January 19th, 2011

  • xerox78

Anti-abortion protestor hit by car

Car strikes anti-abortion rights activist in Fort Myers

FORT MYERS: A planned anti-abortion rights demonstration ends in an unplanned crash. Protestors lined McGregor Boulevard outside the home of a Fort Myers doctor, when a car jumped the curb and ran over a protestor holding a sign.

"She looked off the road for one second, and that's what happens," said Ted Edwards, who lives on the street.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, teenagers in a red Elantra veered off the road, through a street sign at Robalo Drive and then hit a protestor.

"Took her eyes off the road for one minute--for a sign!" Edwards says. This is the the fifth time anti-abortion rights activists have come to the neighborhood to protest local Doctor Philip Waterman. "If you want to veto something, go to their place of work. Not the residence," Edwards said.

"We do also go to the place of work, but this is also part of the pro-life fight," said John Musca, an anti-abortion rights activist.

The man who was hit was rushed to Lee Memorial, but his friends say he was alert. The two teens in the Elantra were taken to Health Park, according to FHP. The initial accident caused another crash, slowing traffic in both directions.

"I'm very upset. This should have never happened," Edwards said.

There were about 70 protestors along McGregor Boulevard Sunday and leaders say they will be back.

"This is a battle zone. Drastic times call for drastic measures and that's why we're here," Musca said.

The investigation is ongoing.


I don't feel sorry for him at all.


Obama and the Fox

[OP note: Found this today at Dissent Magazine online. Yes, it makes for tl:dr,  but it worth the while IMO. This article begins by focusing on what we all know about FOX news /Newscorp/ NY Post & Wall Street Journal outlets (who are all owned by same entity now), then expands to concern about the overall abhorred standards of U.S. news media. ]

Obama and the Media
Eric Alterman - January 13, 2011

The following is excerpted from
Kabuki Democracy: The System vs. Barack Obama, by Eric Alterman. Available from Nation Books, a member of The Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2011.

BACK IN the spring of 1969, journalist Pete Hamill prophetically described the as-yet-undiagnosed “Revolt of the White Lower Middle Class,” together with its relation to what he called “the information explosion.” Speaking of the white, largely ethnic denizens of the working-class boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, he wrote:

Television has made an enormous impact on them, and because of the nature of that medium—its preference for the politics of theatre, its seeming inability to ever explain what is happening behind the photographed image—much of their understanding of what happens is superficial. Most of them have only a passing acquaintance with blacks, and very few have any black friends. So they see blacks in terms of militants with Afros and shades, or crushed people on welfare....And in the past five or six years, with urban rioting on everyone’s minds, they have provided themselves (or been provided with) a confused, threatening stereotype of blacks that has made it almost impossible to suggest any sort of black-white working-class coalition....The working-class white man is actually in revolt against taxes, joyless work, the double standards and short memories of professional politicians, hypocrisy and what he considers the debasement of the American dream. [But if ] the stereotyped black man is becoming the working-class white man’s enemy, the eventual enemy might be the democratic process itself.
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Hezbollah Staged a Mock Takeover of Beirut

The Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai reported that Hezbollah activists performed a drill on Monday attempting to take over the Lebanese capitol of Beirut. According to the report, the activists practiced "a real, unarmed drill meant to test their readiness to takeover Beirut and its surroundings, including airports and harbors."

There have been reports of groups of men - dressed in trademark Hezbollah black- gathering on Beirut streets on Tuesday raising tensions that later quietly dispersed. It seems that the group focused their drill on 12 strategic locations among them some UN institutions.

The drill happening soon after Special Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare submitted the indictment to the international court in The Hague after completing his investigation of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The first draft indictments remain sealed but they are expected to implicate Syria and members of Hezbollah in the 2005 killing. Hezbollah has sought to discredit the Tribunal's findings calling it an "American and Israeli tool". After Prime Minister Saad Hariri and son of the slain leader refused to disavow the tribunal investigating his father's death, 11 Hezbollah Ministers and its political allies resigned from the unity coalition forcing the toppling the government.

The militant group has said in the past it would not allow the authorities to arrest or indict any of its members and is now threatening to take over Lebanon by force.



Well. This will surely end well.
franklin sherman

Obama's SEC hires Goldman Sachs asset manager to regulate asset managers

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Eileen Rominger has been named its Director of Investment Management. She will begin her work at the agency in February.

