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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Did you ever wonder why America is becoming browner?

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Rightardia has talked about 'dog people' before. They are overwhelmingly white people who prefer to care for pets rather than children. Republicans who wonder why America is getting browner need to check out this video.

Rightard Whitey has seen these dog people around town. They sport bumper stickers like "Ask me about my grandog" or "My Yorkie" is smarter than your honor student."

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The Straight Dope: Haiti's pact with the Devil

 
Here's Pat Robertson's account of how the diabolical deal went down, on the Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club":

Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French, you know, Napoleon III and whatever, and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you'll get us free from the French.' True story. And so the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal,' and … the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other.

One detail we need to clear up right away. Haiti's bargain with the devil was supposedly struck in 1791. Napoleon III wasn't elected ruler of France until 1848, and Napoleon I didn't become France's leader until 1799. The Haitians were were ruled by the Constituent Assembly in 1791.

Robertson's "pact with the Devil" in Haiti refers to the ceremony of Bois Caïman, which took place in August, 1791. This event launched the Haitian revolution that brought independence and freed the slaves in that country.  The higher power holding the franchise in the U.S. let slavery persist for another seventy years.

A houngan (Voodou or voodoo priest) named Dutty Boukman held a meeting of black slaves and runaways at Bois Caïman in the mountains of the north to prepare to rise up against their oppressors.

With the aid of an African-born priestess, they conducted a religious ceremony in which the group swore on the blood of a sacrificial pig, invoking the spirits of the forest and their ancestors, that they would live free or die.

According to tradition, this was the catalyst for the Haitian revolution. Though Boukman was captured and beheaded, the revolt continued.

After much strife Haiti became an independent republic in 1804. the Haitian Revolution was the only successful slave uprising in the new world and it shook the foundations of the slave states in the US. the US, in fact, launched an economic boycott of Haiti that did not stop until the end of the US Civil War.

Although the Bois Caïman ceremony is well known in Haiti, separating fact from legend is difficult. The first historical account wasn't published until 1814. Some historians claim the ceremony didn't happen at all, while others contend there were two meetings in August 1791, with the voodoo ritual occurring at one while the revolt was planned at the other.

Legend has it that Boukman offered a prayer at Bois Caïman in which he drew a distinction between the wicked god of the whites and the benevolent god of the blacks. Whether the prayer was actually uttered is debatable; nonetheless, it can be taken as a fair indication of the rebels' sentiments, namely, that they were aligning themselves with the forces of good.


Trends in independent voters


it appears that more independent men have shifted toward the GOP after the 2008 elections, but women's numbers have remained unchanged. Independent voters are not the same as moderate voters. Independents have not registered with a political party.

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John Edwards is a cad

John Edwards and Rielle Hunter

John Edwards's former lover, Rielle Hunter, admits to having created a sex tape with Edwards.

Andrew young and his wife found a tape marked special when they went into a house that Hunter had occupied that was for sale. Hunter had been doing cinematography work for John Edwards and may have made the tape without Edwards knowledge.

The tape showed Edwards having sex with an unidentified  pregnant woman according to the Youngs. The Youngs claim the tape was out in the open.

"While we have not had an opportunity to view the interview or read the book, we urge extreme caution by everyone involved. From media reports, it is obvious that there are many allegations which are simply false. It appears that Andrew Young is primarily motivated by financial gain and media attention," said the statement released by Wade M. Smith and James P. Cooney III, attorneys for Edwards.

The statement comes a day after Hunter won a temporary restraining order that stops Young from releasing videos and photos she says are her property.

"In or about September 2006, using my video camera, I authored a personal video recording that depicted matters of a very private and personal nature," Hunter wrote in an affidavit filed Thursday, according to ABC News. "In 2006, I was also having an intimate relationship with Edwards."

The worst part of the story had nothing to do with the sex tape. The Youngs admitted both Edwards and Hunter had been openly planning a life together after Elizabeth Edwards died. Under the circumstances Elizabeth Edwards was certianly justified in leaving her unfaithful husband who was waiting for her to die and who had lied to her on several occasions. 

Rielle Hunter has a notrious backgound and had to change her name. Her real name is Lisa Jo Druck. "Brat Pack" novelist Jay McInerney said that his former-girlfriend Hunter is the basis for the lead character Alison Poole, "an ostensibly jaded, sexually voracious 20-year-old," in the 1988 novel Story of My Life. McInerney described their relationship and Hunter's role as the inspiration for the character in an interview in 2005.

McInerney also said that he chose to write about her and her friends because he was both "intrigued and appalled" by their behavior. The Story of My Life, which was about the life of a hard-partying young social climber.  The book had a sub plot that deals with the horse murders insurance fraud scandal. The FBI had been investiagating Hunter's father for electrocuting horses for insurance money.

John Edwards was a fool to get involved with Rielle Hunter . Edwards comes form a humble background that would appeal to many middle class and low income workers. He squandred away his political carrer and undoubtedly this scandal will affect his legal career as well. His disloyalty to a dieing wife makes him a contemptible person.

source: http://www.politico.com/click/stories/1001/edwards_pushes_back_hunter_admits_personal_video.html, http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/ and Wikipedia.

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Politics Daily: Catholic Bishops tell Congress to Ditch the Politics, Pass Health Care

01/27/10

Well, praise the Lord! The Catholic church has been a one hit wonder for so long with its anti-abortion stance, it's good to see it get off its pulpit to address a far bigger issue. 
 
In a strongly worded appeal that will test their political influence, especially with their pro-life and Republican allies, the Catholic bishops of the United States have told Congress to put politics aside and focus on the "moral imperative" of passing universal health care.

