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President Obama has indicated support for pursuing election reform in his second term.  He went as far as mentioning it in two major speeches.  On election night he said, "I want to thank every American who participated in this election whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time.  By the way, we have to fix that."  In his second inaugural address he said, "Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote." If he ever gathers the courage to move beyond mere words, I have another solution he should seriously consider.

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You just know the money has been pouring in over the past 72 hours.  This is blood money, and it happens every time there is a notable mass shooting.  We need to demand the NRA (and allied organizations) send this money here:

(From CNN)  

The official fund for victims' families, and the community as a whole, has now been established: The Sandy Hook School Support Fund, https://newtown.uwwesternct.org/... set up by the United Way of Western Connecticut will provide support services to families and the community. All donations to this fund will go directly to those affected.
The NRA can expect a lot of losses in the coming weeks.  If they choose to do the right thing and donate the blood money, they might minimize some of the PR damage.  (I don't really care if they limit the damage; obviously, I just want to trick them into doing the right thing).
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It’s time for an Indignity of Work story.  Here’s another example of company policy forcing you to demean yourself for that paycheck without reasonable justification.

Today, we were explicitly instructed that if our disabled coworker falls down (again) we are not to help him up.  The reasoning offered was the company would be liable if the rescue attempt injured the fallen, his good Samaratan, or any slack-jawed gawkers present.  We required to leave him wallowing (possibly suffering) on the floor and call the company’s local honcho.  We were told this was an interim approach until a procedure could be worked out with the building owner, presumably using the maintenance staff (and their obvious expertise as trained paramedics …  oh, wait).

Of course, we were not bold enough to raise objections because we need to keep our jobs.  Reading between the lines, we know that going forward if someone renders such aid, they can expect to be fired.

Here are a few of the questions that today’s policy discussion didn’t address:

     •May we offer the fallen a jacket, some food or water, or even some comforting words, such as “Don’t worry.  Help will be here soon.  I dispatched Lassie an hour ago; she’s surely figured out how to use the elevator by now?”
     •If he falls down in front of the closed door, the fire alarm sounds, and we cannot exit without moving him, may we help him to his feet, or must we all die in the inferno in the name of this asinine policy?
     •Do we have permission to fend off any opportunistic wolves or vultures that may find their way into this downtown highrise sensing easy prey?

Apparently, the interest of the company in minimizing the probablity of liability (for which the company and building owner are probably insured) outweights the interests of the disabled person to his dignity and the right of the involuntary bystanders to act on their compassion for their fellow man (or rather one’s interest in not feeling and looking like a heartless jerk).  Is such a inhumane policy common, or is it just common to offices staffed mostly with lawyers?

Originally posted at Raging Wisdom.

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Recently, a man was arrested in Canada attempting to spoil the legend of Santa Claus for a group of children watching a parade. While I couldn't find a direct quote from the perp in any of the news stories I scanned, he was basically saying that Santa is not real. Well, allow me to retort.

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Members of the media,

You are well aware that this is a close election, and that the winner of the electoral count will likely depend on the outcome in an equally close Ohio.  This American is concerned about you prematurely "calling" a winner in the buckeye state.  I am worried that a certain candidate may lack the spine to stand up for his supporters who stood in lines for hours to cast a votes that may remain uncounted.  

The flaws in your procedure for when to call an election winner are outlined below the fold.

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Happy Election Day!

I just wanted to stop by and share an amusing line of thought I had today.

The goal of the voter suppression movement is, in part, to reduce the number of votes cast (presumably by their opposition:  Democrat-looking folks), by making it as difficult as possible to vote.

Waiting in line several hours to vote is quite taxing. Having to do so in the presence of screaming children is more so. If your child acts out in line, s/he deserves a contribution to his/her college fund from Karl Rove and American Crossroads for being a "Junior Vote Suppressor."

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Clay County, Florida, has posted a series of poll worker training videos on YouTube. Given the spreading paranoia about mythical voter fraud (committed mostly by Democrat-looking people, of course), you would think a government agency would be careful about how they present information to train their election day staff. The Supervisor of Elections Office in this northern Florida county is either being cute or clueless. Expect the videos to be pulled if this gets enough attention. Let's go to the videotape:

"What happens when a voter MUST vote a provisional ballot?" asks our host, Chris Chambliss, Supervisor of Elections for Clay County. The video cuts to a scene of an African American man getting processed by a clerk, while the voice-over lists the reasons why folks won't get to vote a regular ballot that would be counted on election day.

Remember, Florida has a terribly constructed voter challenge law: if a voter is challenged for any reason by an election official or partisanly-appointed poll watcher, the voter must vote a provisional ballot. The chief election judge (in Florida, called a clerk) does not have the power to toss out a blatanly frivolous challenges and let the voter use a regular ballot.

Cross-posted from Raging Wisdom.

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Yes, the title is as over-the-top as American Exceptionalism itself.  I hope you got the joke.

In the final weeks and days of the 2012 presidential race we can expect the Romney campaign and their allies to repeatedly bring up the concept of American Exceptionalism in an attempt to (again) paint President Obama as an other, as someone who doesn't love this country as much as Willard himself does.

The time has come to finally debunk American Exceptionalism and reaffirm the real meaning of patriotism.  Confusing the two has helped lead many to vote against their own interests and helped sow disdain against America across the globe.  Those pushing American Exceptionalism are asking you to embrace the myth so you can disown any responsibility for reality.  It is a handy excuse for misadventure abroad and inaction at home.  American Exceptionalism is a warped version of patriotism needs to be discarded promptly.  

American Exceptionalism is the belief that America is the greatest country in the history of the planet and our unique position and values are literally a gift from God that should be spread worldwide through our shining example and/or direct “leadership.”

Many people are lured into believing American Exceptionalism in part because of its religious overtones.  It really is a sneaky attempt to get you on board with their vision for America by rubbing up against your strongly-held religious beliefs.  They want to tie your faith in God to your belief in the greatness of America, to equate doubting America to doubting God.  The purpose is to put that strong of a link in the hearts and minds of the faithful.  Taking advantage of peoples' faith in this way is quite disgusting.

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