October 14th, 2010

Not impressed

Female Candidate Finds a Tough Audience: Women

HARTFORD — Every time Dolores Meehan turns on her television, there she is: Linda E. McMahon, attacking her opponent, in yet another political advertisement.

“She’s bothering people,” said Ms. Meehan, a retired telephone company worker from Norwalk. “There are about 10 to 12 ads in an hour. If you’re watching a show, it’s too much.”

Liz Costas, 51, owner of Katie’s Gourmet in downtown Stamford, is also tired of the relentlessness of Ms. McMahon’s campaign.

“She’s got a billboard the size of my car right outside my house,” Ms. Costas said.

With Election Day about three weeks away, Ms. McMahon, the Republican nominee for Connecticut’s open Senate seat and a former World Wrestling Entertainment executive, faces this major obstacle in her quest for the seat: Many female voters are turned off by her campaign.

A CNN/Time poll last week showed the Democratic nominee, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, with a nearly two-to-one advantage among female voters, and Ms. McMahon’s campaign is struggling to find ways to connect with women.

Interviews with nearly three dozen women around the state reveal that many are troubled by what they see as the harshness of the attacks Ms. McMahon has leveled at Mr. Blumenthal, the wall-to-wall advertising she is underwriting with tens of millions of dollars, and her role in the wrestling industry, with its cartoonish and demeaning depictions of women.

Stacey Smith, 32, a manager at a nonprofit organization in Stamford, said she found it hard to take Ms. McMahon seriously after viewing a widely circulated video of her performing in a raucous W.W.E. skit.

“How can you claim to be a political figure when you are on stage wrestling with your own daughter?” Ms. Smith said.

“She turns me off,” she added. “I think she is totally buying the seat.”

The CNN/Time poll showed that Mr. Blumenthal owes his lead in the race to his support among women. While the race is tied among male voters, women favor him 61 percent to 34 percent. Over all, among likely voters, Mr. Blumenthal is backed by 54 percent, and Ms. McMahon is supported by 41 percent.

Men often praise Ms. McMahon’s business acumen and some show up at her campaign events, eager to talk to her about wrestling and to be photographed with her.


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As a female Nutmegger all I have to say is this: "No, Linda McMahon, we are NOT BFFs so stop sending me things, calling me and appearing on my TV."
Akuma River

Which flag is this?

In light of the awesome news of the rescue of all 33 Chilian miners plus the 6 rescuers who went down there to get things going. Here is some fun news.

Via the Statesmen


County accidentally displays flag of Chile on ballot insert
Atascosa County officials say they fixed the mistake.

Updated: 1:44 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010
Published: 10:58 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, 2010

For the past few years, at least, officials in Atascosa County, south of San Antonio, have been sending out absentee ballot packages that include a page with a flag proudly displayed in a wavy motion.

The only trouble is, it's the Chilean flag, not the Texas flag. And it took a Ph.D. candidate to point it out.
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So, can you spot the differences?

P.S. Avoid the comments!

Pretzel Crisp says “You Can Never Be Too Thin”

You Can Never be Too Thin – Pretzel Crisp
In early August, Pretzel Crisp launched an an ad campaign in New York City with several slogans including “You can never be too thin”. The ad was found everywhere from ad stands to bus stands and in subway stations. Immediately the news took hold of the blogosphere spread the the power of social media, but the attention was clearly not the attention Pretzel Crisp intended.

Photos of the ad was posted on a women’s blog called Jezebel followed by a scathing and condemning posts angry at the implications of such a message: “you can never be too thin”. The slogan was brought up as a “thinspiration” motto used by the pro-anorexic community. It was deemed wrong and completely irresponsible as it promotes unhealthy weight loss. The photo was posted and reposted on numerous blogs and spread through articles, tweets and videos from other bloggers.

Pretzel Crisp’s Response to Thin Message
The company responded to the flurry with a tweet on it’s twitter account. The response? “Thin just happens to be a good word to describe the shape of our product.” As the issue became bigger and bigger, the VP of Marketing started to show up on interviews with bloggers to explain the situation. He explained that they were a small company and simply wanted to launch an attention grabbing ad. Well if that was the goal, they achieved what they wanted!

Pretzel Crisp soon tweeted that “We didn’t intend to advocate unhealthy weight loss with our ads. Thanks to all for the feedback. The ads will be taken down asap.” The people rejoiced. Justice was served, or so they thought. The ads were replaced with one of the other pro-anorexic play on words, “Taste as good as skinny feels”.

Outrage ensued again, but this time Pretzel’s response was that “you can never be too thin” was but one of four slogans and only that particular ad had negative responses. So they did the logical thing to replace that particular ad with one of the other three.

A week later, the company finally agreed to take down all their ads.

Many bloggers feel that this may have been a publicity stunt to raise more awareness of their brand. Though I am certain they were not expecting this level of response.

Thoughts on Pretzel Crisp’s Ads
My opinion?

It seems like Pretzel just made a really bad mistake. They thought they had a clever advertising motto as they tried to convey their Pretzels’ thin shape. They did the right thing in quickly responding to the criticisms and taking action. Where they made the mistake was claiming ignorance in saying they only thought one of their ads were causing the problem. If they would have taken them all down, the impression they would have left with people could have been very different.

