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Archive for May 16th, 2009

Wait Till Wal-Mart Hears About This

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Wait Till Wal-Mart Hears About This

Love Land

Trying to raise some … consciousness about sex education in China, an entrepreneur plans to open the country’s first sex theme park in October. It’s raising some local eyebrows too as development continues in the southwest city of Chongqing.

The Guardian:

Maybe it was the giant revolving model of a woman’s legs and lower torso, clad only in an unflattering crimson thong, or perhaps it was the oversized replica of a set of genitals. Either way, many residents in the south-west city of Chongqing are not happy about the development of China’s first sex theme park, which has been described as “vulgar” and inappropriate.

The park manager, Lu Xiaoqing, who was inspired by South Korea’s popular sex theme park in Jeju, says that Love Land, due to open in October, will improve sex education and help adults enjoy a harmonious sex life. Inside, visitors will be able to view naked human sculptures, giant replicas of genitals and an exhibition about the history of sex and sexual practices in other countries.

The park will also offer sex technique workshops and advise on anti-Aids measures and using condoms properly.

“Sex is a taboo subject in China but people really need to have more access to information about it,” Lu told the state newspaper China Daily.

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Chalmers Johnson on the Cost of Empire

book cover

Why does the U.S. government maintain over 190,000 troops and 115,000 civilian employees in 909 military facilities in 46 countries and territories? How long can the American taxpayer support this far-flung force given the severely weakened economy? And why has there been no public discussion by the Obama administration over scaling back our imperial presence abroad?

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Polls Showing Pro-Life Shift Probably Meaningless: FiveThirtyEight

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

Polls Showing Pro-Life Shift Probably Meaningless: FiveThirtyEight
When Pew released a poll earlier this week suggesting that there had been a significant shift in public opinion on abortion in recent months, Nate…

Obama’s Stock Portfolio: See His Top 10 Stocks
According to the latest disclosure from the White House, President Obama is a fan of index-fund investing. See the stocks in his main holding….

Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points [77] — There’s Always Next Week…
I have to start by saying that in all honesty, President Obama and the Democrats didn’t have a great week. Obama started the week out…

GOP Base Rejects Pro-Choice Republicans: “We Would Never Bend On That”
House Republicans, in search of an identity, are playing with fire. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), in charge of recruiting Republican candidates for the House, told…


Does Fox News want to boot Pelosi from the speaker’s chair?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Does Fox News want to boot Pelosi from the speaker’s chair?

In recent days, Fox News personalities have called for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to step down as speaker because of the controversy over what the Bush administration told her about its use of harsh interrogation techniques. For example, on the May 14 edition of On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, contributor Dick Morris stated, “This is not the time to be without a speaker of the House of Representatives. And Nancy Pelosi will not be able to devote her time and attention to the Obama legislative program if she’s defending this. It is in the best interest of the American people that this not serve as a distraction and that she step down.” Morris later added, “At the end of the summer, we’re going to be talking about how Speaker Steny Hoyer is no improvement over the former speaker, Nancy Pelosi.”

Similarly, earlier that day on America’s Newsroom, Fox News contributor Andrea Tantaros stated, “I think the Democrats need to come out and call for her to tell the truth or resign, because she is really — she’s hurting her colleagues.” When Kelly asked Tantaros, “Is it that bad? Are we at the point where a resignation demand should be made?” Tantaros responded, “Absolutely. And I think her colleagues need to do it. I think they need to call for her to either come out, tell what she knew, when she knew it, testify. If they find her to be lying, then she needs to step down.”

