GOP’s “recovery” efforts.

Speaking with one of my close friends today, who unfortunately is a Log Cabin Republican, he kept telling me how great the Republican party is doing… how many victories they've had post-election. 

He said the GOP is “recovering well”.

 

At first I thought he was crazy.. then I sat and thought about it.

In search and rescue missions, there's two “modes” to the search and rescue.

There's rescue, in which the primary goal is to save life.

And recovery, in which all hopes of life are believed to be gone, and they attempt to salvage the wreckage.

 

The GOP is definately in recovery.

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Are Mormons Christians? Focus on the Family Says Mitt Romney Says “Mormonism Is Not A Christian Faith”

Tom Minnery, senior vice president of government and public policy at Focus on the Family Action, makes the extraordinary claim that Mitt Romney "has acknowledged that Mormonism is not a Christian faith."

Might this indicate the beginning of a schism in the Prop 8 coalition? After all, the Prophet said Mormons are Christians, and have always been so:

Are Mormons Christian? This article explains why Mormons are Christians which is one of the most common accusations that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contend with.

Answer: Yes, Mormons are Christians.

Speaking on this topic, President Ezra Taft Benson stated:

"The question is sometimes asked, Are Mormons Christians? We declare the divinity of Jesus Christ. We look to Him as the only source of our salvation. We strive to live His teachings, and we look forward to the time when He shall come again on this earth to rule and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Does Mitt Romney know that James Dobson’s henchman says "Mitt Romney has acknowledged that Mormonism is not a Christian faith?" Why is Focus on the Family attacking Mitt Romney and Mormons after their successful alliance to pass Prop 8 in California?

Pre-New Year Not So Random Ten

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It’s the end of the year (oh yes, it’s in all of the papers) and since we do a Random Ten every week, I though we would finish off the year with my favorite ten new CDs. Are these the best of the year? Well no, because I failed to get a listen to the new (warning: sound at the links) Blitzen Trapper, Santogold (this year’s M.I.A.), and the new Beck. Also because these are my favorites, not yours. Getcher own damn best ten.

Music this year is heavy on the well-crafted pop side as lush production made a comeback. 

In no particular order:

The Helio SequenceKeep Your Eyes Ahead This is simply a beautifully constructed CD and the single Lately reminded me of what I used to like about U2.

DuffyRockferry. Warwick Avenue was the best song of the year. If Van Morrison had written something for Dusty Springfield, it would have sounded something like this.

MGMTOracular Spectacular. There was much to hate about eighties music. None of that stuff is here. Time To Pretend just reeks of Marc Bolan.

ElbowThe Seldom Seen Kid . Frankly I’m surprised I hadn’t ever heard of these guys before.

Vampire WeekendVampire Weekend. Shut up. There’s noting wrong with catchy tongue-in-cheek  singles, just ask Nick Lowe. VW is like Paul Simon’s Graceland taking  a detour to Martha’s Vineyard.

PortisheadThird. Portishead is an acquired taste and I’ve given up trying to explain why I like them.

TV on the RadioDear Science. I wasn’t overwhelmed with  Return To Cookie Mountain but with Dear Science I have finally seen the light. Extraordinarily original.

Fucked UpThe Chemistry of Life.  Sometimes you have to get past the vocalist’s voice and just appreciate the music (see Pumpkins, Smashing). That’s the case here.

Ra Ra RiotThe Rhumb Line. There’s something so sincere about their music. That appeals to me.

Gnarls BarkleyThe Odd Couple . I freaking hated St. Elsewhere and wished they would just go away (to say nothing of that fact that Danger Mouse ruined the Black Keys latest) but The Odd Couple redeemed them… somewhat.

Just missed the cut:  Belle & Sebastian BBC Sessions, Aimee Mann @#%&*! Smilers, Foxboro Hot Tubs, The New Mastersounds Plug and Play, Shelby Lynne Just A Little Lovin’,  and REM Accelerate.

Fleet Foxes? Did not like.  Like Jessica Simpson; pretty but boring.

Argue amongst yourselves.

Senate Democratic Leadership Vows to Swipe Bush’s Toilet Paper

Make no mistake: Roland Burris has been constitutionally appointed to be a Senator and he is constitutionally qualified to hold that office. So, when Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin say they will not allow Burris to be seated, what they are really saying is: we don’t give a rat’s ass about the law, the U.S. Constitution, its just a piece of paper we could wipe our asses with. Strange isn’t it, that’s just what George W. Bush said.

What makes Reid and Durbin any better than the most lawless scum to ever walk the halls of our White House? Not a thing!

cc: my Senator, Dick Durbin (D- as bad as any Republican)

Did ’08 End An Era Or Revive One?

GRITtv is away until January 6. In the meantime we’re airing some of the best shows from the past eight months. 

Americans heard more about socialism and the Weather Underground during the last part of the Presidential Election campaign than most of us had heard in years.

Today’s show asks — did ’08 end an era – or revive one, politically speaking– with former Weather Underground leader Bernadine DohrnJamal Joseph, former Black Panther and Photographer turned PR guru David Fenton. We look at the power of the image to affect public opinion and the power of social movements to endure. Fenton has a photo show “Eye of the Revolution” opening in NYC this weekend at the Steven Kasher Gallery.

