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Member since: Thu Dec 23, 2004, 11:30 AM
Number of posts: 4,505

Journal Archives

ALEC Exodus Continues As Four More Companies Leave Lobby


Four more corporations have cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a secretive corporate lobbying group. Raytheon, Sempra Energy, Southern California Edison, and Illinois Tool Works all recently told Walden Asset Management that they no longer fund or have any involvement with ALEC.

Raytheon previously contributed to ALEC’s Arizona scholarship fund, which helps pay politicians’ travel and lodging expenses to ALEC’s out-of-state conferences. Sempra Energy, another ALEC funder, acknowledged a letter to Walden that it is “well aware of the controversy concerning ALEC.” Both Southern California Edison and Illinois Tool Works noted that they have not had any recent involvement in ALEC and have stopped funding the organization.

The companies are the latest to join an exodus from ALEC that began after disclosures in 2011 that the group is secretly pushing “model” legislation across the country dealing with voting rights, guns, workers’ rights, environmental protection, and healthcare. To date, more than 90 corporations have decided to leave the controversial organization, including Coca-Cola, Kraft, General Electric, Wal-Mart, General Motors, and Microsoft.

Read more: http://www.commoncause.org/democracy-wire/alec-exodus-continues.html

ACLU to request another hearing on voter ID law

Source: TMJ4 News (AP)

By The Associated Press. CREATED 3:13 PM - UPDATED: 3:16 PM

UPDATE 3:16 p.m. -- TODAY'S TMJ4's Steve Chamraz has confirmed that the ACLU will file a motion today for an "en banc" hearing of the voter ID case.

If their motion is accepted, the case will be heard before the full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, instead of a three-member panel.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Thousands of Wisconsin voters who requested absentee ballots will have to present copies of their photo identification to have those ballots counted.
A federal appeals court on Friday reinstated the photo ID requirement, after more than 11,800 voters requested absentee ballots.

They did not have to present copies of their photo IDs to get those ballots, and state elections chief Kevin Kennedy said Tuesday that hundreds of completed ballots have already been returned to election clerks.

Kennedy says clerks will be contacting all those voters to tell them they need to show proof of photo ID to have their ballots counted.

Read more: http://www.jrn.com/tmj4/news/ACLU-to-request-another-hearing-on-voter-ID-law-275338521.html

Wisconsin is in a state of meltdown right now d/t a new Voter ID law that went into effect.

Michigan mother’s home being foreclosed upon after just one missed property tax payment

Source: Fox17

MICHIGAN (WITI) — A Michigan mother missed one property tax payment — and now, she’s losing her home.

FOX6’s sister station, FOX17 in West Michigan reports Deborah Calley’s struggles began with a devastating car accident.

It happened in 2008, and it left Calley with injuries to her arms, wrists and neck, along with bruises on her brain. She was told the recovery process could take several years, and for awhile, she had trouble doing simple things for herself — like driving and getting dressed in the morning.

In 2010, Calley found a home that would make it possible to raise her two children.

Now, the home Calley calls her “dream home” has been foreclosed upon, after Calley missed a single property tax payment.

“When I paid the taxes in 2012, no one said, ‘oh, well you still owe money for 2011,’ so, I didn’t really have a clue. I thought I was right on time,” Calley said.

FOX17 reports Calley admits confusion and memory problems following the accident may have played a role in the missed payment.

Read more: http://fox6now.com/2014/09/15/michigan-mothers-home-being-foreclosed-upon-after-just-one-missed-property-tax-payment/


Paycheck Fairness Act Blocked Again By Senate GOP


Senate Republicans on Monday blocked for the fourth time a bill that would strengthen federal equal pay laws for women.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would ban employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with each other, impose harsher penalties for pay discrimination and require employers to be able to show that wage gaps between men and women are based on factors other than gender.

The bill needed 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster and advance to a final vote on passage, but it fell short Monday by a vote of 52 to 40. Senate Democrats have brought the bill to the floor four times since 2011, and each time Republicans have rejected it.

"The wage gap not only hurts our families, it hurts the economy," Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said before the vote. "If it were reversed, I'd be standing here fighting for the men. It's not right."

Republicans say they oppose the bill because they believe it would discourage employers from hiring women, out of a fear of lawsuits. The GOP has accused Democrats of staging a "show vote" on the bill in an election year, knowing it won't pass.

"At a time when the Obama economy is already hurting women so much, this legislation would double down on job loss, all while lining the pockets of trial lawyers," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said before the last vote on the bill in April. "In other words, it's just another Democratic idea that threatens to hurt the very people that it claims to help."

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/15/paycheck-fairness-act_n_5825644.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

The New York Times Just Issued the Best Correction You'll Read All Week


On Tuesday, the New York Times ran the following correction on a story about Dick Cheney telling House Republicans to "embrace a strong military and reject a rising isolationism in his party":

Correction: September 9, 2014

An earlier version of a summary with this article misstated the former title of Dick Cheney. He was vice president, not president.

New Particle Detector Could Reveal Universe's Missing Antimatter


A new ultra-precise particle detector is being developed to investigate the bizarre properties and behaviors of tiny elementary particles that seem to defy the laws of traditional physics.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded $1.2 million to a team of physicists from Indiana University's Center for Exploration of Energy and Matter to build the new particle detector.

The data collected by the new and improved detector, called Belle II, could advance "New Physics," or physics beyond the Standard Model.

