Michelle Obama Gets Her Own Action Figure — One gay man, two lesbians, a three-legged cat and a poisoned curry plot — The Indictment of America — Schwarzenegger signs bill banning farmers from slicing the tails off California cows — £1,000 fine for putting any food scraps in the dustbin as ‘zero waste’ policy could lead up to five-bin headache — Slow sales for Michele Bachmann action figure


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Michelle Obama Gets Her Own Action Figure

Even action figure Michelle is fashion forward

Michelle Obama is now the first lady in action.

The company that created the President Obama action figure announced it’s releasing a miniature plastic version of the commander-in-chief’s better half, according to the New York Daily News.

Jailbreak Toys designed the Michelle Obama action figure to show off her toned arms — and features the first lady in three different sleeveless dresses. The Michelle figurines retail for $12.99 apiece and are due to hit stores on Nov. 20.

“Batman has nothing on Michelle Obama,” Manhattan mom Eileen Ramos told the paper. “I bought the Barack figure last year but I think Michelle is the one with the real superpowers in the family.”


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One gay man, two lesbians, a three-legged cat and a poisoned curry plot

Daily Mail – By Jaya Narain

A gay man tried to poison his lesbian neighbours by putting slug pellets into their curry after he was accused of kidnapping their three-legged cat.

Gary Stewart, 37, had been at loggerheads with Marie Walton and Beverley Sales for months.

But things looked brighter when he made a peace offering of some curry, claiming he had ordered too much from the Indian takeaway.

When the women started to eat, they found the curry studded with slug pellets.

They called the police and Stewart was arrested.

He appeared before magistrates in where he admitted attempting to poison the two women on September 22.

He denied a further charge of making threats to kill.

Last night it emerged that Miss Walton, a full-time mother, and Miss Sales, a goods vehicle driver, had been the victims of an apparent hate campaign by Stewart at their home in Denton, Manchester.

Stewart is even alleged to have kidnapped the family’s three-legged cat, Amber, and dumped her in a village miles away.

The cat was eventually found after posters were put up with her photograph.

She was found three miles away being cared for by a woman who had taken her in.

Last night neighbours said the alleged harassment had left Miss Walton and Miss Sales distraught. The attempt to poison them with slug pellets was the final straw.

‘It has been nothing short of a nightmare and I hope this brings things to an end because what those two girls have had to endure these past years has been horrendous,’ one neighbour said. ‘He was abusive to them and made their lives a misery.

‘And to cap it off, he kidnapped their cat and dumped it on the streets.’

Slug pellets  –  which normally contain the chemical metaldehyde  –  can be extremely dangerous to animals and children.

But the chemical is classed as being ‘moderately hazardous’ by the and would not normally kill an adult.

Residents said that when Stewart had initially moved in with his partner, Paul Kleisier, several years ago they had been perfect neighbours.

But over time they became ‘vindictive’ and began arguments with residents over petty matters.

Stewart’s partner, 43, is thought to have become seriously ill and died this summer.

Stewart is due to appear again before Manchester magistrates at a later date.


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The Indictment of America

Sometimes I’m amazed that we are still breathing. With horrible abuses of animals, the planet and human kind, it’s amazing that we are still here. But now I’m really afraid that our beloved country, America, is standing on its last wobbly legs. I’m worried that the karmic effects of our negative actions will finally come home to roost. Our lack of compassion and love could actually consume us. However, we are still being given signs from the universe, glimpses of hope and opportunities to rise up and live up to our promise. The whole world wants us to succeed. The whole world wants us to lead. The whole world wants us to be the beacon of hope that we all joyously supported on Nov. 5, 2008 when we elected our 44th president, Barack Obama.

It only took a little more than nine months for the world to once again let us know that they are on our side. Let us know that we did the right thing. Let us know that we took the right course of action. Let us know that our president is a man of peace. Before the president even had time to wish his dog a happy birthday and kiss his daughters on the cheek as they left for school, the vicious, hate-filled and at times, racist, attacks began.

The president’s honest attempt to promote world peace through the same methods taught by Jesus Christ are met with contempt by a country whose collective consciousness is extraordinarily fearful and at times, sacrilegious. In one of the most telling moments of the past nine months, the skepticism that the President was met with after his compassionate speech in Cairo was shocking. He conceded nothing in that speech but love. This is the route that is prescribed to us by all of the great prophets in the Bible, Qur’an and the Torah.

