President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcome area students and the children of military families to the White House for trick-or-treating on Halloween. October 31, 2014.
Chevron money rains down on Richmond election
RICHMOND — With its mighty East Bay refinery under attack from environmentally minded politicians here, Chevron is pouring staggering sums of money into this blue-collar town’s local election — raising eyebrows across the nation and questions about the role global corporations should play in local politics.
Council candidates who accept matching funds in this city of 107,000 people are limited to raising $65,000 for their election campaigns. Chevron has contributed $3 million to three local political action committees, roughly $72 per registered voter. That is about seven times the amount tech billionaire Meg Whitman spent per voter on a losing 2010 governor’s race that was the most expensive nonpresidential race in U.S. history.
Corporations are people, my friend. And money is speech. So if a corporate people decides to buy City Hall and their speech is run through a mile-high stack of Marshall amps well, that’s just the way it goes.
I recall the first time I saw this over 40 years ago on the Carol Burnett show. I was working out of town and alone watching on a black and white tv.
I was blown away. I got up and paced wondering if any of my friends had seen it. I saw this wonderful thing and no one to share it with.
Nowadays you can just email a link but I got a buzz when a friend raved to me about the same performance a few months later.
Michael Beckel at the Center for Public Integrity is on the trail of mystery men and their mystery cash. It has led him to a strip mall outside Louisville.
Hunt for the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, and one finds no grassroots army, no canvassing operation, no office or headquarters at all - just a scuffed U.S. Postal Service box nestled inside a suburban shopping plaza about 10 miles from downtown Louisville…About one in every seven of TV ads in Kentucky’s Senate race - about 12,000 of the more than 79,000 ads that have aired through Monday - has been sponsored by Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, which operates as a “social welfare” nonprofit organization that, by law, is prohibited from making the influencing of elections its primary purpose.
Pardon me while I pause here for a moment because I have just laughed so hard my spleen came out my nose.
Despite having effectively no physical presence, the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition now ranks among the largest social welfare nonprofits in Kentucky - bringing in more money, according to Internal Revenue Service records, than some of Kentucky’s more high-profile nonprofits, such as the Kentucky School Boards Association and the Kentucky Derby Festival, the group behind two weeks’ worth of events surrounding the Kentucky Derby.
And, by all the available evidence, it doesn’t exist outside of a post office box.
The only remaining difference between how drug dealers do business and how we run political campaigns is that the former drive better cars. And they operate with marginally more transparency. I mean, we knew who Pablo Escobar was. But we don’t know who the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition is. Our elections are now more than yet another game rigged by big money. They have been rendered a farce. Because it is a “social welfare non-profit,” the KOC is not allowed to influence elections, except that it has run 12,000 television ads attacking Alison Lundergan Grimes, the social-welfare benefits of which remain rather vague to the untrained observer. And its front man is a guy who learned his “social-welfare” chops in Karl Rove’s ratfking operations and, later, in both of Mitch McConnell’s last two political campaigns.
WASHINGTON — A federal judge seems to think Native Americans offended by the Washington Redskins team name are properly being sued by the NFL franchise.
Judge Gerald Bruce Lee in Virginia said Friday that it would be unprecedented if he agrees to dismiss the team’s lawsuit against a group of Native Americans who filed a complaint with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The office decided to cancel some of the Redskins’ brand protections, citing federal regulations against protecting trademarks that are disparaging or offensive.
Now the team is suing the Native Americans in Virginia as part of its legal efforts to overturn the ruling.
A sad day for world efforts in Space.
#SpaceShipTwo has experienced an in-flight anomaly. Additional info and statement forthcoming.
Back in Mojave now. Ss2 had trouble with engine burn, blew up, came down in pieces near Koehn Lake.
Thoughts with all @virgingalactic & Scaled, thanks for all your messages of support. I'm flying to Mojave immediately to be with the team.
A spacecraft for Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Ltd. tourism operator crashed during a test flight in California’s Mojave Desert, and CNBC reported that one of two pilots was killed.
