Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Latest Mario Piperni politcal video number 24

This one looks at the ring wing media wingnuts. 

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The New progressive America

Obama’s 53 percent of the 2008 popular vote is the largest share of the popular vote received by any presidential candidate in 20 years. Obama carried carried the electoral vote by an even more substantial 365-to-173 margin.

That’s a repeated pattern—state after state—helping send these states in a progressive direction. In Pennsylvania, for example, the white working class declined by 25 points between 1988 and 2008, while white college graduates rose by 16 points and minorities by eight points.

In Nevada, the white working class is down 24 points over the time period, while minority voters are up an amazing 19 points and white college graduates by 4 points.

These trends will continue. The United States will be majority-minority by 2042. By 2050, the country will be 54 percent minority as Hispanics double from 15 percent to 30 percent of the population, Asians increase from 5 percent to 9 percent and African Americans move from 14 percent to 15 percent.

Other demographic trends accentuate progressives’ advantage. The Millennial Generation—those born between1978 and 2000—gave Obama a stunning 66 percent to--32 percent margin in 2008. This generation is adding 4.5 million adults of voting age every year.

Or consider professionals, who are now the most progressive occupational group and increase that support with every election. Fast-growth segments among women like singles and the college-educated favor progressives over conservatives by large margins.

Even as progressives improve their performance among the traditional faithful, the growth of religious diversity—especially rapid increases among the unaffiliated—favors progressives.

By the election of 2016, it is likely that the United States will no longer be a majority white Christian nation.


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Huffington Post Tea Party Jesus

Huffington Post | Katla McGlynn First Posted: 06-30-10 01:16 PM | Updated: 06-30-10 01:34 PM

The concept behind the site Tea Party Jesus is simple: Put the words of conservative Christian social and political figures in the mouth of Christ. The actual web site is

The juxtaposition of hateful, ignorant, or otherwise nonsensical rants with serene photos of Jeus is funny. It also says a lot about the people who claim to be Christians.

Check both the original site and the Huffington Post for some examples.  If you go to the actual site, you can click on each photo to reveal the person behind the quote, making for for an interesting game of who-said-what.

Rightardia wonders after looking at these examples why the right wing thinks it is Christian!



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The alternative to Nancy Pelosi

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said that Republicans on Capitol Hill tell him "all the time" that House Minority Leader John Boehner "is not the hardest worker in the world. "

By early evening Boehner can be found hitting up the Washington bar scene. "I hear it on the Hill, I'm sure you hear it on the Hill all the time, it's not reported, but so many Republicans tell me this is a guy that is not the hardest worker in the world," said Scarborough on The Morning Joe.

Scarborough, who represented Florida's First Congressional district in the Panhandle from 1995 to 2001, said that the way he hears it, Boehner has a tendency to become "disengaged . . "

Mark Halperin indicated that some Republicans have suggested Boehner lacks the zeal to recover the Congress for the GOP in 2010.  

Rightardia beleives this might be an initial effort to dump Boehner as the House Minority Leader because other Republicans do not believe the GOP will recover the House with Boehner in charge.

Rumors that John Boehner has a drinking problem surfaced during a big speech Obama gave on health care to a joint session of the House and Senate.


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Conservative woman throws away marriage for money

Conservative blonde throws her life away on a game show for a few thousand dollars.

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Most veterans are not eligible for Catch 22 rehabilitation services

The Major has a big claim against the the VA and the Appeals Management Center (AMC) suggested that he apply for rehabilitation services. The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Vet Success Program is authorized by Congress under Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 31.

However, there is a Catch 22.  Many veterans join the Armed Services to use the GI Bill to get a college education after they separate from their service. Under the Montgomery GI bill, you have 10 years to use you GI educational benefits or you lose them. The new GI bill gives you a 15 year window. The rules for active duty and reservists are somewhat different. Most Veterans will use up most of their VA benefits while they are working on a four year bachelors degree.

Different VA bills (click to enlarge)

The VA is saying that a veterans who used up their VA benefits, regardless of whether they used the older or newer GI bill, will not be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Vet Success Program.

The one exception is if the veteran is 100 per cent disabled. Only 8.4 per cent of veterans who file claims with the VA are 100 per cent disabled and the VA tries to downgrade these veterans when Republican administrations are in power.

One of the Bush VA secretaries resigned when a veteran who had traumatic brain injury from combat was downgraded from 100 per cent disabled to sixty per cent.

Rightardia recently reported that the Bush administration ordered a complete review of all past VA claims in 2005, particularly those claims that vets had that were rated or 50 per cent or more. See

If the Republicans understood the VA clams process better, they would know such reviews are unnecessary. Claims go through the VA medical centers, the VA Regional Offices, the Appeals Management Center and the Board of Veterans Affairs. Claims often take an incredible four or five years to resolve.

The bottom line is that if you become disabled at age 40 or 50, it is unlikely that the VA offer you any rehabilitation assistance. Rightardia recommends you apply for rehabilitation with the state and not the VA.

