Thursday, October 23, 2008

BREVITAS

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
charged Alaska $21,012 for plane flights her three daughters took.

THE HISTORY BEHIND THE ACORN SMEAR CAMPAIGN

WATCHING THE COUNT

Brad Blog -
According to today's Island Packet voters on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina discovered that some races were missing on the final review screen of the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting machines, at the end of the voting process, after voters completed their selections.

MSNBC - Eelection experts predict that a third of the electorate will already have voted by Nov. 4, up from 15 percent in 2000 and 20 percent in 2004. . . Through Monday in Las Vegas, for example, early ballots were cast by 31,875 registered Democrats and 13,371 registered Republicans, the Clark County registrar said, while in Ohio, Democratic voters outnumbered Republicans by 2-to-1 on Monday. Democratic advantages were also reported in Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and New Mexico.


WAR DEPARTMENT

Bll Gertz, Washington Times -
The United States has outsourced the manufacturing of its electronic passports to overseas companies - including one in Thailand that was victimized by Chinese espionage - raising concerns that cost savings are being put ahead of national security, an investigation by The Washington Times has found. The Government Printing Office's decision to export the work has proved lucrative, allowing the agency to book more than $100 million in recent profits by charging the State Department more money for blank passports than it actually costs to make them, according to interviews with federal officials and documents obtained by The Times. The profits have raised questions both inside the agency and in Congress because the law that created GPO as the federal government's official printer explicitly requires the agency to break even by charging only enough to recover its costs. Lawmakers said they were alarmed by The Times' findings and plan to investigate why U.S. companies weren't used to produce the state-of-the-art passports, one of the crown jewels of American border security.

CITIES

John Vidal, Guardian, UK - Growing inequality in US cities could lead to widespread social unrest and increased mortality, says a new United Nations report on the urban environment. In a survey of 120 major cities New York was found to be the ninth most unequal in the world and Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington, and Miami had similar inequality levels to those of Nairobi, Kenya and Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Many were above an internationally recognized acceptable "alert" line used to warn governments. According to the annual State of the World's cities report from UN-Habitat, race is one of the most important factors determining levels of inequality in the US and Canada. "In western New York state nearly 40% of the black, Hispanic and mixed-race households earned less than $15,000 compared with 15% of white households. The life expectancy of African-Americans in the US is about the same as that of people living in China and some states of India, despite the fact that the US is far richer than the other two countries," it

ECO CLIPS

Daily Green - If China continues under a business-as-usual trajectory, without seriously cutting back on its carbon emissions, then its greenhouse gas output could double -- or more -- by 2030. By that time, China's emissions would be equal to nearly half of all the world's emissions in 2007. And that estimate includes only pollution from burning fossil fuels, not from clearing forests, farming or other land uses, which can typically account for a third or more of a nation's emissions.
That's according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences. . .

ENN Organic farming offers Africa the best chance of breaking the cycle of poverty and malnutrition it has been locked in for decades, according to a major study from the United Nations to be presented today. New evidence suggests that organic practices - derided by some as a Western lifestyle fad - are delivering sharp increases in yields, improvements in the soil and a boost in the income of Africa's small farmers who remain among the poorest people on earth. . .

AMERICA'S MOST TOXIC PLACE

THE MIX

Washington Blade -
The Human Rights Campaign released its biennial scorecard assigning U.S. lawmakers ratings for their votes and sponsorship of gay-related legislation in the 110th Congress. . . . Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the Democratic presidential nominee, scored 94 on the scorecard. . . Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the Republican presidential nominee, scored 0. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), a former contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, scored 95. . . Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), Obama's running mate, also scored 95.

FURTHERMORE. . .

Eavesdrop DC - Tourist 1: Do you wanna go to Ford's Theatre?. . . Tourist 2: Whats that?. . . Tourist 1: Its that place Lincoln shot that one guy. . . Booth I think?. . . Tourist 2: Oh.