Monday, October 29, 2007

If Bill O'Reilly rapped

h/t From The Left


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Friday, October 26, 2007

Follow-up: Genarlow Wilson Released!

The Whirlpool commented on the Genarlow Wilson case a few months ago. This is much better news.

DANIEL YEE, Associated Press Writer

Georgia's Supreme Court on Friday ordered the release of a young man who has been imprisoned for more than two years for having consensual oral sex with another teenager. The court ruled 4-3 that the 10-year sentence Genarlow Wilson received was cruel and unusual punishment, and it directed a lower court to reverse the conviction and release him.

Wilson's lawyer, B.J. Bernstein, said she expected Wilson would be released Friday afternoon from the Al Burruss Correctional Training Center in Forsyth, Ga.

"His mother is just thrilled. We're all in a little bit of shock," Bernstein said.

Wilson, 21, was convicted of aggravated child molestation following a 2003 New Year's Eve party at a Douglas County hotel room where he was videotaped having oral sex with a 15-year-old girl. He was 17 at the time.

Wilson was acquitted of raping another 17-year-old girl at the party.

The 1995 law Wilson violated was changed in 2006 to make oral sex between teens close in age a misdemeanor, similar to the law regarding teen sexual intercourse. But the state Supreme Court later upheld a lower court's ruling which said that the 2006 law could not be applied retroactively.

Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears wrote in the majority opinion that the changes in the law "represent a seismic shift in the legislature's view of the gravity of oral sex between two willing teenage participants."

Sears wrote that the severe punishment makes "no measurable contribution to acceptable goals of punishment" and that Wilson's crime did not rise to the "level of adults who prey on children."

State Attorney General Thurbert Baker said he accepts Friday's ruling.

Baker said he hopes the ruling will "put an end to this issue as a matter of contention in the hearts and minds of concerned Georgians and others across the country who have taken such a strong interest in this case."

The man who prosecuted Wilson, Douglas County District Attorney David McDade, said that while he disagrees with the court's decision, "I also must respect their authority as the final arbiter in this case."

Wilson's supporters were jubilant.

"It's been a long time coming," said U.S. Rep. John Lewis, an Atlanta Democrat. "Each day that this young man spent in prison was a day too long."

Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, who is visiting Georgia this week, called for an end to mandatory minimum prison sentences.

State lawmakers announced they had raised $4,000 toward a scholarship fund for Wilson, and Jackson promised another $5,000 from the Rainbow/PUSH organization.

The state Supreme Court had turned down Wilson's appeal of his conviction and sentence, but the justices agreed to hear the state's appeal of a Monroe County judge's decision to reduce Wilson's sentence to 12 months and free him. That judge had called the 10-year sentence a "grave miscarriage of justice."

Dissenting justices wrote that the state Legislature expressly stated that the 2006 change in the law was not intended to affect any crime prior to that date.

They said Wilson's sentence could not be cruel and unusual because the state Legislature decided that Wilson could not benefit from subsequent laws reducing the severity of the crime from a felony to a misdemeanor.

They called the decision an "unprecedented disregard for the General Assembly's constitutional authority."


Associated Press writers Dorie Turner in Atlanta and Ben Evans in Washington contributed to this story.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Republicans desperately seeking an issue!

In what can only be seen as a desperate attempt to find an issue to distract from this horribly failed Administration, the Republicans have picked the flag again.

First, Barach Obama is seen without a flag lapel pin and the Wrong Wing collective anus puckers.

This, even though many Republican candidates can be seen without flag lapel pins.

Then, in what the nutbars are trying to portray as a blatant Stalinist love-fest, Obama fails to cross his heart during the National Anthem. Again, Hannity and the FAUX News crowd and other Wrong Wingnuts go batty.

The sad reality here is that even intellegent talking heads (Hannity, O'Reilly, Rush, excluded, of course) have taken to the Wrong Wing's talking points and made excuses like, "Maybe he was distracted" or "He usually does it" or whatever. What they need to be saying is that National Anthem protocol doesn't call for putting your hand on your heart and get over it!

We cross our heart for the Pledge, not the National Anthem.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Best Music You've Never Heard

Leonard Bernstein conducting his own "Overture to Candide." Probably the greatest Overture to any musical.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bush does it his way, again!

When he cut restrictions to pollutors, he called the action "Clear Skies".

When he enacted impossible mandates on schools and refused to fund those mandates, he called it "No Child Left Behind".

President Bush appointed Pesticide Exec to head EPA.

We'll never forget Brownie, the infamous Bush-appointed head of FEMA whose claim to fame was running a few dog shows.

So it comes as no surprise that the President, trained by Rove, would do the exact opposite of what is needed when it comes to womens health care:

Contraception Foe Named to Contraception Post

Laura Meckler - Washington Post

The Department of Health and Human Services appointed Susan Orr — who has spoken out against contraception — to a post responsible for U.S. contraception programs.

