Friday News Wrap

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Friday News Wrap

The road is being paved in Sweden to allow same-sex marriages starting in May as they put gender neutral laws into effect.

As Moon reported earlier, in the end of a months' long saga, New York Governor David Paterson named State Representative Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Hillary Clinton's vacated senate seat.

On Thursday, Democratic Senators pushed through 61-36 the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which addresses pay discrimination based on gender, race, national origin, religion, age and disabilities.

Abortion opponents took to the National Mall on Thursday's Roe v. Wade anniversary. In contrast, President Barack Obama reaffirmed his support of women in a statement saying that the government “should not intrude on our most private family matters."


Sam Adams, the mayor of Portland, is under investigation for an alleged affair with an underage intern by the name of Beau Breedlove.

On the brink of confirmation, potential Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner issued a statement that he believes China is manipulating its currency in order to gain an advantage in trade issues.

New polls in Florida and Utah indicate that attitudes toward the LGBT community are shifting, with 62% of Floridians favoring recognition of same-sex couples.

George Bush's offshore drilling plan is being allowed to move forward under Obama. In an interview with Rachel Maddow, Robert Redford pushed back against the idea by calling for a thorough environmental impact study before anything proceeds.

Xin Yang, a Chinese graduate student at Virginia Tech who arrived in the country only two weeks ago, was killed Wednesday night in a campus coffee shop by a new acquaintance, Haiyang Zhu, who used a kitchen knife to decapitate her.

Microsoft has reported that it plans to cut 5,000 jobs over the next 18 months in its first-ever mass layoff. Intel announced that it will be cutting 6,000 jobs while closing four plants. Even Sony is facing its first annual operating loss in 14 years.Two Chinese men have been sentenced to death and one woman to life in prison for their roles in the tainting of milk that led to six deaths and some 300,000 illnesses.


And in a scandal that threatens the careers of many high-profile people, it has been revealed that the Yo-Yo Ma-led Inauguration quartet actually string-synced to a pre-recorded performance out of fears the extreme cold would damage their instruments.

Comments [66]

Lezbeth's picture

You didn't get the memo?

You didn't get the memo? Isabella must have cut corners on support staff after loading Columbus up with transportation and per diem.

Steph H's picture

Wait a minute, the world

Wait a minute, the world isn't flat?

LongBeachDogLover's picture

You are so right

You are so right Annie.......And, I'm not surprised that a conservative organization would use this type of behavior to their benefit, and our detriment. That's the type of thing that "conservatives" love to see. It reassures them that their hatred is justified, and somehow they can feel 'morally' superior.

Their behavior, in public, was totally disgusting. They certainly are not what I think of when I speak of "human rights", "equal protection under the law" or "marriage rights". If anything, they are the perv stereotype that is used to assure that we never achieve equality.

Thanks for the link. As disturbing as it is, it's real.


P.S. Xena......... I am a huge fan. What an incredible love story. Xena and Gabrielle. Just awesome.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

But our tax dollars did not

But our tax dollars did not pay for the celebrations themselves, only for the security and sanitation needs of the actual inauguration itself. Personally, I believe that the taxpayers should be reimbursed those expenses, but that will literally require an Act of Congress and the president's signature before that can happen, and I doubt it would stand up under constitutional scrutiny. You see, it is the private citizens who show up at the inauguration that caused those expenses.

They could, of course, close the city to non-residents for the duration and eliminate all those expenses, but that would cost far more to accomplish.

Yes, I want to know who contributed what to Obama's campaign, mainly to make sure there is no undue influence by certain individuals or entities and that everything was completely legal. And political corruption is far more than a blip on my radar, it fills the screen. I consider the whole fiasco of the campaign by both the Republicans and Democrats to be just shy of completely corrupted and rigged, and totally manipulated by the media.

As for those out of work or struggling to get by, that isn't Obama's fault, and the event actually provided at least some income to quite a few who worked at the event. These people would not have made a dime off of it had the event not happened, which would, for them, had made their lives that much worse.

As for the various parties and balls, again, these were private events funded through private means. Unless Obama turns out to be the next FDR on steroids, whatever monies being made through private deals over the coverage of these privately funded private events won't amount to much, but those deals are in and of themselves providing paying jobs to those who would otherwise not have work or who would be facing layoffs.

Annie Oakley's picture

Avatar talking of course! (I

Avatar talking of course! (I love animals!)

I do have a "squirrel caller" though! It's great and gets them all excited.

