FUMUA » Posted http://www.fumua.com Evaluating Information Mon, 01 Jul 2013 01:42:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 US Navy Forces Busted For Giving Secrets To Video Game Producers http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/11/us-navy-forces-busted-for-giving-secrets-to-video-game-producers/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/11/us-navy-forces-busted-for-giving-secrets-to-video-game-producers/.html#comments Sun, 11 Nov 2012 19:35:13 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14467 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

Seven members of an elite US Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, and Land) team, including one who participated in the raid that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, have been reprimanded for disclosing classified material while helping produce a videogame.

All seven of the special operations forces who were punished were members of the elite SEAL Team Six, according to CBS News, which first reported the reprimands. CBS said the seven worked for two days this spring and summer as paid consultants on the videogame.

Two senior chief special operators and five chief special operators received a reprimand on Nov. 7 for their involvement in the production of a videogame entitled “Medal of Honor: Warfighter,” released by game maker Electronic Arts Inc, said a Navy official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Read the whole story at The Oslo Times

 

 

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Less Food For Wages http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/11/less-food-for-wages/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/11/less-food-for-wages/.html#comments Sun, 11 Nov 2012 13:59:58 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14448 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

Food prices continue to increase around the world:

Despite the average Polish salary rising by 1.6 percent compared to 2011, Poles are currently able to buy less food for their money.

According to Gazeta Wyborcza, basic items such as pork, beef, chicken, flour, cheese and eggs have increased at a disproportional rate.

Read the whole story at NPE

 

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Which Polls Fared Best (And Worst) In The 2012 Presidential Race http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/10/which-polls-fared-best-and-worst-in-the-2012-presidential-race/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/10/which-polls-fared-best-and-worst-in-the-2012-presidential-race/.html#comments Sun, 11 Nov 2012 01:46:10 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14493 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

Statistician Nate Silver of the New York Times "FiveThirtyEight" blog correctly predicted the winner of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. (Randy Stewart via CC/Graphics by Uri Fintzy)

FiveThirtyEight:

As Americans’ modes of communication change, the techniques that produce the most accurate polls seems to be changing as well. In last Tuesday’s presidential election, a number of polling firms that conduct their surveys online had strong results. Some telephone polls also performed well. But others, especially those that called only landlines or took other methodological shortcuts, performed poorly and showed a more Republican-leaning electorate than the one that actually turned out.

Our method of evaluating pollsters has typically involved looking at all the polls that a firm conducted over the final three weeks of the campaign, rather than its very last poll alone. The reason for this is that some polling firms may engage in “herding” toward the end of the campaign, changing their methods and assumptions such that their results are more in line with those of other polling firms.

There were roughly two dozen polling firms that issued at least five surveys in the final three weeks of the campaign, counting both state and national polls. (Multiple instances of a tracking poll are counted as separate surveys in my analysis, and only likely voter polls are used.)

For each of these polling firms, I have calculated the average error and the average statistical bias in the margin it reported between President Obama and Mitt Romney, as compared against the actual results nationally or in one state.

For instance, a polling firm that had Mr. Obama ahead by two points in Colorado — a state that Mr. Obama actually won by about five points — would have had a three-point error for that state. It also would have had a three-point statistical bias toward Republicans there.

The bias calculation measures in which direction, Republican or Democratic, a firm’s polls tended to miss. If a firm’s polls overestimated Mr. Obama’s performance in some states, and Mr. Romney’s in others, it could have little overall statistical bias, since the misses came in different directions. In contrast, the estimate of the average error in the firm’s polls measures how far off the firm’s polls were in either direction, on average.

 

Read the whole story at FiveThirtyEight

 

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David Petraeus FBI Investigation Led To Affair Revelation http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/david-petraeus-fbi-investigation-led-to-affair-revelation/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/david-petraeus-fbi-investigation-led-to-affair-revelation/.html#comments Fri, 09 Nov 2012 22:34:03 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14359 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File

AP

WASHINGTON — David Petraeus, the retired four-star general renowned for taking charge of the military campaigns in Iraq and then Afghanistan, abruptly resigned Friday as director of the CIA, admitting to an extramarital affair.

The affair was discovered during an FBI investigation, according to officials briefed on the developments. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter. It was unclear what the FBI was investigating or when it became aware of the affair.

Petraeus’ resignation shocked Washington’s intelligence and political communities. It was a sudden end to the public career of the best-known general of the post 9/11 wars, a man sometimes mentioned as a potential Republican presidential candidate. His service was effusively praised Friday in statements from lawmakers of both parties.

