Friday, August 24, 2012

'Our State Has No Tolerance for Senseless Acts of Violence That Harm Our People...'

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo on the Shooting Near the Empire State Building

"Today's shooting near the Empire State Building is a tragedy for New York City and our entire state. My administration, including members of the State Police, is actively monitoring the situation and working closely with city law enforcement agencies to ensure that the safety of New Yorkers and those visiting New York City comes first. I commend members of the New York Police Department, as well as the first responders and civilians, who acted bravely and took swift action to save the lives of others and prevent this tragedy from becoming much worse. Our state has no tolerance for senseless acts of violence that harm our people, and we will do everything possible to ensure that law enforcement officials have the tools they need so residents of the city and tourists can enjoy everything New York City has to offer without fearing for their own safety and security. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I send my condolences to the friends and family of the innocent victim who died in this attack, and wish those who were injured in today's shooting a speedy recovery."

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Bloomberg, Kelly Speak on Shooting Near ESB

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Several People Shot Near Empire State Building

Developing Story

Details are available in this New York Daily News article. From The G-Man will provide more information on the midtown shooting as it becomes available. 

Update: 10:22 am - More details provided via the following NY1 News video report:

West Wing Week 08/24/12

White House Briefs

President Obama Engages with Youth with Disabilities

Recently, President Obama met with some youth with disabilities. He wanted to hear their thoughts about the future of disability policy. So, he sat down with participants from the American Association of People with Disabilities internship program.

First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks at a Joining Forces Hiring Event

The First Lady announces that more than 2,000 businesses participating in her Joining Forces initiative have hired or trained more than 125,000 veterans and military spouses in the past year and have pledged to hire or train 250,000 veterans and spouses in the coming years.

Extended Preview: ‘Nuns, Faith & Politics’

Watch early clips from this weekend's Moyers and Company about outspoken nuns on a road trip addressing faith, politics and Paul Ryan's budget.

Women and the 2012 Election

Terry O'Neill talked about the issues that the National Organization of Women (NOW) believes will influence women voters in the 2012 elections. She also responded to telephone calls and electronic communications. Topics included the economy, Medicare and Medicaid, reproductive rights, and controversial Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's inaccurate statement on rape and pregnancy. 

Hurricane Irene, One Year Later

Today in History: August 24th

Highlights of this day in history: Mount Vesuvius erupts, burying two Ancient Roman cities; Hurricane Andrew hits Florida; British troops burn Washington in War of 1812; Pluto demoted as a planet; Pete Rose banned from baseball for life. (Aug. 24)

Musicians Versus (Republican) Politicians


By Adam Smith, Daina Schnese and Veronica Polivanaya

Anchor: Christina Hartman
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South Africa's Zuma Outlines Mine Protest Inquiry

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has outlined the details of a commission being set up to investigate last week's violence at a platinum mine that left 44 people dead. Nationwide memorial services have meanwhile been held for those killed. Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from Marikana.

Neo-Nazi Music Popular in U.S. Military

White supremacist and neo-Nazi rock music is flourishing worldwide. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, music sales are a primary source of income for racist groups and a rich recruiting ground for new members. The SPLC says the number of hate groups it monitors has exploded to over one thousand in the years since Barack Obama's election. Al Jazeera's Rob Reynolds reports from Los Angeles.

Norway Rules Mass Killer Breivik Sane

Court sentences Anders Breivik to 21 years in prison for the massacre of 77 people in 2011 gun and bomb attacks.

Clashes in Damascus as Shelling Continues

Clashes have broken out in Damascus, with Syrian government forces firing mortar rounds on rebel positions, activists say, in what they describe as some of the heaviest fighting in the nation's capital this month. The violence on Thursday coincided with the departure from the country of UN monitors, whose mandate expired and was not renewed due to deteriorating conditions that have dragged Syria into civil war. Al Jazeera's Rula Amin reports from Beirut.

Petrol Supplies Across Nigeria Threatened

Nigeria may be rich in oil, but parts of the country are in the grip of a major petrol shortage. A disagreement between oil companies and the government has led to a halt in deliveries. Supplies across the whole nation are now threatened. Al Jazeera's Yvonne Ndege reports from Lagos.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

West Nile Virus Outbreak on Track to Become Worst in U.S. History

The mosquito borne West Nile virus has killed more than 40 people and infected nearly 1,000. The latest outbreak is set to become the worst ever in U.S. history. Almost half of the reported cases have occurred in the state of Texas. Dallas county has responded by launching an extensive West Nile education program campaign. Al Jazeera's John Terrett reports from Washington.