Annie Oakley's picture

Avatar talking! see above

Avatar talking! see above answer.

Annie Oakley's picture

If you are one of the approx.

If you are one of the approx. 5,500 homeless persons in Washington moved out of the "perimeter" for Obama's celebration of himself, yes, his spending is an important story.

If you are a citizen wondering why Obama's campaign funds were not audited and curious to know where the HUNDRED OF MILLIONS of unaccounted for funds came from (Soros? the Mideast? Where?) this is an important story.

If you are a US citizen out of work, undercared for or just struggling, this is an important story.

If political corruption is a bleep on your radar, the Rezko ties are extremely disturbing, making this again, important.

And that film doesn't even touch on what I'd like to know: Who is earning the $$ off of the Obama products and tv licensing? How can they even sell "exclusive" licenses to MTV, etc., when it's our tax dollars paying for the celebrations?

Annie Oakley's picture

I hear you too Longbeach. I

I hear you too Longbeach. I just saw this San Fran "Up Your Alley" Fair "photo essay" posted on a conservative blog. It was used to justify an anti-left-wing, anti-gay stance. And you do have to wonder, after you look at this: Would you want these guys adopting children?? How does their behavior negatively affect legal progress for ALL OF US?

WARNING: you will have to consent to being over 19 to see the images. Don't worry – it is a photo essay, not a site that will get you in trouble!

Up your alley

Right after that I recommend watching this (kind of like taking a shower when feeling dirty!):

Xena: Where do I belong?

LongBeachDogLover's picture

Sorry Annie, I commented...

Sorry Annie, I commented... but it was posted at the top of the thread.


Kelly McCartney's picture

Pretty much all of my stuff

Pretty much all of my stuff has now been transferred over to my personal blog site:

Everything but the Friday News Wraps and my election coverage. And I didn't bring the comments along, either.

Won't you be my neighbor? @theKELword

LongBeachDogLover's picture



I hear what you're saying Annie.....

However, we are being judged by a standard that others aren't. I would hope that our contemporaries in Washington, or any elected office around the country, would understand and respect that.

It's unfortunate, but it really doesn't matter if the boy was 17 or 18. It's the stereotypical "predatory vision" that encourages so much hatred. And, that effects everyone in the LGBTQ community.

Personally, I just don't have any tolerance for politicians sexual indiscretions, if it means that in the future this will be used to frighten heterosexuals... and encourage them to deny us equal rights at the ballot box. This is the sort of behavior that feeds the right wing religious zealots who judge us all, by the actions of a few.

I wish that it wasn't like this. And, I hope in time... with more positive representation, things like this will not be held up as an example of our "community morals". We all don't lust after teenagers. He certainly doesn't represent me, or anyone that I know.

Annie...... I do see your point, and I understand exactly what you're saying. Smile


LongBeachDogLover's picture

Does Annie shoot squirrels??

Does Annie shoot squirrels?? Why would anyone do that??

Click on my name....... I don't take kindly to slaughtering anything that is defenseless, and without a voice. That sickens me.


Cris's picture

I agree with you, Dornac.

I agree with you, Dornac. Grace... the files I've downloaded so far are available to VP (just let me know how to send them to you, and I'll do it immediately).

Cris's picture

Hi Erin! I have already

Hi Erin! I have already downloaded all your blogs (including comment threads) in pdf format. Wink

The same can be done for the rest of bloggers. It's quick and easy using "pdf creator" (a free software tool that installs a "pdf printer", so that all you have to do is chosing that printer and saving the file). The good thing is that you keep all comments; the problem is that links and vids are no longer available. Needless to say, if the blog has several pages, you have to "print" each and every one of them.

If four or five of us split the work of downloading files (for example, I may now download Kelly's blog entries), I guess we may have a copy of the "OC library" (as Dornac called it) before OC goes offline.


CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Actually, like in the case of

Actually, like in the case of Clinton (Bill), the issue isn't the sexual affair, which everyone involved claims was perfectly legal (neither married, both above 18, etc.). The issue is that the mayor lied about it to the media. However, that in and of itself is not a crime either.

My issue with the Portland mayor is that, being an openly gay man, he somehow felt the need to lie about this. This would expose him to extortion, which could be exploited by criminal interests. It would have been much better had he just said "none of your business" and left it at that.

When I went through a security check for a job, I was open and honest about every aspect of my life to the investigators. Another candidate hid his sexuality. I got the job, he did not. The theory is, even if you hide something that is perfectly legal, the act of hiding it implies you are a security risk.

