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May 12, 2012

Obama\’s new stance on same-sex marriage earns donations

Obama’s new stance on same-sex marriage earns donations

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Following the announcement this week by U.S. President Barack Obama that he supports the legalisation of marriage for same-sex partners, the Obama campaign claims to have received an increase in donations and support from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) supporters.

President Barack Obama speaking in March 2012.
Image: Daniel Borman.

Financial support for Democratic politicians by LGBT groups had fallen to the lowest rate in 16 years, with only $590,000 raised so far in the election cycle. A June fundraising event planned in Los Angeles and focused on the LGBT community is likely to sell out and Obama’s campaign team is seeking to expand the event.

Cquote1.svg Gay people better get out there and support the president. Cquote2.svg

—Dan Savage

Chad Griffin, the incoming head of LGBT campaigning group the Human Rights Campaign, said that the President’s statement on marriage “will further energize an already excited base”. Obama supporter and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Wade Randlett said that the announcement “reminds people of the Obama they worked hard for in 2007, 2008. Someone who takes strong, bold stands”.

The sex advice columnist Dan Savage wrote on Twitter: “Gay people better get out there and support the president. If he loses in November, we’ll be blamed.”

Opponents of same-sex marriage have also used the President’s statement on the issue to raise money: the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) have run a three-day long “money bomb” fundraiser this week which raised $20,000. NOM plan to increase the amount spent on supporting candidates in federal elections this year.



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March 21, 2012

Savage on Santorum on Savage

Savage on Santorum on Savage – Wikinews, the free news source

Savage on Santorum on Savage

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In an interview Monday, candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination Rick Santorum criticized advice columnist Dan Savage and said he would pray for him. In return, Savage pointed out Santorum’s controversial social conservatism positions. Santorum’s disagreement with Savage stems from the santorum neologism coined in Savage’s column Savage Love in response to comments made by former Pennsylvania Senator Santorum about homosexuality; Savage’s readers voted to define santorum as: “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

Dan Savage
Dan Savage
Image: Dan Savage (2005).
Rick Santorum
Rick Santorum
Image: Gage Skidmore (2011).
The santorum neologism was coined in Dan Savage’s column Savage Love in 2003 based on the last name of Rick Santorum.
Cquote1.svg He obviously has some serious issues. Cquote2.svg

—Rick Santorum

Former Senator Santorum was interviewed Monday by the RealClearPolitics website RealClearReligion and was asked, “If you happen to run into Dan Savage, what would you say to him?” The Republican presidential nomination candidate replied, “I would tell him that I’m praying for him. He obviously has some serious issues. You look at someone like that who can say and do the things that he’s doing and you just pray for him and hopefully he can find peace.”

This is not the first instance where Santorum has commented publicly about Dan Savage. ThinkProgress called his most recent comments on Savage an “improvement”, and noted that Santorum previously stated Savage is “below the dignity of anybody”.

Mother Jones magazine contacted Savage for a response to Santorum’s comments. Savage emphasized Santorum’s controversial positions on social issues in contrast to his “dirty joke”, replying, “Rick Santorum thinks that women who have been raped should be compelled—by force of law—to carry the babies of their rapists to term, he thinks birth control should be illegal, he wants to prosecute pornographers, etc., etc., basically the guy wants to be president so that he can micromanage the sex lives of all Americans…and I’m the one with issues? Because I made a dirty joke at his expense eight or nine years ago and it stuck? I’m the one with issues?”

Cquote1.svg The man who wants to get his hands on the nuclear football so he can micromanage your sex life … thinks I have issues. That’s hilarious. Cquote2.svg

—Dan Savage

Savage concluded, “Rick can pray for me. I’ll gay for him. And we can call it even.”

In a subsequent piece posted to the website of the Seattle, Washington paper The Stranger, Savage elaborated on his response to Santorum. He commented, “The man who wants to get his hands on the nuclear football so he can micromanage your sex life … thinks I have issues. That’s hilarious.”

In a 2003 interview with the Associated Press, Rick Santorum compared legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States to supporting bestiality. Readers of the Savage Love advice column selected a new definition for the Senator’s last name, and Savage created a website SpreadingSantorum.com to promulgate the spread of the phenomenon. The term became a prominent result in searches online, and gained dominance on Web search engines including Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.

