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The Left Column


Hard-Nosed Advice From Veteran Lobbyist: ‘Win Ugly or Lose Pretty’

(NYT) If the oil and gas industry wants to prevent its opponents from slowing its efforts to drill in more places, it must be prepared to employ tactics like digging up embarrassing tidbits about environmentalists and liberal celebrities, a veteran Washington political consultant told a room full of industry executives in a speech that was secretly recorded.


I knocked a hundred forty doors today, bringing my weekly total to about six hundred.

Maybe if I plop here a while, I'll feel tired. But right now I'm so psyched I can barely sit still. If the sun were still up, I think I could walk a few hours more.

It was a good day, and I had a lot of fun talking to people. Only four or five weren't friendly; and I found it easy to reply nicely to them as I moved along. One woman told me, I'm not voting this year because I don't like either candidate! I suppose I could have told her that her ballot lists about fifty different people running in about twenty separate races but I actually just wished her a nice day...


Obama’s Health Law: Who Was Helped Most

(NYT) The data shows that the law has done something rather unusual in the American economy this century: It has pushed back against inequality, essentially redistributing income — in the form of health insurance or insurance subsidies — to many of the groups that have fared poorly over the last few decades.

The biggest winners from the law include people between the ages of 18 and 34; blacks; Hispanics; and people who live in rural areas. The areas with the largest increases in the health insurance rate, for example, include rural Arkansas and Nevada; southern Texas; large swaths of New Mexico, Kentucky and West Virginia; and much of inland California and Oregon.

Voice for Peace

NM MVD says Navajo-only speakers are “illiterates” must learn English to obtain state ID card

(Progress Now NM) New Mexico’s Motor Vehicle Department recently directed employees to stop assisting Navajo language speakers with applications for licenses and identification cards, dubbing them “illiterate” in an email directive to staff.

Acting on a tip from a citizen concerned about newly registered Navajo voters being denied access to identification cards necessary to vote, ProgressNowNM obtained a copy of a new MVD directive posted in a Northwest New Mexico office.


Apple CEO Cook comes out: 'I'm proud to be gay'

(CNN) Apple CEO Tim Cook came out Thursday, announcing that he is gay in a column in Bloomberg Businessweek. "Let me be clear: I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me," he wrote.


Hillary Clinton TURNS THE TABLES On Republicans By Saying Joni Ernst DISQUALIFIED HERSELF

(CNN) “I have concluded that Iowans take politics really seriously,” Clinton said. “You test your candidates, you actually force them to be the best they can be and they have to be willing to answer the tough questions.”

Democrat Bruce Braley “has been willing to do and his opponent has not,” she said.

“It truly seems like it should be in disqualifying in Iowa of all states to avoid answering questions,” Clinton added to a sustained round of applause.


"The Most Brazen Attempt at Voter Suppression Yet"

(Slate) According to a six-month-long investigation conducted by Greg Palast for Al Jazeera, “voting officials in 27 states, almost all of them Republicans, have launched what is threatening to become a massive purge of black, Hispanic, and Asian-American voters. Already, tens of thousands have been removed from voter rolls in battleground states, and the numbers are set to climb.”

Specifically, officials have a master list of 6.9 million suspected “potential double voters.” And in Virginia, Georgia, and Washington the lists are “heavily over-weighted with names such as Jackson, Garcia, Patel, and Kim,” all common to Democratic-leaning minority groups.


Angus King dumps Cutler, endorses Michaud

(Press Herald) Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King on Wednesday announced his support for U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud in the Maine governor’s race.

King previously endorsed independent Eliot Cutler, who in turn used the endorsement in television ads. However, Cutler said at a news conference Wednesday that he is a long shot to win on Nov. 4 and urged his supporters to “vote their conscience.”


Elizabeth Warren Challenges Chris Christie for the Science Behind His Ebola Quarantine (and more!)

(Mother Jones) Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is demanding Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) reveal the science behind his controversial decision to place all health care workers returning back from Liberia, Guinea, or Sierra Leone to be placed under a mandatory quarantine. Spoiler alert: the science does not exist.

"He should bring out his scientists who are advising him on that, because we know that we want to be led by science," Warren said Tuesday during an appearance on CBS's This Morning.