Petraeus, who turned 60 on Wednesday, told CIA employees in a statement that he had met with President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday and asked to be allowed to resign. On Friday, the president accepted.

Petraeus told his staffers he was guilty of “extremely poor judgment” in the affair. “Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.”

He has been married for 38 years to Holly Petraeus, whom he met when he was a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. She was the daughter of the academy superintendent. They have two children, and their son led an infantry platoon in Afghanistan.

Obama said in a statement that the retired general had provided “extraordinary service to the United States for decades” and had given a lifetime of service that “made our country safer and stronger.” Obama called him “one of the outstanding general officers of his generation.”

The president said that CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell would serve as acting director. Morell was the key CIA aide in the White House to President George W. Bush during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

“I am completely confident that the CIA will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission,” Obama said.

The president said that CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell would serve as acting director. “I am completely confident that the CIA will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission,” Obama said.

For the director of the CIA, being engaged in an extramarital affair is considered a serious breach of security and a counterintelligence threat. If a foreign government had learned of the affair, the reasoning goes, Petraeus or the person with whom he was involved could have been blackmailed. Military justice considers conduct such as an extramarital affair to be possible grounds for court martial.

Mrs. Petraeus is known for her work helping military families. She joined the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to set up an office dedicated to helping service members with financial issues.

Though Obama made no direct mention of Petraeus’ reason for resigning, he offered his thoughts and prayers to the general and his wife, saying that Holly Petraeus had “done so much to help military families through her own work. I wish them the very best at this difficult time.”

Petraeus said in his statement to CIA employees, “Teddy Roosevelt once observed that life’s greatest gift is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing. I will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you, and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.”

The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said Petraeus’ departure represented “the loss of one of our nation’s most respected public servants. From his long, illustrious Army career to his leadership at the helm of CIA, Dave has redefined what it means to serve and sacrifice for one’s country.”

Former CIA officer Bruce Riedel, now with the Brookings Institution, noted that other directors have “resigned under unpleasant and unflattering circumstances.”

CIA Director Jim Woolsey left “under embarrassing circumstances over the discovery of a KGB mole, and director John Deutch left after putting some classified information on his home computer,” Riedel said

Before Obama brought Petraeus to the CIA, he was credited with salvaging the U.S. war in Iraq.

“His inspirational leadership and his genius were directly responsible – after years of failure – for the success of the surge in Iraq,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Friday.

President George W. Bush sent Petraeus to Iraq in February 2007, at the peak of sectarian violence, to turn things around as head of U.S. forces. He oversaw an influx of 30,000 U.S. troops and moved troops out of big bases so they could work more closely with Iraqi forces scattered throughout Baghdad.

Petraeus’ success was credited with paving the way for the eventual U.S. withdrawal.

After Iraq, Bush made Petraeus commander of U.S. Central Command, overseeing all U.S. military operations in the greater Middle East, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.

When the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, was relieved of duty in June 2010 for comments in a magazine story, Obama asked Petraeus to take over in Kabul and the general quickly agreed.

In the months that followed, Petraeus helped lead the push to add more U.S. troops to that war and dramatically boost the effort to train Afghan soldiers and police.

House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y., said he regretted Petraeus’ resignation, calling him “one of America’s most outstanding and distinguished military leaders and a true American patriot.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein also regretted the resignation but gave Morell high marks, too.

“I wish President Obama had not accepted this resignation, but I understand and respect the decision,” she said.

___

Associated Press writers Wendy Benjaminson, Ken Thomas, Donna Cassata and Anne Flaherty contributed to this report.

 

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Lockheed Ousts Incoming CEO Over Inappropriate Relationship http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/lockheed-ousts-incoming-ceo-over-inappropriate-relationship/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/lockheed-ousts-incoming-ceo-over-inappropriate-relationship/.html#comments Fri, 09 Nov 2012 21:57:55 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14373 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

Lockheed Martin CEO-in-waiting Christopher Kubasik

Incoming Lockheed Martin CEO Christopher Kubasik has resigned after allegedly carrying on an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate employee, according to a company statement.

He’d been appointed this summer and was set to take over Jan. 1. He previously served as president and COO of the defense giant.

The company’s board asked for and received kubasik resignation, according to Bloomberg.

Chairman Robert J. Stevens said Kubasik actions did not affect the company’s financial performance.

Stevens described the alleged relationship as “lengthy” and “close,” according to Bloomberg.

