In a unanimous decision, the Federal Elections Commission has voted to allow House members from California to raise unlimited money to fight Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s special election in November. Under California law, Schwarzenggerhas no limit on the funds he can raise.
Had the ruling gone against the Congressmembers, each donation the anti-initiative campaigns would have been limited to $5,000.
The redistricting initiative, Proposition 77, would take the responsibility of drawing boundaries for California’s congressional and state legislative districts away from lawmakers and give it to a panel of retired judges. The judges would be picked by legislative leaders from a pool selected by the state Judicial Council. The redistricting would occur as soon as possible, instead of after the 2010 census, which would be the normal timeline…
House members of both political parties have concerns about the redistricting plan.. .Republicans fear redrawing district lines in Democratic-leaning California could cost the GOP House seats. Democrats suspect Schwarzenegger’s motives, in part because of the example of Texas, where a GOP redistricting plan cost four Democrats their House seats last year.
- Europe runs out of Chinese underwear: EU limits on imports from China have left truckloads of bras, sweatshirts and trousers stuck in British ports and warehouses. The quota measures were enforced by the World Trade Organisation to stop cheap Chinese textiles flooding into the EU after trade barriers were lifted in January.Under the quota rules, only 70 million items of underwear are allowed into Europe between June and December.
- Florida Gops want Scarborough to run for Senate: A couple of Republican movers/shakers are trying to convince talk show host Joe Scarborough to run for the US Senate against Katherine Harris. Scarborough declined to comment late Tuesday. Scarborough served in the House of Representatives before hosting “Scarborough Country” on bottom-rated MSNBC.
- Investigation into missing Roberts’ file begins : Documents on affirmative action written by Supreme Court nominee John Roberts have gone missing from the Reagan Library, and the National Archives has started a formal investigation. Senate Democrats note that records show the files were reviewed by Bush goons before they disappeared.
According to The Financial Times, a number of corporate networks were attacked by as many as a dozen computer worms. The virus attacks appeared to be targeted to companies running Windows network software.
Affected companies included CNN, ABC News, the New York Times and the Financial Times. Computers at DaimlerChrysler, Kraft and UPS also were reported to have been infected by the worms, known by several names including Zotob and Rbot.
“We have grouped them into four main families,” said Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer at Finnish security software company F-Secure. “They’re even fighting with each other; some versions are removing earlier versions. It seems like some fighting is going on within rival virus writing gangs.”
By Wednesday night 12 variants of the worm had been identified and Mr Hyppönen said more strains would probably be released over the next few days. However, the threat was expected to recede as companies updated software.
Although damage from the attacks is expected to be less than from the Blaster worm attacks in 2003, they are still predicted to run into the tens of millions of dollars.
I just saw the former liberal, former intellectual Christopher Hitchens being interviewed on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. In the course of his typical, rambling, inaudible bloviating, he managed to slip in the Right’s next attack against Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan, accusing her of making an anti-semitic statement about the reasons President Bush took us to war in Iraq.
The purportedly anti-Jewish statement of Sheehan’s that he sources comes from this paragraph in a letter she wrote to ABC’s Nightline on March 15:
Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a [Project for a New American Century (PNAC)] Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full well that my son, my family, this nation and this world were betrayed by George Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agendas after 9/11. We were told that we were attacked on 9/11 because the terrorists hate our freedoms and democracy … not for the real reason, because the Arab Muslims who attacked us hate our middle-eastern foreign policy.
PNAC was founded by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in 1997, with ultra-rightwing funding from the Scaife and Bradley fortunes. None of these folks are Jews, so far as I know.
Russian health workers have found mass bird deaths in a region west of the Ural mountains, in what could become the first case of deadly bird flu virus spreading to Europe, Russian health officials announced Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005.
Russia has been trying to contain an outbreak of the H5N1 virus since mid-July, when the first case of the disease was reported in Siberia and later in neighboring Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
Russian health officials said the bird deaths occurred on a farm in the Caspian region of Kalmykia, 2,000 km (1,200 miles) from the region where the country’s first avian flu outbreak was reported. No cases among humans have been confirmed in Russia.
Kalmykia is 1,800 km south of Moscow and is the only Buddhist region in Europe.
The avian flu epidemic, officially identified in six Siberian regions, has yet to be confirmed on the west side of the Ural mountains, which separate Asia from Europe.
In an apparent show of solidarity with his West Coast buddy Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush also has a staffer who was on the Repug Party’s payroll while serving as Bush’s chief of staff. According to today’s Miami Herald, Denver Stutler, Bush’s chief of staff until July, collected nearly $32,000 in travel, meal and phone expenses from the Hefalump Party while electioneering at the same time he was on the state payroll — a no-no in the Sunshine State just like it is in California.
State records show the total amount of money the Republican Party has reimbursed Stutler is more than the combined totals reimbursed to his two predecessors, Sally Bradshaw and Kathleen Shanahan. Bradshaw, who was campaign manager for Bush in 1998 before becoming his chief of staff, was reimbursed nearly $7,000 the two years she was on the state payroll, while Shanahan received nearly $18,000 in reimbursements during her 2 ½-year stint.
There’s nothing illegal in having the Republican Party reimburse Stutler for expenses. State law, however, requires that state employees do campaign work on their own time. And the issue of how parties spend their money has heated up in recent months because of bookkeeping problems at the Florida Democratic Party under former Chairman Scott Maddox.
Stutler, who became Bush’s chief of staff in October 2003 and was paid as much as $140,000 a year, says his political duties were done on his own time. He said his main goal was to make sure no one could claim he was using taxpayer dollars for political purposes.