September 19th, 2012


Romney Campaign Borrowed $20 Million

Before the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney was the Republican nominee in all but name. By law, however, he could only spend primary donations until he officially became nominee. To increase cash flow during the interregnum, the Romney campaign borrowed $20 million.

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i don't think it crazy scandalous or anything, but everything that keeps coming out is giving me life
absinthe, wormwood

AKA: Why our crime dramas tend to be a bit dull

Why British Police don't have guns

The deaths of two female police constables have brought into focus the unarmed status of most British police. Why does Britain hold firm against issuing guns to officers on the beat?

It's the single most obvious feature that sets the British bobby apart from their counterparts overseas.

Tourists and visitors regularly express surprise at the absence of firearms from the waists of officers patrolling the streets.

But to most inhabitants of the UK - with the notable exception of Northern Ireland - it is a normal, unremarkable state of affairs that most front-line officers do not carry guns.

Unremarkable, that is, until unarmed officers like Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone are killed in the line of duty. There are always those who question why Britain is out of step with most of the rest of the world, with the exceptions of the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and a handful of other nations.

Film director Michael Winner, founder of the Police Memorial Trust, and Toy Rayner, the former chairman of Essex Police Federation, have both called for officers to be routinely armed.

View from a bobby

A police constable serving in a city in southern England gives his view:

"I have been in the police for 12 years, before that I was in the Army. I would happily carry a gun if the decision was made but it won't ever happen.

"I don't think practically it could work because of the training. Officers in this country are highly trained and this would extend to firearms training, too. But, at the moment, with all the cuts, we can't put enough officers in the cars, let alone give them firearms training.

"Also, the police in this country are always under so much scrutiny. Look at the issue of Tasers, the civil liberty groups think they are one of the most inhumane things going.

"I was previously injured badly in an assault. My colleague and I feared for our lives - thankfully other officers came to our aid. I don't think a gun - or a Taser for that matter - would have helped us in that situation. Communication is one of the best tools, and to be honest, having a gun could make an officer feel over-confident."

View from Louisiana

Colonel Richie Johnson West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office

"What does a British police officer do if someone comes out with a knife? Is he supposed to get out his knife and fight him?

"Our citizens are armed - even the bad ones. The criminal element here is better armed than the police departments most of the times, due to budget constraints.

"It would be impossible for us to do our job if we weren't armed. I'd have to quit. I worked narcotics for 20 years and definitely in that field, how would you do that job without being armed? Even as a patrolman, you're reactive. The other guy knows what he's going to do. It definitely has to be armed when you have to be reactive.

"The public expects us to be armed - when they call in the cavalry that's exactly what they want. The general public, because of television, they believe that we're a lot better armed than we really are. You respond to a call and they say 'Where's your machine gun?'"

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Personally I'm completely against the police carrying guns, or tasers, or using 'soft' options like rubber bullets and water cannon, for that matter as I think the Peelian Principles are pretty on the mark.
Chanel #3

Canada’s families shifting from marriage to common-law, same-sex couples increasing

OTTAWA — The sanctity of marriage as the bedrock of the Canadian family is steadily eroding as the country’s social fabric evolves, new census data released Wednesday reveals.

Instead, although married couples are still the norm — about two thirds of families — their numbers are lagging and only increased by 3.1 per cent between 2006 and 2011.

In contrast, the number of common-law couples rose by 13.9 per cent and lone-parent families rose by eight per cent over the same period.

The shift means that common-law couples now account for 16.7 per cent of all families, and lone-parent families now represent 16.3 per cent of the total.

Meanwhile, in another trend reflective of the changing social landscape, same-sex couples are increasingly settling down together. Notably, the number of same-sex marriages tripled between 2006 and 2011, the first five-year period during which they could legally tie the knot in Canada.

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WTF is that first sentence?

Pride & Prejudice

'Cold-blooded murder': Policewomen die in grenade attack

Two unarmed female police officers were killed in a rare grenade and gun attack with links to organised crime Tuesday in an incident that has reopened the debate on arming the British police.

A 29-year-old man wanted for two previous murders has been arrested in connection with the killings in Tameside, Greater Manchester, northwestern England, after handing himself in at a police station.

British Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to the two officers, saying their deaths were a "shocking reminder of the debt we owe to those who put themselves in danger to keep us safe and secure."

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The Gang
  • acmeeoy

The lesser evil for teachers?

Rhode Island teacher Brian Chidester looks at the record of the Obama administration--and challenges the Democrats' claim to be champions of public schools.

ELECTION SEASON is upon us again. And once again, we are told that we must tremble in fear of what might happen in the event of a victory of the Republican. by the Greater Evil. Yes, we know, we're not happy with you know who, but it will be so much worse if the other guy wins. Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before.

