October 5th, 2012

The Gang
  • acmeeoy

Expanding the Debate - 3rd Party Responses to Debate Questions

As President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney squared off in their first debate, Democracy Now! produced a three-hour special, Expanding the Debate. We aired the Obama/Romney debate and paused after questions to include responses from two presidential contenders who were shut out of the official debate: Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party.

The special broadcast also featured interviews with George Farah, founder and Executive Director of Open Debates about how the Republican and Democratic parties secretly control the presidential debates; Vincent Harding, friend, colleague and former speechwriter of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Miriam Peña executive director of the Colorado Progressive Coalition.


Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Rolling Past a Line, Often by Exploiting a Rule

Rolling Past a Line, Often by Exploiting a Rule

The familiar drudgery was under way along the security line at Kennedy International Airport on a recent afternoon. Shoes were fumbled off feet, laptops unearthed from satchels and belts tugged from their loops. But mostly people waited, shuffled and waited as they wound their way to the front of the line.

But one couple had a different experience. Pushed along in the wheelchairs each airline provides by request, they whizzed past the line to a specially designated and briskly efficient Transportation Security Administration screener. Once cleared, the woman suddenly sprang up from her wheelchair, hoisted two huge carry-on bags from the magnetometer’s conveyor belt and plopped back in the wheelchair. She gave a nod to the person pushing her, and they rolled off to the gate.

In the modern airport experience, where the tedium of long lines, sudden delays and ever-more-invasive security checks is the norm, little can be done to avoid the frustrations increasingly endemic to travel. So it may be an expected, if uncomfortable, fact that some travelers appear to exploit perhaps the only remaining loophole to a breezy airport experience — the line-cutting privileges given to people who request airport wheelchairs, for which no proof of a disability is required.

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Anybody faking it because they don't want to wait? OMG, I hate you, I really, really hate you. But, I have to admit kinda side-eyeing things like the bit about people suddenly out of nowhere developing a limp - I've had times where I'm trucking along just fine and suddenly mid-step everything goes terribly wrong, so that's not an automatic tell. But still. If you're faking, I hate you.
mus | like a bird in a cage

The Kissing Sailor, or “The Selective Blindness of Rape Culture”

The kissing sailor, Greta Zimmer Friedman, George Mendonsa

Most of us are familiar with this picture. Captured in Times Square on V-J Day, 1945, it has become one of the most iconic photographs of American history, symbolizing the jubilation and exuberance felt throughout the country at the end of World War II.

For a long time, the identity of the pair remained a mystery. It certainly looks passionate and romantic enough, with many speculating that they were a couple – a sailor and a nurse, celebrating and sharing their joy. This year, however, historians have finally confirmed that the woman is Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental nurse at the time, and George Mendonsa, a sailor.

Have a look at some articles about it. Do you get the feeling that something is not quite right?

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the outsiders: church hair
  • ponyboy

LeVar Burton comes for Mitt Romney's Wig

Former "Reading Rainbow" host LeVar Burton is PISSED after Mitt Romney threatened to cut PBS funding last night -- telling TMZ, Romney would be stealing an invaluable educational resource from underprivileged children.

LeVar tells us, "I am personally outraged that any serious contender for the White House would target as part of his campaign the children of America in this fashion."

"Educators across the country, as well as millions of children and adults know that the programming on PBS has been responsible for significant improvements in education, literacy, math, science and life skills for generations of our children."

In case you missed the Presidential debate, Mitt promised to cut funding to PBS claiming it isn't an essential government expense -- but LeVar's firing back, claiming, "PBS represents .00016% of our nation's budget, yet this free resource benefits kids across all economic circumstances."

He adds, "Defunding PBS directly punishes the less fortunate by removing this trusted and extraordinary educational resource available to all."

"On behalf of America's children, I can't stay silent. I encourage you to join me in fighting this short-sighted and frankly mean-spirited attack on our children."


ultimate kylie

'They should've packed their insulin when fleeing genocide'

Just in time for Thanksgiving, a Winnipeg satirist has a video on YouTube "thanking" the federal immigration minister for taking away health benefits from refugees.

Ari Sara Kreindler said her song and slide show Thank You Jason Kenney was inspired by his policy and a petition thanking him for it that was posted on his website.

"When I first heard about the cuts to refugee health care, the policy seemed mean-spirited and potentially damaging to the most vulnerable people," said Kreindler, a provincial health policy researcher who has a PhD. The move is expected to save each Canadian 59 cents a year.

The woman, who's studied at Oxford and has a love for musical theatre, wanted to respond.

"But it seemed too heartbreaking for satire."

Then, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's personal website posted a petition that thanked him for making the cuts.