Here is the company’s full release:

***
Read more at Business Insider

 

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Some Kids May Overcome Or Outgrow Egg Allergy, Study Suggests http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/some-kids-may-overcome-or-outgrow-egg-allergy-study-suggests/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/some-kids-may-overcome-or-outgrow-egg-allergy-study-suggests/.html#comments Fri, 09 Nov 2012 21:17:18 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14417 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

Early new research offers some hopeful findings for parents of children with food allergies.

One new study suggests that some children with hen egg allergies could safely consume such eggs if they are baked at a high enough temperature for a long enough time. What’s more, investigators suggest that parents who start to incorporate such cooked eggs into their child’s diet may actually help them develop a broader tolerance to eggs than by avoiding eggs altogether.

A second study argues that many allergic children will outgrow their condition by age 10, allowing them to safely expand their eating options over time.

However, two experts strongly advised caution in introducing allergy-causing foods back into children’s diet and said that this must only be done under medical supervision.

Both studies were scheduled for presentation this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Anaheim, Calif.

Dr. Rushani Weerasooriya Saltzman, an attending physician in the division of allergy and immunology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, led the egg-allergy study.

“Hen’s egg is one of the most common food allergens in children,” Saltzman said, noting that upwards of 600,000 American children are currently diagnosed with the condition. “Fortunately, most patients will outgrow their egg allergy by late childhood. However, until one may outgrow his or her egg allergy, egg avoidance can cause significant dietary limitations and considerable impacts on quality of life.”

But heat-driven changes in the protein structure of eggs can make them safe for allergic children, Saltzman’s team found. “(And) furthermore,” she said, “those who can tolerate these extensively heated egg products appear to outgrow their allergy to regular or ‘native’ egg at an accelerated rate when compared to those patients with egg allergy who maintain strict avoidance to egg.”

Read the whole story at Healthday

 

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CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns, Cites Extramarital Affair (Video) http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/cia-director-david-petraeus-resigns-cites-extramarital-affair-video/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/cia-director-david-petraeus-resigns-cites-extramarital-affair-video/.html#comments Fri, 09 Nov 2012 20:28:24 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14327 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

CIA Director David Petraeus resigned Friday, citing an extramarital affair and “extremely poor judgment.”

Here is the full text of Petraeus’ letter:

HEADQUARTERS Central Intelligence Agency

9 November 2012
Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.

As I depart Langley, I want you to know that it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you, the officers of our Nation’s Silent Service, a work force that is truly exceptional in every regard. Indeed, you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as director, and I am deeply grateful to you for that.

Teddy Roosevelt once observed that life’s greatest gift is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing. I will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.
Thank you for your extraordinary service to our country, and best wishes for continued success in the important endeavors that lie ahead for our country and our Agency.

With admiration and appreciation,
David H. Petraeus

 

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Obama To Make Historic Visit To Myanmar (Video) http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/obama-to-make-historic-visit-to-myanmar-video/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/obama-to-make-historic-visit-to-myanmar-video/.html#comments Fri, 09 Nov 2012 16:53:16 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14313 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

President Barack Obama later this month will become the first US leader to visit Myanmar, marking the strongest international endorsement so far of the fragile democratic transition in the once-isolated Southeast Asian country after decades of military rule.

Obama will travel to Myanmar as part of a November 17-20 tour of Southeast Asia, which will also include stops in Thailand and Cambodia, the White House said on Thursday.

It will be his first international trip since winning re-election earlier this week.

He is going ahead with the trip despite recent sectarian violence in western Myanmar, which has drawn concern from the United States and European Union.

UN human rights investigators have criticised the government’s handling of the strife between Buddhists and minority Muslims, and some Myanmar exiles see Obama’s trip as premature, before political reforms have been consolidated.

The visit to Myanmar, the first by a sitting US president, will give Obama a chance to meet president Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to encourage the “ongoing democratic transition,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Read the whole story at Aljazeera

 

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HSBC Accused Of Helping British Drugs And Arms Dealers Launder Money http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/hsbc-accused-of-helping-british-drugs-and-arms-dealers-launder-money/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/hsbc-accused-of-helping-british-drugs-and-arms-dealers-launder-money/.html#comments Fri, 09 Nov 2012 16:43:32 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14302 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

The disclosures raise serious questions about HSBC’s procedures in Jersey Photo: ALAMY/REUTERS

Britain’s biggest bank has been accused of helping drug-dealers and gun runners launder money and evade tax in Britain with offshore accounts.

