August 17th, 2012

  • qable

Texan lawmakers forgot to read the fine print

Texas Loses Entire Women's Health Program Over Planned Parenthood Law

The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Thursday that it will cut off all Medicaid funding for family planning to the state of Texas, following Gov. Rick Perry's (R) decision to implement a new law that excludes Planned Parenthood from the state's Medicaid Women's Health Program.

Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations (CMSO), wrote Texas health officials a letter on Thursday explaining that the state broke federal Medicaid rules by discriminating against qualified family planning providers and thus would be losing the entire program, which provides cancer screenings, contraceptives and basic health care to 130,000 low-income women each year.

"We very much regret the state's decision to implement this rule, which will prevent women enrolled in the program from receiving services from the trusted health care providers they have chosen and relied upon for their care," she wrote. "In light of Texas' actions, CMS is not in a position to extend or renew the current [Medicaid contract]."

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  • koken23

(no subject)

IT WAS the second anniversary of Julia Gillard's famous promise that no government she led would introduce a carbon tax, and Tony Abbott was not about to let that pass without a celebratory bout of denunciation.

He did not calculate, however, on the independent warhorse Tony Windsor dumping a bucket of fermented recollection upon his merriment.

Hardly had Abbott finished a tirade concerning the numerous reasons why Ms Gillard should apologise to the Australian people for leading them up the carbon path than Windsor, quivering with indignation, arose from his crossbench, intent on burying Abbott in his own temerity.

''There's been a lot of discussion today about history,'' he began. ''This is a hung Parliament. The decision to do something about climate change … to put a price on carbon, was a condition of the formation of government.

''The Leader of the Opposition knows that very well, because on a number of occasions, he actually begged for the [prime ministerial] job. Begged for the job. You've never denied that, Tony, and you won't.

''He begged for the job, and he made the point, not only to me but to others who were in that negotiating period, that he would do anything to get that job. Anything to get that job.

''You would well remember, and your colleagues should be aware, that the only codicil you put on that was, 'I will do anything, Tony, to get this job. The only thing I won't do is sell my arse'.''

The House of Representatives dissolved into a tumult of whoops and guffaws from the government benches, where the word ''arse'' had apparently never previously passed a lip, and howling indignation from the opposition side.

But Windsor was simply building to his climax.

Abbott, he accused, was so desperate he would have agreed to put in place an emissions trading scheme or a carbon tax … if he had been asked. ''The fact that he wasn't asked is something of very, very good judgment, in my view. I'm very proud to have supported the price on carbon, I'm very proud to have supported doing something about climate change, and I think history will judge those who have had the guts to stand up and actually try and address what is a very difficult issue in a difficult Parliament.

''This man, the Leader of the Opposition, would have been quite prepared to do that if he'd been given the nod.

''You're an absolute disgrace,'' he roared at Abbott, ''in the way in which you're wandering around on this issue.''

Abbott later protested that there were plenty of things he would not have done to become prime minister, and one of them was that he would never have broken his pre-election promise not to introduce a carbon tax. Not like that dreadful Ms Gillard.

By then, however, the steam had quite gone out of the festivities he had planned to mark the second anniversary of the Prime Minister's abiding discomfiture.

Tony Windsor, the old National Party man gone feral, sat down, looking perfectly content that he had wrecked Tony Abbott's party. Again.



Regardless of anyone's feelings on politics or on climate policy in general, I think we can all agree...ooooooh, BURN.

The ugly presidential campaign, and Romney’s welfare gambit

The ugly presidential campaign

The umbrage industry is working overtime this week.

Mitt Romney, the Republicans’ presidential standard-bearer, is so outraged by President Obama’s attacks that he called the president a hater: “Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting America.”

On Wednesday afternoon, John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, re-tweeted an article by The Washington Post’s Dan Balz titled, “A most poisonous campaign.” McCain added his opinion: “I agree — it’s the worst I’ve ever seen.”

That’s the same conclusion that conservative commentator Brit Hume drew for his Fox News Channel viewers on Tuesday night. “This is about as ugly as I’ve seen it get,” he said.

Forgive me, but I’m not prepared to join this walk down Great Umbrage Street just yet. Collapse )


Romney’s welfare gambit

Mitt Romney has finally figured out what to do with his vanquished rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. They will be his senior advisers on race relations.

Both gentlemen are eminently qualified for this role.

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hoechlin: smiley

Andrew Shirvell slapped with $4.5 million in damages in defamation suit

Shirvell ordered to pay $4.5M in damages for slamming gay U-M student body president in blog
By David Jesse

A former state assistant attorney general will have to pay $4.5 million in damages after a federal jury ruled his blog attacking a University of Michigan student body president for his “radical homosexual agenda” went too far.

Andrew Shirvell, a 2002 U-M alumnus drew national attention for his blog, which he published in 2010, attacking then-U-M student body president Chris Armstrong.

