Those of you that read this regular series know that I am from Hackett, Arkansas, just a mile or so from the Oklahoma border, and just about 10 miles south of the Arkansas River. It was a rural sort of place that did not particularly appreciate[...]
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Steadily increasing child poverty is exposing the moral bankruptcy of America's political and economic systems and has ominous implications, for as child poverty increases, it's igniting a destructive chain reaction of cause and effect, with dire[...]
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The Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, has proposed multiple measures purportedly to discocurage future leaks. However, the proposals, which have been included in an intelligence authorization bill for the next fiscal year,[...]
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It used to be that owning a house was one of the best investments you could make. While that may not be the case right now, there are still ways to make a . . . → Read More: 3 of the Best High-Yield REITs You Can Own
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“If today were November 6, President Barack Obama would sweep the key swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania and – if history is any guide – into a second term in the Oval Office,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
TAXING THE WEALTHY gets a rousing reaction, putting Pres. Obama in great position as we head into August and await Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick, which will have little impact on independents or swing voters at the voting booth, unless he comes up with someone surprising and out of the box. No one is expecting this from the patriarch who can’t seem to deviate from the course he’s plotted and stubbornly wedded to no matter what occurs, which is hurling his campaign train off the tracks continually.
President Barack Obama hits the magic 50 percent mark against Gov. Mitt Romney among likely voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, with wide support for his plan to hike federal income taxes on upper-income voters, according to a Quinnipiac University/ CBS News/New York Times Swing State Poll released today.
This is the first measure of likely voters in these swing states and cannot be compared with earlier surveys of registered voters. Matching Obama against Romney in each of these key states – no one has won the White House since 1960 without taking at least two of them – shows:
Florida: Obama edges Romney 51- 45 percent;
Ohio: Obama over Romney by a slim 50 – 44 percent;
Pennsylvania: Obama tops Romney 53 – 42 percent.
Support for President Obama’s proposal to increase taxes on households making more than $250,000 per year is 58 – 37 percent in Florida, 60 – 37 percent in Ohio and 62 – 34 percent in Pennsylvania, the survey by Quinnipiac/CBS/The Times finds.
And yes, Mr. and Mrs. America, those Bain ads are working. It’s also not helping that Mitt Romney is stonewalling on his tax returns, while his team continues to parrot political language that sounds like WAH-WAH-WAH.
That Pres. Obama has reached the 50% mark is worth noting as well. In lieu of Mitt Romney becoming more transparent, which is very unlikely, because his patriarchal mind set doesn’t think he owes anyone anything, he’s helping Obama. See, he’s the white male gazillionaire on top of the heap, so the information people are getting from Team Obama resonates even more, especially in battleground states. When it comes from a perceived winner about a man who thinks taxing the wealthiest Americans, which includes himself, is unfair, it embeds even further.
Teddy Roosevelt, F.D.R. and John F. Kennedy were from American dynasties, but they also felt the pain of the less fortunate, understanding their role as chief executive included making the game fairer for those not in the privileged class.
Mitt Romney is so far out of this universe as to be in another galaxy and the case Team Obama is making is driving that point home, because the people viewing the ads believe them.
Team Obama has defined Mitt Romney.
But a torrent of television advertising in the states, particularly in Ohio and Florida, appears to be resonating in Mr. Obama?s quest to define his Republican rival. The polls found that more voters say Mr. Romney?s experience was too focused on making profits at Bain Capital, the private equity firm he led, rather than the kind of experience that would help create jobs. – The New York Times
The Romney campaign is going to have to do something to shake up the impression, represented in the 50% threshold in these three battleground states, or he’ll have no way of switching the election to a referendum on Obama’s first term, which is his only chance of winning. It’s not going to happen by the blanket negative ads from Karl Rove, the Koch Bros. and others, because living in one of those battleground states I can tell you that the saturation point has been reached.
