February 6th, 2011


Heresy! Godfather of Tax Cuts Declares that Tax Cuts Does Not Produce Wealth!

Tax Cuts Already Stimulating the Caviar Industry.

Reagan: Morning After in America

Moments before the new Republican House was to be sworn in, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), the head of the House Republican Policy Committee and the chamber's fifth-ranking GOPer, was standing in the ornate Speaker's Lobby of the Capitol, near a roaring fire. In the celebratory hustle and bustle—new members rushing to pick up lapel pins and license plates, their kids noisily exploring the building—a reporter approached Price with a question: How could he reconcile the GOP's pledge to tame the deficit with its decision to dodge budget calculations about the costs of tax cuts and repealing health care reform? Without missing a beat, Price replied, "It doesn't cost the government money to decrease taxes. When you decrease taxes, as President Kennedy proved, as Reagan proved, you increase revenue to the federal government."

David Stockman, Reagan's first budget director in the 1980s and the godfather of the Gipper's supply-side tax cuts, was watching the proceedings from his home in Colorado and shaking his head. Republicans like Price were, in Stockman's view, misreading history—even perverting the Reagan message. As he saw it, they were guiding the nation toward financial ruin by pushing for tax cuts without having the guts to seriously slash spending—and dishonestly justifying their "flimflam" by citing his work.
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Why the Tea Party is Mad at Scott Brown


Scott Brown was the Tea Party’s first big electoral coup. Then Ted Kennedy’s successor began siding, again and again, with Barack Obama—and now, as Andrew Romano reports in this week’s Newsweek, some in his own party want to oust him.
Scott Brown isn't himself. Which is to say, he isn't sounding much like the square-jawed, truck-driving, barn-jacket-bedecked Scott Brown—the calm, cool, collected Captain America—who stunned the political world a year ago by winning the special election to replace Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate. It's lunchtime in the blue-collar town of Pittsfield, Mass., and Brown, who's touring the Berkshires for the first time since taking office, is addressing a crowd of 200 Rotarians in the grand ballroom of the Crowne Plaza hotel. At first he seems poised enough. He makes fun of himself for announcing that his daughters were "available" in his first speech as a senator-elect. He reminisces about how he "drove too fast" and sneaked into concerts while summering nearby as a teen. He even jokes that he "did very well" in 2010 with the notoriously liberal locals. "I won the town of Otis," he says. "That's about three votes."

But then, as the sedate audience sips chowder and grazes on cold cuts, something seems to set Brown off. According to the accepted Beltway storyline, the Bay State sent Brown to Washington to thwart an overreaching Democratic majority, thereby triggering the Tea Party "revolution" that would go on to fuel the GOP's historic midterm gains. The problem with the official narrative, however, is that since arriving on the Hill, Brown has sided with Dems almost as often as he's stymied them, defying his party on issues as diverse as "don't ask, don't tell," financial reform, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, and the February 2010 jobs bill. Now, as a reward for his independence, the Tea Partiers who took credit for Brown's win are starting to turn against him. Democrats, meanwhile, remain suspicious.

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Hate Crime: Gay Couple's Home Burned Down

Gay Couple's House Burned Down In North Carolina

The house of a gay couple in Clayton, North Carolina has burned to the ground in an apparent arson crime. The couple have reportedly been victims of harassment from certain members of the community for more than a year.

WRAL reports:
Fire crews were called to the house on New Castle Ct., off Guy Road, around 1:30 a.m. Friday. The couple was out of town when the fire was set according to a neighbor and investigators. The couple was not at home when the fire started and are now staying in a motel. They asked WRAL not to reveal their identity out of fear for their safety.

Johnston County Sheriff, Steve Bizzell, confirmed to the station that the fire is being investigated as an arson. Bizzell said this fire does not appear to be related to a string of other suspicious fires in the area.

A neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of backlash against her, said there have been at least three separate incidents of anti-gay harassment at the couple's home. She told WRAL, a note with derogatory language was left in the mailbox, an anti-gay slur was written on the house with marker and the tires of a car parked in the garage were slashed, the neighbor said.

Sheriff Bizzell said that the his office was aware of two of those incidents, but would not say which two. He would not confirm whether they are related to the arson investigation. Bizzell said there are no suspects at this time. No other information was released.

Another neighbor in the subdivision said he feels sorry for the male couple because they lost everything. He and others in the neighborhood believe it was a hate crime.

Just awful. The couple, now homeless, is staying at a motel provided to them by the Red Cross.

Since the Red Cross is the organization that is currently aiding the couple, it might be best to contact the chapter in Raligh, NC if you wish to help them out. P: 919-231-1602, E: info@triangleredcross.org



MPAA to Shut Down Teh Internetz, Starting with Google!