But I don’t think they had any intention of promoting a pro-anorexic message. Also as exciting as the idea of them plotting this as a publicity stunt – it unlikely they did that as well. Not with a touchy subject such as anorexia.


When Politicians Share Stories of Being Bullied

Amidst a Fall season where tragic stories of anti-gay bullying have been fast and furious, Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns took some time during the city's regularly scheduled council meeting to share some truly moving personal experiences about growing up as a gay youth. He acknowledges growing up in a tough environment where he was taunted for his sexual orientation, and how that experience of bullying has affected him as adult.


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aurora // once upon a time

Putting the ONTD in ONTD_Political

UAE sought to sink Canada's UN bid

The United Arab Emirates lobbied against Canada's bid for a UN Security Council seat in the latest blow to relations that soured after disputes over airline routes, a UAE official said Thursday.

The Gulf country's opposition followed harsh complaints about Canada's refusal to open more flights for the fast-growing carriers Emirates and Etihad. The government in Abu Dhabi is also forcing Canada to leave a military base that is used to supply Canadian forces in Afghanistan.
Earlier this week, Canada pulled out of the race for one of the non-permanent Security Council seats after falling behind rivals in the first rounds of voting. The defeat was seen as a significant setback for a G-7 economic power.

The UAE official said the opposition was based on Canada's “protectionist” trade policies and perceptions that Ottawa is weak on supporting Arab causes in the region, including efforts to ease the Israeli restrictions on Palestinians in Gaza.
It's unclear how much the UAE could have swayed UN sentiments against Canada, but the country carries influence beyond its small size because of extensive international business ties.

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Seriously though, couldn't the Harper government have negotiated some sort of one-year contract that allowed more flights with the possibility to renew?

WH's Jarrett: Dead Gay Bully Victim Made 'Lifestyle Choice'

The last time I heard anyone use the obnoxious phrase "lifestyle choice" to describe a gay person's sexual orientation was during the Bill Clinton presidency when the gays were accused of wanting "special rights."

Today the Washington Post's gay kapo Jonathan Capehart shares a video interview he conducted on Monday with senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett. She clearly states a belief that Minnesota gay teen Justin Aarberg, who committed suicide in July after being bullied, made a "lifestyle choice."

Listen to Jarrett's nonsense at the 4:20 mark:

(OP NOTE; Could not find a way to embed the video, so it is at the source)

What an outrage to claim that the 15-year-old Aarberg made a choice to be gay, and that sexual orientation is a lifestyle. Did she get her talking points from Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council? It's doubly offensive that Capehart makes no effort to point out how dangerous Jarrett's thinking is.

If Capehart were willing to risk his White House access to events like a Latina Fiesta night, he might have taken his tongue off Jarrett and Obama's posteriors and challenged her employment of "lifestyle choice" in speaking about the support of the Aarberg family for their gay son and brother.

With friends like Jarrett and gay reporters such as Capehart, why worry about our enemies at the Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage and the Mormon Church?

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MISC - moustache

ICE Deports Non-Spanish Speaking American Citizen to Mexico

How does a U.S. citizen who has never been to Mexico, speaks no Spanish and shares no Mexican heritage end up being deported there, spending the next four months living on the streets and in the shelters and prisons of Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala? It's just the latest instance of blatant disregard for the rights and well being of people with mental disabilities by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Mark Lyttle's brush with immigration officials began when he was about to be released from a North Carolina jail where he was serving a short sentence for touching a worker's backside in a halfway house that serves individuals with mental disabilities. Even though they had plenty of evidence that he was a U.S. citizen — including his Social Security number and the names of his parents — corrections officials turned him over to ICE as an undocumented immigrant whose country of birth was Mexico. (Mark is actually of Puerto Rican descent, but I guess when the government is trying to kick a Latino guy out of the country, the easiest place to send him is Mexico.)

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mus | like a bird in a cage

Deal in works for Khadr guilty plea

A deal is being negotiated that could see Omar Khadr plead guilty to terrorism charges in exchange for a sentence – some of which to be served in Canada – as part of a plea bargain expected to be finalized in the next few days.

“We can confirm that there is a potential deal in the works,” said Nate Whitling, one of Mr. Khadr’s Canadian lawyers. Mr. Whitling declined to provide any details but said he expected an announcement soon.

In Ottawa, Prime Minister's Stephen Harper's spokesman Dimitri Soudas said the rumours of a deal “were not correct.”

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Obama: Homosexuality is not a choice

(CNN) - President said Thursday that he believes homosexuality is not a choice, but the result of people being born with "a certain make-up."

Asked directly if gay or transgender people have a choice or are born that way, Obama told a town-hall style event with students that he was no expert, then added: "I don't think it's a choice. I think people are born with a certain make-up."

"We're all children of God," Obama said. "We don't make determinations about who we love. That's why I think discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is wrong."

