August 9th, 2011

spider skank

while Rick Perry was talking to Jesus,

The biggest gathering in Houston yesterday should tell America all it needs to know about Rick Perry. I'm not talking about the estimated 30,000 individuals who visited Reliant Stadium yesterday for The Response, a event endorsed by religious extremists and known hate-mongers.
I'm talking about the 100,000 Texans who waited in line for free school supplies, immunizations, fresh produce, and school uniforms.

The Houston Chronicle reports:

Some families camped out for hours to gain admittance into Houston's first-ever, citywide back-to-school event at George R. Brown Convention Center, where free backpacks, school supplies, uniforms, haircut vouchers, immunizations and fresh produce were provided.
Others were turned away.

"It was getting beyond capacity," HISD spokesman Jason Spencer said. "If nothing else, it shows the need."

While our three-term governor was busy self-promoting to evangelical Christians in preparation to announce his bid for President, the actual people he governs were attempting to mitigate the damage he's done to regular working Texas families just trying to get by. While Perry's faithful lined up to break their fast with hot dogs and nachos, his constituents stood in the 90+ degree heat for bags of fruit and vegetables.

Sadly, there weren't enough school supplies available to meet the tremendous need:

Beatrice Jones, who has two children in the Spring school district, arrived about 10:15 a.m. with her daughter and niece, only to find the doors closed and a police officer announcing the event was over.
"They were supposed to have school supplies, but all we got was sweating and paid parking," Jones said.

School Superintendent Terry Grier posted a Twitter message Saturday morning that security personnel had estimated the crowd at 100,000. At about 10 a.m., officials made the call to close the doors.

Although planners didn't know how many people would attend, they expected to serve at least 25,000 children, officials said.

Where are the gasping media reports of over 100,000 Texans waiting in the hot sun for school supplies and food? Where are the statistics about how Texas has some of the highest rates nationally of poverty and food insecurity in all of the breathless coverage of Rick Perry's 'Texas Miracle'? Where was the caravan of reporters from news outlets across America, interviewing the victims, rather than the worshipers, of the Perry administration? I suppose it's nice that The Response had an almost four-fold increase in turnout for a day of prayer over the expected 8,000, but it's horrifying that a charitable event for families of Texas schoolchildren should also see such a tremendous increase in turnout.

After all, needy families are about as common in Texas as failed missives to the Almighty are at Reliant Stadium.

Am I crazy and naive to wish that those 30,000 in attendance at Reliant had spent their time yesterday actually clothing the poor, feeding the hungry, or visiting the sick, rather than just praying for the free market to fix it for them?

Because while Rick Perry was ministering to the flock at the football stadium, it sure looks like a whole lot more of the "least of these brothers and sisters" were waiting in line for school supplies yesterday, not waiting in line to sway and pray.

Source: Burnt Orange Report

Nancy 'the White Mouse' Wake has died

AFTER witnessing Hitler's early atrocities, Nancy Wake vowed to fight him any way she could.

She fought so well, she ended up on top of the Gestapo's wanted list, saved thousands of Allied lives, played a crucial role in D-Day and received France's highest military honour.

"Nobody can beat you Nancy, nobody," Sonya d'Artois told her old Resistance comrade when Wake was awarded Australia's highest civilian honour in 2004, six decades after the French recognised her.

She was resourceful, cunning, feisty, brave and tough, once killing a German sentry with her bare hands.

"She is the most feminine woman I know until the fighting starts. Then, she is like five men," one French colleague said of her. But, at the age of 98, Wake was finally beaten.

The White Mouse died in a London hospital yesterday following a chest infection.

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*misc* Gerbear Trainer Sprite

In Which The Philippines Continues Its Descent Into The Dark Ages

Filipinos cry sacrilege over art with Christ, phallic symbols

An art installation that mixes Christ with kitschy symbols of pop culture and includes a crucifix with a movable penis has set off an uproar in the Philippines among conservative Catholics, who say the installations are a mockery of their faith.

