Monday, October 20, 2014

Candid Corruption

Ballot box stuffing gets caught on camera:
It was between 12:54 and 1:04 that LaFaro said he was seated at one of the cubicles, heard a loud thud and turned around to see the man who he claims was caught on tape stuffing “hundreds” of ballots. LaFaro described the man as a “vulgar, disrespectful, violent thug” with “no respect for our laws.” He said he would have followed the man to his car to get his tag number but “feared for [his] life.”

“America used to be a nation of laws where one person had one vote,” LaFaro said, the Daily Independent reported. ”I’m sad to say not anymore.”

On its website, Citizens for a Better Arizona says it is an “outgrowth of the grassroots movement that led to the historic recall of former [Republican] President of the Senate Russell Pearce.” The group is ”committed to improving the quality of life of all Arizonans – better schools, better health care, better jobs, better government and a better, more civil tone of respect and decency.”
Yeah, about that part...

Smugness Unbecoming

President Obama loses out on women:
“I think [women are] feeling unsafe,” Brown said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday. “They feel unsafe economically. They’re feeling unsafe with regard to ISIS. What they feel unsafe about is the government response to different crises.”

Brown said Obama’s smugness and willingness to place blame has also contributed to his declining support.

“I think they’re beginning to feel a bit that Obama’s like that guy in the corner office, you know, who’s too cool for school, calls a meeting, says this has to change, doesn’t put anything in place to make sure it does change, then it goes wrong and he’s blaming everybody,” she said.
In all fairness, he does this with everybody...

A Woman In Love

Monica Lewinsky opens up:
“I fell in love with my boss in a 22-year-old sort of a way. It happens. But my boss was the President of the United States,” she continued.
“I deeply regret it for many reasons. Not the least of which is that people were hurt,” she continued.
The emotional admissions from Lewinsky, now 41, struck a chord with the audience, gathered for a Forbes’ “30 under 30 Summit.” They gave her a standing ovation.
The point of the talk was how the Internet can shatter people’s reputations.
Sure enough, when the affair with Clinton became public, Lewinsky was forever associated with a certain blue dress.
“Overnight, I went from being a completely private figure to a publicly humiliated one. I was Patient Zero,” Lewinsky said, noting specifically how the publicity from the Drudge Report went worldwide.
“The first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide via the Internet,” was how she described herself.>
But whose fault was it, really?

Lend Me Your Ear

Can you hear me now?
“The knife separates the earlobe from the body. A concrete wall of psychiatry separates the reasonable from the mad patients,” the Russian Van Gogh said in a statement about his public performance, which he called “Separation.” “By again using psychiatry for political goals, the police give themselves the power to separate the sane from the insane.”
Well, he's been separated...

Manning The Stage

It's coming:
A new artistic production aims to give new perspective on Chelsea Manning — serving a 35-year prison sentence for the biggest document leak in US — through an oppressive atmosphere of digital disorientation.

“The Source,” which premieres Wednesday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, is described as a “multimedia oratorio” by its creators who acknowledge there is no exact term to describe their strikingly unique take on the WikiLeaks informant.

The production makes music out of primary source material — including a web chat in which Manning explained her actions, as well as excerpts from some of the 700,000 classified documents the former Army analyst handed to the WikiLeaks website.
You have been warned...

Vegan Tales

Bad new for vegetarians:
Although a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables can protect against many illnesses and can prolong life, it appears that it may also harm fertility.
Researchers at Loma Linda University Medical School, in southern California, embarked on a four-year project to find out how diets affect sperm.
The region has a high population of Seventh-Day Adventist Christians who believe that meat is impure and so are strict vegetarians.
Seventh-day Adventists live an average of 10 years longer than the American life expectancy of about 79 years and the researchers wanted to find out if their astonishing longevity might be linked to sperm quality.
However they found the opposite. Vegetarians and vegans had significantly lower sperm counts compared with meat eaters, 50 million sperm per ml compared with 70 million per ml.
Beef. It's what's for reproduction...

Le Clown

Evil clowns come to France:
Using fake weapons these "clowns" have been "mostly spotted outside schools, but also on public roads, in bushes, in a square. Their targets are often young children or teenagers, but also adults," a police source told AFP.

"They take their inspiration from American horror movies," the source said, adding that the trend appeared to have started from a Facebook challenge.

The wave of clown threats even prompted the region's local government representative Denis Robin to take to his official Facebook page to condemn "these misdemeanours".
I presume this was before he surrendered...