Rick Santorum himself has acknowledged and discussed the existence and prevalence of the santorum neologism phenomenon; he was quoted by The Canadian Press on his assessment of Google’s response: “To have a business allow that type of filth to be purveyed through their website or through their system is something that they say they can’t handle. I suspect that’s not true.” Santorum criticized the response of the press to the phenomenon in a 2011 radio interview, saying, “It’s offensive beyond, you know, anything that any public figure or anybody in America should tolerate, and the mainstream media laughs about it.”



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March 15, 2012

Wikinews interviews New York bar owner on Santorum cocktail

Wikinews interviews New York bar owner on Santorum cocktail

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

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Wikinews interviewed one of the owners of a New York City bar about a popular new politically-themed cocktail drink called Santorum. The beverage was inspired by the santorum neologism coined in advice columnist Dan Savage’s column Savage Love in response to comments made by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum about homosexuality; Savage’s readers voted to define santorum as: “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

Background

The santorum neologism has inspired satirical forms of parody, including this political cartoon by Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal webcomic artist Zach Weiner. 2012.
Image: Zach Weiner.

The Pacific Standard bar is located in Brooklyn, New York, and is co-owned by Jonathan M. Stan and John-Christian G. Rauschenberg. Stan commented on the creation of the Santorum cocktail, “When he was winning in the polls, I thought, ‘OK, I’ll do a Santorum’.” Regarding how long the beverage will be made available, Stan remarked to The Brooklyn Paper, “We’ll keep it around until he’s irrelevant. I hope he’s there the whole way”.

The main ingredients of the Santorum drink include vodka of an orange citrus variety, Baileys Irish Cream, and Angostura bitters. It is served in a cocktail glass and topped with Godiva chocolate flakes. The beverage is priced at US$8.00, and upon an order for it, the bartender will recount for the customer the definition of the santorum neologism.

Troy Patterson of Slate Magazine ventured over to Pacific Standard to sample the new santorum cocktail at the bar. After tasting the beverage, Patterson observed, “My Santorum was sweet but balanced, with a subtle citrus pucker”.

Cquote1.svg [The santorum neologism is] offensive beyond, you know, anything that any public figure or anybody in America should tolerate, and the mainstream media laughs about it. Cquote2.svg

—Rick Santorum

In a 2003 interview with the Associated Press, Rick Santorum compared legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States to supporting bestiality. Readers of the Savage Love advice column selected a new definition for the Senator’s last name, and Savage created a website SpreadingSantorum.com to promulgate the spread of the phenomenon. The term became a prominent result in searches online, and gained dominance on Web search engines including Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.

Rick Santorum himself has acknowledged and discussed the existence and prevalence of the santorum neologism phenomenon; he was quoted by The Canadian Press on his assessment of Google’s response: “To have a business allow that type of filth to be purveyed through their website or through their system is something that they say they can’t handle. I suspect that’s not true.” Santorum criticized the response of the press to the phenomenon in a 2011 radio interview, saying, “It’s offensive beyond, you know, anything that any public figure or anybody in America should tolerate, and the mainstream media laughs about it.”

Interview

Pacific Standard owner, Jonathan M. Stan, displays the Santorum cocktail drink as a finished product at the bar. (2012).
Image: Pacific Standard, provided by the owners.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png What inspired you to create a cocktail after the santorum neologism?

John Rauschenberg: Santorum the person has been in the news throughout the primary season, and we thought it would be interesting to try to create a delicious drink that mimicked the appearance of the Dan Savage meaning of “santorum.”

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How did you first hear about the definition of the santorum neologism that grew out of the contest from the Savage Love advice column?

JR: We don’t really remember. It’s been around forever. Probably read about it somewhere.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts about Rick Santorum’s views on gay rights?

JR: It’s not for us to take a stand on any political issues. We’ll leave that to the professionals.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you think it was an appropriate form of satire for Dan Savage to popularize the definition of the santorum neologism created in his advice column?

JR: We thought it was funny. Whether it is appropriate or not is another thing we leave to the pros to decide.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png When was the Santorum cocktail first created?

JR: A few months ago.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What ingredients go in the Santorum cocktail?

JR: Bailey’s, orange vodka, bitters, and chocolate flakes.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How is the Santorum drink made?

JR: The ingredients are shaken and/or poured into a cocktail glass. See the pictures.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Your Santorum cocktail creation has already received media coverage from publications including: The Brooklyn Paper, The New York Times, Jezebel, Metro.us, EDGE on the Net, and Instinct Magazine. Did you think when you created it that the Santorum cocktail would receive this news coverage?