Mideo Cruz, the artist responsible for the installation -- intended to be a commentary on icon worship -- has been branded a "demon" and bombarded with death threats and hate mail since his work featured in an exhibit in Manila that began June 17.

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CCP closes gallery with controversial artwork

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) has decided to temporarily shut down the gallery that houses artist Mideo Cruz's controversial artworks.

Cruz's art installation "Politeismo" depicted a version of Jesus Christ as a mouse and also showed other religious objects juxtaposed with a red penis or other odd objects, which critics described as "blasphemous" and "sacrilegious."

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More info:
Art exhibit draws ire of Philippine Catholics
Forum on 'sacrilegious' CCP art show ends in word war
CCP shuts down controversial exhibit on Imelda Marcos's prodding

Wooo first post here (don't eat me plz). Basically, UGH PHILIPPINES. I do NOT want to live there again, ever. I was hoping against hope that the CCP wouldn't back down despite the vandalism and public outcry, but, apparently, the Philippines is ruled by the iron fist of Theocracy. :|

And I suggest avoiding the comments in those articles as well. They make me want to punch things. :|
movies | The Sound of Music

ONTD_P's Photo of the Day: August 8, 2011.

"London riots" | The Big Picture | Boston Globe
Two nights of rioting in London's Tottenham neighborhood erupted following protests over the shooting death by police of a local man, Mark Duggan. Police were arresting him when the shooting occurred. Over 170 people were arrested over the two nights of rioting, and fires gutted several stores, buildings, and cars. The disorder spread to other neighborhoods as well, with shops being looted in the chaos. Collected here are images from the rioting and the aftermath. -- Lane Turner

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hula girl

Breast cancer patient denied coverage since he's a man

Although it’s a well-established medical fact that men get breast cancer, Medicaid, the health insurance program for low income and disabled Americans, won’t provide coverage for some of them. Last month, Raymond Johnson, a 26-year-old single South Carolina man, discovered he was one of the estimated 2,100 men who are diagnosed with the disease each year.

“I didn’t even know men could get breast cancer,” says Johnson, who was diagnosed after he went to a local emergency room for chest pain treatment. “I’m young. I didn’t think anything bad could really happen to me.”

Johnson, a tradesman who made $9 an hour, worked for a small outfit that did not provide health coverage. With a bad economy, he only worked about 30 hours a week, and couldn’t afford private health insurance.

Since he didn’t qualify for traditional Medicaid, he was urged by the hospital where he is receiving care to apply for help under The Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act.

This 11-year-old federal law uses funds from Medicaid for breast or cervical cancer patients who otherwise don’t qualify for Medicaid because their income is too high, explains Jeff Stensland, spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The eligibility rules for coverage under the Act are complex, but Johnson met all criteria, except one: He isn’t a woman. “We want to cover this guy,” says Stensland, “but we simply can’t.”

Today, Johnson says he’s feeling “pretty good” but is undergoing chemotherapy and may need surgery to treat his Stage II cancer. He says he doesn't know how he's going to pay for his care.

“I just can’t tell you how floored I was when I got that letter saying I didn’t qualify for help," he says. "The bills are going to be huge. I have breast cancer. I really don’t see how that’s possible.”

This isn’t the first time the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has tried to get coverage under The Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act for male patients. Two other men in the last four years, who have also met the act’s criteria, have been denied coverage because they are, well, men.

"We’re in conversations with the federal government on this issue,” says Stensland. “It’s clearly discriminatory, and we believe it’s a good example of an overly rigid interpretation of the law, a law that’s designed to help patients with these cancers.”

In an email, a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid spokesperson tells “The law governing this specific program is linked to a CDC screening program. We are working with the CDC and South Carolina to see what options may exist to address this situation. We are committed to ensuring that all individuals who should be eligible for this program have coverage.”
MISC - moustache

Six Stats You Need to Know on Election Day in Wisconsin

Today is Recall Day in Wisconsin. Voters in six state Senate districts across the Badger State will go to the polls in one of the most anticipated, contentious, and cash-drenched elections in decades. But before a single vote was cast, Wisconsin had already etched its name into electoral history by playing host to an unprecedented slate of recall elections in a single summer.