Incredulously, the VA will consider you 'auto-magically' rehabilitated if you used you VA benefits to get a college degree after you separated from the Armed Services no matter how many years later you apply for rehabilitation benefits.

It is a strange, strange world the VA lives in.

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FOXNews: Raise Social Security Age to 70 to Pay for War?

This is typical GOP rhetoric. Social Security is the FICA payroll tax that has nothing to do with US Income Tax. Social Security is more like a forced savings plan. Cutting Social Security (SS) benefits will not increase government revenues to pay for the war in Afghanistan that George W. Bush started.

At age 70, the average male would have about 14.9 years of life left. At age 60, the number would be 22.4 years according to the US Census bureau in 2006. The average American who retires at age 60 would have worked at least 40 years to reap the benefits of SS for the next 20 years.

Remember, you are not eligible for SS until age 62 so subtract two years from the 22.4 years. Under the Boehner Plan, an American would have to work 50 years to collect SS benefits for the next 15 years.

Why would the GOp even go there? Well, several billionaires recently met on Wall Street to develop plans to privatize Social Security. Anxious to realize the corporate profits of a privatized Social Security, and frustrated with President Bush's failure to convince the American public, these billionaires want Americans to disregard their best interests in support of Wall Street.

If you want a peek at what would happen under a privatized Social Security plan, look what happened to Americans who lost their jobs in the great Recession and tried to use their 401K plans to make ends meet. Many found up to one third of the 401K's plan' funds disappeared because there is no regulation of 401k management fees.

When Margaret Thatcher was the UK's PM, she privatized Social Security and it was an unmitigated disaster for the UK's senior citizens. Today, the UK version of the Social Security pension is about half of what seniors in the US get because of the horrible conservative privatization experiment with Social Security that went awry.

Social Security FICA tax is regressive. Because the tax has been capped over the years, the tax has been primarily paid by the Middle Class and the poor. The cap is now $108,500 and will need to be raised or the FICA tax reformed because Bush refused to raise the cap after he was elected in 2004.

It would make sense to lower the overall percentage of the payroll tax, tax one's complete income and to eliminate the cap altogether as Medicare is taxed.

This would assure the most affluent Americans are paying more into the Social Security trust fund who are being let off of the hook with the tax cap. This is why John Boehner doesn't think the affluent should get social Security.

You can be assured the GOP will never let this happen unless the affluent are also excused from paying the Social Security FICA tax altogether. It's when you start putting tax exemptions and loopholes into Social Security that the program will begin to fail.

Obama has also suggested a $250,000 FICA donut that would exempt the first $250,000 of income from FICA. This would, off course, shift the Social Security tax burden to the affluent. It is the opposite of how we fund Social Security today.

Gallup: Democratic Affilation is stable in current poll

by Jeffrey M. Jones

PRINCETON, NJ -- For the first time since President Barack Obama took office, the percentage of Americans identifying as Democrats or leaning Democratic held steady in a quarter's worth of Gallup poll data. 

Prior to the second quarter of 2010, the percentage aligning themselves with the Democratic Party had declined at least slightly each quarter since early 2009.

Quarterly Averages in Party Identification and Leaning, 2009-2010 Gallup Polls

With 46% of Americans identifying either as Democrats or as independents who say they lean to the Democratic Party, and 43% identifying as Republican or leaning Republican, Democrats now hold a 3 percentage-point advantage in party affiliation.

The percentage of Americans who initially identify as Republican, the party's core supporters, has held steady at 27% or 28%.

Rightardia comment:  This indicates the 2010 elections will be close. Obama will reactivate organizing for America  (OFA ) to keep the Democratic party started. America is in a hole and all the GOP is offering the same old stale solutions that failed when Ronald Reagan was president: the deficit politics of tax cuts for corporations and the affluent.

Huffington Post: Spain Beats Portugal To Reach World Cup Quarterfinals

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Spain and Portugal played toe to toe the first half. In the second half, Spain dominated the game with crisp passing and finally broke through Portugal's defense. Striker David Villa finally did it.

Villa scored off his own rebound in the 63rd minute, giving the European champs a 1-0 victory. This put Spain into the World Cup quarterfinals.

Villa took Xavi Hernandez' heel pass and struck a left-footed shot that was saved by Portuguese goalkeeper Eduardo.

He then fired the rebound with his right foot off the underside of the crossbar and into the net as he fell to the ground.  This was his fourth goal of the tournament.

"It was one of my best goals because it got us through to the next round," Villa said. "Keep scoring so we can keep going."

Spain plays Paraguay in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Spain was expected to win the world cup four years ago, but failed in that quest. Spain could take the world cup this year.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bad Republican Apples

The first one is Rick Scott,  who is running in the Florida GOP primary for governor.

A clearly frustrated and angry Rick Scott lashed out at a Republican activist who called him an "unindicted co-conspirator" and asked him to explain the $1.7 billion health care fraud at his former hospital chain during a Q&A session at a GOP breakfast in Tampa.

