Jodi Rell, who is retiring this year with relatively decent approval ratings, as the Republican candidate. This time it's Murphy 37%, Rell 29%, and Lieberman 17%.

In a direct two-way match, Murphy leads Lieberman by 47%-33%.

"Democrats, Republicans, and independents in Connecticut agree on one thing: they want Joe Lieberman replaced in the US Senate," writes PPP president Dean Debnam. "His path to reelection, at least at this point a couple years away, looks extremely difficult."


Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Hope this trend holds so we can finally say adios to this smug asshole.
Izzard - Star-Spangled Banner


Caught Spying on Student, FBI Demands GPS Tracker Back
By Kim Zetter

A California student got a visit from the FBI this week after he found a secret GPS tracking device on his car, and a friend posted photos of it online. The post prompted wide speculation about whether the device was real, whether the young Arab-American was being targeted in a terrorism investigation and what the authorities would do.

It took just 48 hours to find out: The device was real, the student was being secretly tracked and the FBI wanted their expensive device back, the student told Wired.com in an interview Wednesday.

The answer came when half-a-dozen FBI agents and police officers appeared at Yasir Afifi’s apartment complex in Santa Clara, California, on Tuesday demanding he return the device.

Afifi, a 20-year-old U.S.-born citizen, cooperated willingly and said he’d done nothing to merit attention from authorities. Comments the agents made during their visit suggested he’d been under FBI surveillance for three to six months.

An FBI spokesman wouldn’t acknowledge that the device belonged to the agency or that agents appeared at Afifi’s house.

“I can’t really tell you much about it, because it’s still an ongoing investigation,” said spokesman Pete Lee, who works in the agency’s San Francisco headquarters.

Afifi, the son of an Islamic-American community leader who died a year ago in Egypt, is one of only a few people known to have found a government-tracking device on their vehicle.

His discovery comes in the wake of a recent ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals saying it’s legal for law enforcement to secretly place a tracking device on a suspect’s car without getting a warrant, even if the car is parked in a private driveway.

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Afifi’s encounter with the FBI ended with the agents telling him not to worry.

“We have all the information we needed,” they told him. “You don’t need to call your lawyer. Don’t worry, you’re boring. “

They shook his hand and left.

Source just loves this government


The "War On Terror": Making it possible to violate the rights of average American citizens since 2001.
comedy | This chibi is now DIAMONDS.

Shenanigans Friday: September 17, 2010.

"In Washington, we know there's a huge difference between a prostitute and a LOLitician. There are some things a prostitute won't do." —Senator Claire McCaskiLLOL (D-MO)

Please exploit these resources:
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  • ROFLBOT (for your caption needs)

MOAR Picture Sources:

Heath smoking

African American Women and POC disproportionately affected by DADT

During the recent heated debates on Capitol Hill about repealing "Don't ask, don't tell," former Army Sgt. Tracey L. Cooper-Harris sent a poignant letter to President Barack Obama urging him to "do the right thing."

Cooper-Harris, who is black, wrote in the May 10 letter that her male compatriots sexually blackmailed her as a teenager to guard her secret of being gay. "The signal from command was clear: being gay was a far more serious offense in the military than sexually harassing a fellow service member," she wrote. "I ultimately chose what I believed was the best decision for me at the time. I let these men have their way with me in exchange for their silence."

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As if I wasn't raged at this policy enough. I CANNOT EVEN...  

bird dj

Dying Girl, 7, Taunted by Neighbors

TRENTON, Mich. - Her family says 7-year-old Kathleen Edward is in the final stages of a degenerative brain disorder diagnosed as Huntington's Disease - the same disease which killed her mother, Laura, when she was only 24.

Neighbors Jennifer and Scott Petkov, who have been feuding with the family, admitted to posting grim depictions of Laura and Kathleen on Facebook. One photo depicts Laura in the arms of the grim reaper, while the other features Kathleen's face above a set of crossbones.

The couple also have a coffin hitched to a pick-up truck in front of the house, which they say is nothing more than a Halloween decoration.

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THIS BITCH. Why do you have this picture? "Personal satisfaction" WTF? WTF? Watching her in that video makes me sick.