Budget and Economic Outlook

Doug Elmendorf spoke about the new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the budget and economic outlook. The CBO predicted that the budget deficit for fiscal year 2012 will be $1.1 trillion, and warned Congress of the urgency of addressing the "fiscal cliff," the combination of tax hikes and spending cuts that would take place on January 1, 2013, unless new budget agreements are reached. If Congress does reach an agreement, the CBO estimated gross domestic product (GDP) growth of around 1.7 percent.

Today in History: August 23rd

Highlights of this day in history: Nazis and Soviets sign a non-aggression pact on eve of World War II; Sacco and Vanzetti executed; Defrocked priest John Geoghan killed; Movie star Rudolph Valentino and Broadway's Oscar Hammerstein die. (Aug. 23)

Isaac, Biden Threaten to Overshadow GOP Convention

By Ferdous Al-Faruque

Anchor: Christina Hartman
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South African Mining Unrest Spreads

Strikers from two other mines have joined thousands protesting at the Lonmin mine where 34 strikers were killed by police. Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports

Dozens Killed in Kenya Ethnic Violence

Communal violence in Kenya has left at least 48 people dead. Wednesday's attack is thought to be a revenge for a longstanding dispute over resources. Al Jazeera's Omar Al Saleh reports.

Deadly Syria-Linked Clashes Strike Lebanon's Tripoli

At least 12 people have been killed - as pro- and anti-Assad camps take aim at each other in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. Old rivalries have been reignited and there is considerable tensions between the two communities - it's being described as the worst since Lebanon's civil war. Al Jazeera's James Bays reports from Tripoli.

Nepal Ban on Middle East Workers

Rights groups have criticised Nepal's decision to ban women under the age of 30 from working in the Middle East. They say the government should bring in measures to ensure their safety. Nepal's leaders took the decision earlier this month following reports of violence, sexual abuse and exploitation. Al Jazeera's Subina Shrestha reports from Kathmandu.

Balkans Hit by Worst Drought in Decades

After suffering a harsh winter, the Balkans region in southeast Europe is facing one of its worst droughts in four decades. And the cost looks set to run into hundreds of millions of dollars. Peter Sharp reports.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac Being Tracked by FEMA

Agency and Federal Partners Urging Residents in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands to Take Steps to Prepare

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through its Caribbean Area Office in Puerto Rico, is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Isaac and is in close coordination with emergency management officials in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The National Weather Service has issued a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning for both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  FEMA and its federal partners urge residents of the commonwealth and territory to closely monitor the storm and to follow the direction of local officials as potential severe weather approaches.

In advance of the storm, FEMA proactively deployed Incident Management Assistance Teams to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to coordinate with commonwealth/territory and local officials, should additional support be requested, or needed. 

Additionally, FEMA has liaisons in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands emergency operations centers, to further strengthen coordination.

These assets supplement federal resources and personnel that are staged, year-round, at FEMA's Caribbean Area Office and Caribbean Area Distribution Center located in Puerto Rico. 

Other teams have been identified and will be mobilized as needed and requested.

"FEMA, along with the entire federal family, is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Isaac and coordinating with our commonwealth and territorial partners that could potentially be affected by this storm.  We strongly encourage residents to listen to the instructions of their local officials," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

"For residents in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who may be affected by this storm as early as Thursday, in some areas, it's critical that you take this storm seriously and take steps now to prepare your families, homes and businesses. Visit to learn how.”

FEMA encourages everyone, regardless of whether they live in a hurricane-prone area, to take steps to ensure their family, homes and businesses are prepared for a possible emergency. 

Important items to have ready in case of an emergency include a battery-powered radio (like a NOAA Weather Radio), flashlight, extra batteries, medicines, non-perishable food, hand-operated can opener, utility knife and first aid supplies.

Important documents, such as medical records, contracts, property deeds, leases, banking records, insurance records and birth certificates should be copied and kept in a safe place.

As is always the case, local officials make decisions on issuing evacuation orders, so FEMA advises residents to remember to listen to the direction of their local officials, and to learn where evacuation routes and sheltering locations are located, in case evacuation orders are given.

At this time, it is still too early to know whether the storm could pose an immediate threat to the U.S. Coast. 

History shows that storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly, so FEMA encourages coastal residents to monitor weather conditions, follow the direction of local officials, and visit learn about a few simple steps they can take now to be prepared.

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'Operation Summer Brake' Enforcement Begins August 27

New York State Thruway Drivers Urged to Slow Down in Construction Zones

Operation Summer Brake,” an eight-day initiative promoting work zone safety, will take place Monday, August 27, and continue through Monday, September 3, 2012, the New York State Thruway Authority and State Police Troop T announced.

