February 8th, 2012



Rick Santorum Declared Winner of Colorado Republican Caucuses

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum upended the race for the Republican nomination Tuesday, winning three states including Colorado.

Colorado's race see-sawed throughout the night until 11 p.m., when Colorado GOP Chair Ryan Call declared Santorum the winner. But the race was a near tie.

"This is a major upset," said Denver-based political analyst Floyd Ciruli. "Definitely, there is a new story now."

Even Romney, who easily won the Republican contest in 2008 with 60 percent of the vote, acknowledged in his speech from the Auraria campus his new challenger.Collapse )


BLECH just goes to show the nutbar potential of Colorado's conservative side. As noted in the bolded passages, the Teabagger party split has been potent here. I live in Colorado Springs so this came as less of a surprise to me than it to would to, say, someone in Boulder but it still sucks to have it hammered home by Santorum. At least this holds out hope of a prolonged Republican primary/failure to rally around the nominee? And RMoney had to dodge another glitterbomb?
Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

How I stopped worrying and learned to fund the bomb

$6 Billion for a Nuke-Building Shed?
American taxpayers are getting fleeced for a New Mexico bomb facility we don't need.

—By Adam Weinstein | Wed Feb. 8, 2012

As the president prepares to unveil his federal budget plan next week, it's a good time to remember that there are boondoggles, and then there are boondoggles. Under the latter, see the multi-billion-dollar "Chemical and Metallurgy Research Replacement-Nuclear Facility," a single unfinished building in a New Mexico nuclear complex whose cost has ballooned since its approval a decade ago, and whose main purpose is to build stuff we don't need: plutonium components for new atomic bombs.

As you can see from the Project on Government Oversight's infographic below, the entire CMRR complex, located at Los Alamos National Laboratory, was slated to cost US taxpayers $375 million in 2001. But just one half that two-building plant is now expected to cost between $3.7 and $5.9 billion. "[S]everal major changes have occurred that have fundamentally affected the basis of the cost estimate," a Los Alamos talking-points memo states. Basically, construction costs rose and mistakes were made, since nobody's built anything like this before. Here's the result:

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Love how we don't have enough money to feed the starving and research Alzheimer's, but building what will (hopefully) be a non-functioning military nuclear facility is necessary spending!
Doctor Who - 11 - Default

Because a butter knife totally warrents use of a gun as 'self defense', you guys

Family Furious After Calumet City Police Shoot, Kill Boy With Autism

CALUMET CITY, Ill. (CBS) — Police in Calumet City were defending their actions Wednesday after officers shot and killed a 15-year-old boy, who has a form of autism, after he threatened them with a knife.

Stephon Watts’ family said he suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome — a high-functioning form of autism — and attention deficit disorder.

As CBS 2′s Susanna Song and WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller report, they claimed the boy was only holding a butter knife. Police would only describe it as a “kitchen knife.”

The deadly encounter happened at the boy’s home at 541 Forsythe Av. in Calumet City, police said.

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Video and audio files at the source.
Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

Black HERstory: Jamaica's Other National Hero

February 6, 2012 by Janell Hobson

On this day, the late Bob Marley would have turned 67 years old. In honor of the “soul rebel” who encouraged Jamaicans and the rest of the world to embrace a black consciousness and support liberation struggles, I invoke the memory of another Jamaican hero for our Black “Herstory” Month series: the fierce fugitive slave Nanny of the Maroons.

Nanny is thought to be a member of the Ashanti Kingdom of West Africa brought to Jamaica as a slave in the 18th century. She led a community of fugitive slaves (or “maroons”) in the rain forest called Nanny Town. Legend has it that through the 19-year “First Maroon War” she held out against the British colonizers and slaveowners through both militaristic and magical powers, defeating English armies by catching bullets in her buttocks and hurling them back. It is believed that she died in battle around 1734.