Will Google Lose Their Series of Tubes? Can John McClane Stop MPAA in Time Before they Turn Off The Internet (and our Porn)? Will The Onion Sue MPAA for Stealing Their Idea? Get your Popcorn Now!

MPAA Snags Google Downloading Torrents, Threatens to Disconnect

In recent months Google has received dozens of copyright infringement warnings from MPAA-affiliated movies studios. While most of these notices are directed at users of Google’s public Wi-Fi service, a few also appear to be directed at employees at Google’s headquarters. The movie studios are not happy and are warning the search giant that it might get disconnected from the Internet.

Every year, the major movie studios and record labels send out tens of thousands of warnings to Internet users who are suspected of sharing their content using BitTorrent. These infringement notices are meant to inform users of their wrongdoings, and to convince the recipients to never download anything again.

The process works as follows. The copyright holders hire companies such as BayTSP and MediaSentry to track down people who share certain titles on BitTorrent and other file-sharing networks. These companies then join the swarm and request files from others. When someone shares a piece of the file with them, they log the IP-address, look up the ISP and send out an infringement notice automatically.

Most of the notices are sent out to the larger ISPs who are then asked to forward them to the customers in question, but search giant Google has also been receiving quite a few. A search on ChillingEffects – a site that collects some of the DMCA notices that are sent to Google – reveals that more than 100 of these automated warnings were sent to Google in the past several months.

Since Google also offers Wi-Fi hotspots in some cities, most of the infringers are not actually sharing material directly from Google headquarters. However, in some cases these warnings do appear to be aimed at Google employees.
This is an awkward situation for a company that is trying to help out the entertainment industry, and has even revealed a censorship policy towards certain BitTorrent-related terms.

But there is more. If we believe some of the notices sent to Google, the company is at risk of losing its connection to the Internet.
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Arab uprisings: why no one saw them coming

Arab uprisings: why no one saw them coming - The west failed to 'see like citizens' and missed the signs that people in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen were at breaking point

Why did diplomats, policymakers, analysts and academics fail to see and understand the growing popular unrest in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries?

It seems that the reasons why we thought a revolution impossible were wrong, our identification of the agents of change was misguided and our understanding of how collective mobilisation happens was too narrow. We need new ways to capture what is happening on the ground through the eyes of these countries' people.

Failing to make sense of the protests

Egypt has witnessed a number of protests in the past five years. Demonstrators clearly showed that they were defying the restrictions of political activism and breaking through the fear barrier. We missed these hints of public dissent because these forms of collective action did not fit our checklist of what constitutes the "right kind" of citizen mobilisation that would shake an authoritarian regime.

The constant flare-up of protests, sit-ins, demonstrations and encroachments on public space all led by citizens, whether workers in their thousands or young Egyptian Christian youth more recently, were often dismissed as too small, inconsequential or too narrow in their demands to be of significance for regime change.

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Bush's Swiss visit off after complaints on torture

Former President George W. Bush has canceled a visit to Switzerland, where he was to address a Jewish charity gala, due to the risk of legal action against him for alleged torture, rights groups said on Saturday.

Bush was to be the keynote speaker at Keren Hayesod's annual dinner on February 12 in Geneva. But pressure has been building on the Swiss government to arrest him and open a criminal investigation if he enters the Alpine country.

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Bronx man accidentally shot by cops looking for son speaks about unfortunate incident

Source: NY Daily News

A 76-year-old Bronx man jarred from his sleep by someone pounding on his door about 3 a.m. had no idea he was seconds from a brush with death.

"Who is coming at this time?" Jose Colon thought as he jumped out of bed, scared and still wearing his pajamas.

Before he made it out of his bedroom, heavily armed cops broke down the front door and rushed into Colon's home looking for his son.

He stepped into the hallway and three things happened simultaneously.

A light flashed in his face. Cops yelled, "Don't move!" And a police bullet ripped into his midsection and came to rest near his pelvis.

"I see the light and I hear the bullet - all at the same time," he told the Daily News Saturday in his first public comments since the Jan. 22 shooting.

"When I see that the bullet hit me, I said, 'Please don't shoot! I've been shot!'" Colon said. "Then the police officer came to me and said, 'Don't move!' and he laid me down."

Colon said he lay on the floor thinking he was going to die.

"I think of my life," he said. "I think that God was with me. I was praying to the Lord. I was doing it in my mind."

Manhattan lawyers Alan Figman and Jonathan Weinrich filed a notice of claim, alerting the city and the NYPD of Colon's intent to sue. They're seeking at least $20 million. City officials couldn't immediately confirm the Friday filing.

Police sources said the light Colon saw likely came from a flashlight attached to a detective's 9-mm. semiautomatic handgun. Detective Andrew McCormack, a decorated 11-year veteran, fired the errant round while trying to switch on the flashlight.

Figman questioned the NYPD's version of events and said that McCormack should have prepared for an encounter in poor lighting, given the hour of the raid.