Rick Sanchez breaks his silence on Good Morning America

Former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez began his tour of contrition at Good Morning America earlier today, admitting to George Stephanopoulos from the outset: “I screwed up.” Sanchez was, of course, referring to the situation where he was fired last week after calling Comedy Central host Jon Stewart a “bigot” and insinuating that his bosses at CNN were part of a Jewish group controlling the media. “First of all, that is not what I meant,” he continued. “Second of all, I apologize and it was wrong for me to be so careless and so inartful. But it happened and I can’t take it back and, you know what, now I have to stand up and be responsible.”

Sanchez’s explanation for everything? He said he was fatigued and had a “chip on his shoulder” about discrimination. Sanchez also revealed that he called Stewart on Monday to apologize (“Why do you always pick on me?” he also asked Stewart) and said that he’d return to CNN in light of the comments by Time-Warner Chairman Jeff Bewkes, who said that he might “someday” come back to CNN or one of the media conglomerate’s other channels.


In Search of Black and Latino Farmers in the Sustainable Food Movement

"In search of black and Latino farmers in the sustainable food movement"

BY Natasha Bowens
6 OCT 2010 8:29 AM

Raking it all in: Getting my hands dirty.

I'm stuck on this concept of blending contrasts. It may have to do with being the only brown girl I know interested in farming (although this really shouldn't be a contrast at all); or maybe it has to do with going from D.C. political advocate to farmer-girl overnight.

Either way, blending things that aren't expected to go together is my thing, always has been. After all, I'm a girl born of blended love: young hazel-eyed Catholic girl from Texas meets aspiring Black Panther from the dirty South. Their eyes lock in a club in L.A.The rest is history -- out pops me.

I was always blending contrasts throughout my childhood without knowing it. I was just being myself. I was the tomboy who dreamed of romance; the shy girl who loved the theatre spotlight; the only girl of color for miles who not only listened to country music, but danced to it. And nothing's changed. Now I'm the advertising grad who despises consumerism; the advocate who hates public speaking; and the brown girl who wants to farm ... in the middle of the city much less.

So, this summer I said goodbye to Washington, D.C., a job, a sweet house, great people, and a guy to transplant myself onto an organic farm and dig barefoot in the mud.

Why? Well, the mud splattering was not the main objective, although it was a fun perk. Nor was the prospect of settling down on an idyllic farm in the countryside.

It was about finally diving headfirst into my passion, and confronting myself and the rest of the food movement with the issue of race and class while doing so.

I am into food. Not like a foodie into food, but like a farmer into food. I spend my weekends working at farmers markets, volunteering with local neighborhood farms and youth gardens, and trying to make things grow in the backyard garden I planted with my housemates. All I seem to read about is soil microbes, plant identification, and statistics on our pesticide-ridden food industry. I plan my food shopping around where and when I can get the most local food, and I've become obsessed with experimenting in the kitchen to have the least amount of processed food possible. All the while I constantly think about how much harder that all would be if I lived in southeast D.C. as opposed to northwest, and maybe earned below the poverty line and had kids to raise.

Over the past three years I've been organizing and advocating on progressive campaigns for environmental issues, health care, and social justice. I realized that my activism on these issues and my passion for food and ag intersected perfectly and even had a name: food justice. I guess I'm now a "food activist."

I want to learn how to grow it more efficiently and more harmoniously with our planet. I want to make sure it's healthy for my body and my environment. I want to make sure it gets to those in need of it. Some of my friends don't understand why and how farming is calling to me, but it is -- loud and clear.

So I've packed up all my things and set off on the first step of this food journey: Learn how to grow it.

I'm really not too different from many other young people picking up the pitchfork and joining the ranks of the rapidly growing food movement ... except that I seem to be the only person of color I know doing so. In fact, in my exploration from afar of the farming movement, I found very few farms and food-justice organizations being run by blacks or Latinos. Race has long been a hot topic in the environmental movement, but it saddened me to realize that, for the most part, this exciting food movement that I so badly want to be a part of is not even being led by the communities that most need it to take root.

It could even be said that farming and the black community embody some sort of contrast. If you think about the history of agriculture in our country, you can see how it has come to this. America's agriculture industry was made on the backs of black slaves, starting with the cotton fields in the South and continuing through the long history of black families as sharecroppers after emancipation. Thus agriculture can still be viewed as disempowering if you're black.