Joshua Spivak, who writes the "Recall Elections Blog," recently looked back on recall history in America to show how singular Wisconsin's recall summer is. Here are six key statistics from Spivak's analysis; consider them food for thought on the big day here in Wisconsin.
* 20: The number of state legislative recalls since 1908
* 3: Maximum recall elections in one legislative session, in California in 1995.
* 3: Number of recall elections that flipped party control of a legislative chamber (Michigan in 1983, California in 1995, Wisconsin in 1996).
* 62 percent: Success rate in state legislative recalls since 1908.
* 60 percent: The typical vote-getting by recall election winners, as recalls tend to be blowouts.
* 2: Number of governors to be recalled (North Dakota's Lynn Frazier in 1921, California's Gray Davis in 2003).

Spivak also reads the tea leaves for what happens after the summer recalls, and lays out the hurdles in recalling Gov. Scott Walker:
The recall has historically been a below the radar weapon (I’ll have a post on its “Bermuda Triangle” nature tomorrow), so it is possible that the recall will once again disappear from view. But there is every reason to believe the recall is ready for its close-up.

There is already another recall race this year—Arizona’s Senate Majority Leader Russell Pearce in November. Michigan is facing multiple recall petitioning challenges, both against state legislators and the Governor. Petitions have already been handed in against one state Rep, with the verification process yet to be completed.

In Wisconsin, the threats are out there. You have to serve one year before a recall, so the Senators elected in 2010 will all be coming due for a recall battle starting in January, as will Governor Walker. The Assembly members will also have the same problem, but perhaps tactical considerations may make them less likely to be a focus (they only serve two years terms, which are half over. The money and effort may be better spent on those serving another three years).

The Walker recall poses its own challenges. There have been only two Governors to ever face a recall (North Dakota's Lynn Frazier in 1921, California's Gray Davis in 2003, plus Arizona's Evan Meacham would have faced one if he wasn't impeached). Wisconsin has a relatively strict signature requirement. It requires a high number of signatures in a very compressed time frame—only 60 days (only four states limit the gathering period to 60 days). This could make a recall of Walker quite difficult.


GET OUT AND VOTE TODAY, WISCONSIN! If you're in any of the six senate districts, you can still go in and register and vote today. You may be asked to provide an ID today but you ARE NOT REQUIRED TO DO SO for these elections. If you don't know whether or not you're in a recall district (hard to believe based on what community this is, but you never know), you can go here and find out. Today's recalls are in the 2nd, 8th, 10th, 14th, 18th and 32nd. You can go here to check your voter registration status as well as what you'll need to bring with you if you intend to register to vote today. ON WISCONSIN!

Britain's 'big society' ...

The sickening moment a heavily bleeding teenager is robbed in broad daylight by thugs who pretend to help him

This is the sickening moment an injured and bleeding teenager is robbed in broad daylight by lawless thugs who pretend to help him to his feet. The unnamed teenager is shown being apparently assisted by kind-hearted passers-by after being spotted dazed and injured on the ground. But seconds after the vulnerable boy, bleeding copiously from the head, is helped up, the callous looters instead start rifling through his rucksack.


The editorial is from the Daily Fail so I think their version of this event maybe slightly skewed. However, the reason I've posted this is because I think it's a very telling moment. What exactly are we dealing with here? How can we hope to reach out to people who have stooped to this level of depravity?

Chanel #3

Manhunt is no way to deal with HIV-positive minor

Edmonton teen needed help, not a virtual posse hunting her down

EDMONTON - Last Friday afternoon, the Edmonton Police Service issued an urgent news bulletin. Officers were on the lookout for suspect accused of at least two cases of aggravated sexual assault.

Police released the suspect’s name and photograph to every media outlet, and posted it on the EPS website, imploring the public to call in with tips.

It was a 21st century, high-tech version of an Old West “Wanted” poster — with the whole community deputized, through the blanket media coverage, as members of the posse.