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Ms. Magazine

Ellen responds to One Million Moms

Ellen DeGeneres responds to group opposing her new JC Penney job (Video)
Ellen DeGeneres publicly responded to One Million Moms, the self-described “conservative, pro-family” group who opposes her new role as JC Penney spokeswoman, on the day that California’s ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, was ruled unconstitutional.

On an episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” taped Tuesday and airing Wednesday, the host said, “Normally I try not to pay attention to my haters, but this time I’d like to talk about it ’cause my haters are motivators.”

“This organization doesn’t think that I should be the spokesperson because I’m gay. For those of you are just tuning in for the first time, it’s true. I’m gay. I hope you were sitting down,” DeGeneres joked.

In a statement on its Web site, One Million Moms, who have previously objected to Chaz Bono’s inclusion on “DWTS” and Ben & Jerry’s Schweddy Balls ice cream, said, “By jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon, JC Penney is attempting to gain a new target market and in the process will lose customers with traditional values that have been faithful to them over all these years.”

DeGeneres responded, “Being gay or pro-gay isn’t a bandwagon. You don’t get a free ride anywhere. There’s no music. ... Occasionally we’ll sing ‘We Are Family,’ but that’s about it.”

As the comedienne pointed out, she had received an outpouring of support in the comments section on the One Million Moms’s Facebook page. DeGeneres was also defended by JC Penney, which said in a statement they “stand behind [the] partnership,” and by Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly, who called the boycott “a witch hunt.”

The daytime host concluded her response by laying out her values: “I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people they way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.”

She added, “Oh — also I believe in dance.”

ETA: Crap, I guess the video embedding didn't work. The video clip is in the linked article.
Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

UPDATE: Little hope for Philippine quake survivors

Rescue officials say hope is fading in search for 71 people still missing in landslides triggered by powerful quake.

The 6.7-magnitude earthquake triggered landslides that has left many buried inside the mud [Reuters]

Officials in the Philippines say there is little hope of finding dozens of people still buried in landslides triggered by a powerful earthquake on the heavily populated islands of Negros and Cebu.

Survivors of the disaster called on rescuers on Wednesday to keep searching for the missing, two days after the magnitude-6.7 quake struck that has claimed at least 26 lives so far.

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"Sadly, we expect the death toll could still rise," Degamo told AFP.

Telephone communications in some parts of Negros were also cut off, leaving information from remote regions unobtainable, according to Degamo.

Cebu, the Philippines' second biggest city with 2.3 million residents and a popular tourist destination, was 50km from the epicentre and shook violently during the initial quake but no deaths were reported there.

Al Jazeera

Donations for the Philippine Red Cross
Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

Uganda: Anti-LGBT bill pack in Parliament

Uganda anti-gay bill back in parliament

Proposed legislation that would make death sentence mandatory for "repeat offenders".

A bill that would make the death sentence mandatory for gays who are "repeat offenders" has been reintroduced in Uganda's parliament.

"The anti-homosexuality bill was re-tabled on the floor of the House today and has been referred to parliament's legal and parliamentary affairs committee for scrutiny," Helen Kawesa, the parliamentary spokesperson, said on Tuesday.

"The committee is expected to examine it and conduct public hearings and then it will report back to the house for a formal debate on the bill," she said.

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Pride & Prejudice

Madonna acts just like a serious male artist would – and people hate her for it

If you really want to watch vitriol flow on a monumental scale, be Madonna and dare to make a film.

It's been instructive to watch the trajectory of Madonna's recent fantasy-biopic of Wallis Simpson, WE, emerge into the critical light of day. A flawed but daring, visually mesmerizing piece, it takes a look at the journeys of two women – Wallis Simpson, re-envisioned by Andrea Riseborough, and a modern Upper East Side abused Stepford wife, Wally ­– as they emerge from victimization to personal autonomy and self-realization.