Gwen Stefani - Pretty in Pink

Dithering on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

The Obama administration professes to oppose the odious and misguided policy of banning gay soldiers from serving openly in the military. So it was distressing to hear that the Justice Department plans to appeal a federal court order that the military immediately stop enforcing the law that is used to drum out gay service members once their sexual orientation becomes known.

We believe the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law was wrong from the day it was passed 17 years ago. But, in any case, circumstances have changed radically. As Judge Virginia Phillips pointed out when she ruled it unconstitutional, the original premises for the policy have been proved wrong, and there is no longer any good reason for continuing to ruin people’s lives by enforcing it.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the policy should not be lifted abruptly because there are unresolved questions like whether straight and gay soldiers should share barracks and whether the military should pay benefits to partners of gay service members.

He said he wanted to wait until a review of practices and policies was submitted on Dec. 1.
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<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/14/opinion/14thu1.html?ref=opinion>source</a>

Couple found not guilty in abortion trial

A District Court jury in far north Queensland has found a Cairns couple accused of procuring an illegal abortion not guilty.

The jury of eight women and four men took less than an hour to reach the unanimous verdict.

They found Tegan Leach, 21, not guilty of procuring her own miscarriage and Sergie Brennan, 22, not guilty of unlawfully supplying drugs to procure an abortion.

There was loud applause and cheering from the public gallery as the verdicts were read out and Judge William Everson told the couple they were free to go.

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I'm a resident of Cairns, and I am so goddamn happy they were found not guilty! This entire fiasco was a pile of BS. I'm really annoyed nothing is being done about this ridiculous law, though.

Source: ABC News
This is a witty Space Ghost reference.

Defamation by Twitter: Broadway Actor Files Court Papers

Marty Thomas, the singing actor most recently on Broadway in Xanadu, has filed papers in the Manhattan Supreme Court saying he was defamed by a poster on the social network Twitter whose username is "bwayanonymous," according to the New York Post.

The tweet from "bwayanonymous" stated, "Which Avenue Q cast member gave Marty Thomas crabs?"

Thomas' lawsuit says that the posting was "malicious and false" and was seen by countless individuals. "The statement was first brought to my attention by an actress who I worked with in the past and also by a casting director who hired me in the past," Thomas continues. "Clearly, there is no doubt that other people in the Broadway community saw and were affected by the statement."

In the filing Thomas says, "I do not suffer from, nor have I ever suffered from, a sexually transmitted disease." The actor says that the tweet "negatively impacts my reputation and negatively reflects on my business as a professional actor."

Thomas is asking the court to reveal the identity of "bwayanonymous" so he can take proper legal action.

Thomas told the Post, "If it's an opinion about my career, my talent, my personality, I could care less. My skin is thicker than that."

Prior to the filing of papers, the Twitter feed of "bwayanonymous" had been removed.

Marty Thomas has appeared on Broadway in Xanadu, The Secret Garden and Wicked. He is a Grammy-nominated recording artist who was named the 1992 Junior Vocalist champion on the original "Star Search" series. His self-titled solo CD is now available.

[sg] profile

Vaughn: Keep Gay Joke in Movie

Anderson Cooper and GLAAD may not be fan of the gay joke in the upcoming film The Dilemma, but star Vince Vaughn is.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

After Cooper and GLAAD complained about the film's gay reference — Vaughn, as the star, calls electric cars "gay" — Universal removed the joke from the movie's trailer. It remains to be seen whether the joke will remain in the final cut of the film, but Vaughn hopes it does.

"Let me add my voice of support to the people outraged by the bullying and persecution of people for their differences, whatever those differences may be," the actor was quoted as saying on Thursday. "Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together. Drawing dividing lines over what we can and cannot joke about does exactly that; it divides us. Most importantly, where does it stop?"


such poor judgment here... it wasn't even a "joke", it was a slur and the dumbest of slurs at that. but i digress: i love it when celebrities do the whole foot-in-mouth thing.
[stock] so kiss me

Wall St. Pins foreclosure fiasco on homeowners

By Joe Rauch CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Wall Street's reaction to the allegations that some banks cut corners while foreclosing on 3 million homes since 2007: Pay your mortgage in the first place.

The building furor over whether the largest U.S. mortgage lenders used so-called robo-signers and incomplete paperwork to force delinquent borrowers from their homes has mushroomed into a probe by the attorneys general in all 50 states, with U.S. Congressional hearings not far behind.

Those on Wall Street, however, are largely unsympathetic, insisting that possible errors in the foreclosure process are beside the point, that the process begins only when a borrower starts missing mortgage payments.

"If you didn't pay your mortgage, you shouldn't be in your house. Period. People are getting upset about something that's just procedural," said Walter Todd, portfolio manager at Greenwood Capital Associates.

Some said the issue is one of personal responsibility for one's own debts.
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Sesame Street Teaches Hair Positivity

Sesame Street debuted a new song and video on PBS entitled “I Love My Hair.” The music video teaches pre-schoolers and kindergartners (particularly black girls), about the importance and value of loving their natural hair:


OMG this is too cute! This should have been around when I was younger. I've had so many people tease me about my multiracial hair, and I had to learn to love it. Also FYI white people: no1currs about your "Hair like Hermione".