Sunday, November 26, 2006

“By its actions, it appears that the appointed management at EPA is determined to actually reduce the sum total of human knowledge,”

A significant and alarming post from US Librarian Roger Owen Green:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is frantically dispersing its library collections to preempt Congressional intervention,according to internal emails released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Contrary to promises by EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock that all of the former library materials will be made available electronically, vast troves of unique technical reports and analyses will remain indefinitely inaccessible....

... This month, EPA closed the OPPTS Library, its only specialized library for research on health effects and properties of toxic chemicals and pesticides, without notice to either the public or affected scientists.

Here's the link to the order to destroy (“recycle”) US Office of Prevention, Pollution and Toxic Substances library materials .

Weird Animals

Inspired by the Damn Interesting website, here's a puzzle for you. How many of these creatures are imaginary?

The Amazonian Giant Centipede, Scolopendra gigantea, grows to about 35cm long, climbs onto the ceiling of big caves, hangs on by some of its back legs and catches bats to eat.

The crustacean Cymothoa exigua is a shrimp-like parasite that attaches itself to the tongue of a fish called the Spotted Rosesnapper. Once in place it drinks blood from the artery that supplied the tongue with blood. The tongue gradually withers away and the parasite takes over as its tongue for the rest of its life, supplementing its diet with food particles. It is the only known parasite to replace on of it's hosts body organs, and one has been found recently in UK waters.

The Tiger Quoll , Dasyurus maculatus, is mainland Australia's largest marsupial carnivore. When it's babies are born they are the size of grains of rice. Adults are about 4-7 kg in weight. Little is known about their biology and ecology, and they are an endangered species.

The Caddy, Cadborosaurus willsi, is a sepent-like sea creature living off the Pacific coast of North America. 5-15 metres long, sighted nore than 300 times in the last two centuries.

The Mongolian Tuba, Tööm ah. was described (in Welsh) by the explorer Realth Chalmers as "A small kid, which as far as I can tell is devoid of any limbs, save two large horns which in some stories are much sought-after by hunters.". Buzkashi is a game played across Mongolia and Central Asia, in which two opposing teams on horseback compete to move a legless goat over their rival's goal line. It is claimed that the game was originally played with tuba corpses, when tubae numbers were much higher before they were nearly wiped out by hunters. The Maastricht Hours, a fourteenth century prayer book originating from the Netherlands and now kept in the British Library, features, amongst other illustrations, a depiction of a goat with the head of a snail. This could be an indication that stories of the tuba had spread far beyond their point of origin in the mountains of East Asia, most likely during the rapid expansion of the Mongol Empire during the 13th century.

Answers here, here, here , here and here.

Glancing to my Right

Prague Tory reckons half of his visitors are Lib Dems - and he's worried.

Andrew Sullivan is looking into Mormon underwear.

My favourite Tennessean Republican Bob Krumm is coming back to life after losing in the state senate elections, with an interesting post on blatant racial discrimination in the US Navy

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Night I Wore A Burqa

"F" at Blunt and Disorderly wrote an interesting piece yesterday regarding the British Airways ban on staff wearing crosses. I was particularly struck by her comments on people adopting a particular religious appearance for non-religious reasons:
I remember in the 1980's the 'young and hip' wore crosses all over, in their earrings, bracelets, even tatooes. They meant nothing, except maybe a tendency to listen to Madonna, Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet.

Then I realised - I've worn a burqa for non-religious reasons. It was October 31st, 1979, Sussex University. I was going to a Halloween party dressed as a Nazgul from Lord Of The Rings. My costume was basically a sheet dyed black - except I didn't use enough dye, so that the sheet was a battleship grey. I wasn't a very scary Nazgul, actually.

But basically I was effectively covered up in something resembling a burqa (although I hadn't heard of the word at that time). Wearing something similar like that today might be seen as a sign of theological sarcasm, rather than poor fancy dress skills.

From what I can recall, wearing that costume didn't make me act more modestly than usual - in fact I was probably a bit, uh, frisky and , er , slightly more tactile than usual in my behaviour. Looking back at that night I've realised that for some women it might feel empowering in the short term.

