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A warm pile of dog shit would be a great alternative.








Hey' date=' W Bush had his eight years. He can't run again! :nahnah: :susel: :grin: :stirthepo [/quote']


for christ fuking sakes , the bush regime has so butt-fucked the usa it will never recover for any of us to see any type of recovery.


HH can rant all he wants about obama , but his tea-baggers will only sink the usa and the world into deeper shit.... :argue:



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Receiving Death Penalty Is As Random As Being 'Struck By Lightning



Thirty-five years after the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment and approved new sentencing criteria to make it less random, a new report has found that receiving the death penalty is still as arbitrary and unfair as being "struck by lightning."


A number of factors unrelated to the crime, including race, geography and money, influence the sentencing of capital punishment as much as, if not more than, the severity of the actual crime, according to the study released Wednesday by the Death Penalty Information Center.


Defendants who kill white victims are far more likely to be sentenced to death than those who kill black victims, the study found. Further, a vast majority of U.S. executions occur in only a handful of states; the quality of defense a defendant is able to afford affects his chances of receiving the death penalty; and county budgets are often a deciding factor in whether a district attorney will seek the death penalty or not. A number of these cases are overturned on appeal and assessed very differently the second time around, suggesting the decisions are often unjustified.


"The lingering problem with death penalty is that it is applied unevenly and unfairly," Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, told HuffPost. "It's not always a matter of the worst crimes getting the worst sentences. Those that have fewer resources or don't get great lawyers or don't have someone reinvestigating are going to end up getting the death penalty, while the worst crimes sometimes get good representation and don't."


As an example, the DPIC report pointed to the case of Gary Ridgway, a serial killer in Washington State who pled guilty to murdering 48 people in 2003 and was given a life sentence in exchange for detailed confessions about the victims. By contrast, Teresa Lewis, a mentally disabled woman in Virginia who stood by as two men shot her husband and son, was handed the death penalty while the two murderers received life sentences.


A national poll conducted in 2010 by Lake Research Partners showed that the unfairness of death sentencing is a top concern among voters who oppose capital punishment. Two-thirds of voters said they would prefer alternative punishments for murder, such as life without parole, over the death penalty, and 69 percent of respondents said they disagreed with the death penalty because of how unevenly it is applied.


Having the death penalty costs states a significant amount of taxpayer dollars, even when the states barely use it. The DPIC report estimates that only one person is executed for every 326 murders, which suggests that the death penalty is handed down too sparsely to be effective as a deterrent or as retribution.


"The constitution requires fairness, not just in lofty words, but also in daily practice," the report concludes. "On that score, the death penalty has missed the mark."







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President 'becoming an absolute monarch' on war powers, Dem says




A House Democrat warned Friday that the U.S. president is becoming an "absolute monarch" on matters related to the authority to start a war.


Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Congress must act to limit funding for military operations in Libya in order to correct that trend.


[color:red]"We have been sliding for 70 years to a situation where Congress has nothing to do with the decision about whether to go to war or not, and the president is becoming an absolute monarch," Nadler said on the floor. "And we must put a stop to that right now, if we don't want to become an empire instead of a republic."[/color]


Nadler stressed that he is not talking exclusively about "this president," meaning President Obama. But he said nonetheless that Congress needs to reassert its authority to declare war, and said this should be done even over concerns that it would damage U.S. credibility with its NATO allies.


"I think that the nation's credibility, that is to say its promise to go to war as backed by the president, not by the Congress, ought to be damaged," he said.


"And if foreign countries learn that they cannot depend on American military intervention unless Congress is aboard for the ride, good," he added. "That's a good thing."


Members of the House early Friday morning were debating a rule allowing for consideration of H.J.Res. 68, which would authorize continued operations in Libya, and H.R. 2278, which would limit funding for those operations.


Members of Congress have been clashing with the White House over the Libya mission. Many Republicans and some Democrats argue that President Obama does not have the authority to continue involving the U.S. in the NATO-led mission without congressional authorization.


The White House argues the U.S. role in Libya does not constitute "hostilities" and is therefore not covered under the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which requires the president to seek authorization from Congress 60 days after notifying lawmakers of a military action.