It was a question Scott often gets on the campaign trail. But this woman set him off.
WOMAN: “In one of your opening comments you said that you wanted to fix Medicaid/Medicare on the state level. Is that kinda ironic when we have the whole Columbia/HCA health care situation that you really haven’t explained quite well? My understanding was that you were an unindicted co-conspirator and that that $1.7 billion payback that your company had to do to the government?

“Could you explain how you want to fix it when you were a part of the problem?"
SCOTT: "Sure. Well first of all I was never even questioned, and I was never charged, so…”

WOMAN: [Interrupting] “That’s what an unindicted co-conspirator is.”

Need Rightardia say more?  The sad part of this story is that slack-jawed Florida Republicans will probably nominate this man for governor in the next Florida primary. 

Then there is Adrian Calvo, the Clearwater slum lord and radio host. Where does the GOP get these people? 
While campaigning for the state House of Representatives, property owner and radio host Fabian Calvo has touted his skill in running a $20 million real estate company that spans the state. Says Calvo:
I am a successful small-businessman who believes state government should be run like a business . . . This is the type of leadership that is needed in Tallahassee, leadership from the small business world, people that have created jobs, paid payrolls, balanced budgets."

Renters and former property managers of Calvo say that's precisely his problem. He's a slumlord, they say, alleging he fails to pay his debts and lets property degrade into disrepair. Two ex-employees are taking him to court.

Calvo, whose company Calvo Management International owns 500 apartments and houses nearly 1,000 tenants across six counties, said the criticism is a baseless attempt at slander or blackmail.

sources: and

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Speed up Ubuntu Linux Ethernet connections

Rightardia uses BrightHouse Lightening at home but noticed that the Internet speeds seemed to be about half of what it should be.

We also noticed that the Ethernet connections dropped several times a day which was annoying. Our technical editor, Wirehead, decided to set up a static connection rather than use the Automatic Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP).

If your Ubuntu System has set to use DHCP, you will want to change it to a static IP address.

There is a way to use Ubuntu's GUI to make the change to a static IP address. Start by adding a new Wired connection.You may have to check the connection information in the Network applet if you have more than one Ethernet card to see which one is active.

Here we can se that the active DHCP connection is eth1.

Next disable the DHCP connection by unchecking 'connect automatically. Cut the MAC address form the active connection and paste it into the new static connection.

Shakira gets the World cup

(June 29) Singing the official tournament song "Waka Waka' for the World Cup has got Shakira feeling all sporty.

The singer admits she never understood the appeal of soccer before, but now she can't get enough. (June 29)

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Huffington Post: DNC Urges Activists To Film GOP

Sam Stein | HuffPost Reporting

The Democratic National Committee will debut on Tuesday a new web-based feature that will empower Democratic activists to serve as "trackers" of Republican candidates throughout the country.

In a move that could add a broad new element of accountability to elections , the DNC is encouraging its followers to upload video, mail pieces or audio recordings of GOP officials to a DNC-run site.

If carried out as planned, the new online tool could drastically alter the landscape of the 2010 elections, with campaign functions contracted out to hundreds of free volunteers. At a minimum, it is a vivid illustration of the modern-day campaign, where a slip-up by a candidate caught on video could have profound impacts on his or her electoral prospects.

Aides freely admit that the goal is to create another "Macaca moment" -- in which former Senator George Allen (R-Va.) famously doomed his reelection hopes by belittling an opposition videographer with a racial slur.

"Macaca was a game-changing event, not only for that race but for others," said Shauna Daly, research director at the DNC who is overseeing the new project.

Certainly it showed people a side of George Allen they hadn't seen before. They just hadn't been exposed to it. And the town halls last summer were amazingly eye-opening to people and video played a major role in it. ... We know that people have cameras everywhere now, whether it is your iPhone or a 200-dollar HD minicam that can take great video. This is something not exclusive to campaigns anymore.

Dubbed "The Accountability Project," the site, which is being emailed to the DNC's massive email list on Tuesday, will serve as a digital library for Democratic officials both state-based and in Washington, D.C. Users are given instructions on how to film a campaign, upload the video, submit copies of mailers or attack ads, record robocalls and place that audio on the web.

An official with the DNC will monitor the submissions in addition to cataloging the content. It will be largely left to interested parties -- reporters, ostensibly, included -- to sort through the information for the more newsworthy or inflammatory bits.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Wikipedia word of the day: Misology

Misology is defined as the fear or distrust of reason or logic. In that sense, it is the hatred of argument or debate or even speech. It is also defined sometimes as anti-intellectualism. A misologist would be an anti-intellectual.

In Plato’s Phaedo, Socrates comments on misology by comparing it with misanthropy.

Just like someone might love and trust all human beings but when deceived by one man can grow to dislike all humanity, so can someone who trusts in reason or logic grow to distrust it when he sees that it can be misused to support any stance.

A person who uses any opportunity to make a point, even if contradicts an earlier statement is called a sophist. A sophist is someone who will speak out both sides of their mouth whenever it is convenient.

