Atlanta, Baltimore, New York, Philly, Washington D.C.
INTERACT

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My How People Change...

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..when the cat is out of the hat.


BEFORE




AFTER

Friday, January 30, 2009

Blagojevich NOOOO

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CHICAGO -- After an impeachment trial that lasted only four days, the Illinois Senate overwhelmingly voted to remove Governor Rod Blagojevich.

He is accused, among other things, of trying to sell President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat. Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn is now the Governor of Illinois.

As he stood before lawmakers late Thursday morning, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich knew it was his last chance to save his job by convincing state lawmakers he is innocent of charges that he abused his power as Governor.

"How can you throw a governor out of office who is clamoring and begging and pleading with you to give him a chance to bring witnesses in, to prove his innocence, to do more than just ask for a presumption of innocence," he said.

In the end, his appeal was not enough to convince lawmakers to keep him in office. The Illinois Senate unanimously voted 59-0 to remove him as governor, and passed legislation to prevent him from seeking office in the future.

He is the first Illinois governor to face impeachment, and his removal is unprecedented in state history.

Blagojevich was arrested December 9 on federal corruption charges that he tried to sell the Senate seat vacated by then Senator Barack Obama when he became U.S. President. Obama is not a part of the investigation.

Blagojevich is also charged with soliciting campaign contributions in return for state services and pressuring management at the Chicago Tribune newspaper to remove members of its editorial board critical of Blagojevich. In return, Blagojevich would support the release state funds to help the sale of the Tribune-owned Wrigley Field Baseball Park.

After unheeded calls by lawmakers and President Obama for Blagojevich's resignation, the Illinois House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly earlier this month to impeach the governor.

Until his remarks before the Illinois Senate on Thursday, Blagojevich had refused to appear at the trial. He cited an inability to call witnesses - one of the rules of the impeachment process - as his primary reason for boycotting the proceedings, which he called biased and unconstitutional.

But in a last minute turnaround, he asked for the opportunity to appear in the hopes he could appeal to lawmakers' "sense of fairness".

"You haven't been able to show wrongdoing in this trial, and [you] denied me the right to be able to bring in a whole bunch of witnesses who will show you I didn't do anything wrong and, in fact, did most things right," he said.

Lawmakers were unable to question Blagojevich during his statement, which was not given under oath.

It is something impeachment prosecutor David Ellis emphasized in his own closing arguments, which came after several days of testimony that included recorded conversations between Blagojevich and lobbyists trying to influence state legislation.

"That is unrefuted testimony - different conversations where the governor is trading, using his official power as some kind of a chit for personal gain, unrefuted by this governor. He comes in, says, 'There is no evidence,' and gets off the stage," he said.

As he made his final remarks to the assembled lawmakers, Blagojevich warned that a conviction in his case would set a dangerous precedent.

"To remove a governor, like this, sets a dangerous and chilling precedent for the future. Impeachments are very rare and they are designed to be that way. They're supposed to be used only in extreme cases. That's why there have been very few impeachments in American history. That's why I stand before you in a very unique and lonely place," he said.

After voting to remove Blagojevich from office, State Senator John Cullerton spoke with reporters. He indicated that the Governors refusal to participate in the trial sealed his fate.

"There was not one shred of evidence offered to rebut the prosecutions comments. It's the first time I'm sure in history at an impeachment trial the one accused was a no show. It was a big mistake," he said.

Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn took the oath of office soon after the vote to remove Blagojevich was entered into the legislative record.

Quinn is now the 41st governor of the state of Illinois.

"In this moment, our hearts are hurt, and understand we have a duty and mission to restore faith of the people of Illinois and the integrity of our government. and to make sure that all of our elected officials have the confidence of the voters. I think this is our highest calling," he said.

Federal prosectors are expected to bring an official indictment against Blagojevich by April. His trial date would be set at that time.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Parts of President Obama's 647 page "2009 Stimulus Package" Bill

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The House approved $819 billion The 244 to 188 vote was mostly along party lines, with 11 Democrats voting against the package.

-- $44 million for construction, repair and improvements at U.S. Department of Agriculture facilities;

-- $209 million for work on deferred maintenance at Agricultural Research Service facilities;

-- $245 million for maintaining and modernizing the IT system of the Farm Service Agency;

-- $50 million for "watershed rehabilitation";

-- $2.7 billion for rural-water and waste-disposal direct loans;

-- $1 billion for "periodic censuses and programs";

-- $650 million for digital-to-analog converter box program;

-- $624 million for Navy operation and maintenance; and

-- $79 billion in education funds for states.*


I side with the house republicans and the 11 democrats who voted against the bill. This package is coming from borrowed money. And heaven forbid it does not work. Then what? Borrow more money from. . .?


