Thursday, June 12, 2008


A new ordinance in Minneapolis limits vehicle idling at three minutes. Mayor R.T. Rybak says the idea is to reduce air pollution. The ordinance limits most vehicle idling to three minutes, except in traffic. WCCO

A high school senior who brought her pony to school, partly as a prank, partly to protest high gas prices, was charged with breach of peace after school administrators called police. Sarah Friedson, 17, walked her chocolate-colored pony, Cocoa, to Staples High School, to celebrate her last day of school, holding a sign that read "Save Gas" on one side, "Staples 2008" on the other. Her father, Ronald, drove behind in the rain, his blinkers flashing. When they reached the high school parking lot, Friedson's friends flocked to the pony to pet him. School administrators, citing concern for the students' safety, called police. Both father and daughter were charged with breach of peace, a misdemeanor. In a statement released hours after their arrest, Westport police said both had ignored a security guards warning to keep the pony off school grounds, along with an earlier warning from school administrators. Hartford Courant

Sheriff John Green has spent 37 years in law enforcement. But these days he's best known around town for the law he won't enforce. With the economy soft and thousands of Philadelphians delinquent on their mortgages, Sheriff Green this spring refused to hold a court-ordered foreclosure auction. His move raised eyebrows on the bench and dropped jaws among lenders and their attorneys, who accuse him of shirking his duty to enforce legal contracts. It also prompted a sweeping, court-endorsed deal, scheduled to go into effect next week, that aims to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. Even as Congress moves forward with a federal plan that could insure up to $300 billion in refinanced mortgages, Mr. Green's unilateral approach has pushed Philadelphia to the leading edge of local responses to the national crisis. Michael M. Phillips, Wall Street Journal

Leading neocon Daniel Pipes (director of the Middle East Forum) said in an interview posted Wednesday at National Review Online, that if Barack Obama is elected, George Bush would attack Iran in the remaining ten weeks of his term. "Should the Democratic nominee win in November, President Bush will ‘do something.’ and should it be Mr. McCain who wins, he’ll ‘punt,’ and let Mr. McCain decide what to do. Anti War Blog

Israel has withheld part of its $75m monthly tax revenue payment to the Palestinian Authority after a diplomatic offensive by the Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, designed to stop the continued expansion of Jewish settlements. The move appeared to mark a new low in relations between Israel and a moderate Palestinian leadership increasingly disillusioned by the lack of progress in talks with Ehud Olmert's government. Israel has accused Mr Fayyad, who is widely respected by Western governments, of trying to "undermine" its relations with Europe. The Palestinian Prime Minister has written to all EU prime ministers urging them to shelve plans to upgrade the EU's relationship with Israel until it ceases to "flout its international obligations", including those on settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Independent, UK

The homeless and their advocates achieved an enormous victory. A Federal Court in Fresno approved a settlement of over $2 million for the destruction of their personal property. The settlement is the largest of its kind in the entire country. . . . The court had already determined that Fresno’s practice of immediately seizing and destroying the personal possessions of homeless residents violates the constitutional right of every person to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. . . "The Court’s ruling and the settlement should send a strong message to other cities throughout our country that if they violate the rights of their most vulnerable residents, they will be held accountable," said ACLU-NC staff attorney Michael Risher. INDY BAY


A new study by a team of political scientists and sociologists at the journal Environmental Politics concludes that 9 out of 10 books published since 1972 that have disputed the seriousness of environmental problems and mainstream science can be linked to a conservative think tank. . . . Of the 141 books which promote environmental skepticism, 130 (92.2 per cent) have a clear link to one or more CTTs - either via author affiliation (62 books) or because the book was published by a CTT (five books) or both (63 books). Furthermore, most of the remaining 11 books clearly reflect a conservative ideology, but are not connected to a CTT and are not coded as such here. Indeed, it appears that only one of the 141 books was written by a current self-professed liberal - Greg Easterbrook (1995). Science Blogs

JUSTIN RAIMONDO, ANTI-WAR I have to say I was wrong - dead wrong - about Obama. In my eagerness to find a bright spot in a rapidly darkening world, I grasped on to his alluring rhetoric and his at-times trenchant critique of the Bush foreign policy, like a sinking man holding on to a life-jacket. But looking for hope in all the wrong places doesn't create opportunities for peace - it only prolongs our illusions. We must face the prospect of a much more terrible conflict than we have ever known, and look it squarely in the face, without flinching or looking for false messiahs.