Yes, the film is not perfect – it has its historical solecisms, for instance – but it is far from representing the outright crime you would think Madonna had committed, were you a just-landed Martian reading the reviews. The recent Entertainment Weekly notice started: "The movie is a folly, a desultory vanity project for its director and co-writer."

Others were even more personally brutal. Many of the notices reviewed Madonna herself – with distaste – rather than the film, refusing to engage with it on its merits at all.

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uh uh no [alex; charlie's angels]

That's not the Help He Wanted

(CN) - A depressed Army reservist who made a phone call for help says dozens of police responded by surrounding his home and arresting him, vandalizing and searching his place without a warrant, seizing his dog and killing his tropical fish.

Matthew Corrigan, who lives alone with his dog, sued the District of Columbia in D.C. Federal Court.

Confronted with a massive police presence after his plea for help, Corrigan says, he denied officers permission to enter his house, but they entered and trashed it anyway, saying, "I don't have time to play this constitutional bullshit!"

Corrigan says the debacle started on Feb. 2, 2010.

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Teen pregnancy/abortion rates

So much for the abstinence-only teaching argument. Education seems to key.

Teen pregnancy, abortion rates at record low, study says
(Reuters) - Birth and abortion rates among U.S. teens fell to record lows in 2008 as increased use of contraceptives sent the overall teen pregnancy rate to its lowest level since at least 1972, a study showed on Wednesday.

But disparities among racial and ethnic groups continued to persist, with black and Hispanic teens experiencing pregnancy and abortion rates two to four times higher than their white peers, the Guttmacher Institute, the nonprofit sexual health research group that conducted the analysis, said.

The Guttmacher researchers looked at government statistics on teen-age sex, pregnancies and births, as well as the institute's own data on abortions for 2008, the most recent year for which all the numbers were available.

They found that nearly 750,000 U.S. women under the age of 20 became pregnant in 2008 -- nearly 98 percent of them between the ages of 15 and 19.

That translated into a pregnancy rate of 67.8 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19, the researchers said, the lowest pregnancy rate seen since 1972, the year before the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that established a woman's right to an abortion.

It was also down 42 percent from 1990, when teen pregnancies peaked at 116.9 per 1,000 teen girls and women.

The teen abortion rate in 2008 dropped to the lowest rate seen since 1972 at 17.8 per 1,000 teen girls and women, the analysis found, and was down 59 percent from 1988 when the abortion rate peaked at 43.5 per 1,000 teen women.
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Jesus Horses

Video: Officers beating motorist in diabetic shock

Wow, this is just... appalling. Granted, they didn't know he was in diabetic shock, but they're yelling "Stop resisting!" when he clearly isn't. The cops laughing at the end of the video is just disgusting.

Video shows officers beating motorist in diabetic shock
Adam Greene is on his stomach as a pack of police officers pile on him, driving their knees into his back and wrenching his arms and legs. One officer knees him in the ribs; another kicks him in the face.

"Stop resisting," officers on the video yell, but Greene, his face pushed into the pavement, hasn't resisted. He doesn't even move -- maybe can't move -- because he's gone into diabetic shock caused by low blood sugar.

The video, recorded more than a year ago by a police car dashboard camera, was released Tuesday by Greene's lawyers. The same night, the Henderson City Council approved a settlement of $158,500 for Greene. His wife received $99,000 from Henderson, which is just under the minimum amount that requires council approval.

Nevada Highway Patrol troopers also participated in the traffic stop but do not appear to kick or knee Greene on the video. The state has agreed to pay $35,000 to Greene for a total of $292,500 between the two agencies.

It was a Highway Patrol vehicle camera that captured the incident.


A Highway Patrol trooper enters the scene first, gun drawn, and kicks the driver's window of Greene's four-door sedan. After several moments, the trooper opens the door.

The trooper, his gun still raised, then gives Greene conflicting commands. He first tells him not to move, then tells him to come forward.

A second trooper quickly cuffs Greene's wrist and pulls him from the car, which rolls forward until an officer stops it.