"The health care debate, with all its political and ideological conflict, seems to have lost its central moral focus and policy priority, which is to ensure that affordable, quality, life-giving care is available to all," the three bishops who are leading the lobbying effort for the Catholic hierarchy write in a letter sent Tuesday to all 535 senators and representatives. "Now is not the time to abandon this task, but rather to set aside partisan divisions and special interest pressures to find ways to enact genuine reform."

In a bow to Scott Brown's stunning victory in the Massachusetts senate race, which gave Republicans enough votes to block health care reform, the bishops write: "Although political contexts have changed, the moral and policy failure that leaves tens of millions of our sisters and brothers without access to health care still remains."

Passing legislation to provide universal, affordable health has been a longtime goal of the Catholic bishops, and in their letter to Congress, they reiterate that they consider health care "a basic human right." They have even called health care reform a "pro-life issue," although their own line in the sand against any hint of federal funding of abortion coverage and for strong conscience protections for hospitals and health care workers arguably delayed the negotiations until Brown's victory seemed to seal the reform's fate.

Besides abortion funding, the Catholic hierarchy is also concerned that health care reform be affordable for everyone, especially poor and working class Americans, and that it allow immigrants to buy insurance even if reform does not cover all immigrants regardless of status, as the bishops would prefer.

The authors of the letter reflect that three-fold concern. They are Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, head of pro-life efforts for the hierarchy; Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, their chief spokesman on domestic issues; and Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, their spokesman on behalf of immigrants.

"Providing affordable and accessible health care that clearly reflects these fundamental principles is a public good, moral imperative and urgent national priority," the bishops write. "The moral measure of any health care reform proposal is whether it offers affordable and accessible health care to all, beginning with those most in need. This can be a matter of life or death, of dignity or deprivation."

The bishops say the current bills would still leave 18 to 23 million people uncovered, and say they have other objections related to conscience protections and abortion funding. But the bishops are also hoping something can be salvaged.

See the rest of the story at http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/01/27/catholic-bishops-to-congress-ditch-the-politics-pass-health-ca/

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Politics Daily: Americans do poorly on general knowledge Pew Poll


01/29/10
A new poll of general news knowledge released Friday found only 26 percent of Americans knew that it takes 60 votes to break a filibuster in the Senate and force a vote on a bill.

In Pew Research Center's latest News IQ Quiz just 32 percent knew that the Senate passed its version of President Obama's health care reform legislation without a single Republican vote.

The survey conducted Jan. 14-17 asked 12 multiple choice questions on topics such as politics, economics, foreign affairs, and prominent people in the news.

Take the Pew news quiz here.

source: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/01/29/poll-finds-many-americans-unsure-of-senate-procedure/

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Newsy: VA Gov. Bob McDonnell is a better GOP option than Sarah Palin



McDonnell is an excellent speaker, but his credentials as a pragmatist remain to be seen. He was a graduate of a Christian school and his thesis would not have been acceptable in a mainstream university because of the value judgements it contained.

He is governing a state that has a $5 billion deficit. McDonnel's speech was high on abstraction and low on concrete details.

Republicans have talked about limited government before but they have always expanded the federal government and deficit when elected.

McDonnel has only been in office a couple of months. Time will tell whether he has the right stuff. He appears to be a better option for the GOP than Sarah Palin.

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Mediaite: James O’Keefe Accuses Media Of ‘Journalistic Malpractice’



by Glynnis MacNicol | 1:17 pm, January 29th, 2010
James O’Keefe has published a statement about this week’s misadventures in Mary Landrieu’s office on Andrew Breitbart’s site Big Government.

O’Keefe claims he went to Landrieu’s in disguise in the hopes of ascertaining whether Landrieu’s phones were actually jammed — she had stated that was the reason voters were unable to reach her office to complain about her pork barrel health care vote. Says O’Keefe: “On reflection, I could have used a different approach to this investigation, particularly given the sensitivities that people understandably have about security in a federal building.” Oh, the  hindsight excuse.

The government has now confirmed what has always been clear: No one tried to wiretap or bug Senator Landrieu’s office. Nor did we try to cut or shut down her phone lines. Reports to this effect over the past 48 hours are inaccurate and false.

UPDATE: Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher points out below that so far the government has confirmed nothing along these lines.

See the rest of the story at http://www.mediaite.com/online/james-okeefe-accuses-media-of-journalistic-malpractice/

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Glen Beck: Obama is a socialist



The right wing just can't make up its mind. Lately, most of the righties have been calling Obama a fascist.

Now they are calling him a socialist. Is Obama on the left or the right? Part of the problem is that many conservatives have a murky understanding of politics and confuse fascism with socialism.

In fact, fascism and socialism aren't even in the same category. Fascism is a political philosophy that is based on capitalist or syndicalist economics.

Communism is the opposite political philosophy that prefers socialist economics. Fascism represents the extreme right wing view while communism represents the extreme left. Neither extreme political philosophy has worked well.

The fascist powers, Germany and Italy, were defeated in World War 2. The first communist government, the USSR, collapsed under its own weight.

Most governments today use a mix of socialist and capitalist economics. This includes both the US and Red China. There is no country that is completely capitalist or socialist.

Glen Beck blurs the lines between the left and right. Beck suggests progressives are prone to violence although most political violence in this country has been on the right. It is not the progressives who are have an obsession with guns and ammo.

Beck says progressives resort to name-calling, shouting, and accusations of racism. Rightardia says turnabout is fair play. The left has been turning the other cheek for far too long.

Beck claims "progressive historians" are "on a mission to make sure Nazis are right. . ." and that they defend Stalin and Mao.

