January 22nd, 2012

all we need

Maine Governor Paul LePage Threatens to Close Schools Over Budget Crisis

Schools get tossed into budget-cut warnings

Gov. Paul LePage says he will have to shut down Maine's schools in May if the Legislature does not accept deep spending cuts in the Department of Health and Human Services.

But it's not clear whether he has the legal authority to close schools.

"Right now, in order to continue the way we are, I will close schools May 1 and use that money, because that's where we are," LePage said in an appearance in Lewiston on Thursday evening. "It's a matter of not having money. It's not a matter of policy. It's a matter of when you have $100 in your checkbook and you're spending $200, you've got a problem."

LePage made the remarks during one of his Capitol for a Day events. The context was his proposal to drop 65,000 people from MaineCare, the state's version of Medicaid, to close a projected shortfall of $221 million in the DHHS over the next 18 months.

The governor's office did not return calls Friday seeking clarification about his comments on closing schools.
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Source at the Portland Press Herald website

LePage is such a complete jackass, oh my god. I can't even imagine. My mum (who still lives in Maine) mentioned this to my aunt, who mentioned it to me. A different article states that LePage's threat was directed towards Democrats who might try to change LePage's proposed budget. This guy pisses me off no end, and this is just a whole new low. I'm so glad I got out of Maine when I could.

BTW, if anyone has any suggestions for tags... I'm not very good at tagging things, lol.

Atlanta Newspaper Editor: Israel Should Consider Assassinating Obama

Andrew Adler, the owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, a weekly newspaper serving Atlanta's Jewish community, devoted his January 13, 2012 column to the thorny problem of the U.S. and Israel's diverging views on the threat posed by Iran. Basically Israel has three options, he wrote: Strike Hezbollah and Hamas, strike Iran, or "order a hit" on Barack Obama. Either way, problem solved!

Here's how Adler laid out "option three" in his list of scenarios facing Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu (the column, which was forwarded to us by a tipster, isn't online, but you can read a copy here):

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Again, I have no real commentary for this except to look very, very unamused.
weaver girl [spin the dawn by elizabeth

Obama Administration Announces New Decision On Birth Control, To Chagrin Of Religious Groups

In a long-anticipated decision that will affect millions of women's ability to pay for contraception, the Obama administration announced on Friday that it would not allow religiously affiliated employers such as universities and hospitals to deny full birth control coverage to the women they employ.

Under the new rule, set forth by the Affordable Care Act, most women employed in the U.S. will have the cost of their birth control covered with no co-pay. Churches and other places of worship would continue to be exempt from having to cover contraception for their employees if they morally object to the practice, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, but all other organizations will have a year to comply with the new requirement, regardless of whether or not they are religiously affiliated.

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Piss off, Carey.

UK House of Commons to be sold off?

Taxpayers face a £1 billion bill to shore up the Houses of Parliament against chronic subsidence, which is already causing Big Ben to lean alarmingly.

The problem is so severe that MPs are even being asked to consider the radical proposal of selling off the historic building and moving into newly built offices – a move that could net £500 million for the Exchequer.

Although politicians are unlikely to agree to abandon a site that has been the seat of power for about 1,000 years, the fact that Commons Speaker John Bercow has floated the idea indicates the scale of the problem.

MPs will hold a crisis meeting tomorrow to consider the options.

The all-party House of Commons Commission, chaired by Mr Bercow, will be shown surveyors’ reports detailing the risk of sinking into the Thames mud, electrical problems, fire risks and multiple safety hazards.

Even the boilers, dating from before the Second World War, are said to be ‘ready to blow’.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2089993/Taxpayers-face-1billion-stop-Commons-sinking-Thames-mud--MPs-sell-net-public-purse-500m-profit.html

OP: John Bercow's lavish apartment is in the path of the leaning tower so I'm not surprised he's chairing the meeting. People think they can spot the lean on Big Ben from Wesminster Bridge but I'm not so sure.

At least 178 killed in Nigeria attacks, Boko Haram blamed

A man walks through the ruins of a zonal police headquarters after a bomb attack in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, January 21, 2012. More than 100 people were killed in bomb attacks and gunfights in Nigeria's second largest city Kano late on Friday, a senior local government security source told Reuters, in the deadliest coordinated strike claimed by Islamist sect Boko Haram to date.