Even so, if God told me I had to wear one of those in public for the rest of my life I'd tell Her to keep Her advice to Herself...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Political Pornography

If you want to mix your politics with a touch of violent, literary pornography, try the Devils Kitchen. The blog that last week had an interesting piece on chip and pin has degenerated. A piece that begins with some fairly puerile comments on Margaret Beckett's appearance turns into, well, violent pornography. Someone will probably tell me that he's being funny, but actually he isn't. Someone else will probably say it's brilliant invective, not for those easily offended - but it's not in the least brilliant and even if it was, so what? I'm no supporter of Margaret Beckett, but that still means she is a human being worthy of normal respect.

Devils Kitchen is one site I won't be looking at again. But I'm sure that all those right-wing bloggers will still proudly keep him on their blogrolls - or will they?

Election Addiction

For those who are election addicts, and are suffering withdrawal symptoms now the US mid-term elections are over, hope is in sight. You can look at This has head-to-head state-by-state poll results for comparing about a dozen potential Democrat candidates against a dozen potential Republican candidates.

So if you pick, say Barack Obama and John McCain, you can see instantly that McCain would win in the electoral college by 510 to 28, with Obama only winning Illinois (where he is senator), Hawaii (where he used to live) and Washington DC.

Replace Obama by John Edwards, and McCain wins by 272 to 266... and just for fun you can put Franklin D Roosevelt up against Ronald Reagan...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Labour's Big Change

This website appeared last Thursday - "LABOUR'S BIG CHANGE".

There's a lot of stuff here that I sympathise with :

If Labour is going to win the next general election, we need a fundamentally new direction of travel for the new Government after the election of a new Leader and Deputy Leader.

We need more than corrections of where we have clearly gone badly wrong – over Iraq, Lebanon and subservience to Bush, over the centralisation and unaccountability of Government today, over the growing and unacceptable inequality between rich and poor, over the privatisation of our public services, over the decline of manufacturing and the weakness of workplace rights, and over the continuing erosion of civil liberties. What we need above all is a vision of a new direction which can fire the imagination of today’s generation.

The overriding political issue today, the danger that could overwhelm much of the planet, much of the human race, if not in our lifetime but certainly in that of our children or grandchildren, is climate change.

Labour has to become the Party that will lead the world in a fundamental change of direction. We have to move from the peripheral and tinkering to the profound and visionary. Tackling climate change must permeate every other policy in government – not just energy, but transport, industry, building, agriculture, public expenditure and taxation, and foreign policy.

Put bluntly, we will never have food security, water security, or energy security in this country (or anywhere else) unless we give absolute priority to combating climate change.

It's backed by just 5 MPs so far - David Chaytor, Nia Griffith, Kelvvin Hopkins, Michael Meacher and Alan Simpson.

Is this website for the long-term, or connected to the leadership contest?

Hat-Tip: Andrea, on Political Betting

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Howard Dean goes over to the Dark Side

I'm very disappointed. In fact I'm stunned.

According to the Guardian:

Labour has enlisted one of the engineers of this week's Democratic victory in the US midterm elections in an attempt to boost its flagging fortunes before the local elections in May.

Howard Dean, the former presidential candidate and one of the men credited with masterminding the trouncing of the Republicans, will visit the UK next month to brief party officials about his pioneering campaigning techniques.

Can somebody tell Howard Darth, I mean, Dean, that it's the Lib Dems who voted against going to war?

That he should be on our side? That we thought he campaigned against the arrogant, complacent incumbent parties damaged by sleaze?

When Parties Fall Apart

It's a wretched business when a local party - any local party - divides into factions.

So I have some sympathy for the Republican Party Chairman for Woodbury County , Iowa who seems to have had a hell of a bad time recently. He's reported in the Sioux City Journal as saying:

Revealing the divide in the Woodbury County GOP, Salem said "real simply, we had two headquarters offices, which were doors apart from each other. The public reaction was, 'What the heck is going on?' The message that was sent is that this party is split apart."