Well, no progressive that Rightardia knows has much use for any of these people. Progressives are repelled by fascists and Nazis who have held racist and ultra-nationalist views.

Although Stalin killed millions of his own people, he also defeated the Nazis and brought the Russians into the 20th Century.

Mao is considered the Father of Modern China. Progressives would suggest that the Russians and Chinese would be the best judges of their old leaders.

Beck is "declaring war" on the "very bad" progressive movement. How is the progressive movement bad? It helped elect Obama and ended dysfunctional Republican rule.

Beck plans to continue "to correct the history that progressives have tried to erase." Good luck, Mr. Beck. Rightardia has people who have read the history books and in most cases history has not been particularly kind to Republicans.

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This is the future the Supreme Court has given America


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Obama reprimands the GOP for health care extremism


In spite of what the Republican and right wing propaganda machine is spewing today, Obama won big time shoving it up their collective conservative ass. The GOP made it clear that they are still the Party of NO NO NO NO NO.

And there's more bad news for the GOP: President Obama not only took their tough questions, but he answered them.  He was tough,and forcing the GOP to confront the facts instead of their make-believe bullshit.

If you don't think Obama won, consider this fact:   Fox "News" cut off
the Q&A session before it ended  because it was going so badly for the
Repubicans.

Both CNN and MSNBC both carried the full event live.

Fair and balanced? Fox News cut it off, you decide.

source: From: Kickin' Ass and Takin' Names <PopUlist349@hotmail.com>  (Newshosting.com - Highest quality at a great price! www.newshosting.com)
Date: Friday 29 January 2010 18:37:10
Groups: alt.politics

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A Conservative Case Study: The Hookers and Whiskey Act


Our thanks to Tom Tomorrow, one of the best progressive cartoonists in the world. 

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Make the big banks pay back the TARP money

Rightardia is pleased that the federal government will tax the big banks that it gave TARP money to. The US went through a similar debacle with Savings and Laon (S&L) industry in the 1980s and the 1990s. The US government should be able to loan money in emergencies, but should also excpect to be paid back.

We also noted that while a record number of foreclosures that have been occurring, bankers are trying to change the law in Florida to that foreclosures do not have to go though a court review. This would allow the banks to boot someone from their home in ninety days usi8ng a non-judicial procedure.

Here is a list of innocents the bankers aim to help: neighbors annoyed by abandoned houses next door; condo associations pursuing dues from properties in legal limbo; cities grappling with urban blight; and judges overloaded with thousands of foreclosure cases. Who are these Republicans kidding?

"We don't want the property. We're not into the property management business," said a banking represetnative. "We want to get a property out of the courts and sold to a productive Florida family.''

The conservative definiton of a productive Florida family is one that is affluent.

We wonder if Republican Governor Charlie Crist will have the balls to veto this regressive banking legislation.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savings_and_loan_crisis

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Washington Whispers: Obama get a C in week 54



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Rightardia editorial: Got Balls?

This is no time to be timid or plodding. Either the rubber hits the road or the Democrats are going to lose the 2010 elections. This will mean grid lock and also that the US recovery will be slowed.

The Republicans love to talk a big game about limited government and tax cuts. Neither will hasten the recovery of the economy. Obama has already cut taxes for the middle class and and has not raised taxes on the most affluent Americans who received huge tax cuts during the Bush administration.

When Reagan and Bush were president, the GOP spent like drunken sailors on defense and left the nation in the red. The Democratic governments of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton did a far better job of balancing the budget.

Limited government is a GOP exaggeration. When conservatives take power, they spend more money and have different priorities. When George W. Bush was in office, he created the largest federal organisation is our history: Homeland Security.

Republicans also look the other way in the Department of Labor, Education, Justice, Energy, Veterans Affairs and the Interior when they are in power.

If Obama is aware of the lessons of the Great Depression, he would know that the affluent paid for the war and the economic recovery with a 90 per cent income tax rate.

Since World War 2, the GOP and conservative Democrats have cut the tax rate for the affluent to 35 per cent, a whopping 61 per cent drop. To make matters worse, capital gains tax is only 15 per cent.

Most wealthy americans make most of their money with holdings in stocks and bonds that are subject only to capital gains taxes. Many of these people don't work at all and simply live off fortunes that they inherited from parents or other close relatives. This is the GOP welfare state for rich white people. .

The GOP would like you to believe that Income Tax is unfair because it is a progressive tax. Actually, the Income Tax and the Estate Tax are the exceptions rather than the rule. Most taxes like municipal taxes, sales taxes and licenses are regressive taxes. The middle class and the poor pay a higher percentage of their incomes for taxes than the affluent do.

Of course, the conservatives will only complain about the progressive taxes. The last effective GOP president was Dwight B. Eisenhower and he left office in 1961.The Republicans have only been out of power for three years. Returning them to power will have a bad effect on the American recovery.

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New US Constitition appeals to fascists

Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini would have loved the US Supreme court ruling  allowing corporations to make unlimited contributions of political campaigns.

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Al Jazeera: Tony Blair makes an ass of himself

Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, has told an inquiry into the Iraq war that he has "no regrets" about removing Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president, from power.

After facing six hours of questions on Friday, Blair said he felt "responsibility not regret", prompting angry shouts from the public gallery at the conference centre in London where the inquiry is taking place.

"I think he was a monster, I believe he threatened not just the region but the world ... and I do genuinely believe that the world is safer," Blair said.

Blair had earlier said that the pre-war intelligence convinced him it was necessary to stop Saddam Hussein, the then-Iraqi president, from developing weapons of mass destruction.

