So now the term "illegal immigrants" is "inhuman"

Top Democrat warns against using term 'illegal immigrants'

Opening the first immigration hearing of the new Congress, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee warned his colleagues not to use the term "illegal immigrant" as the debate goes on.

"I hope no one uses the term illegal immigrants here today. Our citizens are not — the people in this country are not illegal. They are are out of status. They are new Americans that are immigrants," said Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat.

As Congress begins the immigration debate, both sides are preparing for an emotionally charged fight, and language will be one of the battlegrounds.

Many immigrant-rights advocates object to the terms "illegal" and "alien," saying that people cannot be deemed illegal, and that the word "alien" makes them sound inhuman. They argue the better terms are "undocumented migrants."

Many newspapers, including The Washington Times, use the phrase "illegal immigrant," deeming it the most accurate description.

But defenders of the term "alien" argue that an immigrant is someone who arrived here legally, while an alien is any foreigner — therefore an "illegal alien" is the proper description for those who are here outside of the law.

Academics, searching for a more neutral term, have recently begun using "unauthorized migrants" as their phrase of choice.

"the people in this country are not illegal. They are are out of status... the word 'alien' makes them sound inhuman."

How about we stop worrying about feelings and titles and start solving problems?

Dear PETA, go away. Killer whales are not "slaves" and do not have rights under the 13th amendment.

When I first read this story, I legitimately thought it was an Onion article. But apparently it's true: PETA sued on behalf of Sea World's killer whales, naming five of them as the plaintiffs, claiming their 13th amendment rights were violated because they are "enslaved by humans", kept in tanks, and are forced to perform.

You can read the full AP story here.

"Sea World's attorney Theodore Shaw called the lawsuit a waste of the court's time and resources."

Just nonsense. Total absurdity. Have some common sense, people.

Verizon wants to charge customers $2 fee to pay bills online, then buckles under bad press

For some reason, on December 29, 2011, Verizon thought it would be a good idea to start charging a fee to pay your bill online if you don't sign up for their auto-payment plan.

Verizon Wireless offers customers numerous free and simple payment options and we encourage customers to use those options. Starting January 15, a new $2 payment convenience fee will be instituted for customers who make single bill payments online or by telephone... The fee will help allow us to continue to support these single bill payment options in these channels and is designed to address costs incurred by us for only those customers who choose to make single bill payments in alternate payment channels (online, mobile, telephone). It is waived for those who pay by electronic check or enroll in AutoPay...

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Personally, I don't like auto-pay because if I have an issue with a bill, I'd rather not pay until I get it resolved. But the issue here is that Verizon is claiming this new fee will help them "address costs incurred" to support it. I'm sorry, but I'm already paying you $100 a month. You need another $2/mo just to take that payment? It's absurd, and insulting this is their excuse.

The next day, December 30, they sent out a new press release, reneging the fee.

Verizon Wireless has decided it will not institute the fee for online or telephone single payments that was announced earlier this week.

The company made the decision in response to customer feedback about the plan, which was designed to improve the efficiency of those transactions. The company continues to encourage customers to take advantage of the numerous simple and convenient payment methods it provides.

“At Verizon, we take great care to listen to our customers. Based on their input, we believe the best path forward is to encourage customers to take advantage of the best and most efficient options, eliminating the need to institute the fee at this time,” said Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless.

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Uh huh. Sure.

Group protests bank for staying open on MLK Jr. Day

About 50 people gathered Monday in Burlington City Hall’s Contois Auditorium to mark the anniversary of the civil rights leader’s birthday, and to offer reflections about the importance of King’s legacy. Later, about a dozen people moved to a nearby bank to protest that it was open on the holiday.

The marchers briefly gathered in front of the bank, then tried to enter. Patrick Brown, director of the Burlington Multicultural Resource Center, said he would hand leaflets to bank tellers protesting the bank’s MLK hours. The leaflet read: "Dear TD Bank, you are defying the King holiday. Shame, Shame, Shame. This is a racist act. Shame, Shame, Shame."

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So, staying open on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday is an act of racism? I'll tell you what: Start protesting establishments that remain open on the 4th of July because of their "lack of patriotism" and maybe I'll be more inclined to side with your calls for justice.

Today's 2fer: Petty Congressmembers Sheila Jackson Lee and Lamar Smith

Congressman Steve King posted this tweet after tuning out Representative Sheila Jackson Lee in SOPA hearings this week. Jackson Lee responded by saying, "It's inappropriate to have a member of the Judiciary committee be so offensive."

As if that bickering wasn't enough, Lamar Smith decided to take issue with the word "offensive." The House has rules about "disorderly words" and "unparliamentary language" and apparently the use of the word "offensive" to describe a Congressmember applied.

According to CBS News, "[Smith] had apparently concluded that unlike 'boring,' her use of the word 'offensive' violated House rules. He asked Jackson Lee to formally withdraw her remark. She refused."

Smith tried again, saying that he was trying to "avoid making an official ruling" to the effect that Jackson Lee "impugned the integrity of a member of this committee." Would she "consider having just that one word stricken from the record?"Jackson Lee again refused. She wanted King to "give the committee an apology."

Finally, the resolution: Jackson Lee relented. She wanted to have "just that one word stricken from the record."

