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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 02:59 PM
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David Axelrod: Obama Was 'Bullshitting' Opposition To Gay Marriage In 2008

David Axelrod: Obama Was 'Bullshitting' Opposition To Gay Marriage In 2008

Time magazine reported Tuesday that the longtime Obama confidant said in his new book, "Believer: My Forty Years in Politics," that he counseled then-senator Obama to soften his position on gay marriage for political reasons.


Obama had stated his support for legalizing gay marriage on a 1996 questionnaire while running for the Illinois state Senate. But he said repeatedly on the campaign trail in 2008 that he believed marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Publicly stating opposition to gay marriage took its toll on Obama, who Axelrod wrote "routinely stumbled over the question when it came up in debates or interviews."

"I’m just not very good at bullshitting,"
Obama told Axelrod after one of those events, as quoted by Time.




Infotainment Confusion Syndrome-Jon Stewart bodyslams media for pushing own fake Iraq war stories

Jon Stewart on Monday did his due diligence poking fun at NBC anchor Brian Williams for his bogus story about taking fire in Iraq, but "The Daily Show" host focused most of his ire on the media at large for its hypocrisy.


"I see the problem," he began. "We got us a case here of Infotainment Confusion Syndrome."

"Like most cases of masturbation, being caught is punishment enough!" Stewart said of Williams' flights of fancy, now being investigated by NBC. "I'm sure his colleagues would agree?"


"Finally, someone is being held to account about misleading America about the Iraq War," Stewart said.

"Never again will Brian Williams mislead this great nation about being shot at in a war we probably wouldn't have ended up in if the media had applied this level of scrutiny to the actual fucking war," he added.


School Lunch?









Terror Lynching: When soldier refused to remove his army uniform-savage mob exacted their punishment

The report argues that atrocities carried out against African Americans during this period were akin to terrorism, and that lynchings were a tool to “enforce racial subordination and segregation”.

In 1931, the Alabama governor called the National Guard to the Scottsboro jail to protect a group of young black men who he believed might be lynched after being accused of raping two white girls. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

Equal Justice Initiative report reveals history of racial violence and finds at least 700 more lynchings than previously recorded in southern states

In 1919, a black soldier returned home to Blakely, Georgia, having survived the horrors of the first world war only to face the terrors of a white mob that awaited him in the Jim Crow-era south. When the soldier, William Little, refused to remove his army uniform, the savage mob exacted their punishment.

Little was just one of 3,959 African Americans who were brutally and often publicly killed across the southern states between the end of the Reconstruction era and the second world war, which is at least 700 more lynchings in these states than previously recorded, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). The authors’ inventory of the nearly 4,000 victims of what the report calls “terror lynchings” reveals a history of racial violence more extensive and more brutal than initially reported.

Many of the victims were, like Little, killed for minor transgressions against segregationist mores – or simply for demanding basic human rights or refusing to submit to unfair treatment. And though the names and faces of many who were lynched have slipped from the pages of history, their deaths, the report argues, have left an indelible mark on race relations in America.


The report, titled Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, is the result of nearly five years of investigation by EJI, a nonprofit organization based in Montgomery, Alabama, into lynchings that occurred in 12 southern states between 1877 and 1950. It explores how the legacy of racial inequality in America was shaped and complicated by these violent decades, which saw thousands of African American men, women and children killed by “terror lynchings”, horrific acts of violence inflicted on racial minorities.



Republicans Still Denying Bush Lied About Iraq

Silberman does not mention that the commission he chaired did not even investigate whether the Bush administration manipulated intelligence. Senate Republicans refused to allow the commission to investigate this matter, fearing it would harm Bush’s reelection prospects.


The question of whether, in addition to being victimized by faulty intelligence, also misrepresented the intelligence it did have, was left to a second Senate report, called the “Phase II” report, which came out a few years later. That report, which was endorsed by two of the committee’s seven Republicans and all its Democrats, concluded, “the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.”

Incredibly, Silberman’s op-ed does not mention the Phase II report at all. Silberman simply asserts that his committee, which was specifically instructed not to investigate whether Bush manipulated intelligence, did not find that Bush manipulated intelligence, and presents this as the final word.


Silberman also overturned the convictions against Oliver North:


Some of that fury played out within conservative judicial circles. In Firewall, Walsh’s book about the Iran-contra scandal, the special prosecutor described how the black-robed Republican appointees to the U.S. Appeals Court in Washington “waited like the strategic reserves of an embattled army.”

A leader of this partisan faction was Judge Laurence H. Silberman, an obstreperous conservative who had served as a foreign policy adviser to Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign. At one point during the Iran-contra scandal, Silberman berated MacKinnon over his support for the special-prosecutor law.


President Obama: I’d love a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United

The president told Vox in an exclusive interview that he wants to see such a drastic change, because he thinks the money-in-politics status quo is so damaging to our political system.