He told the inquiry that the perception of risk from rogue or failed states changed after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

"When I talked earlier about the calculus of risk changing after September 11 it's really important I think to understand in so far as to understanding the decision I took, and frankly would take again," he said.

WMD capability


Despite the fact weapons of mass destruction were never uncovered by UN inspectors, Blair said he remained convinced that Saddam had the capability.

"He [Saddam] had used them, he definitely had them ... and so in a sense it would have required quite strong evidence the other way to be doubting the fact that he had this programme," Blair said.

"The decision I had to take was, given Saddam's history, given his use of chemical weapons, given the over one million people whose deaths he caused, given 10 years of breaking UN resolutions, could we take the risk of this man reconstituting his weapons programme?"

The inquiry is Britain's third major investigation into the conflict. It was set up last year by Gordon Brown, who took over from Blair as the UK's prime minister, to learn lessons from the conflict.

Vincent Moss, the political editor of the Sunday Mirror newspaper, told Al Jazeera the inquiry could have been tougher on Blair, whose decision to send 45,000 troops to Iraq sparked protests in Britain and around the world.

"A lot of ground wasn't covered, and in my mind it wasn't covered in enough detail, particularly the dodgy dossier in September 2002.

"There wasn't very much interrogation on that, they pretty much accepted what Tony Blair said about the intelligence. We could have had an awful lot stronger questioning on that," he said.

Dodgy dossier

In a foreword to the so-called "dodgy dossier", it was said that possession of chemical and biological weapons by Saddam was "beyond doubt" and that he could deploy them within 45 minutes.

But the inquiry has already heard from senior civil servants who said intelligence in the days before the invasion indicated that Saddam's "weapons of mass destruction" had been dismantled.

Hundreds of protesters, including anti-war campaigners and the families of some of the 179 soldiers who have died in Iraq, have gathered outside the building where Blair is giving evidence.

 Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

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FBI Press Release: Conservative activists attempt to bug the office of Sen. Mary Landrieu

For Immediate Release
January 26, 2010 United States Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Louisiana
Contact: (504) 680-3000

telephone bugging device

NEW ORLEANS—JOSEPH BASEL, age 24; ROBERT FLANAGAN, age 24; JAMES O’KEEFE, age 25; and STAN DAI, age 24, were charged in a criminal complaint with entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony, announced the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

According to the complaint, which was unsealed earlier today, the arrest of FLANAGAN, BASEL, O’KEEFE, and DAI took place after BASEL and O’KEEFE attempted to gain access to the New Orleans office of United States Senator Mary Landrieu on January 25, 2010, while posing as telephone repairmen. According to the complaint, FLANAGAN and BASEL were each dressed in blue denim pants, blue work shirts, light green fluorescent vests, tool belts, and construction-style hard hats when they entered the Hale Boggs Federal Building, located at 500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130.

Once in the building, FLANAGAN and BASEL sought access to the offices of Senator Landrieu. O’KEEFE was already present in the office, holding a cellular phone so as to record FLANAGAN and BASEL.

Once inside Senator Landrieu’s reception area, FLANAGAN and BASEL told a member of Senator Landrieu’s staff that they were telephone repairmen, and they requested access to the main telephone at the reception desk. FLANAGAN and BASEL then manipulated the telephone system.

FLANAGAN and BASEL next requested access to the telephone closet because they needed to perform work on the main telephone system. They were directed to the main office of the United States General Services Administration, also inside the Hale Boggs Federal Building, where they again represented themselves to be employees of the telephone company and stated that they needed to perform repair work in the telephone closet.

Both FLANAGAN and BASEL stated that they had left their credentials in their vehicle. In addition, the complaint alleges that O’KEEFE and DAI assisted FLANAGAN and  BASEL in the planning, coordination, and preparation of the operation. The men were apprehended by the United States Marshal’s Service soon thereafter.

If convicted, FLANAGAN, BASEL, O’KEEFE, and DAI each face a maximum term of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

The United States Attorney’s Office reiterated that the complaint is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation is being conducted by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Deputy Marshals with the United States Marshal’s Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg.


Rightardia published an earlier article on the attempt to bug a senator's office.  All these men are adults and ignorance of the law in no excuse. We hope these men are prosecuted do the full extent of the law.  Certainly these men had to be aware of Watergate. We suspect there is more to this story.

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Supreme Court ruling on corporate political contributions



For years Americans have heard conservatives claim they are strict constructionists, but the the recent Supreme Court ruling on corporate political contributions was about as activist a ruling Rightardia has ever heard.

Rightardia searched the Constitution for the words: free enterprise, corporation,  and private property at http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html. The only hits we got were on private property:

Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. was Ratified 12/15/1791. It states: No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

That is all the US Constitution says about corporations, free enterprise or private property.

Rightard Whitey was recently driving to the bank when he spotted a Tea Bagger SUV sporting the following: I don't need to read the the health care bill. the US government needs to read the US Constitution. Really?

Conservatives may believe this, but what in the Constitution says private corporations must have exclusive jurisdiction over the US health care system? What in the US Constitution proscribes the federal government from regulating health care?

Unless conservatives can provide a legal basis for the belief the Constitition prohibits the government from regulating health care, they should simply STFU.