Greene flops to the ground, clearly dazed as five officers rush him. A sixth officer, with Henderson police, enters the frame late and delivers five well-placed kicks to Greene's face.

"Stop resisting mother (expletive)!" one officer yells.

Greene doesn't scream until a second Henderson officer knees him in the midsection -- and then does it three more times. Greene was later treated for fractured ribs.

Police suspected Greene was intoxicated as he weaved among lanes about 4 a.m. on Oct. 29, 2010, and finally stopped his car near Lake Mead Parkway and Boulder Highway in Henderson.

But that wasn't the case, which they soon discovered after they searched Greene.

"Call in medical," one officer says in the video. "We found some insulin in his pocket. ... He's semiconscious."

"Let's get medical out here. He's a diabetic, he's probably in shock," the officer later tells dispatch.

Greene's lawsuit said officers then forced him to stand by a patrol car in handcuffs and blow into a Breathalyzer, despite being injured. Paramedics later arrived and treated him for low blood sugar.
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I didn't! It's a gift!

Washington House Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington state moved a step closer to becoming the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage Wednesday when the House of Representatives voted to send the bill to Gov. Chris Gregoire for her signature.

Next up: what is sure to be a long, expensive political battle, asking voters to support or overturn the law.

In a 55-43 vote, the House approved the bill that would allow gay and lesbian couples to legally obtain a marriage license. The bill would not require churches or other religious organizations to perform ceremonies for same-sex couples.

Last week, the state Senate voted 28-21 in favor of the bill.

Gov. Gregoire has said she will sign it into law.

Because there is no emergency clause on the bill, the law wouldn't take effect for 90 days. Opponents have already promised a referendum battle at the ballot, so it's likely it could be put on hold pending the outcome of a November election. If opponents are unable to gather enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, couples could marry starting in June.

A KING 5/Survey USA poll taken in January shows state voters are split on whether they support a law approving same-sex marriage.

Washington state has had a domestic partnership law since 2007, and an "everything but marriage" expansion of that law since 2009.

Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia.


YEAHHHHHHHHHHH. But ugh seriously dnw it to go to voters.

Black History Month: William Still From Slave to Conductor

One of the most effective organizers of a formal segment of the Underground Railroad was a free African American named William Still. His father, Levin Still, had purchased his own freedom. His mother, Sidney, and his two brothers and two sisters, remained enslaved in Maryland, however. Sidney and the children managed to escape once but were captured and returned to Maryland.

Aware that all five could not escape together again, Sidney made one of the most difficult decisions any mother could make. In 1807, leaving the two older boys behind with their grandmother (who was also a slave), Sidney struck out for freedom again. This time, she took only the two younger girls. They succeeded, and she was reunited with her husband. To conceal their identities, they changed Sidney's name to Charity and the family name to Still. Fourteen years later, William Still was born free in New Jersey.

At age 23, Still moved to Philadelphia, where he worked as a mail clerk and a janitor for the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. He educated himself, became a businessman, and eventually was appointed head of the General Vigilance Committee of Philadelphia, a group dedicated to defending and assisting fugitive slaves seeking refuge in the city.

Over the next few years, Still and his associates worked to organize an extensive network of safe houses and conductors that soon became the foundation of one of the most effective Underground Railroad systems in the country. The group raised money to help fugitives and kept an eye on the movements of slave catchers throughout Pennsylvania. Still's work became quite personal when he was introduced to a middle-aged man from Alabama in search of information.

In a letter written on August 8, 1850, from his office in Philadelphia, William Still described an amazing encounter with a man who called himself Peter Freedman. Freedman sought information about his family, who had come north some years before. As his story unfolded, Still recognized much of the detail. "My feelings were unutterable," he said. "I could see in the face of my newfound brother, the likeness of my mother." Peter Freedman was Still's brother. He had been left in slavery when his mother escaped. The brothers had never met.