"Why not simply turn on the light before the door is battered in?" he argued.

Cops arrested Colon's son, Alberto Colon, 41, after finding a small stash of heroin inside the Soundview apartment.

The elder Colon, a longtime member of Bronx Community Board 2, was released from Jacobi Medical Center on Thursday. Doctors were not able to remove the bullet, despite performing a surgery that made an incision in his stomach that took 38 staples to close.

"I am going to be living with the bullet for the rest of my life," said Colon, fearing the wound will prevent him from returning to work for a Bronx nonprofit that provides housing for the homeless and mentally ill.

McCormack - whose father was an NYPD cop killed in the line of duty - is a member of the NYPD's elite Emergency Service Unit. He has been placed on administrative duty while police and the Bronx district attorney's office investigate.

The NYPD's top spokesman, Paul Browne, did not respond to emails seeking comment yesterday.

As Colon lay in the hospital and breathing with the aid of a respirator, Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly came to visit. The wounded man doesn't remember them being there hours after the shooting.

His son Felipe Colon, who wasn't involved in the botched drug raid, said he spoke to Bloomberg.

"He said it was an unfortunate situation and that my father shouldn't be laying in that bed," the son recalled.
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Court bans man with low IQ from having sex

 A man with a low IQ has been banned from having sex by a High Court judge who admitted the case raised questions about “civil liberties and personal autonomy”.

The 41 year-old had been in a relationship with a man whom he lived with and told officials “it would make me feel happy” for it to continue.

But his local council decided his “vigorous sex drive” was inappropriate and that with an IQ of 48 and a “moderate” learning disability, he did not understand what he was doing.

A psychiatrist involved in the case even tried to prevent the man being given sex education, on the grounds that it would leave him “confused”.

Mr Justice Mostyn said the case was “legally, intellectually and morally” complex as sex is “one of the most basic human functions” and the court must “tread especially carefully” when the state tries to curtail it.

But he agreed that the man, known only as Alan, should not be allowed to have sex with anyone on the grounds that he did not have the mental capacity to understand the health risks associated with his actions.

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Source: The Telegraph
News you can use.

(no subject)



Let me be very clear, this is not a manifesto against organized religion, church, Christianity, its various denominations, etc. This is about a singular event, the repercussions it has had on me and my family, and the fact that bullying can come from just about anywhere.

If you are unfamiliar with this blog or need a refresher, I encourage you to go back and read this post, My Son Is Gay.

So here we go. Collapse )</center>

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The Disastrous Legacy Of Ronald Reagan In Charts

The last three decades have seen a monumental decline in virtually every qualitative measurement in America.  This can be directly linked to the conservative political paradigm that was ushered into dominance starting with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.  Stagnant wages, rising costs, decreasing benefits, ballooning national debt, and a loss of freedoms have been the keynote of the Reagan Era.

The Drug War, Social Repression, and Incarceration

Where to begin?  Let’s start with the colossal failure known as the drug war.  Many states had decriminalized marijuana by the 1970s.  When the Reagan conservatives came to power, one of their central plans was to force cuts in recreational drug usage (including alcohol).  Thus began the Just Say No program and the drug war.  Costs quickly spiraled.

While a Harvard Study claims that legalizing drugs could save $76.8 billion per year, and 53% favor marijuana legalization, there are some vested industries at stake now, particularly the for-profit private prison/security complex who are entrenched in the bureaucratic establishment and hire powerful lobbyists to keep the drug war going.

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Missing pregnant woman found dead in SUV outside NYPD station may have been there a week

Source: NY Daily News

A pregnant Mount Vernon woman was found dead in an SUV parked near a Bronx police station - and her body may have been there more than a week, a law enforcement source said.

Gizela Andrade, 32, was reported missing Sept. 25 after she stormed out of a party at her home. She had just gotten into a heated argument with her boyfriend Ribeiro Arildo, 40. Soon after her disappearance, the trail went cold.

Andrade's body was found about 10 p.m. Tuesday in an SUV parked within 100 feet of the NYPD's Bronx Narcotics base, law enforcement sources said.

"All these investigators and no one saw a thing," one of the sources said. "Unbelievable."

Preliminary autopsy results show Andrade, a Type 1 diabetic who was four months pregnant, died of an insulin overdose, authorities said. Mount Vernon cops wouldn't call her death a suicide, though police sources said she left behind a note suggesting she might harm herself.

Some cops told investigators they remembered seeing the white 2010 Toyota Venza on Abbott St. on Sunday. Others recalled seeing it more than a week ago in a spot that used to belong to a lieutenant who was reassigned in May. Police were reviewing surveillance footage to pinpoint how long the SUV was there.

The condition of the body, a police source said, suggested it was closer to a few days rather than 11 days. There was no trauma to the body.