Off The Court

President Obama's not interested in a Supreme Court gig:
“When I got out of law school, I chose not to clerk,” he said. “Partly because I was an older student, but partly because I don’t think I have the temperament to sit in a chamber and write opinions.” But he sounded tempted by the idea.

“I love the law, intellectually,” Obama went on. “I love nutting out these problems, wrestling with these arguments. I love teaching. I miss the classroom and engaging with students. But I think being a Justice is a little bit too monastic for me. Particularly after having spent six years and what will be eight years in this bubble, I think I need to get outside a little bit more.”
There's always the links...

Diplomatic Flow

The United Nations comes to Detroit:
Special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing Leilani Farha and special rapporteur on the human right to water and sanitation Catarina de Albuquerque were to informally stop by neighborhoods over the weekend where water has been shut off.
They’ve already heard from people who’ve lost service because they haven’t paid their bills. Several hundred Detroiters turned out yesterday for a public hearing on the shut offs.
“We only owed like $220 or something and they threatened to cut us off .. I just thought it was unwarranted because the bill is really low,” said one resident.
It's now an international crisis, or something...

Paid Vacation

There are a lot of people getting paid for doing nothing:
The extensive use of so-called administrative leave continues despite government personnel rules that limit paid leave for employees facing discipline to “rare circumstances” in which the employee is considered a threat. The long-standing rules were written in an effort to curb waste and deal quickly with workers accused of misconduct.

And the comptroller general, the top federal official responsible for auditing government finances and practices, has repeatedly ruled that federal workers should not be sidelined for long periods for any reason.

But a forthcoming report by the Government Accountability Office found that 53,000 civilian employees were kept home for one to three months during the three fiscal years that ended in September 2013. About 4,000 more were kept off the job for three months to a year and several hundred for one to three years.
I guess they found reasons...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fallen Arches

Putin doesn't like quarter pounders:
In August, Russia’s consumer protection agency ordered four of the company’s largest restaurants to suspend operations over a host of alleged hygiene violations and shortly afterwards added another five to the list.

At the time, the decision was seen as a political message aimed at mollifying anti-western sentiment and demonstrating that Moscow was responding to sanctions imposed by the US and the EU, which have crippled Russian banks and corporates in their ability to access global capital markets.

But since then, regulatory moves against the chain’s outlets have mushroomed. “Right now, more than 200 probes have been initiated,” McDonald’s Russia said in a statement released on its website at the weekend. It said a court had extended the consumer watchdog’s temporary closure of the initial nine restaurants and added that it would appeal against the decision.
In Russia, Big Mac eats you...

Exiting The One

Suppose President Obama showed up at a campaign rally and nobody cared?
"You've got to vote," Obama repeated over and over at a rally for Brown in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, near Washington.

Democrats have a history of not turning up to vote in midterm elections.

"There are no excuses. The future is up to us," Obama said.

A steady stream of people walked out of the auditorium while he spoke, however, and a heckler interrupted his remarks.
You'd think he was just another politician...

SS For The SS

Nazi war criminals scam the system:
Denzinger, 90, is among dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards who collected millions of dollars in Social Security payments after being forced out of the United States, an Associated Press investigation found.

The payments flowed through a legal loophole that has given the U.S. Justice Department leverage to persuade Nazi suspects to leave. If they agreed to go, or simply fled before deportation, they could keep their Social Security, according to interviews and internal government records.
....

The Justice Department denied using Social Security payments as a tool for removing Nazi suspects. But records show the U.S. State Department and the Social Security Administration voiced grave concerns over the methods used by the Justice Department's Nazi-hunting unit, the Office of Special Investigations.

State officials derogatorily called the practice "Nazi dumping" and claimed the OSI was bargaining with suspects so they would leave voluntarily.
Or paying them off...

Old Hat Southern Charm

The Clintons don't seem to have the traction they used to:
“Self-proclaimed Clinton Democrats are struggling this election cycle, and not even their powerful namesakes may be enough to save them,” The Hill reported on Sunday. “Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have tried to turn on their charms to help centrist Democrats in Kentucky and Arkansas. But as candidates in both states are slipping, help from the party’s preeminent power couple is falling short.”

The Hill noted two of the most prominent examples of Democratic candidates shunning the president in favor of the Clinton label, Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes and Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, are rapidly seeing their electoral prospects dwindle.