As a teacher whose career spans the Bush and Obama administrations, I've seen this pattern time and again. What we call "lesser evilism"--the appeal to vote for the "lesser evil" among two candidates in order to prevent the victory of the "greater evil"--is the stock-in-trade of liberalism, particularly among leaders of the labor movement. It comes up every four years at least, if not more often than that. Will 2012 be different?

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TV - ANTM - Allison

Chick-fil-A agrees to stop funding anti-gay groups, Chicago alderman says


Joe Moreno, the alderman whose opposition of a proposed Chick-fil-A on Chicago's north side helped fuel the controversy, told the Chicago Tribune the company has pledged to include a statement of respect for all sexual orientations in a memo to staffers and has promised that the WinShape Foundations, its not-for-profit arm, would no longer contribute money to groups that oppose gay marriage. Moreno said he will recommend that Chick-fil-A's construction plans be approved.

The memo, "Chick-fil-A: Who We Are," will be distributed to all corporate employees and restaurant operators, encouraging them to "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect--regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender," Moreno said.

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Hmmm...wonder if they're serious.
Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

Tests Only Identify Zimmerman's DNA on Handgun

By MIKE SCHNEIDER Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. September 19, 2012 (AP)

Forensic tests made public Wednesday show that George Zimmerman's was the only DNA that could be identified on the grip of the gun used to fatally shoot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The results rule out Martin's DNA from being on the gun's grip. Zimmerman's DNA also was identified on the gun's holster, but no determination could be made as to whether Martin's DNA was on the gun's holster, according to the report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting Martin during a confrontation in a gated community in Sanford in February. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense.

A delay in Zimmerman's arrest led to nationwide protests.

The question of whose DNA is on the gun and holster could play a role in Zimmerman's defense.

Zimmerman says Martin had been on top of him, slamming his head against the ground and smothering his mouth and nose with his hand and arm when he grabbed his gun from a holster on his waist before Martin could get it. He shot the teenager once in the chest.

Other documents released by prosecutors Wednesday include an interview with the clerk of a convenience store where Martin purchased Skittles and a can of iced tea moments before his confrontation with Zimmerman. The clerk said in the interview, more than a month after Martin was shot, that he didn't remember Martin.

"To be honest, I don't even remember that day," said the clerk, whose name was redacted from the audio interview.

Prosecutors also released hundreds of emails sent to then-Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee whose agency came under fire when Zimmerman wasn't immediately arrested. An email dated more than a week after Martin's death from a resident of the development where Zimmerman was the neighborhood watch leader thanked Lee for attending a recent association meeting. The email's author, Molly Jackson, said in an interview Wednesday that Zimmerman wasn't present at that association meeting.


In the news that surprises nobody with a brain.
TV - ANTM - Allison

12-Year-Old Coloradan Boy Writes Letter To Romney Saying His 'Plan For America Isn't What We Need'


Although Gov. Mitt Romney has largely confounded the media while trying to sway voters over to his increasingly difficult to pinpoint health care plan, his comments are not evading one 12-year-old Coloradan.

Last week Jackson Ripley was watching political news coverage with his mom about pre-existing health care when he suddenly got up and decided it was time to write a letter to Romney.

The letter begins (Editor note: all text from letter remains unedited):

Dear Governor Romney, I’d like to say congratulations on winning the republican nomination. But, I wish you stayed in Massachusetts. You’re plan for America isn’t what we need, and would hurt us more than it would help.

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Source has a couple videos, but I haven't watched them since I'm at work

Mods, no Obamacare or Affordable Healthcare Act tag?
deelieboppers sharpened

Romney's mom hits the mainstream(ish?) media

[Photo: Mitt Romney reads on his campaign bus earlier this year. A 1960s campaign poster supporting his father, George, is behind him.Gerald Herbert/AP]

Mitt Romney reads on his campaign bus earlier this year. A 1960s campaign poster supporting his father, George, is behind him.As Mitt Romney continues to deal with fallout from the secretly recorded "47 percent" fundraiser video that's gone viral, in which he dissed half the nation, more attention is being given to another recording featuring another Romney — his mother, Lenore.

President John F. Kennedy was in the White House in 1962 when the current Republican presidential nominee's mother sat down for an interview to speak on behalf of her husband, George, who was then making his first run to be Michigan's governor.

Buzzfeed's Andrew Kaczynski posted the video online on Sept. 7, well before the former Massachusetts governor's controversial comments about Obama supporters began to get widespread coverage. Buzzfeed describes the interview as an infomercial. Jon Stewart used a snip of the old footage of presidential candidate's mother on The Daily Show Tuesday. (It starts at about the 4:48 mark.)


George Romney, born into a family that saw its fortunes decline when he was a child because of political unrest in Mexico, where he was born, became relatively wealthy as an adult. He was chief executive of American Motors Co.