"We, the undersigned, thank Jason Kenney for his efforts to streamline benefits afforded to refugees (sic) claimants under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) and bring them in line with the benefits received by taxpaying Canadians, including new Canadians," said the petition posted to the website for the Conservative MP for Calgary Southeast.

"When I found out Jason Kenney decided to post a petition thanking himself for the cuts, the idea was pretty pathetic," said Kreindler. "I thought 'I can do a better job of thanking Jason Kenney.' "

She came up with a 1920s-style "cakewalk" ditty and video slide show poking fun at the immigration minister for refusing to cover health-care expenses such as prescription drugs for refugees. The satirical piece has lyrics like "Let's tell those refugees they'll never take us for a ride. They should've packed their insulin when fleeing genocide."

Kenney has not seen the video, said his spokeswoman Alexis Pavlich, who issued a prepared statement.

"The sensible changes we made to the IFH program are widely supported by Canadians," it said. "The changes ensure that bona fide refugees continue to receive comprehensive health coverage."

The federal government stopped providing prescription drugs, prosthetics, eye and vision care to privately sponsored refugees on June 30 and is being sued by Hospitality House Refugee Ministry for breach of contract.

The statement from the minister's office says refugees "no longer receive gold-plated health-care benefits that are more generous than those which Canadian taxpayers, including seniors, receive."

The petition thanking Kenney wasn't apparent on his website Wednesday.

Kreindler's video, meanwhile, is on YouTube. She's performed it at a coffee house, it has aired on CKUW radio and the video has been seen and heard by much larger audiences on the Internet.

"I've never had 3,000 people come out to see the show," said Kreindler, who sings and plays piano.

She's assembled a troupe of family and friends called Just Theatre.

For Thank You Jason Kenney, her mom prepared a slide show to illustrate the song, she said.

It's a heavy subject that needed a light touch to make it more palatable for more people, she said.

"If it's funny, some people are likely to be more motivated to click on it and become aware of the issues."


I wish I could say that I'm surprised he put up a petition thanking himself for this but I'm really not.
kiss my bunny butt

Romney on '47 percent': I was 'completely wrong'

Candidate initially said the comment was 'not elegantly stated'

FISHERSVILLE, Va. — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has described his disparaging remarks about the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes as "not elegantly stated." Now he's calling them "just completely wrong."

Romney had contended that nearly half of Americans consider themselves "victims" and are dependent on government.

In an interview Thursday night with Fox News, Romney was asked what he would have said had the "47 percent" comments come up during his debate the night before with President Barack Obama.

Romney responded that sometimes in campaigning something doesn't come out right and that, quote, "In this case, I said something that's just completely wrong."

The "47 percent" comments came to light in mid-September after the release of a secretly recorded video from a May fundraiser.

By Kasie Hunt, The Associated Press. Updated 10/4/2012 10:57:11 PM ET

arya huh?

Bullied man gets apology - 42 years later

All Robin Tomlin wanted from the North Vancouver School District was an apology — in public.

Tomlin went to school at Argyle Secondary in Lynn Valley 42 years ago, and when he got his yearbook the write-up next to his picture had been changed to just one word: “Fag.”

The school district initially balked at making an apology in public but relented Thursday afternoon.

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Source: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Bullied+whose+yearbook+caption+said+public+apology/7345720/story.html

Scalia: Easy to Rule on Gay Rights, Abortion

With same-sex marriage likely to come before the U.S. Supreme Court this term, one of the court’s most conservative justices, Antonin Scalia, has left no doubt as to how he would rule.

Cases on gay rights and certain other controversial issues are no-brainers for Scalia, he told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., this week.

“The death penalty? Give me a break. It’s easy,” Scalia told the conservative group Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. “Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, part of the court’s liberal wing, said this week the court is likely to take up a case involving the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. Several have been submitted. “I think it’s most likely that we will have that issue before the court toward the end of the current term,” she told an audience at the University of Colorado in Boulder Wednesday, the AP reports.

She said that was why she could not answer a student’s question about whether the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection provisions would apply to sexual orientation, explaining that she could not discuss issues that might come before the court.



Non-Christian prison chaplains chopped by Ottawa

The federal government is cancelling the contracts of non-Christian chaplains at federal prisons, CBC News has learned.

Inmates of other faiths, such as Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jews, will be expected to turn to Christian prison chaplains for religious counsel and guidance, according to the office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who is also responsible for Canada’s penitentiaries.


Toews said he wasn't convinced part-time chaplains from other religions were an appropriate use of taxpayer money and that he would review the policy.

In an email to CBC News, Toews' office says that as a result of the review, the part-time non-Christian chaplains will be let go and the remaining full-time chaplains in prisons will now provide interfaith services and counselling to all inmates.

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Finally! Some transparency from this government. 