The Division of Investment Management protects investors and promotes capital formation through oversight and regulation of the nation’s multi-trillion dollar investment management industry. Ms. Rominger comes to the SEC from the asset management industry, where she worked for the past 11 years at Goldman Sachs Asset Management and most recently served as the firm’s global chief investment officer. She previously worked for 18 years at Oppenheimer Capital, where she was a portfolio manager, managing director, and a member of the Executive Committee.


(there was no regulation tag)

Alabama governor's remarks on non-Christians raise eyebrows

"Anybody 'who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior … you're not my brother,' the Republican tells a crowd on the day of his swearing-in. "-Gov. Robert J. Bentley

Reporting from Atlanta and Los Angeles — On the day of his swearing-in, Alabama Republican Gov. Robert J. Bentley raised concern among the state's non-Christians by declaring that people who had not accepted Jesus Christ were not his brothers and sisters.

Speaking to a large crowd Monday at Montgomery's Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church — where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached — Bentley said that "if you're a Christian and you're saved ... it makes you and me brother and sister," according to a report in the Birmingham News.

"Now I will have to say that, if we don't have the same daddy, we're not brothers and sisters," he added, according to the paper. "So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother."

By Tuesday, the comments were reverberating beyond Alabama. David Silverman, president of Cranford, N.J.-based American Atheists, called the remarks "outrageous."

"He is a governor, not a mullah," Silverman said. "This is a diverse nation with a secular government. If he doesn't like it, he shouldn't be governor."

Bentley, 67, a retired dermatologist, had been sworn in earlier Monday, replacing two-term Republican Gov. Bob Riley. The new governor is a Sunday school teacher and deacon at Tuscaloosa's First Baptist Church, which considers "passionately" evangelizing to be a "key core value," according to its website.

During remarks on the steps of the state Capitol, Bentley declared himself "governor of all of Alabama — Democrat, Republican and independent, young and old, black and white, rich and poor."

Those initial comments had been heartening to Ashfaq Taufique, president of the Birmingham Islamic Society. But the later comments, he said, were "quite disturbing and contrary to what I read earlier."

"He was saying that for us to be considered equal, we would have to become Christians in his brand of understanding," Taufique said. "I'm hoping that he was just in a Baptist church and he wanted to please his congregation, forgetting his earlier comment to be governor of all Alabamians."
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ETA: Bentley to meet with religious leaders over remarks  haha, okay!

buffy is sad
  • wemblee

Philly abortion doctor charged with eight murders

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A doctor who gave abortions to minorities, immigrants and poor women in a "house of horrors" clinic was charged with eight counts of murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies who were born alive Collapse )

Source: Chicago Tribune

1. Those poor women. Jesus Christ.

2. As a pro-choice lady, I'm cringing, since this entire story looks like it comes straight out of a pro-lifer's most lurid nightmare. But it's real. This is gonna set reproductive rights back even farther than they already are.

3. It's probably gauche to mention that and politicize it, but... it's gonna get politicized no matter what I do or say, so.
helmetkid wtf

GJ Bloomie

Millionaire Businesswoman Appointed by Corrupt Billionaire Makes Poor Joke

Schools Chancellor Cathie Black joked that there's a simple solution to overcrowding in lower Manhattan - birth control.

"Could we just have some birth control for a while?" Black said Thursday night. "It would really help us."

Black earned chuckles for the joke at an overcrowding task force meeting, but downtown parents say the growing population of youngsters is no laughing matter.

"I always cringe when I hear that (joke)," said Public School 234 parent Tricia Joyce. "I understand the temptation to joke about it. But our situation isn't funny any more."

The problem, parents and advocates charge, is that the city offered incentives to developers to build without also increasing school seats.

Joyce was also upset that Black compared weighing the needs of different schools to the movie "Sophie's Choice."

"As we all know, one child dies (in the movie). This isn't optional," Joyce added. "We have a right to a public school seat."

A spokeswoman said Black didn't mean to make light of the important issue.

"Chancellor Black takes the issue of overcrowding very seriously, which is why she was engaged in a discussion with lower Manhattan parents on the subject," said spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz. "She regrets if she left a different impression by making an off-handed joke in the course of that conversation."

Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg on a Friday radio appearance defended Black's choice to attend a press conference on the snow instead of going on a scheduled visit to a Staten Island school.