The president stood in front of the world and made the bold statement of fact that America would like to operate from a place of love. His intention to promote health care for all, a clean and sustainable environment, quality and affordable education, civil rights for everyone, including gays and an end to two wars that need to come to an end is met with so much trepidation and suspicion by a segment of this country whose perception stinks with arrogance. Our progressive president is so loving that the whole world is praying for us to lift ourselves up, yet we are still so afraid. And we have allowed hurtful, spiteful and small-minded people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to scare the love out of us.

America, our country is under indictment. And we will be found guilty if we don’t act. If we allow these nasty, malicious people, who harbor so much hate with views that separate us from the rest of world, to continue to tell us how to think, we will be found guilty of charge one. If we allow so-called “men of faith,” who don’t practice a word Jesus Christ preached, to bully us and scare us, we will be found guilty of charge two. If we allow leaders of our country who claim that they represent us, when they really represent big business and corporate greed, to create policy in our name, we will be found guilty of charge three. If we allow leaders of a political party that only know one word, and that is “no,” to work against the best interests of our country, we will not only be found guilty of charge four, we will be sentenced by God to self-destruction.

However. We can turn this around real fast. Our president is trying to do all of the things that he promised. He is trying to change the damaged image of America and Americans around the world. He is trying to create change, not just for change’s sake, but to make our country better. He needs our support and he needs it now. I respected what he said on Saturday night at the annual Human Rights Campaign dinner, “I appreciate that many of you don’t believe progress has come fast enough. Do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach.” Remember, they killed Mahatma Gandhi. They killed John F. Kennedy. They killed Martin Luther King. They killed Malcolm X. They killed Robert F. Kennedy. They killed Yitzhak Rabin. They killed many of the great dreamers. With all of the fearful men running our media, we no longer have to kill the dreamer, it is possible just to kill the dream.

with great love
all things are possible
-Russell Simmons


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Schwarzenegger signs bill banning farmers from slicing the tails off California cows

Mercury News –

California cows are the first in the nation with the legal right to swat flies as nature intended now that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill banning the painful practice of tail docking that he once mocked as being a waste of legislators’ time.

The governor also signed other farm bills he famously ridiculed this summer as he tried to pressure legislators to focus on balancing the state’s beleaguered budget.

In a signing frenzy that lasted until his midnight Sunday deadline, Schwarzenegger also approved a state blueberry commission and new label requirements for honey.

“We were always confident that if reality could trump the rhetoric, the governor would see the merits of this,” said Jennifer Fearing, who lobbied for the tail docking bill for the Humane Society of the United States, which vows to take the fight against the removal of tails to other large dairy-producing states such as Wisconsin, Vermont and New York.

While he made California the first state in the nation to ban the painful practice, the Humane Society nonetheless described the governor as having a “schizophrenic record on animal protection.”

On the same day he protected dairy cows, Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation to crack down on puppy mills by limiting them to 50 adult dogs, becoming the only governor in the six states where puppy mill legislation passed this year to override it with a veto, the group said.

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Aaron McLear, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

In his veto message, Schwarzenegger said he feared the bill would criminalize the lawful activities of pet shops, kennels and groups that raise assistance dogs.

Dairy officials say the practice of cutting off cow tails to prevent them from slinging manure is practiced on fewer than 15 percent of the state’s 1.5 million dairy cows. Docking is usually done without numbing, either with sharp shears or with a tight rubber band that stops the blood flow and causes the tail to die.

Some dairy operators have argued that removing tails improves sanitation, a claim that research has not supported. In 2004 the American Veterinary Medical Association came out against the practice.

This year wasn’t the first in which Schwarzenegger has maligned animal welfare legislation and then signed it anyway. As a 2005 bill to ban foie gras lingered, he chastised legislators in a radio interview for spending time talking about “feeding geese” instead of issues he believed were more pressing.

“He just makes a comment without thinking much about it, but when it comes time to assess it on its own merits, he’s made the right decision, in our view, a few times,” said Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, an animal protection group.