Bernadine Dohrn sticks around for a one-on-one interview, on movements, on message, on No Demobilizing Now! About the Ayers Thing: Bill Ayers is Bernardine Dohrn’s husband. The McCain campaign tried to make Ayers a problem for Obama, but it didn’t happen. She says the bigger message here has nothing to do with ’60’s history – the Republicans message is that whatever you do doesn’t make a difference. Of course she rejects that idea, and revels in the victory of ground-up social movements.

Civil disobedience reframed as ‘terrorism’ – and quashed in ’08 as it was in ’68. The activists who rallied in Minneapolis/St. Paul outside the Republican National Convention were harrassed, gassed, and charged with "conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism." The Glass Bead Collective, Twin Cities Indymedia, and other independent media activists have released a new film, ‘Terrorizing Dissent‘, (more…)

Israel to Let Journos into Gaza – Sorta Maybe

Foreign journalists have had a hard time getting into Gaza for quite a while and their access has been blocked completely since November 4th. At that time, the international press complained, won a few day respite and then were banned again. Today, after a complaint was brought by the Foreign Press Association:

Israel’s supreme court today ordered the government to allow the international media into Gaza to report on the effect of the air strikes on Palestinians…

However, the supreme court told the government it must allow up to 12 journalists to enter whenever it opens the Erez crossing, a passenger gateway, for humanitarian reasons.

The Foreign Press Association (FPA), which represents foreign journalists and began a legal battle to open the crossing to the media last month, said it had been "left with no other choice" than to accept what is a limited victory.

There is no word on when Israel may again open the Erez crossing – or how they will select the 12 allowed in. They have until tomorrow to appeal the ruling.

Meanwhile, we need to rely on other accounts which Israel then claims are distorted. The disconnect imposed leads to a disconnect about the real impact of the current attacks – or as Gideon Levy writes for the Israeli paper Ha’aretz in his stunning article The IAF, bullies of the clear blue skies

In any event, from an altitude of thousands of feet the picture looks as sterile as a Rorschach inkblot. Lock onto the target, press the button and then a black column of smoke. Another "successful hit." None see the effects on the ground of their actions. Their heads must surely be filled with Gaza horror stories – they themselves have never been there – as if there aren’t a million and a half people living there who only want to live with a minimum of honor, some of them young like themselves, with dreams of studying, working, raising a family but who have no chance to fulfill their dreams with or without the bombing.

Video: One of the Israeli Defense Force youtubes: "The blogosphere and the new media are basically a war zone in a battle for world opinion," said IDF spokeswoman Major Avital Leibovich said.

Dr. Robert Spitzer: "DSM-V process can hardly be described as 'transparent' and 'open'"

The Los Angeles Times has a recent piece out (December 29, 2008) on how the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, entitled DSM psychiatry manual’s secrecy criticized. DSM-IV-TRThe subheader for the piece is The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is being revised under a cloak of confidentiality. Critics say the process needs to be open, and cite potential conflicts of interest. From the article:

An update is underway for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM, which defines the emotional problems for which doctors prescribe drugs and insurance companies pay the treatment bills. Psychiatrists working on the new edition were required to sign a strict confidentiality agreement.

Critics contend that the American Psychiatric Assn. should allow outside observers to review the scientific debate behind new and revised diagnoses.

Among the most prominent to speak out is the editor of the manual’s third edition, Dr. Robert Spitzer, hailed by peers as the most influential psychiatrist of his generation. If the DSM is often called the profession’s bible, then the DSM-III is the King James Version. Released in 1980, it set the standard by which others are measured.

Recently, Spitzer broke ranks by publishing an open letter to the profession protesting the confidentiality mandate.

A copy of Dr. Spitzer’s open letter is here. Here’s an excerpt from the letter:

[Below the fold, the Spitzer Letter and possible transgender/transsexual related issues behind the lack of transparency.] (more…)

Z2K: Microsoft Zunes temporarily bricked

Ya can’t make stuff like this up. From Ginny Mies at PC World:

Picture this: You’re gearing up to create a killer playlist on your 30GB Zune for your annual New Year’s bash. All of a sudden, your Zune locks up, reboots itself, and freezes. What the heck is going on?

Fox News picks up the story:

Later in the day, Microsoft finally figured it out. While writing some of the driver software, the world’s biggest software company had forgotten to compensate for leap years.

The solution? Wait 24 hours until Jan. 1.

As Joseph Flatley says on Engadget, let’s hope they get it right by 2012.

But wait, there’s more:

Even then, there may be a pesky digital-rights-management issue.

"If you’re a Zune Pass subscriber," the posting continues, "you may need to sync your device with your PC to refresh the rights to the subscription content you have downloaded to your device."

The Microsoft posting promised a fix by the end of the next leap year in December 2012.

Looks like they’re on top of it.

Happy software quality/DRM new year!

Obama Plans Campaign To Support Stimulus

Great news. Republicans are already flopping around trying to find a voice in opposition.

Obama, now in Hawaii on vacation, may travel outside Washington after Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, while others in the new administration scatter across the country to explain in minute detail the scope and purpose of the stimulus plan, said David Axelrod, a senior advisor to the president-elect."We’ll fan out, and this will be a public process," Axelrod said in an interview. "We’ll make clear to people why we need to do what we’re doing, why it’s the size it is, what the individual component parts are, and why they are an important part of the equation in terms of short-term recovery."