- Since Mitt Romney has made clear that Ben Bernanke doesn't have a job anymore if Romney's elected in November president (yeah, right), it seems that all bets are off at the normally-conservative Fed and with its normally conservative Chair. With its latest $40 billion in qualitative easing (QE3, not to be confused with the cruise ship that shares a name) and Bernanke insisting that his "nontraditional methods" during the past four years have may have "raised economic input by 3% and added more than 2 million private sector jobs," it's hard to imagine Bernanke making a bigger (albeit indirect) pitch for President Obama's re-election.
- Registering to vote just got easier. With this little widget, you can fill out a registration form, print it off and mail it in ... or, if you're lucky enough to be in a state where you can register online, it will take you directly to your Secretary of State's website. Do it now! And share it with family and friends. Remember, as Rep. John Lewis said, voting is "the most powerful, nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union."
- A lot of folks pontificate about the abysmal rate of high school graduation in many cities and say something should be done, almost none of which involves actually funding the teaching (as opposed to the administrative) arm of public schools or providing more than the rote education needed to "pass" a high-stakes test. But in Kalamazoo, Michigan, some anonymous folks are putting their money where their mouths are and making sure that something is done by paying for some or all of college for every public high school graduate as an incentive for the children to do well in school. I guess that just proves that if you build it, they will come.
- There will be one less official abuser of domestic violence survivors sitting on the bench after Oct. 1, now that infamous Baltimore County Judge Bruce Lamdin has decided to cash in his chips and retire following well-deserved outrage at his handling of a domestic violence hearing with a 33-year old survivor whose husband nearly burned down their home, busted her arm, threw her to the ground, and stomped her in the ribs while her stepchild was hiding in the closet in terror with a hammer, just in case.) This judge (and I use the term loosely) interrogated her for ½ an hour and basically accused her being a money-grubber just because she didn't feel like embracing homeless with her kids at a shelter and instead asked the judge to grant what should have been a routine DV kick-out order removing her spousal abuser from the home as a danger to her and their children. Oct. 1 can't come fast enough. (The audio of this shameful display of judicial temperament is an apt example of the further abuse too many domestic violence survivors have to endure just trying to get help from the judiciary all over this country.)
- And, in other shocking legal news, at Thursday's hearing on Pennsylvania's Voter ID law, we discover that one of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices had actually "been reading the law himself" when he raised "unexpected questions" about whether Pennsylvania was actually in compliance with its own law requiring it to ensure that a non-driver ID card be provided by Pennsylvania's motor vehicles folks to any registered voter who swore that they needed it to vote. Expecting a state that wants a court to uphold a voter suppression law to actually follow that very same law? Go figure.
- It seems that nobody wants to stand up and take credit for the YouTube video "Innocence of Muslims" or "Desert Warrior" or whatever that piece of filth was supposed to be called that, thanks in part to some bonus promotion by America's most idiotic preacher of hate, ultimately contributed to the protests at our embassy in Cairo and Libya and the tragic deaths of our Ambassador to Libya and others this week. (May they rest in peace.) Sam Bacile, or Sam Bassile, or Sam Bassil, or whatever that fuckwad's name is, appears to have gone MIA (maybe even "in hiding") after his religious hatred escaped its echo chamber of religious bigots and got out into the real world. So has the alleged producer, some person allegedly named Alan Roberts. The only persons even willing to talk are a nutjob promoter that Southern Poverty Law Center says Is associated with hate groups (and even he takes pains to say he had nothing to do with actually making the movie) and an actress who says she was duped into taking part. When the handiwork of your hatred of others has caused so much destruction, not to mention long-term foreign policy damage with ships heading to Libya even as we speak, it's hard to understand why you might not want to claim responsibility for having started it all.
- 77,000 Texans are going to get 30 days to prove they are not dead, thanks to the Texas Secretary of State's belated decision to implement its own voter suppression law enacted in 2011 requiring voter registrars to cross-reference names with the Social Security Administration's death rolls. If a registrar refuses to do so? They lose their voter registration funding.
- Given stories like the one above, this can never be repeated enough: are registered to vote? Are you SURE? Be SURE.
- Finally, it's the end of "Big Soda" in the Big Apple, with New York City's Board of Health passing its ban on "large sugary drinks" in restaurants, bars, Broadway theatres and concession stands and workplace commissaries. Of course, even with the ban patrons can still get your 20, 32 or 64-ounce Big Gulp or Slurpee anytime you want at 7-11, proving that even Nanny aka Mayor Bloomberg knows not to try and mess with the brain freeze. Next target on Bloomberg's "you'll diet and like it" list? The double cone dipped in sprinkles that New Yorkers can get with ease off the Mister Softee truck. (No mention of making phys. ed. a mandatory 4-day a week class in public school again like it once was as part in New York's war on obesity as of this writing, since we all know you can't pass a high stakes test getting exercise.)
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