Monday, September 10, 2012

Jon Stewart tears apart RNC with comparison to Clinton’s math-filled speech

By Eric W. Dolan
Friday, September 7, 2012 0:10 EDT 
Jon Stewart screenshot
On his show Thursday night, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show praised former President Bill Clinton for delivering a speech to the Democratic National Convention that contained math. After lampooning Clinton’s long speech, which had “more false endings than a James Brown concert,” Stewart quipped that Clinton said more about the Republican’s plan than Republicans said during their whole convention. To prove his point, The Daily Show host showed side-by-side clips of Clinton presenting hard facts, contrasted with clips of Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan making vague promises.

Hope and Change 2 - Bin Laden Isn't Better Off

The Democratic National Convention speakers accentuate the non-livingness of Osama bin Laden in film, words, and -- once they got bored of that -- in slogan.

Hope and Change 2 - Barack Obama's Nomination

President Obama accepts the Democratic nomination, and uses that old Obama magic to replace the audacity of hope with the more reasonable calibration of expectation.

Hope and Change 2 - Democratic National Convention Parting Thoughts

The Best F#@king News Team Ever shares impressions, memories, breakfast choices, and Latino copies from their time at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.

Hope and Change 2 - Last Week This Week

Discrepancies arise in Fox News's coverage of the Republican National Convention and its Democratic counterpart.

Moment of Zen - Where Mitt Learned About Russia

John Kerry clearly didn't stay in the theater until the end of "Rocky IV," when Balboa got the standing ovation from the Politburo.

9/7/12 in :60 Seconds

Jennifer Granholm appears to be a drunk flight attendant, President Obama blows America's mind, and Aasif Mandvi shares impressions of Charlotte's culinary offerings.

2 tornadoes touch down in NYC neighborhoods

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A tornado is seen touching down in New York City on Saturday.
Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET: Two tornadoes touched down in New York City late Saturday morning, one in Queens and another in Brooklyn, causing damage and frightening startled residents.
An EF0 tornado made landfall in the Breezy Point section of the Rockaway peninsula in Queens at approximately 11 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. The 70 mile per hour winds hurled sand and debris in the air, downed multiple trees and power lines, moved cars and damaged property.Two possible tornadoes also were reported later Saturday in the Washington, D.C., area as strong winds and heavy rains plowed through the area, leaving tens of thousands without electricity as a severe weather cold front spanned much of the East Coast.
No injuries were reported from either tornado.About five minutes later, an EF1 tornado touched down in Canarsie, Brooklyn, the National Weather Service confirmed. The 110 mile per hour winds leveled trees and power lines and damaged homes.
Videos taken by bystanders showed a funnel cloud hurling sand and debris in the air, and possibly small pieces of buildings, as it moved through the Breezy Point section of the Rockaway peninsula in Queens.
In Canarsie, where the tornado ripped off parts of roofs, Terrill Baden struggled to close his front door as the twister rolled in.

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Tornado's rip through Northeast
"The wind was very stong," Baden said. "It was raining. A lot of debris was flying around."
Linda Beal-Benigno was driving on the Belt Parkway near the Flatbush exit when she said a tornado traveled across the road.
"At first I though it was dark smoke," she told "The entire belt felt like it was shaking. It was very frightening because you could see the funnel traveling and moving. It crossed the highway and just missed cars."
She added, "I never saw anything like that in my life."
courtesy Caitlin Walsh
Debris strewn near the tip of Breezy Point, at the Breezy Point Surf Club.
Thomas Sullivan, general manager of the Breezy Point Surf Club, said the twister ripped up cabanas and deck chairs.
"A lot of rain, a lot of wind," he said. "It picked up picnic benches. It picked up Dumpsters."
"It was crazy," neighborhood resident Joseph Mure told The Associated Press. He said he was in the shower when the storm hit, and went outside to snap a picture of the retreating funnel. "There were a lot of sirens going off. You could see it twisting."
Near the nation's capital, tornado-like funnel clouds were reported Saturday afternoon in Chantilly, in Fairfax County, and in Prince George's County, Md. The weather service hadn't confirmed the reports as tornadoes by early Saturday evening.