JR: Not at all. We were just trying to come up with a topical and funny new cocktail for our customers to laugh about and enjoy.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What culinary dishes would you recommend that go well with the Santorum cocktail?

JR: You’d probably be having the cocktail at dessert time, so something sweet: ice cream or pie.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Is the drink popular? How many times do you suppose you’ve served it at your establishment since its creation?

JR: The drink was mildly popular for the last few months, but of course has become a great deal more popular since getting all this publicity. We have no way to estimate how many times we’ve served it overall, but we’re now pouring around ten a night.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What are some reactions of your patrons after seeing the availability of Santorum as a cocktail?

JR: Most people find it amusing. Some people want to demonstrate their bravery and ability to overcome their mental blocks by drinking one. A lot of people think it’s a really appealing mix of ingredients.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Has anyone come into your facility specifically because they have heard they can order the Santorum cocktail and wish to try it?

JR: Yes, especially recently.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Has the availability of the Santorum cocktail at your pub prompted any interesting political discussions amongst your staff and customers?

JR: Nothing more serious than the usual light political banter. Given our location and clientele, most of our customers are of a similar mind politically and there isn’t much disagreement.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How long do you plan on making the Santorum cocktail available at your bar?

JR: As long as Santorum stays relevant in the news and customers are interested in ordering it.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Have you heard any feedback from Rick Santorum or the Santorum campaign about the Santorum cocktail?

JR: No.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Were you at all worried about legal repercussions from creating a cocktail inspired by the santorum neologism?

JR: Not at all. There’s nothing legally wrong with it.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Have you created any other drinks named after politicians?

JR: No.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts about the satirical definition for the neologism “romney” (“to defecate in terror”) created by Jack Shepler inspired by an incident involving Mitt Romney’s family dog?

JR: We don’t really have any.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you think you might create a new cocktail based on this “romney” neologism?

JR: Not based on that definition. If we ever came up with a “romney” cocktail it’d probably be something different. Maybe something incredibly bland.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Comedy hosts Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report have each reported on the santorum neologism repeatedly on their satirical news programs. If asked to do so, would you be willing to appear on these programs to mix up a special Santorum cocktail for the host?

JR: Absolutely.

Gallery



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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

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February 14, 2012

Santorum neologism spreads to Romney

Santorum neologism spreads to Romney – Wikinews, the free news source

Santorum neologism spreads to Romney

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

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A new website SpreadingRomney.com now appears prominently among Internet search results for Mitt Romney’s last name and defines romney as: “to defecate in terror”. Spreading Romney was inspired by the santorum neologism coined in advice columnist Dan Savage’s column Savage Love in response to comments made by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum about homosexuality; Savage’s readers voted to define santorum as: “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

While defining romney as a verb, the word “terror” in the definition given at SpreadingRomney.com links to an article that appeared January 5 in The Huffington Post titled “Mitt Romney’s Dog Incident Comes Back To Haunt Him”. The article describes a 1983 incident where Romney was reported to have affixed his family’s pet Irish setter named Seamus to the roof of their vehicle for 12 hours while on a car trip to Canada; press coverage of the matter recounted how the animal let loose its bowels due to a fear response during the experience.

Similar to online searches leading to the santorum neologism website originally created by Dan Savage, SpreadingSantorum.com, queries for Romney yielding top search results for SpreadingRomney.com are not limited only to Google but extend to other search engines including Bing as well.

Cquote1.svg I don’t recall seeing it recently, so it appears to be a new gain. Cquote2.svg

Danny Sullivan

MSNBC quoted search engine expert Danny Sullivan, who observed that the website had likely risen of late in search results: “I don’t recall seeing it recently, so it appears to be a new gain.”

The Atlantic reported that as of yesterday, SpreadingRomney.com had received 3,416 like button clicks from Facebook and 1,261 posts on Twitter. The site appeared third in a Google search for Romney, directly below the former Massachusetts Governor’s Wikipedia page.

In a 2003 interview with the Associated Press, Rick Santorum compared legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States to supporting bestiality. Readers of the Savage Love advice column selected a new definition for the Senator’s last name, and Savage created a website SpreadingSantorum.com to promulgate the spread of the phenomenon. The term became a prominent result in searches online, and gained dominance on Web search engines including Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.