Washingtonians are Snow "Wimps" -LaCha says "not cool"

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This isnt the city of Chicago. This is Washington DC, which isn't just the city of Washington DC, but parts of Maryland and Virgina. What percentage of "residents" (me included) are not familiar with commuting in icy conditions? Closing schools minimizes the amount of unsafe and uninsured drivers on the road, and the drivers that slide around on bald tires.
The most annoying part of DC are the tourist. Washingtonians have their way of doing things and have been doing them this way longer than any other city. Its not respectful to move into a tiny city and start calling your neighbors wimps. And i hope no one in DC(MD/VA) public schools takes his advice. And is ok. I understand President Obama, it takes some time for the Washington mindset to kick into Newbies ;-)
Welcome!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

is Blagojevich serious?

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Blagojevich, Governor of Illinois, facing federal charges including attempting to sell President Obama's then vacant senate seat. Today is the second day of hearings in his impeachment trial. The Governor refuses to attend the trial because it is "unfair." And now he believes his struggle is equal to Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Is he serious? Yes.

Monday, January 26, 2009

little info from the USDOE

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my roommate has been randomly drying clothes for the last two hours...i promise the clothes were dry sometime during the first half an hour...upside? the sound of a dyer is soothing. Downside? energy, environment, money.

What's a kilowatt?

When you use electricity to cook a pot of rice for 1 hour, you use 1000 watt-hours of electricity! One thousand watt-hours equals 1 kilowatt-hour, or 1 kWh. Your utility bill usually shows what you are charged for the kilowatt-hours you use. The average residential rate is 8.3 cents per kWh. A typical U.S. household consumes about 11,000 kWh per year, costing an average of $900 annually.

YAY!

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i just discovered the coolest thing online

Friday, January 23, 2009

Good Stuff here!

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Posted by: Helen Philpot | January 23, 2009

Kiss My 83 Year Old Ass

The election is over. Barack Obama is now President Obama and Bush has slithered back to Texas where I am sure he will drink himself into obscurity. Palin seems to have been successfully de-clawed for now. I have sworn off Rush Limbaugh and The View, and Fox News was never really an option for me. So… now what do I do? I think I might read a few of that big-footed Ann Coulter’s books and then point my “guns” at her scrawny ass. She bugs me almost as much as Palin so this could be fun.

But until then, I would like to comment on that Ass Hat who has been posting as Anonymous:

“And where were YOU the past 8 years? Only ready to go because a Democrat is POTUS? Reading through this blog, the “verbal vomiting” that is used towards anyone that has dared to disagree is astonishing. The attacks on Republican politicians, pundits, or anyone that dares think differently are shameful. How hypocritical.”

The better question is where were you? Let me tell you where I was. I was in shock that we had a President saying “I am the decider” like some toddler upset that his parents told him no more candy. We were turning a blind eye to torture. The President’s answer to everything was war. We celebrated lower taxes while ignoring the massive debt that was building. It was as if common sense had disappeared entirely from the White House. For God’s sakes at one point Cheney claimed the Vice President wasn’t a part of the executive branch nor was it part of the legislative or judicial branches. Bush’s entire Presidency was an utter failure and at times the nation held him in lower esteem than it did Nixon during his resignation.

So Anonymous, if we didn’t have anything good to say these last eight years it is because there was nothing good to say during these last 8 years. Nothing.

And if you don’t like what I have to say then you can kiss my 83 year old ass because on this blog I am the decider. I mean it. Really.

And while I am on a roll… the same thing goes for all these Republican jack asses in the Senate and House who suddenly have an opinion about everything. Shut your pie holes. You had your chance and you blew it.

It’s nice to have an intelligent person in the Oval Office again. I mean it. I really, really mean it."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What is virginity worth today?

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By Elizabeth Landau
CNN

Is a woman's virginity worth $3.8 million? That's how much Natalie Dylan, a 22-year-old from San Diego, California, said she has been offered through an auction she announced in September.

Natalie Dylan, 22, said she has put her virginity up for auction through the Moonlite Bunny Ranch.

Natalie Dylan, 22, said she has put her virginity up for auction through the Moonlite Bunny Ranch.

Her private auction through the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, a legal brothel in Nevada, has given her lots of "business opportunities," she said.

Her top bid comes from a 39-year-old Australian, but she has no immediate plans to settle the auction, she said in a recent interview with CNN.

Some men may seek virgins because they want them as trophies, or desire purity. But as to why men would bid so much money on virginity, she said she has no answer.

"I honestly don't know what they see in it," she said.

If you think Dylan's auction amounts to prostitution, she completely agrees. She also said she's not breaking any laws -- after all, prostitution in Nevada is legal.