In the text, Socrates warns Phaedo of the dangers of misology. According to Plato, the way to guard against misology is to select first arguments or theses wisely, after much research and study, so as not to be proved false later.

The word misologist was coined in 1870, and became popular through Benjamin Jowett's famous translation of Plato's Dialogues: "As there are misanthropists or haters of men, there are also misologists or haters of ideas." (Dr. William Long)

Kant, in Fundamental Principles of Moral Philosophy, wrote that "Misology is the hatred of reason."

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Supreme Court agrees that university can block Christan group that discriminates against sexual orientation

June 28, 5:20 PMSan Diego Church & State ExaminerAnna Cheuvront

June 28, 2010 – The Supreme Court backed non-discrimination today in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez ruling. This case that questioned whether the University of California Hastings School of Law had the right to deny the Christian Legal Society (CLS) official recognition. The law school sought to hold back official recognition because of CLS' discriminatory membership policies, a move that also prevented CLS from receiving university funding.

School attorneys cited a CLS policy that requires voting members to sign a statement of faith. The statement requires members to abstain from “unrepentant participation in the advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle.” The school claimed by denying persons of different beliefs and sexual orientations the right to participate violated the school’s non-discrimination policy.

The Supreme Court agreed in a 5-4 ruling that the Hastings Law School had the right to deny official recognition. In the Court’s opinion written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the majority agreed that “In requiring CLS – in common with all other student organization – to choose between welcoming students and forgoing the benefits of official recognition, we hold, Hastings did not transgress constitutional limitations.”

The Court majority further added that “CLS, it bears emphasis, seeks not parity with other organizations, but a preferential exemption from Hastings’ policy.”


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BBC: GOCE satellite views the Earth's gravity

The Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (Goce) satellite is at the front of this armada of scientific and environmental monitoring spacecraft. 

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Why did the Bush leave one million VA claims for the Obama adminstration?

The answer is simple. the Republicans were more concerned about taking a veteran's disability away. The VA secretary directed that a review of all the VA claims that had been approved. If you lost a disability while Bush was president, now you know why.

Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2005 13:43:00 -0700 (PDT)



Essentially the Republican VA secretary suggested that veterans are welfare cheats.  It may take years to process a VA disability claim and the process is comprehensive. Unfortunately, the VA often errors on the side of the government contrary to congressional law.

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WSJ: Is Oil Destined for East Coast?

6/3/2010 5:34:57 PM

New supercomputer studies suggest it is "very likely" that ocean currents will carry oil from the Deep Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico around Florida and up along thousands of miles of the U.S. Eastern seaboard this summer, researchers announced.

WSJ's Lee Hotz joins the News Hub with more.

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Americans used to be for the Underdog

During the great depression and through the 1960s. Americans always rooted for the underdog. The Shirley Temple movies were about a young girl who came form a poor family but through pluck and talent was able beat the rich snobs in the neighborhood.

James Stewart  in "It's a Wonderful Life" is  a good example of an underdog movie. So is Black Beauty. Take a look at the following quote to see what Rightrardia means"

George Bailey (James Stewart) : You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money. Well, it doesn't, Mr. Potter. In the whole vast configuration of things, I'd say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider.

These movies are still being made; Rocky is an excellent example. Dodgeball is another good underdog movie. So is 'Rudy,''Chariots of Fire,' and the 'Revenge of the Nerds' series. The House Bunny and the Waterboy are also examples of newer underdog movies.

In the 1970s everything changed After Lyndon Johnson got the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, many southern Democrats defected and became Republicans. Sen. Robert Byrd, who recently passed away,  was not one of them.

This led to the so-called "Reagan Revolution." Now America was about the affluent overlords and not the underdogs anymore. A new economic orthodoxy was created by Arthur Laffer called Supply Side economics. Americans were told that taxes needed to be cut for the wealthy to create jobs and improve the economy.

We heard the same story when George W. Bush was president. As George W. Bush stated during an inauguration speech, my base is the 'have mores."

When the economic performance of the Reagan and Bush administration is examined, Americans saw government running in the red, a massive increase in defense spending and underemployment. In fact, GWB had the worst job creation record of any modern president.

If you are a yellow dog Democrat, you are probably rooting for the Underdog. if you are a Republican, you would probably prefer the Overlord.

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Brave New Films: Drill, Baby, Drill

See 'ass kissing big oil Republicans' get whipped into a frenzy by  "drill, baby, drill."

BP has caused an unprecedented environmental and economic disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yet along with conservative politicians, a well oiled public relations machine and their countless and shameless lobbyists they continue to push for more irresponsible drilling and want to make us believe that what they are doing is righteous and necessary.


We don't need more shameless media games and manipulative political agendas. What we need now more than ever is to stop once and for all our obsession with petroleum.

This is why we have launched Power Without Petroleum, a community ready to fight back against big oil interest and the politicians that serve as their mouthpiece.

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POLITICO 44: 'Tectonic rift' with Israel

By LAURA ROZEN | 6/27/10 8:48 AM EDT

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren is reported to have told Israeli diplomats that the U.S. and Israel are experiencing a “tectonic rift,” not a temporary crisis.

