Why, oh why, has Joni Ernst been hiding from the Iowa press, refusing to do endorsement meetings with editorial boards and in-depth interviews with local television news? What topics that might come up in such interviews could the Republican Senate candidate possibly be avoiding?
Hmmm ...In 2013, Ernst was calling for "very painful" cuts to government assistance. Meanwhile, she supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Apparently that's not the kind of dependence on government she opposes. Ernst opposes a federal minimum wage and thinks that since Iowa's cost of living is very low, $7.25 an hour is plenty. Just 18 percent of Iowa voters think they could live on the current minimum wage. Ernst supported legislation that would allow states to arrest federal agents for implementing Obamacare. She's also dabbled in conspiracy theories about the federal government partnering with the United Nations with the aim of "moving people off of their agricultural land and consolidating them into city centers, and then telling them that you don't have property rights anymore." According to Ernst, backing from Koch brothers-funded groups "really started my trajectory"; her ongoing Koch support, extending to harassing a farmers group for endorsing Democrat Bruce Braley, has become an issue in the race. Ernst wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare.
Could those be some reasons for Ernst to avoid serious scrutiny from Iowa newspapers? And that's not even getting into her support of personhood legislation or the handgun she thinks will defend her against the government or the time she said President Obama "has become a dictator." Ernst's election chances hinge on seeming like a down-to-earth soldier-mom next door, and that means keeping voters from finding out about her extreme positions. So it's no wonder she's apparently decided that close scrutiny by local media would be a bad idea.Please chip in $3 to help turn Iowa blue. Defeat Mitch McConnell in just two hours. Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democrats. (Side question: Why has Ernst been doing interviews with national media at the same time she's been ducking Iowa outlets?)
The RGA, chaired by Gov. Christie (R-N.J.), has been under pressure in recent days to do more to help Walker, a tea party favorite who rocketed to political stardom after he curbed bargaining rights for most public workers in his state.
The Weekly Standard reported Thursday that there were brewing suspicions on the right that Christie, as RGA chairman, has been "undercutting" Walker, his potential rival for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.Gee, why would anyone think Christie would do that? The Weekly Standard also suggests that they'll be "scrutinizing" the FEC reports at the end of the election to make sure that the RGA does indeed fulfill its promise. Walker himself seems to be feeding this narrative, and whined this weekend that the RGA?which has put $6 million into his campaign already?was just going to need to step up with a cash infusion: "Hopefully that comes through. [?] We are always looking for more help. Our main help has to be the RGA." Fuel the Christie/Walker feud, and boot Walker. Please donate $3 to Mary Burke. Defeat Mitch McConnell in just two hours. Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democrats. Walker makes no attempt to hide that he is in panic mode, and for good reason. The polls are as tight as can be. This one is Mary Burke's to win.
Even the Weekly Standard is noticing the damage done by revelations about Senate candidate David Perdue's long career in outsourcing. In a rundown of the dangers Georgia Republicans face from a strong crop of Democratic candidates in the state (and, unmentioned here, by strong Democratic voter registration efforts), Perdue's outsourcing looms largest:Suddenly, Perdue?s biggest asset?his business career?has become a liability.
And it?s one the Perdue campaign is trying desperately to avoid. Before my brief phone interview with Perdue, a campaign staffer called twice to confirm that I wouldn?t ask about the ?outsourcing? comment. When I did, Perdue dismissed it as ?right out of the Democratic playbook.?
?They?ve tried it since Day One,? he said. ?It?s not sticking.?
The polls suggest otherwise.It's not just that a conservative publication is talking about this, it's how frantically defensive it makes Perdue look. First trying to put the major story of the campaign off-limits. Then trying to brush off questions about, again, the major story of the campaign as just some kind of partisan manipulation. Then flatly denying a reality anyone who glances at the polls can see. That's desperate. We don't have any Georgia endorsements this cycle, so if you want to give to Michelle Nunn, you'll have to go to her campaign site. But if you're still looking for great Democrats to give to, as this election goes down to the wire, we've got some great Senate candidates to choose from. Defeat Mitch McConnell in just two hours. Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democrats. It's great seeing Perdue damaged and on the defensive, but to actually beat him, Democrats will need to turn out to vote.
