October 6th, 2012

donk... donk... donk...

No masking it - Obama leads Halloween sales

If sales of presidential-candidate Halloween masks were votes, Barack Obama would have the November election in the bag.

As of this week, according to Spirit Halloween, one of the largest costume retailers in the country, the president is leading with 64 percent of its nationwide mask sales - 63 percent in California - against Mitt Romney.

The New Jersey company, which has 1,000 stores in the United States (41 in Northern California) and in Canada, has been predicting presidential elections since 1996 with searing accuracy based on its Presidential Index. The methodology is simple: He or she who sells the most masks wins.

"Well, then, I would like to see Harry Potter and Angry Birds on the ticket," said Dan Newman, a Democratic strategist, who seemed dubious of Spirit Halloween's unorthodox survey strategy. "They've got Obama doubling Romney. He's not going to win 2-to-1. That's just optimistic."

But it isn't crazy talk, said Lisa Barr, Spirit Halloween's senior marketing director. The percentages on election day may not be the same as store sales, but, she said, "we pride ourselves on accurately predicting the race."

Barr chuckled as she admitted that no, the Presidential Index isn't scientific. Still, there's no arguing with the company's stellar record. In 1996, 71 percent of the presidential-candidate masks sold were of Bill Clinton, compared with Bob Dole's 29 percent. George W. Bush sold 57 percent against Al Gore in 2000 and then 65 percent against John Kerry in 2004. Obama sold 60 percent against John McCain in 2008.

Despite landslide sales of the president's mask this year, Barr remained tentative about calling the race early. "Obama may be in the lead right now, but anything can happen," she said. "We still have a month to go."

Harmeet Dhillon, chairwoman of the Republican Party in San Francisco, said she was not surprised that Obama's mask is slamming Romney's. According to her thinking, the mask's popularity doesn't bode well at all for the president at the ballot box.

"People are picking the Obama mask because he's the scariest alternative for the White House," she said. "He's right up there with Dracula, vampires and zombies."

But what about the fact that Obama is actually leading in the polls - the real polls?

"I don't put a lot of faith in any polls," Dhillon said, and especially not ones based on Halloween mask sales.

The truth is, if the popularity of a costume were a true indicator, Bill Clinton could have been elected to a third term - and possibly a fourth and a fifth. The former president's mask is a perennial favorite, Barr said. This year, Spirit Halloween is also offering Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama masks.

The other hot sellers tend to be controversial figures, or people with a strong presence in the news. Last year there was a run on Anthony Weiner masks. The U.S. representative resigned in 2011 after getting caught in a sexting scandal.

"We even did a Charlie Sheen mask," Barr said.

Talk about winning.

San Francisco Gate
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Jon Hubbard, Arkansas Legislator, Says Slavery May 'Have Been A Blessing' In New Book

Jon Hubbard, Arkansas Legislator, Says Slavery May 'Have Been A Blessing' In New Book

Jon Hubbard, a Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives, has written a new book in which he says slavery was "a blessing" for African-Americans, among other questionable statements.

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Babar Ahmad Extradition Reaction: 'RIP British Justice'

The decision to extradite Babar Ahmad to the US to face terror charges has been condemned as "shameful" and "disappointing" by family and friends as justice campaigners renewed their calls for extradition arrangements with America to be reviewed.

Computer expert Ahmad, who has been in jail without trial since 2004 while fighting extradition, is accused of being involved in a website which encouraged terrorism and which, while operated from London, was hosted in the US.

In a statement, Ahmad who has pleaded to be charged and tried in Britain, said: "By exposing the fallacy of the UK's extradition arrangements with the US, I leave with my head held high having won the moral victory."

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Girl wears Romney shirt to school is now scared

Philadelphia student mocked over Romney T-shirt says she fears for her safety

Samantha Pawlucy said she was afraid to return to Charles Carroll High School after complaining that a teacher mocked her for wearing a Romney/Ryan T-shirt on dress-down day.

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So many white tears and not surprised she's pro Romney based on her neighborhood :/
Pride & Prejudice

Jeremy Hunt calls for 12 week abortion cut-off

In an interview with The Times, Jeremy Hunt said the limit should be cut to 12 weeks into a pregnancy but stressed that a change in the law would be a matter for a free vote in Parliament.

It follows comments by Culture Secretary Maria Miller, who has said she also believes the law should be tightened - although she backs a limit of 20 weeks.

Mr Hunt stressed that his view that the limit should be reduced was not influenced by his Christian faith.

"Everyone looks at the evidence and comes to a view about when they think that moment is and my view is that 12 weeks is the right point for it," he said. "It is just my view about that incredibly difficult question about the moment that we should deem life to start. I don't think the reason I have that view is for religious reasons."

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Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

World of Warcraft hobby sparks US political row

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".

Weird focus
The state senate seat known as District 25 in Maine, is currently being contested by Ms Lachowicz and incumbent Republican Tom Martin. Voting takes place on 6 November.

As part of its campaign efforts, the Republican party in the state created "Colleen's World" - a website that compiles information about Ms Lachowicz's orc rogue Santiaga. An orc is a mythical human-like creature, generally described as fierce and combative.

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Live Post: O'Reilly v Stewart 2012: The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium

Bill O'Reilly. Jon Stewart. 2 podiums. 1 Air-Conditioned Auditorium. "O'Reilly v Stewart 2012: The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium" will be streamed live, Saturday, October 6th at 8pm ET from Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University. O'Reilly and Stewart will take an entertaining and comedic approach to today's pressing political issues in an attempt to find the best direction for America. "The Rumble 2012" will surely be a must-see event!

I can't be the only person who bought a stream. so if you haven't yet, pony up the $5 - half of that money goes to charity.

cm - sunglasses hotch
  • ashiya

TDSB: New guidelines accommodate transgender students

The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 3:56PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 5:54PM EDT

TORONTO -- Transgender students in Toronto schools must be accommodated according to their own stated gender preference and do not need to produce official documentation to justify their identity choice, according to a new equity policy.

The Toronto District School Board recently issued new guidelines spelling out the ways students who don't conform with traditional gender identities should be treated in the classroom.

They include rules stipulating that students be allowed to dictate how they are addressed in correspondence with parents and choose which washrooms to use on school grounds.

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Source: CP24

First time poster. This article popped up on my Twitter feed and didn't see it posted. I liked the bit that states that schools should discuss with the student about their preferred choice of names and pronouns.

EDIT: Here is a link to the TDSB website where you can find the full guideline in PDF format, for anyone who's interested. :)