"I told him I could tell him all about his kinfolk," Still recalled. The next day, Peter was reunited with his family. Their father was dead by this time, but Freedman met five brothers and three sisters whom he had never known. "I shall not attempt to describe the feelings of my mother and the family on learning the fact that Peter was one of us," Still wrote.

More at the Source.

PBS recently ran a documentary on his life.

'The Underground Railroad', written  by William Still.

Another aspect which should not be forgotten is that Still kept detailed records of everyone he helped - his records are reportedly still used today by people seeking to trace their genealogy.

Warm tone butterfly (by fruitpunch_it)

Boris Vs Ken: Jemima Khan interviews London's prospective Mayoral Candidates

For this week's issue of the New Statesman (on newsstands tomorrow), Jemima Khan interviewed -- on the same day -- both of the leading contenders for the 2012 London mayoral election: the incumbent, Boris Johnson, and the inaugural mayor, Ken Livingstone.

Here are some edited from Khan's breakfast with the Labour challenger.

Ken on Boris:

I think he has real ability, real intelligence, and he just never achieves his potential with it. It is why I think in the end he won't be prime minister . . . I don't think he has really got a solid ideological brain, like [George] Osborne or [William] Hague. It is very hard to find anything in Boris's career that he's serious about. He just loves life too much to really succeed as a politician.

Ken on Thatcher:

Clinically insane.

I am not going to watch it [The Iron Lady]. I do not want to feel sympathy for her. I feel sympathy for the people whose lives she destroyed.

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Boris Johnson quick-fire questions

How important to you is it to be liked?
No more than most politicians.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
It's something to do with a bottle of wine in the sun and then a swim and that sort of thing . . .

What is your greatest fear?
Finding myself on a beach with Ken Livingstone.

Which living person do you most admire?

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Excessive candour with journalists.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Concealing the truth. Making false promises and failing to deliver.

On what occasions do you lie and when did you last lie?
There is some sort of paradox in that question, I know . . . I think it's perfectly true that I inadvertently told someone that we reduced Tube delays by 20 per cent when it turns out that we reduced them by 40 per cent and I regularly regret the error, but there is nothing I can do about it. At last - I got the truth out.

Which living person do you most despise?
I'm not big on hate.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Obviously my wife.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I have got this project - I am learning the Iliad off by heart, and at the moment I am only on line 100 and it is so laborious. I wish I had a proper eidetic memory.

What is your motto?
I think my motto is drawn from my grandmother. She used to say: "Don't worry, darling - it's not how you are doing, it's what you are doing."

When did you last cry?
Wait, wait, wait, there was something . . . the tears did well up . . . Some play or film . . .

The Iron Lady?
No, no. I don't want you to get the idea . . . I am capable [of] the melting mood - I drop tears as fast as the Arabian tree, its medicinable gum.

What do you do to relax?
What I do is submit to a really long, gruelling interview. My idea of perfect relaxation is an hour with the New Statesman.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Good question. If the readers of the New Statesman buy Johnson's Life of London - still available at all good outlets - they will find a number of historical characters that I greatly admire. I leave it to them to guess which, having read it.

What is your greatest boast?
That we have delivered a sound, progressive administration of London over the last four years which has cut tax and cut crime.

London specific, but it's being touted as 'the battle which will define the next general election'.

Also Ken's remarks on homosexuality and the hypocrisy of politicians have apparently caused a stir, which is ironic considering there are few politicians of his stature who have such a pro-LGBT record reaching as far back as his does. His phrasing was admittedly crap though, ngl.


Luke (agitated)

BYU Students Asked About Black History By Comedian In Blackface

Brigham Young University isn't exactly known for its diverse student population. In fact, just 176 out of the Utah school's 30,000 students are African American, or 0.59%.

Comedian Dave Ackerman decided to quiz the unsuspecting BYU student populace about Black History Month in a video posted on YouTube. The students' answers are, predictably, disturbing.

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Happy Black History Month, everyone!