H.R. 2278 is seen as tough and is expected to pass. However, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) stressed repeatedly that the exceptions in H.R. 2278 would essentially allow the U.S. military to continue the operations it is already involved in, and recommended a vote against both bills.


Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), the ranking member of the House Rules Committee, said in the debate that it is "shameful" the way House Republicans have rushed through both bills. She said much more debate was allowed decades earlier when Congress considered launching the Persian Gulf War, and even apologized to future generations for the rushed consideration regarding Libya.


"We avoid the robust debates that preceded us here today," she said. "Indeed, the way in which today's measures are being debated shames the dignity, history and tradition of this body.


"I really regret the shameful way this important debate has been rushed through Congress and I apologize to future generations who will look back on the work that we are doing today to try to understand the time," she added.





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Bangkok Post

26 Jun 2011






US mayors awaken early to costs of war



Much has been said and written about the Arab Spring and the Arab awakening. But yet another momentous change is in the wind that will lead to a geopolitical shift of potentially tectonic proportions - the upcoming American awakening.


Ten years after 9/11, a tired and collapsing America is awakening to the cost of its military adventures, and demanding transparency, accountability and a change of course. The American people's frustrations can no longer be kept under wraps, especially with presidential elections coming up in November 2012.


After accepting the presidency of the US Conference of Mayors after their annual conference last week, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles invoked the memory of the Vietnam War and Nelson Mandela in telling the US administration that Baltimore and Kansas City need more support than Baghdad and Kandahar.


Stressing that many American cities have economies bigger than many large countries, he said, ''Our mayors know what a double-digit unemployment rate means - and the real pain our families suffer every single day. As mayors, we can see the wreckage of the Great Recession all around us. We have entire cities swamped by the mortgage crisis, whole neighbourhoods left high and dry to blight and rot. In community after community, we've seen families cut adrift when an anchor employer pulls up stakes for US$2 a day labour abroad. We know what's good for Wall Street isn't necessarily good for Main Street.


''In too many of our cities, job growth is being choked by traffic and saddled by a sagging infrastructure. We have bus and rail systems at capacity. Our ageing roads and bridges are undermining our ability to meet the nation's future economic output. We need to say now is the time to put millions of people to work by making long overdue investments in our future infrastructure needs.''


He was speaking after the conference passed a 192-page set of 114 resolutions that make grim reading. Just a few examples:


The childhood obesity epidemic is a national health crisis, afflicting one in every three children (31.7%) ages two to 19. Obesity is estimated to cause 112,000 deaths per year in the United States and one-third of all children born in 2000 are expected to develop diabetes in their lifetime. The economic impact of obesity and physical inactivity is estimated at $3 billion each year. Obese adults incur an estimated $1,429 more in direct medical costs than their medically and physically fit counterparts.


In 2009, more than 45 million Americans over the age of 18 were suffering from serious mental illness and more than two million children aged 12-17 suffering from major depressive disorder. An estimated 23.5 million Americans aged 12 and older were in need of treatment for substance use disorders.


Public housing properties require in excess of $22 billion in repairs, exacerbating the national public housing crisis cities face today. Federal spending for two crucial programmes, the Public Housing Operating Subsidy and a Public Housing Capitol Fund, has continued to decrease but the need has not - 30% of the over 1.2 million public housing units in existence are in extremely high poverty neighbourhoods.


Criminal activity of street gangs and the subsequent problem of gang-related felony crimes remain a pervasive problem for urban, suburban, and rural communities; the National Gang Threat Assessment for 2009 found that about one million gang members belonging to more than 20,000 gangs were criminally active within all 50 states and the District of Columbia as of September 2008.


The US lost nearly a third of its manufacturing jobs over the past the decade. The pre-recession US growth model driven by highly-leveraged domestic consumption cannot sustain recovery, and the next economy must refocus on production, exports, innovation, and opportunity at all skill levels.


Mayors are saying they have had enough.


''It's time for the mayors to pull together and send a message to Washington. It's time to stop playing politics and start doing the hard work of the American people. It's time to start investing in our future again. It's time to put our people back to work. It's time to bring our troops home,'' said Mr Villaraigosa.


He added: ''It's time for Congress to get on with the serious business of legislating short and long-term solutions to our jobs crisis ... We need to stand for a new world order in federal spending. It's time to bring our investments back home. We can't be building roads and bridges in Baghdad and Kandahar, and not Baltimore and Kansas City. Not when we spend $2.1 million on defence every single minute. Not after nearly $1.2 trillion spent and over 6,000 lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.''