He was also pretty blunt about one of the factions:

Salem said he coined a new phase: "You've heard of IslamaFascists -- I think we now have Christian fascists. What is the definition of a fascist? Not only do they want to beat you, but they want to destroy you in the process."

Salem said "if things keep going the way things are going locally and statewide, it is going to be more and more difficult for Republicans to recruit candidates. We have elements of the party who are moral absolutists, who take the approach that if you don't take my position every step of the way, not only will I not support you, but I will destroy you."

The comments column below the article has a fair amount of pungent debate between the two sides... Meanwhile, Woodbury Democrats are pretty happy.

Hat Tip: Andrew Sullivan

Friday, November 10, 2006

"Up to 40 minutes after any Chip & PIN card transaction, the retailer may access your confidential details"

Full startling story at Devils' Kitchen

If this story is true , it's alarming in terms of fraud and consumer protection. But at a deeper level - if the public are being deceived over this, how much could anyone trust an ID card system?

And how does it relate to this report back in May:

Petrol giant Shell has suspended chip-and-pin payments in 600 UK petrol stations after more than £1m was siphoned out of customers' accounts.

Eight people, including one from Guildford, Surrey, and another from Portsmouth, Hants, have been arrested in connection with the fraud inquiry.

Beppe Grillo

I stumbled on Beppe Grillo's Blog this evening. I must confess that I didn't recognise his name, even though apparently he has one of the 10 most visited blogs in the world.

According to Wikipedia: he is an Italian actor and satirist, and a campaigner on issues such as corruption and energy policy.

His take on the US elections?

Well then, is it true that Italy is getting to be ever more similar to the USA?
Let’s see. In the USA elections, after dark years, the progressives beat the conservatives.
It’s just like in Italy, the elected progressives are at times conservatives just like the old conservatives.
And there are messes in the election procedure, the computers don’t work and Bush, great robber of votes, and Berlusconi, great buyer of consensus, are complaining.
But Bush admits the defeat, while Berlusconi is still gnawing away.
Rumsfeld resigns. Previti wants to come back. The Americans are more frightened of the increase in the price of petrol than the war in Iraq. The Italians prefer the withdrawal of ICI {tax on housing} than the withdrawal from Iraq.
The USA in Iraq are fighting and dying. The Italians are dying but it’s not known what they are staying there to do.

His comments about the Mafia are nearly strong enough to change my views about being in the EU:

I would like to make an appeal to organized crime. The top economic power in the country. The top industry. Feared even by Putin who retracted his statement after a few rash affirmations. However Bush has never raised problems since he was informed of how John Kennedy ended up.
The mafia has won. They have annexed themselves to the cities, provinces, regions. It’s necessary to be loyal and recognize that. Those who win, win.

The Great Repeal Bill

My favourite Labour website Ministry of Truth writes about the Great Repeal Bill:

It’s not often I have anything positive to say about the Lib Dems, but just for today I’ll make an exception in the case of their proposed ‘Freedom Bill’ or ‘Great Repeal Bill’, which they also called it.

Okay, so its pretty much a gimmick with little real prospect of going anywhere other than the Lib Dems website, but at least the list of illiberal laws they want to get rid of is pretty good one to be going on with, and with a bit of luck it should spark off a bit more debate on the subject of personal liberty.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tennessee Stories

I'm developing a liking for Tennessee politics....

The man who voted an hour after the victor was declared. It's not a joke:

After waiting nearly five and a half hours to vote, John Hailey cast his ballot the day after Election Day — at 12:25 a.m.

Hailey was the last person to vote at Madison Public Library and one of the last to vote in all of Nashville. He attributed the wait to long lines, too few voting machines and time-consuming paperwork that needed to be filled out by people who had moved recently.

The Bloggers Man Wins.