“There is no crisis in Israel-US relations because in a crisis there are ups and downs,” Oren told a a closed briefing to senior officials in the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s North America Branch and research division, Yedioth Ahronoth’s Itamar Eichner reports.

“According to the Israeli diplomats, Oren said …’Relations are in the state of a tectonic rift in which continents are drifting apart,’” Haaretz said.

“Oren noted that contrary to Obama's predecessors — George W. Bush and Bill Clinton - the current president is not motivated by historical-ideological sentiments toward Israel but by cold interests and considerations,” Haaretz reports.

He added that his access as Israel's ambassador to senior administration officials and close advisers of the president is good. But Obama has very tight control over his immediate environment, and it is hard to influence him. ‘This is a one-man show,’ Oren is quoted as saying.

Oren told Haaretz he denied the report, which the paper attributed to "five Israeli diplomats, some of whom took part in the briefing or were informed about the details." The Israeli Embassy did not immediately respond to a query from POLITICO Sunday.

Oren’s remarks come ahead of a July 6 meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama.

The White House meeting – the fifth between Netanyahu and Obama — had been originally scheduled to take place earlier this month but was postponed after Israel’s interception of a Gaza aid flotilla on May 31.

The confrontation, in which eight Turks and one Turkish American were killed, has caused a crisis in Israeli-Turkish relations which the U.S. has been trying to defuse.


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NotionsCapital: Judge Sold Exxon Stock 5 Hours Before Lifting Drilling Ban

June 27, 2010 by Mike Licht

Federal Judge Martin Leach-Cross Feldman engaged in an oil spill cleanup of his own last week.

Five hours before he rendered his decision blocking the six-month moratorium on deep-water Gulf oil drilling, Judge Feldman sold his personal holdings of Exxon Mobil stock.

Exxon was not a party to the case under consideration but will directly benefit from the Judge’s action.

Judge Feldman may have lost a few dollars on the sale; he definitely lost much more in credibility. ”The judicial canons require that judges be aware of their investments,” wrote Steven Mufson and Joe Stephens in the Washington Post:

“Judicial ethicists said that, had he been aware of his holdings, Feldman should have disclosed the ownership or recused himself at the case’s outset if he thought it posed a conflict or raised questions about his impartiality.

The court docket indicates that Feldman signed several orders before the sale.

“‘I’ve never heard of a situation like this,’ said Jeffrey M. Shaman, a judicial ethics specialist and law professor at DePaul University.

“The judge may have thought the stock did not create a substantial conflict, legal analysts said, but the fact that he apparently felt compelled to sell the stock and disclose it could be seen as indicating otherwise.


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New .XXX domain for the porn industry?

Should porn sites have their own .xxx domain rather than .com? Family advocates and even some in the porn industry say yes.

This is not a new idea. It was rejected by the Bush Administration.  To be effective, the domain should be mandatory for the adult industry. This would make it easy to block adult content from homes.

Most software that filters porn and other objectionable content uses black lists that have to be updated continually to block new porn sites that are registered every day.  Many porn companies will not use the .xxx domain unless it is required by law.

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Mike Huckabee Puts The Oil Spill To Music

Mike Huckabee opted to re-write the lyrics to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Who’ll Stop the Rain’ to make them oil spill appropriate for Fox News.

Then he had his band the Little Rockers perform it: ‘Long as I remember, the oil is flowin’ free…’

Huckabbee has moved to Florida and will probably run for office while he is there.

Huckabee was one of the more 'down to earth' GOP candidates, but his fundamentalist religion worried Rightardia because evangelical are pro-military and pro-Israel. Many evangelicals think that wars are necessary to spread Christianity.

Huckabee's 'fair tax' never resonated with the public either. Conservatives have wanted to make US Income tax regressive like the the other state and municipal taxes. This would be a gift to the affluent.

A regressive tax is hardly populist.

In any event, we liked Huckabee's lyrics and the "Litttle Rockers." It's too bad the video  had to end with an Obama dig.

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Senator Robert Byrd passes away

Robert Byrd was a powerful senator in West Virgina, one of the poorer states in the US.  For 2007, Byrd was deemed the fourteenth-most powerful U.S. Senator, as well as the twelfth most powerful Democratic Senator.

He was greatly responsible for the excellent highway system in WV and also moved a lot of federal facilities into the state to create jobs.

Byrd was  a repentant Dixiecrat. He was once  a member of the  KKK and even filibustered the Civil right s Act of 1964. But unlike many of his southern peers, he remained a Democrat.

A firm believer in continuing education — vocational schools, community colleges, adult education — Mr. Byrd practiced what he preached.

While in the U.S. House from 1953 to 1959, he took night classes at law schools. He received a law degree from American University in 1963 and is the only member of Congress to put himself through law school while in office.


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American kids are flocking to the biggest and richest sport in the world

The next generation of America's soccer stars have begun hitting the field, as more and more kids are signing up for summer soccer camps.