"I feel people should be pro-choice with their body, and I'm not hurting anyone," she said. "It really comes down to a moral and religious argument, and this doesn't go against my religion or my morals. There's no right or wrong to this."

The idea that virginity has a high value harkens back to the days of early humans -- if a man has sex with a virgin woman, he knows for sure that her children will be his, anthropologists reason. In early civilizations, women were also considered the property of men, said Laura Carpenter, assistant professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

In America, women were expected to remain virgins until marriage through the 1950s, Carpenter said. But with the availability of the pill and the IUD in the 1960s, combined with youth counterculture and gay rights movements, it became more common for women to engage in premarital sex, she said.

Attitudes shifted toward the conservative side in the 1980s with the worldwide HIV/AIDS pandemic, which made the stakes much higher for choosing a sex partner, especially for men. Abstinence-based education programs also took off around that time, with government support, she said.

Today, about 95 percent of Americans have sex before they're 25, Carpenter said. But worldwide, virgin prostitutes can claim larger fees, certain cultures still attach larger dowries to virgin brides, and some women undergo reconstructive surgery to restore their hymens.

In looking at Dylan's auction, "To some extent it's not new. The new part is the Internet," Carpenter said.

Dylan is not the first to hold a public sale for her sexual innocence. An Italian model reportedly had plans to sell her virginity for more than $1 million in September. Dylan said she was inspired by a report of a Peruvian woman who put her virginity up for sale.

Some think Dylan's auction may be indicative of a shift in the way society treats sexuality.

"In a world that is teeming with brand messages, with sponsorships everywhere, intimacy is really just the next thing to go," said Jon Ray, a 24-year-old marketing consultant in Austin, Texas, and author of the blog Who is Jon Ray?

Brett Austin Vanderzee, a 19-year-old student at Oklahoma Christian University who has pledged to stay a virgin until marriage, finds Dylan's actions somewhat appalling, but not shocking.

"It's kind of crazy, but I think it's the general direction that society has been heading in for a while," he said. "We're becoming more accepting of things that normally would have been considered unwise."

Kiara Daines, a 17-year-old from Detroit, Michigan, said she's saving herself until marriage for personal and religious reasons. Both Vanderzee and Daines said they have endured teasing from their peers because of their choice to remain abstinent.

Others say there's just too much hype around virginity. Martha Kempner, vice president for information and communications for the nonprofit Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S., said telling a young woman to stay"pure" misses the point that sexuality will influence her long after she loses her virginity.

"By putting the emphasis there, [on virginity], we're actually devaluing the rest of women, the rest of her, and the rest of her sexuality for the rest of her life," she said.

A recent study in the journal Pediatrics showed that religious teens who take virginity pledges are as likely to have sex before marriage as their religious peers, and less likely to use condoms or birth control when they become sexually active.

Many people say losing one's virginity has different implications for men than women. While young women see the act as a symbolic giving of themselves, young men are more prone to want to get it over with and brag about it. Similarly, says Kempner, women are taught to keep themselves "pure" and help men exercise control, while there's a "boys will be boys" attitude around men.

Do men really think that virginity is worth millions of dollars?

Audacia Ray, a 28-year-old former sex worker from New York and author of "Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads and Cashing In on Internet Sexploration," is skeptical. She views Dylan's auction as a publicity stunt and doesn't anticipate she'll "continue in the industry."

The importance of a woman's virginity may vary in different cultures, but generally there's not the high value there used to be, Ray said.

"It begins to be viewed more as a burden over time -- a burden in that losing virginity is an event, so that it has to somehow mean something, which is part of the reason why people are all up in arms about Natalie," she said.

How do Dylan's friends and family feel? Dylan, who said she was raised in a conservative, non-Christian religious household, said although her mother doesn't agree with her, she still loves her as a daughter. Generally people have been supportive, said Dylan, who uses "Natalie Dylan" as a pseudonym.

"I've talked with my exes, some different guys, and they understand it's just a business deal, and they know me, and they know I'm not this promiscuous girl. Honestly, even if I didn't do this, I'd always be the girl who thinks prostitution is OK," she said. "I would always want to find a partner that can accept me for me."


That was quick

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President Obama signs executive order to close detention camp Guantanamo Bay.