“As part of ‘Operation Summer Brake,’ the Thruway Authority encourages motorists to be alert on the road, drive responsibly, obey posted speed limits, and avoid all distractions to ensure a safe trip to their destination,” said Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas J. Madison.

From August 27 through September 3, members of Troop T will be stepping up enforcement efforts on the Thruway.

“Throughout this period of expanded enforcement, the dedicated members of Troop T will be watching for those who are intoxicated, speeding, or driving aggressively,” said Sgt. Thomas Ferritto.

“Also, Troop T will be enforcing the Move Over Law to protect maintenance workers, tow truck operators, and state troopers.”

New York State Police Troop T issued 838 tickets during the 2011 “Operation Summer Brake” campaign.

“The New York State Thruway has an outstanding safety record, and we are committed to working with New Yorkers and the State Police,” added Madison.

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125,000 Veterans & Military Spouses Hired Through Joining Forces

First Lady's Announcement Meets President's Challenge One Year Early

WASHINGTON – Today, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Naval Station Mayport, Florida to announce that more than 2,000 businesses who have participated in her Joining Forces initiative have hired or trained more than 125,000 veterans and military spouses in the past year.

Mrs. Obama also announced that these same companies have committed to build on the momentum to date and have pledged to hire or train 250,000 veterans and spouses in the coming years.

The First Lady’s event at Naval Station Mayport was livestreamed by the Department of Defense to every U.S. military base around the world.

One year ago, the President announced a series of measures to increase veterans’ employment and he asked the First Lady and Dr. Biden to lead an effort with the private sector through Joining Forces to hire or train 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013.

The administration noted that Joining Forces efforts to date have exceeded the President’s challenge to the private sector with hiring milestones met more than a year early.

The First Lady also reiterated her challenge to states to pass legislation that reduces the financial and administrative strains that 100,000 military spouses incur from trying to get their state licenses or certification credentials to transfer from state to state as they move.

Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden made their pitch to governors in February of this year when only 11 states had legislation on the books supporting military spouse license portability.

In just six months the number of states with supportive measures in place has more than doubled to 26 states.

“The story of Joining Forces is of people across this country stepping up and doing everything they can to serve military families as well as they have served this country,” said the First Lady.

“Today’s announcement is just the beginning. We’re not going to stop until all our veterans know that when they hit the job market, their skills will be rewarded. And we won’t stop until all our military spouses know that the next time their family is transferred, they won’t have to leave their profession behind.”

Companies are making new commitments to veteran employment every week. The following companies are new among the 2,000 businesses that are recognizing that hiring veterans is good for their bottom line:

NatLabs, Inc. committed to bring 400 jobs back to the U.S. from overseas starting in 2013 and hire veterans as 75 percent of their labor force. These 400 jobs in hi-tech manufacturing will be located in the Jacksonville, Florida, area.

Companies like, Dupont and Exelon have made commitments to have veterans constitute 10 percent of their new hires in the coming years.

The Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) – consisting of more than 140 companies – is committed to hire 50,000 military spouses in the coming years.

This unique partnership is coordinated by the Department of Defense and consists of companies who have pledged to hire military spouses and support their continued employment and professional development by transferring a spouse’s job with them when they move to a new military duty station.

Visit the following website for more information on MSEP:  

A complete list of every company and their commitment to veteran and military spouse employment through Joining Forces can be found at

CBO Report Released

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Responds 

Today’s Congressional Budget Office report only reinforces the urgent need for House Republicans to follow the Senate’s lead and pass a bill that gives middle class families the confidence that they won’t see their taxes go up at the beginning of next year. 114 million Americans deserve that guarantee. 

But instead of doing the right thing, Republicans in Washington have chosen to double down on the same failed policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place.  They’re willing to hold the middle class hostage unless we also give massive new tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires – tax cuts we can’t afford that would do nothing to strengthen the economy.  

Congress also needs to act right now to prevent arbitrary spending cuts that would hurt military families, seniors on Medicare, and children who deserve a quality education.  It’s time to replace these cuts with balanced deficit reduction that asks the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations to go back to the tax rates they were paying under Bill Clinton – back when our economy created 23 million new jobs and a record surplus.  But first, Republicans in Washington should do the right thing and pass a bill that extends tax cuts for 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses.  There’s no reason to wait.

Baltimore: Anatomy of an American City

Fault Lines investigates the dynamics of race, poverty and incarceration in a U.S. election year.

U.S. Military Operations in Afghanistan

Heidi Vogt was interviewed by phone about U.S. operations in Afghanistan.

Independent Voters and the 2012 Election

Peyton Craighill was interviewed by phone about a Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation poll of independent voters and the potential effect on the 2012 elections.

