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It appears that about 85,000 voters who voted for Obama in Nevada cast no vote for the two main candidates in the Senate race, based on a review of the CNN vote totals with 93% reporting:  Barack Obama approx. 529,000; Shelley Berkley about 444,000.  

The number of such voters stands at 50,000 in Clark County alone.  (It's safe to assume that blank votes for President and cross-over votes for Dean Heller were negligible.)

What a shame. Shelley Berkley could have won going away.  In comparison, the number of non-Senate-voting Romney supporters was only 6000.

I'm glumly looking forward to an analysis of this race's cross-tabs.

Update: text edits in bold
(more after that cute little curly-Q thing)

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Perception is reality? (Marshall McLuhan and Tom Peters nod affirmatively.)

So I'm reading this New York Times article on the increasing use of hydrofracking in natural gas wells causing higher radioactivity in drinking water and air, when I come to this:

In Texas, which now has about 93,000 natural-gas wells, up from around 58,000 a dozen years ago, a hospital system in six counties with some of the heaviest drilling said in 2010 that it found a 25 percent asthma rate for young children, more than three times the state rate of about 7 percent.

“It’s ruining us,” said Kelly Gant, whose 14-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son have experienced severe asthma attacks, dizzy spells and headaches since a compressor station and a gas well were set up about two years ago near her house in Bartonville, Tex. The industry and state regulators have said it is not clear what role the gas industry has played in causing such problems, since the area has had high air pollution for a while.

“I’m not an activist, an alarmist, a Democrat, environmentalist or anything like that,” Ms. Gant said. “I’m just a person who isn’t able to manage the health of my family because of all this drilling.”

OK, forget technology and focus on the perception.

Notice how she uses the word "Democrat." To you, is this used as a pejorative here?  If not, is her comparison to activists, alarmists and environmentalists a backhanded compliment to Democrats?  Or is it an accurate general perception?


What do you think? As used by the speaker, the word Democrat in this comparison conveys

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LAST HOUR! You must vote now! Go to

The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) needs to finish in the Top 2 to send 10,000 Safe Space Kits to schools across the country.

Vote again by texting 105532 to the number 73774. This is going down to the wire: two causes are switching places for the last money spot! YOUR vote is needed.

Earlier BCO gal wrote the following diary:

You may have heard of the Pepsi Refresh Project. This contest awards organizations who receive the most votes in a month with grants up to $250,000.

With today being the last day to vote I want to tell you about another terrific organization that needs your supportin this contest (and most importantly your click)

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Jerry McNerney, after trailing all night, has just clawed his way into the lead with only 1 precinct left to report.  He leads 82,124 to 82,003.  To be sure, California has a 28-day canvass period in which it will count further vote-by-mail and provisional ballots.  But this is GREAT news, and I wanted to share it!  

Update: Thank you, Morgan Hill, California!  It was worth waiting up until 4:00 a.m. to count your tiny share (about 10,000 votes) of the 173,000 CA-11 votes.

Update 2: The last "precinct" is in.  It must have been one of those zero-voter precincts.  The final Santa Clara County results are here.  The California SOS site doesn't include these final numbers yet but will soon.  


Why was the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Association urging people in radio ads on July 14 and 15 in the Bay Area to

Call Anna Eshoo at and thank her for supporting innovative biomedical research.


Well guess what?

WASHINGTON, July 15 -- The biotech industry scored a victory this week when a Senate committee approved a 12-year exclusivity period for biologic drugs before generic competition could hit the market.


The (Senate) HELP bill contains a section on follow-on biologics, establishing a regulatory pathway for generic versions of the complex drugs and setting a 12-year exclusivity period for branded biologic drugs before generic "biosimilar" competition could hit the market.

The House version doesn't contain even a placeholder for similar language.

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said she would introduce the 12-year language as an amendment during the Energy and Commerce Committee's markup this week.


Anna Eshoo

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A diary by Congressman George Frackin' Miller is 47th on the scrolling diary list as I type. The title is GOP Pushing Hidden Health Care Tax on All Americans, Not Reform.

George Miller is the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and one of the three principal authors of the "America’s Affordable Health Choices Act" introduced this week. His committee is one of the House's three committees that comprise the Tri-Committee on Healthcare.

Yet this diary has only has 17 comments and 27 recommenders! Come on! Get in the game and show some love (or argue)!  

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Here is what we've been waiting for since last November, signed, sealed and delivered.  From the Minnesota Independent:

Franken MN-Sen

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty wasted no time flying back to Minnesota from Washington DC to get the deed done on Tuesday evening.  

See the full document, along with Pawlenty's cover letter to the secretary of the US Senate, in this pdf.

