By Charles Babington
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A suspenseful election night is one thing, but what if it stretches for a month? Or into next year?
A handful of tight races in some states make for the possibility that Election Day will come and go without deciding which party controls the Senate.
If that happens, brace for a fierce runoff election and possible recounts that could make for an ugly holiday season in politics and government.
The main reason for uncertainty: Louisiana’s election laws allow for a “jungle primary” in which all candidates, regardless of party, run in November.
Strategists in both parties say a Dec. 6 runoff is likely because Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and top Republican challenger Bill Cassidy will struggle to exceed 50 percent on the crowded Nov. 4 ballot.
By Ruth Marcus
Washington Post Writers Group
Is the country condemned to another two years, at least, of gridlock?
The world-weary take on the midterm elections is an indifferent shrug. Whether Democrats control the Senate or Republicans, nothing will be accomplished anyway, this apathetic argument goes.
The Republican House will be unchastened. The Senate rules will continue to constrict, under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or Majority Leader Harry Reid. President Obama has essentially given up on legislation; the remaining bricks in his legacy will involve executive action and foreign policy.Perhaps. Surely the era of even attempting the grand budget bargain is over. Legislative success is measured by the absence of complete irrationality — breaching the debt ceiling, hurtling over the fiscal cliff.And yet, maybe there are some pathways for more modest progress. Certainly, the appetite remains among lawmakers in both parties who increasingly wonder about the point of it all. No one takes pride in holding the 53rd vote to repeal Obamacare.
ederal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has made it clear he thinks there isn’t enough broadband competition in America, but Comcast is trying to convince the FCC that it faces enough competition right now. Already the largest pay-TV and broadband company in the US, Comcast is seeking permission to buy Time Warner Cable.
Comcast and Time Warner Cable don’t compete for customers in any city or town, despite being the nation’s two largest cable companies, which helps explain why US residents have so few viable options for cable and high-speed Internet service. But in response to merger-related questions from the FCC, a Comcast filing points to a broad range of competitors and says it’s easy to switch to a different provider (though a horde of angry customers might disagree).
Comcast said it faces competition from municipal broadband networks, though the telecom industry has pushed state governments to pass laws that restrict municipal broadband growth. Wheeler has said he will try to preempt those state laws, saying they prevent competition.
Google plans to sever its relationship with the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council following a wave of public scrutiny about the conservative group’s climate-change views.
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt indicated in an interview Monday with NPR’s Diane Rehm that Google would drop its ALEC membership “in the future,” but did not specify a date.
“We funded them as part of a political [campaign] of something unrelated,” Schmidt said in response to a caller asking if Google “is still supporting” the influential conservative organization. “I think the consensus within the company was that that was some sort of mistake, and so we’re trying to not do that in the future.”
Rehm then asked Schmidt why Google first involved itself with ALEC.
Nothing in the letters reveals an especially deep ideological imprint. The Free Beacon’s write-up hypes the connection, but fails to mention the closing line of Clinton’s letter — “Hopefully we can have a good argument sometime in the future.” This line captures the mutual respect mixed with acknowledged disagreement that seems to characterize the relationship.
These letters were written more than 40 years ago but that won’t matter one bit to right wing media. Mainstream media will go along for the ride because “balance” or some such nonsense.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is joining a coalition of philanthropists pledging to rid themselves of more than $50 bn (£31 bn) in fossil fuel assets.
The announcement will be made on Monday, a day before the UN climate change summit opens on Tuesday.
Some 650 individuals and 180 institutions have joined the coalition.
It is part of a growing global initiative called Global Divest-Invest, which began on university campuses several years ago, the New York Times reports.
Pledges from pension funds, religious groups and big universities have reportedly doubled since the start of 2014.
A bad year for nuclear power producers has Belgians and Britons shivering more vigorously as summer heat fades into fall. Multiple reactor shutdowns in both countries have heightened concern about the security of power supplies when demand spikes this winter.
In Belgium, rolling blackouts are already part of this winter’s forecast because three of the country’s largest reactors—reactors that normally provide one-quarter of Belgian electricity—are shut down.
Belgium’s troubles started brewing two years ago during inspections at the country’s seven nuclear reactors, all operated by Belgian utility Electrabel. Ultrasound inspection of the reactor pressure vessels at the utility’s Doel power station near Antwerp revealed previously unrecognized defects at its 1,000-megawatt reactor #3.
Fox News Finally Loses It: Uses ‘Success’ of Japanese Internment Camps to Advocate Profiling Muslims (Video)
So Fox’s business analysis program Cashin’ In with Eric Bolling decided to discuss if Muslims should be profiled. What the fuck this has to do with “business analysis”, I’m not sure. Anyway guess how they came down on the issue?
Co-panelist Jonathan Hoenig agreed that we should profile Muslims in America, elaborating even further by saying:
We should have been profiling on September 12, 2001. Let’s take a trip down memory lane here: The last war this country won, we put Japanese-Americans in internment camps, we dropped nuclear bombs on residential city centers. So, yes, profiling would be at least a good start
Hoenig is the guy who, you might remember, in the wake of Mike Brown’s shooting and the protests in Ferguson, said only racists talk about race. And now this supposed “libertarian” wants the government to start throwing people in interment camps. Because when he says “libertarian” he really means “greedy asshole”.
Siddhartha? Yes, these savages have actually banned Hesse’s 1922 classic.
Highland Park High School students were told to put down their books last week.
The Art of Racing in the Rain — the book they were reading in a 10th-grade English class — was suspended from the school district’s approved book list. The novel about a race car driver grieving the loss of his wife includes a sex scene that made some parents uncomfortable.
It was among seven books suspended last week after parents challenged their content because of sex scenes and references to rape, abuse and abortion. In emails and at meetings, parents said high school students should not be exposed to some of the hardships and controversies of adulthood.
This later paragraph is especially telling:
Thad Smith, a parent and Highland Park graduate, said at a school board meeting that he was “frightened by the changes to recommended reading that have happened since I graduated.” Smith said his company’s email filter prevented him from sending an excerpt from one of the books.
Smith is quite wrong. When I was in high school (ca. mid 60s) we read such works as Tea and Sympathy (which involves much explicit language and the seduction of a student by a teacher’s wife) and, of course, Catcher in the Rye, the adolescent classic that likewise includes many sexual references and a lot of realistic (ie very raw) language. It was all part of the process of introducing young people to the adult world, in sometimes raw but carefully measured doses. Everyone but the most ignorant understood this and the ignorant knew to hide their ignorance in shame. Standards have become much less, not more, permissive since every ignoramus with an axe to grind can access suitable talking points on the net and a talking head or radio mouth to assure them that their ignorance is not ignorance at all.
More: Highland Park ISD Suspends Seven Books After Parents Protest Their Content