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Latest Breaking News

Seattle Hospital: Girl, 14, Dies After School Shooting (raising to four the number of fatalities)

1 hr ago - SEATTLE (AP) — One of the teenagers wounded in a Washington state high school shooting has died, raising to four the number of fatalities from the moment when a student opened fire in a cafeteria. Officials at Providence Regional Medical Center in E ... (Associated Press)

Police: Wendy's (COPS) robber had PCP, marijuana, alcohol in system

1 hr ago - By Maggie O'Brien The gunman in a fatal robbery attempt that killed a "Cops" TV show crew member in August had alcohol, marijuana and PCP in his system at the time of his death, Omaha police said Friday. Toxicology reports showed that Cortez Washi ... (Omaha World Herald)

Mexican Judge Orders US Marine Reservist Released

2 hrs ago - U.S. Marine reservist Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, jailed in Mexico on gun charges since March, was ordered released by a judge in Mexico on Friday, according to documents released by the court. The California native, 26, was arrested on March 31 after ... (ABC News)

Dublin CHP officer resigns, is charged with felonies for stealing explicit photos from female arrest

2 hrs ago - MARTINEZ -- A Dublin-based CHP officer has resigned from the agency and was charged Friday with two felonies for allegedly secretly forwarding himself explicit photos from female arrestees' phones and then sharing the images with colleagues. Officer ... (Contra Costa Times)

Three U.S. citizens last seen with police in Mexico are found dead

2 hrs ago - Three U.S. citizens who were in Mexico visiting their father and were last seen in the custody of police have been killed along with a friend, authorities said Friday. Their bodies, each with a gunshot to the head, have been identified by relatives, ... (LA Times)

$2.25 Million Settlement for Family of Rikers Inmate Who Died in Hot Cell

3 hrs ago - The family of a homeless veteran who died this year in a searing hot cell at the Rikers Island jail complex will receive $2.25 million from the City of New York in a settlement the comptroller’s office announced on Friday. The settlement was made fi ... (NY Times)

Ashes from Ebola victim's apartment in limbo

3 hrs ago - By JULIET LINDERMAN It took a crew 38 hours to clear out the Dallas apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan was staying before he was diagnosed Sept. 30 with Ebola. Hazmat suit-clad workers piled shoes, carpets, mattresses, bed sheets, clothes and kids' ... (AP-Excite)

Federal civil rights charges unlikely against police officer in Ferguson shooting

6 hrs ago - Justice Department investigators have all but concluded they do not have a strong enough case to bring civil rights charges against Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., according to l ... (Washington Post)

Virginia judge: Police can demand a suspect unlock a phone with a fingerprint

6 hrs ago - The ruling calls into question the privacy of some iPhone 5S, 6, and 6 Plus users who have models equipped with TouchID, the fingerprint sensor that allows the user—and ideally only the user—to unlock the phone. ...if a suspect simply uses TouchID t ... (Arstechnica)

After Kaci Hickox wins court reprieve, LePage says he doesn’t trust her

6 hrs ago - <snip> Gov. Paul LePage expressed disappointment with the judge’s decision Friday, saying the state would nonetheless abide by law. “She’s violated every promise she’s made so far, so I can’t trust her,” he said Friday, answering reporters’ q ... (Bangor Daily News)

Wall Street caps a wild month with a rally

7 hrs ago - By KEN SWEET NEW YORK (AP) — For stock investors, there was no shortage of drama in October. Stocks started the month modestly below a record high, only to cascade to their worst slump in two years. But after flirting with a correction, or a 10 per ... (AP-Excite)

Canada won't issue visas to residents of countries with widespread Ebola

7 hrs ago - TORONTO - Canada is following in Australia's footsteps and has suspended, effectively immediately, the issuance of visas to residents of the West African countries battling Ebola. In a move that puts Canada at odds with the World Health Organization ... (Winnipeg Free Press)

Fire forces French public radio off air

7 hrs ago - Photos posted on Twitter showed large plumes of black smoke rising from several windows from the upper floors of the ‘Maison de la Radio’, on the banks of the River Seine in the west of the French capital. Employees were evacuated and there were no ... (France 24)

I DID IT: In reversal, Jeffery Fowle admits to leaving Bible in North Korean nightclub

7 hrs ago - The American detained in North Korea for leaving a Bible in a nightclub said he did exactly what the communist country accused him of. <snip> The 56-year-old said he planned to leave the Bible in North Korea long before he even traveled to th ... (NY Daily News)

Mother was told her children were beaten at Mexican military barracks

8 hrs ago - Mother was told her children were beaten at Mexican military barracks By Aaron Nelsen : October 31, 2014 PROGRESO — The mother of three Americans whose bodies were found in Mexico on Wednesday said a soldier at a military installation in Matamoros ... (San Antonio Express-News)