"I thought it was important that she be there to answer questions, which she did, about school closings. So, sorry, but we will reschedule."

Source 1 2

Edited to include original NYDN article instead of blog post.

Also - To non-NYC folks, it's pretty obvious she is implying that poor, mostly POC folks (who make up much of the population of public schools) should be using birth control.

JP Morgan Chase Bank Treating Our Troops Like Common Thieves: Bankers Now Worst Than Pimps*

But stronger consumer financial protection will turn our troops into socialists!

Bank Overcharged Military Families On Mortgages

The banking giant JPMorgan Chase is admitting it made some very big mistakes. As first reported by NBC News, the firm says it overcharged more than 4,000 active-duty military personnel on their home loans and foreclosed in error on 14 of them.

Julia Rowles and her husband, Marine Capt. Jonathan Rowles, have been fighting with Chase ever since Rowles was commissioned as an officer in 2006.

"They would say, 'We will take your house. We will report you to the credit agency. This is a bad situation that you don't want to be getting into. Pay us today.' They were harassing us for money that we did not owe them," Julia Rowles says.

Her husband once got a collection call at 3 a.m. None of that was supposed to happen. Under a federal law called the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, most troops can get their mortgage interest rates reduced to 6 percent while on active duty, and foreclosures aren't allowed. Rowles says her husband, who is now overseas, was granted the lower interest rate, but Chase didn't adjust its records.

"They kept still charging us 9 and 10 percent, and we were paying upwards to $2,000 when we should have only been paying $1,400," she said.
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*apologies to pimps
DW wth?

House Votes to repeal Obama's health care law

House Votes to repeal Obama's health care law

WASHINGTON – Swiftly honoring a campaign pledge, newly empowered Republicans pushed legislation to repeal the nation's year-old health care overhaul through the House Wednesday night, brushing aside implacable opposition in the Senate and a veto threat from President Barack Obama.

The 245-189 vote was largely along party lines, and cleared the way for the second phase of the "repeal and replace" promise that victorious Republicans made to the voters last fall. GOP officials said that in the coming months, congressional committees will propose changes to the existing legislation, calling for elimination of a requirement for individuals to purchase coverage, for example, and recommending curbs on medical malpractice lawsuits.

Republicans also intend to try to reverse many of the changes Democrats made to Medicare Advantage, the private alternative to the traditional government-run health care program for seniors.

Like the repeal bill itself, these other measures will require Senate approval and a presidential signature to take effect, and the prospect is for months of maneuvering on the issue.

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Someone reminding me when saving lives, while saving money, became a bad thing.
lost // jack

Airman gets 8 years in prison in HIV exposure case

WICHITA, Kan. — An Air Force sergeant convicted of exposing multiple sex partners to HIV at swinger parties was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in military prison and will be dishonorably discharged after serving his time.

A court martial judge earlier found Tech. Sgt. David Gutierrez guilty on seven of eight counts of aggravated assault and violating his commander's order to notify partners about his HIV status and use condoms. The judge also convicted Gutierrez of indecent acts for having sex in front of others and eight counts of adultery.

The judge, Lt. Col. William Muldoon, delivered the sentence after a brief hearing, during which Gutierrez had begged between sobs not to be discharged so he could keep the military medical benefits he will now lose. Gutierrez also will be reduced to the lowest enlistment rank while serving out his military confinement.

Before he was sentenced, Gutierrez told Muldoon that he was willing to spend more time in jail rather than lose the medical benefits he needs.

"The possibility of a future without assistance does scare me — scares me to the core," he tearfully said. "The cost of medicine is very expensive and I don't know if I can afford it."

Gutierrez, 43, apologized to the court, the Air Force, his family and his sexual partners. He said he thanks God every day none of his partners contracted the disease and asked the judge to have mercy on him so he can live to see his two children graduate from college and get married.

Prosecutors had argued Gutierrez played Russian roulette with his sexual partners' lives.

"The accused was not thinking about how his victims would pay for their medications," Capt. Sam Kidd said.

Defense attorneys asked for imprisonment in the "single digits" and pleaded with the judge not to impose the punitive discharge that would strip his benefits.

"He is looking at his own mortality as he looks down the road," said defense attorney Maj. James Dorman.

Dr. Donna Sweet testified Wednesday that the cost of HIV medication typically runs between $1,700 and $1,800 a month, and HIV infected patients on average spend between $28,000 and $30,000 annually for their medical care.

