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Detainees at Guantanamo Bay subjected to Sesame Street music for days on end in efforts to break their will, according to an Al Jazeera documentary.

In the film, called "Songs of War," detainees at the U.S. Naval base have been forced to wear headphones blaring Sesame Street music on repeat.

All in the name of messing with them so badly that they'll talk.

The award-winning Sesame Street composer Christopher Cerf (2:00 mark above) tells Al Jazeera, "My first reaction was 'this just can't possibly be true.'"

"I didn't care for the idea that I was helping break down prisoners, but it was much worse when I heard later that they were actually using the music in Guantanamo for long-term interrogations and obviously to inflict pain on prisoners so they would talk."

Wow. Elmo can get a little annoying after awhile, but really?

Note to CIA operatives: LFO's "Summer Girls" would work a lot better, or anything by that rumored hermaphrodite Lady Gaga. The extremists HATE her.

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A federal judge told jurors in the John Edwards trial that they must continue deliberating, just moments after the jury announced a verdict - on one of six counts.

The courtroom was briefly thrown into confusion this afternoon in Greensboro, N.C.

All sides were told a verdict had been reached, but once in court, the jury announced it had only reached a unanimous verdict on Count 3 of the indictment.

On the other five counts, the jury was deadlocked. The Count 3 verdict was not read.

Edwards, J

Edwards' defense team asked the judge to accept the verdict on Count 3 and declare a mistrial on other charges. The judge considered, but denied that motion.

Judge Catherine Eagles told the jury, who has been deliberating in the case since May 18, must continue to work towards a verdict on the other charges.

The trial centers around whether Edwards illegally received over $700,000 in donations to conceal his illicit affair and illegitimate child with Rielle Hunter.

The nearly month-long trial at times sounded more like a steamy soap opera about his life than a trial on the intricacies of campaign finance rules.

Charged with six counts of violating federal campaign laws, Edwards was accused of soliciting money to cover up his affair and advance his election bid.

If convicted, Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison and be fined more than $1 million, although it is unlikely he will face the most severe penalties.

Any lies John told, his lawyers, were to keep the affair a secret from his wife, Elizabeth, who was dying of cancer, not to advance his political career.

In short, being an ass is not illegal.

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An appeals court ruled Thursday that the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that essentially denies a host of benefits to gay married couples, is unconstitutional.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston said the law, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, discriminates against gay couples.

Ya think?

DOMA

The law was passed in 1996 by a Republican-led Congress at a time when it appeared as if Hawaii would become the first state to legalize gay marriage.

Since then, many states have instituted their own bans on gay marriage, while eight states have approved it. Massachusetts was the first in 2004.

The appeals court ruled the DOMA is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage and denies married gay couples federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns.

Somewhere in Indiana, this church kid is singing an angry song.

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Good thing Mitt Romney won the GOP presidential nomination Tuesday night, as he may need some positive headlines to overshadow this awesome typo.

Twitter is ablaze with commentary this morning after it came to light that the Romney campaign's newly iPhone app, "With Mitt," misspelled "America."

The free app allows supporters to personalize pics superimposed with phrases like "I stand with Mitt," "Obama isn't working" and "American Greatness."

Or perhaps "Amercian" greatness would be more accurate:

Amercia

Unfortunately for the candidate - and more so the developer who gets fired - one of the slogans amusingly plasters "A Better Amercia" across the image.

"Mistakes happen," Andrea Saul, Romney Press Secretary, said in an appearance on MSNBC this morning. "I don't think any voter cares about a typo."

Probably not, but it does make for some comic relief - especially from Mitt the micro-manager - amid a steady stream of often contentious political news.

BTW, as of now, the app still had not been fixed. Programmers ...

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Having effectively won through attrition weeks ago, Mitt Romney officially wrapped up the Republican nomination for president last night with a win in the Texas primary.

Romney's win put an end to the GOP primary as the former Massachusetts Governor began to ramp up his general election message against President Obama.

Just after 9 p.m., he Tweeted: "#1144. Thank You. Whatever challenges lie ahead, we will settle for nothing less than getting America back on the path to prosperity."

Mitt Romney Wins Primary

Despite surpassing the 1,144 delegate threshold, it was just a token evening for the presumptive nominee, whose rivals exited one by one over a month ago.

Only Ron Paul is still fighting for delegates. With the White House out of reach, he seeks a prominent role at the party's convention and in shaping its future.

Romney didn’t make a speech last night, but the win was nonetheless symbolic, making him the first Mormon to be a major-party candidate for the presidency.

The timing couldn’t have been better, as he is now being treated as an equal to Obama by the national media in what is sure to be a very close 2012 election.

He’s pulled almost even with the president in voter surveys, currently trailing by just two percentage points in aggregated national polls, 45.6 to 43.6 percent.

Romney probably has a 50-50 chance of being the 45th President of the United States. He'll distance himself from Donald Trump if he's smart. Just saying.

If the election were held today, for whom would you vote?