I feel that can no longer be so. I have to go out and dig deeper for minority-led farms firsthand. And if I come up shorthanded, I hope to help blend that contrast up and turn it around, because we need to be viewing this agriculture movement as an empowering act for our minority communities, especially our youth.

So I am riding off into the sunset, with my dusty backpack, my journal, and bug spray in hand, to apprentice, volunteer, and WWOOF my way around organic and urban farms across the country. I'm particularly seeking out those led by black and Latino farmers. My trip has begun on a rural farm in West Virginia, far from the hungry streets of some D.C. communities, but it will ultimately focus on farm and food-justice organizations in cities like Brooklyn, Detroit, Oakland, and Chicago -- and any cities you may suggest!

I'm on a mission to continue blending contrasts in the hopes of making something beautiful. Add farm. Add yours truly. Press blend.

Source is Grist

Full disclosure: This is my cousin and I'm all about wide dissemination in what I think is an awesome undertaking of hers. She is now in Brooklyn working with inner city and rooftop sustainable food production. That said, as a white girl, I can't relate to the feelings equated to agriculture and farming by other races. The comments I have seen from my friends of other races have run the gamut from some of my Asian and Indian friends saying that their parents moved to the US so that they could have prestigious jobs, to some of my black friends making "40 acres and a mule" jokes. I think this could be a good conversation and spark some good discussion in this community.

Inside the Mind of a Black Tea Party Patriot

As Seen on This Week in Blackness (visit!)

I had the misfortune of running across an article in The Guardian from one of the most vocal and visible Tea Party members out there because...well...it really helps when he’s onscreen. In this magical article, Lloyd Marcus lays out a personal story in order to explain why he’s just so darn awesome.

“A urine smell permeated the stairwell. In the darkness due to smashed light bulbs, the sound of broken wine bottles underfoot echoed off the concrete walls. I was nine years old. With the elevators out of service half the time due to vandalism, I was forced many times to take the scary trek into the shadow of death up the stairwell to our sixth-floor apartment in the projects of east Baltimore....All I kept hearing was that everything was the "white man's fault." Even at the age of nine, I sarcastically thought to myself, "how can we stop these evil white people from sneaking in here at night peeing in the stairwell, leaving broken wine bottles, smashing the light bulbs and attacking people?

So, my early experience living in the government project taught me that some folks simply have a ghetto mindset. I also witnessed the trap of government welfare. And why were so many around me angry and violent—despite getting free housing, food and healthcare?”

This is playing into the worst of what some people believe when they think of blacks and welfare. And now they have a Negro co-signing all of their thoughts and fears. He says that story was happening in the ‘50’s but doesn’t acknowledge any of the socioeconomic ripples of a horrendously oppressed people. He acts as if being on public assistance created some sort of Negrotopia where everything you could ever want was provided for you and people should have been ecstatic about it.

Several of my cousins stayed enslaved to the system and the bigotry of low expectations. Because true self-esteem comes from personal achievement, they possessed very little. They lived angry and bitter lives, consumed with serial impregnating, out-of-wedlock births and substance abuse. An outrageously high number died prematurely.

So, when I hear politicians, such as Barack Obama, pandering to the so-called poor of America, it turns my stomach. I've witnessed the deterioration of the human spirit, wasted lives and suffering that happens when government becomes "daddy."

Yeah, scared white folks, that’s what happened. The government became daddy for the “so-called poor” and everyone just destroyed themselves.

Or not.

The idea behind Marcus’s messaging here is as silly as it is egotistical. He’s a black Tea Party member because he sees “THE TRUTH.” He’s not like us brainwashed black folk who want nothing more than to suckle at the tit of the government. He’s so enlightened he would join a questionable political movement with the diversity of a gallon of vanilla ice cream. The government providing assistance destroys lives, according to Marcus. Once the government helps, you go around making babies and doing drugs!

Funny thing, though: When I was growing up my family had moments when we were on public assistance. I grew up in the middle of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, during the crack epidemic of the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s.  I was surrounded by four different projects that ranged from across the street to about four blocks in distance. I knew a lot of people on public assistance or “welfare.” Some folks decided that was how they were going to live their lives, but a lot of other people didn’t want that for themselves at all. It wasn’t a sign of pride that you were on public assistance.