Even where former President Bill Clinton served as governor for two terms and remains wildly popular, he is getting little traction in the effort to ensure Democrats retain control of that state’s Senate seat and governor’s mansion. “Despite their close ties to the Clintons, their efforts to distance themselves from a deeply unpopular current president may not work,” The Hill reported.
The Clintons made the bed that Obama's former supporters now have to lie in...

Lotto Bucks

Some forms of gambling are more equal than others:
Webb added more than 2,000 acres of new parks and open space to Denver… paid for in large party by lottery proceeds. In 1996, Webb allocated $11.4 million for more land for parks. How would that be paid for? “Future state lottery allocations.” In fact, from the mid 1990s through 2002, Webb was involved in pushing multiple public works projects totaling tens of millions of dollars, and a deep dive into these stories shows that nearly all of them were to be financed – at least in part – with lottery money.
One man's chump is another's meal ticket...

King For A Day

Who's not a fan of the first black President? The niece of MLK:
In an interview, Innis—whose father Roy Innis has led the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), one of the major organizations behind the Civil Rights movement, since 1968—said that progressive and big government policies have created a “welfare state that has largely not only destroyed the black and increasingly so Latino—and American family generally—they have killed the types of incentives that had led people to achieve and build a better life for themselves.”
“You can have opportunity right in front of your door but you're terrified to open it because you’re a victim,” Innis said. “So those two realities that you have now since a leviathan of the federal government that is trying to fashion itself as a cradle-to-grave big daddy government—going to take care of you from cradle to grave and give you all sorts of disincentives to climbing that economic ladder, and by the way if you do climb that economic ladder they’re going to punish you punitively with taxes that are going to undermine you."
"If you dare want to open up a business, they’re going to cripple you with regulations and taxes and they’re going to make it easier for you to be a rational human being and just get government benefits rather than being a liberated individual who can climb that economic ladder," he continued. "So you have that real but not concrete phenomenon of big government mentality crippling you and then you have on a parallel track victimization syndrome overriding it that says—you pick the minority—‘you are a victim and you are the underdog so you can never achieve.’ That is a dangerous recipe and it is a recipe that has dominated urban centers for more than 50 years and what we’re trying to do is liberate them.”
This will not sit well with the dependency crowd...

Troll Time

Great Britain wants to lock up the trolls:
Victims have long been calling for police and prosecutors to take online abuse more seriously and lawyers had anticipated an increase in sentences for those convicted of trolling.

"There is a public interest in having people put away for a long time," Chris Holder, of London law firm Bristows, told AFP earlier this month.

"It is putting someone in fear of their life and fear of physical harm. I think the law will develop and the sentences will go up and up."

However, some lawyers and freedom of speech campaigners have warned that criminal sanctions should be the last resort.

"Do we want to criminalise every social conduct that we find problematic?" Barbora Bukovska, a senior director at campaign group ARTICLE 19, said earlier this month.
Even trolls have some rights?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Clown Fear

Why are we scared of clowns?
“We are way past clowns being figures of innocent pleasure,” says Andrew McConnell Stott, an English professor at the University of Buffalo and author of The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi, the definitive biography on the Regency Era clown and actor. “They have been sinister figures for so long it is impossible to remember when they weren’t.”

Stott argues that they were somewhat questionable figures to begin with. “Really, it existed since middle ages,” he says. “There was the sense of the clown being embodiment of frailty and the absurdity of life. The subtext of the clown is that life is a joke and can be snatched away at any moment.”
....

“Clown sightings are cyclical,” says Stott, who says that urban legend of creepy clowns in ice cream trucks ran rampant during the economic downturn of the 1980s. “They tend to be recessionary. It is not surprising that these images should be showing up during a time of unraveling of job security. They go back to clowns being at the bottom of the economic and social ladder, and to them being tied to the unreliability of work and the fragility of the structures that used to be counted on, like having a single job for your entire career. They are a reminder that human endeavor can be reduced to ashes in a blink of an eye.”
As some of these morons may soon be...

Cash Now, Coverage Later

Obamacare is still too expensive for many:
About 7.3 million Americans are enrolled in private coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and more than 80 percent qualified for federal subsidies to help with the cost of their monthly premiums. But many are still on the hook for deductibles that can top $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for families — the trade-off, insurers say, for keeping premiums for the marketplace plans relatively low. The result is that some people — no firm data exists on how many — say they hesitate to use their new insurance because of the high out-of-pocket costs.
If you can't afford your health insurance, you can still keep it, at least...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dance Fever

Better safe than sorry:
An exotic dancer from Texas has quarantined himself after he and his stripping friend shared a plane with an Ebola patient — and he’s shocked that health officials haven’t required his isolation.