It's no wonder the approval rating for Congress is in the single digits. This is a total joke. Congressmembers need to get over themselves and work to fix real issues this country is facing, rather than spending time trying to get people to apologize for getting their feelings hurt.

Regardless of whether or not the comments made by King or Jackson Lee are rude or abrasive, there's only one solution to this whole mess: GET OVER IT.

It's official: the FBI concurs Rep. John Murtha was a douche

Late Rep. John Murtha was the first person to be honored with the prestigious Douche of the Day award. Today we find out the FBI was on to him the whole time. Too bad Murtha never found out while he was here on this earth.

The following is a snippet from rollcall.com.

FBI Saw Dark Side of Rep. John Murtha

Agency Suspected Lawmaker in Scheme Funneling Funds to Benefit Friends, Ex-Staffers

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Neither Rep. John Murtha nor anybody from KSA Consulting was ever charged with a crime, and it is unclear what happened to the FBI’s investigation.

Last week’s release of FBI documents finally put in writing what nobody had ever said on the record: The FBI suspected that former Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and lobbyists close to him were running a scheme to funnel earmarks to sham companies and nonprofits to benefit the lawmaker’s friends and former staffers.

Bits and pieces of this story were kicked around for years before Murtha died in February 2010. The Los Angeles Times, Roll Call, the Washington Post and others had documented the odd appearance of earmarks for tiny defense contractors that just happened to open an office in western Pennsylvania and just happened to hire one of the lobbying firms close to Murtha and just happened to begin making campaign donations to Murtha and other Members of Congress close to him.

Reporters could do little but assemble the coincidences and couldn’t prove there was anything wrong with the bigger picture.

But it turns out the FBI was reading the stories and was very interested — interested enough that the Justice Department had opened a criminal investigation into Murtha and some of the lobbyists in his orbit, a fact that never leaked while Murtha was alive.

Read the rest of the story at rollcall.com.

Chris Matthews is a douche and a liar, flat out lies about a statement from Ron Paul.

Chris Matthews told his viewers that Ron Paul said he would let someone die if they couldn't pay for their health coverage. But actually, Ron Paul said quite the opposite.

Fortunately there are people who fact check this stuff. It's unbelievable that Chris Matthews is said what he said. He couldn't have said anything further from the truth. Hey Chris - how about reviewing the tape before you make these accusations?

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Come on, @Nouriel. Rick Perry didn't make "murder threats" on Ben Bernanke and you know it.

I should start by saying I'm not a fan of Rick Perry. But I'm also not a fan of people who take things completely out of context to try to prove a political point. I'm looking at you, Nouriel Roubini.

Earlier, Nouriel Roubini, an academic at NYU, tweeted this:

Murder threats? That sounds pretty serious right? So I clicked on it. Here's the video:

Hmm, that's a bit far from a "death threat", Mr. Roubini. Sounds like someone is crying wolf.

He later tweeted:

The mind of Rick Perry (his sick words on Bernanke) is not much different from that of the Norway mass murdered. Loaded words cause violence.

Riiight. Okay. So conservatives are continually called racists and Joe Biden can call the tea party terrorists for not wanting to raise the debt ceiling, and that's different? There is a clear double standard here. Besides, it's not like the left has never held a violent protest before.

Liberals will say that events like Norway and Gabby Giffords are the result of right-wing "nutjobs" who were "incited" to violence. But the reality is that people on both sides say and do stupid things, and the opposing political party will always find some one on the other side to point the finger at. But I digress.

This tweet by Roubini went a little far. There is obviously no "incitement" to violence whatsoever, and he knows it. And if he honestly doesn't, it's clear he doesn't understand American culture and what Perry was inferring.

Roubini should stop taking things out of context for the sole purpose of brainwashing the young minds he teaches. It is disappointing to me that people like Roubini, a lifetime academic who has never held a real job in his life, represents the vast majority of educators today. They don't understand how the world (and business) works because they've never actually had to live in it. So when this opportunity arose to slam an opposing viewpoint, he attempted to take advantage. But he completely took Rick Perry out of context. And unfortunately for Roubini, the only thing he did was make himself look like a douchebag.

David and Victoria Beckham are now "bad role models" for having a 4th child. (Seriously. You can't make this stuff up.)

Just when you think people couldn't get any more absurd, the CEO of UK-based Optimum Population Trust Simon Ross decides to trash talk the Beckhams for having a fourth child. He claims it's irresponsible.

"The Beckhams, and others like London mayor Boris Johnson, are very bad role models with their large families. There's no point in people trying to reduce their carbon emissions and then increasing them 100% by having another child," he said. "England is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and the fastest-growing in population terms in Europe. In 15 years we'll have an extra 10 million people here."

I can see an argument for large families who aren't able to support themselves and have to rely on the government to provide for basic necessities like food. But the argument that carbon emissions will increase by a well-off family having an extra child is just insane. Thanks to the Beckham's prosperity, there's a good chance their kids will go to great schools, get great educations, and potentially have a significantly positive impact on society. Their 4th child might end up curing cancer, or who knows, maybe finding a way to reduce carbon emissions through science, something that would never be possible if the Beckhams were only allowed to have two kids (as is the goal of Ross' organization).

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