The United States has more official soccer players than any other nation in the world - almost 18 million. No other sport crosses so many cultural boundaries, and it no surprise that it is the fastest growing team sport in the United States.

Soccer the world’s richest sport. It also has the largest contingent of diehard fans, players and professional leagues in the world’s largest economy, Europe.

The English Premier League and the Champions League are the most popular football leagues, with the matches shown live to half a billion people in 202 countries.

Manchester United is the richest club in the world with a valuation of $1.87 billion.

The FIFA World Cup is the largest and most lucrative sporting event in the world.

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Huffington Post: Palin says Obama Selling Out Israel

NORFOLK, Va. — Sarah Palin on Sunday painted President Barack Obama's administration as a cowering giant intent on surrendering the nation's mantle as a superpower and willing to sell out its allies.

The former John McCain running mate addressed a paying audience of several hundred people in Norfolk and accused Obama of selling out ally Israel in over its naval blockade of Gaza and treating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shabbily.

On May 31, Israeli naval commandos killed nine pro-Palestinian activists in clashes aboard a Turkish ship headed for Gaza, setting off a world outcry and forcing Israel to ease its three-year-old blockade.

She also said Obama lacked the resolve to stand up to Russia and China.

"Do they think, really, that we're getting anything in return for all this bowing and kowtowing and apologizing? No, we don't get anything positive in return for this," Palin said at the event spearheaded by a Norfolk talk radio station.

"So while President Obama is getting pushed around by the likes of Russia and China, our allies are left to wonder about the value of an alliance with our country any more. They're asking what is it worth," she said.

Palin said that Obama and an allied Democratic Congress had cut military spending while showing no such restraint on other expenditures, running up trillions in new deficits.

Rightardia comment: This is the kind of right wing disinformation Rightardia sees all the time. First of all, the defense budget wasn't cut, it was expanded by 4 per cent. The plan would increase spending by 4% over fiscal 2009.

Judging from the reaction of congressional hawks, one would think the Pentagon were being gutted. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) commented in a blog post from Afghanistan that "President Obama is disarming America" and betraying our troops abroad. The fear-mongering won't end there.

As Rep. Alan Grayson has pointed out, the US spends nearly as much on defense than the rest of the world combined.

Turkey is a far bigger country than Israel and is also a NATO ally. Turkey has the biggest standing army and navy in the middle east. Turkey is an Islamic country and Saudi Arabia, an Arab country, is also an important US ally.

Israel snubbed Vice President Joe Biden when he visited Israel when it announced Israel announced 1,600 new homes will be built in disputed east Jerusalem during his visit to the region.

Biden showed up 90 minutes late to an Israeli  state dinner and Obama essentially dismissed Natenyahu in DC when the Israli PM refused to agree with the US on some middle eastern issues. The US is no longer kowtowing to Israel like the Bush administration did.

China is a very important US ally that could undermine the US economy if we took a belligerent stance with it. Russia President Medvedev is getting along famously with Obama and the Russians have allowed US overflights to Afghanistan.

Obama has commented that the Russians have lived up to all of the promises they have made so far. US foregn policy and diplomacy are finally working again.

Israel is not an important ally and has become an international pariah because it has bullied its Arab neighbors. The Gaza has become its Warsaw ghetto. Do we need enemies when we have friends like Israel?

Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. From 1976-2004, Israel was the largest annual recipient of U.S. foreign assistance, having been supplanted by Iraq.

Since 1985, the United States has provided nearly $3 billion in grants annually to Israel. What he the US gotten in return? 

It's time to cut our losses from Israel and move on. 


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Newsy: Oregon Psychiatrist Plans Death with Dignity House

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by

Dr. Stuart Weisberg intends to open a place where terminally ill patients can choose to end their lives.

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BBC News: Vatican upset that Belgian police investagate chruch officials for pedophilia

Last updated at 18:22 GMT, Sunday, 27 June 2010 19:22 UK

Pope Benedict has led Vatican criticism of raids by Belgian police investigating alleged child sex abuse, calling them "deplorable".

Several buildings were searched in raids that targeted a retired archbishop and the graves of two prelates.

Altar boy receiving special communion

Belgium's justice minister has responded to the criticism robustly. Stefaan De Clerck defended the police action, in a series of TV interviews on Sunday, saying the investigation is legitimate and normal procedures were followed.

"The bishops were treated completely normally during the raid on the archdiocese and it is false to say that they received no food or drink," he said.

Pope Benedict

Mr De Clerck said the Vatican's reaction was excessive and was based on false information.

Prosecutors said the action concerned alleged "abuse of minors committed by a certain number of church figures".

Geoffrey Robertson, a well known human rights lawyer and United Nations jurist, wants to see Pope Benedict put on trial for protecting predator priests.

