And now, Goats on Things.
Black-robed Islamic extremists armed with AK-47 automatic rifles invaded Gao in wooden boats Sunday to launch a surprise attack on the most populous city in northern Mali, two weeks after French and Malian troops ousted the jihadists.
Gunfire echoed for hours across the city of mud-walled buildings. The combat started at about 2 p.m. in downtown Gao and the fighting was continuing as night fell. Later the sound of gunfire was replaced by the clattering of French military helicopters overhead.
The attack in Gao shows the Islamic fighters, many of them well-armed and with combat experience, are determined and daring and it foreshadows a protracted campaign by France and other nations to restore government control in this vast Saharan nation in northwest Africa.
The Islamic radicals fought against the Malian army throughout the afternoon and were seen roaming the narrow streets blanketed in sand and on rooftops in the center of Gao, which had a population of 90,000 before the conflict caused thousands to flee.
It may be an American’s right to vote on Election Day, but that right was hampered in last November’s elections by excessively long waits, a limited number of voting machines, a lack of Spanish-speaking translators and — in one case — an “intimidating” police presence at the polls.
Those were just a few of the stories that people told legislative members of both the House Voter and Election Committee and the Senate Rules Committee on Saturday morning. The special session was dedicated to hearing testimony on unexpected and unpleasant challenges facing New Mexico voters in last November’s general election.
“There’s no such thing as a perfect election, but it’s always troubling to hear of issues on Election Day,” said Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who has served as county clerk for Bernalillo County since 2007. She was one of about 20 people offering first-hand testimony — and also the only county clerk to show up for the event.
Others — many of whom spoke Spanish during the hearing — told first-hand stories of waiting at least three hours in lengthy lines and finding very little guidance in the way of signage or Spanish-language documents. Many said that officials and volunteers manning polling sites asked them for photo identification documents despite the fact that they had their voter registration card on them.
Bilingual access to all state services is in the New Mexico Constitution.
Voter turn-out activists, take note of this testimony:
Uribe garnered a rare laugh during the relatively somber proceedings when he said one way to lure older voters to the polls is to offer them a ride in a limousine. “It’s cheaper to rent a 15-seat limo for five hours than to get a 15-seat van for the day,” he said. “You offer them a ride to the polls in a van and they say ‘no.’ You take a 15-seat limo, they all jump in.”
Read the whole article here: Joint Panel Hears About Election Day Challenges - the Santa Fe New Mexican
See another article about the hearings here: Ugly Showdown in Chaparral, New Mexico, on Election Day.
Wind energy was the single largest source of new electricity generation capacity in the US during 2012, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). With 13,124 MW of new infrastructure, wind accounted for 42 percent of all new capacity, from renewable sources or otherwise, according to a press release put out by the organization.
The new growth takes America’s total installed wind capacity to 60,007 MW. This is sufficient, by AWEA’s estimation, to meet the electricity needs of 15 million homes. The US remains second to China, which had 62,000 MW of installed wind power at the close of 2011.
Opponents of paid sick leave, like opponents of raising the minimum wage, tend to keep their arguments data-free, sticking to vague claims of how bad it would be for small business, no evidence offered. But every now and then they decide to try to make their arguments look factual. Look being the key word. That’s the story with the latest from one of Rick Berman’s many front groups, the Employment Policies Institute, a laughably weak (PDF) “pilot study of businesses’ responses” to Connecticut’s paid sick leave law that completely ignores the actual facts of what’s happened in Connecticut’s economy since the law was passed.
The Berman EPI, which just happens to share its initials with the Economic Policy Institute, a reputable and widely cited progressive think tank, would like the takeaway from its pilot study to be that, because of Connecticut’s paid sick leave law, businesses are raising prices, laying off workers, and curtailing hiring or expansion in the state. The real takeaway, of course, is that even when they try to make themselves look like they care about facts, anti-worker astroturf organizations can’t do any better than a weak truthiness. Take the methodology here. Evil-EPI sent a survey to “roughly 800” of the businesses “most likely to be impacted by the law.” The response rate was below 20 percent, so basically, we’re talking about the most pissed off fraction of the small fraction of business owners identified as probably caring about this law. And, predictably, they see dire, dire consequences for paid sick leave.
The reality? Employment in the two industry sectors most likely to be affected by the sick leave law rose in Connecticut in 2012. Just as, following the passage of a paid sick leave law in San Francisco (PDF), that city did better than the surrounding counties on several employment measures.