The governor may have been influenced to vote in favor of the farm animal legislation by California voters, two-thirds of whom voted for Proposition 2 last November to give egg-laying chickens more space. The governor of Michigan signed similar legislation Monday.

Sen. Dean Florez, who sponsored the anti-docking legislation, said he was happy the “governor had the intestinal fortitude to reverse himself” despite his public comments.


£1,000 fine for putting any food scraps in the dustbin as ‘zero waste’ policy could lead up to five-bin headache

Householders could be fined £1,000 if they throw food scraps and potato peelings into the dustbin under a Government ‘zero waste’ policy.

They will be forced to sift through their rubbish for anything that can be recycled, reused, rotted or burnt for electricity.

The crackdown will create so much recyclable material that homes could be given five wheelie bins and waste boxes to cope.

The controversial zero waste policy – part of the Government’s drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions – will be unveiled tomorrow by Environment Minister Hilary Benn.

The plans are due to be outlined at a ‘waste summit’ aimed at finding new ways to halve the 62million tons of rubbish sent to landfill each year.

Ministers will discuss the issue with councils, businesses and waste experts.

Yesterday, Mr Benn said the Government would launch a consultation early next year into banning food, cans, paper and glass from landfill.

Homes that persistently break the rules by putting food waste in the ordinary dustbin could face fines of £1,000 or more.

‘One that we are going to consult on around the turn of the year is banning certain things from going into landfill,’ he told the Politics Show on BBC1.

‘Because does it make sense to put food into landfill? No it doesn’t.’

By 2020, all councils will be forced to offer a full recycling service, he said.

But the plans were condemned by critics.

Matthew Elliott, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance pressure group, said: ‘Voters are sceptical about recycling policy – particularly when they see recyclables being thrown on the same bins as landfill waste.

‘The Government should sort out the current recycling policy before starting on new barmy ideas.

‘The fact that food waste could be banned from landfill – effectively treating it as a kind of toxic waste – is a recipe for disaster.’

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Around 55 per cent of household waste, 50 per cent of commercial waste and 25 per cent of the debris from construction and building ends up in landfill.

Under the Government’s zero waste strategy, due to be phased in over the next few years, only items that have ‘absolutely no other use’ would be allowed to be buried.

Slop buckets – already used to collect food scraps in millions of homes – would be

extended across the whole country, adding another bin to the three or four in use in parts of the UK.

Councils that collect paper, plastic, glass and cans in one bin will be encouraged to give homes more bins to reduce contamination and reduce the amount of recyclable waste that ends up being burnt or thrown onto rubbish tips.

Mr Benn also wants a crackdown on food packaging in shops. He will urge businesses to remove cellophane from vegetables and fruit and encourage people to bring jars to shops for top ups of coffee.

He is also expected to draw up plans to generate electricity from waste. Rotting food releases methane – a potent greenhouse gas which can be burnt to create electricity…]


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Slow sales for Michele Bachmann action figure

by Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio

St. Paul, Minn. — If U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s popularity was judged by the sales of her new action figure, she’d be in trouble.

The Connecticut-based toy company HeroBuilders has sold only 50 copies of the unlicensed action figure since its release on Sept. 25.

Bachmann, a Republican, represents Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District and has been a high-profile critic of President Obama and the Democratic Party.

“I’ll tell you this, she’s no Sarah Palin,” said Emil Vicale, CEO of HeroBuilders.

He said the company’s action figure depicting Republican Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and former vice presidential candidate, sold 10,000 units within 24 hours of its debut.

The $34.95 Bachmann action figure also shares the catalog with former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, (a $149.95 limited edition figure), Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (sporting a t-shirt that reads “Let them eat yellow cake”), Joe the Plumber (with his own custom-made crow bar), and a talking Joe Wilson, among others.

Vicale said he had hoped the business-suit-clad Bachmann figure would draw buyers from around the nation, but so far about 90 percent of the sales have come from Minnesota.

Despite the slow sales, the company plans to keep the Bachmann figures in stock.

“I’m sure they’ll all be bought,” Vicale said. “I’m not even worried about it.”

He said the company hasn’t ruled out making more action figures based on the controversial congresswoman, particularly if she makes a presidential run.

“Things change here on a daily basis,” he said. “So it’s very complex to say what we’re going to be doing.”


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