November 20th, 2012

Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Rupert Murdoch apologizes for tweet criticizing ‘Jewish owned press’ coverage of Gaza

Rupert Murdoch apologizes for tweet criticizing ‘Jewish owned press’ coverage of Gaza

Rupert Murdoch apologized Sunday for criticizing coverage of the ongoing conflict in Gaza by what he described as the "Jewish owned press."

On Saturday, Murdoch turned to his favorite medium for unfiltered commentary—Twitter—to weigh in on the new "Lincoln" movie and the crisis in the Middle East.

"Middle East ready to boil over any day," the 81-year-old News Corp. chairman and chief executive wrote. "Israel position precarious. Meanwhile watch CNN and AP bias to point of embarrassment."

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He managed to be both pro-Israel and anti-semitic both at the same time. Well, then. :/

Mitt Romney's Campaign: Jub Creator, Money Spender.

Mitt Romney's Surprisingly Unbusinesslike Campaign

I've read several election postmortems that claim Mitt Romney paid a whole lot more for his TV ads than Barack Obama did. Today, Matt Lewis confirms this. His source tells him that Romney typically paid a big premium for non-preemptable ads even in early September, when ads are rarely preempted. Why?

According to our source, Team Obama simply did the “due diligence to find where the lowest unit rate was,” a tedious process which “takes manpower.” Conversely, it appears Team Romney simply didn’t want bother with the hassle. So they threw money at the problem — and walked away.

In other words, Obama ran his campaign like a business, outsourcing specialized tasks like media buys to outside firms and keeping a tight rein on costs. Conversely, Romney ran his campaign like a millionaire's personal fiefdom, figuring that his buddies could do the job as well as anyone else. But although they were pretty deft at making excuses for their inefficiency, it turned out they couldn't. What's more, outside the world of TV ads, he directed a tremendous amount of campaign money to his friends:

Mitt Romney's campaign has directed $134.2 million to political firms with business ties to his senior staff, spotlighting the tightknit nature of his second presidential bid and the staggering sums being spent in this election....Ryan Williams, a Romney spokesman, said payments to firms with connections to staff members were not only for consulting, but also were used to purchase a variety of services, including "polling, video production, political mail, get-out-the-vote phones, online advertising, website development, and budget and compliance management, among other things."

His longtime business cronies did well out of the campaign, but Romney apparently didn't know how to manage them very well (cf. Orca, failure of). This isn't surprising. Romney portrays himself as a successful manager, but there's a big difference between heading up a private equity firm and heading up an actual business. Live and learn.

magic murder bag.
  • chaya

[TW: CHILD ABUSE] Lawyer for anti-gay Christian group arrested for child porn

Lisa Biron, an associate with a national coalition of anti-gay Christian lawyers, faces federal charges stemming from her alleged activity in child pornography.

Biron, a New Hampshire lawyer, was arrested by F.B.I. agents on Friday, November 16. She faces the following charges: transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, possession of child pornography and five counts of sexual exploitation of children.

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Grover Norquist Defends Strength Of Anti-Tax Movement Amid Signs Republicans Are Defecting

WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Prominent American anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist on Monday insisted that his movement was as strong as ever and that Congress would withstand pressure to raise taxes even if more Republican lawmakers are spurning his anti-tax pledge.

A vast majority of elected Republicans have signed Norquist's "taxpayer protection pledge," launched in 1986, which commits them to voting against tax increases, and it became a sort of litmus test among U.S. conservatives.

But the new House of Representatives, which takes office in January, has 16 Republicans who so far have not signed the pledge, up from six in the outgoing Congress. One new Republican senator, Jeff Flake, also has not signed.

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Cuba Elects First Trans Woman Lawmaker, Adela Hernandez

Transgender Woman 1st to Win Office in Cuba

Adela Hernandez

Adela Hernandez, a biologically male Cuban who has lived as a female since childhood, served two years in prison in the 1980s for "dangerousness" after her own family denounced her sexuality.

This month she made history by becoming the first known transgender person to hold public office in Cuba
, winning election as a delegate to the municipal government of Caibarien in the central province of Villa Clara.

In a country where gays were persecuted for decades and sent to grueling work camps in the countryside, Hernandez, 48, hailed her election as yet another milestone in a gradual shift away from macho attitudes in the years since Fidel Castro himself expressed regret over the treatment of people perceived to be different.

"As time evolves, homophobic people — although they will always exist — are the minority," Hernandez said by phone from her hometown.