The Congress needs to take action on the Suprme Court ruling to prevent the US from sliding into fascism.  Corporatism and fascism are synonymous.
Representative Alan Grayson has been one the most forceful voices in responding to this crisis. He has introduced a number of bills as part of a "Save Our Democracy" initiative to blunt some of the worst implications of the Supreme Court's decision.
  1. The Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act (H.R. 4431): Implements a 500% excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees, and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns.
  2. The Public Company Responsibility Act (H.R. 4435): Prevents companies making political contributions and expenditures from trading their stock on national exchanges.
  3. The End Political Kickbacks Act (H.R. 4434): Prevents for-profit corporations that receive government money from making political contributions, and limits the amount that employees of those companies can contribute.
  4. The Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act (H.R. 4432): Requires publicly traded companies to disclose in SEC filings money used for the purpose of influencing public opinion, rather than for promoting their products and services.
  5. The Ending Corporate Collusion Act (H.R. 4433): Applies antitrust law to industry PACs.
  6. The End the Hijacking of Shareholder Funds Act (H.R. 4487): This bill requires the approval of a majority of a public company's shareholders for any expenditure by that company to influence public opinion on matters not related to the company's products or services. 
Rightardia is a big fan of Alan Grayson.  The Supreme Court ruling needs to be immediately blunted with a new law. By the time the new law is challenged in court, perhaps one of the conservative justices will have retired or passed away.


source: CREDO

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St. Petersburg Times: Florida lawmakers may pass bill that will boot people out of their homes in 90 days


By James Thorner, Times Staff Writer, Friday, January 29, 2010

If bankers get their way, Floridians facing foreclosure could be kicked out of their homes in as little as three months. Just what the citizens of Florida need in these hard times.

The Florida Bankers Association, the 400-member-strong lenders' lobby, has presented state legislators with a bill to upend decades of Florida law and establish "non-judicial" foreclosures in Florida by July 1.

What's a non-judicial foreclosure? Banks would accelerate foreclosures against defaulting homeowners by bypassing the courts. Judges would no longer rule on foreclosure cases.

Some states — 37 in fact — already grant that fast-track foreclosure authority, including California, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. But Florida, with its plethora of vacation and retiree homes, has always been big on homeowner rights.

If you're a financially strapped Florida homeowner — 62,719 Tampa Bay properties got foreclosure notices last year — the 53-page bill contains worrisome signs:

• Non-judicial foreclosures must conclude in no less than three months and no more than a year. Most Florida foreclosures take a year to 18 months to work through the courts these days, longer if a lawyer fights a successful rear guard action. In 90 days banks can theoretically auction the home out from under you.

The Florida Supreme Court's newly endorsed mandatory mediation for lenders and homeowners would effectively go bye-bye. The bill provides only for informal meetings between creditors and debtors.

• Even after homeowners are evicted, banks can still pursue them for unpaid mortgage debt. But banks will waive that right if homeowners avoid trashing or stripping the house before the new owner takes over.

The bankers association has titled the bill The Florida Consumer Protection and Homeowner Credit Rehabilitation Act. Association president Alex Sanchez views the bill as a way to break a foreclosure crisis partly caused by mortgage fraud. It should be titled The Florida Bank Protection and Homeowner 90-day Foreclosure Act.

Here is a list of innocents the bankers aim to help: neighbors annoyed by abandoned houses next door; condo associations pursuing dues from properties in legal limbo; cities grappling with urban blight; and judges overloaded with thousands of foreclosure cases. Who are these Republicans kidding?

"We don't want the property. We're not into the property management business," Sanchez said of bankers. "We want to get a property out of the courts and sold to a productive Florida family.''

"Productive' is the conservative buzz word for people who are affluent.

Finalizing a foreclosure is time-consuming and expensive. The longer a property lingers in the courts, the longer banks get no mortgage income from the property. One Tampa mortgage banker revealed this month that each foreclosure can cost lenders an additional $30,000 in legal fees.

The law would apply to foreclosures after July 1, not old cases already in the courts. Kristopher Fernandez, a Tampa foreclosure attorney, blames the banks themselves for much of the judicial foot dragging.

source: http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/florida-bankers-move-to-dramatically-speed-up-the-foreclosure-process/1069024

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Russians test new fifth generation stealth aircraft


The maiden flight of the first Russian fifth-generation fighter jet was completed successfully on Friday morning.
The test flight of the jet, so far known under the name PAK FA (a Russian abbreviation for the perspective aircraft complex of the frontline aviation), was conducted near the far-eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, home of a major Russian aircraft production facility.

The Russians have been very secretive about this aircraft and this is the first information Rightardia has seen in months. Earlier Rightardia had published artist conceptions of this aircraft. Little was known about the fifth-generation fighter aircraft until today, and even its appearance was classified information.

The press service of the Sukhoi aircraft producer reported that the 45-minute long test flight ended successfully. “All tasks set before the pilot were successfully undertaken,” said Olga Kayukova, a spokeswoman for the company.


But to fit into fifth-generation requirements, the plane must have high maneuverability, supersonic cruise speed, high weapons payload and elements of stealth technology. The PAK FA producers say their plane is on a par with its rival – the US-made F-22 Raptor.

Ruslan Pukhov, an expert of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, told RT that he expected the Russian aircraft to be very competitive on international markets because its price will be significantly lower than that of the American fighter jet. “I think by definition this aircraft will be able to occupy up to one third of the market,” the analyst said.

PAK FA production is scheduled to start between 2015 and 2017.

source: http://rt.com/Top_News/2010-01-29/fifth-generation-russian-fighter.html#
and Ria Novosti

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cosnservative activists try to bug Democratic Senate office

January 26, 2010 8:11 p.m. EST



(CNN) -- A conservative activist who made undercover videos of the liberal community-organizing group ACORN was one of four men charged Tuesday with attempting to illegally access the phone system in a district office of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.


Joseph Basel, 24; Robert Flanagan, 24; James O'Keefe, 25; and Stan Dai, 24, were charged with entering Landrieu's New Orleansoffice under "false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony," according to release from the local U.S. attorney's office.