The blog – the “Chris Armstrong Watch” – was filled with posts made by Shirvell, including ones calling Armstrong, who was the first openly gay student body president at U-M, “Satan’s representative on the student assembly” and a “privileged pervert.”

Armstrong sued in 2011, alleging Shirvell defamed him; invaded his privacy and stalked him.

The two fought viciously in court for nearly a year before a week-long trial began last week. The jury got the case late Wednesday and deliberated for most of the day Thursday.

Armstrong won on all counts and was awarded $4.5 million, Armstrong’s attorney Deborah Gordon told the Free Press.

Shirvell was unable to be reached immediately for comment.

hoechlin: smiley

Todd Akin wants to halt federal funding for school lunches

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) — who is running for Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-MO) Senate seat — told reporters on Thursday that the federal government should “end its support for school lunch programs,” suggesting that states should fund the effort:

“There’s another good question of who should be doing that,” Akin said during the discussion with reporters. “Is that something the federal government should be doing? I answer it no — why not do it at the state level?”

“I am not against school lunches, but I have a question of whether or not the federal government should be doing many things it is doing, and that would be one I would take a look at.”

In 2011, “more than 31.8 million children each day got their lunch through the National School Lunch Program” — a federally assisted meal program that is currently “operating in over 100,000 public and non‐profit private schools and residential child care institutions.” Under the measure, “children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free meals,” while those “with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced‐price meals, for which students can be charged no more than 40 cents.”

The House Agriculture Committee has marked up a “compromise” version of this year’s farm bill — but it includes cuts to food stamps and the school lunch program. According to the Congressional Budget Office, such reductions could knock 280,000 children off of the free school lunch program. The Senate has adopted a farm bill, but the House has yet to move its version to the floor.

  • misao7

Soledad O'Brien has bigger balls than you

CNN's Soledad O'Brien did something which is extremely rare in television news these days: she actually did her job. And it was the best example of truly awesome journalism I've seen since Katie Couric so deftly gave Sarah Palin the opportunity in 2008 to destroy herself. Perhaps, given the unprecedented polarization and partisan vitriol in politics today, coupled with the right-wing's propaganda campaign of lies and distortion, we just might see a return of the mainstream media as a potent force in this heated election.
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huffpo sauce | video from youtube
hoechlin: smiley

Welp: Moscow bans gay prides for a century

Gay parades banned in Moscow for 100 years
Moscow's top court has upheld a ban on gay pride marches in the Russian capital for the next 100 years.

Earlier Russia's best-known gay rights campaigner, Nikolay Alexeyev, had gone to court hoping to overturn the city council's ban on gay parades.

He had asked for the right to stage such parades for the next 100 years.

He also opposes St Petersburg's ban on spreading "homosexual propaganda". The European Court of Human Rights has told Russia to pay him damages.

On Friday he said he would go back to the European Court in Strasbourg to push for a recognition that Moscow's ban on gay pride marches - past, present and future - was unjust.

The Moscow city government argues that the gay parade would risk causing public disorder and that most Muscovites do not support such an event.

In September, the Council of Europe - the main human rights watchdog in Europe - will examine Russia's response to a previous European Court ruling on the gay rights issue, Russian media report.

In October 2010 the court said Russia had discriminated against Mr Alexeyev on grounds of sexual orientation. It had considered Moscow's ban on gay parades covering the period 2006-2008.

comedy | Condescending Wonka

Rage Against the Machine's guitarist blasts Romney's VP pick and unlikely Rage fan

Last week, Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan, the Republican architect of Congress's radical right-wing budget plan, as his running mate. Ryan has previously cited Rage Against the Machine as one of his favorite bands. Rage guitarist Tom Morello responds in this exclusive op-ed.

By Tom Morello:

Paul Ryan's love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades. Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn't understand them. Governor Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen but doesn't understand him. And Paul Ryan is clueless about his favorite band, Rage Against the Machine.

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Fear the Hat!

Bank of Canada slammed for removing image of Asian-looking woman from new $100 banknotes

Bank of Canada slammed for removing image of Asian-looking woman from new $100 banknotes

By: Dean Beeby, The Canadian Press

A spokesperson for the Chinese Canadian National Council has slammed the Bank of Canada for purging the image of an Asian-looking woman from its new $100 banknotes after focus groups raised questions about her ethnicity.

"The Bank of Canada apparently took seriously ... racist comments and feedback from the focus groups and withdrew the image," said May Lui, interim executive director of the group's Toronto chapter.

"That was upsetting simply because of the history and longevity of Chinese-Canadians in this country."
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OP Says: So in order to draw someone with "neutral features," they drew a caucasian. Of course they did.