For that reason, the mayor should resign.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Actually, it is precisely

Actually, it is precisely because of the instruments that the musicians decided to "lip sync" as it were. It was in the 20's temp wise that day, and the instruments would have both been damaged and would have sounded horrible if they tried to do a live performance outdoors.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Um, having grown up on a

Um, having grown up on a farm, and having grown up poor and having to grow and hunt, and fish for my own food in my early years, I can tell you that hunger makes you do things you would probably not otherwise think about. We are, after all, omnivores by nature.

Of course, I also grew up part of two cultures that had strict rules regarding the humane treatment and respect of animals to be used for food. Makes life kind of hard on the road when you realize most of the food available saw no such treatment.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

Adjusted for inflation,

Adjusted for inflation, Obama's inauguration cost less for the "fun stuff" (balls, parties, entertainment, etc.), than Bush's 2005 inauguration, by $900,000. Both were paid for by private funds through party donors. The security and services area, paid for by taxpayers, will likely cost about the same, again when adjusted for inflation. In fact, the Obama event may have been more cost effective, since his inauguration had an estimate of 1.5 million attendees, while Bush's only had 400,000.

Of course, the RIGHT WING CONTROLLED MEDIA didn't explain that now, did they? And this is what they made such an important story?

How about these stories:

Israeli Defense Forces use white phosphorus missiles and artillery to target civilians in Gaza, a clear violation of international law, and the Geneva Conventions on Warfare Rules, representing clear War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. The weapons were provided to Israel by the United States.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) again delays confirmation hearings for Attorney General nominee Eric Holder in an attempt to run out the statute of limitations and block criminal prosecutions in relation to allegations of criminal illegal wiretapping by the Bush Administration of lawyers, activists, journalists, Democrats, and other political opposition.

Congress discovers that recipients of the Bank Bailout used at least 10% of the taxpayer monies to provide massive bonuses and other perks to top executives of now defunct banks and investment groups.

A prosecuting general refuses to prosecute a terror suspect because they believe the evidence against the suspect was obtained illegally through torture so extensive that the suspect twice had to be revived and hospitalized after suffering from heart failure.

But it's how much was spent for Obama's inauguration that is the important thing, right?

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

And in other news... Senator

And in other news...

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) has once again put a hold on confirmation hearings for US Attorney General nominee Eric Holder.

The first delay move was back in early December 2008, when Specter was able to delay hearings, pending receipt of a background report from the FBI on Holder. The second delay resulted from a request to Judiciary Committee char Patrick Leahy, claiming he needed more time to review the 2000 page background report. Specter last week invoked a little known and never before used Senate rule for an additional, and third, one week delay. GOP leaders have been trying to delay any confirmation hearings on Holder until January 26, 2009.

GOP Senators claim they have issues with Holder's past record within the Clinton Administration, especially the pardon of Marc Rich at the end of Clinton's second term. They have also expressed concerns over alleged Al Gore campaign violations in 1996, and the return of Elian Gonzalez to his father in Cuba.

However, all indications are that these "reasons" are nothing but a smoke screen for the real reason, that of the release of a 427 page report that documents extensively the criminal acts of the Bush Administration, under the orders of Bush, Cheney, or (in most cases) both. A separate report makes 47 recommendations, ranging from commission to criminal investigations.

One set of alleged criminal acts, that of wiretapping political opponents, lawyers, journalists, and peace activists, may be the actual cause for all the GOP delays being led by Specter, which some Washington insiders suggest are being directed by Karl Rove. Seems the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution for these illegal acts expires March 1, 2009. Without a confirmed Attorney General, no investigation can begin. It is estimated it would take 4-6 weeks to conduct such an investigation before criminal charges could be filed against Bush, Cheney, and others involved.

Hence the delay on even starting the confirmation hearings, which could take one or two weeks. Combined with President Obama's reluctance to order investigations into criminal acts of the Bush Administration, it is increasingly likely the Bush Administration may evade any responsibility for criminal acts, constitutional violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, at least under US justice.

Everyone is encouraged to call your Senators and Members of Congress. Firmly, briefly, AND POLITELY let them know you want investigations to begin immediately and without further delay.

Thom Hartmann tries to maintain a list of toll free numbers to contact your legal representatives at the federal level here:

Call, write, and email. When you call, if you do not know who your representative or senator is, the operators will assist you using your address (helps to have your ZIP+4 zip code). Please be polite and understanding, as they are very busy and underappreciated these last few years.