Now that politicians and pundits are using Ebola to score political points, it seems only natural for Ebola Buddy to be a vice presidential candidate, or at very least a trusted political consultant. (Never mind that thousands are dying in West Africa and you should donate to Doctors Without Borders right now.)
Suddenly, everyone on the right is an infectious disease expert and thinks they know better than those CDC scientists who work for the gubermint?. Ebola is why big government is bad, why Obamacare will never work, why cattle should graze for free and why taxes on the rich should be cut, right? The tinfoil hat, anti-government crowd in Congress (who apparently overlook the fact they receive a government paycheck) is in full swing.
And let?s not forget Rand Paul, that wise level-headed Republican, is calming everyone?s fears by saying that Ebola is more easily-spread than AIDS and, oh yes, we mustn?t forget the Spanish Flu and Bubonic Plague which killed bazillions of people. Remember, Rand Paul is the guy who apparently belongs to an organization that opposes Social Security and Medicare? the same organization that also doesn?t think HIV causes AIDS. (This is the same Rand Paul who certified himself as a ?board certified? ophthalmologist.)
In violation of the law, these leaks are eroding public trust and have now gained the attention of Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice. Holder was reported to be "exasperated" by them and the DOJ released a statement saying:The department considers the selective release of information in this investigation to be irresponsible and highly troubling. Since the release of the convenience-store footage, there seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case. Below, we will keep a running tally of the denials of these leaks and update it regularly.
? ME-Gov: Eliot Cutler is looking like a man defeated. Cutler, an independent who finished second in the 2010 gubernatorial race, has utterly failed to replicate his prior success and is mired at about 15 percent in the polls. Now, after spending a ton of his own money on his repeat effort, he's all but gone dark on the airwaves in the final weeks of the campaign.
This week, Cutler's spending all of $4,000 on TV, which, as Ethan Strimling reports, means he's getting outspent 100-to-1 by Democrat Mike Michaud and Republican Gov. Paul LePage when you factor in activity from outside groups. That's good news for Maine Democrats, since as almost all the polling has shown, Cutler hurts Michaud far more than he hurts LePage.
Indonesian police have opened fire on peaceful protesters in Jayapura, with at least four gunshot wounds and one death. West Papuan activists and families have been forced to flee to the jungle for safety. Indonesian security forces are conducting scores of raids, sweeps and offensives against West Papuan civilians. The attacks are happening during the visit of National Police Chief General Sutarman with over 200 people arrested across West Papua. Journalists have also been attacked by Indonesian police according to Amnesty International...Read more at San Fransisco Bay Area Indymedia. The Indonesian Police chief says any plans to free Papua from Indonesia won't be tolerated, including Flag raising ceremonies on the West Papuan national Day, December 1st.
Calls for Independence by West Papuans have been made since the sham "Act of Free Choice in 1969". They have suffered a neglected genocide at the hands of the Indonesian military (2004) with continued Repression (2007). Thousands of Papuans took to the streets in 2010 and in 2011 rejecting special autonomy, demanding a referendum on independence. Indonesia plans to build 1,500 km of new roads in the next two years to accelerate ?development', increase military presence, and open up more illegal logging. Three Papuans highlighted the human rights abuses at the APEC meeting in Bali this year by scaling the Australian Consulate?s fence in the dead of night and hand-delivering a personal plea to open the Indonesian province to world scrutiny.
A new academic law and human rights report A slow-motion genocide: Indonesian rule in West Papua (PDF), details the extent of the genocide and abuse of human rights. (Review by Greenleft) Activists have called for Australia to End pragmatic complicity in West Papua in response to comments by new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Imprisoned Papuan leader Selpius Bobii also responded saying, "We Live In Terror, Mr Abbott".
Related: Waging Nonviolence: Flotilla unsettles Indonesia?s occupation of West Papua | West Papuan National Day Goes Global | West Papuans to join commemoration of Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat More Information: West Papua media Alerts | Freedom Flotilla
Civil society organisations abandoned the COP19 climate change negotiations in Warsaw on mass. Members from Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Actionaid, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union Confederation (statement) and 350.org all started leaving the conference at 2pm. This is an unprecedented action, the first time several major civil society groups have staged a mass walkout.
