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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 34,523

About Me

Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

More than half of broadcast advertising in the midterms has been paid for by outside groups

Beyond its durable imprint on American civic life, the Watergate scandal of four decades ago left its mark on political language. For one thing, that suffix will not go away. Commit a major folly, and you can count on some headline writer describing it as Whatever-gate. Forty years later, investigations into wrongdoing by public officials still routinely yield the Watergate-era chestnut: What did so-and-so know, and when did he know it? Americans are well aware, too, that they would be wise to “follow the money,” abiding words bequeathed by the shadowy figure Deep Throat in “All the President’s Men,” the 1976 Watergate-themed film.

“Follow the money” was sound advice in the 1970s. It is even more sensible these days, when cash courses through American politics like a flash flood.

“Watergate” was a catchword for a multitude of government and political sins. At its core were secret, and illicit, contributions to the 1972 re-election campaign of President Richard M. Nixon. Some Nixon retainers went to prison. Also, more than a dozen American corporations were found guilty of criminal behavior, typically for having showered barrels of dollars on the campaign in the hope — no, expectation — that their largess would translate into favors from the administration. As can be seen in the latest video documentary from Retro Report, tracing the money side of life from Watergate to today, much has changed. Oh, the cash still flows, and a fair amount of it continues to be secret. But what was deemed ill-gotten loot 40 years ago is now legally accessible, countenanced by no less than the United States Supreme Court. And the money no longer rains down on presidential and congressional campaigns by the barrelful. By the truckload is more like it.

Big political scandals have often inspired laws to address whatever went wrong. Watergate was no exception. The same went for lesser situations that were eyebrow-raising all the same; the trading of campaign contributions for sleepovers in the Clinton White House was one example. With almost every cycle of wrongdoing and attempted reform, Americans have had to absorb a sometimes-bewildering array of political terms, like “soft money” versus “hard money,” or PAC — it stands for political action committee, in case you forgot — versus “super PAC.” They have also had to come to grips with Supreme Court rulings that do not always seem consistent, one with another, on what sort of behavior is kosher.

more

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/us/the-cost-of-campaigns.html?_r=0

If you want to know why people increasingly are voting in Repubs in spite of the failure of Republican ideology, start here.

Monday Toon Roundup

Middle East









Ebola












GOP






Rights








An interesting gif on what we eat



http://www.nationalgeographic.com/what-the-world-eats/

Bwahahahah! Poll: Mitt Romney leads 2016 GOP field

http://www.msnbc.com/up/watch/poll--mitt-romney-leads-2016-gop-field-344800835646?adbid=523919056189935616&adbpl=tw&adbpr=2836421&cid=sm_m_main_1_20141019_34022357

Some Scumball killed a Tasmanian Devil in the Albuquerque Zoo

Albuquerque police are investigating a murder mystery at the New Mexico city’s zoo after an endangered Tasmanian devil, one of four on loan from Australia, was found dead in its exhibit.

Horrified zookeepers at the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo told police they found “Jasper” in his enclosure Wednesday morning lying in a pool of blood. He was last seen alive Tuesday afternoon.

Police think someone threw a thick chunk of asphalt at Jasper, striking him in the head and fracturing his skull.

“It looks like there was a malicious intent and essentially our poor Tasmanian devil was killed, intentionally, by what seems to be blunt force trauma to the head,” Gilbert Montano, Mayor Richard Berry’s Chief of Staff, told KRQE-TV Friday.

more

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/10/18/albuquerque-zoos-tasmanian-devil-is-victim-foul-play/



Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

The people we elect aren’t the ones calling the shots, says Tufts University’s Michael Glennon

By Jordan Michael Smith | OCTOBER 19, 2014


THE VOTERS WHO put Barack Obama in office expected some big changes. From the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping to Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act, candidate Obama was a defender of civil liberties and privacy, promising a dramatically different approach from his predecessor.

But six years into his administration, the Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Guantanamo Bay remains open. The NSA has, if anything, become more aggressive in monitoring Americans. Drone strikes have escalated. Most recently it was reported that the same president who won a Nobel Prize in part for promoting nuclear disarmament is spending up to $1 trillion modernizing and revitalizing America’s nuclear weapons.

Why did the face in the Oval Office change but the policies remain the same? Critics tend to focus on Obama himself, a leader who perhaps has shifted with politics to take a harder line. But Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon has a more pessimistic answer: Obama couldn’t have changed policies much even if he tried.

Though it’s a bedrock American principle that citizens can steer their own government by electing new officials, Glennon suggests that in practice, much of our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defense and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.

more

http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/10/18/vote-all-you-want-the-secret-government-won-change/jVSkXrENQlu8vNcBfMn9sL/story.html

Toon: Happy Halloween

Sunday's Non Sequitur- Insanity Defined

Sunday's Doonesbury- Failure Factory

Toon: Robot Surgeon General

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