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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Roberts asserts Va. home 'principal residence' in documents

By Tim Carpenter
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts put a signature to documents associated with the mortgage on a Virginia residence that identify the Fairfax County home as “principal residence” of the three-term incumbent Republican.

The re-election campaign of the Kansan has been awash in controversy about whether his ownership of a duplex in Dodge City, which is rented out, and his payment of about $300 a month for a room in a Dodge City supporter's home satisfied legal requirements for public office.

On Wednesday, records surfaced that Roberts signed a Deed of Trust in 1997 and 2003 for property owned in Alexandria, Va., with his wife, Franki, that contained text about a principal residence.

The documents, which include a series of covenants, required Roberts to attest the couple within 60 days of executing the document “shall continue to occupy the property as borrower’s principal residence for at least one year after the date of occupancy.”


Neil Gaiman: ‘Terry Pratchett isn’t jolly. He’s angry’

by Neil Gaiman

I want to tell you about my friend Terry Pratchett, and it’s not easy. I’m going to tell you something you may not know. Some people have encountered an affable man with a beard and a hat. They believe they have met Sir Terry Pratchett. They have not.

Science fiction conventions often give you someone to look after you, to make sure you get from place to place without getting lost. Some years ago I ran into someone who had once been Terry’s handler at a convention in Texas. His eyes misted over at the memory of getting Terry from his panel to the book-dealers’ room and back. “What a jolly old elf Sir Terry is,” he said. And I thought, No. No, he’s not.

Back in February 1991, Terry and I were on a book signing tour for Good Omens, a book we had written together. We were in San Francisco. We had just done a stock signing in a bookshop, signing the dozen or so copies they had ordered. Terry looked at the itinerary. Next stop was a radio station: we were due to have an hour-long interview on live radio. “From the address, it’s just down the street from here,” said Terry. “And we’ve got half an hour. Let’s walk it.”

This was a long time ago, in the days before GPS systems and mobile phones and taxi-summoning apps and suchlike useful things that would have told us in moments that no, it would not be a few blocks to the radio station. It would be several miles, all uphill and mostly through a park.

much more


Guess who’s losing faith in the American Dream? Everyone.

chart, from the Brookings Institution's FixGov blog, is a pretty good barometer of the country's mood over the past two years: Americans everywhere, regardless of age, sex, education, party or ideology, are less likely to say that the American Dream - the notion that if you work hard, you'll get ahead - still holds true today.

Among all Americans, faith in the American dream dropped by 11 percentage points between 2012 and 2014. As Brookings' Bill Galston notes, members of Barack Obama's coalition have become particularly disillusioned: "The decline of belief in the American Dream is concentrated among women (down 14 percentage points since 2012), young adults (down 16 points), Democrats (17 points), and liberals (16 points)."

Republicans and conservatives, on the other hand, experienced smaller drops, and their overall belief in the American dream remains significantly more robust: 55 percent of Republicans believe in the American Dream today, compared to only 33 percent of Democrats.

Galston concludes that the era of hope and change may now be officially over. "The rhetoric of hope that worked so well in 2008 would be ineffective now," he writes. "In these circumstances, I suspect, citizens will be looking for leaders who offer concrete, credible plans for a better future—and who have what it takes to get the job done."


Long Lines at Minority Polling Places

Some of the longest lines on Election Day occur at polling places in black and Hispanic neighborhoods. A new report says that’s not a coincidence.

In the three states with the longest lines in 2012, precincts in minority neighborhoods were systematically deprived of the resources they needed to make voting operate smoothly — specifically, voting machines and poll workers, according to the report by the Brennan Center for Justice. The report’s data show the growing need for federal supervision of voting rights, though ensuring supervision is harder than ever since the Supreme Court removed the teeth from the Voting Rights Act of 1965 last year.

The report looked at Maryland, South Carolina and Florida, where many voters waited for hours to cast a vote in the 2012 presidential election. In all three, minority precincts were more likely to have had long lines. In South Carolina, the 10 precincts with the longest waits had more than twice the percentage of black registered voters, on average, than the rest of the state.

There was a clear relationship in those states between the racial makeup of a precinct and the number of voting machines it received from the state or county. In Maryland, the 10 precincts with the lowest number of machines per voter had more than twice the average percentage of Hispanic voters. In South Carolina, the law requires one voting machine per 250 voters, but that requirement is routinely violated in minority areas. Richland County, which is about half black, had a precinct with 432 voters per machine, which contributed to extensive delays.


REPORT: Mitt Romney Is Definitely Looking At 2016

Two-time presidential contender Mitt Romney is apparently looking seriously at making a third White House bid in 2016.

Romney, who has repeatedly insisted he will not run, has kept his inner circle intact and regularly discusses national politics with them, according to a Washington Examiner column by Byron York published Wednesday night.

The article stressed the possibility of Romney ultimately declining to run, but sources around him reportedly have the strong sense that Romney is keeping the door open. What's more, that same inner circle really wants him to run again.

"Virtually the entire advisory group that surrounded Mitt in 2012 are eager for him to run, almost to a man and a woman," one "plugged-in member of Romneyland" told the Examiner.


Oh Please, Please, Please do so, mittens!

Pope sacks Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting abuser priest

Source: Todayonline

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has dismissed a conservative Paraguayan bishop who was accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people in the United States, the Vatican said on Thursday.

The Argentinian-born pontiff has vowed zero tolerance against Roman Catholic clerics who sexually abuse minors after a series of scandals hit the Church in a number of countries around the world over many years. Last May, Francis called such abuse an "ugly crime" and likened it to "a Satanic mass".

A statement said the pope had removed Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano from his post as head of the diocese of Ciudad del Este and named another bishop to run it as an administrator for the time being.

The pope's sacking of the bishop came after a Vatican investigation of the bishop, the diocese and its seminaries, said the statement, which gave no details.

Read more: http://www.todayonline.com/world/pope-sacks-paraguayan-bishop-accused-protecting-abuser-priest

Thursday TOON Roundup 2- The Rest







Thursday Toon Roundup 1- The Eternal War

Tom the Dancing Bug TOON: Unemployment-It's Not a Bug, It's a Feature!

Time lapse of storm cloud waves

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