The Standard Model is thought to be the golden rule of particle physics. It describes particle behavior and correctly predicted the existence of other particles like the Higgs boson. But even though it is well-backed by experimental data, the Standard Model fails to explain many other mysteries in physics, such as the existence of theoretical dark matter, which makes up about 27 percent of the matter in the universe, yet does not emit light or energy and cannot be directly observed.

In particular, physicists think the Belle II detector could reveal more about the uneven distribution of matter and antimatter in the universe. Antimatter is made of particles with opposite charges of the particles that make up normal matter.

Hello SUSY particles!



It’s virtually impossible for laymen to follow the checkers game of ins and outs of the John Doe probe. Many lawyers have that same problem, and so obviously do journalists who fall back on preconceptions while much of what they do is flat guesswork.

But one likely interpretation has been endorsed off the record by a number of legal experts familiar with the case, not discussed in the media but a hot discussion in legal circles.

It could very well be that the high-priced lawyers for the Wisconsin Club for Growth were just sucked in to major tactical error by the US 7th District Court of Appeals, which encouraged an oops ruling reversal by US District Judge Rudolph T. Randa that now allows a broader investigation to proceed...

...To oversimplify the sequence of events, the various rulings of Randa, whose decisions have strayed further to the right over the last decade, may have actually opened a broader geographic door previously denied the states’ district attorneys who brought the second John Doe probe. Previous, they were limited by the rules to only investigate campaign finance abuse within specific counties applying to specific residents.

Former Republican Congressman Tells Obama: Get Out Of Office Or Face ‘Armed Rebellion’ (Video)


The word “treason” gets thrown around a lot these days, but in this case the shoe absolutely fits.

Tom Tancredo, a former Colorado Congressman and recent Gubernatorial primary loser, has become increasingly vocal about the idea that if Obama isn’t impeached, or better yet, steps down willingly, there will be an armed rebellion in the United States which forces him to do so. Concern-troll Tancredo doesn’t want to see violence, so he is kindly asking the president to consider taking the first option. In other words: blackmailing the freely elected President of the United States by threatening violence against him and his administration. In other-other words: treason.

Right Wing Watch captured Tancredo’s latest rant against Obama, whom he believes is a tyrant because of things like Obamacare and immigration reform. The former politician told Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association that it is imperative that the Republican party go through with impeaching Obama because it’s the only way to get rid of him “short of armed rebellion that everybody constantly – you know, a lot of people, I guess I should say, think to themselves is either coming or a potential – and God knows that’s not something we want to see.”...

...Tancredo writes:

“We are being asked to look away and pretend the Constitution is now being shredded… We must make the case for impeachment to demonstrate that no man is above the law, not even the first black president,” Tancredo wrote. “If we do not make that case, we are betraying the Constitution and degrading our children’s inheritance… Are we really that afraid to challenge presumptuous dictatorial behavior? If so, then the war is already lost and we should all stock our ammunition shelves and join a militia.”

Man tied to deadly 2012 U.S. meningitis outbreak arrested


(Reuters) - U.S. officials on Thursday arrested a pharmacist linked to a 2012 outbreak of meningitis, which killed 64 people across the United States, as he was boarding a flight out of the country, Justice Department officials in Boston said.

Glenn Adam Chin, 46, had been a supervising pharmacist at the former New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Massachusetts, which produced the tainted steroids that sickened 700 people in 20 states in the worst outbreak of fungal meningitis recorded in the United States, officials said.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Boston is continuing its criminal probe into the matter, but arrested Chin because of his plans to board a plane to Hong Kong at Boston Logan International Airport, officials said.

He is the first person to face criminal charges related to the incident, which pushed NECC into bankruptcy and led to stricter national regulation of custom medication makers.

If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Authorities accused Chin of instructing pharmacy technicians to mislabel medication to indicate it was properly sterilized and tested. Medications compounded by NECC were prepared, filled and held under unsanitary conditions, according to an affidavit from Food and Drug Administration Special Agent Benedict Celso.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/04/us-usa-health-meningitis-idUSKBN0GZ1TW20140904

GOP’s Senate hopes energized by Koch network ad blitz


Six nonprofits backed by conservative billionaire brothers have aired more than 43,900 TV spots

The secretive political network of conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch has aired more than 43,900 television ads this election cycle in an attempt to help Republicans take control of the Senate in the upcoming November election.

That amounts to nearly one out of every 10 TV ads in the 2014 battle for the Senate according to a new Center for Public Integrity analysis of data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG, an advertising tracking service, covering spending from Jan. 1, 2013, through Aug. 31, 2014.

The total includes the six most active nonprofit groups in the Koch brothers’ coalition: Americans for Prosperity, the American Energy Alliance, Concerned Veterans for America, the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Generation Opportunity and the 60 Plus Association.

Their prominence has led to denunciations by Democrats, and praise from Republicans, as they’ve bombarded incumbent lawmakers with negative ads and exulted conservative challengers. No other right-leaning coalition has been as active.

Even the two main big-money committees co-founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove — American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS — have only aired about half as many ads to date as these six Koch-connected groups.

In all, Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers’ flagship political operation, alone has aired more than 27,000 ads in a combined nine battleground states — accounting for about one out of every 16 ads across all Senate races, according to Kantar Media/CMAG.

Koch-connected groups reportedly intend to spend $290 million to help Republicans make gains in Congress this November. Thus far, Kantar Media/CMAG spending estimates indicate the groups have invested at least $14.5 million. This amount is undeniably a conservative estimate, as it includes only TV ad buys — not production costs or expenditures related to radio ads, online ads, direct mail, canvassers or other activities.
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