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NBC Learn explains how tornadoes form. 
Fairfax County officials said that a tornado was on the ground shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday. They reported three home cave-ins because of downed trees, a water rescue in the Potomac River and dozens of down electrical wires, Dan Schmidt, a fire department spokesman, told the Associated Press.
There were also reports of malfunctioning traffic lights and downed trees and power lines in the area as thunder, heavy rains and winds approaching 60 mph struck the region.
Emergency officials were attending to about a dozen people who were injured during a panicked rush for the exit at the Show Place Arena, hosting Prince George's County Fair, in Upper Marlboro, said Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George's County fire and emergency management agency. About 400 to 500 people were in attendance at the arena, officials said. Twelve were evaluated for injuries and four were transported to hospitals, reported.
Al Bello / Getty Images
Rain falls on center court in Arthur Ashe stadium to suspend play on Day 13 of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
In the District of Coulmbia there were reports of about 10 downed trees, including one that came down on a southeast apartment building undergoing construction, reported.
In Connecticut, strong line of storms left damage in Kent, Ridgefield and Northfield, reported.
Strong thunderstorms reached western Massachusetts Saturday evening, NBC station WWLP reported.

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Maddow: How a man you’ve never heard of could cost Romney the election

By David Ferguson
Saturday, September 8, 2012 13:51 EDT 
Madow on Virgil Goode and VA
Topics:  ♦  ♦ 
Friday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Rachel Maddow discussed how a little-known third party candidate could scuttle Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)’s electoral chances in the state of Virginia and thereby cost him the presidency.
At the outset of the segment, Maddow pointed out that according to some polls, the Democrats have gotten a slight bounce out of their convention, but reminded viewers that “National polls do not decide elections.” Elections are decided state by state according to the electoral college.
“It doesn’t matter how many votes Mitt Romney gets in California, he’s going to lose that state. It doesn’t matter how many votes President (Barack) Obama gets in Oklahoma, he’s going to lose Oklahoma, no matter what. It’s only the states that are in contention that really matter. They are the only ones that get fought over once the campaign has been joined in earnest.”
And now that we are in the post-convention part of this election cycle, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire and Iowa will become the focus of intense campaigning. This is where the remainder of the election cycle will be fought out, according to Maddow.
What’s notable is that some states that are normally swing states are not being targeted as battleground states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania are not a part of the Romney campaign’s media “carpet bombing” of the U.S..
“And then there’s Virginia,” Maddow said. “Virginia has been weird all year for quite different reasons.”
Virginia didn’t even have a Republican primary election this year. Getting on the ballot in Virginia requires meeting a fairly stringent set of requirements. Of the 6 candidates who ran in the GOP primary, only Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) were actually on the Virginia ballot.
One person who did make it on to the ballot for the general election in November, however, is the hard-right Constitution Party candidate and former Republican congressman Rep. Virgil Goode, Jr. (VA). Goode has been a Democrat and Republican, but in this election cycle has cast himself as an ultra-conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.
According to Maddow, this is the last thing that Romney wants to see on the ballot in that state.Salon writer Steve Kornacki joined Maddow to discuss how Goode stands a good chance of actiong as a spoiler for Romney in the Commonwealth by siphoning away Tea Party and other far-right voters, and thereby throwing the election by denying the former governor of the number of electoral votes by a wide margin.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Romney supporter, is trying to have Goode taken off of the ballot in the fall, but whether he’ll be successful remains to be seen.
Watch the clip, embedded via MSNBC, below:
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How To Use Natural Birth Control(Not the Rhythm Method)
The Key Is Knowing Your Body Well
something to think about if they outlaw contraceptives, I can't use it, but would have tried it during my time of starting a family.  Because birth control didn't work for me.  My doctor said that 1% of those women who take the pill, could still get pregnant.  Boy, I had to be in that !%.  I just thought it was interesting enough to add it to my blog.
Natural Birth Control
Natural birth control can be really useful if you know your body's schedule 123
3The pill doesn’t thrill you. You’re sick of fumbling with condoms, sponges and foams. You’re in a committed, monogamous relationship… but not looking to start a family. Well, there’s an all-natural – and widely misunderstood – option that can keep you from getting knocked up. And no, it’s not the rhythm method…Who hasn’t wished they didn’t have to deal with birth control pills, fumbling with condoms in the heat of the moment, or fretting about your period after unprotected sex?

Many women seek a natural form of contraception that doesn’t mess with our bodies, but also doesn’t leave us chewing our fingernails each month and running to the store for pregnancy tests (and uncomfortable moments with the cashier).