After Axl Goode and Taylor Cole sat within 3 feet of nurse Amber Vinson a day before she was diagnosed with the lethal disease, the two pledged to stay in their homes for 21 days, a move suggested — but not required — by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“If a stripper can make a decision that’s more responsible than the CDC, then surely other people can make those decisions, too” Goode, who comes from a family of pharmacists, told the Daily News. “It’s not rocket science.”
The government will take your money, but not dance for you...

Franken Phony

Senator, divest thyself:
Franken’s campaign has scoured public records for evidence that his opponent, investment banker Mike McFadden, has closed business deals that resulted in layoffs.

“‘The Democrats are going to try and nail McFadden as the incarnation of a Wall Street fat cat, as they did with Mitt Romney,” University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs told Bloomberg.

The Franken campaign points to a 2012 deal in which McFadden’s firm, Lazard Middle Market, organized a merger that relocated the corporate headquarters of Jazz Pharmaceuticals to low-tax Ireland, a move commonly known as a tax inversion.

McFadden says he was not directly involved in striking the deal, but Franken’s campaign has seized on it. “He knew he was helping an American company dodge paying taxes and is just as culpable for this deal as anyone else,” Franken spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff said in August.

Tax inversions have become a rallying cry for Democrats looking to penalize companies that seek to reduce their tax burdens and shore up their populist credentials.

However, Franken’s attack is complicated by the fact that he himself was an investor in Lazard’s parent company.

His stake in the company even came by way of a mutual fund billed as “socially responsible.”

Franken says that his stake in the company was small, and that he did not have control over the mutual fund’s specific investment decisions.
It doesn't take a great deal of money to be a hypocrite...

Not Waiting For Superman

Critical darling Alejandro Innaritu is not a fan of superheroes:
"The problem is that sometimes they purport to be profound, based on some Greek mythological kind of thing. And they are honestly very right wing," challenged Iñárritu. "I always see them as killing people because they do not believe in what you believe, or they are not being who you want them to be. I hate that, and don’t respond to those characters. They have been poison, this cultural genocide, because the audience is so overexposed to plot and explosions and shit that doesn't mean nothing about the experience of being human."
He added: "Superheroes…just the word hero bothers me. What the fuck does that mean? It's a false, misleading conception, the superhero. Then, the way they apply violence to it, it's absolutely right wing. If you observe the mentality of most of those films, it's really about people who are rich, who have power, who will do the good, who will kill the bad. Philosophically, I just don't like them."
No cosplay for him, then...

No Speech Zone

No free speech near us?
In June, Chief Justice Roberts told women seeking abortions essentially the same thing in a decision striking down buffer zones around clinics in Massachusetts. “Vital First Amendment interests,” he said, required women to hear from opponents of abortion in the fraught moments before they entered those clinics.

But the Supreme Court’s devotion to the First Amendment has its limits. It stops at the edge of the grand marble plaza outside its own courthouse.

That vast and inviting space, with its benches and fountains, seems better suited to public debate than a military funeral or the sidewalk outside an abortion clinic. But the court insists on banning free speech on the plaza. Court police officers have been known to instruct visitors to remove small buttons bearing political messages.
Apparently the First Amendment isn't so vital everywhere...

No Expertise Necessary

No, I suppose not:



I guess that's why President Obama chose one of his friends instead...

The View From The Cocoon

Yes, NY Times staffers live in a liberal world:
t is, as you would expect, embarrassingly cocooned: Times staffers follow people who share the liberalish/leftish viewpoint of the Times itself, meaning these staffers are less likely to even find out discordant information. Which may be why they are so often surprised, or late to a story.
Singular viewpoints do tend to get in the way...

Cutoff

Would that the same could be done for the rest of the government:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The High Seas

Home goes the Hunter:
Vice President Joe Biden ’s son Hunter was discharged from the Navy Reserve this year after testing positive for cocaine, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hunter Biden, a lawyer by training who is now a managing partner at an investment company, had been commissioned as an ensign in the Navy Reserve, a part-time position. But after failing a drug test last year, his brief military career ended.

Mr. Biden, 44 years old, decided to pursue military service relatively late, beginning the direct-commission process to become a public-affairs officer in the Navy Reserve in 2012. Because of his age—43 when he was to be commissioned—he needed a waiver to join the Navy. He received a second Navy waiver because of a drug-related incident when he was a young man, according to people familiar with the matter. Military officials say such drug waivers aren’t uncommon.
The privileges of the "leadership class..."