The four posted a $10,000 unsecured bond and were released, said Kathy English of the Department of Justice. According to CNN affiliate WWL, the court date in the case is set for February 12.

O'Keefe is the same activist who dressed up as a pimp last summer and visited ACORN offices to solicit advice on setting up a brothel, among other scenarios, law enforcement officials confirmed. He secretly recorded the visits on videotapes that were posted on the Internet. Flanagan is the son of William Flanagan, the acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, his office said.

Articles on conservative Web sites connect O'Keefe to a man named Joe Basel, describing them as conservative student activists and filmmakers.
This is a very unusual situation and somewhat unsettling for me and my staff.
--U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu

"This is a very unusual situation and somewhat unsettling for me and my staff," Landrieu said in a statement Tuesday night. "The individuals responsible have been charged with entering federal property under false pretenses for the purposes of committing a felony. I am as interested as everyone else about their motives and purpose, which I hope will become clear as the investigation moves forward."

Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Michael McHale, in a separate statement, called the case a "Louisiana Watergate."

"Louisiana families are shocked and outraged that these men would break the law to carry out their political agenda with this Watergate-like break-in and attempted wiretapping," McHale said in the statement, which also claimed Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter has "ties to some of the players involved" and called on Vitter to "immediately denounce" the suspects and anyone else involved.

According to the news release Tuesday and an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Steven Rayes, who is based in New Orleans, Basel and Flanagan attempted to gain access to Landrieu's office Monday while posing as telephone repairmen.
The two men were "each dressed in blue denim pants, a blue work shirt, a light green fluorescent vest, a tool belt and a construction-style hard hat when they entered the Hale Boggs Federal Building," the release noted.

Read the affidavit here: Read the affidavit (PDF)

Read the complete story at http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/01/26/senate.office.break.in/index.html?hpt=Sbin 


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Sunday, January 24, 2010

video
Kiplinger completed its annual survey and it is clear that most Americans can not afford to send their children to a private college. The Kiplinger ranking of the top 100 public schools is at Top 100 public schools.

source: Clip Syndicate

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Politics Daily: Palin Says Fox Deal Wouldn't Keep Her From Running in 2012

Posted: 01/19/10

During Sarah Palin's debut week on the Fox News Channel, she dismissed speculation that accepting the television job means she will not run for president in 2012.

"You know, I'm not going to close any doors for my future, for my family's future -- don't know what's in the future, what it holds, but between now and whenever a big decision has to be made, I'm gonna do all that I can to help our country get back on the right track, and that's to get a message out there about solutions that I believe and a whole lot of Americans believe need to be plugged in," Palin said.

This is typical Palin-speak. She is the queen of the run-on sentence.

On Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," Glenn Beck discussed Palin's debut by saying she was the "most guarded woman I have ever seen in my life. I've never met anybody with shields up more than Sarah Palin."

This is an interesting development since a recent CBS poll indicates more than seven in 10 Americans don't want Bible Spice to run for president.

Rightardia believes Palin would be easy to defeat because she is more polarizing than Hillary Clinton, who is more politically skilled.  In addition, she does not have a high approval rating among women.

source: http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2010/01/18/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry6113291.shtml

Source: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/01/19/palin-says-fox-deal-wouldnt-keep-her-from-running-in-2012/

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What do conservatives and communists have in common?

Updated at 11:37 AM

Neither likes the movie, Avatar.



Avatar' was pulled from 1,628 Chinese movie screens The communist nation's state-run movie distributor, China Film Group, unexpectedly began pulling the blockbuster science-fiction picture from 1,628 2-D screens this week in favor of a biography of the ancient philosopher Confucius.

Paul Hanneman, co-president of international distribution for 20th Century Fox, the movie's distributor, confirmed the move, which the studio learned about Monday evening.

According to the Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily, the switch was made at the urging of propaganda officials who are concerned that "Avatar" is taking too much market share from Chinese films and drawing unwanted attention to the sensitive issue of forced evictions.

Millions of Chinese have been uprooted to make way for high-rise buildings and government infrastructure projects in the fast-growing country.

In "Avatar," human colonists try to demolish the village of an alien race to obtain a precious energy source buried under it. source:

Source: LA Times/The News Tribune

Read more: http://www.thenewstribune.com/apheadlines/outdoors/stor... 

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Billionaires for MA senate candidate Scott Brown get roughed up


Some people cannot take a joke!

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US troops shooting Taliban with Jesus rifles


In August of 2005 Trijicon was awarded a $660 million dollar, multi-year contract to provide 800,000 of its Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG) to the U.S. Marine Corps. According to Trijicon, the ACOG is "designed to function in bright light, low light or no light conditions," and is "ideal for combat due to its high degree of discrimination, even among multiple moving targets."

At the end of the scope's model number, one can see "JN8:12", which is a reference to the New Testament book of John, Chapter 8, Verse 12, which reads: "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (King James Version).

The Trijicon company in Michigan says that it has always stamped its sighting systems with coded biblical passages. Tom Munson, director of sales and marketing told ABC News that “the inscriptions “have always been there.”
Munson denied that they were wrong or illegal. He responded to the criticism by deriding the group as “not Christian.”

Another Trijicon inscriptions is 2COR4:6, which is a reference to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the New Testament, which reads: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

source: ABC news and Chattahbox

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Monday, January 18, 2010

CBS Poll: Most Don't Want Sarah Palin to Run for President

Posted by Kevin Hechtkopf (CBS)


A new CBS News poll finds that a large majority of Americans say they do not want former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to run for president.
Specifically, 71 percent say they do not want the former Republican vice presidential nominee to run for president. Only 21 percent say they do want her to run.