It worked. The fugitive was spotted by tipsters hitchhiking west out of town and later apprehended by RCMP in Edson.

So should we all breathe a sigh of relief? After all, an accused serial sexual assailant is now in custody.

But this case isn’t quite so simple.

The accused in this case is a slim 17-year-old girl, a minor, a child of the streets, who, according to police, lives without a fixed address in Old Strathcona.

She isn’t accused of forcing anyone to have sex against his will.

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Another distraction on the U.S. road to ruin

You gotta read to the bottom to get to the really bad part, but wow is it a doozy.

Hours after the Dow Jones industrial average closed down more than 600 points Monday, U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, heard from local conservatives who were unhappy that he supported legislation that many believed led to the calamitous day on Wall Street.

Burgess was one of seven Texas Republicans in the House to vote for the landmark deal that raised the country's debt ceiling by $2 trillion while cutting more than that in public spending.

As Burgess told about 100 people at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting, he didn't like the deal but thought supporting it was the right thing to do under the circumstances.

"I came to the conclusion that my country was more important than me, and if this meant I wasn't successful in running for re-election, I could not veer into that unknown territory of going past Aug. 2 without a resolution," Burgess said.

Many Tea Party activists view the deal as an instance of Republicans acquiescing too early. When one attendee asked who in the room disagreed with Burgess' decision to support the bill, nearly everyone put a hand in the air.

Mitchell Monis of Keller called the deal "a joke" and told Burgess that he was very disappointed by his decision to support it.

"You caved," Monis said.

Burgess said the recent U.S. debt downgrade by Standard & Poor's made him more certain that supporting the deal was the right thing to do, because the fallout could have been worse.

"I didn't want the country to go through what it is going through right now," Burgess said. "It's not the president's downgrade. The downgrade affected the whole country."

When asked whether he would vote for another increase in the debt limit, Burgess said, "No," adding that he believed both chambers of Congress could instead move forward a balanced-budget amendment.

When one attendee suggested that the House push for impeachment proceedings against President Barack Obama to obstruct the president from pushing his agenda, Burgess was receptive.

"It needs to happen, and I agree with you it would tie things up," Burgess said. "No question about that."

When asked about the comment later, Burgess said he wasn't sure whether the proper charges to bring up articles of impeachment against Obama were there, but he didn't rule out pursuing such a course.

"We need to tie things up," Burgess said. "The longer we allow the damage to continue unchecked, the worse things are going to be for us."


These people are irrational and terrifying.

Impeachable Offense: GOP Highly Unpopular, Another Obama's Failure.

Obama Wrong for the GOP, Refuses to be More Unpopular than Republicans.

RNC Chair: GOP’s Historic Unpopularity Shows Americans Are Upset With Obama

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll released today finds Republicans’ popularity badly bruised by the bitter debt ceiling debate, with the GOP’s unfavorable ratings climbing to an all-time high of 59 percent. The party’s favorable ratings, meanwhile, dropped eight points over the past month to just 33 percent. “The Democratic party, which had a favorable rating just a couple of points higher than the GOP in July, now has a 14-point advantage over the Republican party,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The network brought on RNC Chairman Reince Priebus this afternoon to respond to numbers. While saying he hadn’t studied poll in depth, Priebus embarked on stunningly brazen spin, blaming the drop in Republicans’ approval on President Obama. Despite host Brooke Baldwin’s repeated attempts to get Priebus to address the GOP’s unpopularity, the chairman kept going back to Obama:
BALDWIN: To what do we attribute this? Fallout from the debt ceiling debacle?

PRIEBUS: First of all, I haven’t really looked at it too deeply, other than the fact that I think it’s true that people are frustrated with a lot of what goes on in Washington. I think, most of all, people are frustrated with the president who continues not to lead during the most important in our country. But it’s not just a matter of leadership, Brooke, it’s a matter of what this president has put in place when he’s had the opportunity to lead. [...] He put in Obamcare.