He alleges that the same conduct reflected Vatican policy as approved by Cardinal Ratzinger (as the pope then was) as late as November 2002."Robertson wrote:

Sexual assaults were regarded as sins that were subject to church tribunals, and guilty priests were sent on a 'pious pilgrimage' while oaths of confidentiality were extracted from their victims." 
The New York Times also reported  that as a Cardinal, Ratzinger seemed to be resisting efforts to defrock a priest who molested children, waiting six long years before any action was taken.

See the complete story at and

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The GOP just loves big oil: it can do no wrong

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Magic octopus predicts world cup winners

(June 25)

So far the octopus has called four matches in a row correctly.

The two-year-old octopus oracle also predicted a German win over England in the latest round of the World Cup. Germany walloped the UK 4-nil.

Octopi look similar to the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) who created the universe. It is possible this octopus got his pychic poweres from the FSM.
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

RussiaToday: G20 protesters hit Toronto streets

From: RussiaToday | June 26, 2010 

The world's leading powers are in Canada for G8 and G20 summits. They're covering economic recovery, global security and humanitarian aid commitments among other key points.

But as the delegates calmly debate - outside is a very different story with Toronto hit by violent demonstrations.

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POLITICO 44: Sarah Palin puckers up for the corporate anus

By ANDY BARR | 6/26/10 12:18 PM EDT

Former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin on Friday encouraged her supporters to read an article comparing the BP escrow fund to Nazism.

“This is about the rule of law vs. an unconstitutional power grab,” Palin tweeted, urging her followers to “Read Thomas Sowell’s article.”

The article Palin points to was published on Monday and alikens President Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler, saying the U.S. president is stripping away the freedom of his citizens without mass protest.

When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics, Sowell wrote.
In our times, American democracy is being dismantled piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.
Sowell then wrote that Obama is exceeding his legal authority by creating the $20 billion fund, designed to pay claims for damages resulting from the ongoing oil spill off the Gulf Coast.

Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere, the conservative columnist wrote.

And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sowell also compares the American public under Obama to the “useful idiots” who followed Lenin's creation of the Soviet Union.

The Democratic National Committee seized on the remarks, blasting a story highlighting Palin’s tweet. Liberal groups also expressed outrage over Palin’s endorsement of the story.

Here we go again. The Republicans can't decide if Obama is a fascist like themselves or a communist. The $20 billion escrow is essential because BP can go bankrupt and the US government will be left holding the bad for the oil spill. Where is it in the US Constitution that  Obama proscribed from setting up an escrow? If Republicans are claiming Democrats are doing something unconstitutional or illegal, they should be able to site the specific law that is being violated.

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US loses to Ghana, 2-1 in extra time

Rightardia is not suprised that Ghana won.

The Germans were lucky to beat them 1-nil. Ghana has a very balanced team with an excellent goalie and defense.

The US passes form mid-field to the box were off and the Ghana team headed the ball better than the US team.

The Ghanaian headers were very effective around the box.

Thirty minutes of extra time had to be be played to determine the winner.  The better team won. It two previous games, the US lost goals because of bad calls. This was not the case in this game.

The US will get to play some consolation games so time will tell what the new world standing for the US team is.

A victory for the Americans would have put them into the quarterfinals against Uruguay.

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Army LTC keeps tilting at birther windmills

Washington, D.C., June 9, 2010. Saying that the Army has made it “impossible for me to present a defense” at the Article 32 “preliminary hearing” previously scheduled for June 11, 2010, Lt. Colonel Terrence Lakin has officially waived -cancelled–that proceeding. 

An Article 32 hearing is a proceeding under the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice, similar to that of a preliminary hearing or grand jury investigation in civilian law.

Its name is derived from UCMJ section VII ("Trial Procedure") Article 32 (10 U.S.C. § 832), which mandates the hearing. Undoubtedly after LTC Lakin is convicted, he will become a Tea-Party and birther martyr.

The UCMJ specifies several different levels of formality with which infractions can be dealt. The most serious is a general court martial. An article 32 hearing is required before a defendant can be referred to a general court martial,

Therefore, the case will move inexorably on to a General Court Martial. The punishment for the charges filed against LTC Lakin carry a maximum term of four years in the penitentiary. As a convicted felon, LTC lakin could also lose his medical license.

Lakin expects the trial to be held in the early fall, but this has yet to be determined. The next step will be the formal referral of the charges by Lakin’s Commanding General, Major General Carla Hawley-Bowland, followed by his arraignment before a Military Judge, both of which are expected before the end of June.

Lakin, through his legal defense team, requested the testimony of Dr. Chiyome Fukino of the Hawaii Dept. of Health, and all of that agency’s records that exist concerning the president’s birth.

Lakin had also requested the testimony of the custodians of records of, and the records relating to Obama’s admission and financial aid that exist, of the Punahou School, Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School.

All these requests were also summarily denied, leaving Lakin without any perceived ability to mount a defense at the hearing. However, in that this hearing was preliminary in nature in the first place, Lakin will renew his requests to the Military Judge at the appropriate time.

Rightardia hopes this Army fool gets four years in a penitentiary. The Army needs to make an example of him to prevent other right wing morons from traveling down the same path.  Many conservatives have trouble understanding US laws, but they do understand punishment. 