By Mike Oboh  

Gun and bomb attacks by Islamist insurgents in the northern Nigerian city of Kano last week killed at least 178 people, a hospital doctor said on Sunday, underscoring the daunting challenge President Goodluck Jonathan now faces to prevent his country sliding further into chaos.  

A coordinated series of bomb blasts and shooting sprees mostly targeting police stations on Friday sent panicked residents of Nigeria’s second biggest city of more than 10 million people running for cover.  

The scale of the carnage makes this by far the deadliest strike claimed by Boko Haram, a shadowy Islamist sect that started out as a clerical movement opposed to western education but has become the biggest security menace facing Africa’s top oil producer.

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Source I really am sad to see how badly Nigeria is disintegrating while other African countries are starting to develop. It is just sad and embarrassing.
No Enbridge
  • romp

Newt gives Harper a nod in victory speech

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- This southern state and the Republican nomination race may be far removed from Canada, but that didn't stop Palmetto State primary winner Newt Gingrich from giving a shout out to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in his victory speech.

While blasting President Barack Obama for rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline and the thousands of jobs it has been estimated it would create, Gingrich warned Canada will send its oil to China instead.

And he praised Harper, too.

"What Prime Minister Harper -- who, by the way, is conservative and pro-American -- what he has said is he's gonna cut a deal with the Chinese and they'll build a pipeline straight across the Rockies to Vancouver," Gingrich said Saturday night. "We'll get none of the jobs, none of the energy, none of the opportunity.

"Now, an American president who can create a Chinese-Canadian partnership is truly a danger to this country."

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There was no great source for this IMO but this had the most info. Tho' I did like the URL of a CBC blog: http://www.cbc.ca/news/us-election-blog/2012/01/newt-mentioned-harper-now-lets-freak-out.html
hoechlin: smiley

Santorum's Honorary Florida Chairman speaks for God, is offensive to pretty much everyone

While the network news shows spend this Sunday marveling over Newtmentum in South Carolina, Rick Santorum will quietly make his first stop in Florida, site of the next primary on January 31. He'll be dropping in to see the honorary chairman of his state campaign—a Bush-connected Islamophobic pastor who says gays "make God want to vomit."

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Lucy - Fierce & Fabulous

INFO POST: Where Do Words Come From?

VOCABULARY POST: Slurs in the English Language

Info posts may contain triggering elements, so please be mindful of the topic and read at your own discretion. Specific triggers and warnings are listed below, but if any additional warnings are needed please don't be shy about making the suggestion. Thanks!

SPECIFIC TRIGGER WARNINGS: Pejorative slurs soooo, everything.
IMAGE WARNINGS: Historical images.
NOTES: You do not need to censor these words when discussing them in the comments, but please remain mindful of the topic and respect those the term is targeted for.
NOTES 2: I was going to include "Weightism" but found it difficult to pin down any specific terms that weren't self-explanatory. If you guys are interested we can have a future post about Weightism/Sizeism and the Fat Acceptance Movement.

DISCLAIMER: My apologies in advance for this post being very US-centric. There will be an official thread for additional terms, but if I missed something that should have been super obvious I will add it to the main post. It's quite difficult finding information about slurs that aren't direct at black people or women.

These posts are a "safe space" to ask questions you might otherwise be too shy to. Please do not reply to people with "Plz Google" or "educate yourself". Everyone should enter these posts with a learn and teach mindset (in that order). WITH THAT SAID, HOWEVER, please remain mindful of your questions and phrasing, be open-minded, learn, and know when to be quiet. If you are flippant with your ignorance, I will not stop angered members from telling you about yourself.

Learning is scary, but it's time to go to the library everyone!

By Timothy Jay l Massachusetts Collegs of Liberal Arts

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Thanks for reading! Discuss!

creepy but cute

Apple, America and a Squeezed Middle Class

How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work

When Barack Obama joined Silicon Valley’s top luminaries for dinner in California last February, each guest was asked to come with a question for the president.

But as Steven P. Jobs of Apple spoke, President Obama interrupted with an inquiry of his own: what would it take to make iPhones in the United States?