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In other news, today is International Transgender Day of Remembrance. HuffPo has a great pictorial of Transgender Pioneers.
Galaxia: Walk

Sexual assault case could be re-opened

San Antonio sexual assault case could open door for reviews


by Maurice Chammah / The Texas Tribune

Posted on November 19, 2012 at 7:39 AM

Updated today at 7:47 AM

MARLIN — Elizabeth Ramirez still remembers the week in 1994 when she cared for her two young nieces, taking them shopping and bringing them to the Arby’s restaurant in San Antonio where she worked. When it was time to leave, they clung to her. “The girls were so happy with Liz,” said Gloria Herrera, Ramirez’s mother.

But those fond memories were soon replaced by a nightmare, when the 7- and 9-year-old girls accused Ramirez and three of her friends of pinning them down and sexually assaulting them. In two trials, the four women were convicted and sentenced to prison, based largely on the testimony of a San Antonio doctor who examined the girls and said she saw signs of abuse.

Ramirez, who was considered the ringleader and tried separately from her friends, is now 15 years into a nearly 40-year sentence. She was stunned by the allegations, and was just as surprised in 2010 when one of her nieces recanted. “I am sorry that it is has taken this long for me to know what really happened,” the girl wrote in a letter.

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Okay, mods, I think I got it right this time. D:

If they are innocent, it will not only make me rage because it would be a case of false accusation but because it is an obvious case of homophobia. Please, tell me if I should edit/add tags.

hutch ia

Hobby Lobby Must Cover Contraception For Employees, Judge Rules

A federal judge ruled Monday night that the Hobby Lobby craft store chain must offer its 13,000 employees contraceptive coverage without a co-pay, as mandated by Obamacare.

Hobby Lobby sued to deny such coverage in September, citing conservative evangelical owner David Green’s personal religious objections to certain types of birth control that fall under Obamacare’s contraception mandate. In particular, the company sought to deny its employees coverage for the morning after pill, commonly known as Plan B.

But on Monday night, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton denied the request in a 28-page ruling, pointing out that religious institutions have already been given exemptions from covering contraception, and that Hobby Lobby does not qualify since it is a private business:
“However, Hobby Lobby and Mardel [its partner company] are not religious organizations,” the ruling states. “Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.”

Hobby Lobby’s attorney said the companies’ owners, the Green family, plan to appeal.
“Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs,” Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a statement.

Just last week, a different federal judge issued an injunction over the contraception mandate in Obamacare, siding with religious employers of a private company. But Judge Heaton’s assessment of the law is correct: While non-profit religious institutions are already exempt from the mandate, private businesses do not have the same exemption.


Column: A solution to secession fever -- federalism

Letting localities make their own decisions would stifle silly secession efforts.


12:18PM EST November 19. 2012 - Since the election, we've seen more interest in secession. Hundreds of thousands Americans in all 50 states have petitioned to secede. Is the United States breaking up?

Nope. No more than in 2004, when disappointed Democrats were talking about secession, and circulating maps of America divided into "The United States of Canada" and "Jesusland." (This formulation even inspired a not-bad futuristic novel by Richard Morgan about a United States that did split.) Seceding over a presidential election is silly.

So why talk about seceding? Well, partly to register disapproval. Though I doubt President Obama is losing sleep over it, that his White House petition site is full of calls for secession is certainly an indication that many aren't overjoyed by his re-election.

But people also talk about secession for more serious reasons. They feel that the central government doesn't respect them, forces them to live under laws they find repugnant and takes their money away to pay off its own supporters. You see secession movements based on these principles in places like Scotland, Catalonia, Northern Italy, and elsewhere around the world. Some might succeed; others are less likely to. But in every case they represent unhappiness with the status quo.

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It's a nice plan. Beats secession. Maybe we should give it another try.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds is professor of law at the University of Tennessee. He blogs at


Wal-Mart files legal complaint against growing protests ahead of Black Friday

Wal-Mart is taking legal action against its organized labor opponents, filing an unfair labor practice charge over widespread protests at its stores across the country — as well as rallies planned for Black Friday, considered the biggest shopping day of the year.

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TXF // I'm Fine (No I'm Not)

For Trans Day of Remembrance

TW: Transphobia, classism, homelessness, mentions of violence, abuse, suicide, murder, stats that are depressing as fuck

Transgender Day of Remembrance: A Call to House Our Homeless

Nov. 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance, or "TDOR," a day of memorial for those in the trans community who have been lost to violence. Collapse )


HuffPo also has a pretty great slideshow of 50 Trans Icons that reminds us that we've come so far, that change is happening. (Altho I'm side-eyeing the inclusion of Buck Angel. (TW: Transphobia, transmisogyny racism, classism))

Trans legislation imminent on Day of Remembrance
Canada ready to pass C-279 as candlelight vigils planned across the country

It is not an accident that federal Bill C-279 -- which will enshrine “gender identity” into Canada’s Human Rights Act -- heads to committee on International Trans Day of Remembrance Nov 20.