Additionally, on the next day’s edition of America’s Newsroom, co-host Megyn Kelly asked Rep. Steve King (R-IA) of Pelosi: “[C]an she be held accountable, if indeed the American public believes that she lied, if the members of the House believe that she lied, and on top of lying, she then threw our CIA under the bus? What can be done to take away the speakership? What would be the procedure for that?” The same day, the supposedly unbiased Fox Nation also posted the headline “Watch Nancy Twist in the Wind: Is Her Speakership in Jeopardy?”

foxnation

From the May 15 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:

KELLY: Did you see the Nancy Pelosi’s news conference yesterday afternoon? Happened around 11 o’clock, right as our show ended. Did you see it? The speaker of the House opening a whole new can of worms in the back-and-forth over interrogations and the war on terror. Now she continues to try to explain her own contradictory statements and took it a step further yesterday by sending the CIA actively lied to the U.S. Congress repeatedly about what they were doing.

PELOSI : They did not brief us that these enhanced interrogations were taking place. … They never told us that these enhanced interrogations were being used.

We were not — I repeat, were not — told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used. What they did tell us is that they had some legislative counsel — the Office of Legislative Counsel opinions that they could be used.

No, I wasn’t informed. I was informed that a briefing had taken place. You have to look at what they briefed those members. I was not briefed then. I was only informed that they were briefed, but I did not get the briefing.

KELLY: Well, this has created a huge firestorm, not just for Republicans but among Democrats as well, at least some of them. And now some Republicans are calling her comments outrageous. Some are talking about her losing her speakership over this.

Congressman Steve King is on the House Judiciary Committee. He joins us live this morning. Congressman, good morning to you.

KING: Good morning, Megyn.

KELLY: I don’t know about you, but I watched this and it was stunning. I mean, it was stunning to see her out there trying to defend herself. I’ve never seen her quite so rattled. And now there are some who are saying given her statements all over the board on this, and an open accusation that our CIA has been lying to the U.S. Congress, that she needs to step down from this speakership. What say you?

KING: Well, Megyn, it’s an outrageous accusation that she’s made against our brave CIA officers. And if she believes that the integrity of the office of speaker of the House of the United States can trump the truth or trump the records that are out there — that seems to be the case. I mean, it is utter arrogance to think she can roll back the truth. And we need to know, when was Nancy Pelosi briefed? I believe it was in September of 2002. I think she knew in advance. What did she know, when did she know it?

I believe she didn’t react to that. I think it was acceptable because she understood then that the nation was under threat and under attack, and then for political reasons, spun this thing all the way around. There’s got to be credibility in the office of the speakership. And we have seen speakers lose their gavel for far less than calling the CIA a bunch of liars. So let’s get the data out.

KELLY: You know —

KING: If the president can release the interrogation documents, we can release these documents on the briefing.

KELLY: You know, Congressman, whatever people think of the CIA, there is no question that the men and women who worked there had a huge hand in keeping us safe for the past several years. It’s one thing to talk about interrogation techniques and so on and so forth — these people actually had to do it. Whether you think is right or not, there’s no question that they helped prevent another attack on American soil. Instead of going out there and calling them patriots or thanking them for keeping us safe, she publicly calls them out on the carpet and says they have lied repeatedly. Now, if she really believes that, Congressman, are there not procedures that she should be following with the Department of Justice?

KING: She’s at some point going to have to face the truth, Megyn. And she should have — if she believed the CIA was lying, she should have brought this issue up a long time ago. We’ve known about this for a long time. She is not making this statement because now she’s indignant that the CIA lied to her, according to her allegations back in September of 2002. She is squealing because she’s caught out in the open with a statement that’s clearly not factually true. It’s not a question of whether Nancy Pelosi told the truth, it’s if and when she told the truth, because I can’t verify that she did. I think we can verify that the CIA did. And those documents need to come out, and then let the Democrats decide if they want to stand and defend the speaker of the House, who is undermining our national security actively, without any reason except to protect her own political hide.

KELLY: Now, you know, the polls so far — and they were taken before this whole Nancy Pelosi dustup — said that the American people don’t want a truth commission. They want to go forward, they want what the president wants, which is go forward and not spend all this time and money in the U.S. Congress looking backward. Now, I don’t know how they feel in the wake of the Pelosi scandal. But my question is, if they feel the same, and they still don’t want a truth commission, what can be done? I mean, can she be held accountable, if indeed the American public believes that she lied, if the members of the House believe that she lied, and on top of lying, she then threw our CIA under the bus? What can be done to take away the speakership? What would be the procedure for that?