A lot of Lib Dems will have followed the Senate race in Tennessee, where the Republican Bob Corker beat the Democrat Harold Ford. What's intriguing is that Harold Ford previously had a seat in the House of Representatives. And the new Democrat candidate for that seat - who emerged through the primary process - was a guy called Steve Cohen . Cohen is definitely on the left of the Democratic Party and, incidentally, a white man standing in a black majority district. Did this upset certain people? Because Harold Ford's brother Jake stood as an independent....

Time Magazine reported it as follows:

Rhetoric has been heated. Thaddeus Matthews, a politically independent African American whose widely read local blog is part scandal sheet, part political tip-sheet, early in the campaign dismissed "Joke Ford" as an un-credentialed political novice and high-school dropout who lacked his congressman brother's finesse and did odd jobs for his father. That has also been the perspective of an influential corps of liberal white bloggers who pooled their efforts on Cohen's behalf during the primary.

The bloggers see themselves as representatives of Democratic Party progressives who long ago soured on Harold Ford Jr.'s ever-more-conservative rhetoric and voting record.

Cohen won easily on Thursday, with Ford second and the Republican third.

The Third Man. Meanwhile, in that Tennessee senate contest, it wasn't just Corker v Ford, there were 5 independent candidates as well. The third placed candidate, a chap called Ed Choate, got 10000 votes.

His website is interesting - not everybody becomes a Christian after being in a juvenile detention hall in Brazil- and he seems to be a biblical literalist ( I believe that that the world was created in six literal days, no more than Ten thousand years ago, and that we all came from Adam and Eve.) He has an wide-ranging set of policies, from supporting "good and comprehensive Health Insurance" to giving "our National guards and border patrol, permission to shot anyone trying to enter our country illegally without them being afraid of being prosecuted for human rights violation."

The Fourth Man
The guy who came 4th in the Senate contest, with about 3000 votes, was David Gatchell, who stood as a "None of the Above" candidate.

"Ever had the feeling you'd just rather skip an election than have to pick the least unqualified of the candidates? That none of them are worth taking off work and going to the poll to vote for? Yeah? Me too."

The Republicans Have Become Too Left-Wing

Finally, one lady blogger in Tennessee quotes an email she received today which puts , ahem, an interesting spin on things:

The single, most important lesson here: Democrats didn’t win; Republicans lost. And they didn’t just lose; they were routed. Voters didn’t reward Democrats, they punished Republicans. Badly. This wasn’t the country saying it wanted to go further Left; it was the country saying Republicans had already taken the country too far Left.

Hat Tips: Tennessee Politic Blog

How To Lose With Good Grace

"I have been out meeting voters, knocking on over 8,000 doors, talking with thousands of people for seven months now, and I’ve never received anything but kindness and encouragement."

He may be a Republican, but I still like the look of this guy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Republicans Blame Election Losses On Democrats

WASHINGTON, DC—Republican officials are blaming tonight's GOP losses on Democrats, who they claim have engaged in a wide variety of "aggressive, premeditated, anti-Republican campaigns" over the past six-to-18 months. "

Full story here

The Joy of Politics....

O Joy! O Happiness! O Chocolaty Cuddliness Everywhere! Orgasms! Enlightenment! Windows which clean themselves! Your heart's deepest desires satisfied at no cost!

Electoral Races I 'd Followed

A good night for the Democrats, thankfully.

But the two challengers I'd been particularly watching didn't win:

Democrat Tammy Duckworth (standing for the House of Representatives) looks set to lose in Illionois, trailing 48 percent to 52 percent , after the votes from 82 percent of the precincts were in.

And Republican Bob Krumm (standing for the Tennessee State Senate) lost in Nashville by about 34 to 66 percent.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Southend United 1 Manchester United 0

My parents got married during the week because my father was a devoted Southend United football fan and didn't want to marry on a Saturday - he didn't want to even miss a reserve game. So I have Southend United in my blood.

And this evening I come straight back from a council meeting to hear on the radio how the club are doing tonight. They are calling tonight's game their biggest match since they were founded 100 years ago - it's a 4th round cup game against Manchester United.

So, Southend United , bottom of the Championship (the English Division 2). Haven't won in the league for 12 games, but have a very talented young manager, Steve Tilson, who has led the club to two successive promotions.