Here's the website for LTC Lakin's new home.


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Controversy surrounds the new official world cup ball


June 24, 2010

As some complain about the World Cup ball, scientists test the 'Jabulani' ball's aerodynamic properties for issues.

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US goalkeeper on big game tomorrow with Ghana

June 25, 2010

U.S. World Cup goalkeeper Tim Howard reflects on advancing to the second round in South Africa. He says the US team feels sharp.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

A tropical storm is heading for the gulf after Sarah Palin prays for deliverance

Sarah Palin made an announcement that it’s time to pray for divine intervention to fix the oil leak because it is beyond the ability of man to stop the oil.

It’s interesting because just last week she told President Obama to “plug the leak” because it wasn’t his top priority and she had to direct him.

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Found this graphic on

One of the funniest I have seen in a while.The little person is Minority Leader John Boehner.

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UK: Fetus feels no pain before 24 weeks

25 June, 2010

This story is sure to make the Pro-Lifers howl.  In what is being considered as a major setback to anti-abortion activists,  a British medical association in its report claimed that human fetuses cannot experience pain before the age of 24 weeks. Ironically, the lawmakers who were demanding the reduction of limit to 20-22 weeks had funded the study that was conducted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The report, citing multiple examples of medical research and post-mortem reports, claimed that till the age of 24 weeks nerve connections in the brain were not developed enough to experience pain. The fetus, the report said, was in an unconsciousness or sedation by that period.

There was fairly good evidence that the pathways necessary to feel pain really just aren't there before 24 weeks, although they very clearly are there after, said Richard Anderson, a professor in human reproductive sciences with the University of Edinburgh, who was part of the study.

However, several medical experts differ from the findings of the report. Some argue that fetus begins experiencing pain and other related feelings by the age of 20 weeks. The Neraska government recently signed a bill into law that bans abortion at and after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Meanwhile, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists claims that there is no legitimate logic or evidence to determine that the fetus experiences pain. The association maintains that fetus brain develops between 20th and 40th weeks of pregnancy.

Demands to limit abortion period are raised in other parts of the world as well. In Britain, the Abortion Act of 1967, enables the guardian to get surgical abortions up to 24 weeks.

The law also provides the mother freedom to get the abortion if doctor agrees that the mother’s life is in danger or there’s firm evidence that the fetus would be born with disabilities.

But in Northern Ireland abortions are strictly prohibited even if mother’s life is in danger. "We have no real evidence because the unborn can't speak," said Bernie Smyth, director of Precious Life, an anti-abortion group active in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

"The fact is babies have been born at 24 weeks, they have survived, and they do feel pain."

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Rightardian sunset: The Amazing Northern Lights

source: National Geographic

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Marco Rubio is bald

Well, at least Blogo's hair was real.  Why would such a young Hispanic man be bald? A genetic defect, perhaps?

It would be funny if a Democratic activist knocked off Rubio's toupee during a political event.

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Nancy Pelosi blog: The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010

Last night the Senate Republicans once again voted down the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act.  The House passed the bill 28 days ago to close tax loopholes that reward those who ship American jobs overseas and help create or save more than a million American jobs.

On May 28th, the House passed the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (House amendment to Senate amendment to HR 4213) to help create or save more than a million American jobs by:

* restoring credit to small businesses
* extending tax incentives for American R&D and energy
* rebuilding American infrastructure
* expanding summer jobs for young people
* providing tax relief for middle class American families

To fully fund this job creation, the bill closes tax loopholes and enforces corporate accountability by:

* preventing corporations from shipping jobs overseas & sticking American taxpayers with the bill
* making Wall Street investment fund billionaires pay a fair tax on their income
* making the oil industry pay to ensure sufficient funds to clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

The bill complies with the statutory pay as you go budget law, while addressing the emergency needs and crises left by the Bush Administration:

* ensuring seniors can keep their own doctors (SGR)
* extending a proven economy booster, unemployment relief for families

Compromises on the bill modified it to reduce the overall deficit impact to $54 billion, by shortening the extensions of UI (through November), SGR to 19 months, and dropping the extension of COBRA and health assistance to states. The provisions to prevent Medicare physician payment cuts will be a seperate vote.

Congressional Republicans oppose closing the loopholes that subsidize companies to move American jobs overseas and they want to cut off unemployment benefits who lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Democrats in Congress will continue to address the major issues confronting our nation and take America in a New Direction – creating good American jobs, the lowest taxes in 60 years for the middle class and small businesses, closing tax loopholes that send jobs overseas, and building a strong new foundation for the American economy.

Source: the Gavel, the Speaker Pelosi blog

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Obama and Medvedev hang out at Canadian burger joint

Published 25 June, 2010, 12:17 Edited 25 June, 2010, 18:46
Barack Obama has treated Dmitry Medvedev to lunch at a common burger place, surprising its staff and patrons in the process. The presidents signed cards, shook hands and posed in pictures for those who dared to ask.

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