HSBC is being investigated by HM Revenue and Customs after a whistleblower handed it the names, addresses and balances of every person the banking giant has helped place money in Jersey.

On that list is believed to be drug dealer Daniel Bayes who is now in Venezuela after he abandoned his £500,000 cannabis farm in Sussex; Michael Lee, who was found to have 300 guns in his Devon home, three bankers on fraud charges and a man named Britain’s ‘number two computer crook’.

It is the latest scandal to dog HSBC after it emerged the banking giant allowed rogue states and drugs cartels to launder billions of pounds through its branches.

Read the whole story at MailOnline

 

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Chris Christie Phoned Barack Obama To Congratulate Him On His Re-Election – But Loser Mitt Romney Only Got An Email http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/chris-christie-phoned-barack-obama-to-congratulate-him-on-his-re-election-but-loser-mitt-romney-only-got-an-email/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/chris-christie-phoned-barack-obama-to-congratulate-him-on-his-re-election-but-loser-mitt-romney-only-got-an-email/.html#comments Fri, 09 Nov 2012 16:30:03 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14286 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

Chris Christie, the bombastic New Jersey governor who has been under fire from conservatives for his effusive praise of Barack Obama after Hurricane Sandy telephoned the president after his election win but only sent an email to Mitt Romney.

He told reporters at a press conference on Thursday that he had talked to Obama. ‘We didn’t have a political strategy discussion,’ he said. ‘I said, “Congratulations on your win last night, Mr. President”, he said, “Thank you”.’
Asked about whether he had spoken to Romney, he said: ‘No. We exchanged emails last night. We haven’t spoken on the phone yet.’

Christie, who is up for re-election in New Jersey next year and is a likely 2016 presidential candidate, is partly blamed by some senior Romney aides for the Republican nominee’s defeat.

They believe that his outspoken commendations of Obama helped create an aura of bipartisan appeal that was invaluable.

Stuart Stevens, Romney’s top strategist, has told Mail Online that Romney was ‘winning this race by five or six points before Sandy’ but ‘came out of Sandy one or two behind’.

Read the whole story at MailOnline

 

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David Frum: Republicans Have Been Fleeced, Exploited and Lied To By A Conservative Entertainment Complex http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/david-frum-republicans-have-been-fleeced-exploited-and-lied-to-by-a-conservative-entertainment-complex/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/09/david-frum-republicans-have-been-fleeced-exploited-and-lied-to-by-a-conservative-entertainment-complex/.html#comments Fri, 09 Nov 2012 15:05:16 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14423 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

Conservative columnist David Frum: “Republicans have been fleeced and exploited and lied to by a conservative entertainment complex.”

 

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U.S. Jails Anti-Islam Film-maker http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/08/u-s-jails-anti-islam-film-maker/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/08/u-s-jails-anti-islam-film-maker/.html#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 16:18:26 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14241 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

Youssef issued a provocative statement through his lawyer Steven Seiden to the press - Reuters

U.S. jails anti-Islam film-maker, Mark Basseley Youssef, the conman behind an anti-Muslim film that led to violence in many parts of the Middle East, has been given a one-year prison sentence for probation violations unrelated to the film.

The sentence was handed down on Wednesday after a plea bargain was reached between solicitors for Youssef and federal prosecutors.

Youssef admitted to using several false names and violating his probation order by obtaining a fraudulent California driver’s license under a false name to commit bank fraud.

Read the whole story at Aljazeera

 

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Mitt Romney Likely To Fade From Public Life After His ‘Very Public Death’, Says Adviser http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/07/mitt-romney-likely-to-fade-from-public-life-after-his-very-public-death-says-adviser/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/07/mitt-romney-likely-to-fade-from-public-life-after-his-very-public-death-says-adviser/.html#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 03:32:35 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14218 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

Mitt Romney will take time to ‘reflect and spend time with his family’ before deciding what his next step is but is unlikely to seek to play a major role in the Republican party or remain a prominent public figure, according to an adviser.

Romney, 65, has just been through what Kitty Dukakis, wife of the 1988 losing Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis, once described as ‘a public death’.

Read the whole story at MailOnline

 

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President Obama’s Election Night Victory Speech http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/07/president-obamas-election-night-victory-speech/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/07/president-obamas-election-night-victory-speech/.html#comments Wed, 07 Nov 2012 10:08:23 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14257 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

President Obama’s Election Night Speech, delivered on 11/6/2012 in Chicago

The text:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. (Sustained cheers, applause.)

Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. (Cheers, applause.)

It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family, and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people. (Cheers, applause.)

Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.

(Cheers, applause.) I want to thank every American who participated in this election. (Cheers, applause.) Whether you voted for the very first time (cheers) or waited in line for a very long time (cheers) – by the way, we have to fix that – (cheers, applause) – whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone (cheers, applause), whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference. (Cheers, applause.)

I just spoke with Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. (Cheers, applause.) We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service. And that is a legacy that we honour and applaud tonight. (Cheers, applause.) In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.

(Cheers, applause.)

I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice-president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden. (Cheers, applause.)

And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. (Cheers, applause.) Let me say this publicly. Michelle, I have never loved you more. (Cheers, applause.) I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you too as our nation’s first lady. (Cheers, applause.)

Sasha and Malia – (cheers, applause) – before our very eyes, you’re growing up to become two strong, smart, beautiful young women, just like your mom. (Cheers, applause.) And I am so proud of you guys. But I will say that, for now, one dog’s probably enough. (Laughter.)

To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics – (cheers, applause) – the best – the best ever – (cheers, applause) – some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning.

(Cheers, applause.) But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together. (Cheers, applause.) And you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way – (cheers, applause) – to every hill, to every valley. (Cheers, applause.) You lifted me up the whole day, and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you’ve put in. (Cheers, applause.)

I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics who tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym or – or saw folks working late at a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.

You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. (Cheers, applause.) You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. (Cheers, applause.)

You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home. (Cheers, applause.)

That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight. And it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty, and we can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter – (cheers, applause) – the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.

But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future.

We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers – (cheers, applause) – a country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation – (scattered cheers, applause) – with all of the good jobs and new businesses that follow.

We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened up by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. (Cheers, applause.)

We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on Earth and the best troops this – this world has ever known – (cheers, applause) – but also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.

We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag – (cheers, applause) – to the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner – (cheers, applause) – to the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president.

That’s the – (cheers, applause) – that’s the future we hope for.

(Cheers, applause.) That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go – forward. (Cheers, applause.) That’s where we need to go. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock, resolve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward.

But that common bond is where we must begin. Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. (Cheers, applause.) A long campaign is now over. (Cheers, applause.) And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you. I have learned from you. And you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead. (Cheers, applause.)

Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. (Cheers, applause.) You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours.

And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together – reducing our deficit, reforming our tax code, fixing our immigration system, freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do. (Cheers, applause.)

But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us; it’s about what can be done by us together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. (Cheers, applause.) That’s the principle we were founded on.

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores. What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth, the belief that our destiny is shared – (cheers, applause) – that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations, so that the freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights, and among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great. (Cheers, applause.)

I am hopeful tonight because I have seen this spirit at work in America. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. I’ve seen it in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb and in those Seals who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back. (Cheers, applause.) I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. (Cheers, applause.)

And I saw it just the other day in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his eight-year-old daughter whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for healthcare reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care. (Cheers, applause.) I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd, listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes because we knew that little girl could be our own.

And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president. (Cheers, applause.)

And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. (Cheers, applause.) I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope.

[Audience member: “We got your back, Mr President!”]

I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the road blocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting. (Cheers, applause.)

America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunities and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founding, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight. (Cheers, applause.) You can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.

(Cheers, applause.)

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America. (Cheers, applause.)

And together, with your help and God’s grace, we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on earth. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you, America. (Cheers, applause.) God bless you. God bless these United States. (Cheers, applause.)

 

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Mitt Romney’s Consession Speech (Video) http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/06/mitt-romneys-consession-speech-video/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/06/mitt-romneys-consession-speech-video/.html#comments Wed, 07 Nov 2012 04:55:23 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14231 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

Mitt Romney’s Consession Speech Text:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations.

His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters.

This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.

I want to thank Paul Ryan for all that he has done for our campaign.

And for our country. Besides my wife, Ann, Paul is the best choice I’ve ever made.

And I trust that his intellect and his hard work and his commitment to principle will continue to contribute to the good of our nation.

I also want to thank Ann, the love of my life.

She would have been a wonderful first lady. She’s — she has been that and more to me and to our family and to the many people that she has touched with her compassion and her care.

I thank my sons for their tireless work on behalf of the campaign, and thank their wives and children for taking up the slack as their husbands and dads have spent so many weeks away from home.