The text is after the jump.


Kudos to Pawlenty for doing the right thing?

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The San Luis Obispo (CA) New Times reports:

A year of failed labor negotiations prompted engineers from Diablo Canyon to protest outside PG&E’s headquarters in San Francisco.

Their complaints have stretched beyond the walls of Diablo Canyon and PG&E to the NRC. Typically, the NRC focuses on the stability and safety of nuclear plants rather than labor issues. But at Diablo Canyon, they’re taking a special interest. In other words, the relationship between the employees and company management has NRC staff looking at whether it could endanger the public.

On May 29, the Diablo Canyon engineers bused to San Francisco where they met up with others from the union to protest.... That protest was the boiling point after more than a year of failed labor negotiations with PG&E’s newest union.

According to union representative Joshua Sperry, PG&E’s management is punishing the engineers and technical workers who decided to join the union last April. When negotiations reached an impasse, he said, PG&E forcibly implemented a salary and benefits package that was handily rejected by the union members months earlier.


Would you be concerned about labor friction at a nuclear plant?

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OK. it's Fox News, but they are reporting:

The pharmaceutical industry agreed Saturday to spend $80 billion over the next decade improving drug benefits for seniors on Medicare and defraying the cost of President Barack Obama's health care legislation.

Admittedly, the scope of the agreement is very minimal, only covering the gap for "doughnut-hole" seniors on Medicare Rx coverage.

While none of the changes in the prescription drug program would directly lower government costs, the industry also agreed to additional measures that would give the Treasury more money under federal health programs. ...

Those funds would be used to help pay for legislation expanding health insurance for millions who now lack it.

One official said the deal was agreed to late Friday night when Billy Tauzin ... called Baucus. It was not clear what impact, if any, the agreement would have on other health care providers who are in negotiations with Baucus.

I don't know about you, but I am skeptical of anything involving negotiations with Baucus.


What's next?

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After the vote count was finally settled in May, the candidates squared off in judges' chambers, each seeking the winner-take-all outcome, with the challenger emerging victorious.

Franken vs Coleman
? Minnesota Senate Race 2008-09?

Sadly, no. Instead it was incumbent Thomas McGuire and challenger Adam Trenk.  The election for the last town council seat in tiny Cave Creek, Arizona, ended in a literal tie -- 660 votes each. Cave Creek, Arizona, population 4951, is 30 miles north of central Phoenix, near Carefree, AZ.

Arizona law mandates that the winner be settled by a game of chance. The two decided to draw cards, high card winning. Trenk, the challenger, won by drawing the king of hearts to McGuire's six of hearts.

Did the incumbent whine, moan and accuse the election system of being biased and rigged, as did a certain former senator?  No, he took it graciously.

"It's not something I'm going to dwell on; this is how system works," McGuire said. "I'm looking forward to (a) brighter future for this community.

Norm Coleman could take some lessons from McGuire.


Who did you have your money on?

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Today the 538 electors in the Electoral College, whom we chose on November 4, meet to select the next president and vice-president. Most of them probably know that the Constitutional duties that they carry out today date from 1787’s Constitutional Convention. But how many of them know that what they do today is one of the remaining vestiges of slavery?

The taint of slavery not only played a part in rejecting direct election of the president, but also was a factor in how today’s Electoral College proceedings are being conducted in 51 cities around the country.  From Findlaw:

The biggest flaw in standard civics accounts of the Electoral College is that they never mention the real demon dooming direct national election [of the president] in 1787 and 1803: slavery. ...

James Madison suggested that such a system would prove unacceptable to the South: "The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes."

In other words, in a direct election system, the North would outnumber the South, whose many slaves (more than half a million in all) of course could not vote.



Should the U.S. effectively end the anachronistic influence of the Electoral College?

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The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a table here that tallies the 2008 rejected Minnesota absentee ballots. What most people are focusing on is the number in Category 5 ("Mistakenly rejected"). As of 6:34 pm CT, there were 692 such ballots identified from 40 counties.

There is also Category 3 ("Voter not registered and no application card included in return application"). MN has same-day voter registration, so new voters can apply when they vote. Some absentee voters forgot to send in their card.

Apparently someone noticed early on in the absentee ballot segregation that some of the secrecy envelopes were kind of heavy. What do you suppose might be inside? A filled-out voter application card perhaps?

So now we have Category 3a ("Voter not registered; however, it appears there may be a voter registration card in secrecy envelope").

Now this is interesting, because so far there are 40 such ballots that have been identified. Arguably the voter registration card was included in the return envelope, only inside the second envelope.


We will know the final outcome of this recount no later than

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