Without medical care, infected patients usually die within 10 years, she said. But with proper care and mediation, a 20-year-old person who contracts HIV can easily expect to live to age 70.

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donk... donk... donk...

Carolyn Wagner - Families United Against Hate Founder - Passes

Saddened to hear the news that Carolyn Wagner, the co-founder of "Families United Against Hate," along with her being a former Vice President elect of PFLAG has passed away. I met her at Tulsa's Dennis R. Neill Equality Center while following the work she was doing trying to get the federal hate crimes law passed, and she was so excited to hear I was working for AMERICAblog Gay, and John Aravosis, as she had worked with him, as well, in Washington, DC while trying to get hate crimes laws passed.

On January 18, 2011 our friend and inspiration Carolyn Wagner passed away in Tulsa, OK after a long struggle with cancer, hepatitis and liver failure.

Carolyn was the mother of William Wagner, a hate crime victim. In December 1996 her 16 year old son William was assaulted in a vicious anti-gay bashing at school. Carolyn and her family won a Title IX lawsuit in which the Supreme Court upheld Title lX rights for students, regardless of gender of victim or harasser or sexual orientation/gender identity.

It was because of this experiece that she co-founded FUAH because she wanted what she learned to help others.

Carolyn is a former Vice-President elect of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).

Her funeral will be on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 2pm at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center 621 E 4th Street; Tulsa, OK.

『regina spektor』tea

Confidential HMO Document Calls for Big Public Health Care Changes

The document is called "Advancing Minnesota's Health System." It is a preliminary draft put together by seven big Health Maintenance Organizations that collectively administer Minnesota's public health care.

Among the changes the HMOs are considering as budget saving proposals for the legislature are: cuts in certain services to the developmentally disabled and the elderly. The draft report also calls for the elimination of 30 percent of the public union employees who help administer Medicaid and other public programs. And, it also includes the possibility of raising Minnesota's "sin taxes" by about $1.2-billion. Those taxes would include sales on tobacco, liquor and sugar sweetened soft drinks. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS shared the document's outlines with union leaders, the Minnesota Nurses Association, lawmakers and advocates for the disabled. Each group expressed concern about the plan and criticized the HMOs for trying to help balance the state's budget on the backs of the disabled, poor and elderly.

A spokesperson for the HMOs told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS in a statement that the plan is preliminary and not a final working document. The statement also says the plan--taken as a package--could improve access, affordability and quality of health care for all Minnesotans.

Source (there is a video here that goes more in depth)

(I tried to find a source with more details about this piece of news, but was unable to. Source will probably update with more info eventually.)
MLP Rainbow Dash nahnah

Vatican: Not so sure about that 'mandatory reporting' (OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINORS) thing

Vatican Letter Warned Bishops on Abuse Policy

A newly disclosed document reveals that Vatican officials told the bishops of Ireland in 1997 that they had serious reservations about the bishops’ policy of mandatory reporting of priests suspected of child abuse to the police or civil authorities.

The document appears to contradict Vatican claims that church leaders in Rome never sought to control the actions of local bishops in abuse cases, and that the Roman Catholic Church did not impede criminal investigations of child abuse suspects.

Abuse victims in Ireland and the United States quickly proclaimed the document to be a “smoking gun” that would serve as important evidence in lawsuits against the Vatican.

“The Vatican is at the root of this problem,” said Colm O’Gorman, an outspoken victim of abuse in Ireland who is now director of Amnesty International there. “Any suggestion that they have not deliberately and willfully been instructing bishops not to report priests to appropriate civil authorities is now proven to be ridiculous.”

But a spokesman for the Vatican said that the document, while authentic, was further proof that past missteps on handling sexual abuse allegations were corrected by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a top official in the Vatican before he became the current pope, Benedict XVI.

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Read the letter here.
Bad Girl Lust

Fox News bans Joan Rivers for saying Sarah Palin is "stupid and a threat."

Last weekend, TMZ interviewed Rivers at the Critics' Choice Awards. The interviewer asked her about her opinion of Sarah Palin. Rivers gave a candid and snarky appraisal of the half-term governor of Alaska, saying, among other things, that Palin was "stupid and a threat" and that she should be blamed for the shootings in Tucson.

This morning, Rivers tweeted that her appearance on Fox News' morning show had been cancelled.

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