I want to thank Matt Rhoades and the dedicated campaign team he led.

They have made an extraordinary effort not just for me, but also for the country that we love.

And to you here tonight, and to the team across the country — the volunteers, the fundraisers, the donors, the surrogates — I don’t believe that there’s ever been an effort in our party that can compare with what you have done over these past years. Thank you so very much.

Thanks for all the hours of work, for the calls, for the speeches and appearances, for the resources and for the prayers. You gave deeply from yourselves and performed magnificently. And you inspired us and you humbled us. You’ve been the very best we could have imagined.

The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.

And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. We look to our teachers and professors, we count on you not just to teach, but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery.

We look to our pastors and priests and rabbis and counselors of all kinds to testify of the enduring principles upon which our society is built: honesty, charity, integrity and family.

We look to our parents, for in the final analysis everything depends on the success of our homes.

We look to job creators of all kinds. We’re counting on you to invest, to hire, to step forward.

And we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.

I believe in America. I believe in the people of America.

And I ran for office because I’m concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to renewed greatness.

Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign.

I so wish — I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.

Thank you, and God bless America. You guys are the best. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thanks, guys.

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Nate Silver Explains His Projections – Elections http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/06/nate-silver-explains-his-projections-elections/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/06/nate-silver-explains-his-projections-elections/.html#comments Tue, 06 Nov 2012 07:29:21 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14435 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

Nate Silver explains his poll predictions and why he has Obama projected to win by 90%.

Nov. 5: Late Poll Gains for Obama Leave Romney With Longer Odds

Mitt Romney has always had difficulty drawing a winning Electoral College hand. Even during his best period of polling, in the week or two after the first presidential debate in Denver, he never quite pulled ahead in the polling averages in Ohio and other states that would allow him to secure 270 electoral votes.

But the most recent set of polls suggest another problem for Mr. Romney, whose momentum in the polls stalled out in mid-October. Instead, it is President Obama who is making gains.

Read the whole story at FiveThirtyEight

 

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Republican-Heavy Counties Eat Up Most Food-Stamp Growth http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/05/republican-heavy-counties-eat-up-most-food-stamp-growth/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/11/05/republican-heavy-counties-eat-up-most-food-stamp-growth/.html#comments Mon, 05 Nov 2012 06:11:32 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14329 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said in May that he’d written off votes from 47 percent of Americans who are collecting government aid. Turns out many of them are part of his political base.

Seventy percent of counties with the fastest-growth in food-stamp aid during the last four years voted for the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by Bloomberg. They include Republican strongholds like King County, Texas, which in 2008 backed Republican John McCain by 92.6 percent, his largest share in the nation; and fast-growing Douglas County, Colorado.

That means Romney is counting on votes from areas where lower-income people have become more reliant on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as food stamps. Mark Baisley, who heads Douglas County’s Republican Party, said many recipients will back Romney in hopes he’ll improve the economy.

“Would you rather be sitting at home wishing you had a job and relying upon the kindness of neighbors?” Baisley said in a telephone interview from Colorado, one of the swing states that Romney and President Barack Obama are battling over. “Or would you rather be self-supporting, with a job that sustains your family?”

In a video from a May fundraiser, Romney said “there are 47 percent who are with him,” referring to Obama, “who are dependent on government.” They “believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”

Read the whole story at Bloomberg

 

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How The American Legislative Process Works http://www.fumua.com/2012/10/29/how-the-american-legislative-process-works/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/10/29/how-the-american-legislative-process-works/.html#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2012 01:10:36 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14090 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

How the American legislative process works.  Anyone may draft a bill; however, only members of Congress can introduce legislation, and by doing so become the sponsor(s). There are four basic types of legislation: bills; joint resolutions; concurrent resolutions; and simple resolutions. The official legislative process begins when a bill or resolution is numbered, (H.R. signifies a House bill and S. a Senate bill), referred to a committee, and printed by the Government Printing Office.

