July 16th, 2012


Nonpartisan Agreement: Most Campaign Money Is Wasted

Republican and Democratic strategists tell NPR that most of the estimated $4 billion to be spent by the campaigns, political action committees and others on the 2012 presidential race will make no difference in the outcome.

"Eighty percent of what we do in a campaign is wasted," Democratic pollster and adviser Mark Mellman tells NPR's Morning Edition. "The problem is we don't know which 80 percent in advance, so we do it all. That's exactly what these campaigns are doing."

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OP: Cut text is from audio story.

Israel Begins Rounding Up and Interning Africans

Israel said on Monday it had started rounding up African migrants in the first stage of a controversial “emergency plan” to intern and deport thousands deemed a threat to the Jewish character of the state. Israel Radio reported that dozens of Africans, mainly from South Sudan, had already been detained in the Red Sea resort of Eilat, including mothers and children.

The Israeli government wants to get rid of “60,000 African migrants, whose numbers are seen by many Israelis as a law and order issue and even a threat to the long-term viability of the Jewish state,” according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
For some in Israel, built by immigrants and refugees, internment and deportation are bad solutions that may damage the international image of the country needlessly.

They say rounding up members of a different racial group and holding them in camps for deportation may invite allusions to the Nazi Holocaust, however unfair such comparisons may be, and betrays Jewish values.

In Israel, Sudanese immigrants “are caught up in a wave of hostility towards Blacks in general, focused on a poor area of south Tel Aviv where they are forced to live.” An opinion poll last week showed 52 percent of Israelis agree that the Africans are “a cancer.”

They’ve come here to rape and steal,” an Israeli woman shouted during an anti-migrant demonstration earlier this month in south Tel Aviv. “We should burn them out, put poison in their food,” an elderly man suggested.

In the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, racists call them “a cancer and an AIDs virus on the Israeli people.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said illegal immigrants from Africa are “flooding” and “swamping” Israel and threaten “the character of the country.”

Israel’s Saharonim camp for Africans

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alternate source
Adorable MJ

Facts don't support Obama's charges against Romney

By David Gergen, CNN Senior Political Analyst

Editor's note: David Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN and has been an adviser to four presidents. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he is a professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Follow him on Twitter.

(CNN) -- There may be a number of good reasons to vote against Mitt Romney, but based upon what we know so far, his honesty about his tenure at Bain Capital does not seem to be one of them.

Let me acknowledge upfront what I have said several times on CNN: I have a past relationship with the top partners at Bain that is both personal and financial. I have worked with them in support of nonprofit organizations such as City Year. I have given a couple of paid speeches for Bain dinners, as I have for many other groups. I was on the board of a for-profit child care company, Bright Horizons, that was purchased by Bain Capital. It was a transaction with financial benefits for all board members and shareholders, including me.

So, yes, I have a bias. But let me also add how that bias plays out: I have come to admire and like the leaders of Bain Capital because I have learned firsthand that in a private equity industry, where there are obviously some predatory companies, Bain stands out for the respect in which it is generally held and for the generous philanthropy of some of its partners. Nothing I have seen so far has shaken that view.

With that on the table, let's turn to the controversy and offer answers to some basic questions:

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Source http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/16/opinion/gergen-bain-romney/index.html

Sorry for the overload on these posts guys, but I have to put it out there!!!
David Thewlis - Deer in headlights

Why isn’t the Cosby Show for a new generation on network TV?

By Reniqua Allen, Published: July 13

Today, the only way some Americans get insight into what life is like for a black family is by watching snippets of the Obamas on the nightly news. No English-language network program centers around a black family — or an Asian or Hispanic family either — except Fox’s “The Cleveland Show.” And that’s animated.

I never thought that I’d have to search so hard on television to find a family that looks like the one I grew up in. My TV experience began in the age in which “The Cosby Show” was the king of television viewing among black and white families alike. Twenty years later, after the Huxtables went off the air, not one show on any of the major networks can even remotely challenge its place as the standard of black family life.