Source has a video: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/10/04/bc-non-christian-prison-chaplains-cancelled.html


World of Warcraft hobby sparks US political row

The gaming hobby of a political candidate has become an issue in a state senate race in New England, US.

Maine Republicans have created a webpage revealing that Democrat candidate Colleen Lachowicz plays an orc rogue in World of Warcraft (WoW).

Ms Lachowicz's liking for back-stabbing and poison in WoW raise questions about her "fitness for office", they claim.

Ms Lachowicz has hit back saying the attack showed the Republicans were "out of touch".

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Source - BBC

To our lovely mods - This is the first time I'm attempting to post to this community (though I've been a member for a little bit now). Please don't hesitate to let me know if I need to edit something. Thanks. :)
Shirley Animated

Did Mittens cheat?

Close analysis of video footage suggests he may have had some help in the debate with Barack Obama - in the form of hidden notes

The race for the White House was thrown wide open this week when Mitt Romney emerged as the surprise winner in the first presidential debate.

But close analysis of video footage suggests he may have had some help at the 'Duel in Denver' with Barack Obama - in the form of hidden notes.

Such a move would be against the rules, which state: "No props, notes, charts, diagrams, or other writings or other tangible things may be brought into the debate by any candidate."

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Sauce has video.

According to Willard's staff, it was a handkerchief.

I have no idea what to make of this mess right here. I've watched the gif and video repeatedly.
This is not a Cylon
  • alryssa

Voting three days before election day reinstated... sorta

Voting three days before election reinstated but not required
By Jim Siegel
The Columbus Dispatch Friday October 5, 2012 4:21 PM

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today sided with the Obama campaign and Ohio Democrats in reinstating in-person early voting on the final three days before Election Day.

However, the court is not requiring that the polls be open on those days, but rather leaves the decision up to individual county elections boards.

“The state has proposed no interest which would justify reducing the opportunity to vote by a considerable segment of the voting population,” the appellate judges said. “The public interest...favors permitting as many qualified voters to vote as possible,”

Without the courts’ intervention, “all non-military Ohio voters would be irreparably injured.”

Republican lawmakers passed a law last year to cut off early voting on the Friday before Election Day, arguing that elections boards needed time to get their poll books updated.

But Democrats sued, saying that because active military and overseas voters and their families could vote on those days, it was unconstitutional to cut those days off for everyone else. Democrats estimate that 93,000 people voted on those days in 2008.

The appeals court upheld a prior federal district court ruling.

“Ohio’s statutory scheme is not generally applicable to all voters, nor is the state’s justification sufficiently ‘important’ to excuse the discriminatory burden it has placed on some but not all Ohio voters,” the court wrote.

“There is no reason to provide these voters with fewer opportunities to vote than military voters, particularly when there is no evidence that local boards of elections will be unable to cope with more early voters,” the court declared today. “While we readily acknowledge the need to provide military voters more time to vote, we see no corresponding justification for giving others less time.”

Secretary of State Jon Husted said in a statement: “My office is reviewing today’s decision by the court as we determine the best course of action moving forward. No action will be taken today, or this weekend.”


So basically, this is a cop-out verdict of, "Well you should put them back... but you don't have to if you don't want to." Each county election board has 2 members of each party and the tie breaker vote is... GOP Secretary of State Husted. Fucking awesome. Let me guess, he's going to instruct all his Republican buddies across the state to vote 'no' unless they're in heavily Republican voter districts or they'll get fired like the Montgomery County Democratic board members a few months back.
king rad


Jobless Rate Falls to 7.8%, Lowest Level of Obama’s Term

The nation’s unemployment rate dropped sharply to 7.8 percent in September, its lowest level since the month President Obama took office, the Labor Department said Friday.

While employers added only a modest 114,000 jobs last month, the jobless rate declined from 8.1 percent in August. The unemployment rate fell because more people were working, not because discouraged job seekers stopped looking, the numbers showed.

Adding to the positive news, job gains were revised upward by 40,000 for July (to 181,000) and by 46,000 for August (to 142,000), casting a slightly rosier light on what had been perceived as a summer slump.

Rising employment is good news for President Obama a month before the election as he vies to convince voters that he is better equipped than his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, to steer the economy back to health.

Though the new numbers were in line with a surge in consumer confidence last month, even before their release some of the president’s detractors were trying to suggest that the data were, or could be, manipulated in the incumbent’s favor.

On CNBC, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis dismissed the implications as “ludicrous” and there was no evidence of any irregularity.
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to be fair I think this is largely emplyoers getting ready for the fourth quarter and Christmas but it is good schadefreude given that my mailbox has suddenly started being stuffed with "OVER 8% UNEMPLOYEMENT" each day tomorrow I am getting mtg cards though