BALDWIN: Hold on, Reince Priebus. [...] You see the numbers right there. Now versus July.

PRIEBUS: Okay, Brooke, and I told you, I think people are frustrated with politics in general. But the reality is we have a leader in Washington

BALDWIN: Well, you mentioned the president, but I’m asking you specifically about your party.

PRIEBUS: I think people are frustrated with a lot of people in Washington. [...] And we have a president who is not a willing partner.

Watch it:


Party chairmen are expected to present news in the most favorable light for them and their party, but blaming his party’s unpopularity on the head of the other party is comical. And CNN’s poll is not the first to show that Republican congressional leaders’ intransigence and hostage on the debt ceiling hurt them politically. Americans overwhelmingly disproved of the GOP’s handling of the debt negotiations, and 74 percent of even Republicans thought revenue increases should have been part of the final deal.

Priebus’s comments once again show here’s nothing conservatives aren’t willing to blame Obama for.
Evil Kitty

Gay man gets no immigration rights due to Defense of Marriage Act

Citing the Defense of Marriage Act, the Obama administration denied immigration benefits to a married gay couple from San Francisco and ordered the expulsion of a man who is the primary caregiver to his AIDS-afflicted spouse.

Bradford Wells, a U.S. citizen, and Anthony John Makk, a citizen of Australia, were married seven years ago in Massachusetts. They have lived together 19 years, mostly in an apartment in the Castro district. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services denied Makk's application to be considered for permanent residency as a spouse of an American citizen, citing the 1996 law that denies all federal benefits to same-sex couples.

The decision was issued July 26. Immigration Equality, a gay-rights group that is working with the couple, received the notice Friday and made it public Monday. Makk was ordered to depart the United States by Aug. 25. Makk is the sole caregiver for Wells, who has severe health problems.

"I'm married just like any other married person in this country," Wells said. "At this point, the government can come in and take my husband and deport him. It's infuriating. It's upsetting. I have no power, no right to keep my husband in this country. I love this country, I live here, I pay taxes and I have no right to share my home with the person I married."

Husband's pleas

Wells pleaded with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and President Obama to intervene.

"Anyone can identify with the horror of having the government come in and destroy your family when you've done nothing wrong, and you've done everything right, followed every law," Wells said.

The agency's decision cited the Defense of Marriage Act as the reason for the denial of an I-130 visa, or spousal petition that could allow Makk to apply for permanent U.S. residency. "The claimed relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary is not a petitionable relationship," the decision said. "For a relationship to qualify as a marriage for purposes of federal law, one partner must be a man and the other a woman."

Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder decided earlier this year that the law, commonly known as DOMA, is unconstitutional on equal protection grounds and that the administration would no longer defend it in court. House Republicans hired an outside counsel to defend it instead. However, the administration said it would continue to enforce the law, while exercising discretion on a case-by-case basis.

ICE's director, John Morton, issued a memorandum in June that offered guidance to agents in making enforcement decisions. Because no law enforcement agency can pursue every case, they routinely prioritize where to commit the government's limited resources.

The memorandum said prosecutions should seek to promote "national security, border security, public safety and the integrity of the immigration system."

Makk meets several of the circumstances specified in the memorandum. Aside from being a spouse of an American citizen, he is also the primary caretaker of a citizen, has no criminal history, and has legally resided in the country under various visas for many years.

The couple said they spent nearly $2,000 to file the petition that was denied, and now must decide whether to file a motion to reconsider the decision, which Wells said would almost certainly be denied, giving the couple at most another 30 days of residency.

Makk gave up a professional career in Australia to be with Wells, and started a business in San Francisco and invested in rental property to meet various visa requirements. He said he has never remained in the country illegally.

Poor alternatives

Wells could move to Australia, but he said doing so would require him to give up his extensive medical care and insurance in the United States.

"We are appealing to the Obama administration to begin to put into action what they've said repeatedly they can do," said Immigration Equality spokesman Steve Ralls. "The Department of Homeland Security and ICE have said again and again that they can exercise discretion in individual cases, but they have not done so for a single gay or lesbian couple yet."