Instead of a real look at black culture, Hispanic culture or any specific culture, we get “uniculture.” That’s how Felicia Henderson, creator of the Showtime series “Soul Food” and a newly minted executive producer of a BET family sitcom “Reed Between the Lines,” describes much of our current television universe. Henderson, who has served as a writer and producer for shows such as “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Gossip Girl” and “Fringe,” says the major networks often show diverse casts, but not true cultural differences. “I celebrate multicultural casting, but my concern is that these shows and these characters are only physically multicultural, physically multiethnic,” she says.

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Katherine + Bree

Lawsuit Claims Race Bias at Wet Seal Retail Chain

Three former managers at Wet Seal, a nationwide apparel retailer for young women, filed a federal race discrimination lawsuit on Thursday, asserting that the company had a high-level policy of firing and denying pay increases and promotions to African-American employees because they did not fit its “brand image.”

The lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., includes a copy of a March 2009 e-mail sent by the company’s then senior vice president for store operations to lower-level managers after she had inspected several stores. The email said, “African American dominate — huge issue.”

One plaintiff, Nicole Cogdell, the African-American former manager of a Wet Seal store in King of Prussia, Pa., said the company terminated her the day after that e-mail was sent. She said that she had heard the senior vice president, Barbara Bachman, tell a district manager that she wanted someone with “blond hair and blue eyes.”

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Alaska town elects a cat for mayor.

TALKEETNA, Alaska, July 15 (UPI) -- A cat named Stubbs has been the mayor of a small Alaskan town for about 15 years, locals say.

Known locally as "Mayor Stubbs," the part-manx was named mayor of Talkeetna shortly after he was born, KTUU-TV, Anchorage, Alaska, reported.

As the story goes, about 15 years ago, some residents of Talkeetna were unhappy with the candidates who were running for mayor, so as a joke, they encouraged others to elect Stubbs the cat as a write-in candidate, and he actually won.

Since then, he has held the title of honorary mayor.

Stubbs mostly hangs out at Nagley's General Store, where thousands of tourists ask to see him every year, the report said.

"Oh my gosh, we probably have 30 to 40 people a day come in who are tourists wanting to see him," said Lauri Stec, who works at Nagley's.

Source: http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2012/07/15/Alaska-town-elects-a-cat-for-mayor/UPI-92141342368115/

OP: Makes purr-fect sense to me.

The woman who stood up to Joe Paterno

(CNN) -- Vicky Triponey knows all too well the power Penn State's late football coach, Joe Paterno, held for more than half a century over the insular slice of central Pennsylvania that calls itself Happy Valley.

She experienced firsthand the clubby, jock-snapping culture, the sense of entitlement, the cloistered existence. It's what drove her five years ago from her job as the vice president who oversaw student discipline.

She was told she was too aggressive, too confrontational, that she wasn't fitting in with "the Penn State way."

She clashed often with Paterno over who should discipline football players when they got into trouble. The conflict with such an iconic figure made her very unpopular around campus. For a while, it cost Triponey her peace of mind and her good name. It almost ended her 30-year academic career.

Another person might have felt vindicated, smug or self-righteous when former FBI Director Louis Freeh delivered the scathing report on his eight-month investigation of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal. But Triponey sensed only a deep sadness.

The inquiry, commissioned by the board of trustees, exposed how the personal failings of Paterno and three other Penn State leaders -- along with the university's football-first culture -- empowered an assistant football coach who molested fatherless boys for more than a decade.

"There's no joy," Triponey told CNN as she sat down for an interview Friday, the day after the Freeh report was released. She said she found solace in the public recognition of Penn State's "culture of reverence for the football program," as the report phrased it, and that it is "ingrained at all levels of the campus community." Freeh found that the culture contributed to the Sandusky scandal.

She agrees with Freeh's suggestion that the university's trustees lead an effort to "vigorously examine and understand" Penn State's culture, why it's so resistant to outside perspectives and why it places such an "excessive focus on athletics."
"It's comforting to know that others can now understand," Triponey said. "It didn't have to happen this way."

Her former boss at Wichita State University described Triponey as "a dedicated, ethical professional" who was devastated by her experience at Penn State.