NDP MP Randall Garrison says his office worked hard to make that happen. The landmark legislation represents a public statement by Parliament that transphobic discrimination and violence is not acceptable, and that trans people deserve equality and respect -- “A fitting tribute," says Garrison.

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I have a really big problem with 'gender expression' being removed from Bill C-279. But with a Conservative majority this is probably the only way to get is passed without having to wait another 4-5 years. It's shit either way and, at the end of the day, legislation doesn't take away systemic issues of transphobia that perpetuate violence and death. But it's a big step nonetheless.

By the way, this is not a space for ignorant cis people to show their asses. This is about remembering our dead, about a community mourning for how much we've lost, for those we are going to lose. Remembering is a tricky thing. We remember our dead, their words, their struggles, their loves, their lives taken. Remember the ache of loss and brittle hope of tomorrow. Remember our living, our strengths, our victories, the families we find through shared pain and experiences and triumphs and, most of all, shared love.

And even with how hard and painful and unfair and cruel the world is don't forget you are not alone. None of us are. You are not sick, not wrong, not sinful, not broken, not inhuman. You are beautiful and wonderful, brilliant and brave and bright and loved. There is nothing wrong with you, with us. It's important that we remember this, too. ♥
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Gaza Crisis Poses Threat to Faction Favored by U.S.

Gaza Crisis Poses Threat to Faction Favored by U.S.

In the daily demonstrations here of solidarity with Gaza, a mix of sympathy and anguish, there is something else: growing identification with the Islamist fighters of Hamas and derision for the Palestinian Authority, which Washington considers the only viable partner for peace with Israel.

“Strike a blow on Tel Aviv!” proclaimed the lyrics of a new hit song blasting from shops and speakers at Monday’s demonstration, in a reference to Hamas rockets that made it nearly to Israel’s economic and cultural capital. “Don’t let the Zionists sleep! We don’t want a truce or a solution! Oh, Palestinians, you can be proud!”

Pop songs everywhere are filled with bravado and aggression. But this one reflects a widespread sentiment that does not augur well for President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority, which is rapidly losing credibility, even relevance. The Gaza truce talks in Cairo, involving Egypt, Turkey and Qatar, offer a telling tableau. The Palestinian leader seen there is not Mr. Abbas, but Khaled Meshal, the leader of the militant group Hamas, who seeks to speak for all Palestinians as his ideological brothers in the Muslim Brotherhood rise to power around the region.

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I know there have been a LOT of posts about Gaza, but this seemed like a good article looking at the political situation happening in Gaza/the West Bank.
Pride & Prejudice

Topless 'Nuns' From Activist Group Femen Attacked By Anti-Gay Catholic Protesters In Paris

Catholics against same-sex marriage took to the streets of Paris to protest President Francois Hollande's plans to legalize both gay marriage and gay adoption over the weekend. The protesters were met by Femen, a Ukrainian activist group whose members went topless and donned nun habits in support of gay marriage.

On Sunday, the Catholic group Civitas organized the march of several thousand anti-gay protesters in Paris, according to the Associated Press.

Topless Femen activists dressed as nuns met the Catholic protesters, according to Gay Star News. The "nuns" sprayed powdered "sperm" from bottles and chanted pro-gay slogans. They donned the phrase "In Gay We Trust" on their bare chests.

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oh holy shit
  • chaya

Romney's Watching Twilight and Looking Like Reheated Shit

Mitt Romney seen pumping gas in La Jolla

Aside from a controversial conference call with donors, Mitt Romney has kept a low profile since losing the 2012 presidential election to Barack Obama.

The former Republican nominee was spotted with his wife, Ann, at a screening of the new "Twilight" movie, "Breaking Dawn — Part 2," in Del Mar, Calif., on Saturday. According to TMZ, the pair later "hit up a pizza place across the street."

On Monday, a photograph of Romney filling up at a gas station in La Jolla, Calif., was posted to

"Mitt Romney at my local gas station," Reddit user mkb95 wrote. "He looks tired and washed up."

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That photo:

General's wife speaks out on his misconduct probe

As an Army general faces a string of sexual misconduct charges involving female officers, his wife is seeking to stir a broader look at often taboo subjects in military marriages: adultery, the strain of separation and the stress of war.