When the results are split out by party, 56 percent of Republicans say they do not want her to seek the office and 30 percent do. Meanwhile, 88 percent of Democrats do not want her to run. Among independents, 65 percent do not want her to run and 25 percent do.

The poll also finds that more people view Palin negatively than positively and that her book tour did not improve overall views of her. However, she is a little better-known now than she was last fall, and both favorable and unfavorable ratings of her have increased slightly.

Today 26 percent of people view Palin favorably, compared with 23 percent in November and July of last year. Forty-one percent now view her unfavorably, compared with 38 percent in November and 37 percent in July (both in CBS News polls). Nineteen percent of people in the current poll are undecided about Palin.

Forty-three percent of Republicans have a favorable opinion of her. Independents are divided, with 30 percent holding favorable views and 35 percent unfavorable.

Conservatives are the only ideological group that holds net positive views of her -- just under half do, while a quarter are unfavorable and a quarter of conservatives are undecided.

source: http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2010/01/18/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry6113291.shtml

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Filibuster: the monster that no one can kill



graphic courtesy of PalvlovianObeisance.com

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Why has the right politicized the Haiti Crises?


Rightardia looks at six or seven liberal blogs every day and a comparison of Obama's response to the Haiti earthquake has not been common. This is why the three presidents: Obama, Clinton and Bush, are all supporting the effort. They want the relief effort to be apolitical.

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Obama Report Card: Week 52


source: US news and World Report--Washington Whispers


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Haiti: The Devil made me do it!




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Haaretz: Pope defends Nazi-era Vatican




Last update - 20:33 17/01/2010
By Sivan Kotler de Benedetti and News Agencies

Pope Benedict XVI used his first visit to Rome's synagogue on Sunday to defend the oft-criticized actions of the Vatican during the Holocaust, saying the Church had "acted in a discreet and hidden way."

The pope made the comments after a Jewish leader bluntly told the pontiff that his wartime predecessor Pius XII was "silent" in the face of the genocide of the Jewish people in Europe, and should have spoken out more forcefully against the Holocaust.

"The silence of Pius XII before the Shoah still hurts because something should have been done," Riccardo Pacifici, president of Rome's Jewish community told the pope, using the Hebrew word for the Holocaust.

"Maybe it would not have stopped the death trains, but it would have sent a signal, a word of extreme comfort, of human solidarity, towards those brothers of ours transported to the ovens of Auschwitz [death camp]," he said.

Meanwhile, Israel, via Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, asked the pope during his synagogue visit to open up the Vatican archives covering Pius' papacy.


"I asked the pope to find a way to make it possible to open the archives in the Vatican in order to give some details of the papacy of Pius XII in order to ease tensions between the Jewish people and Catholics," Silvan Shalom told Reuters at the end of the pope's visit.

In his speech in the synagogue, Benedict balked at the accusation that the pope turned a blind eye to the plight of Europe's Jews, saying: "The Apostolic See itself provided assistance, often in a hidden and discreet way."

Benedict was welcomed with applause Sunday upon his arrival at the synagogue, a visit he said would improve relations between Catholics and Jews.

He was greeted by Rome and international Jewish leaders as he arrived at the synagogue on the banks of the Tiber - a short distance from the Vatican - to begin the two-hour visit.

Several prominent Jews said they would boycott the visit, but applause greeted the pope as he arrived at the synagogue in the Old Jewish Ghetto, where for hundreds of years Jews were confined under the orders of a 16th century pope.

Benedict warmly shook hands with the synagogue's retired chief rabbi, Elio Toaff, who welcomed John Paul II when the late pontiff visited the synagogue in a ground-breaking event in 1986.

Rightardia comment: The Vatican needs to open its secret archives on the Nazi era. Benedict XVI proclaimed Pope Pius XII, sometimes referred to as the Nazi Pope, is eligible for beatification in a decree issued on December 19, 2009. Pope Benedict was a member of the Hitler Jugend and should clear the air on Catholic complicity with the Nazis. Let some Jewish scholars examine the archives and prepare a report
source: Hareetz

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Newsy: How to rebuild Haiti



The St. Petersburg times wrote an excellent article on the history of Haiti. The US has spectacularly interfered with the nation  since the Haitians rebelled from their French colonials masters. At that time Haiti was hell on earth.

The French were making huge profits in forestry and sugar off the backs of black slaves. The French had to import 500,000 new slaves every year to replace the black people who preished in Haiti.

When the Haitian Revolution succeeded, the Southern slave states became highly alarmed about the world's first black republic in 1804. The United States refused to recognize the new nation for fear of undermining its own slavery system. The US led a worldwide boycott against Haiti that lasted until the end of the U.S. Civil War in 1865.

Concerned about risks to the Panama Canal,  the US occupied the entire island of Hispaniola during World War I. In the Dominican Republic (DR), Americans trained an army headed by Rafael Trujillo, who became president and then dictator of the DR.

The Haitians had their own dictator, Papa Doc Duvalier. U.S. economic and military aid — along with American manufacturers drawn to Haiti by cheap wages — helped keep Duvalier and his son, Jean-Claude (Baby Doc), in power for nearly three decades.

But the regime's downfall began in the early '80s when the United States insisted that Haiti destroy its entire pig crop after an outbreak of swine flu.

That threw thousands of pig farmers out of work and started an uprising that led to "Baby Doc's'' exile to Paris in 1986.The US sent a C-141 to Port au Prince to evacuate the dictator to France. The C-141 also transported five heavy trunks for the Duvalier family.