A nice touch by Team Obama here in Virginia is while all of the GOP and SUPER Pac ads are harshly negative, every once in a while you’ll see Pres. Obama come on with the ad softly making his case to camera, rebutting the “false” negative ads taking his words out of context. He talks about “the choice” of what this election means. It’s personal, effective, and a welcome respite from what Republicans and Romney’s SUPER Pac friends are doing. As someone experiencing this daily, including throughout hours and hours of Olympic coverage, the contrast is stark, with Pres. Obama coming off much better than Republicans.
The video below is graphic and may be disturbing.
President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said. Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad. – Exclusive: Obama authorizes secret U.S. support for Syrian rebels [REUTERS]
CNN HAS ALSO REPORTED on the story Reuters broke earlier. It’s not known when the secret intelligence authorization of Pres. Obama’s was signed or the extent of the finding.
A reporter for CNN in the last hour stated that the C.I.A. and other clandestine involvement directed from the agency won’t include military engagement. Excuse me if I scoff. I’m certain CNN knows who’s in charge of the C.I.A., former Gen. David Petraeus, who’s got at his ready several adventure teams capable of operations that can do whatever they want beyond Congress’s reach.
Of course, we aren’t arming the Free Syrian Army at this point, but they don’t seem to be having trouble getting weaponry without us.
As for the graphic video above, Human Rights Watch has told the BBC that it could be considered war crimes.
Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said of the footage: “This is criminal. This is revenge.”
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said the killings confirmed human rights violations were “taking place on both sides”.
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is expected to discuss Syria when he meets UK Prime Minister David Cameron on a visit to in London on Thursday.
The Aleppo video clearly shows that large numbers of rebel fighters retain control of several parts of Aleppo and seem even to be expanding, despite reports on the state media that security forces are prevailing, says the BBC’s Jim Muir, in neighbouring Lebanon.
Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
Challenging the Duopoly from within the system the Republicans and Democrats think of as theirs alone, from JillStein.org:
The Stein campaign confirmed today that it expects Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala to appear on the presidential ballot in the major Mid Atlantic states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Now on the ballot in 24 states, the campaign is petitioning in every state remaining, and aims to qualify for the ballot in at least 40 states. …
Now the attention of the campaign?s ballot access efforts, under the custody of Associate Campaign Manager Erika Wolf, shifts to the New England states of Connecticut and New Hampshire, the southern states of Virginia and Alabama, and a swatch of western states ranging from Alaska to Kansas and the Dakotas. A dozen such states will require direct financial and volunteer support from the campaign. Other states, like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Rhode Island, among others, are expected to qualify their ballot lines with only regional support.
(Map Via JillStein.org)
From today’s Scientific American, Solar Power Helped Keep the Lights on in India.
Every day, at least 400 million Indians lack access to electricity. Another nearly 700 million Indians joined their fellows in energy poverty over the course of the last few days, or roughly 10 percent of the world?s population.
Oddly enough, some of the formerly energy poor?rural villagers throughout the subcontinent?found themselves better off than their middle-class compatriots during the recent blackouts, thanks to village homes outfitted with photovoltaic panels. In fact, solar power helped keep some electric pumps supplying water for fields parched by an erratic monsoon this year.
Local and diverse, though David Biello, the author of the article, argues that we need to look at the grid in the USA, or else stock up on flashlight batteries. You can read the rest of his short and interesting blog post here.
A gentle, wistful melancholy, that is. Lughnasadh marks a cross-quarter day on the Celtic calendar. The beginning of harvest and the month when the light begins to turn more golden and the sun moves lower in the sky.
T.Thorne Coyle has a harvest meditation on her blog. I’ll be a little sad to see the first leaves turn.
The trial over Pistolvania's voter identification law (a law someone brilliantly described as "a bad solution looking for a problem") continues in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I would say that it's not going to end up well for the state, but you never know with these Commonwealth Court Judges.
This is what Judge Simpson said:
"This is a high-profile case. There's a lot of anxiety here," he said. "There will be a lot of people very unhappy with my decision no matter what I do."
