Friday, October 10, 2008



Washington Times - In 1986 John McCain wrote a political note - on official House of Representatives stationary - apologizing to Charles H. Keating Jr. for his campaign having listed his good friend and supporter as part of McCain's Senate campaign finance committee. Keating responded with a handwritten note - addressed to "senator," seven months before McCain won his Senate seat - telling him not to sweat it, "I'm yours till death do us part.". . . McCain wrote: "As you know, I am deeply appreciative of your friendship and support over the years, and I would not want to do anything which would offend you. Please accept my apology, and be assured that there will be no future repetition of this kind."Six days later Keating sent a handwritten note back assuring McCain he has done, and can do, no wrong. "Don't be silly. You can call me anything, write anything or do anything. I'm yours till death do us part."

According to the latest Fox poll, the percentage gap between those who approved of Biden and those who don't is 28%, two points better than Obama. The gap fro McCain is only a3% and for Palin just 5%.

Third Party Watch
Nader/Gonzales Campaign is adding 22 offices and nearly 50 field-staff staff to its thousands of volunteers, aiming at securing votes in 49 states.

Third Party Watch - In Indiana's 9th congressional district, Libertarian Dr. Eric Schansberg is running against incumbent Rep. Baron Hill (Democrat) and former Rep. Mike Sodrel (Republican). According to his website, he's found a Republican proposal he likes: "On Wednesday, Dr. Eric Schansberg agreed to a debate proposal from 9th District Republican Party Chairman Larry Shickles. Shickles proposed that the three candidates would be allowed to ask each other a pre-determined number of questions-while connected to a polygraph lie detector."

Nan Garrett, co-chair, Green Party National Women's Caucus - Mr. Obama claims in a campaign ad that his health care plan avoids government-administered coverage, which would require higher taxes. This ad is misleading. It leaves out the fact that working people will pay far less for single-payer than for private coverage, because single-payer does away with profits for insurance and HMO middlemen, saving more than $300 billion every year. That's enough to cover the uninsured and eliminate co-payments and deductibles for all Americans. Even more important, no American would be denied treatment because of inability to pay, employment, age, or a prior medical condition.



NY TIMES - Tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six swing states have been removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal law, according to a review of state records and Social Security data by The New York Times. The actions do not seem to be coordinated by one party or the other, nor do they appear to be the result of election officials intentionally breaking rules, but are apparently the result of mistakes in the handling of the registrations and voter files as the states tried to comply with a 2002 federal law, intended to overhaul the way elections are run. Still, because Democrats have been more aggressive at registering new voters this year, according to state election officials, any heightened screening of new applications may affect their party's supporters disproportionately. The screening or trimming of voter registration lists in the six states - Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina - could also result in problems at the polls on Election Day: people who have been removed from the rolls are likely to show up only to be challenged by political party officials or election workers, resulting in confusion, long lines and heated tempers.

Washington Post - The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics and the company that provides the city with its voting equipment are both responsible for last month's primary election blunder that caused thousands of phantom votes to appear in initial results, according to a preliminary report from a special D.C. Council committee. The report says Sequoia Voting Systems, a California-based firm, "was too quick to exonerate itself and the equipment used in the tabulation process. . . . To date, the evidence appears to indicate that there was a problem both in equipment (the server) and in the software." . . . The report dismisses Sequoia's theories that human error or static discharge, not defective software or hardware, was at fault when a cartridge from Precinct 141 added thousands of votes. . . But those issues cannot be resolved before the Nov. 4 election, which officials expect will draw a record number of voters. The committee's recommendations include actions to be taken Election Day. A significant step is to train poll workers to persuade voters to use optical-scan machines instead of electronic touch-screen ones, although the primary night blunder has been traced to a cartridge from an optical-scan machine. The committee -- composed of council members Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) and Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) -- said the optical-scan machines, which use paper ballots, would create "a verified paper trail" that could be audited, should another mishap occur. The optical-scan machines are also faster, because more voters can fill out ballots at the same time. Just one person at a time can use a touch-screen machine, the report says.

, an estimated 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote because of laws that prohibit voting by people with felony convictions. Among the victims of this: an estimated 13%of black men.


Pop and Politics - According to several inside sources, the Village Voice continued its cost-cutting measures Thursday, dismissing two reporters for budgetary reasons. The paper's copy chief also resigned in protest after the deputy copy chief was laid off Wednesday. . . . Three staff writers remain to report for the newspaper-Wayne Barrett, Chloé Hilliard and Graham Rayman. The Voice also cut staff last Friday, laying off long-time photo editor Staci Schwartz and sex columnist Tristan Taormino. . . Recent turmoil has not been limited to print media publications. Gawker Media publisher Nick Denton said in a staff-wide memo Friday that 19 editorial positions (out of 133 total) were being cut, and pageview bonuses were being suspended beginning in the first quarter of 2009.

Hispanic Market Weekly - Hispanic viewership of the second presidential debate rose to 4.77 million - out of a 63.2 million U.S. total.