Haiti no longer even produces its own food which it was able to do prior to 1950. The International Monetary Fund persuaded it to reduce import tariffs in the '80s, U.S. rice poured into the country and put many rice farms out of business. Today, three-fourths of Haiti's rice comes from the United States.

What could be done to improve the situation in Haiti. First, the country should follow the model of Costa Rica, one of the best government is the world and get rid of the Armed Forces. This would prevent coups that have plagued the nation. 

Jean-Bertrand Aristide was one of the better leaders of Haiti. Under Aristide's leadership, his party implemented many major reforms. These included greatly increasing access to health care and education for the general population, increasing adult literacy, increased protections for those accused of crimes, improved training for judges, prohibiting human trafficking, and disbanding the Haitian military, which had primarily been used against the Haitian people.

Aristride  also improved human rights and political freedoms, doubled the minimum wage, instituted land reform and assistance to small farmers, provided boat construction training to fishermen, established a food distribution network to provide low cost food to the poor at below market prices, built low cost housing, and attempted to reduce the level of government corruption.

However, there were also a lot of a corruption that included wire transfers to fictitious companies, corruption, nepotism and drug trade during his regime.

sources: St. Petersburg Times and Wikipedia

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Who is responsble for the Great Recession


The greed of the American business community if the driving force behind the Great Recession. Businessmen liked the ability to generate huge profits by moving paper rather than by doing hard work. America needs to get back to the old fashioned way of making a buck!

In addition, Republicans started to believe their own campagn rhetoric about deregulation. America should have known better after the Great Depression.

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Freedumb of Speech?

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MA GOP Senatorial candidate voted against assistance for 9/11 workers




Submitted by Jesse Russell on January 17, 2010 - 5:14pm


Tomorrow Massachusetts will go to the polls to choose a successor for the seat left empty when Senator Edward Kennedy passed away last year. Kennedy served as a Senator to the state for 46 years.

One of the candidates vying for the seat is Republican Scott Brown. Brown came under fire this weekend over a vote he cast in October of 2001 against a Massachusetts bill that would have provided financial assistance to Red Cross workers who volunteered to work at the Ground Zero site after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Brown was one of only three Massachusetts State Representatives to vote against the bill. Think Progress.com caught up with Brown on Saturday to ask if he had any regrets about not voting for the bill. Brown said he didn’t:

Brown: “It was a time when our budget was down. We had a lot of cuts unfortunately, and we had to take care of our own priorities first.”

Even nearly a decade after the events of September 11 numerous volunteers and workers who assisted at the World Trade Center recovery site continue to experience respiratory issues and other health issues with many receiving little to no aid from the government.

Rightardia checked Intrade Predictive Markets today and it it predicting Brown will win.  Brown has a 63 per cent probability of winning. How did the Democrats let this one get away?

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Friday, January 15, 2010

China Daily: Top 10 quotes from Chinese government officials in 2009

By Zuo Likun (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2010-01-15 06:17

China Daily Editor's Note: There were officials whose inappropriate remarks stunned us, but there were also officials whose utterances reflected or supported public sentiments. The following ten, as selected by people.com.cn, belong to the voices that energize and inspire. [The Top 10 Everything of 2009]

1 "Law enforcement officers must behave themselves, overpower the bad elements and back the common people."

- Bo Xilai, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Secretary of the CPC Chongqing Committee, about the crackdown on gangsters under way since March in the southwestern China municipality

2 "People suffer if you don't address the problems that ail them."

- Zhao Huiling, deputy director of the anti-vice office of the State Department and director of the anti-vice office of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, on corruption during a July interview

3 "We should take heed of - and take care of - those who are down to earth, well-disciplined and refuse to fawn over their superiors."

- Li Yuanchao, head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, at a cadre training session in Beijing in November

4 "People curse you with mom's name. At least they still see you as a kind of mom (caretaker)."

- Chen Guohua, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Taizhou Committee and secretary of the CPC Taizhou Committee for Disciplinary Inspection, in a Feb 3 entry on his blog, using a Chinese pun that includes the word "mom" in badmouthing

5 "The Internet is the modern-day platform for officials to conduct anonymous investigations."

- Wang Jinshan, secretary of the Anhui provincial Party committee, at a meeting with provincial officials on Internet communications in November

6 "Be politically clear and financially clean."

- Meng Jianzhu, China's State councilor and public security minister, at an April 7 training session in Beijing for national and county security officers

7 "County party secretaries should be less on the TV and more in the field, less like a (domineering) head of household and more like a (democratic) class president."

- Zhang Chunxian, secretary of the Hunan provincial Party committee and director of the Standing Committee of the Hunan Provincial People's Congress, at a training session for provincial county party secretaries on July 21

8 "Beware of the clan power and evil forces like gangs that may intrude on farmers' land rights."

- Xu Shaoshi, a minister with the Ministry of Land and Resources, at a land reform conference in Chengdu in southwestern China on June 9

9 "If the government is a computer; the supervisory organs should be its anti-virus software."

- Ma Wen, head of the National Bureau of Corruption Prevention and Minister of Supervision of China, during an interview in September

10 "When improving the 'soft' environment (of our policy, culture, law and government system), we should be cautious that good policies won't die out in execution like the necrosis of terminal nerves."

- Wang Min, secretary of the Liaoning provincial Party committee and former secretary of the Jilin provincial Party committee, at a Jilin provincial video conference on April 9

Rightardia comment: It is clear that Chinese government and culture are very different from those in the US. Translating Chinese to English is also problematic.

source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/09tentopnews/2010-01/15/content_9323284.htm

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