Blogging In The Years: 2009

The whole thing was fake:

The Young Radicals

Student protest, 21st century style:
The demonstrators, who are affiliated with Students for Concealed Carry, a student-run, nonpartisan national organization that advocates for the right to carry concealed handguns on college campuses, said they were standing on a sidewalk passing out Constitutions when school officials told them they had to move. The students also asked classmates to sign a petition calling for an end to the “free speech zone,” a designated area on campus where students can assemble to protest.

In a video obtained by Campus Reform, a self-described watchdog group, a university official confronts the group about their petition, saying they needed to explain why the zone was created and its necessity.

“I think if you’re going to ask someone to sign a petition, it is always helpful to explain both sides of the position,” the official, identified by Campus Reform as university housing director Tim Robitz, is heard saying in the video.

The students claim they were then threatened with disciplinary action if they continued to protest, a charge the university disputes.
Darn those kids and their extremist Constitution...

Deep Blue Pockets

Guess which party is wealthier?
In Congress, the wealthiest among us are more likely to be represented by a Democrat than a Republican. Of the 10 richest House districts, only two have Republican congressmen. Democrats claim the top six, sprinkled along the East and West coasts. Most are in overwhelmingly Democratic states like New York and California.

The richest: New York's 12th Congressional District, which includes Manhattan's Upper East Side, as well as parts of Queens and Brooklyn. Democrat Carolyn Maloney is in her 11th term representing the district.

Per capita income in Maloney's district is $75,479. That's more than $75,000 a year for every man, woman and child.
Time for a little income redistribution?

Air Sickness

The CDC knew, but she still flew:
On Wednesday afternoon, it was revealed that Amber Vinson, the second care provider to contract Ebola, flew from Texas to Ohio the day before she was diagnosed with the deadly hemorrhagic fever. Vinson was not violently ill at the time, but she was feverish; she reportedly had a recorded temperature of 99.5 degrees.

“Although she did not report any symptoms and she did not meet the fever threshold of 100.4, she did report at that time she took her temperature and found it to be 99.5,” Frieden said on Wednesday. “I don’t think that changes the level of risk of people around her. She did not vomit, she was not bleeding, so the level of risk of people around her would be extremely low.”

In the same way that he expressed regrets about not providing Texas Presbyterian more hands-on guidance, Frieden lamented that his agency had not taken a more aggressive approach to preventing potential Ebola carriers from flying. He also noted that Vinson violated CDC guidelines when she flew.

“The CDC guidance in this setting outlines the need for controlled movement,” the CDC director told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday. “We will from this moment forward ensure that no other individual who is being monitored for exposure undergoes travel in any way other than controlled movement.”

It turns out, however, that Vinson was not a modern Typhoid Mary bent on spreading this deadly contagion. An investigation revealed that Vinson contacted the CDC several times before boarding a plane because she was concerned about her early display of the symptoms associated with Ebola.

“This nurse, Nurse Vinson, did in fact call the CDC several times before taking that flight and said she has a temperature, a fever of 99.5, and the person at the CDC looked at a chart and because her temperature wasn’t 100.4 or higher she didn’t officially fall into the category of high risk,” CBS medical correspondent Dr. John LaPook revealed.
This isn't the sort of thing that exactly inspires confidence...

Advancing, Sort Of

It depends on what the meaning of "Winning" is:

For Want Of A Fan

One of the strangest debate openings ever?

Facebook Follies

Parents can be held liable for what their kids do online:
“Given that the false and offensive statements remained on display, and continued to reach readers, for an additional eleven months, we conclude that a jury could find that the [parents'] negligence proximately caused some part of the injury [the girl] sustained from [the boy's] actions (and inactions),” wrote Judge John J. Ellington in the opinion, which was handed down Oct. 10. He was joined by two other judges on the panel.

The appeals court, though, agreed with a trial court’s dismissal of another part of the lawsuit that sought to hold the parents responsible for allowing the page to be posted in the first place.

Atlanta litigator Edgar S. Mangiafico Jr., who defended the boy’s parents, told Law Blog that the court’s decision was marred by inconsistencies and said he would appeal the ruling to the Georgia Supreme Court.