The global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study. It puts the annual cost of forest loss at between $2 trillion and $5 trillion. The figure comes from adding the value of the various services that forests perform, such as providing clean water and absorbing carbon dioxide. The study, headed by a Deutsche Bank economist, parallels the Stern Review into the economics of climate change. . . Speaking to BBC News on the fringes of the congress, study leader Pavan Sukhdev emphasised that the cost of natural decline dwarfs losses on the financial markets. "It's not only greater but it's also continuous, it's been happening every year, year after year," he told BBC News. "So whereas Wall Street by various calculations has to date lost, within the financial sector, $1-$1.5 trillion, the reality is that at today's rate we are losing natural capital at least between $2-$5 trillion every year."

- Environmental damage such as desertification or flooding caused by climate change could force millions of peoples from their homes in the next few decades, experts said. "All indicators show we are dealing with a major emerging global problem," said Janos Bogardi, director of the U.N. University's Institute on the Environment and Human Security in Bonn, Germany. "Experts estimate that by 2050 some 200 million people will be displaced by environmental problems, a number of people roughly equal to two-thirds of the United States today," the University said in a statement. Bogardi said presently the number of environmental migrants could be between 25 million and 27 million. Unlike political refugees fleeing their country, many seek a new home in their own country.


ABC News - Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled that gays and lesbians should be afforded the same basic right to marry as any other citizen of the state, paving the way for same-sex marriages to begin in that state before the end of the year. The court's opinion says that Connecticut's current "scheme [civil unions] discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.". . . Today's ruling makes Connecticut the third state to legalize gay marriages, joining Massachusetts and California that have sanctioned same sex marriages. The California law, however, faces a challenge on this fall's ballot.

Washington Blade - Frank Kameny didn't know until this week that actor Paul Newman, who died Sept. 26, supported his bid to become Washington's first non-voting delegate to Congress in 1971. The $500 donation came too late to spend on the campaign, but Kameny's campaign staff used the money to travel to New York City, where they met with the Gay Activists Alliance. Upon their return to Washington, they founded the Gay Activists Alliance, which operates today as the Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance. "I was well aware that they spent residual funds . . .for the trip, but I was totally unaware of Newman or any other specific person as the source," Kameny told the Blade in an e-mail this week. When asked why he thought Newman donated to his campaign, Kameny said, "I suppose it was simply something forward thinking. I was only the second person in the entire country to run as an openly gay candidate, so I got a good deal of publicity."


Washington Times - For decades, Sister Carol Gilbert and Sister Ardeth Platte have practiced their Roman Catholic faith with an unwavering focus on world peace. Their antiwar activities even landed them in federal prison earlier this decade for trespassing onto a military base and pouring blood onto a nuclear missile silo. Now they face fresh infamy as two nuns secretly branded by Maryland State Police as terrorists and placed on a national watch list. . . E-mails released by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland show that Baltimore police were coordinating with the National Security Agency in 2003 and 2004 to spy on Quakers, who routinely protested outside the security agency's headquarters. And a member of the American National Socialist Workers Party, or Nazis, told lawmakers Wednesday that he was among the 53 to receive a letter from the state police informing him that he was on the list.. . . Nancy Kricorian, a member of Code Pink, also was entered into the database. She never lived or protested in Maryland, said David Rocah, a staff attorney for the ACLU, which represented the nuns in the effort to obtain information on the spying.


Bruce Mirken, AlterNet - The White House drug czar's office, aka the Office of National Drug Control Policy, has been claiming loudly and frequently for several years now that its aggressive anti-marijuana campaign has been a rousing success. As deputy ONDCP director Scott Burns put it in a recent California newspaper interview, "drug use is down in the United States dramatically since 2001 by every barometer and indicator that we use. ... Twenty-four percent reduction in marijuana use by young people 12 to 18 years old." In fact, ONDCP has not even come close to meeting its goal of reducing illegal drug use by 25 percent by 2007 in any age group. In fact, among adults, overall illegal drug use actually increased 4.7% from 2002 to 2007. Teen marijuana use is down a bit but still remains common: One in nine (12 percent) 14- and 15-year-olds and one in four (23.7 percent) 16- and 17-year-olds used marijuana in 2007.


Real Simple Magazine offers a guide to recyling everything from A to Z. Did you know, for example, that the American Birding Association accepts donated backpacks? Here's the complete list.


A judge in Urbana OH fined a driver for listening to rap too loudly in his car but was willing to reduce the fine if the offender listened to 20 hours of classical music. The guy only lasted 15 minutes because he didn't want to miss college basketball practice. So he paid the fine.




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At October 12, 2008 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The link for Canning 101 is a good resource, but, another, very healthful way of preserving food is brine fermentation. I prefer it to hot water bath canning, because it is easier, and I can preserve a couple of jars of produce at a time with a few spare minutes, instead of spending half the day over a pot of hot water. Brine frementation cultivates benefical bacteria and enzymes during the fermentation process making the food preserved that way even more nutritious and healthy.


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