Cquote1.svg [The santorum neologism is] offensive beyond, you know, anything that any public figure or anybody in America should tolerate, and the mainstream media laughs about it. Cquote2.svg

—Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum himself has acknowledged and discussed the existence and prevalence of the santorum neologism phenomenon; he was quoted by The Canadian Press on his assessment of Google’s response: “To have a business allow that type of filth to be purveyed through their website or through their system is something that they say they can’t handle. I suspect that’s not true.” Santorum criticized the response of the press to the phenomenon in a 2011 radio interview, saying, “It’s offensive beyond, you know, anything that any public figure or anybody in America should tolerate, and the mainstream media laughs about it.”

The company Go Daddy manages the domain name for the website SpreadingRomney.com; the site was registered by an Indianapolis, Indiana-based company named Ayokay LLC which was formed on January 1. The website reportedly started operating on January 10. Rachel Maddow commented upon it on January 12 on her program The Rachel Maddow Show. The founder of SpreadingRomney.com, Jack Shepler, informed Sullivan that he holds no ties to any political campaign group and formed the website out of a comedic motivation.

New York Magazine noted that there may be another neologism this time derived from the last name of presidential candidate Newt Gingrich; linking to an established website for SpreadingGingrich.com. That site is currently asking visitors to submit suggestions for a new definition of gingrich.



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June 3, 2011

Dan Savage wins Webby Award for It Gets Better Project

Dan Savage wins Webby Award for It Gets Better Project

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Friday, June 3, 2011

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Dan Savage, author of the sex advice column Savage Love, has won a Webby Award for his work on the It Gets Better Project. He started the project in 2010 to address a series of incidents of suicide among LGBT youth.

Dan Savage in 2005
Image: Dan Savage.

Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, co-edited a book featuring selections from the It Gets Better Project. The book, It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living, includes a piece from President of the United States Barack Obama – who also filmed a video for the online project. In both the book and the online project itself, individuals submitted contributions with messages of hope and optimism directed towards LGBT teenagers.

Cquote1.svg You could have knocked me over with a feather when the White House called and said the President would record a video. Cquote2.svg

Dan Savage

In an interview published Thursday with Fenuxe Magazine, Savage commented on his initial response when contacted by the Obama Administration to receive a video contribution from the President for the It Gets Better Project: “You could have knocked me over with a feather when the White House called and said the President would record a video. And they not only recorded a video, they were calling me to let me know and they were giving it to us first to release on the ‘It Gets Better’ website.”

The Webby Award is presented anually by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, for excellence on the Internet. Savage was selected for recognition with a Special Achievement Award for his work on the It Gets Better Project. His project focuses on combatting bullying directed against teenagers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.



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February 7, 2006

Wikinews investigates Wikipedia usage by U.S. Senate staff members

Wikinews investigates Wikipedia usage by U.S. Senate staff members

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The chambers of the U.S. Senate are located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Staff members of the offices of United States Senators, using Senate-linked IP addresses, have been editing Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia that allows its users to edit its content. In some cases, they have removed facts from the articles.

Using the public history of edits on Wikipedia, Wikinews reporters collected every Senate IP address from which Wikipedia edits had been made as of February 3, then examined where the IPs came from and the edits that were made from computers connected at those addresses. IP, or Internet Protocol, addresses are unique numbers electronic devices use to communicate with each other on an individual basis.

The investigation showed the vast majority of edits from Senate IPs were beneficial and helpful to Wikipedia. Examples include the creation of the articles on Click Back America, which organizes students to promote microfinance in the developing world, and Washington’s Tomb, which was designed to hold the body of first U.S. President George Washington within the White House Capitol building; and significantly expanding the article on closed sessions of the United States Senate in November. Dozens of small corrections have been made to grammar, spelling, or small facts — many of them related to the Senate.

Senators’ staff members have sometimes had to fight to correct inaccuracies. An edit to Jay Rockefeller‘s article by his staff removed information which may have been biased or untrue. The staff member who edited said, “Apologies, I was new to using Wikipedia, and I didn’t fully realize the workings of the website,” after other users continuously reinserted the information. The staffer removed the suspect paragraphs 12 times until another Wikipedia user finally removed the information. Four days later, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales got involved.

The Senators’ offices were contacted about this article, but no response was received before press time.

Joe Biden

Staffers in the offices of Senator Joe Biden, who, according to his changed Wikipedia biography, “announced in mid-June 2005 that he will seek the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008 if he believes his message and vision for the country resonate with Americans,” removed a paragraph about a 1996 plagiarism scandal, as well as changing the section regarding a possible 2008 candidacy to read very positively. A second staffer toned down and removed information about other plagiarism issues as well. The same addresses from Biden’s office edited the article on Hamas, which has recently won a majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council, and is listed as a terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, the European Union, Israel, and the United States, to give its first two paragraphs a more biased stance by removing information about its social welfare programs.