And Manchester United , top of the Premiership, this week celebrating Sir Alec Fergurson's 20 years as manager. They aren't fielding their best possible team, but 10 of their starting 11 are internationals, and include Wayne Rooney, Wes Brown and Ronaldo.

The local paper quotes one of the Southend players, Mark Gower, as saying "Even the most die-hard Southend fan will not expect us to win tonight.."

But Southend have just won a massive shock victory. A goal from a 30-yard free kick from our best forward, Freddy Eastwood. Then a lot of determined defending...

Brilliant. Just Brilliant.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Part-Indian Conservative Prime Minister

They say that Barack Obama may become the first Afro-American President. (To be precise, his father was Kenyan and black, and his mother was from Kansas and white)

Still, how many decades is it going to take before one of the main political parties in this country chooses a leader who is at least partly of Asian ancestry?

What do you mean, The Tories did it 194 years ago?

"Liverpool's mother Amelia was the only daughter of William Watts, an associate of Clive in India who married a Eurasian wife. Amelia thus brought Charles Jenkinson a considerable dowry, and made her son around one eighth Indian, a fact which seems to have caused absolutely no stir in Britain"

Hat-tip: Pickled Politics

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I Love Irony

A Republican Congressman in Indiana has used a company to phone voters to deliver a message attacking his Democrat opponent Tom Hayhurst. The theme was that Hayhurst was "bad on immigration".

Trouble is , the firm that the Republicans hired uses people with heavy Indian or Hispanic accents.

The highlight of the message is supposed to be :

“The United States now is home to 11 million illegal immigrants, and the number grows every year. But instead of protecting our borders, congressional candidate Tom Hayhurst supports citizenship opportunities for illegal aliens.”

But the Congressman has heard the message (left on his daughter's answering machine), and is furious that all he can understand is :

“xxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxx xx xxxx xx xx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx, xxx xxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxx. xxx xxxxxxx xx xxxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxx, xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxx Hayhurst xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx.”

Full story at the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

Hat-tip : Talking points Memo

What has happened to Paul Leake's Blog ?

at ???

I'm 24 Percent Capitalist!

You Are 24% Capitalist, 76% Socialist

You tend to be quite wary of businesses, especially big business.
While you know that corporations have their place, you tend to support small, locally owned shops.
As far as the rich go, you think they're usually corrupt and immoral.

This is an American quiz, so of course it places me pretty far to the left. But it's pretty accurate regarding my views on shops. I don't think the rich are any more corrupt and immoral than anyone else, but I don't think they are more virtuous, either...

Found via Newerlabour

Remembering Fred Whipple

The American astronomer Fred Whipple was born a hundred years ago today.

Fred did many things, He discovered six comets, and suggested correctly that comets were 'dirty snowballs' rather than 'flying sandbanks'. He co-invented a cutting device to produce chaff to protect allied aircraft from enemy radar. In 1946 he invented the Meteor Bumper, a thin outer metal skin to protect spacecraft and satellites from meteors.

Overall Fred had a 'good innings' - he had long-lived parents too, with his fathetr living to 81 and his mother Celestia to 87. In 1999 he was named as a consultant on the NASA contour mission, the oldest person ever to accept such a post. He died in 2004 aged 97.

In 1933 he discovered asteriod 1252, which he named Celestia, after his mother.

Asteroid 1940 - Whipple - is named after him.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Not Enough Pollocks in US Politics

Back in the 1950s the US Government covertly funded the arts in a kind of cultural cold war, to show the rest of the world it's intellectual and artistic values. For example, the Boston Symphony Orchestra was sent on a celebrated tour of Europe. The CIA even funded expressionist artists like Jackson Pollock through front organisations.