Friends of the Earth International highlighted that the Warsaw Climate Change negotiations were failing, with Tension high in Warsaw talks as G77+China walk out. The role of Australia and reduced ambition of Japan have been widely mentioned. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers, but there has been substantial intransigence from much of the developed world to progressing the negotiations forward on finance, ambition, and a loss and damage mechanism. Poland's Coal Summit has shown the fossil fuel corporatism entwined in this COP with widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations of COP19 and at UNFCCC official Christiania Figueres who gave the keynote speech at the coal summit
Related: Democracy Now: "Nature Does Not Negotiate": Environmentalists Walk Out of U.N. Climate Summit in Warsaw | "Polluters Talk, We Walk": Civil Society Groups Abandon Warsaw Talks over Inaction on Global Warming | "We Have to Consume Less": Scientists Call For Radical Economic Overhaul to Avert Climate CrisisAnalysis: The Warsaw walkout and the Climate Movement
The weekend of 16th and 17th November saw tens of thousands of people in Canada and Australia out in the streets in over 260 protests against the climate policies of these countries. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers in Warsaw at COP19.
The Saturday protests in Canada occurred from coast to coast to Repulse Bay, Nunavut on the Arctic circle, more than 10,000 people gathered in over 180 events co-ordinated by Defend our Climate. Many protests focussed on stopping further expansion of the Alberta tar sands and pipelines to move the bitumenous oil south to Texas, east through Ontario and Quebec, and west through British Columbia. On Sunday, more than 60,000 people attended climate protests across Australia, protesting the attempt to repeal carbon pricing and clean energy programs by the conservative Government lead by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, elected on 7 September this year, who denied any link between climate change and bushfires as unusually early and intense bushfires raged around Sydney.
Civil Society NGO and local Polish activists also staged a Climate Justice march in Warsaw in association with the COP19 climate change negotiations taking place. Super Typhoon Haiyan set the initial mood at the negotiations with Philippines negotiator Naderev Saño (Yeb Saño) saying "time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway". There is widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations in Warsaw with Japan and Australia being particularly singled out.
Related: Australia Indymedia - Tens of Thousands rally for Climate Action across Australia
Authorities of Tacloban City with a population of 220,000 and capital of Leyte province, gave an early estimate that perhaps 10,000 people died from this one city. Many people were surprised by the huge storm surge tidal waves that inundated much of the city. Many smaller coastal villages were also devastated with most buildings destroyed or suffering severe damage. According to the UN Reliefweb report on 14 November the number of affected people has increased to 11.8 million. The official death count from Typhoon Haiyan is currently 4,460 but with numbers still increasing. There were 921,200 people displaced and 243,600 houses destroyed. A total of 2.5 million people are in need of food assistance.
Related: Climate IMC: Typhoon Haiyan: This is a climate crime | Time for turning tears into anger says Walden Bello | Philippine groups demand action on climate finance, loss and damage in Warsaw climate talks | Ejected from COP19 for expressing solidarity to the Philippines | Youth observers expelled from UN climate change talks for Philippines Solidarity | Indybay: Super typhoon Haiyan is climate wake-up call | They destroy We suffer Statement on Yolanda?s AftermathNon-corporate Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts: Waves for Water | Haiyan NYC Relief Project | Doctors without Borders | Oxfam International
Climate Negotiations are over for another year with little progress in Doha by any one's measure as the scientific statements on climate change and the impacts we are already feeling as evidenced in record Arctic melting, and extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines, and Cyclone Evan in the South Pacific are growing much stronger.
Some of the latest scientific research shows:Sea Level rising 60% faster than IPCC projectionsMethane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping pointCollapse of Siberia's Coastline is Releasing Huge Amounts of CO2Greenland Ice sheet suffers unprecedented surface meltIndian Monsoon more likely to fail as global warming acceleratesSouthern Ocean warming impact on Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability and sea level rise
Photos: Photos by World Resources Institute | Photos by Oxfam | The Verb: Climate March in Doha | The Verb: COP18 Actions Related: Deep emissions cuts urged at climate summit | Towards a Grand Compromise in the Climate Negotiations | COP18, another 'Conference of Polluters' | An open letter to governments and their negotiators | Climate compensation row at Doha | Forest Groups Protest False Solutions | IPCC's Planned Obsolescence: Fifth Assessment Report Will Ignore Crucial Permafrost Carbon Feedback! | Methane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping point