Although forensic tests found unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter between Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a French politician, and the woman, prosecutors do not believe much of what the accuser has told them about the circumstances or about herself.
This isn’t just some spare lying; we’re talking ties to sketchy dudes in jail, bank accounts getting loaded with money, five cell phone accounts registered to her name weird. This rises to a level above simple lying. They do have evidence that sexual activity took place, but the outlying circumstances raise eyebrows. Keep an eye on this; Dominique Strauss-Kahn could walk if things prove sketchy enough.
“I live for this work. It’s the only thing I’ve ever done. I believe in it. I’m going to be doing it for the forseeable future.”—Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner • Denying the speculation about his possible departure from his post. By the way, has anyone figured out a way to see into next week? We’re not sure if we believe him. That said, he did claim that personal issues were weighing on his mind right now: “I have a family, and my son’s going back to New York to finish high school,” he said. “I’m going to be commuting for a while.” Hope he learns to love Amtrak. source (via • follow)
NBA headed for a lockout as collective bargaining talks fall apart
NBA headed for lockout: As talks between league officials and the player’s union on a new collective bargaining agreement have fallen apart, it’s clear that the NBA will suffer a work stoppage. It’s been thirteen years since this last happened, when the 1998-1999 season was cut 32 games short. The impasse is mainly about salary versus revenue; the NBA claims 22 of its 30 franchises are losing money, and they want lower player salaries (likely a lower cap) to compensate — obviously, the players feel otherwise. Said union head Billy Hunter: “I’ve been waiting for a lockout for two, three years. Now it’s here. Our guys are anxious to get a deal.” source
David Petraeus unanimously confirmed as new CIA chief
94-0Senate vote confirming Petraeus as CIA director source
» The big shuffle continues: With Robert Gates’ retirement, and Leon Panetta imminently poised to become the new Secretary of Defense, the Senate has voted to confirm General David Petaeus to take Panetta’s old job. Petraeus had been serving as the Commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, but will be departing to become the number one man of the government agency we all think of when we think about high-level secrecy. Of note in this confirmation — ninety-four to nothing! Even in a thoroughly divided Washington, it’s clear Petraeus is still one of the most politically popular people to stand in support of, no matter the political party.
FDA decides against controversial breast cancer drug
6-0vote to take the breast cancer indication off Avastin source
» Even though lots of peopleliked the drug, the FDA has decided that it shouldn’t be used to treat breast cancer. However, European regulators allowed its use (as long as it was with another drug) at essentially the same time — which begs the question, why would the FDA be taking a drug off the market that so many people felt so passionate about?
“Making a better tomorrow, tomorrow.”—The slogan for Stephen Colbert’s PAC • Yeah, you read that right. Stephen Colbert now heads a PAC, and he can raise money and run ads for candidates at his choosing, so long as he has the money. The main battle Colbert has been fighting, though, is when he has to disclose what he’s paying for the ads. As long as they air during his show, he won’t have to say how much he’s paying because of a media exemption. In trying to get an exemption, Colbert was able to expose some loopholes in the law, causing for a pretty narrow ruling on it…which is a good thing, as it leads to more disclosure from big companies contributing to political campaigns. source (via • follow)
If you're looking to join Google+, you're out of luck for now
before People who were on Google’s new social networking site had the ability to invite their friends to join in. That’s good because it allows Google to test their new service on a smaller amount of people, but make sure that they still have friends to talk to.
now It should have worked, at least. Google had to shut down the invite feature because too many people were joining. That’s how popular Google+ is. If you’re looking to join, you’re going to have to wait for a little bit — they haven’t announced when invites will be back. source
Dude who managed to stow away on flight passed security check
fail Last Friday, some dude managed to stow away on a Virgin America flight from New York to Los Angeles; he was only caught after passengers started telling flight attendants that his seat was supposed to be empty.
double-fail However, Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi’s total security breach went undetected by TSA officials — in fact, despite holding an outdated ticket that wasn’t in his name, he passed through security checks with no issues. *facepalm* source
The Senate's skipping its upcoming recess, working straight through
All because of that pesky debt ceiling thing: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the only fireworks members of the Senate would see next week would be strictly of the political kind — all in an effort to solve the pesky debt ceiling issue that’s been dogging Congress for a couple of months. If they can’t figure it out by August, it could have a dire effect on the overall economy, but Republicans want cuts to coincide with any sort of debt ceiling deal. Not every Senator is on board with this recess idea, by the way. We’re feeling less confident about their ability to fix this mess by the day. source
It also means people (including myself) can't make money off Amazon Associates. :(
(Insert anti-tax, anti-government rant here).
» SFB says: We’re torn about the issue. We think affiliate marketing like Amazon Associates is a great way to make money, and could be one potential way for Tumblr blogs to make money through the dashboard, for example. But at the same time, California’s in dire straits and has been for a while, and you gotta wonder if this was a last resort. We lean a little more towards your feeling on the matter, overall. — Ernie @ SFB
The NY Times?! Are you kidding me!? You can't get more mainstream then those fucks!
Quit perpetuating the lies and disinformation! Your job is to inform the populace by using your own god given judgement to determine that which is false from true - quit regurgitating the mainstream agenda!
» SFB says: The poll you’re citing from (where Paul has 10 percent) is a poll of likely Republican voters in New Hampshire. We actually posted it. The CBS/NYT poll, meanwhile, is amongst members of the general public in the U.S., of which Republican voters were culled from for that particular question. Again, being disrespectful is not our style. Disagreement is not disinformation. — Ernie @ SFB
California Governor: No more tax-free Amazon shopping
YESCalifornians must pay sales tax at Amazon.com source
» Starting Friday, California residents (including the author of this post!) will have to pay sales tax on items purchased on Amazon, Overstock, and Internet retail giants located out-of-state. The new rule comes in the form of budget legislation signed into law Wednesday by Governor Moonbeam Jerry Brown. The gov’nah called it a “common-sense idea;” Amazon.com called it “unconstitutional.” The measure could pull in $317 million, but that doesn’t make me feel any less grumpy about having to pay an extra two dollars for my Puddle of Mudd album.
what's more suprising about that stupid fucking poll of yours?
How boout the fact that RON MOTHAFUCKING PAUL wasn't included?
» SFB says: He was. He had 1 percent in the CBS/NYT poll we used. Paul has done well in other polls we’ve covered, but not this particular one; he was covered in the “one of seven other candidates” part. And come on. No need to be rude. Not our style. — Ernie @ SFB
Now, we read the news pretty heavily. But we don’t claim to be Washington insiders. And we didn’t know who this guy was or his importance until very deep in the piece. Let’s lay it out for you guys: "A quick-rising press dude for Rep. Darrell Issa, Kurt Bardella, lost his job a few months back after he shared reporter e-mails with another reporter. Bardella’s plight is well known amongst DC staffers but nobody else. Still, the hard-working press guy, who broke informal congressional protocol by promoting himself in news stories, found another job — with The Daily Caller — doing pretty much the same type of thing. He’s still not worthy of a mention outside of insidery DC media circles. The end." We just saved you nine pages of work. Bad storytelling, Washingtonian.
Cost of last decade's wars much higher than Obama said
$3.7trillion cost for the United States’ post-9/11 wars source
» The wages of war: When President Obama referred to a $1 trillion price tag for America’s wars in the last decade, he clearly hadn’t spoken to the folks running the Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute. The project determined the above figure through calculations that included future costs, such as health services for wounded veterans returning home, as well as counting what’s generally referred to as our “secret” war in Pakistan.
“A lot of this fuss is politics… I said there would be no troops on the ground. I said we would not be carrying the lion’s share of the operation, but as members of NATO we would be supportive of it because it’s in our national security interest and it’s the right thing to do. We have done exactly what I said we would do.”—President Obama • Defending his military intervention in Libya, and dismissing complaints from Congress. In the process of doing so, Obama struck a more confrontational tone towards his critics than is common for his administration. There’s a definite argument that one can make for the warfare going on in Libya, on fairly simply moral grounds — nobody really doubts what would have happened in Benghazi had nobody moved to stop it. Making that sort of argument would, we think, go a lot further to appeal to American sensibilities than judicial wrangling over defining "hostilities" would. source (via • follow)
“It’s a tough decision, it’s a big decision to decide whether to run for office or not. I’m still contemplating. I am still thinking about the decision and you know a lot goes into such a life-changing, relatively earth-shattering type of decision.”—Sarah Palin • talking about her decision to run for President. She still isn’t giving anyone a straight answer on what she plans on doing, but her daughter Bristol said some stuff on Fox that says she does have a plan. She told the news station that Palin knows what she’s going to do, and Bristol thinks her mom should go for it. But why would Palin run if Bachmann already did? They’re basically the same kind of candidate — and Palin has pretty much already lost her opportunity to get back into the national spotlight after her bus tour kind of sputtered. It’ll be interesting to see what happens. source (via • follow)
fear North Korea seems afraid of a revolution similar to those we’ve seen in the Middle East. They bought a lot of anti-riot gear from China, and there’s been extra police forces around. But where do the revolutions usually start? With the kids in college.
reaction North Korea has closed all of their universities until April 2012, blaming it on their ailing economy — all the students have to go work in factories. This might be true, but more than likely it’s not — they’re trying to keep those most likely to revolt from doing it. source
» Harsh words for the opposition: George Papandreou, the leader of the Socialist Party, had this to say towards the opposition New Democrats in the heat of the all-important vote: “All of Europe knows that your party is responsible for the current situation.” The vote, which only one member of parliament on either side crossed lines for, means that the country will receive a $17 billion rescue plan to make it through the Summer, with a second, much larger one in the works. Meanwhile, outside parliament, large-scale protests continued unabated.
» SFB says: Sure thing! Here’s the PDF of the back side. Also, if anyone else would like to distribute something similar in their neck of the woods, I can offer up the source files. :) Would love to draw a little more attention to the great work Tumblr’s independent news sites are doing. — Ernie @ SFB
U.S. is wasting money on unsuccessful dollar coin program
2005 Congress passed a bill to establish coin currency as a bigger force in America’s day-to-day transactions. Their plan was to produce $1 coins featuring, progressively over time, the full run of American Presidents. Republican Rep. Mike Castle sponsored the legislation.
2011 The bill’s language has meant that the coins are still in production despite broad unpopularity — so much so that the Federal Reserve is sitting on an ever-expanding billion dollars worth of unwanted currency. Wanna talk wasteful spending? Here’s exhibit A. source
Slim margin eliminates one of Wisconsin GOP's recall efforts
2signatures short for Wisconsin Rep. John Nygren’s recall candidacy source
» GOP pushback comes up a hair short: Following challenges by the Democratic Party in Wisconsin, the state’s Government Accountability Board has ruled that 26 of the Nygren campaign’s recall petition signatures are invalid, and as that left Nygren with just 398 signatures, they kicked him out of the race. Nygren is pursuing legal options, and frankly we don’t expect this to be over — two signatures is such a slim margin, it seems obvious that every last signature is again going to get combed over. The GOP still has a candidate, an activist named David VanderLeest, but given his comparatively lackluster background, we imagine they’re pushing to get Nygren back.
“Avastin saved my life…The studies are saying, they’re saying that people didn’t live for more than five months, you know. And there has to be other people like me that it works on.”—Kerry Harrington, a breast cancer survivor • Arguing for the case for Avastin, a drug still being tested that treats breast cancer. The drug received accelerated approval for treating breast cancer, but now the FDA is backing away from allowing the drug for breast cancer treatment. This is mainly because Avastin has some pretty horrible side effects, like heart attacks and kidney damage. Many women are saying that the pros outweigh the cons — they’d rather deal with the side effects and know they’re treating their cancer. The FDA will decide after they hear testimony from patients and review other official data. source (via • follow)
Loughner's lawyers: Doctors are forcing medication on him
If Jared Lee Loughner takes psychotropic drugs, he could become competent enough to stand trial. A while back, a judge ruled that Loughner can take any medicine he wants voluntarily, but his lawyers must be notified if he’s forced to take any medication to restore him to competency. However, those lawyers say that they weren’t in the room during a June 13th hearing which allowed a mental hospital to force him to take drugs to improve his mental condition — against the wishes of Loughner. Now they’re having a judge decide on the matter for a third time. So, the question is: If his lawyers are trying to prevent him from taking the medicine he needs to get better, how is he supposed to stand trial? Answer: If the decision favors Loughner, he probably won’t. source