I think it comes down to 1) color for the green is poor contrast with my computer resolution, forcing my eyes to look at everything with the white background which we agree is too much; and 2) how much content is too much.
When I clicked to http://friendsorenemies.com there is a lot of vertical scrolling. It reminds me of a tumblr blog. Where's the meat above the fold? Where's the meat here and now above the fold? If someone's visiting govloop, they know what it is so is it necessary to have such a large horizontal banner? Can the banner go along one of the sides? Would Ning allow that?
Or... get away from Ning. Go Drupal.