"We're really shocked," said Andrade's brother-in-law, Jason Larson, 26, of New Rochelle. "It's hard to believe the car wasn't seen, especially right there."

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Assange Extradition Hearing Begins Tomorrow

LONDON — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his entourage of lawyers, supporters, protesters and journalists are headed back to a London court for a showdown between the secret-spilling computer hacker and Swedish authorities who want him extradited to face sex crimes allegations.

A two-day hearing that begins Monday will decide Assange's legal fate. It will also keep the spotlight away from WikiLeaks' revelations and on its opinion-dividing frontman.

Assange is accused of sexual misconduct by two women he met during a visit to Stockholm last year. At Belmarsh Magistrates' Court, a high-security judicial outpost beside a prison, defense lawyers will argue that he should not be extradited because he has not been charged with a crime, because of flaws in Swedish prosecutors' case – and because a ticket to Sweden could land him in Guantanamo Bay or on U.S. death row.

American officials are trying to build a criminal case against WikiLeaks, which has angered Washington by publishing a trove of leaked diplomatic cables and secret U.S. military files. Assange's lawyers claim the Swedish prosecution is linked to the leaks and politically motivated.

Preliminary defense arguments released by Assange's legal team claim "there is a real risk that, if extradited to Sweden, the U.S. will seek his extradition and/or illegal rendition to the USA, where there will be a real risk of him being detained at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere."

The document adds that "there is a real risk that he could be made subject to the death penalty" if sent to the United States. Under European law, suspects cannot be extradited to jurisdictions where they may face execution.

Many legal experts say the Guantanamo claims are fanciful, and Sweden strongly denies coming under American pressure.

Nils Rekke, head of the legal department at the Swedish prosecutor's office in Stockholm, said Assange would be protected from transfer to the U.S. by strict European rules.

"If Assange was handed over to Sweden in accordance with the European Arrest Warrant, Sweden cannot do as Sweden likes after that," he said. "If there were any questions of an extradition approach from the U.S., then Sweden would have to get an approval from the United Kingdom."

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Assange's lawyers will also battle extradition on the ground that he has not been charged with a crime in Sweden and is only wanted for questioning.

They argue that "it is a well-established principle of extradition law ... that mere suspicion should not found a request for extradition."

Lawyers for Sweden have yet to disclose their legal arguments.

WikiLeaks sparked an international uproar last year when it published a secret helicopter video showing a U.S. attack that killed two Reuters journalists in Baghdad. It went on to release hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. military files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it later began publishing classified U.S. diplomatic cables whose revelations angered and embarrassed the U.S. and its allies.

The furor made Assange, 39, a global celebrity. The nomadic Australian was arrested in London in December after Sweden issued a warrant on rape and molestation accusations.

Released on bail on condition he live – under curfew and electronically tagged – at a supporter's country mansion in eastern England, Assange has managed to conduct multiple media interviews, sign a reported $1.5 million deal for a memoir, and pose for a magazine Christmas photo shoot dressed as Santa Claus.

He drew a large media scrum at a brief court appearance in London last month, where he vowed to step up the leak of a quarter million classified U.S. diplomatic cables.

The full extradition hearing should shed light on the contested events of Assange's trip to Sweden, where WikiLeaks' data are stored on servers at a secure center tunneled into a rocky Stockholm hillside. Two Swedish women say they met Assange when he visited the country and separately had sex with him, initially by consent.

In police documents leaked on the Internet, one of the women told officers she woke up as Assange was having sex with her, but let him continue even though she knew he wasn't wearing a condom. Having sex with a sleeping person can be considered rape in Sweden.

Assange is also accused of sexual molestation and unlawful coercion against the second woman. The leaked documents show she accuses him of deliberately damaging a condom during consensual sex, which he denies.

The picture is more confused by the fact that one Stockholm prosecutor threw out the rape case, before a more senior prosecutor later reinstated it and asked for Assange's extradition from Britain so she could question him.

Assange's lawyers argue that amid the confusion, the European arrest warrant was improperly issued. They allege Assange "has been the victim of a pattern of illegal and/or corrupt behavior by the Swedish prosecuting authorities," who leaked his name to the media, rejected his requests to be interviewed from London, and failed to make the evidence against him available in English.

They also say the accusations against Assange would not constitute a crime in Britain, and complain they have not been given access to text messages and tweets by the two women which allegedly undermine their claims. They say text messages exchanged by the claimants "speak of revenge and of the opportunity to make lots of money."

Whatever happens in court this week, Assange's long legal saga – and his stay in the tranquil Norfolk countryside – is far from over. The extradition hearing is due to end Tuesday, but Judge Howard Riddle is likely to take several weeks to consider his ruling – which can be appealed by either side.

Assange, meanwhile, may be tiring of his nomadic life. On Friday he told a meeting in Melbourne by video link that Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard "should be taking active steps to bring me home."