In one of the most powerful comments in his entire speech, Mayor Villaraigosa said: ''In 1971, the US Conference of Mayors proudly went on record calling for a withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam. It's time for mayors to once again speak up and join the call for an end to the war in Afghanistan. We support our men and women in uniform. These brave soldiers have served our country proudly. Now we must honor them by addressing our pressing needs at home! We must invest in our own economy and create jobs for them to come home to.''


Seeking to pump up the mayoral spirit, Mr Villaraigosa said: ''Mayors have done it before. And mayors can - and must - do it again. We can do it if we remember our history.


''The year was 1932, when 14 million Americans were unemployed. Veterans were marching on Washington. Homeowners everywhere were under water. Responding to the call of the nation's mayors, Congress enacted a $300 million federal assistance programme, the first in the nation's history. A few months later, they came together to write the charter for the US Conference of Mayors.


''Mayors led us out of the Great Depression. Mayors led on civil rights Mayors led when the Aids epidemic hit. Mayors stood with Mandela when it wasn't popular. There is a magic when mayors stand together. Let's unleash that magic.'' Mr Villaraigosa's speech was made on June 20. Exactly two days later, President Barack Obama announced his plans to bring the ''surge'' troops home from Afghanistan and focus on nation building at home.


But wars don't end so easily. According to Bobby Muller, president of Veterans for America, ''We are facing a massive mental health problem as a result of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a country, we have not responded adequately to the problem. Unless we act urgently and wisely, we will be dealing with an epidemic of service related psychological wounds for years to come.''


Thousands of these veterans will return home with severe physical injuries and mental trauma. Their families will suffer from drug abuse, domestic violence and suicide. One day, they will awaken to the fact that their mission in Iraq was to seek weapons of mass destruction that did not exist. Their government and their leaders lied to them.


The US media will awaken to the fact that it once played a major role in ending wars such as in Vietnam, but today plays a major role in starting and supporting wars, effectively becoming an embedded tool of the state apparatus.


President Obama's measured troop withdrawals from Afghanistan will still leave more than 70,000 US troops in the country at the end of 2012. The mayors have realised the price of the wars waged by the US in the first decade of the 21st century. The rest of the country will soon follow. Then will come an awakening that will make that in the Arab world pale by comparison.






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There is very little mayors can do nowadays. Most functions are state or federally influenced to varying degrees: Law enforcement (100k cops program during Clinton's administration), Education (No child left behind), Roads are now state or federally funded, Jobs, even local jobs are now a federal issue and obviously state. Detroit jobs are now in presidential debates. The movie industry in Los Angeles is a state issue in California. Subways, light rail and even busses are under the auspices of the department of transportation to some degree be it funding or some other portion of it. Housing for the poor is federally funded (projects), lots of state and federal buildings are in cities and control that land.


The cities (and states) have f*cked up so much they need the federal government. No need for states to complain about states rights as they did many years ago, they have openly courted the federal government to help them and have given the federal governmen power over what used to be their function. Many governors are quasi mayors anyway. Especially in smaller states. If you're the governor of Rhode Island you're damn near the mayor of Providence.


Its all bullsh*t. I've long said any federal spending we do should be on infrastructure. Its desperately needed for one and two would provide millions of jobs directly and indirectly to millions of people. Many good working class jobs for the masses. Too many NIMBY (not in my backyard) folks as well as environmentalists holding up much needed high speed rail lines in a few states.


The cities have f*cked themselves up on their own. When the demographics changed and the largest cities became black run, many of these mayors continued the graft and corruption as well. just like the federal government, the face behind the desk may change but the powers that be are ever present and still pull the strings.

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In Gold Cup final, it's red, white and boo again




It was imperfectly odd. It was strangely unsettling. It was uniquely American.


[color:red]On a balmy early Saturday summer evening, the U.S soccer team played for a prestigious championship in a U.S. stadium … and was smothered in boos.