This led the 1962 interviewer to ask Mrs. Romney how her husband could relate to common people — given the high station he had achieved.


INTERVIEWER: "There are those who say that since he's a man of considerable means he really doesn't care about people."

What's ironic, of course, is that the same question has been asked about her son ever since his first political campaign in 1994, when he ran for U.S. Senate.

Back to her interview.

LENORE ROMNEY: "You know we've only owned our home for the last four years. He was a refugee from Mexico. He was on relief, welfare relief for the first years of his life. But this great country gave him opportunities.

"The family was poor. He said they lived for a year on nothing but potatoes. He's known what it is to have to work for every dime he's had since he was 12."

The fact that the Republican presidential nominee's mother mentioned her husband's childhood on public assistance as part of her pitch to voters shows, if nothing else, how far the nation has moved on the welfare issue since the 1960s. George Romney won the 1962 gubernatorial election, the first of three he would win.

The story of how young George came to be on welfare is fascinating in its own right and is told in the biography "The Real Romney" by journalists Michael Kranish and Scott Helman.

The presidential nominee's great-grandfather Miles was asked in the late 1880s by Mormon officials to go to Mexico to create a colony where Mormons could practice polygamy far from the harassment of U.S. officials. It was there that Mitt Romney's grandfather Gaskell and father, George, were born into an increasingly prosperous family and Mormon community.

But in 1912, George, then 5, and his family fled, with thousands of other Mormons, to the U.S. — chased out by Mexican rebels and largely leaving their wealth behind.

"The Real Romney" reports:

"Fortunately for the Romneys, the U.S. government, which had once chased Miles to Mexico due to his polygamy, now welcomed the Romneys and other Mormons to the United States. Congress established a $100,000 relief fund that enabled the Romneys and other Mormon exiles to receive food and lodging. Initially, the [Romneys'] stay on U.S. soil was to be temporary. The El Paso Herald reported on October 25, 1912, that Gaskell Romney and his family, including little George, had gone to Los Angeles 'until it is safe for his family to return to the colonies in Mexico.' But Gaskell's family would never return to live there and made only a sentimental trip years later. Had they returned for good, Mitt Romney may never have been in a position to run for president."

Instead, he was in a position to run for president. That's how he came to be in that Boca Raton house at that May fundraiser where he made the "47 percent" comment and others that he's now trying to put behind him.


Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Beijing hints at bond attack on Japan

Beijing hints at bond attack on Japan
A senior advisor to the Chinese government has called for an attack on the Japanese bond market to precipitate a funding crisis and bring the country to its knees, unless Tokyo reverses its decision to nationalise the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea.

Jin Baisong from the Chinese Academy of International Trade – a branch of the commerce ministry – said China should use its power as Japan’s biggest creditor with $230bn (£141bn) of bonds to “impose sanctions on Japan in the most effective manner” and bring Tokyo’s festering fiscal crisis to a head.

Writing in the Communist Party newspaper China Daily, Mr Jin called on China to invoke the “security exception” rule under the World Trade Organisation to punish Japan, rejecting arguments that a trade war between the two Pacific giants would be mutually destructive.

Separately, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported that China is drawing up plans to cut off Japan’s supplies of rare earth metals needed for hi-tech industry.

The warnings came as anti-Japanese protests spread to 85 cities across China, forcing Japanese companies to shutter factories and suspend operations.

Fitch Ratings threatened to downgrade a clutch of Japanese exporters if the clash drags on. It warned that Nissan is heavily at risk with 26pc of its global car sales in China, followed by Honda with 20pc. Sharp and Panasonic both have major exposure. Japan’s exports to China were $74bn in the first half of this year. Bilateral trade reached $345bn last year.

Mr Jin said China can afford to sacrifice its “low-value-added” exports to Japan at a small cost. By contrast, Japan relies on Chinese demand to keep its economy afloat and stave off “irreversible” decline.

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This would be all kinds of NOT GOOD if China did it - one blog post I read on this said that if China did do this to try and economically cripple Japan, Japan could turn around and sell off all the US bonds it held in an attempt to halt the damage (and to force the US to intervene), which would pretty much trigger a collapse of the US economy.

Tensions are really starting to ride high - there have been all those anti-Japanese demos in China (including the US Ambassador's car getting attacked and protesters attacking police in Shanghai) and today, there was a fire set at the gate to a Chinese school in Kobe.

Romney ad features miners allegedly forced to attend rally

WASHINGTON -- On Wednesday, the Mitt Romney campaign released an ad spotlighting President Obama’s putative "War On Coal," despite a controversy in Ohio about the coal miners’ rally featured in the spot. In the ad, Romney appears on a stage before rows of hard-hatted miners, their faces smudged with coal dust, as he says, “We have 250 years of coal. Why wouldn’t we use it?”

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