The second pilot was injured, according to CNBC, which cited local police. Television images today showed wreckage from Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo on the desert floor. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it was investigating.
Ground controllers lost contact with SpaceShipTwo just after 10 a.m. local time following the ship’s release from the jet that carried it aloft, an FAA spokesman, Lynn Lunsford, said in a statement. The carrier aircraft remained airborne after the incident, the FAA said.
“We will work closely with relevant authorities to determine the cause of this accident and provide updates ASAP,” Virgin Galactic said today in a message posted on its Twitter feed.
Last week, Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez told Colorado Public Radio that he believes “women ought to have the choice” of whether to use contraception, what type of contraception they want to use and, in the case of a pregnancy, whether to have an abortion. Beauprez, a former congressman, repeatedly claimed his support for choices and choosing and options, going so far as to say plainly, “I respect people’s right to choose.”
That sounds great, right? Yeah! It sounds great! You know, until you look at Beauprez’s voting record, or any number of public comments he’s made during his campaign for governor. Those votes and comments actually sound conspicuously anti-choice of any kind, which could lead someone to assume that Beauprez is now employing a special political tactic to win his election. It’s called lying.
Beauprez isn’t alone. This year, several other GOP politicians have struggled to convince key blocs of voters that they don’t oppose those voters’, say, having the ability to make their own health decisions without government interference. So, in an effort to get past this hurdle of openly opposing things voters care about and need, some Republican candidates have decided to pretend they believe exactly the opposite of what they believe.
Check out this super creepy short film about Halloween in the post apocalypse! The blog Quiet Earth describes the The Last Halloween in this way
The city is quiet; the streets, deserted. It doesn’t much feel like Halloween, and yet four young trick-or-treaters - a Ghost, a Devil, a Grim Reaper and a Witch - make their way through the night, door to door and house by house, gathering up an unlikely harvest of kindness amid the devastated wreckage of society’s collapse.
In a world where the only rule is that there are no rules anymore, it is perhaps a fitting irony that it should all come down to this… a simple choice between two starkly different options.
The Last Halloween is here at last, and the time has come to make your choice. So, what will it be? Trick? Or treat?
The Last Halloween stars Ron Basch, Emily Alatalo, Angela Besharah and Julian Richings as “Chatterbox.”
And six years into the Obama administration, no FEMA camps, no Sharia law, no gon confiscation programs or even serious gun restriction efforts. Nada. Zip. Got ‘nothin. The truth on the ground is slowly sinking in.
Now of course if you are a responsible sporting or hunting shooter you are about to see the best prices in years. After all ya got screwed by the shortages long enough.
Sturm, Ruger (RGR) of Southport, Conn., one of the most prominent gunmakers, reported a plunge in sales and profit this week that sent its stock into a tail spin on Thursday. Net sales over three months went to $98 million from $171 million a year ago.
The share price for its rival, Smith & Wesson (SWHC), also took a dive, as investors went sour on gunmakers.
My children were born in Jerusalem—to be precise, in West Jerusalem. As dual citizens, they each have an Israeli passport and an American one. In the Israeli documents, their birthplace is listed as Israel. On their U.S. passports, on the line for place of birth, “Jerusalem” appears instead of the name of a country. They applied for their passports at the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem—which, unusually enough, is not under the auspices of an embassy but reports directly to Washington. The United States does not recognize Jerusalem as being a de jure part of any country.
Occasionally, I get a chuckle out of the absurdity of this policy. But then, I think of the pride and wonder that my great-grandfather—who lived and died under the czar, in the condition called golus, exile, in Yiddish—would feel if he saw “Place of birth: Jerusalem” in his descendants’ passports. Who could possibly object to being identified as being born in Jerusalem?
Quite a few people. Next Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of Zivotofsky v. Kerry, capping an 11-year legal battle by the parents of Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky to have “Israel” rather than “Jerusalem” listed as his place of birth. A host of organizations have filed amicus curiae briefs. If the present American policy is peculiar, it doesn’t begin to match the absurdities—not to mention the recklessness—of the lawsuit and the law on which it is based.