So here's my suggestion for CNN Worldwide: Dump CNN and just put CNN International in its place for all domestic news. You'll save a ton of money, your ratings will stay steady if not shoot upward, and Americans in general will be better informed.[...]
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Good grief, the media just can't stop trotting out these neocon, former Bushies and treating them as though they're owed a world of respect despite the fact that they helped lead us into one of the worst disasters in recent history, which is the invasion of Iraq.
Case in point, Andrea Mitchell this Friday afternoon, asking Very Serious Person Stephen Hadley if Condoleezza Rice as a vice presidential pick might be the solution to Mitt Romney's troubles after his disastrous trip overseas.
Sorry, but Romney's already surrounded himself with a bunch of Bush neocons giving him advice on foreign policy. One more that doesn't even want to run for office as a running mate isn't going to help him.
Sue Thorn is a Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt kind of Democrat, one who comes to the political arena as a champion of ordinary working families, not so she can suck up to corporate special interests. That makes both political establishments in DC uncomfortable. And it's why, in a traditionally Democratic district in the northern third of West Virginia, Sue is on her own. Tuesday she'll be joining us over at Crooks and Liars for her Blue America endorsement and a live chat. Meanwhile, I had a strong feeling she'd have something to say about the GOP attempt to wreck the American regulatory system this week. (By all means, though; don't wait if you like what you read here, please consider making a contribution to her grassroots campaign.)
After finally correcting the typos in previous versions of the bill, the House succeeded Thursday in passing H.R. 4078, a bill designed to increase corporate profits at the expense of people?s health and safety. The original bill would have frozen any government regulation costing $100 million or more until unemployment rates fall to 6 percent. West Virginians were particularly interested in the debate because that wasn?t outrageous enough for their own local crackpot. David McKinley, the freshman Sue is running against in November. He proposed an amendment lowering that threshold to $50 million, a change the House stood behind in a 240-178 vote, although 10 Republicans found it too extreme and voted with the Democrats against the amendment. It?s evident that McKinley believes corporate profits and CEO bonuses can?t ever be too high, even when it hurts workers and their safety.
We asked Sue if she thought this was a good example about how voters could measure the difference between herself and McKinley. ?An elected official," she told us yesterday, "should report to the people they represent, not super PACs and campaign contributors. Voting for decreased regulation for corporations doesn?t make you a friend of workers; it makes you a puppet for greedy industry lobbyists. And sponsoring legislation to bring in profits for coal companies doesn?t make you a friend of coal miners. It makes you a mouthpiece for the coal barons.?
McKinley has a clear history of expressing indifference towards the people he was elected to serve. Time after time, he puts corporate profits before clean air, drinkable water and safe communities. He has a consistent voting record of opposing regulation that protects the public from unfair, deceptive and abusive financial practices and always makes a nasty point of standing against collective bargaining. McKinley has demonstrated that he will always hide behind corporate interests and put profits before the people of West Virginia. Coal mining interests make up McKinley?s largest group of campaign contributors. Those in the mining and utility industries have already spent more than $360,000 on McKinley's re-election campaign, according to reports provided to the Federal Election Commission. Just 3 weeks after taking office, he introduced a bill that would benefit his contributor, Arch Coal, but put the water supply at risk for families that live near coal mining communities. And he?s also shown that he is single-mindedly focused on passing a coal ash bill that is incredibly dangerous for West Virginia communities, all to rake in profits for his campaign backers, all this despite protests from residents of the 1st district that have already been devastated by coal ash pollution. Sue didn't need any encouragement from us to keep going on how differently she sees the role of government.
?Congress must be accountable to the people. Representatives owe it to constituents to ensure we are protected from unsafe food, dangerous consumer products, hazardous work environments and predatory lending practices. Instead, House Republicans are focused on ensuring record profits for members of the profit-hungry top 1%.
?The Citizens United decision to allow unlimited corporate spending in elections was not only detrimental to society; it was unethical and wrong. As patriotic Americans, we have to get big money out of our campaigns for the good of all. Yesterday House Republicans made it clear they?ll do anything to keep campaign contributions flowing and corporate profits soaring while workers are put in danger. As a member of the House of Representatives, I will always support people before the profits of any company.?
The mechanics of plate tectonics are fascinating. This little tectonic tidbit may also one day find itself in the blogs and journals of the usual suspects as an apologetic for climate change:
Antarctica is home to a geological rift system where new crust is being formed, meaning the eastern and western halves of the continent are slowly separating. The team writes in Nature journal that the canyon is bringing more warm sea water to the ice sheet, hastening melt.
The Ferrigno rift lies close to the Pine Island Glacier where Nasa scientists found a giant crack last year; but the newly discovered feature is not thought to be influencing the "Pig", as it is known.
A cyber-penny for you thoughts.
It’s a Little Late for That…
By Mike Luckovich, From the Cartoonist Group.