At the Massachusetts Democratic convention, Progressive Democrats of America candidate Ed O'Reilly successfully challenged Sen. John Kerry by attaining twenty-two percent of the delegate votes, surpassing the threshold necessary to have his name placed on the ballot. This is the first time since 1984 that Kerry has faced a primary challenge.

In a CNN poll, 60 percent of Clinton supporters said they would vote for Obama, but 17 percent said they would vote for McCain and 22 percent, said they would not vote at all if Clinton were not the nominee. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 7.5 percentage points. The poll was conducted after Obama clinched the Democratic nomination. CNN

The Working Families Party has been gathering strength in . . . the 52nd Assembly district, [which] includes Bay Ridge and Brooklyn Heights. In 2006, it polled 22.6% of the vote for Assembly in that district, almost triple what the Republican nominee polled. In 2004 it had also out-polled the Republicans, even though the WFP share of the vote had only been 11.5%. In 2002 there had been no Republican nominee in the race, and the WFP had polled 15.3%. In each of these elections, the Working Families Party cross-endorsed the Democratic nominee, Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman. Generally when a minor party in New York is the kind of party that mostly doesn’t run its own nominees, and cross-endorses major party nominees, it gets between 3% and 5% of the vote in such races. Ballot Access News

Survey USA conducted general election polls in a number of different battleground states using different president-vice president combinations, and found that when the Democratic nominee is paired with the former Senator for North Carolina, the result is an incredibly popular team. . . The results give Obama/Edwards double-digit leads in states like New York, Missouri, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and California. That could mean a landslide for Democrats in November, especially considering the competitive nature of national contests in Pennsylvania and Ohio in recent years. . . And typically red states like Nebraska would also go to the Democrats in a squeaker. . . Despite the potential success of a ticket that uses his name, Edwards has maintained that he's not interested in running for vice president a second time, including a recent reiteration of that sentiment this week. Eyes on Obama

A former software sales manager for Election Systems & Software, the largest voting machine company in the country, has been named county elections administrator for Fort Bend County in Texas.According to a local news report, John Oldham had been regional sales manager, account manager and Illinois state manager for ES&S, which is based in Nebraska. More recently he had been an independent contractor for both ES&S and various election jurisdictions. The county does not currently use ES&S machines. Instead it uses touch-screen DRE machines made by Hart InterCivic, a Texas company. Oldham is replacing the previous elections director, J.R. Perez, who abruptly resigned in March after clashing with county commissioners over the Hart InterCivic machines. According to the news report, Perez had wanted to get rid of the $4 million Hart machines in favor of machines that would produce a paper trail. Wired


At June 12, 2008 11:41 PM, Blogger Lars said...

Doesn't the poll of how Clinton supporters finally demonstrate once and for all to their party that Ralph Nader and the Greens didn't cost Al Gore or John Kerry anything? If DEMOCRATS would vote for McCain or stay home over casting their vote for Obama, what does that say about many of their own members? Clearly it says that not everyone who votes Green or Independent wouldn't automatically cast their vote for the Democrat if that option were not on the ballot.

At June 13, 2008 1:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Lars. The poll does indeed discredit the arrogant assumption that people voting for a 3rd party candidate such as Nader, might otherwise throw their vote away on an unprincipled corporate-owned candidate like Gore or Kerry or Clinton.


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