"Vicky knew that she had attempted to do the right thing in disciplining the football players, but she was unable to do so in the Penn State environment," said Gene Hughes, a president emeritus at Wichita State and Northern Arizona University.

At Penn State, Triponey was among the few who stood up to Paterno, the legendary "JoePa" who for 61 years was synonymous with a football program that pumped millions of dollars into Penn State. And she paid dearly for it. At the end, nobody at the top backed her. And it didn't seem to matter to anyone whether she was right, or even if she had a point.

At the heart of the problem, the Freeh report stated, were university leaders eager to please Paterno above all else, a rubber-stamp board of trustees, a president who discouraged dissent and an administration that was preoccupied with appearances and spin.

Triponey has been saying that since 2005.

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Joe Biden: "Obama 'Has A Big Stick. I Promise You'".

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at length in defense of President Obama's foreign policy on Thursday, managing to draw snickers for a comment about the commander in chief's "big stick."

"I promise you, the president has a big stick," Biden said, after quoting President Teddy Roosevelt's enduring foreign policy advice to "speak softly and carry a big stick."

The audience at New York University responded with scattered laughter.

"I promise you," Biden repeated, deadpanning.

The Associated Press reports on the more mature and substantive content of Biden's speech:

The vice president said Obama had met the foreign policy challenges facing the United States in the 21st century, including ending the war in Iraq and ordering the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.

He said Romney's foreign policy vision is stuck in the Cold War-era.

"Governor Romney is counting on our collective amnesia," Biden said. "But Americans know that we cannot afford to go back to the future."

Source: HuffPo

Quite infuriating.

London Olympics get the Max Factor

Max Factor has unveiled the official make-up look of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012.

Created by award-winning make-up artist and Max Factor UK ambassador Caroline Barnes, the 'Sports Chic' make-up look will be worn by all female athlete and presenter escorts during the 805 victory ceremonies at the 2012 Games, where athletes are presented with their medals.

As you would expect, the Sports Chic beauty look begins with a natural, healthy glow created using Max Factor’s Lasting Performance Foundation, which is then enhanced with regal purple and gold hues inspired by the official costumes designed by Royal College of Art students.

“I wanted it to encompass everything the Games are about,” said Caroline. “So [the Sports Chic look] represents wellbeing; it’s natural and fresh and will give each of the wearers a lovely healthy glow.”

While gold and purple colours may sound like a glitzy combination, even for the Olympic Games, variations of both hues work will with any skin-tone, particularly around the eyes as Caroline has done, pairing Max Factor’s Coco Crazy Eye Trio (RRP £6.99) and the brand’s Liquid Effect Pencil in Violet Voltage (RRP £6.99).

“The eyes of the world will be on London this year and I’m so proud that my make-up design will be a part of something as big as the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” continued Caroline.



Florida Lieutenant Governor: ‘Black Women Who Look Like Me’ Don’t Have Lesbian Relationships

Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll (R) — a former Florida state representative and a Romney surrogate — has been accused of having a sexual relationship with one of her female aides. Carroll denies that the affair ever happened, but her response to the controversy relies on a line of reasoning that simply wouldn’t hold if she were accused of having a relationship with a male aide:

CARROLL: "The problem is that when you have these accusations that come out, it’s not just one person you’re attacking. It’s an entire family. My husband doesn’t want to hear that. He knows the type of woman I am. I mean, my kids know the type of woman I am. For twenty-nine years – I’m the one that’s married for twenty-nine years. The accuser is the one that’s been single for a long time. So usually black women that look like me don’t engage in relationships like that."

Regardless of whether the accusation against her is true or false, Carroll’s defense of her character has more to do with disproving the allegations about her sexuality than with disproving the allegations about marital infidelity. Carroll seems to believe that her marriage, her children, and her appearance all prevent her from being capable of having a relationship with a woman — when, of course, none of these factors is actually a precursor to heterosexuality.

Source: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/07/16/520661/florida-lieutenant-governor-black-women-who-look-like-me-dont-have-lesbian-relationships/

Rutland County, Vermont Republicans Apologize For Racist Facebook Pos

A county Republican Party chairman in Vermont apologized Monday afternoon for a racist statement that had appeared on the county GOP's Facebook page.

