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“The candidates for Senate in West Virginia met tonight for their one and only debate — if it can be called a debate. For the most part, the four candidates seemed to use the night as an opportunity to present themselves for the first time to the voting audience. Republican businessman John Raese pitched himself as a man of the right; Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin put himself forward as a man of the commonsense middle; Mountain Party candidate Jesse Johnson, the candidate of the state’s Green Party affiliate, was a man of the left; and Constitution Party candidate Jeff Becker was a man of the loony bin.”
“There are a lot of subterranean efforts afoot around the country right now to suppress the vote of various racial minorities. But a group styling itself Latinos for Reform is taken a more straightforward approach: they are running ads in Nevada asking Latino voters simply not to vote. (Video is on the link)”
“The Republican National Lawyers Association, the GOP-affiliated group which has focused on the issue of voter fraud and is offering election training around the country, received a large influx in donations in the third quarter of 2010 — mostly from two contributors.
The RNLA took in $150,000 from Richard DeVos — the Amway co-founder and Orlando Magics owner who Forbes named the 176th richest person in the world — in September and $50,000 from Paul E. Singer in July.”
“Few serious observers of American politics would claim that corporate interests are underrepresented in the halls of Congress. After all, over the past two years alone, corporate special interests have spent hundreds of millions of dollars weakening health care legislation, undermining financial reform, stalling a climate change bill, and eviscerating the expansion of workers’ rights. Many of these same corporate interests are continuing to spend millions during the run up to the election, often hiding their donations behind front groups with innocuous sounding names like Americans For Job Security.
One candidate for federal office is taking the battle against these big corporate interests into his own hands. Surya Yalamanchili — a former Apprentice contestant who, as ThinkProgress previously noted, faced attacks during his primary that someone with his name can’t win — is the Democratic nominee for Congress to take on Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) in Ohio’s 2nd district. Yalamanchili is running his campaign without taking a dime from Political Action Committees (PACs), which are “organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates,” and are often vehicles for corporate special interests. “
“Speaking at an event last week in Orange County, CA, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) said he expected big gains for his party at this year’s election, but said he worried that Republicans would squander the victory, as they had in the past, by nominating a slew of “bad candidates” and having a lackluster commitment to conservative principles:
The American people are about to give Republicans a second chance that we know we don’t deserve, that we haven’t earned. … The American people have every right, and every reason, to blame a Republican president and a Republican Congress for the mess that confronted the Obama administration on January 20, 2009 — let us be honest be about this.”
“One of the GOP’s primary targets this campaign season is the health care reform law. Never short on hyperbole, Republicans have drummed up blood oaths, “death panel” revivals, and a “repeal and replace” pledge all to ensure their base that “Obamacare” will wither away under their watch.
But, in an electoral debate for Ohio’s 15th district House seat Friday, GOP nominee and former business lobbyist Steve Stivers surprised many by going off the GOP script. After agreeing with President Obama’s Iraq and Afghanistan policy and admitting lenders and Wall Street “did bad things,” Stivers rebuffed “the strategy of Republican leaders” and said the health care law “needs to be fixed not repealed”.
“Over the weekend, the Washington Post provided some more details about the ongoing foreclosure fraud scandal, noting that “virtually everyone involved – loan servicers, law firms, document processing companies and others – made more money as they evicted more borrowers from their homes, creating a system that was vulnerable to error and difficult for homeowners to challenge.” A bevy of Democratic lawmakers have called for examinations of the banks’ potentially fraudulent activities, while the Attorneys General of all fifty states have pledged a coordinated investigation.
Republicans, however, have been largely silent on the issue. And according to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who is slated to take over the House Committee on Government and Oversight should the Republicans gain a majority, the GOP is not really interested in the banks’ malpractice. Instead, Issa wants to “launch aggressive inquiries” into whether the government helped poor people buy houses they couldn’t afford.”
“Private security guards hired by Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller handcuffed a progressive blogger and claimed that the blogger was “under arrest” after the blogger asked Miller a question about why he was disciplined in a previous job:
The editor of the Alaska Dispatch website was arrested by U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller’s private security guards Sunday as the editor attempted to interview Miller at the end of a public event in an Anchorage school.
Tony Hopfinger was handcuffed by the guards and detained in a hallway at Central Middle School until Anchorage police came and told the guards to release Hopfinger. […]
One of the guards grabbed Hopfinger’s video camera. Later, Hopfinger said that when he got the camera back, the segment covering the span of the arrest was missing. “
“Labor unions again called for widespread work stoppages on Tuesday, ahead of Wednesday’s parliamentary vote on the country’s pension system.”
“The gay community is relatively more free these days, but lesbians face different challenges than gay men. Like women in general, they are less likely to be independent and have greater pressure to marry.”
“According to an extensive 18-month study published by researchers at the University of New Mexico this week, Americans, despite their embarrassing behavior, general ineptitude, and countless other negative traits, are actually kind of endearing in some ways.
“Our initial data showed that Americans are impulsive and tend toward willful ignorance—findings that are consistent with past research,” said Professor Spencer Dixon, who led the study on U.S. culture and society. “But what we were surprised and, honestly, a little delighted to find is that Americans’ short attention spans, simplemindedness, and inability to articulate a coherent idea can actually make them pretty lovable.”
“It’s hard to describe,” Dixon continued. “It’s just all these little quirks they have. And after a month or two of observation, they kind of start to grow on you.””
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