Moncton RCMP killer Justin Bourque given 75-year sentence without parole

9 hrs ago - Justin Bourque has been sentenced to serve 75 years in prison before becoming eligible to apply for parole for the June 4 shooting rampage that killed three RCMP officers and wounded two others in Moncton. Judge David Smith of the Court of Queen’s B ... (Globe And Mail)

Virgin Galactic spacecraft crash kills one

9 hrs ago - At least one person is dead and another injured after Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo space tourism craft crashed in the California desert. The craft was flying a manned test when it experienced what the company described as "a serious anomaly". It ... (BBC)

Ax-Wielding Man Tries to Attack D.C. Police Officer, Sinks Ax Into Cruiser Window

9 hrs ago - In a brazen attack, a man wielding an ax tried to hurt a D.C. police officer early Friday morning, striking his vehicle and getting into a struggle with the officer. The officer wasn't struck by the ax, but he was injured in the altercation that fol ... (NBC)

Judge rejects Ebola quarantine for nurse

10 hrs ago - FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — A Maine judge has rejected a bid by state health officials to restrict the movement of nurse Kaci Hickox, who defied a quarantine for medical workers who have treated Ebola patients. Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere ruled Friday t ... (Yahoo (AP))

Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Rises to Highest Since July 2007

11 hrs ago - By Danielle Trubow Oct 31, 2014 10:02 AM ET Consumer confidence rose in October to a seven-year high as employment opportunities and declining gasoline prices boosted Americans’ spirits. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of se ... (Bloomberg)

U.S. Gasoline Price to Fall Below $3 for First Time Since 2010

11 hrs ago - By Stephen Cunningham Oct 31, 2014 11:48 AM ET The national average price of gasoline will drop below $3 a gallon tomorrow for the first time since December 2010, Heathrow, Florida-based motoring group AAA said today in a statement. Sliding prices ... (Bloomberg)

Completion of nuclear fuel processing plant postponed for 21st time

11 hrs ago - Complications in safety screening have led to the 21st postponement of work to complete a key nuclear processing facility in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture. The latest delay, announced Oct. 30 by Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd., the operator of the Rokkasho re ... (Asahi Shimbun)

Court order temporarily restricts nurse's movement

11 hrs ago - FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — Maine health officials obtained a 24-hour court order restricting Kaci Hickox's movement after the nurse repeatedly defied the state's quarantine for medical workers who have treated Ebola patients. A judge granted the order ... (MSN News)

Labour facing complete political annihilation in Scotland

12 hrs ago - Ed Miliband’s hopes of become Britain’s next Prime Minister suffered a serious setback today as a new poll suggested Labour is facing political annihilation at the hands of the SNP in its Scottish heartlands. The survey, by Ipsos Mori, found Labour ... (The Independent)

UN: Foreign Fighters Joining Terror Groups On 'Unprecedented Scale'

12 hrs ago - UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new United Nations report says the world is facing a challenge of foreign fighters in terror groups on an "unprecedented scale," with about 15,000 in Syria and Iraq alone. The report by a panel of experts monitoring al-Qaida ... (AP)

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore ousted, army says

14 hrs ago - Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore is no longer in power, an army spokesman has told demonstrators in the capital, Ouagadougou. Mr Compaore had earlier said he would step down after a 12-month transitional government had ended. However, the o ... (BBC)

Ted Cruz has a really gross reaction to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s coming out

14 hrs ago - Texas senator and boastful homophobe Ted Cruz reacted to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s announcement that he is gay by calling Cook’s sexuality a “personal decision.” Asked about Cook’s coming out on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Cruz parroted the right-wing talking poi ... (Salon)

Fire forces France’s public radio off air

14 hrs ago - A fire erupted at Paris’ public radio house on Friday, forcing an evacuation of the building as radios went off-air. Pictures on Twitter showed large dark clouds rising out of the top floors. “We are forced to interrupt our programmes and evacuate, ... (The Irish Times)

U.S. Bank tests new ways to fight bias against the long-term unemployed

15 hrs ago - After a health insurance company laid him off in 2012, John Columbus spent the next 20 months answering as many questions about gaps in his résumé as about his years of employment. Then a friend steered him to U.S. Bank, which was piloting a White H ... (strib)

Judge to Hold Hearing in Kansas Gay Marriage Suit

16 hrs ago - A federal judge is to hear a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging Kansas' ban on same-sex marriage. The hearing Friday afternoon before U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree in Kansas City, Kansas, is on the ACLU's request f ... (ABC News)