The apology came after Green Mountain Daily reported Sunday that the Rutland County GOP had posted the joke on their Facebook page, generating a series of negative comments. The post and comments have since been removed from the page. The post read:

"Just wanted to let you know -- today I received my 2012 Social Security Stimulus Package. It contained two tomato seeds, cornbread mix, a prayer rug, a machine to blow smoke up my butt, 2 discount coupons to KFC, an "Obama Hope & Change" bumper sticker, and a "Blame it on Bush" poster for the front yard. The directions were in Spanish. Watch for yours soon."

Green Mountain Daily also posted three comments that the Rutland County GOP had posted on the original Facebook post in response to comments opposing the joke -- which has been circulated on the internet. In one, the county GOP said "comedy is usually based in reality .... call it racist if you must ..... not too far off from the truth." The author of the comments for the Republican Party is not identified.

In a statement posted Monday, county Republican Chairman Rob Towle apologized for the Facebook post, saying that the party had not written the original post and was trying to showcase frustration with the economy:

"I totally regret that some members of the Democratic party were offended by the satirical post on this page yesterday. There were some that commented on the post that they did not see how the possibly inflammatory comments were anything other political commentary. This page is not the original author and the intent was to show the author's frustration at the current economic situation that he/she finds themselves in.

I realize now that there are those that were deeply offended and for that I am very saddened and I will make sure that our editoral process will result in posts to our pages that reflect the spirit of good natured political discussions. My hope is that we can get back to the critical dialog necessary to move Vermont and the US back towards economic prosperity."

Vermont Democratic Party Chairman Jake Perkinson described the post as "appalling" and demanded an apology from state Republicans. Perkinson also compared the incident to last week's comments by Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) at a fundraiser for Vermont Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock where he compared the IRS's role under the Affordable Care Act to the Nazi Gestapo.

Scientist Salarian :: Mordin Solus

FDA approves Truvada, the first pill to help prevent HIV

WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the first drug shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection, a milestone in the 30-year battle against the virus that causes AIDS.

More info on the FDA approval here

For some actual info on the drug:

Implications of the Drug That Can Prevent 90% of HIV Infections

In April of 1984, three years after the Centers for Disease Control first announced a spate of rare, virulent infections among gay men in Los Angeles, Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler stood before a gaggle of Washington reporters and predicted that an AIDS vaccine would be soon in coming. She was hoping to quell the maelstrom of misinformation and fear that gripped the country as landlords evicted HIV-positive tenants, hemophilic children were banned from school, and San Francisco police officers donned masks and gloves while working beats in the Castro. Give it two years, Heckler assured the assembled cameras. "Yet another terrible disease is about to yield to patience, persistence, and outright genius."

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While this seems like it belongs on ONTD_science, I figured ONTD_p would appreciate the political and social ramifications of this.

(no subject)

Pregnancy No Barrier to Malaysian’s Olympic Journey

KUALA LUMPUR — As she prepares to make her Olympic debut later this month, Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi’s greatest fear is not that she may succumb to the pressure that comes with being the first woman to represent Malaysia in shooting.

Rather, Nur Suryani is worried about whether the baby girl inside her will kick just as she pulls the trigger: The Olympian will be eight months pregnant when she competes.

The 29-year-old Malaysian, who is ranked 47th in the world in the 10-meter air rifle event, is set to join an exclusive club of women who have competed in the Olympics while pregnant.

The International Olympic Committee does not keep records on the number of pregnant athletes, but a search of news reports suggests that only three other pregnant women have competed in the Olympics, all of them in the Winter Games. And Nur Suryani looks likely to set the record for the most heavily pregnant competitor in Olympic history.

Shooting may be less strenuous on a pregnant body than many other sports, but it is also a sport in which fortunes can hinge on fractions of millimeters, with breathing, balance and concentration considered paramount.

Nur Suryani has a solution when she steps onto the rifle range in London: “I will talk to her, say, ‘Mum is going to shoot just for a while. Can you just be calm?”’

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Boo on the men who were so ~concerned~ about her health, but MASSIVE yay to this awesome woman. She sounds like she's going places!