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

The only thing I can suggest

The only thing I can suggest for saving your blogs is to do individual cut-and-pastes for each one.

Lesson learned? Create your blogs on your computer first, and then copy them over to the blog itself. That way tech glitches and connection resets don't force you to retype it, and sites going down don't cause you to lose your thoughts and creativity forever.

Tex's picture

Another test, D - some of my

Another test, D - some of my comments are not posting - they're going somewhere, but they're not posting. Geez, I guess I've gone and gotten myself in trouble again!

Hope you're doing well....


Twitter Time @kdhales

Tex's picture

A new day has begun,


sorry - triggered song.....Babs, is , after all, a NYC raised woman - and for goodness sakes, she played a dude in the movies!

Twitter Time @kdhales

Erin Blackwell's picture

it's not just the blogs, it's

it's not just the blogs, it's the comment threads. that's where stuff got trippy. can't we just "capture" it & display it as a kind of Dyke Time Capsule?

mysticsmb's picture

Ok, yup, I hear you on the

Ok, yup, I hear you on the differentiation, Annie. And of course I know you're not defending murder--'cepting squirrels it seems...

Erin Blackwell's picture

omg i just read the canadian

omg i just read the canadian story. i'm not prepared to comment. on ANYTHING.

Erin Blackwell's picture

why the fuck do you shoot

why the fuck do you shoot squirrels? or is that your avatar talkin'?

Grace Moon's picture

yeah unfortunately all the

yeah unfortunately all the great commentary will not be saved!

except in memory!!!

tweet tweet @gracemoon

Annie Oakley's picture

Similarly, if people had to

Similarly, if people had to actually kill a cow by hand rather than walk into McDonald’s and order a burger we’d have many more vegetarians.

absolutely agree! which is why I seldom eat meat. I am not defending murder, just pointing out that cutting off someone's head is different than shooting someone. There is a different quality to the act.

I am all about differentiation and examining those differences.

mysticsmb's picture

Thanks for listening!

Thanks for listening!

Rusty's picture

"if all those shooting one

"if all those shooting one another had to actually engage with the body of another human being we’d have far fewer homicides." I agree. Your point reminds me of "The Compact" in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series. All civilized people shunned distance weapons. In the fictional society it was considered cowardly to use any weapon that didn't put the user at risk.

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

Fastgurrrl's picture

Hmmm, solid points, Mystic,

Hmmm, solid points, Mystic, solid points. Thanks!

mysticsmb's picture

Yeah, it's gross because it

Yeah, it's gross because it makes killing very real--the way it should be.

mysticsmb's picture

Killing is savage,

Killing is savage, regardless. It's true that our current gun culture distances us from what it actually means to take a life, which is precisely what makes guns so dangerous. Seems to me if all those shooting one another had to actually engage with the body of another human being we'd have far fewer homicides.

Similarly, if people had to actually kill a cow by hand rather than walk into McDonald's and order a burger we'd have many more vegetarians.

I personally find the shooting or decapitation of a squirrel equally repugnant. I'll defer on whether one or the other reveals psychopathic tendencies.

p.s. does LBDL know you shoot squirrels?

Lezbeth's picture

You can expect the comment

You can expect the comment about "redefining" given that so many people in this country believe the Pres is Muslim, a terrorist and a very scary individual to have in that office. Race and his middle name will keep these idiots, yes, even those who are ordained, scared and attacking--probably throughout his term in office. Just like the people who still believe there are WMDs in Iraq, people with those beliefs will take any opportunity to attack statements that go against their views. Unfortunately, they also feed the violent hate-mongers who call themselves Christians out there.

Remember, there were Europeans who continued to believe the world was flat even after proof to the contrary.

Lezbeth's picture

Oops...I'm slow on the

Oops...I'm slow on the uptake. I wrote a reply to this post on another blog. I'm glad to know VP can host the bloggers' archives (as Grace said below).

Fastgurrrl's picture

Annie, this is pretty much

Annie, this is pretty much exactly what I was thinking about the difference. That is some SERIOUSLY pent up aggression, anger, whatever. FUCKING GROSS!

peacekitty's picture

Sorry Dornac I replied to

Sorry Dornac I replied to this post on another page and didn't see Grace's response. I'm a day late and a dollar short. Wink

I'm glad the bloggers can host their content here.

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

Dornac's picture

I saved some blogs in pdf

I saved some blogs in pdf (pdf creator).