The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) offers a natural form of birth control and a better sense of your reproductive cycle. It’s often confused with the rhythm method – a form of birth control that counts the days of the menstrual cycle to predict when it’s safe and unsafe to have sex.

The rhythm method relies on tracking past menstrual cycles and using them to predict the future. It’s the look-into-a-crystal-ball approach to birth control, which is why it often fails.

FAM is significantly more effective since it charts a woman’s current symptoms, day by day, to offer a more precise prediction about her fertility or lack thereof. With perfect use and abstinence during fertile times, FAM is as effective as the pill and more effective than condoms. However, FAM won’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases. As such, it’s a method of birth control best practiced by monogamous, committed couples.

The key to FAM is in the details: basal body temperature and cervical fluid.

What’s Your Temperature?
Technically, a woman is only fertile one day out of the month – the day she ovulates. However, since sperm can survive in the body for up to a week, there are actually at least seven “unsafe” days if you are trying to avoid pregnancy (and fertile days if you are trying to get pregnant): the five days leading up to ovulation, the day you ovulate and the day after.
Ovulation is different for every woman. Some women ovulate on Day 10 of their cycle, while others ovulate on Day 20.

When a woman is ovulating, her body temperature rises. Most women can’t feel the temperature increase; a thermometer is the best way to monitor it. Tracking your basal body temperature (BBT) helps you zero in on your ovulation time, so you know when it’s safe and unsafe to have unprotected sex.

Sarah Slocum, Coordinator of fertility awareness workshops at the Chicago Women’s Health Center, says, “FAM really allows women to get to know their own cycle. It’s very personal; every woman is different.”

However, timing is everything.

Your temperature should be taken before you do anything – brush your teeth, have sex, get out of bed, or meditate. Set a daily alarm, wake up, roll over, and put the thermometer in your mouth. Most digital basal thermometers will record your most recent reading, so you can roll over again and fall right back asleep.
Tracking your daily waking temperature with a basal thermometer is essential, because the differences are actually in 10ths of a degree that wouldn’t register otherwise. These instruments are also called family planning or fertility thermometers. Over the course of several cycles, you’ll begin to see a pattern in which your temperature plots along, then does a dramatic increase. That is your magic day of ovulation.

Check Your Fluids
Tracking your cervical fluid can help you know where you are in your menstrual cycle. While tracking BBT helps you monitor your body during and after ovulation, checking your cervical fluids helps you recognize those fertile days before ovulation (and before your temperature has gone up). In combination with BBT, you can predict when it is safe to have sex and when you must abstain or use backup birth control.

Yuck, you say? You’re not alone. Many women feel cervical fluid, or “discharge,” is gross, mysterious and certainly not the subject of conversation and attention.

However, this is where many women go wrong in understanding their fertility. Women’s health expert Toni Weschler, in her seminal book on FAM, Taking Charge of Your Fertility (Collins, 2001), says: “Because of misleading and inadequate health education, women are rarely taught how to distinguish between normal signs of fertile cervical fluid produced every cycle and the signs of a vaginal infection.”
Cervical fluid changes predictably for most women over the course of the menstrual cycle. It also plays a vital role in helping women conceive, which many people are not aware of.

Noting the characteristics of your cervical fluid helps you recognize where you are in your cycle and when you can have sex without fear of getting pregnant:

  • In the days following menstruation, most women experience “dry days,” in which no cervical fluid is present. These are generally days that are safe for intercourse.

  • As the egg matures for ovulation, many women experience sticky, cloudy or clumpy fluid. These can be safe days, depending on your cycle.

  • Next, women experience increasing wetness and creamy, lotion-like cervical fluid. These are generally unsafe days.

  • As ovulation approaches, women experience a more slippery cervical fluid that often resembles raw egg whites. This cervical fluid is stretchy and highly conducive to transporting sperm to an egg (in other words, no sex!).
  • Check your cervical fluid each time you use the bathroom by wiping the vaginal opening with either a tissue or your fingers. Record the quality of your cervical fluid at the end of each day. Remember, it may take a couple cycles to begin to see patterns or even distinguish between different types of fluid.

    FAM Fare
    As you recognize your fertility patterns, you’ll be able to know when you can and can’t have sex without using other forms of birth control.

    According to Slocum, a woman’s safe days become evident as she tracks her symptoms over the course of several cycles in fertility charts. You can get a fertility chart online or at a local clinic.