Rebecca Sinclair stayed away from the days-long military hearing earlier this month at Fort Bragg, N.C., where the allegations against her husband, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, were revealed in detailed testimony. Women officers described an affair, forced sexual encounters and a series of explicit email exchanges with the former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan.

But his wife has since made herself a public face of his defense, and of what she sees as the toll of a decade of war on military couples, many of whom have found themselves in a repeated pattern of deployments, homecomings and moves.

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Yes that's it. It can't be that your husband is a power hungry douche bag that forced his soldiers to perform sexual acts on him and with him. Many people go to war and back and don't cheat on their spouses nor do they assault their fellow soldiers.

I Can't Wait To See What The Onion Does With This!

The Onion Goes Anti-Semitic

by William Bigelow 19 Nov 2012

So now The Onion, celebrated for their zany approach to the news, has fallen under the spell of the radical left and has become one more mouthpiece for anti-Semitic propaganda. In their latest attempt at humor, The Onion posted this piece of Palestinian propaganda:

As civilian casualties continue to mount amid the escalating conflict along the Gaza Strip, 8-year-old Palestinian boy Walid Suleiman expressed both joy and astonishment Monday that he has yet to be killed in an Israeli military attack. “Boy, I thought I’d be dead by this past Saturday for sure, but amazingly enough, here I am,” said Suleiman, adding that he is “pleased, but pretty shocked” not to be among the estimated 100 Palestinians left dead by widespread Israeli airstrikes in the region over the past six days. “I’d have bet you anything that by today they’d have already dug my corpse out from underneath a giant pile of rubble and buried me alongside the rest of my family. Guess I won the lottery, eh?” At press time, incoming Israeli aircraft could be heard swiftly approaching as Suleiman limped back to his home.

That’s the ticket, Onion. Buy into the “plight” of the Palestinians and ignore the fact that Hamas started the violence, that Hamas has fired on Israeli cities, that there are strong rumors that Hamas now has chemical weapons it can launch. Ignore the fact that Hamas deliberately places its rocket sites in civilian areas in an attempt to force Israel to kill civilians for left wing media consumption. Ignore that Hamas deliberately targets civilians while Israel takes great care not to.

Here’s one for you, Onion:

As their print version dried up with the last issue on November 1, 2012, the Onion, the celebrated satirical publication, decided to sell out to anti-Semitic propagandizing. “We noticed that Jews are becoming an easy target for vilification,” explained the editor, “and we just couldn’t resist the impulse to jump on the bandwagon. I mean, look at history; some of the most successful publications in history, like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, vilified the Jews too.”


OP Says: I reiterate the subject line, and I would like to add: don't read the comments.

'Hollywood Holocaust' apology published by paper.

The son of Hollywood Reporter founder Billy Wilkerson has apologised for the trade paper's role in the 1940s witch-hunts that saw many in the industry ostracised for having communist ties.

The actors, writers and directors on the so-called 'blacklist' suffered huge damage to their careers as a result.

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OP: I still don't understand the way some Americans say the word 'communist' or 'socialist' like its a bad thing. I think a completely socialist system cannot work just as a completely capitalist system can't. The best bits of both would work just fine.
MISC - moustache

Congressman-elect Pocan to fund LGBT scholarship with remaining campaign money

MADISON -- (WTDY) Congressman-elect Mark Pocan is using the remaining funds in his campaign account to start a scholarship fund with the Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools (GSAFE).

“I wanted to try to help some of the kids who are just trying to get by every day in their schools by taking my state account and putting it toward a worthy cause,” said Pocan during an interview Tuesday.

Once state campaign accounts are closed, the law allows for those funds to be disbursed to non-profits like GSAFE. Pocan plans on matching every donation given to the Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools up to $20,000. The money will go toward a scholarship fund for graduating high school seniors who have been dedicated to making their schools safer and more supportive for the LGBT community.

Kristen Petroshius, Co-Director of GSAFE, said in a statement that the scholarship will help young leaders “become the innovative change-makers our communities need--much in the spirit of Mark Pocan.”

“Whether they are creating policy changes to make their schools more effective at including and educating all students, working with their school clubs to help other youth become leaders, or intervening in bullying to make a safer school environment, Wisconsin students are leading the way in creating schools where all youth can thrive,” said Petroshius.

Pocan was recently elected to the U.S. House of Representatives after serving in the Wisconsin Assembly for the past 13 years.

Donations to the Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools can be made at


Ha ha, your Congresscritter isn't as awesome as mine.