I remember going to the store and having to pay for food with food stamps and the absolute embarrassment that came along with it. But I lived surrounded by mostly projects and people receiving government aid. According to Marcus, all of our spirits had been deteriorated. Why would anyone care about how they were perceived?

Why was my family on welfare, you ask? Obviously we enjoyed living off of the government! At the age of fourteen I was shot (while attending school in the affluent neighborhood of Turtle Bay in Manhattan, NYC) and my mother had to look after me with hospital appointments and such. This caused her to lose her job and she couldn't immediately get another one, hence she went on public assistance. The government didn’t act as “daddy.” The government provided help when the situation was dire.

But that’s not a good story to sell the whole “evil government” and “brown folk are taking your tax money.”  Lloyd Marcus is a black guy in the Tea Party because he feels he’s smarter than everyone. He feels that he sees the truth and that although most people think the message that the Tea Party is sending is bat-shit crazy and that blacks participating in it is even crazier, he knows better. He’s not blinded by pesky things like history and facts. He’s a star amongst them because he legitimizes their inane commentary.  He’s a black Tea Party patriot because he needs the feeling of superiority that going against the common sense grain gives him.

Too bad for him that he wasn’t the only Negro to make it out of the hood. There are a lot of us who have no problems calling him on all of his bullshit.


Quantitative Easing, Explained

Source also has four-minute audio clip:http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2010/10/07/130408926/quantitative-easing-explained

Everywhere you turn in the financial media lately, you hear people talking about "quantitative easing."

It's one of the more impressive financial phrases out there — impressive for the distance between how boring it sounds and how dramatic it actually is.

It means creating massive amounts of money out of thin air with the hope of getting the economy back on track.

Economists — at least some economists — believe that when you want to improve the economy you need to get more money out there, circulating around.
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In age of Facebook, Twitter and apps, some candidates adapt better than others


Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has lots of "friends" - 58,610 of them, to be exact.

That's the number of people who support the former Maryland governor on Facebook, and as he campaigns across the state trying to get his old job back, he mentions his online pals whenever he can. Ehrlich's Democratic opponent, Gov. Martin O'Malley, can claim a mere 24,516 Facebook supporters. "That proves I'm friendlier," Ehrlich told the crowd at a corn roast Saturday in Baltimore County, and "more popular."

No doubt, if the election were held on Facebook, Ehrlich would be the runaway winner. But in Maryland, where the election actually will be held, a Washington Post poll has him trailing O'Malley by 11 points.

Ehrlich is one of many politicians this year who have discovered the limits of online friendship.

President Obama's 2008 campaign showed how the Internet could be used to organize grass-roots supporters into a nationwide political force. Now House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates across the country are finding it isn't so easy to duplicate Obama's results.

To show that they "get" the Web, too, politicians are venturing online to raise money, organize volunteers and communicate directly with supporters. They rack up Facebook friends, tweet their every thought and action (or assign some poor young staffer to do it for them), shell out for Obama-style iPhone applications and wait for the Web to work its magic.

A lot of them have been disappointed to find that all that motion doesn't necessarily translate into votes.

"So you have 50,000 Facebook fans - what the heck are you going to do with them?" said Vincent Harris, a GOP new-media consultant for numerous 2010 candidates. "Campaigns this cycle are in this frenzy of numbers, numbers, numbers. But how do you effectively reach these people and activate them?"

When Harris signed on as the new-media adviser to Republican Robert F. McDonnell's campaign for Virginia governor last year, the candidate asked for all the Obama bells and whistles. Harris adopted a sophisticated text-messaging system that allowed the campaign to send quick news flashes to supporters.

McDonnell spent $150,000 to buy the very latest in texting technology. The campaign put its SMS "short code" on T-shirts, online ads and rally placards.

But by Election Day, the campaign had collected only about 9,000 mobile numbers, compared with more than 250,000 plain old e-mail addresses. This year, Harris has discouraged his clients from investing in texting. "I don't think mobile is there yet," Harris said.

Apps for the iPhone are another popular campaign toy. But they can run in the thousands of dollars to create and aside from a certain hipster quality don't tend to reach many voters. And neither text messaging nor apps can be used for political fundraising, making them even less effective as campaign tools.