    Slocum recommends that women take a workshop to learn the basics of FAM. According to her, it’s best if women come to a workshop with three cycles tracked; meanwhile, use a backup form of birth control during that time. To find a fertility awareness workshop in your area, visit
    To practice FAM, you’ll need a basal thermometer (available for about $10 at your drugstore), fertility charts to record your temperature and other symptoms, and a backup form of birth control until you get the hang of it. Again, FAM is only recommended for women in monogamous relationships.

    The Fertility Awareness Method offers a natural approach to pregnancy prevention and, when you’re ready, pregnancy! Even if you choose not to practice FAM, simply knowing about it and how your body works can help you take charge of your health.

    Want to learn more? Get your own copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

    Is FAM for You?
    The fertility awareness method offers a natural approach to pregnancy prevention and, when you're ready, pregnancy! Take our FAM quiz to better understand your body, tune into your cycle and take charge of your health.

    Romney NASCAR event a washout

    By Agence France-Presse
    Saturday, September 8, 2012 21:57 EDT
    Mitt Romney served hot dogs, posed for pictures, signed autographs and chatted with attendees when rain delayed the race (AFP_Getty Images, Geoff Burke)
    Mitt Romney’s return to a NASCAR racetrack was a washout due to heavy rain, denying the Republican presidential nominee the opportunity to announce: “Drivers, start your engines!”
    The Federated Auto Parts 400 race at Virginia’s Richmond International Raceway on Saturday was delayed at least three hours, and possibly postponed until Sunday.
    It was Romney’s second trip of the year to a stock car race, following his debut visit in which he was had difficulty connecting with race fans.
    His participation at the track Saturday, including uttering the famous words that orders the drivers to turn the keys, was expected to cap a two-day campaign flurry for Romney as he seeks to gain momentum in the campaign buildup to the November 6 election.
    It was also a bald play at the NASCAR vote, as he seeks to increase his popularity among white males, the demographic he needs to win over in order to counter President Barack Obama’s handy lead among women, blacks and Hispanics.
    In the aftermath of the Republican and Democratic conventions, he and Obama are engaging in an all-out blitz of battleground states like Virginia, as well as Colorado, Florida, Iowa and Ohio.
    The 400-lap race on the three-quarter-mile (1.2-kilometer) oval is part of the wildly popular NASCAR series, which can sometimes draw hundreds of thousands of spectators to events, and it marked a perfect opportunity to connect with blue-collar voters and middle-class Americans.
    Romney did not let the rain prevent him from engaging race fans. He served hot dogs, posed for pictures, signed autographs and chatted with attendees for the better part of an hour.

    Sun Myung Moon, founder of Unification Church, dies at 92

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    The Rev. Sun Myung Moon was known for his controversial practice of officiating mass weddings of thousands of followers. NBC's Lester Holt reports.
    Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET: The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the self-proclaimed messiah who turned his Unification Church into a worldwide religious movement and befriended North Korean leaders as well as U.S. presidents, has died, church officials said Monday. He was 92.
    Moon died Monday at a church-owned hospital near his home in Gapyeong, northeast of Seoul, two weeks after being hospitalized with pneumonia, Unification Church spokesman Ahn Ho-yeul told The Associated Press. Moon's wife and children were at his side, Ahn said.   
    The church gained fame -- and notoriety -- in the 1970s and 1980s for holding mass weddings of thousands of followers, often from different countries, whom Moon matched up in a bid to build a multicultural religious world. His followers were derisively referred to by critics as as "Moonies."Moon founded his Bible-based religion in Seoul in 1954, a year after the Korean War ended, saying Jesus Christ personally called on him to complete his work.  Church officials planned to meet later Monday to discuss mourning and funeral arrangements. The church will likely hold a 13-day mourning period and start accepting mourners at its nearby religious center on Wednesday, Ahn said.
    The church was accused of using devious recruitment tactics and duping followers out of money; parents of followers in the United States and elsewhere expressed worries that their children were brainwashed into joining. The church responded by saying that many other new religious movements faced similar accusations in their early stages.   
    In later years, the church adopted a lower profile and focused on building a business empire that included the Washington Times newspaper, the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, Bridgeport University in Connecticut, as well as a hotel and a fledgling automaker in North Korea. It acquired a ski resort, a professional soccer team and other businesses in South Korea, and a seafood distribution firm that supplies sushi to Japanese restaurants across the U.S.   
    “Words cannot convey my heart at this time,” said Thomas P. McDevitt, president of The Washington Times. “Rev. Sun Myung Moon has long loved America, and he believed in the need for a powerful free press to convey accurate information and moral values to people in a free world. The Washington Times stands as a tangible expression of those two loves.”
    “As controversial as Rev. Moon was in the United States, I got to know him as a man whose heart was focused on bringing together people of different faiths to bridge divides. His call on people of faith to serve others is an important legacy,” Neil Bush, chairman of Points of Light and son of PresidentGeorge H.W. Bush, was quoted as saying by The Times.
    The Unification Church claims millions of members worldwide, though church defectors and other critics say the figure is no more than 100,000.   