Its fans were vastly outnumbered. Its goalkeeper was bathed in a chanted obscenity. Even its national anthem was filled with the blowing of air horns and bouncing of beach balls.[/color]


[color:red]Most of these hostile visitors didn't live in another country. Most, in fact, were not visitors at all, many of them being U.S. residents whose lives are here but whose sporting souls remain elsewhere.[/color]


Welcome to another unveiling of that social portrait known as a U.S.-Mexico soccer match, streaked as always in deep colors of red, white, blue, green … and gray.


[color:red]"I love this country, it has given me everything that I have, and I'm proud to be part of it," said Victor Sanchez, a 37-year-old Monrovia resident wearing a Mexico jersey. "But yet, I didn't have a choice to come here, I was born in Mexico, and that is where my heart will always be."[/color]


On a street outside the Rose Bowl before the Gold Cup final, Sanchez was hanging out near a motor home that was hosting 17 folks — 15 of whom were Mexico fans. Inside, that ratio held, there seemingly being about 80,000 Mexico fans among the announced crowd of 93,420.


This was Staples Center filled with Boston Celtics fans. This was Chavez Ravine filled with Giants jerseys. This was as weird as it was wild and, for a U.S. team that lost, 4-2, it had to be wearisome.


"Obviously … the support that Mexico has on the night like tonight makes it a home game for them," said U.S. Coach Bob Bradley, choosing his words carefully. "It's part of something we have to deal with on the night."


It wasn't just something. It was everything. I've never heard more consistent loud cheering for one team here, from the air horns to the "Ole" chants with each Mexico pass, all set to the soundtrack of a low throbbing roar that began in the parking lot about six hours before the game and continued long into the night.


Even when the U.S. scored the first two goals, the Mexico cheers stayed strong, perhaps inspiring El Tri to four consecutive goals against a U.S. team that seemed dazed and confused. Then when it ended, and the Mexican players had danced across the center of the field in giddy wonder while the U.S. players had staggered to the sidelines in disillusionment, the madness continued.


Because nobody left. Rather amazingly, the Mexico fans kept bouncing and cheering under headbands and sombreros, nobody moving an inch, the giant Rose Bowl jammed for a postgame trophy ceremony for perhaps the first time in its history.


And, yes, when the U.S. team was announced one final time, it was once again booed.


[color:red]"We're not booing the country, we're booing the team," Sanchez said. "There is a big difference."[/color]


Mexico soccer fans have long since proven to be perhaps the greatest fans of any sports team that plays in this country, selling out venues from here to Texas to New Jersey, dwarfing something like Red Sox Nation, equaling any two SEC football fan bases combined.


But eventually, the rules for their unrequited love get tricky. Because eventually, Mexico ends up playing the U.S. team on U.S. soil. And then folks start wondering, as they surely did Saturday, is it really right for folks who live here to boo and jeer as if they don't?


"I know, it's strange, and when we got here, we were a little worried," said Roy Martinez, a U.S. fan who wrapped himself in an American flag and led "USA" cheers to passing cars outside the stadium before the game. "But, you know, it works."


It was truly strange but, in the end, it indeed worked, perhaps because there is pride in living in one of the only countries where it could work.


How many places are so diverse that it could fill football stadiums with folks whose roots are somewhere else? How many places offer such a freedom of speech that someone can display an American flag on their porch one day and cheer against the flag the next?


I hated it, but I loved it. I was felt as if I was in a strange place, and yet I felt right at home.


Certainly, for the U.S. team, it undoubtedly stinks. But then, well, to be honest, the team stinks.


All the misguided hopes that surrounded their advancement into the second round of the 2010 World Cup — We beat Algeria, whoopee! — have come crashing down in recent lackluster play under Bradley.


If this were any other country, Bradley would have been relieved by now. But because U.S. expectations remain sadly low, he is allowed to continue guiding a team whose mistakes and missteps led to the Mexico comeback.


Long after that comeback was complete, when the stadium was finally cleared and the party had moved to the parking lot, the Rose Bowl field contained scattered patches of blue and gold celebration glitter. It was messy, and mangled, and beautiful.




Esta es la vida in Mexifornia ...

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the media way way over rates soccer as an " american " sport. for anyone in this country that can read or write english knows that soccer is a 3rd world sport for 3rd world cuntries... :grinyes:


each year there are designated dates for these 3rd worlders to forget about their poverty and despair and focus on a silly game that in their minds makes them feel relevent in the " real world "



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