Now, fast-forward fifty years and the US is trying to export democratic values to the Middle East. I have to say, the elections they are having in their own country don't inspire much admiration for the system, which too often seems to involve throwing venom at your opponents in vastly expensive TV advertising. I really hope the Democrats do well, because if the Republicans don't deserve to lose this year, they never will. But politics, it's a dirty business...:

Forti and Lapp run the independent expenditure arms of their parties' campaign committees, the place where many of the negative ads that voters are seeing are financed, produced and strategically placed on television stations across the country. In the final days of the campaign, they will easily outspend the candidates themselves in many of the most competitive House races. They will decide the final images that many voters see in this campaign. Warning for the fainthearted: Most of the ads will be dark and accusatory.

Rep. Don Sherwood (R-PA), accused of choking his former mistress, "agreed to pay her about $500,000 in a settlement last year that contained a powerful incentive for her to keep quiet until after Election Day," the AP reports.
"Sherwood is locked in a tight re-election race against a Democratic opponent who has seized on the four-term congressman's relationship with the woman. While Sherwood acknowledged the woman was his mistress, he denied abusing her and said that he had settled her $5.5 million lawsuit on confidential terms."

Fake "Progressive" Group Still Active in PA
The shadowy RNC-connected front group the "Progressive Policy Council" is still at it, trying to discourage liberal voters from going to the polls on Tuesday.

Vito's ad a scarefest on terrorism
Is Rep. Vito Fossella getting nervous?
The Staten Island Republican has begun airing a new shock ad on the radio saying his challenger cares more about protecting terrorists than New Yorkers.
The scare ad features a phone call between two terrorists that suddenly goes dead. An announcer says Democrat Steve Harrison wants to stop wiretapping terrorists who are planning new attacks.
"Steve Harrison: putting terrorist rights above the safety of you and your family," the spot says.
Harrison, a Brooklyn lawyer who hasn't enough cash to air a response ad, called the radio spot a scurrilous lie and a sign that the once-mighty congressman is running scared.
"These are more than distortions. They are fabrications," Harrison said.

Fort Bend County Democrats are irate about campaign signs linking Democrats to illegal immigrants and terrorists, but the Republican county commissioner who paid for them said they accurately reflect Democratic positions.
Early voters in the heart of the heated race to succeed former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay were greeted Wednesday with red and white signs that read: "Want more illegals? Vote Democrat" and "Encourage Terrorists. Vote Democrat."
By midafternoon, outraged Democrats had removed the signs but not the acrimony.
"This is a majority minority county where Hispanics, blacks and Asians make up about 60 percent of the population," said Don Bankston, campaign coordinator for the Democratic Party in Ford Bend County.
"This is an appeal to fear, racism and prejudice, and that is wrong."

FRANK SCHAEFFER: I should be supporting Allen. Instead, I'm leaving the party.

I'm a Christian, a writer, a military parent and a registered Republican.
On all those counts, I was disgusted by an e-mail I just received that's being circulated by campaign supporters of Republican George Allen, who's trying to retain his Senate seat in Virginia.

The message goes like this: "First, it was the Catholic priests, then it was Mark Foley, and now Jim Webb, whose sleazy novels discuss sex between very young teenagers. ... Hmmm, sounds like a perverted pedophile to me! Pass the word that we do not need any more pedophiles in office."Democrat James Webb is a war hero and former Marine, wounded in Vietnam and winner of the Navy Cross. He was writing about class and military issues long before me and has articulated the issue of how the elites have dropped the ball on military service in his classic novel Fields of Fire. By the way, that's a book Tom Wolfe calls "the greatest of the Vietnam novels."

Mr. Webb's son is a Marine in Iraq. That's an uncommon fact in this era in which most political leaders' children act as if it is only right and proper that it's someone else's war to fight. Mr. Webb also happens to be running against a desperate opponent supported by people who circulated the stupid e-mail, something that reminds me of a 2000 smear campaign aimed at another war hero, John McCain.

I never served in the military. It was my son's unexpected volunteering that connects me to the military family and to my country. And I've been voting Republican for years. My late father – Dr. Francis Schaeffer – was an evangelical theologian, friend to Jerry Falwell and White House guest of Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and the first President Bush.