KING: Megyn, I would just tell you that it lies in the hands of Democrats. As long as they will support Speaker Pelosi, she will be the speaker. When their seats become vulnerable — if they’re afraid that they’re gonna lose their seats because they vote for and defend this kind of activity that undermines our national security — at that point, they’ll find themselves a new speaker.

That’s what it comes down to. It’s pure, raw politics. She’s been playing politics with our national security. It was this speaker, Speaker Pelosi, that brought over 40 votes to the floor of the House of Representatives in the 110th Congress that were designed to un-fund, underfund, or undermine our troops in Iraq in an attempt to bring about a result there that would be the exact opposite of what our troops and President Bush have achieved today.

So this is an enemy of national security that holds the gavel of the speaker of the House, and now she’s accusing the CIA, the people who have kept us safe over all these years to be a group of liars who willfully and calculatedly lied to the United States Congress. It is outrageous, and the American people need to speak to their Democrat members of Congress and ask them to come up with a new speaker.

KELLY: Congressman Steve King, thanks so much for coming on with your insights in it. We appreciate you being here.


Carlyle Group To Pay $20 Million, Submit To Cuomo’s “Code Of Conduct”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

Carlyle Group To Pay $20 Million, Submit To Cuomo’s “Code Of Conduct”
In what New York AG Andrew Cuomo is hailing as a “revolutionary” agreement, Carlyle Group agreed to pay a $20 million settlement to “resolve its involvement” in former New York state comptroller adviser Hank Morris’s alleged scheme to collect bribes…





The Daily Muck
Republicans are lining up to defend the CIA from Nancy Pelosi’s charge that the agency lied to her about torture. We all know the CIA never lies. (AP)…

Panetta: It’s Up To Congress To Figure Out Whether Our Records Are Accurate
CIA director Leon Panetta has just sent the following message to staffers in response to Nancy Pelosi’s claim that the agency misled her over torture: Message from the Director: Turning Down the Volume There is a long tradition in Washington…


The Real Enemy in Iraq

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2009 4:36 am by HL

The Real Enemy in Iraq


Our Appetite for Animals Is Taking Us Toward Apolcalypse

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Our Appetite for Animals Is Taking Us Toward Apolcalypse
Cutting your meat-eating habits is one of the most impactful ways you can prevent drastic changes to our climate.

A Lot of Our Money Is Buried in the Cayman Islands — Let’s Get It Back
Obama and Congress must get tougher on offshore tax cheats — prosecute them as criminals and require full payment.

The Media Doesn’t Get That Hyping Potent Pot Makes More People Want to Smoke It
The govt. "warns" us that our pot is stronger than anything Jerry Garcia ever smoked in his heyday. What do they expect?


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

Presented By:

Dueling Congressional Letters: Choose Between Obama or Netanyahu
The status quo lobby (SQL) is getting worried. Very worried. It knew that President Barack Obama was determined to move aggressively on his Middle East peace agenda but never imagined that he would be this bold. He telephoned the Israeli,…

When the stockmarket does the analysis
Today the news is all about green shoots becoming brown shoots.  A couple of (entirely predictable) bad bits of data and the stock market goes down telling everyone that all is ill.  But green shoots were always a metaphor.  Almost…






Joe the Plumber: ?Men kissing each other?it throws me off.?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Joe the Plumber: ?Men kissing each other?it throws me off.?
Earlier this month, Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher told Christianity Today that calling gay people “queer” “is not like a slur” because homosexuality is “strange and unusual.” Speaking of his gay “friends,” he also said, “I wouldn’t have them anywhere near my children.” Yesterday, a local ABC affiliate in Toledo, OH asked Wurzelbacher about his comment. […]

Earlier this month, Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher told Christianity Today that calling gay people “queer” “is not like a slur” because homosexuality is “strange and unusual.” Speaking of his gay “friends,” he also said, “I wouldn’t have them anywhere near my children.” Yesterday, a local ABC affiliate in Toledo, OH asked Wurzelbacher about his comment. “Men kissing each other…it throws me off,” he explained. “It’s not something I want around my family.” Later, while literally sitting in front of boxes containing numerous copies of his recently released book, Wurzelbacher said:

You gotta at least respect that I’m not sitting there trying to make a buck off my 15 minutes. Do I want to make some money? Absolutely but I’m going to do it the right way.

