Friday, November 7, 2008



Single payer health insurance
may be an early victim of the Obama administration. We hear that liberal House members are already caving on the issue, ready to let private insurers continue their exploitation of the nation's health. Single payer advocates better get on their presumed allies fast.


Bo Rev -
Chavez weighs in: "The historic election of an Afro-descendant to the head of the most powerful country in the world is a sign that the change that's been carried out in South America may be reaching the doorstep of the U.S.'' . . . Evo's like great, yeah, fuck off: "My greatest wish is that Mr. Obama can end the Cuba embargo, take troops out of some countries, and also surely relations between Bolivia and the United States will improve." . . . Lula, too: "I hope the blockade of Cuba ends, because it no longer has any justification in the history of humanity.'' . . . Crisitina channels her inner Princess Leia: "I know we can count on you, and I want you to know that you can count on my sincere friendship.''. . . This being the Castro administration's 23rd odd US president, they are, hilariously, resigned: "If Obama takes some action to ease the embargo, it would be welcomed and of course it would be of help, but we're prepared for conditions to remain the same." In other words, whatevs. No comment from President Death Squad, although the former US ambassador to Colombia says "Obama will criticize Uribe harshly, something Bush never did, and will be tougher on him over human rights abuses.'' Sweet.

Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic -
Four years ago, 313,592 out of 474,740 registered voters in Alaska participated in the election-a 66% turnout. Taking into account 49,000 outstanding ballots, on Tuesday 272,633 out of 495,731 registered Alaskans showed up at the polls; a turnout of 54.9%.

Missing in action
: the Bradley effect


Jason Leopold,The Public Record Electronic voting machines that a Michigan election official said last week incorrectly tabulated vote counts during pre-election tests in the state were used in Minnesota where the senate race between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken is in dispute. According to an Oct. 24 letter sent to the federal Election Assistance Commission, Ruth Johnson, the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds, warned that tabulating software in Election Systems & Software M-100 optical scan voting machines recorded "conflicting" vote counts during testing in her state.

Brad Blog - Wide-spread voting machine failures have been reported to the Obama/DNC election protection hotline in Nevada since early voting began more than a week ago in the state. All voters who vote in person in the crucial battleground state are forced to cast their votes on 100% unverifiable Sequoia EDGE touch-screen voting machines with the VeriVote "paper trail" printer add-on. Attorneys monitoring the incident reports coming in to the hotline have taken no action in regard to removing the failed machines from service, despite reports of the presidential race not appearing at all on some ballots; voters having problems selecting their preferred candidates; machines not starting up at all; "paper trail" printers jamming or running out of paper, and; a number of machines at a number of sites which refuse to work at all. . .


Joshua Frank, Information Clearing House -
After Gerald Ford's loss and Jimmy Carter's ascendance into the White House in 1976, Indonesia, which invaded East Timor and slaughtered 200,000 indigenous Timorese years earlier, requested additional arms to continue its brutal occupation, even though there was a supposed ban on arms trades to Suharto's government. It was Carter's appointee to the Department of State's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Richard Holbrooke, who authorized additional arms shipments to Indonesia during this supposed blockade. Many scholars have noted that this was the period when the Indonesian suppression of the Timorese reached genocidal levels. . .

Other foreign policy advisors may also include the likes of Madeline Albright, the great supporter of Iraq sanctions, which killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Madeline Albright, when asked by Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes about the deaths caused by U.N. sanctions, infamously condoned the deaths. "I think this is a very hard choice," she said. "But the price-we think the price is worth it."


Mayor Michael Bloomberg is going to cut the city work force by 3,000, but that's just the beginning of the pain New Yorkers will feel as part of the fiscal crisis. A slew of new taxes are also on the agenda. There will be 1,000 fewer cops, but the city will hire 200 more traffic agents to give out $60 million a year in new block-the-box tickets. . . In the current fiscal year there's the 7 percent property tax hike that starts in January -- and the plan to renege on a promised $400 property tax rebate. "I think the people of the city are going to be enraged," City Councilman Simcha Felder, D-Brooklyn, said. "They've been told the check is in the mail on the rebate."


National Security Archives
In a striking rebuke to the Central Intelligence Agency, Judge Gladys Kessler of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia yesterday rejected the CIA's view that it - and not journalists - has the right to determine which Freedom of Information Act requests are newsworthy. Reconsidering its earlier decision deferring to the CIA's written assurances that the agency would cease illegally denying the National Security Archive's news media status, the court ordered the CIA to treat the Archive as a representative of the news media for all of its pending and future non-commercial requests. Finding that the CIA "has twice made highly misleading representations to the Archive, as well as to [the] Court," the court explained that the CIA's position "is truly hard to take seriously" and enjoined the CIA from illegally denying the Archive's news media status. "The CIA's long-running failure to treat the Archive's FOIA requests in accordance with clearly established law, together with its persistent lack of candor with the court, raise serious concerns about what else the CIA may be doing to obstruct the public's legitimate efforts to learn about the agency's past and present activities," said Pat Carome, counsel for the Archive from WilmerHale LLP. "Judge Kessler's ruling represents a stern reminder to the CIA that it must live up to our nation's open government laws."

Robert Verkaik, Independent, UK - Internet "black boxes" will be used to collect every email and web visit in the UK under the Government's plans for a giant "big brother" database, The Independent has learnt. Home Office officials have told senior figures from the internet and telecommunications industries that the "black box" technology could automatically retain and store raw data from the web before transferring it to a giant central database controlled by the Government. Plans to create a database holding information about every phone call, email and internet visit made in the UK have provoked a huge public outcry. Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, described it as "step too far" and the Government's own terrorism watchdog said that as a "raw idea" it was "awful".


David Biello, Scientific American
- The northern leopard frogs that inhabit the boreal U.S. have never recovered from some catastrophic population declines in the 1970s. Some blame it on the acidifying lakes and streams caused by coal-burning, others point to the ongoing loss of wetlands to development, and now new evidence shows that the herbicide atrazine-widely sprayed on crop fields throughout the region-is killing the frogs by helping parasitic worms that feast on them. "Atrazine provides a double whammy to frogs: It increases both amphibian exposure and susceptibility," says biologist Jason Rohr of the University of South Florida in Tampa, who tested the impact by re-creating field conditions in 300-gallon tanks in his lab. "Atrazine is one of the more mobile and persistent pesticides being widely applied. In fact, residues have been found in remote, nonagricultural areas, such as the poles." That may explain why amphibians are on the decline worldwide. As many as one third of the nearly 6,000 known amphibian species-frogs, toads, salamanders, even wormlike caecilians-are threatened with extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. And no one knows why.

Treehugger -
With the economic crunch, the price for recycled good has dropped, and now UK local authorities and collection companies have tons of worthless recyclables that they can't do anything with. In an effort to store them, they're requesting for less strict storage regulations to try and keep the recyclables from being dumped while they ride out the economic crisis. Much of the recyclables in the UK are sold to China for the manufacturing of goods. However, as the economy sinks, so too does production, and therefore so too does the demand for recyclables. Plastics and metals that were once valuable have sunk to practically worthless.


The Defense Department has awarded a $260 million contract to CACI International to provide "thought leadership and change management." We thought Obama was going to handle that.


At November 10, 2008 4:09 AM, Blogger adolfo said...

Witnessed assorted campaign efforts, from local to Presidential, under news in action across the Evergreen State in the last decade. Consistently impressed by the organized effort of the campaign itself, including their presence at the recent Snohomish County GOP convention.


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