 

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Conservative columnist George Will slammed Donald Trump as a moronic blowhard this weekend, prompting a blistering, unintentionally hilarious response from the Celebrity Apprentice star, who has been campaigning with Mitt Romney.

The GOP presidential candidate has taken a lot of heat for appearing with Trump at a campaign fundraiser. Will criticized the move, as well as Trump personally.

“I do not understand the cost-benefit here,” Will said on ABC’s This Week. “The costs are clear. The benefit - what voter is going to vote for him because of Donald Trump?"

"The cost of appearing with a bloviating ignoramus is obvious, it seems to me."

Will-Trump

"Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American politics.”

Bloviating ignoramus ... wow. George Will FTW. Fortunately, Trump took the high road with his response ... just kidding. Did you really fall for that?

“George Will may be the dumbest (and most overrated) political commentator of all time,” he tweeted. “If the Republicans listen to him, they will lose.”

Oh, and it continues. He adds: “Losers such as George Will and Rosie O'Donnell use me to get publicity for themselves. They are strictly third rate.”

“George Will totally ‘bombed’ at The Mar-a-Lago Club. I was there to watch. He was embarrassed and no longer likes Donald Trump.”

Yes ... what you just witnessed is Trump insulting Will AND name-checking his own elite Palm Beach real estate property! The Donald FTW!

Will did speak at the Trump’s opulent Palm Beach club ... in 1995. He has yet to respond to the Mar-a-Lago crack ... and really, how do you recover from that?!

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MSNBC's Chris Hayes sparked major controversy and debate when he said that he felt uncomfortable using the word "hero" for members of the U.S. military.

Hayes' point was that the word is inadvertently used to start more potentially unjust wars - not unreasonable - but now says his own word choice was poor.

After speaking with a former Marine whose job it was to notify families of the death of soldiers, he said that while he means no disrespect to those who serve us all, the word "seems to be rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war."

Hayes also said that, on the flip side, it is "noble" to join the military.

While a "liberal caricature" like himself would not truly understand "submitting so totally to what the electorate or people in power are going to decide about using your body," Hayes conceded, he saw valor in it.

Nevertheless, Hayes' words, on Memorial Day of all days, caused a predictable furor with some. He issued a statement Monday apologizing for his comments:

In discussing the uses of the word "hero" to describe those members of the armed forces who have given their lives, I don't think I lived up to the standards of rigor, respect and empathy for those affected by the issues we discuss that I've set for myself.

I am deeply sorry for that.

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An unidentified woman missed her American Airlines flight last week because staff found her choice of clothing offensive, according to news reports.

That's because it bore a statement that first appeared at a pro-choice rally this year: "If I wanted the government in my womb, I'd f--k a senator."

The woman, identified only as "O," said of the incident, "When I boarded, I was one of the first groups to board (did not pass by many folks)."

"I was wearing my shawl loosely around my neck and upon sitting down, the lady next to me, who was already seated, praised me for wearing the shirt."

Pro-Choice T-Shirt

Yet a flight attendant told her that she needed to speak with the captain before making her connecting flight because the shirt was offensive.

The captain informed her that she shouldn't have been allowed to board in the first place, and would need to change before her connecting flight.

According to the woman, this caused her to miss her connection.

She says the airline called ahead to the connecting gate to tell agents there that "O" needed to change her shirt, but not to hold the flight.

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Chris Hayes, a political commentator on MSNBC, has created quite a stir - on Memorial Day of all days - for remarks he made yesterday in regard to the designation of military personnel as "heroes."

The journalist said he feels "uncomfortable" throwing that word about because it is "so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war." In other words: How can we refer to someone as heroic if we disagree with the cause for which he or she died?

It certainly seems like an odd way to make a point about war. Surely we can differentiate between policy and the troops carrying out that policy in the name of a country they love, can't we? Watch the clip and form your own opinion.

Should Chris Hayes apologize for these comments?

 

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President Barack Obama's pot-smoking past is detailed in Barack Obama: The Story, a new biography of the Commander-in-Chief by David Maraniss, who had previously revealed Obama's early girlfriends (including Genevieve Cook) in Vanity Fair.

The President himself has been remarkably and refreshingly candid about his past drug use, but new details of Obama smoking marijuana with his buddies at Hawaii's Punahou School are still setting the web ablaze (sorry).

The President of the United States

Maraniss writes, "When a joint was making the rounds, [Obama] often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted 'Intercepted!' and took an extra hit."

Yeah. Let's all take a moment and let that image sink in.

"But Obama's buddies, who called themselves the "Choom Gang," didn't mind him messing up the rotation," he continues. "After all, this was Hawaii."

Indeed. That's not all. Maraniss writes that Obama was known for starting a trend called "TA," short for "total absorption." Use your imagination.

"When you were with 'Barry' and pals, if you exhaled precious pakalolo (Hawaiian slang for marijuana, meaning "numbing tobacco") instead of absorbing it fully into your lungs, you were assessed a penalty," writes the author.

"Your turn was skipped the next time the joint came around."

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