Orr, who will be acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs, has been directing child welfare programs in another branch of HHS. Prior to joining the Bush administration, Orr was senior director for marriage and family at the Family Research Council, a conservative group that favors abstinence-only education and opposes federal money for contraception.

In 2001, she was quoted in the Washington Post favoring a Bush administration plan to drop a requirement that health insurance plans for federal employees cover a broad range of birth control.

“We’re quite pleased because fertility is not a disease,” she said at the time. “It’s not a medical necessity that you have it.”

Reached by email, Orr referred questions to the Office of Public Affairs, which said she was simply supporting President Bush’s policy. “As she said then, the policy allows freedom of conscience and freedom of choice. Practically speaking, workers should be able to choose what kind of coverage matters to them,” said a statement from HHS spokesman Kevin Schweers.
“She wouldn’t have accepted the job of running the Office of Population Affairs if she couldn’t support the Administration’s positions. This Administration has worked to ensure grantees provide safe and effective products and services.”

A coalition of family planning providers called attention to Orr’s appointment and denounced it. “We are appalled,” Mary Jane Gallagher, president of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, said in a statement. “While her resume suggests a commitment to child welfare and children, her professional credentials fail to demonstrate a commitment to comprehensive family planning services for all men and women in need.”

The administration’s last pick for that office drew similar fire. Eric Keroack was criticized by family planning advocates who objected to his earlier work as medical director of a Christian pregnancy counseling organization that opposed distribution of contraceptives. He resigned in March to deal with an allegation by the Massachusetts Medicaid program against his private practice.

In an email announcing the Orr appointment, Anand K. Parekh, the acting deputy assistant secretary for health, touted her work with HHS over the last several years.

“She has been responsible for working with State and local agencies to develop programs that focus on preventing the abuse of children in troubled families, protecting children from abuse, and finding permanent placements for those who cannot safely return to their homes,” he wrote.
The position does not require Senate confirmation, and HHS still may choose someone else to hold the permanent job as Orr is only being appointed in an acting capacity.


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Monday, October 15, 2007

America, Ranting Gryphon

F-Bomb alert for the sensitive... actually about 300 F-Bombs, but oh, so good!

Ranting Gryphon

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Best Music You Never Heard

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Welcome to Slowex!

A new author has joined the ranks. Slowex will have something to say once in a while. We may be entertained with his left leaning political rants and/or his encyclopedic musical knowledge, classical, rock, jazz, or other formats.

Thanks for agreeing to come on. Fire when ready!

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It’s the Oil

by Jim Holt London Review of Books

Iraq is ‘unwinnable’, a ‘quagmire’, a ‘fiasco’: so goes the received opinion. But there is good reason to think that, from the Bush-Cheney perspective, it is none of these things. Indeed, the US may be ‘stuck’ precisely where Bush et al want it to be, which is why there is no ‘exit strategy’.

Iraq has 115 billion barrels of known oil reserves. That is more than five times the total in the United States. And, because of its long isolation, it is the least explored of the world’s oil-rich nations. A mere two thousand wells have been drilled across the entire country; in Texas alone there are a million. It has been estimated, by the Council on Foreign Relations, that Iraq may have a further 220 billion barrels of undiscovered oil; another study puts the figure at 300 billion. If these estimates are anywhere close to the mark, US forces are now sitting on one quarter of the world’s oil resources. The value of Iraqi oil, largely light crude with low production costs, would be of the order of $30 trillion at today’s prices. For purposes of comparison, the projected total cost of the US invasion/occupation is around $1 trillion.

Who will get Iraq’s oil? One of the Bush administration’s ‘benchmarks’ for the Iraqi government is the passage of a law to distribute oil revenues. The draft law that the US has written for the Iraqi congress would cede nearly all the oil to Western companies. The Iraq National Oil Company would retain control of 17 of Iraq’s 80 existing oilfields, leaving the rest – including all yet to be discovered oil – under foreign corporate control for 30 years. ‘The foreign companies would not have to invest their earnings in the Iraqi economy,’ the analyst Antonia Juhasz wrote in the New York Times in March, after the draft law was leaked. ‘They could even ride out Iraq’s current “instability” by signing contracts now, while the Iraqi government is at its weakest, and then wait at least two years before even setting foot in the country.’ As negotiations over the oil law stalled in September, the provincial government in Kurdistan simply signed a separate deal with the Dallas-based Hunt Oil Company, headed by a close political ally of President Bush.


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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Coalition no longer willing

Iceland just had one “troop” on the ground in Iraq, (actually a press aide, not a soldier–Iceland has no standing army), but that didn’t stop Bush from counting them as an equal member of his “coalition of the willing.”

Oops, Iceland stopped being willing, they pulled him out.

From Crooks and Liars

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