In rare cases, lawmakers can introduce so-called private bills to shield specific immigrants from deportation, but only after deportation proceedings have begun. Such bills are considered a last resort.

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said Pelosi has contacted immigration officials on behalf of the couple and "will be working to exhaust all appropriate immigration remedies that are open to pursue."


this is complete BULLSHIT

CNN Poll: Grand Old Party Downgrade

  TPM has been reporting for weeks about the effect of the debt debate on individual political leaders and the subsequently low ratings of Congress. But new data from a CNN poll shows that there's been a difference in the minds of many Americans: the Democratic Party is getting a split on approval/disapproval at 47 - 47, but the Republican Party disapproval rating is all the way up to 59%, against a 33% approval.

The GOP approval rating has been going down in the CNN poll since their 2010 victories: in the October 27-30 version, the Republican Party had a small plurality in approval, at 44 - 43. But since last fall's election they've seen a steady downward trend in the survey, to the current low, which is the highest disapproval rating in the CNN poll in the last twenty years.
The Tea Party itself actually has a lower disapproval rating at 51% than the Republican Party, and only a slightly lower approval rating at 31%.

CNN was also quick to point out possible consequences of such high dissatisfaction with Congress. From the report:

Only 41 percent of people questioned say the lawmaker in their district in the U.S. House of Representatives deserves to be re-elected - the first time ever in CNN polling that that figure has dropped below 50 percent. Forty-nine percent say their representative doesn't deserve to be re-elected in 2012. And with ten percent unsure, it's the first time that a majority has indicated that they would boot their representative out of office if they had the chance today.

The CNN poll used telephone interviews with 1,008 adult Americans, and was conducted from August 5th to the 7th. The sampling error is plus or minus three precent.

Warm tone butterfly (by fruitpunch_it)

Camila Batmanghelidjh: Caring costs – but so do riots

Shops looted, cars and buildings burnt out, young adults in hoods on the rampage.

London has woken up to street violence, and the usual narratives have emerged – punish those responsible for the violence because they are "opportunist criminals" and "disgusting thieves". The slightly more intellectually curious might blame the trouble on poor police relations or lack of policing.

My own view is that the police in this country do an impressive job and unjustly carry the consequences of a much wider social dysfunction. Before you take a breath of sarcasm thinking "here she goes, excusing the criminals with some sob story", I want to begin by stating two things. First, violence and looting can never be justified. Second, for those of us working at street level, we're not surprised by these events.

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Taking the long view?
Dancing Skeletons

Kind of suprised this hasn't happened already...

California signs on to plan to remake Electoral College

McClatchy Newspapers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. | The Electoral College, the system used for more than 230 years to pick American presidents, has been under siege since George W. Bush beat Al Gore to the White House despite losing the popular vote.

On Monday, California added substantial clout to a movement to overturn it.

Calling election by popular vote “basic, fair democracy,” Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation backing an interstate compact to award the state’s electoral votes to the candidate winning the most votes nationwide, regardless of which candidate California voters choose.

The bill would take effect only if states controlling a majority of the nation’s electoral votes agree.

But California’s endorsement — and the commitment of its 55 electoral votes — provided the effort its most substantial lift yet. Now, eight states and the District of Columbia have adopted the agreement, representing almost half of the electoral votes proponents need.

Electoral College defenders say it keeps candidates from ignoring small states and rural areas.

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mus | like a bird in a cage

Allow my to introduce you to the leader of my country

On August 9, the Brazilian newspaper Fohla published a story about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apparently undiplomatic behavior during his visit to that country on a trade mission.

Canadians had a bit of fun on Twitter with the awkward machine translation from Google.

A Brazilian friend translated the story for me. It’s not as much fun this way, but the meaning is clearer:

Canadian Prime Minister goes to bathroom and comes out only when requirement met

Natuza Nery


Eliane Cantanhêde

Folha columnist

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper put Brazilian diplomats in a difficult (embarrassing) position this Monday, demanding a change in the Brazilian diplomatic protocol and only accepted to come out for lunch after his request had been accepted.