But, he said, "take heart," because the case will likely go to higher courts before it is over.
Anyway, I don't want to get into a lot of legalese, but the state has to show a compelling state interest if this law is to be upheld. This is the type of scrutiny that is applied to laws such as this that deals with voting rights.
The state is trying hard to show that they are doing everything in their power to insure that everyone will have access to proper state ID cards, and (probably realizing that it would be foolish to do so) are not even arguing that they are implementing these laws to prevent voter fraud.
Still, there is no denying that a million people will be affected if this law is passed, and these people will have their access to the ballot box denied. This would be sad for Pistolvania and for our country.
Most of the people affected by this law will be older, poorer, and browner, which would explain why republicans couldn't wait to pass it. One republican lawmaker here in Pistolvania, in an unguarded moment, even admitted the real reason for the law:
"The Pennsylvania law fanned partisan flames when Republican state House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, who helped pass the law, said at a party gathering: "Voter ID ... is going to allow [presumptive GOP presidential nominee] Gov. [Mitt] Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done."
Thank you for your honesty Mr. Turzai.
One thing you have to love about this case is one of the lead plaintiffs selected by the ACLU and the NAACP. Honestly, every time I see Viviette Applewhite I want to slap Tom Corbett and his republican pals upside their heads. And, if I am going to be honest, I want to slap some of you no good no voting Negroes as well. (How in the hell is this poor 93 year old woman going to find her birth certificate or a driver's license?) If Ms. Applewhite is willing to go through so much at 93 years old, why aren't more of you running to vote when you get the chance?
Anyway, it's interesting to note that our own Secretary of Commonwealth, Carol Aichele, doesn't even know what the damn law she is supposed to uphold, says.
"Secretary of Commonwealth Carol Aichele on the fifth day of a trial over Pennsylvania's voter identification law testified at one point that she didn't know what the law said.
She was asked about the details of the law by a lawyer for the plaintiffs, and at one point responded, "I don?t know what the law says,"
Yes Carol, but I am sure that you know what it will do.
Finally, I wasn't going to touch on this, but it has gotten so much play on twitter and other places that I am going to touch on the LeBron --ask Missy for a date-- controversy.
First, let me rip LeBron just a little bit. Now I know, I know, it might have been totally innocent, and maybe you did just want to eat some chow together in the cafeteria. (Not exactly Nobu, but I suppose food is food.)Still, did you really have to...here, let me let you all read the story:
"He was rejected a championship for his first eight seasons in the NBA.
But who in their right mind would turn down a dinner invitation with King James (if you live outside of Cleveland that is)?
Well, someone with a curfew in the Olympic Village, it turns out.Lauren Perdue, one of the top U.S. swimmers who swam the first leg of the 4x200-meter freestyle relay, first sent out a tweet before the London Games acting flabbergasted when she apparently met a fellow, more recognized Olympian.
"Lebron James just invited me to dinner?Um wuuuutttt?!?" she tweeted.The Charlotte Observer then reported that Perdue was officially asked to dinner on Wednesday.
"He was kind of joking," Perdue said. "But he was basically like, 'Would you like to come eat with me at the dining hall?' And I said, 'Um, I'm sorry, I have a curfew.'" [Story]
LeBron, I hope you see how these folks are clowning you, and girlfriend couldn't wait to blow up twitter to tell her followers that she turned you down.
Now here is the thing, why even put yourself in that position? Again, it might have been totally innocent, but come on man, you are LaBron freaking James! Spend a few weeks with your boys in London, get your ball on, collect your gold medal, and head back to South Beach. No need to blow up Missy's head with the invite.
Now let me rip the media here in Merica for a minute:
If LeBron's teammate, Kevin Love, had asked Lauren Perdue for a date and she cried curfew, would this be a major news headline? That was a rhetorical question; I think we all know the answer to that one.
Anyway LeBron, good luck explaining this to the FiancÚ when you get back home. You just better be glad you play basketball and not golf. At least there won't be any clubs just lying around the house.
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