Mr. Mangiafico said when he was researching the question of parental liability with respect to cyberbullying, he couldn’t find any case in which a court found parents negligent for failing to supervise their kids’ computer use.
Maybe because it's the kids who were to blame?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Raking It In

You make, the government takes:
The recovering economy was the key, sending personal and corporate incomes higher — and thus sending more money to Washington. Individual taxes rose 6 percent and corporate income taxes, which are the best indicator of a business recovery, leapt 17 percent.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew took a victory lap over the numbers, saying the hike in taxes spurred the better news.

“The president’s policies and a strengthening U.S. economy have resulted in a reduction of the U.S. budget deficit of approximately two-thirds — the fastest sustained deficit reduction since World War II,” Mr. Lew said.
Only for a Democrat are higher tax revenues a good thing...

Ready For Transport

Bring on the fusion:
Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready for use in a decade.

Tom McGuire, who heads the project, said he and a small team had been working on fusion energy at Lockheed's secretive Skunk Works for about four years, but were now going public to find potential partners in industry and government for their work.

Initial work demonstrated the feasibility of building a 100-megawatt reactor measuring seven feet by 10 feet, which could fit on the back of a large truck, and is about 10 times smaller than current reactors, McGuire told reporters.
When can I get one?

Taxation Without Transparency

Guess who the World Health Organization has on its anti-tobacco team?
“We don’t need the public here!” proclaimed Uganda’s representative. Libya’s chief delegate Mohamed Ibrahim Saleh Daganee gritted his teeth as he demanded other delegates join him in voting to close the meeting to the public. “We don’t know who these people are,” complained Mr. Daganee, a former health information director under Muammar Gaddafi.
....

The international tobacco tax proposal would require that countries who signed the UN anti-tobacco agreement – nearly every major nation in the world except for the United States, Switzerland and Indonesia – to enact an excise tax equal to at least 70 percent of the retail price of tobacco products. That means a $10 pack of cigarettes would cost more than $33.
If you want to act like a dictatorship, it helps to have someone who knows how they work...

Campaign On Hold

Well, Ebola must be serious:
Obama had been scheduled to attend an event Wednesday at 5 p.m.in Union, New Jersey, to raise money for Senate Democrats fighting to maintain a Democratic majority. At 8 p.m., he was scheduled to speak in Bridgeport, Connecticut, for a campaign rally for endangered Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy.

Obama instead will meet with members of his cabinet Wednesday afternoon to discuss coordinating the government’s response to the virus.
Viruses are non-partisan. But what about the response?

From Top To Bottom

What voters actually care about:
Democrats are the clear favorites to handle wealth and income distribution, abortion and access to contraception, and climate change; the party holds double-digit advantages on these issues. But only one of the three has more than half of voters assessing it as extremely or very important, and all three rank well below the top issues.

Republicans lead Democrats on a number of issues of high importance to the electorate, including the economy, the situation in Iraq and Syria, and the federal budget deficit. Democrats are not without electoral strengths -- equal pay for women is an issue that voters judge as important, and that a wide swath think Democrats are most adept to handle. But as the two parties enter the final campaign stretch, the electoral environment increasingly appears to favor the GOP.
The actual environment too, it seems...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Kraken

When squids attack:
Much feared by fishermen and divers alike, the animals are said to be more aggressive than many of their calmer mollusk brethren like the octopus. The color-producing chromatophores in their skin generate a brilliant color display – switching from white to blood red — and many scientists believe the changes in hue are how the squid communicate with one another. Adding to their fearsome image, the animals possess over 100 suckers on their tentacles, each lined with sharp “teeth” used to dig into their prey.
Paging Johnny Depp...

Nail Biters

The midterms come down to the wire:
At this point, it looks like Republicans have the inside track on taking over six red states currently represented by Democrats, and two of this year's rock-star GOP nominees also have Democrats on the ropes in a pair of swing states, Iowa and Colorado. Those states could give Republicans some breathing room if a state such as Alaska surprises when the returns come in. But late-breaking trouble in Kansas, of all places, has opened the door to continued Democratic control a little bit wider.

Democrats currently control 55 seats in the Senate, meaning the GOP has to win six to take over the chamber.
Don't get cocky, kids...

Eyes Open

Stay classy, Wendy Davis:
STATE SEN. WENDY DAVIS: What I'm hearing is the most important part of this race and that's the response of voters across this state. Voters who believe that it's outrageous that he has engaged in this hypocrisy and who are now informed about who he is, asking to be their governor, who it is that he's been fighting for and will continue to fight for, and the fact he will be fighting against them. And the important thing about this ad is that voters now see Greg Abbott for who he is and of course in an election that's entirely the point.
I think people now see you for who you are, too...