The official speeches and toasts can take place before or after lunch. Dilma (Rouseff, Brazil’s president) prefers to have these after lunch, so this is what is being done during her presidency. But Harper was adamant that it should take place before lunch. He did not explain why.

Harper had already irked Dilma’s advisors and diplomats when he announced that he wished to speak to journalists at the Palacio do Planalto (the Presidential Palace) when the protocol is generally that foreign dignitaries talk to the press at the Itamaraty (the Foreign Affairs palace).

Since Brazilian diplomats denied his request to speak to the press at the Presidential palace, Harper was already in a bad mood when he arrived for lunch. He demanded the shift in protocol at the lunch event, and locked himself in the private bathroom of ministro Antonio Patriota (Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Minister) while he waited for a reply.

Brazilian diplomats were taken aback and did not know what to do – if they should listen to Dilma’s request or to Harper. Harper arrived at the room (in the Foreign Affairs ministry) where the lunch was taking place only when Brazilian diplomats confirmed that the speeches and toasts would take place before lunch, as he had demanded.

The Canadian Embassy in Brasilia does not confirm this version of events, but the Folha has confirmed with diplomats present at the event.


Girl checked out of school by non-guardian several times, raped. school shrugs.


A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit that claims a 9-year-old Mississippi girl was checked out of school six times by an unauthorized man who then raped her.

The lawsuit said the school failed to verify Tommy Keyes' identity when he took the girl from a Covington County elementary school between 2007 and 2008. The 6-foot-2-inch Keyes allegedly signed the check-out sheet on one occasion as the girl's mother but usually signed her father's name.


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Murasaki Shikibu

London burning: history just went sci-fi

London burning: history just went sci-fi
Images of the city's looted, burnt-out streets conjure not so much the 1980s Brixton riots as a new, dystopian reality

In HG Wells's novel The War of the Worlds, an attack by overwhelmingly superior Martians drives Londoners to flee their city. Mad columns of panicking people fight for space on roads out of the capital. When the narrator enters the abandoned metropolis he finds an eerie wasteland, where only a few derelicts and drunks remain on the deadly streets.

There was something a bit Wellsian about photographs of riots and looting across London this weekend. Pictures of burning shops and broken windows, and young men confronting uniformed police, included crowdsourced images snatched by witnesses in the rapid, unexpected diffusion of trouble. The most dramatic, of Tottenham on fire and the blackened aftermath, are positively apocalyptic. To me, it all seems uncanny and reminiscent of late Victorian science fiction. Even the place names have that quality of ordinariness that Wells exploits in his fantasy of a London apocalypse: Tottenham in flames, insurrection in Enfield, anarchy in Leyton and Islington ...

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Murasaki Shikibu

Japan Held Nuclear Data, Leaving Evacuees in Peril

Japan Held Nuclear Data, Leaving Evacuees in Peril

The day after a giant tsunami set off the continuing disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, thousands of residents at the nearby town of Namie gathered to evacuate.

Given no guidance from Tokyo, town officials led the residents north, believing that winter winds would be blowing south and carrying away any radioactive emissions. For three nights, while hydrogen explosions at four of the reactors spewed radiation into the air, they stayed in a district called Tsushima where the children played outside and some parents used water from a mountain stream to prepare rice.

The winds, in fact, had been blowing directly toward Tsushima — and town officials would learn two months later that a government computer system designed to predict the spread of radioactive releases had been showing just that.

But the forecasts were left unpublicized by bureaucrats in Tokyo, operating in a culture that sought to avoid responsibility and, above all, criticism. Japan’s political leaders at first did not know about the system and later played down the data, apparently fearful of having to significantly enlarge the evacuation zone — and acknowledge the accident’s severity.

“From the 12th to the 15th we were in a location with one of the highest levels of radiation,” said Tamotsu Baba, the mayor of Namie, which is about five miles from the nuclear plant. He and thousands from Namie now live in temporary housing in another town, Nihonmatsu. “We are extremely worried about internal exposure to radiation.”

