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National » US-Cong. Generic Ballot

Welcome To The Neighborhood? A Look At The Area Around The ‘Ground Zero Mosque’

“Ahhh, Sacred Ground:Welcome to the New York Dolls strip club, about a block from the proposed site of the Cordoba House Islamic cultural center [TPM Slide Show].”

REPORT: Partisan Spending On Judicial Elections Soars

“Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that a West Virginia State Supreme Court judge should have recused himself from a case involving Massey Energy because of an “extreme” conflict of interest. Massey CEO Don Blankenship had spent $3 million to get the judge elected, even running ads accusing the lawyer’s opponent of voting to free an incarcerated child rapist and of allowing that rapist to work in a public school.

An exhaustive study released today, however, shows that big-money influence in judicial elections is hardly limited to that case. A trio of nonpartisan policy groups — the Justice at Stake Campaign, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, and the National Institute of Money in State Politics — found that spending on state Supreme Court races has more than doubled in the past 10 years. From 2000 through 2009, $207 million dollars were spent on judicial races, with much of the money coming from partisan special interest groups.”

Kevin Jennings speaks out about weathering anti-gay, right-wing attacks.

“Last year, the right wing took aim at Kevin Jennings, President Obama’s assistant deputy secretary at the Department of Education for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, smearing him with extreme anti-gay attacks and even death threats. This month, Jennings spoke to a group of progressive interns and explained why he stood firm and refused to succumb to the calls for his resignation:

“As the leading proponent of stopping bullying in America, I was not allowed to be bullied out of my job,” said Jennings, founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. “I’ve been preaching for 25 years that bullying is not OK. There was no way I could then say, ‘OK, you can bully me.’””

Conservative Base Erupts At Tancredo For Jeopardizing GOP Chances With His Third-Party Candidacy

“Last week, businessman and tea party hero Dan Maes defeated former congressman Scott McInnis to secure the GOP nomination for governor in Colorado. Both candidates stumbled to the primary under the weight of scandal. Maes’ razor-thin victory finally offered the GOP a chance to unite behind the GOP nominee against Denver Mayor and Democratic nominee John Hickenlooper.

However, during his victory celebration, Maes pointed out the “800-pound gorilla in the room” preventing conservative unity: former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO). Tancredo, who is now running a third-party candidacy under the umbrella of the American Constitution Party, abandoned the GOP in July after both McInnis and Maes failed to heed his demand that they drop out of the race. Deeming them “unelectable,” Tancredo believes he has “a better resume” as a committed conservative. “

Senate Majority Leader Reid opposes Obama on mosque project: ‘Should be built someplace else.’

“Staking an unpopular political position, President Obama voiced his support Friday night for the right of American Muslims to build “a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan.” The Miami Herald reported today that Democratic candidates in Florida failed to exhibit the same courage. “Common sense and respect for those who lost their lives and loved ones gives sensible reason to build the mosque someplace else,” argued Senate candidate Jeff Greene. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink said 9/11 families “are opposed to this project and I share their view.” Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has joined the ranks of these weak-willed Democrats. Greg Sargent reports:

The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. Senator Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built some place else.”

Appeals court blocks gay marriages until December

“Gay couples looking to get married in California will have to wait longer. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals on Monday extended until at least December a lower court stay that had been set to expire Wednesday.”

Study: BP oil spill has taken heavy toll on Gulf mental health

“About 30 percent of Gulf Coast residents are suffering with mental-health issues in the aftermath of the BP oil spill, according to a study by the nonprofit Ochsner Health System in Louisiana. The finding was based on a survey taken among 406 people in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.”

Prius drivers to lose a perk in California: HOV lane privileges

“For years, drivers of Toyota’s hybrid Priuses have qualified for special privileges to drive alone in the highway lanes reserved for cars carrying two people or more. But that is coming to an end, as the state moves to encourage the use of all-electric vehicles.”

Death and Joblessness

“He hit “publish” on the last Wednesday in July, in the middle of a long afternoon. “I also have become homeless and am on the verge of suicide. I slept out in the wood last night and didn’t gett very much sleep. I hate to bring you people down with my problems but I thought you would like to know this. I don’t know what else to say except I’m very sorry it turned out like this but I can take the strain of living like this very much longer.” (All posts are reproduced as published.)

The post went up as part of a conversation about homelessness on Unemployed-Friends, a popular online forum for the unemployed to connect with one another. Most were discussing how to live in homeless shelters after eviction or foreclosure. But his post went further. “This is killing me physically and emotoinally. I am at the end of my rope and getting to the point of letting go. I have tried everything I know to get help. DHS won’t help’ Salvation Army won’t help. 211 won’t help. I have no idea as to where to go from here. If you don’t hear from me by tomorrow I probably will be dead.”

Is the FEC Out in Front of the Courts in Campaign Finance Deregulation?

“Political groups like Club for Growth and Commonsense Ten have won advisory opinions from the FEC allowing them to set up independent expenditure groups that will be allowed to receive unlimited donations from corporations — but was the FEC even authorized to let them do so? That’s the question that Paul Ryan, Associate Legal Counsel at The Campaign Legal Center, asks on the American Constitution Society blog, and the answer is far from clear.”

World Bank Approves $900 Million for Pakistan

“The United Nations warned that aid to assist flood-hit Pakistan was not coming into the country fast enough, despite a $900 million pledge from the World Bank.”

San Cristóbal De Rapaz Journal: High in the Andes, Guardians of an Inca Mystery

“A town in the Andes has one of the last known collections of khipus — weavings that may explain how the Incas ruled without a written language — still in ritual use.”

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