But what was interesting was to SHARE IN COMMON.

This can be lost.

Dornac's picture

Thank you Grace. I hope that

Thank you Grace.
I hope that most of the bloggers will host their archive here.

A library has to be shared in common, saving it personnally is not enough.

Grace Moon's picture

Yeah if anyone wants to save

Yeah if anyone wants to save anything you've written you can just cut and paste into a doc of any kind.

As far as all of the bloggers who moved from OC to Vp, It is possible for us to host that archive.

It will be up to each blogger to give us the blogs they'd like to have in archive here.

tweet tweet @gracemoon

yonks's picture

copié collé ça marche pas?

copié collé ça marche pas?

-Do not follow me, I'M LOST-

Annie Oakley's picture

Longbeach, this is nothing

Longbeach, this is nothing compared to what goes on in Washington. Not saying it isn't wrong, but in the eyes of politicians it's part of their "perks".

I mean look at all of this – this whole political nightmare we've experienced and will be suffering through. GEITHNER, a TAX CHEAT, will be appointed as SEC OF TREASURY. sickening and disastrous. The masteridiotmind of TARP.

None of them are or will be held accountable for anything, I don't care how often Obama repeats his memorized lines.

Noah-ess, my dear, we need a flood!

Annie Oakley's picture

LOL McCarney! thanks Tex. You

LOL McCarney! thanks Tex. You are a smartie!

Annie Oakley's picture

Most expensive inauguration

Most expensive inauguration of all time.

Obama Inauguration 2009: Spectacle of Hope

Annie Oakley's picture

There is a difference between

There is a difference between jus' shooting someone (which you can do at a distance and then run off) and decapitating someone, which can only be done by HOLDING YOUR VICTIM'S HEAD CLOSELY AND FIRMLY, while you physically saw through their skin, tendons, bones, muscles while their blood shoots all over you. The latter goes against human instinct, which would normally experience horror and recoil from such actions.

There is a difference, regardless if the "result" for the victim is death in both cases. And I do believe the difference in "bloodlust" and savagery makes the crime and criminal different.

Hey, I shoot squirrels. If I went around cutting their heads off I would be labeled a budding psychopath. With good reason.

rovermom's picture

I understand, but as I

I understand, but as I said...I kind of expect him to do those kinds of prayers, being he is a Christian leader.

He's not a politician, and I don't hold him to not preach, but expect him to, because that is his vocation. I think I understand his having Rick Warren...and the speech and the prayer.

He, the President, spoke for the first time in the President's history of this country being more then just Christian. We Are a multi-denominational country. Even though that is actually middle ground. It is very radical for the President to speak that, because he is the first.

Christian galore are flocking him out on it.

Then we have a very controversial religious right Christian leader speak very precisely about, in a very one religious way, by naming Jesus, by name, in his speech.

Which is another radical thing to do at a political event.

The challenges are, no matter what coin or what side of what coin one is on religion, someone is offended - even though it's about coming together.

These two radical view points on religion/politic - state/religion, on the same stage. Both sides...all sides were offended.

We could leave it all out - and leave it completely out of our lives....

or, we could learn to be more tolerant...

rovermom's picture

You are right. I just assumed

You are right. I just assumed that that whole region was traditionally decapitation.

In traditional China decapitation was considered a more severe form of punishment than strangulation although strangulation caused more prolonged suffering. This was because in Confucian tradition bodies were gifts from their parents, and so it was therefore disrespectful to their ancestors to return their bodies to the grave dismembered. The Chinese however had other punishments, such as the lingering death, that involved dismembering the body into multiple pieces. (similar to English quartering) In addition, there was also a practice of cutting the body at the waist, which was a common way of execution before being abolished in early Qing dynasty.

I'm not quite sure, as are the police, what his motives were - but in a very traditional society such as China, there are also "gangs" - underground societies, that take punishment and law into their own hands.

This could be a murder to bring down her relatives to do what ever it is...or could be punishment for something she or someone close to her did.

She was here for what, 2 weeks? Maybe it was to escape the threat.

Dornac's picture





Tex's picture

Remaining neutral would have

Remaining neutral would have been respectful to everyone - all religions have the Golden Rule or Ethic of Reciprocity in their doctrine......the basis for all human rights. Honestly, he was just plain rude to many!

Twitter Time @kdhales

Tex's picture

Shogun is historical Japanese

Shogun is historical Japanese military, not Chinese.

Twitter Time @kdhales