HIV disclosure to sex partners mulled by top court

The country's top court is hearing the case of two HIV-positive people who did not disclose their medical condition to their sexual partners.

Lawyers for Clato Mabior are appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada on Wednesday to argue that Canadian law criminalizes carriers of HIV — the virus that causes AIDS — and does not acknowledge variations in transmission levels.

CBC's Maureen Brosnahan said a core issue facing the Supreme Court judges is how to decide what is considered significant risk of infection. That was not defined in the 1998 decision that said it was a crime to hide HIV-positive status from a sexual partner.
Clato Mabior, seen in a police photo, has recently completed his prison sentence and is set to be deported to Sudan in mid-February.Clato Mabior, seen in a police photo, has recently completed his prison sentence and is set to be deported to Sudan in mid-February.

"Back then, HIV was still considered pretty much a death sentence, and now since then, with new medications … [HIV carriers] can actually lower what's called their viral load, so the chances of them transmitting the disease really becomes really almost theoretical," Brosnahan said.

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Pride & Prejudice

Democrat state senator adds ‘Every sperm is sacred’ clause to ‘personhood’ bill

A pro-choice Democratic legislator has taken a novel approach to fighting an Oklahoma “personhood” bill. According to the blog Jezebel, State Senator Constance Johnson of Oklahoma City has introduced a measure that calls to mind the famous Monty Python “Every Sperm is Sacred” sketch from the 1983 film “The Meaning of Life.”

The concept of “personhood” defines human life as beginning at the moment of conception and, in the case of Oklahoma’s pending Senate Bill 1433, says that the resulting fetus “at every stage of development (has) all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state.” If Senate Bill 1433 were to become law, all forms of abortion and some forms of contraception would be considered murder and therefore illegal.

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hp; deathly hallows; come to die

Teen Defends City Sticker Design

February 8, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Citing concerns over possible gang symbolism, Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza said Wednesday the city's next vehicle sticker has been tossed out.

The clerk's office started getting phone calls Tuesday after an Internet blogger identified the hands drawn on the sticker as symbols flashed by members of a street gang.

The controversial stickers were not printed yet.

Mendoza said the runner-up sticker design, entered by a Resurrection High School student, will be used instead. She said she was shocked by the allegations and, most of all, she hopes they're not true.

"Unfortunately, whether or not the design was meant to include potential gang symbols, the perception that now exists is that the artwork could be misinterpreted as containing gang related symbols," Mendoza said.

The winning sticker was designed by 15-year-old Herbie Pulgar who attends a school for troubled youth. He says he is disappointed and is defending his work.

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Watching this kid cry breaks my heart! </3
The Gang
  • acmeeoy

Repulsive progressive hypocrisy

During the Bush years, Guantanamo was the core symbol of right-wing radicalism and what was back then referred to as the “assault on American values and the shredding of our Constitution”: so much so then when Barack Obama ran for President, he featured these issues not as a secondary but as a central plank in his campaign. But now that there is a Democrat in office presiding over Guantanamo and these other polices — rather than a big, bad, scary Republican — all of that has changed, as a new Washington Post/ABC News poll today demonstrates:

The sharpest edges of President Obama’s counterterrorism policy, including the use of drone aircraft to kill suspected terrorists abroad and keeping open the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have broad public support, including from the left wing of the Democratic Party.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that Obama, who campaigned on a pledge to close the brig at Guantanamo Bay and to change national security policies he criticized as inconsistent with U.S. law and values, has little to fear politically for failing to live up to all of those promises.

The survey shows that 70 percent of respondents approve of Obama’s decision to keep open the prison at Guantanamo Bay. . . . The poll shows that 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats — and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats — support keeping Guantanamo Bay open, even though it emerged as a symbol of the post-Sept. 11 national security policies of George W. Bush, which many liberals bitterly opposed.

Repulsive liberal hypocrisy extends far beyond the issue of Guantanamo.

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