In Tony Nicklinson's heroic suffering, I can't help but see the case for life

It is harrowing to watch the anguish of a man who wants to end his life but cannot – yet his message somehow backfires

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Source: The Guardian

OP: Honestly, I wasn't expecting this from the Guardian (even though they do like to be edgy at times). The man is suffering and wishes to make a choice regarding his own body and his own life, he is not a static display in an art gallery.
mus | like a bird in a cage

Man wants phone back after videotaping arrest

An Edmonton man wants police to return an iPhone that he says was seized by an officer while he was videotaping an arrest.

Corey Maygard, 25, captured the video last Friday because he thought police were using excessive force to detain a man near the Salvation Army in downtown Edmonton.

"They had the one guy somewhat hog-tied behind his back," Maygard said. "And they were dragging him."

Maygard says one of the officers approached and told him to stop recording. He refused.

"He at that point turned me around, read me my rights," Maygard said. "Took my phone. Turned the video off and arrested me for obstruction of justice."

Maygard was taken to downtown police headquarters where he spent the night in cells. The charge was withdrawn in court on Monday.

"There is nothing that prevents an individual from videoing an event that's taking place in public," his lawyer Danny Lynn said.

The court ordered police to return all of Maygard's belongings, including his iPhone. However, the phone hasn't yet been found.

Police say the information isn't yet in their property and exhibit system. This can take time as there is a large amount of property that needs to be processed each day.

They say they are doing their best to track it down as soon as possible.

[fútbol] Alexis Sánchez
  • aviv

Pussy Riot sentenced to two years in prison colony for hooliganism

Punk band members Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich jailed amid global protests

Three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot have been found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced to two years in a prison colony.

Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, were handed the sentence by a judge in Moscow amid a wave of protests around the world.

The three stared ahead defiantly from inside a glass cage, their wrists shackled in handcuffs, as the verdict was read. Supporters and opposition activists blamed the case against the women – and the tough sentence – on Vladimir Putin.

"Whatever Putin wants, Putin gets. That is the only thing to say," Tolokonnikova's husband, Pyotr Verzilov, said on leaving the court.

Hundreds of people, many wearing Pussy Riot T-shirts, gathered outside the court to protest against the verdict. "We're trying to remain peaceful," said Maya Trapeznikova, 25. "But many are reaching their limits and waiting for the order to fight," she said of the growing movement against Putin.

The judge said in the verdict that the three band members "committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred" and offended religious believers.

The trio were arrested in March after a guerrilla performance in Moscow's main cathedral calling for the Virgin Mary to protect Russia against Vladimir Putin, who was elected to a new term as Russia's president two weeks later.

Russian police have rounded up pro-Pussy Riot protesters, including the former world chess champion Garry Kasparov and leftist opposition group leader Sergei Udaltsov after one of the most closely watched court cases in recent Russian history.

Hundreds of Pussy Riot supporters filled a narrow street outside the court where the verdict was delivered, chanting "Russia without Putin!" amid a heavy police presence.

The case has attracted international attention as an emblem of Russia's intolerance of dissent. It also underlines the vast influence of the Russian Orthodox church. Although church and state are formally separate, the church sees itself as the heart of Russian national identity and critics say its strength effectively makes it a quasi-state entity.

Celebrities including Paul McCartney, Madonna and Björk have called for the women to be freed and protests timed for just before the verdict or soon afterward were planned in more than three dozen cities worldwide.

Prosecutors had asked for three-year sentences, and Putin said he hoped the sentencing was not "too severe".

Before Friday's proceedings began, the defence lawyer Nikolai Polozov said the women "hope for an acquittal but they are ready to continue to fight".

The case has come after several laws were passed to crack down on opposition, including one that raised the fine for taking part in unauthorised demonstrations 150-fold to 300,000 rubles (about £6,000). Another measure requires non-government organisations that engage in vaguely defined political activity and receive funding from abroad to register as "foreign agents".

Source has video

Lupin/Tonks DH1 Anxious

Todd Akin Suggests the Voting Rights Act of 1965 should be overturned

Rep. Todd Akin, the GOP’s candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri, suggested in an interview that it was time to “look at or overturn” the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Asked directly if seminal federal civil rights legislation that prohibits discriminatory voting procedures needed to be modified or scrapped, Akin said that states — not the federal government — should set voting rules. According to Akin, elections “have historically always been a state thing” and that’s a “good principle.”

Here’s how Fox 2 previewed the story on Twitter:

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits the states from implementing voting procedures that “discriminate on the basis of race, color or membership in a language minority group.” The law built on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.”

Akin has a reputation for extreme views on a variety of topics.

Fox 2 is scheduled to release more of their interview with Akin on Sunday.

Update: Akin issues a statement to Fox 2: “Congressman Todd Akin believes that the right to vote is fundamental to our country. He supports laws that protect these rights and did not say that he was opposed to the ‘civil rights and voting rights’ laws. Akin has, and always will, support the right to vote.”

source with video
source with slightly different video