The withholding of information, he said, was akin to “murder.”

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Proud liberal

D.C. Douglas would like to help America "thank" the Tea Party

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) August 08, 2011

Actor, voice over artist and part-time Tea Party gadfly, D.C. Douglas, released a video over the weekend thanking the Tea Party for its contributions to the debt ceiling debate. Immediately upon it's release, his video took on even greater meaning.

Though the video's release occurred at roughly the same time that Standard & Poor's credit downgrade for the US became official - it was mere coincidence.
The Twitterverse, however, picked up on the video's sentiment and began forwarding it to friends as way of expressing their displeasure regarding the Tea Party's perceived hand in the credit downgrade.'s editor, Joan Walsh, retweeted the video Sunday and then returned a half hour later, writing, "Still laughing at @DC_Douglas Tea Party thank you. Ending Social Security will let seniors share their wisdom with the homeless!"

Online websites such as Daily Kos, Crooks & Liar's Video Cafe, The Immoral Minority, Veracity Stew, and Political Irony began posting it as part of the larger national narrative that links the Tea Party's intransigence during the debt ceiling negotiations to the credit downgrade.

Apparently this is not without some merit. In Standard & Poor's statement, they wrote "[T]he downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned..."

The video's creator and narrator, D.C. Douglas, is an actor and voice over artist in Los Angeles, California. (See IMDB for full credits). He received national attention in April, 2010, after a sarcastic voicemail message he left tea party PAC FreedomWorks was posted on Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website, along with his home phone number and a call for readers to get him fired from one of his voice over campaigns.

Mr. Douglas responded with humor by producing A Tea Party PSA video, as well as appearing on Fox News, CNN and several progressive radio shows so that he could call out "the astro-turfing disingenuousness of FreedomWorks."

"I have to thank Matt Kibbe [President of FreedomWorks]," Mr. Douglas confesses, "Without his use of unethical tactics, I would have never discovered this very enjoyable hobby."

Since then, Mr. Douglas has produced several political internet videos under the Tweaked Nipple Productions. Recent targets have included Andrew Breitbart (, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Matt Kibbe, FreedomWorks and the Koran burning Reverend, Terry jones.

The video, "Tea Party! America Thanks You!" can be viewed on the D.C. Douglas Blog. His previous videos can be seen at Tweaked Nipple Productions.




Wisconsin Recall Election is Tonight...

OP note: I wish these results were better for the Dems. So far only one Rep is a sure fire loser (Kapanke), but all these recall elections are happening in districts that are mostly Republican and have been dominated by Republicans for decades. The fact that these elections are happening at all let alone running so close.

Huffington post has a live blog below are a collaboration between Patch and HuffPost reporters.

Six Wisconsin senators fought Tuesday to keep their jobs in a recall election, trying to beat back Democratic challengers who stoked a political backlash against Republican Gov. Scott Walker for his efforts to strip public employees of most union rights.

Fueled by millions of dollars from national labor groups, the attempt to remove GOP incumbents could shift control of the Wisconsin Senate to Democrats and provide a new gauge of the public mood less than a year after Republicans made sweeping gains in this state and many others.

Huff Po (and many other sites) are following the results and all of the latest developments to unfold in the Badger State. Check out the live blog here

Experts Consider The Cause of the London Riots (Parody)

Riots caused by society or lazy, thieving pricks, say experts

THE London riots are the inevitable consequence of a society that includes some arseholes who like to steal things instead of working, experts claimed last night.

Sociologists said the devastation across the capital was the direct result of either social exclusion and government cutbacks or some young, inner-city pricks finding a flimsy excuse to set fire to Carpetright.

As the city's often neglected underclass of dicks, twats and fuckers, let out a desperate cry of opportunist theft, Waterstones in Clapham was only spared after staff hurriedly removed the Stars of the Jeremy Kyle Show Pop-Up Book from the window.

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