Arguing that "unlimited money" in politics is a key cause of polarization, Obama said, "I would love to see some constitutional process that would allow us to actually regulate campaign spending the way we used to, and maybe even improve it."

These comments — made in the midst of a long, big-picture response to a question on political polarization, during which several issues were discussed — go further than many of the president's past public statements. During a Q&A with Reddit in 2012, the president wrote that "over the long term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional process to overturn Citizens United." But he's given little attention to the topic during his second term so far.



Clarence Thomas: Supreme Court's Decision Suggests Justices' Minds Are Made Up On Gay Marriage

WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court's move on Monday to allow gay marriage to proceed in Alabama is the strongest signal yet that the justices are likely to rule in June that no state can restrict marriage to only heterosexual couples.

Of the nine justices, only two - conservatives Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia - dissented from the court's refusal to block gay weddings from starting in Alabama. Gay marriage is now legal in 37 states.

Thomas acknowledged in a dissenting opinion that the court's move to allow gay marriages to go ahead "may well be seen as a signal of the court's intended resolution" as it considers cases from four other states on whether same-sex marriage bans are permitted under the U.S. Constitution. Although only two justices publicly dissented, the court order did not reveal whether any other justices voted to grant the stay.

Oral arguments in the cases, which are expected to result in a definitive nationwide ruling on the matter, are due in April with a decision expected by the end of June


Sanders to Yellen: The Federal Reserve Needs to Stop Abetting the ECB's Destruction of Greece

February 8, 2015
Dear Chair Yellen:

As you know, the Greek people are suffering from a severe economic depression. Due to deflationary-inducing austerity policies, the Greek economy is 25% smaller than it was just a few years ago. Unemployment, youth unemployment, homelessness, HIV, suicides, and even cases of malaria have increased. While the humanitarian crisis is severe, budget cuts have failed to address Greece’s debt problems. The country’s debt to GDP ratio is higher than it was when austerity measures were first implemented. The situation threatens to create a Eurozone-wide deflationary spiral, it elevates the risk of financial contagion, and it undermines vital U.S. interests.

Several weeks ago the Greek people voted for a new government. The government canceled the privatization of key public assets, raised the minimum wage, and restored electricity to the needy. This government is seeking to restructure its relationship with the European Union to encourage economic growth in Greece and to escape from a deflationary cycle.

Recently, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it will no longer accept Greek official debt as collateral for loans to financial institutions in that country on the grounds that the new government is not following the dictates of the previous, failed policies. This move had an immediate destabilizing effect on the U.S. and world markets, and further moves could provoke a run on the Greek banking system in the days or weeks ahead.

The United States cannot stand idly by while the European Central Bank undermines the new democratically elected government of Greece, induces deflation and risks financial instability. President Barack Obama was right when he recently noted, with regard to Greece: “You cannot keep on squeezing countries that are in the midst of a depression. At some point, there has to be a growth strategy in order for them to pay off their debts to eliminate some of their deficits.”

It would be a terrible mistake for the world to forget what happens when a democratically-elected government, as was the case in Germany in the 1920s, is unable to relieve the severe economic suffering of its people. We must remember that waiting in the wings should this recently elected Greek government fail is the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. We cannot allow fascism to come to power in a European country due to our unwillingness to reverse harmful austerity policies.

As you know, the Federal Reserve has in the past provided substantial sums of dollars to the European Central Bank through what is known as a ‘swap line’. During the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve engaged in 271 transactions with the ECB, with an aggregate amount of dollars extended totaling more than $8 trillion. Currently, the Federal Reserve has a standing credit arrangement with the ECB on which the ECB can draw at any time. These swap lines, as they stand, tend to make the United States implicitly supportive of the policies that have so destabilized and damaged Greece. But they also give us a reason, indeed an obligation, to object when a partner Central Bank departs from its commitment to financial stability.

Therefore, I am writing to ask you to make it clear to the leadership of the European Central Bank that the United States and the Federal Reserve object to actions that affect our national interest and risk U.S. and global financial stability through unnecessary and counterproductive implementation of deflationary policies. Our staffs are already working to set up a conversation on this vital question, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Bernard Sanders
United States Senator


NASA: Dark Side Of The Moon

A number of people who've seen the annual lunar phase and libration videos have asked what the other side of the Moon looks like, the side that can't be seen from the Earth. This video answers that question.

Just like the near side, the far side goes through a complete cycle of phases. But the terrain of the far side is quite different. It lacks the large dark spots, called maria, that make up the familiar Man in the Moon on the near side. Instead, craters of all sizes crowd together over the entire far side. The far side is also home to one of the largest and oldest impact features in the solar system, the South Pole-Aitken basin, visible here as a slightly darker bruise covering the bottom third of the disk.

The far side was first seen in a handful of grainy images returned by the Soviet Luna 3 probe, which swung around the Moon in October, 1959. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched fifty years later, and since then it has returned hundreds of terabytes of data, allowing LRO scientists to create extremely detailed and accurate maps of the far side. Those maps were used to create the imagery seen here.

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