Another reality is this: In March, 2011, the owner of the U.S.S. Chowder Pot restaurants testified before the state legislature that if paid sick leave became law, “I would be forced to close both restaurants resulting in a loss of approximately 240 full time and part time jobs.” Today, both restaurants are hiring. Similarly, one of the partners in The Hartford Restaurant Group, hitting the small business angle hard despite his company owning eight restaurants, said paid sick leave was “unreasonable and not practical, and most likely would stunt any growth opportunities.” You know, growth like opening another restaurant and buying a large building for storage and corporate offices, which The Hartford Restaurant Group has done.
These restaurants (U.S.S. Chowder Pot and Hartford Restaurant Group) should be sued into oblivion for requiring SICK employees to HANDLE FOOD and INFECT CUSTOMERS.
A Loomis man without coverage says first responders forced him to the hospital after his motorcycle crash. Now he faces more than $40,000 in bills he doesn’t feel he should have to pay.
It was a cool summer’s day in August when Terry Barth was out riding his Harley in Plumas County. The winding country road in front of him took an unexpected turn. Thrown off his bike, Terry was roughed up and hit his head. When the paramedics arrived, he says he declined treatment.
“I said i told you i can’t go, I don’t have insurance,” he recalls.
Against his wishes, he says they loaded him up anyway.
“And I was still yelling the words in the ambulance, I can’t go. I told you I can’t go.”
Rushed to a hospital in Quincy against his will, doctors then loaded Terry into an air ambulance to Enloe Medical Center in Chico which was the closest trauma center. Terry learned he suffered a concussion and a broken bone around his eye. Against doctor’s orders, he walked out of the hospital and went home only to get slapped with bills totalling more than $40,000 for the care he says he never wanted.
This is the point that we’ve gotten to. People are afraid, after any accident, not of how it’s going to affect them physically, but that it’s going to bankrupt them, mean their kid can’t go to a good college. My wife has insurance and we’re dealing with the costs from her hospital visit because of the enormous red tape which the private insurers have no incentive whatsoever to help us through. The health care system in this country needs work, but the health insurance system in this country is broken.
The ACA was a baby step forward. In order to make real progress, the GOP has to either be reformed, or they have to be beaten in the individual states.
Yes, while some accuse John Brennan of being too enthusiastic about indiscriminate killing of Muslims, someone is now also accusing him of BEING a Muslim.
From Josh Marshall at TPM:
The claim originates with longtime TPM favorite, ex-FBI agent and anti-Islam activist John Guandolo. Guandolo left the FBI after sleeping with a witness in the investigation of disgraced Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana. But he subsequently landed on his feet as part of the anti-Islam circuit.
Yesterday Guandolo went on Tom Trento’s radio show — a little known but prolific center of anti-Muslim and ‘defend us against the Muslim hordes’ commentary — to make his claim.
“Mr. Brennan did convert to Islam when he served in an official capacity on the behalf of the United States in Saudi Arabia,” Guandolo told interviewer and radio host Tom Trento.
“That fact alone is not what is most disturbing,” Guandolo continued. “His conversion to Islam was the culmination of a counterintelligence operation against him to recruit him. The fact that foreign intelligence service operatives recruited Mr. Brennan when he was in a very sensitive and senior U.S. government position in a foreign country means that he either a traitor … [or] he has the inability to discern and understand how to walk in those kinds of environments, which makes him completely unfit to the be the director of Central Intelligence.”
Naturally, the good folks at World Net Daily are running with this story.
Read the complete TPM story and experience the radio interview for yourself here.
Wingnut radio talk show host Mike Gallagher, during his weekly chat with Chris Wallace of Fox “News,” got off one heck of a zinger on Nancy Pelosi after Wallace told him she would be on this week’s edition of Fox News Sunday:
Previous Gallagher commentary demonstrating his enlightened attitudes on women and female politicians:
NSFW? Chris Wallace and Mike Gallagher have world’s creepiest conversation (Check out where the conversation goes at the 2:53 mark. Way to go there, Chris!).
I went down to the cat adoption place. Came back empty handed.
If you can give me some advice, 2 issues…
1. The cat I really liked, “Monkey” is a female 4 years old. She’s a grump. Smelled my hand forever but hissed when I tried to pet her back. Very cautious. The people said she would need time to adjust and is a cat who will tell you when “enough is enough”
When I first moved to California from Florida I lived with a girl with a long hair cat. I was terribly allergic.
Thinking that was 15 years ago and a long hair I hope that I’m not allergic to all cats all the time…….
2. I picked up the teenager (well, 8 month old - on his way to being a teen) I don’t want a cat that young. But he was sweet and I held him close. I feel like my cheek is breaking out in bumps.
So, I’m asking for advice. Basically I think this may be a no-go for me at the moment. Wondering if there is hope??