I have nice handwritten letters from various members of the Bush family, including Barbara, thanking me for my books on military service. So I have every reason to stay in the Republicans' good graces. (It's nice to be complimented on television by the First Lady.)

But enough is enough. I've had it with Republican smears.

The Webb e-mail is the embodiment of the cynical Republican strategists, some of whom must know the difference between fiction and nonfiction. Was Agatha Christie a murderer because she wrote about murder?

According to the Allen camp's logic, God would be a pedophile, too. After all, we Christians believe God inspired the Bible. And God-the-author chose to include the "sleazy" story about Lot offering to send out his young virgin daughters to be raped by the men of Sodom. The Bible has masturbation scenes, rape, pedophilia and God's favorite man – King David – warming himself with a young virgin in his old age. He's the same man God tells us committed murder after he indulged his peeping Tom fantasies.

Lucky for God-the-author that He's not running against George Allen.

More outside money is flowing into the Nevada-03, where Tessa Hafen is mounting an unexpectedly stiff challenge to Republican incumbent Jon Porter. The Democratic 527 group, VoteVets, whose ads this year include this one about insufficient body armor in Iraq, spent a quarter of a million dollars this week for attack ads on Porter, according to FEC reports filed yesterday.

The fight is on in New Jersey. The RNC yesterday dropped $3 million into the Senate race for attack ads on Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

IL-06: NRCC Sends Out "Welcome To America" Kit Attacking Duckworth
By Eric Kleefeld
The NRCC has come up with a novel way of attacking Dem Tammy Duckworth on immigration: It's sent out a new mailing packed in a cardboard box, of all things, and the box is labeled, "Welcome to America Kit!" Inside this "kit," which you're supposed to think is for immigrants, is another mailing designed as if it were intended as an offer to illegals. It says: "Enter America illegally and get...Social Security benefits!" There is also a picture of Duckworth, which is obviously meant to suggest that she supports the "offers" to illegals on the mailing. She doesn't, however: Duckworth actually backs GOP Senator John McCain's immigration approach, which doesn't include benefits for illegals.

[The Green Party candidate for Attorney General Rachel] Treichler had petitioned weeks earlier to be included in the League of Women Voters' proposed three attorney-general debates. In a letter, she argued her qualifications: ballot access, financial compliance with New York State Board of Elections, voter interest and serious media coverage. The league, in turn, commissioned a Zogby poll in which Treichler polled 17 percent of the vote among independent voters. It was decided that she was a viable candidate.
At the last minute, however, Treichler learned that she wasn't going to be included in any of the debates. [Democraticic candidate Andrew] Cuomo wasn't interested, she says, in debating a third-party candidate, and his camp put the pressure on to not include her.

After some searching, the most positive, freshest viewpoint I found was down in Tennessee , for a state senate race.. This Republican candidate Bob Krumm seems to have a pretty decent approach and a useful website:

"Yesterday I had a chance encounter with my esteemed opponent.
I was at the American Legion Post 5 luncheon at Piccadilly. While I was standing in line, I looked back toward the door and saw Senator Henry walk in.
I moved to the rear of the line to speak with him. As always, we had a very cordial conversation. Say what you will of him, no one can deny that he is a kind gentleman of the highest order.
At one point, Senator Henry asked me, “Mister Krumm, Do you know who the speaker is today?” He was visibly shocked when I told him, “You’re looking at him.”
I really wanted him to stay for the whole thing, and told him so. But he, probably not wanting to appear like another notorious party crasher, said that he was just going to get his lunch and leave before I spoke, so as to give me my time.
I do wish that Senator Henry had stayed. I think he would have been happy to hear the kind words I said about him during my remarks.
And besides, it might finally have given some voters an opportunity to see us together, and ask questions of both of us."
Chris expresses his own views on this weblog.

I write this blog in a private capacity , but just in case I mention any elections here is a Legal Statement for the purposes of complying with electoral law: This website is published and promoted by Ron Oatham, 8 Brixham Close , Rayleigh Essex on behalf of Liberal Democrat Candidates all at 8 Brixham Close.