Not long ago, Apple boasted that its products were made in America. Today, few are. Almost all of the 70 million iPhones, 30 million iPads and 59 million other products Apple sold last year were manufactured overseas.

Why can’t that work come home? Mr. Obama asked.

Mr. Jobs’s reply was unambiguous. “Those jobs aren’t coming back,” he said, according to another dinner guest.

The president’s question touched upon a central conviction at Apple. It isn’t just that workers are cheaper abroad. Rather, Apple’s executives believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that “Made in the U.S.A.” is no longer a viable option for most Apple products.

Apple has become one of the best-known, most admired and most imitated companies on earth, in part through an unrelenting mastery of global operations. Last year, it earned over $400,000 in profit per employee, more than Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobil or Google.

However, what has vexed Mr. Obama as well as economists and policy makers is that Apple — and many of its high-technology peers — are not nearly as avid in creating American jobs as other famous companies were in their heydays.
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FoxConn Images from: For the Foxconn kids, money doesn’t buy happiness

Wonderful article... OP commentary: (1) Overall workers, whether in the US or China are being expected to bear the brunt of profit generation in, what is essentially, a race to the bottom for global markets-- GOODBYE middle class! HELLO disposable workers! (2) I don't know what they're going on about re:"quality" products made in recent years, specially products from China, are all structured around planned obsolesce-- we may be wanting spending less/item, but companies are giving us shit products, and workers are getting paid shit-- and it's created a vicious circle of shit (3) It's a global trend not limited to any single company... but I find Apple, their ethos, and their smugness so damn irritating/punchable.
stop with the idiocy

(no subject)

Africa losing billions in tax evasion by corporations

Billions are being lost, not collected in taxes due to corporate tax evasion throughout Africa. A Study by a Swedish agency, Forum Syd suggests that Money taken illegally from the developing world is worth 10 times annual global aid budgets, according to a recent study. Tax evasions by multinational companies in Africa is so vast that tax analysts believe that if the money were paid, most of the continent would be “developed” by now. But, lacking a sophisticated tax code, or the people qualified to enforce tax laws, many African countries continue to lose money that could solve most of its financial problems.

This all goes back to weak governing, the state not having competent officials to handle the work in enforcing the tax laws. Just blaming corporations shouldn’t be enough. Some blame has to be directed toward government officials who in many cases allow this to take place. We all know that nothing talks louder than money and bribery is common towards government officials. Another aspect that has to be looked at is modernizing, updating the tax codes that nations have to match one that fits into a globalized world. Money has no borders in this age. What is local is not just national but international. Money has to be looked at in the same way. A more streamlined, less bureaucratic tax code is crucial to be economically competitive. Money will always follow where there is business to be made. In order for this to happen, a business friendly environment has to developed.


Weak governing, but corps are the big evaders here. So yeah, I guess we should put the blame on them. The talk about "modernizing tax codes for a globalized world" kinda makes me cynical, specially when corruption has a lot to do here. But to be honest, I have no idea what he proposes because I'm not familiarized with how "tax codes" work in these different places. The proposal of a "business friendly environment" when talking about taxes evasion... is weird.

Artists React To Mexico's Drug War With Music And Poetry


Javier Sicilia speaks at a rally in Los Angeles.

Javier Sicilia is a novelist and a poet. In 2009, he was awarded Mexico's prestigious Aguascalientes National Poetry Prize. This September, he read a poem dedicated to his son, Juan Francisco, at a rally:

There is nothing else to say
The world is not worthy of the word
They drowned it, deep inside of us
As they asphyxiated you
As they ripped your lungs apart
And the pain does not leave me
All we have is a world
For the silence of the just
Only for your silence and my silence, Juanelo.

This was the last poem Sicilia wrote. His son was murdered in the central state of Morelos in March, along with six other people, by members of a drug cartel.

Javier Sicilia renounced poetry and became the leader of a national protest against the drug war. Yet he says poetry has been an integral part of the "Peace with Justice and Dignity" movement.

"Poetry has been present, the poets have been part of it," Sicilia says. "The problem is that the mass media don't like to cover it and don't understand that this movement was born out of poetry, and the reason why it's important is because it's filled with a poetic content that has transformed the language. And behind all of this is a profound ethics, as with all poetry."

Sicilia says the poet has a moral responsibility to tell these stories.
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