Conrad Burns

References, citations, and descriptions of Conrad Burns‘ use of the word “ragheads” were removed from Wikipedia’s article, as was mention of legislation, co-sponsored by Burns, that would reduce Native American tribal sovereignty. These were replaced by a paragraph titled “A Voice for the Farmer”. The citations supported the discussion of Senator Burns’s legislative record regarding tribal sovereignty.

Norm Coleman

The staffers of Senator Norm Coleman changed a description of Coleman as a liberal Democrat in college to an “activist Democrat,” and then to “an active college student.” They removed references to Coleman’s voting record during his first year of Congress, which lined up with President Bush 98% of the time, which cited Congressional Quarterly. They also removed a reference to Coleman being persuaded by Karl Rove to run for senator instead of governor in 2002.

“When you put ‘edia’ in there, it makes it sound as if this is a benign, objective piece of information,” said Erich Mische, Senator Coleman’s Chief of Staff, to the Associated Press. Mr. Mische admitted the Senator’s office had made the edits, and he would take responsibility for removal of the sentence about the voting record. “That probably should have stayed in there.”

“It appears to be a major rewrite of the article to make it more favorable. If they’re trying to edit in such a way to change the public record, that’s a problem,” Jimmy Wales said to the Associated Press about the incident.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, “Coleman’s decision to run for senator, rather than governor, was sealed during a walk with President Bush in the White House’s Rose Garden,” rather than Karl Rove. Rove had actually persuaded the former House majority leader of Minnesota and current governor, Tim Pawlenty, not to challenge Norm Coleman in the Senate elections. Still, other portions of the edit removed references to Karl Rove entirely, and their citations, while accentuating the positive side of several issues, including changing “a budget bill that cut funding from a number of programs” to “a deficit-reduction bill.”

Dianne Feinstein

The California block of Senate IP addresses made several edits to the Dianne Feinstein article, removing reference to her membership in the Trilateral Commission and to her net worth, with husband Richard C. Blum, but also adding an extensive list of awards.

Even more problematic than the edits to the article about Dianne Feinstein, however, were those made to the article about her husband. References to a 1992 fine for failing to disclose Mr. Blum had guaranteed her campaign loans were removed, along with citations, and a paragraph regarding a conflict of interest debate from 1997 when Mr. Blum had invested millions of dollars in Chinese businesses when Ms. Feinstein was campaigning in the Senate to lift trade sanctions against the country. Mr. Blum later announced he would donate all profits from his Chinese investments to charity.

Tom Harkin

The staffers of Senator Tom Harkin removed a paragraph relating to Harkin’s having falsely claimed to have flown combat missions over North Vietnam, and his subsequent recantation after inquiries by the Wall Street Journal and Barry Goldwater. Another paragraph removed related to a supposed pro-Israeli stance.

Other edits to Senate articles

Wikinews reporters also discovered that a handful of miscellaneous vandalism edits had been made to some Senators’ articles. Vandalized articles included those of Tom Coburn and Harry Reid. The edits to Reid’s were made three times, while the Coburn vandalism was made two times, after it had been restored to a prior version. An edit to an article about a controversy over Senator Rick Santorum’s statements about Constitutional rights to privacy with regards to sexual acts, seemingly coming from Rick Santorum’s staff members, removed a reference to an effort to redefine Santorum’s last name as a neologism meaning “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

IP address mapping

The U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms owns the IP block 156.33.0.0 to 156.33.255.255. Requests to learn the mapping of these thousands of IPs were not responded to at press time. However, the lower 100 blocks of addresses appear to be mapped to the 100 Senators based on their state’s alphabetical listing. This was partially confirmed using e-mail responses from the offices of Senators; where the originating computer was connected to the network directly and was not a part of block 222 (a section which seems to be reserved for servers), the IP addresses matched the predicted pattern.

When examining the edit behavior of IPs it also tended to match the predicted pattern. IPs which were assigned to Florida had edits to Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez and other Florida-related pages primarily, while those assigned to California had edited Dianne Feinstein. Edits coming from the U.S. House of Representatives were less traceable because they came through a proxy server—meaning they all showed up under one IP address.

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