The following are the steps of legislative procedure:

  1. An idea must first come from the public. Ideas originate and are transmitted to Congress by lobbyists, public interest groups, PAC’s, and grassroots political movements.
  2. A member of Congress, either a Senator or Representative must then sponsor the bill.
  3. The bill must be introduced to the floor of the House or Senate.
  4. Referral Committee: With few exceptions, bills are referred to standing committees in the House or Senate according to carefully delineated rules of procedure.
  5. Committee Action: When a bill reaches a committee it is placed on the committee’s calendar. A bill can be referred to a subcommittee or considered by the committee as a whole. It is at this point that a bill is examined carefully and its chances for passage are determined. If the committee does not act on a bill, it is the equivalent of killing it. The Committee Chair has the right to “pigeonhole” (not assign or hear debate on the bill) thus killing it.
  6. Subcommittee Review: Often, bills are referred to a subcommittee for study and hearings. Hearings provide the opportunity to put on the record the views of the executive branch, experts, other public officials, supporters, and opponents of the legislation. If a subcommittee votes not to report legislation to the full committee, the bill dies.
  7. Committee Action to Report a Bill: After receiving a subcommittee’s report on a bill, the full committee can conduct further study and hearings, or it can vote on the subcommittee’s recommendations and any proposed amendments. The full committee then votes on its recommendation to the House or Senate.
  8. Schedule Floor Action: After a bill is reported back to the chamber where it originated, it is placed in chronological order on the calendar.
  9. Debate: When a bill reaches the floor of the House or Senate, there are rules and procedures governing the debate on legislation. Amendments may be added to the bill at this time.
  10. Voting: After the debate and the approval of any amendments, the bill is passed or defeated by the members voting.
  11. Referral to Other Chamber: When a bill is passed by the House or Senate it is referred to the other chamber where it usually follows the same route through committee and floor action. This chamber may approve the bill as received, reject it, ignore it, or change it.
  12. Conference Committee Action: If only minor changes are made to a bill by the other chamber, it is common for the legislation to go directly to the President for signature. However, when the actions of the other chamber significantly alter the bill, a conference committee is formed to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions. If the conferees are unable to reach agreement, the legislation dies. If agreement is reached, a conference report is prepared describing the committee members’ recommendations for changes. Both the House and Senate must approve the conference report.
  13. Final Action: After a bill has been approved by both the House and Senate in identical form, it is sent to the President. If the President approves of the legislation, he signs it and it becomes law. Or, the President can take no action for ten days, while congress is in session, and it automatically becomes law. If the President opposes the bill he can veto it; or if he takes no action after the Congress has adjourned its second session, it is a “pocket veto” and the legislation dies.
  14. Overriding a Veto: If the President vetoes a bill, Congress may attempt to “override the veto.” This requires a two thirds roll call vote of each chamber of Congress.

 

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The Voter-Fraud Myth http://www.fumua.com/2012/10/29/the-voter-fraud-myth/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/10/29/the-voter-fraud-myth/.html#comments Mon, 29 Oct 2012 06:26:16 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=13978 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

Hans von Spakovsky, a Republican lawyer who served in the Bush Administration, has promoted strict voter-I.D. laws. Photograph by Lauren Lancaster.

The voter-fraud myth is just a myth.

The New Yorker

Teresa Sharp is fifty-three years old and has lived in a modest single-family house on Millsdale Street, in a suburb of Cincinnati, for nearly thirty-three years. A lifelong Democrat, she has voted in every Presidential election since she turned eighteen. So she was agitated when an official summons from the Hamilton County Board of Elections arrived in the mail last month. Hamilton County, which includes Cincinnati, is one of the most populous regions of the most fiercely contested state in the 2012 election. No Republican candidate has ever won the Presidency without carrying Ohio, and recent polls show Barack Obama and Mitt Romney almost even in the state. Every vote may matter, including those cast by the seven members of the Sharp family—Teresa, her husband, four grown children, and an elderly aunt—living in the Millsdale Street house.

The letter, which cited arcane legal statutes and was printed on government letterhead, was dated September 4th. “You are hereby notified that your right to vote has been challenged by a qualified elector,” it said. “The Hamilton County Board of Elections has scheduled a hearing regarding your right to vote on Monday, September 10th, 2012, at 8:30 A.M. . . . You have the right to appear and testify, call witnesses and be represented by counsel.”

“My first thought was, Oh, no!” Sharp, who is African-American, said. “They ain’t messing with us poor black folks! Who is challenging my right to vote?”

The answer to Sharp’s question is that a new watchdog group, the Ohio Voter Integrity Project, which polices voter-registration rolls in search of “electoral irregularities,” raised questions about her eligibility after consulting a government-compiled list of local properties and mistakenly identifying her house as a vacant lot.

The Sharp household had first been identified as suspicious by computer software that had been provided to the Ohio Voter Integrity Project by a national organization called True the Vote. The software, which has been distributed to similar groups around the country, is used to flag certain households, including those with six or more registered voters. This approach inevitably pinpoints many lower-income residents, students, and extended families.