    The Rev. Reverend Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han, attend a mass wedding ceremony of the Unification Church in Gapyeong, South Korea, March 24.

    In 2009, Moon married 45,000 people in simultaneous ceremonies worldwide in his first large-scale mass wedding in years. Some were newlyweds and others reaffirmed past vows. He married an additional 7,000 couples in South Korea in February 2010. The ceremonies attracted media coverage but little of the controversy that dogged the church in earlier decades.   

    Born in 1920 in what is today North Korea, Moon said he was 16 when Jesus Christ called upon him to complete his unfinished work. While preaching the gospel in North Korea in the years after the country was divided into the communist-backed North and U.S.-allied South, Moon was imprisoned there in the late 1940s for allegedly spying for South Korea -- a charge Moon disputed.   
    He quickly drew young followers with his conservative, family-oriented value system and unusual interpretation of the Bible. He conducted his first mass wedding in Seoul in the early 1960s.   
    The "blessing ceremonies" grew in scale over the next two decades, with a 1982 wedding at Madison Square Garden in New York -- the first outside South Korea -- drawing thousands of participants.   
    "International and intercultural marriages are the quickest way to bring about an ideal world of peace," Moon said in a 2009 autobiography titled "As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen."
    "People should marry across national and cultural boundaries with people from countries they consider to be their enemies so that the world of peace can come that much more quickly."   
    Moon began rebuilding his relationship with North Korea in 1991, when he met the country's founder Kim Il Sung in the eastern industrial city of Hamhung.   
    Moon said in his autobiography that he asked Kim to give up his nuclear ambitions, and that Kim responded that his atomic program was for peaceful purposes and he had no intention to use it to "kill my own people."   

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    Oct. 14: Thousands of couples exchange vows during a mass wedding ceremony in South Korea. Msnbc's Alex Witt reports.
    "The two of us were able to communicate well about our shared hobbies of hunting and fishing. At one point, we each felt we had so much to say to the other that we just started talking like old friends meeting after a long separation," Moon wrote.   
    He added that he heard Kim tell his son: "After I die, if there are things to discuss pertaining to North-South relations, you must always seek the advice of President Moon."   

    Moon also developed good relationships with conservative American leaders, including former Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Still, he served 13 months at a U.S. federal prison in 1984-1985 for tax evasion. The church says the U.S. government persecuted Moon because of his growing influence and popularity with young people in the United States, his home for more than 30 years.   When Kim Il Sung died in 1994, Moon sent a condolence delegation to North Korea, drawing criticism from conservatives at home. Kim's son and successor, Kim Jong Il, sent roses, prized wild ginseng, Rolex watches and other gifts to Moon on his birthday each year. Kim Jong Il died late last year and was succeeded by his son Kim Jong Un. Moon sent a delegation to pay its respects during the mourning period for Kim Jong Il.   
    As he grew older, Moon quietly handed over day-to-day control of his multibillion-dollar religious and business empire, which included dozens of companies ranging from hospitals and universities to a ballet troupe, to his children.   
    His youngest son, the Rev. Hyung-jin Moon, was named the church's top religious director in April 2008. Other sons and daughters were put in charge of the church's business and charitable activities in South Korea and abroad.   After ending a first marriage, Moon remarried a South Korean, Hak Ja Han Moon, in 1960. She often was at Moon's side for the mass weddings.   
    The youngest son told The Associated Press in a February 2010 interview that Moon's offspring do not see themselves as his successors.   
    "Our role is not inheriting that messianic role," he said. "Our role is more of the apostles, where we share ... where we become the bridge between understanding what kind of lives (our) two parents have lived."   
    Moon is survived by his second wife and 10 children.