Video

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

work

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thur 4p-10p fri 4p-2a sat 12p-9p sun 530p-500a cont on mon 12p-9p tues 9p-5a wed 9p-4a thur 4p-1p fri 4p-2a

Getting around the next couple of days

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Metro Inauguration hours*

Sunday Jan 18 normal hours (til Midnight)
Monday (holiday rates) opens at 5 am runs til 2 am. ZERO metro parking after 2 am or your car will be towed! at 3:30 am metro parking reopens. $4 cash ONLY (no smartcard)
D-Day Jan 20 4 am to 9 pm at rush hour rates metro stays open til 2 am

Follow the links for more info from WMATA



If you drive
the DCgov has a lot of info for you!
The most important info- all the road and parking restrictions start on Monday Jan 19 at 3 pm and end Wed Jan 21 at 7 am



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The U.S. Secret Service has deemed the Inauguration a special national security event and due to security measures, the Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter station on Metro's Green/Yellow Lines and the Smithsonian station on the Blue/Orange Lines, will be closed on Inauguration Day, Tuesday, January 20. They will open after the parade, approximately at 6:30 p.m. Judiciary Square station on the Red Line will close at 4 p.m. and Mt Vernon Sq 7th St-Convention Center station on the Green/Yellow Lines will close at 7:30 a.m. due to their proximity to locations hosting Inaugural Balls. Both stations are scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, January 21.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

lets crunch numbers

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And If That Last Item On The Economy Wasn’t Depressing Enough

From Eric Janszen:

Economic data coming out this week reveal an economy in free-fall.

The Stats

Every single working day in the month of December 2008:

190 U.S. companies filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection 4,950 Individuals filed for bankruptcy protection 3,100 Homes went into foreclosure 26,190 Jobs were lost and 25,035 workers filed for unemployment insurance

For the year 2008, the $6.9 trillion in lost stock market value among 110 million households represents a per household loss of $62,727. The $6 trillion in lost residential real estate property value nationally in 2008 adds $54,545 per household for a total of $117,272 in lost household asset value in 2008, exceeding by 27% the national household median net worth in 2007 of $86,000. (Losses were concentrated in the middle quintiles aka “the middle class.”)

a real life Spiderman

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bushisms



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With 15 days left in his term I've decided to dedicate this post (my 150th) to some of Bush's more memorable quotes

• "The people in Louisiana must know that all across our country there's a lot of prayer — prayer for those whose lives have been turned upside down. And I'm one of them. It's good to come down here." — Sept. 3, 2008, at an emergency operations center in Baton Rouge, La., after Hurricane Gustav hit the Gulf Coast.

• "This thaw — took a while to thaw, it's going to take a while to unthaw." Oct. 20, 2008, in Alexandria, La., as he discussed the economy and frozen credit markets.

• "There's no doubt in my mind, not one doubt in my mind, that we will fail." — Oct. 4, 2001, in Washington. Bush was remarking on a back-to-work plan after the terrorist attacks.

• "It would be a mistake for the United States Senate to allow any kind of human cloning to come out of that chamber." — April 10, 2002, at the White House, as Bush urged Senate passage of a broad ban on cloning.

• "I can't wait to join you in the joy of welcoming neighbors back into neighborhoods, and small businesses up and running, and cutting those ribbons that somebody is creating new jobs." — Sept. 5, 2005, when Bush met with residents of Poplarville, Miss., in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

• "It was not always a given that the United States and America would have a close relationship. After all, 60 years we were at war 60 years ago we were at war." — June 29, 2006, at the White House, where Bush met with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

• "Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die." — Dec. 7, 2006, in a joint appearance with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

• "These are big achievements for this country, and the people of Bulgaria ought to be proud of the achievements that they have achieved." — June 11, 2007, in Sofia, Bulgaria.

• "Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your introduction. Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit." — September 2007, in Sydney, Australia, where Bush was attending an APEC summit.

• "Thank you, Your Holiness. Awesome speech." April 16, 2008, at a ceremony welcoming Pope Benedict XVI to the White House.

• "The fact that they purchased the machine meant somebody had to make the machine. And when somebody makes a machine, it means there's jobs at the machine-making place." — May 27, 2008, in Mesa, Ariz.

• "And they have no disregard for human life." — July 15, 2008, at the White House. Bush was referring to enemy fighters in Afghanistan.

• "I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office." — June 26, 2008, during a Rose Garden news briefing.


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15 more days....its been a long time baby



Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tim Tebow files Draft Papers

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MIAMI, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, has filed papers with the NFL ahead of this year's draft.
Tebow, who is in Miami for next week's BCS national championship game against the Oklahoma Sooners, is in his third year at the University of Florida and has not yet made clear whether he will leave a year early to enter the draft.
The powerfully-built Tebow previously indicated that filing the papers was a first step to finding out where he would stand in the draft.
"It's filed. I feel good, but I'm not worried about it I'm excited to be here in Miami and I'm ready to go play the Sooners," he said.
Tebow holds the Gator's record for rushing touchdowns, was this year's Southeastern Conference offensive player of the year. (Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Thursday, January 1, 2009