True the Vote, which was founded in 2009 and is based in Houston, describes itself as a nonprofit organization, created “by citizens for citizens,” that aims to protect “the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party.” Although the group has a spontaneous grassroots aura, it was founded by a local Tea Party activist, Catherine Engelbrecht, and from the start it has received guidance from intensely partisan election lawyers and political operatives, who have spent years stoking fear about election fraud. This cohort—which Roll Call has called the “voter fraud brain trust”—has filed lawsuits, released studies, testified before Congress, and written op-ed columns and books. Since 2011, the effort has spurred legislative initiatives in thirty-seven states to require photo identification to vote.

Engelbrecht has received especially valuable counsel from one member of the group: Hans von Spakovsky. A Republican lawyer who served in the Bush Administration, he is now a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank. “Hans is very, very helpful,” Engelbrecht said. “He’s one of the senior advisers on our advisory council.” Von Spakovsky, who frequently appears on Fox News, is the co-author, with the columnist John Fund, of the recent book “Who’s Counting?,” which argues that America is facing an electoral-security crisis. “Election fraud, whether it’s phony voter registrations, illegal absentee ballots, vote-buying, shady recounts, or old-fashioned ballot-box stuffing, can be found in every part of the United States,” they write. The book connects these modern threats with sordid episodes from the American past: crooked inner-city machines, corrupt black bosses in the Deep South. Von Spakovsky and Fund conclude that electoral fraud is a “spreading” danger, and declare that True the Vote serves “an obvious need.”

Mainstream election experts say that Spakovsky has had an improbably large impact. Richard L. Hasen, a law professor at the University of California at Irvine, and the author of a recent book, “The Voting Wars,” says, “Before 2000, there were some rumblings about Democratic voter fraud, but it really wasn’t part of the main discourse. But thanks to von Spakovsky and the flame-fanning of a few others, the myth that Democratic voter fraud is common, and that it helps Democrats win elections, has become part of the Republican orthodoxy.” In December, Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, wrote, “Election fraud is a real and persistent threat to our electoral system.” He accused Democrats of “standing up for potential fraud—presumably because ending it would disenfranchise at least two of its core constituencies: the deceased and double-voters.” Hasen believes that Democrats, for their part, have made exaggerated claims about the number of voters who may be disenfranchised by Republican election-security measures. But he regards the conservative alarmists as more successful. “Their job is really done,” Hasen says. “It’s common now to assert that there is a need for voter I.D.s, even without any evidence.”

In Hamilton County alone, the new citizens’ groups have challenged more than a thousand names since March. Some challenges, such as those aiming to disqualify college students who failed to include their dorm-room numbers on their registration forms, were tossed out immediately. But the board accepted nearly two hundred challenges, including those to twenty-six voters registered at a trailer park that no longer existed.

In Ohio, if voters whose eligibility has been challenged come to the polls in November, they may be forced to use a provisional ballot, which will be counted only if officials sanction it—after Election Day. Some experts worry that voters who have been needlessly challenged will feel too intimidated even to show up. “People have other things to do with their lives than respond to inaccurate complaints accusing them of being criminals,” Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said.

Alex Triantafilou, a Republican member of the county’s Board of Elections, maintains that the challenges have been nonpartisan. But Caleb Faux, a Democrat on the board, says, “I don’t buy it. The True the Vote people are clearly going after Democratic voters: African-Americans, students, and other groups they think are likely to vote Democratic.”

Read the whole story:  The New Yorker

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Bill Maher: If You Elect Romney, You Should Know…. http://www.fumua.com/2012/10/27/bill-maher-if-you-elect-romney-you-should-know/.html http://www.fumua.com/2012/10/27/bill-maher-if-you-elect-romney-you-should-know/.html#comments Sat, 27 Oct 2012 11:35:49 +0000 http://fumua.com/?p=14068 Share on Facebook Retweet this Share with Addthis

Bill Maher: If You Elect Romney, You Should Know:

If you’re a moderate considering voting for Mitt Romney, there are certain facts you should know… according to Bill Maher. While you may not think the two candidates are terribly different, in Maher’s opinion, only one of them is poised to release the Kraken in terms of the religious right:

“When you elect Mitt you’re electing every right wing nut he’s pandered to in the last 10 years. If the Mitt-mobile does roll into Washington it’ll be towing behind it the whole anti-intellectual, anti-Science freakshow.”

 

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