Not seeming to recognize the irony, immediately after making this statement, he then signed a copy of his book. While acknowledging that he hasn’t made as much money as he thought from the book, he said he thinks he has about a year left in the spotlight, adding, “I can also definitely see it from the other side where people are just like ‘Man just freakin go away!’” Watch it:

Gore: Cheney is in no position to talk ?about making the country less safe.?
On CNN’s American Morning today, former Vice President Al Gore hit back against his successor, Dick Cheney’s, claims that President Obama’s policies are making the country less safe. “Obviously, I strongly disagree,” said Gore. “You know, you talk about somebody that shouldn’t be talking about making the country less safe, invading a country that did […]

On CNN’s American Morning today, former Vice President Al Gore hit back against his successor, Dick Cheney’s, claims that President Obama’s policies are making the country less safe. “Obviously, I strongly disagree,” said Gore. “You know, you talk about somebody that shouldn’t be talking about making the country less safe, invading a country that did not attack us and posed no serious threat to us at all.” Watch it:

Steve Benen notes that Gore emphasized how he “waited two years” after he left office to criticize the Bush administration.

Transcript:

ROBERTS: As you know, the most recent former Vice President Dick Cheney has come out quite strongly against the Obama administration, saying that its policies have left America less safe than it was during the Bush administration.

You were a big critic of the previous administration, particularly in the run-up to the war and thereafter. What do you think of Vice President Cheney’s statements that the Obama administration’s policies are leaving this country less safe?

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, obviously, I strongly disagree.

And, you know, I waited two years after I left office to make statements that were critical, and then of the policy. You know, you talk about somebody that shouldn’t be talking about making the country less safe, invading a country that did not attack us and posed no serious threat to us at all. You know, he can speak for himself.

And I have a feeling that members of his own party wish that he would not do that. But I’ll let that be an argument between him and them.

ROBERTS: Are you suggesting that it’s unusual for a former vice president, former administration official that high-ranking to come out this early in a new administration and be this critical?

GORE: You know, look, that’s a judgment call and he’s made his judgment. He has become, in many ways, the leading spokesman for his party during this period of time. And the message is one that he’s deciding to deliver.

Look, I’m going to focus on trying to build bipartisan alliances around this country for American leadership to solve the climate crisis. And I don’t want to get dragged into an argument with Dick Cheney about what he’s getting into. I’m just going to let him speak for himself.

ROBERTS: Oh, Mr. Vice President, you know I would never try to do that with you.

(LAUGHTER)

GORE: You’re good at your job, John.


Obama to Revamp Military Tribunals

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2009 4:32 am by HL

Obama to Revamp Military Tribunals
As a candidate for president, Barack Obama offered himself as a clear alternative to Bush-era anti-terrorism policies. Governing has proven muddier.


Republican Governor of Utah Selected to Be Envoy to China
Utah Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. (R) will be introduced today as President Obama’s choice as ambassador to China, a source familiar with the decision said last night.


Tribunals to Return, Detainees to Have More Rights
President Obama is expected to announce today that he intends to keep military commissions to try some detainees at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but with greater legal protections for defendants, an administration official said last night.



U.S. Tough on Israel, Light on Palestinians

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 16th, 2009 4:29 am by HL

U.S. Tough on Israel, Light on Palestinians
Steve Huntley, Chicago ST

Ending the Disastrous War on Drugs
Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post

Speaker Pelosi in the Spotlight
Dana Milbank, Washington Post