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow GazetteThis is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.Find the past "On This Day in History" here.July 28 is the 209th day of the year (210th in leap years)[...]
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By Bev Harris -- BlackBoxVoting.org
Shelby County (TN) is currently enduring yet another botched election -- perhaps the worst one yet. Under Election Administrator Richard Holden's misleadership, this time thousands of voters are being disenfranchised by giving them the wrong ballot, a result of administrative foot-dragging on redistricting-related database updates.
Based on tips I have been receiving from several US locations, precinct boundary changes caused by redistricting will be bollixed in multiple jurisdictions across the USA in November. Some -- like Shelby County -- will be of strategic importance. I'll describe the emergency taking place right now in Shelby County first; below that, I'll explain how redistricting can be used to prevent voters from voting for their chosen candidates.
ENTER THE LATEST SHELBY COUNTY SNAFU
Administrator Richard Holden gummed up the redistricting works, which was belatedly finalized. Database and mapping updates needed to be expedited to get final changes safely into databases and poll lists in time for the August election. By expediting, I mean Holden needed to make certain this was well under way by March, and completed by May.
Holden's molasses-like management has put at least 6,000 voters at immediate risk for disenfranchisement. About 3,000 of these are already toast, having participated in Early Voting in the August election, where they were given the wrong ballot. Local campaigns and election consultants have been tracking this carefully.
As of this writing, 3,000 voters' rights can still be salvaged, with prompt action, because Election Day voting will not take place until next week. About half of all votes in Shelby County are typically cast on Election Day at the polls.
Shelby County needs to provide an option for all voters to cast legitimate votes on the right ballot on Election Day next week.
Candidates are also being treated unfairly. Many campaigns still don't have wards or precincts. School board candidates are still asking for information and can't identify their own voters for campaigning.
GOTTA BE REPLACED
And as I've said several times now, Holden needs to be replaced, and quickly. By my book, he is one of the worst election administrators in the nation.
It will take several weeks for a replacement to get up to speed in time for the November election. If Holden isn't replaced within the next two weeks, he's going to find that he himself is the story in Shelby County.
And after he is replaced, we'll need to sit on a Holden watch, to see where he turns up next. Election admins who are run out of town usually end up running an even bigger jurisdiction; King County's controversial Dean Logan now runs Los Angeles County elections; Cuyahoga County's Michael Vu now runs San Diego; San Bernardino County's Michael Trout now is Elections Director for the state of Oregon, and San Bernardino's other stinker, Scott Konopasek, ended up in Salt Lake County.
Sometimes, like convicted felon John Elder, head of ballot printing for Diebold, these election guys can't land another position. In that case, they become election consultants (like Riverside County's Mischelle Townsend, and Florida's Paul Craft).
One really has to wonder what topic they are consulting on.
HERE'S HOW REDISTRICTING MISMANAGEMENT ENDS UP DISENFRANCHISING VOTERS:
- Redistricting decisions, some bizarre, discriminatory, or overly complicated, are haggled over. For some locations, final decisions aren't made until the last minute, as one political party proposes new boundaries deemed unfair to the other; some fight it out in court; others hit resistance from the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
And by bizarre, I mean this: Sometimes you see elaborate proposals for districts that snake around voters in tortured paths, or even finger out in all four directions at once. Sometimes, as in Osceola County (FL), you even get districts carved into polka dots. It's all very odd, and sometimes illegal.
- With these changed districts, thousands of voters' precincts change, as does their polling place. Two things must happen well before any election takes place.
(1) Voters need to be notified of their changed precinct and polling place
EVEN MORE IMPORTANT:
(2) The voter registration database must be updated, along with street mapping and pollbooks, to make sure every voter is put into the adjusted precinct.
Each district has a different ballot. If you live in District 9, you can't vote on District 8 representatives, and vice versa. Therefore, if voters are not correctly programmed into the newly redistricted system, their ballot will offer the wrong ballot choices, giving candidates ineligible votes and failing to allow the voter to choose the correct candidate of his choice.
* * * * *
Here's local coverage of the latest election scandal unfolding in Shelby County:
The Commercial Appeal - July 27, 2012, by Richard Locker
State of Tennessee investigates Shelby County vote problems
Audit request from the Secretary of State
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THE MOST CLASSIC moment from the opening of the 30th Olympiad, London’s third hosting duty, a singular honor.
It was a glorious opening, one that exceeded the last in China. Slow start, but the music and the evolution of Great Britain was something to which I related. But, oh, those fireworks! Then there was Paul McCartney getting choked up as he led the finale. Marvelous night.
Many people cannot appreciate what it takes to direct volunteers in such a massive theatrical stadium event, which also represents your country.
But now it’s about the athletes.
Consideration and respect, yes even for strangers, is necessary for a civil society. How can we co-exist, much less work together amicably when the working model is "every man/woman for him/herself"?[...]
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