Today in History: August 22nd

Highlights of this day in history: The last Jewish settlers leave the Gaza Strip; President Bill Clinton signs welfare reform into law; Black Panthers' co-founder Huey Newton killed; Sci-fi author Ray Bradbury and singer Tori Amos born. (Aug. 22)

Why Obama, Romney Aren't Talking About Afghanistan


By Madison Mack and Andrew Gibson

Anchor: Christina Hartman
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Other Newsy videos will play following this report. 

Syrian Crisis Sparks Kidnappings in Lebanon

The war in Syria is kick-starting old sectarian tensions across the border in Lebanon. One powerful Shia clan has kidnapped more than 20 Syrians and a Turkish businessman. The al-Meqdad say they will resume kidnappings soon if they do not secure the release of one of their clansmen being held in Damascus by the rebel Free Syrian Army. Al Jazeera's James Bays met members of the clan and sent this exclusive report from Beirut.

Ethiopians Mourn Meles Zenawi

The body of Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi has been flown back to Addis Ababa. Thousands of people turned out to pay their respects for their leader that died at age of 57 after more than two decades in power. Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow report from Addis Ababa.

Hostages in Northern Mali in Plea for Help

Al Jazeera has obtained footage of Western nationals taken hostage in northern Mali last year. The three men are urging their governments to secure their release. Reports indicate that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb is demanding the release of certain prisoners in return for freeing the hostages. Al Jazeera's Omar Al Saleh reports.

South African Miners' Village Fury at Deaths

South African opposition politicians are calling for the government to be held responsible for last week's violence at a platinum mine. A total of 44 people, including 34 shot by police on Thursday, have died after protests for better working conditions and pay turned violent. At Wonderkop mining village, where most of the miners who were killed resided, tensions remain high. Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa visited some of the workers' homes.

Tension Grips Secretive Mexican Sect

A secretive religious sect in Mexico which calls itself The New Jerusalem has been under attack. The frustrated community has watched its schools and buildings being destroyed while authorites have turned a blind eye. Al Jazeera's Rachel Levin travelled to the remote community in Michoacan state to find out more.

Russian Fears Over WTO Membership

After two decades of negotiations, Russia has joined the World Trade Organization. The lower trade barriers that come with membership will open up new opportunities for foreign businesses. Russian leaders say ordinary consumers will benefit as well because it will lead to lower prices. But economists predict the move will have a negative economic impact for some Russian businesses due to increased foreign competition. Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan reports from the southern city of Krasnodar.

Thousands Remain Homeless in Assam

Last month's ethnic riots in northeastern India left dozens of people dead. The violence pitted Muslim Bengali settlers against the mainly Hindu Bodo tribes in Assam state. Al Jazeera's Bhanu Bhatnagar reports.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How Religion Impacts Obama, Romney

CNN's Brianna Keilar looks at how President Obama and Mitt Romney's faith plays into their politics.

Governor Cuomo on the Tappan Zee Bridge Project

MyDMV Online Voter Registration

'Prime Minister Meles Deserves Recognition for His Lifelong Contribution to Ethiopia’s Development'

Statement by President Obama on the Death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia

It was with sadness that I learned of the passing of 
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.  Prime Minister Meles deserves recognition for his lifelong contribution to Ethiopia’s development, particularly his unyielding commitment to Ethiopia’s poor. I met with Prime Minister Meles at the G-8 Summit in May and recall my personal admiration for his desire to lift millions of Ethiopians out of poverty through his drive for food security.  

I am also grateful for Prime Minister Meles’s service for peace and security in Africa, his contributions to the African Union, and his voice for Africa on the world stage. On behalf of the American people, I offer my condolences to Prime Minister Meles’ family and to the people of Ethiopia on this untimely loss, and confirm the U.S. Government’s commitment to our partnership with Ethiopia. Going forward, we encourage the Government of Ethiopia to enhance its support for development, democracy, regional stability and security, human rights, and prosperity for its people.

Source for Zenawi photo: FlickrMeles Zenawi - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012

Tuskegee Airmen - 71 Years Ago

On July 19, 1941, the U.S. Army Air Corps began training Black pilots. The 926 members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen (comprised initially of the 99th Pursuit Squadron and later the 332nd Fighter Group) were trained for combat in World War II at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

Known for their red-tailed P-51 Mustang fighters, the Tuskegee Airmen never lost an escorted plane to the enemy during the course of World War II, during which they carried out hundreds of escort missions.

Video uploaded to YouTube by  

In Memoriam.... George Hickman, Tuskegee Airman

War Hero Battled the Germans and Racism While Serving His Country During World War II

The Grio provides a look back at Hickman's life and the tremendous contribution he made during World War II as a member of the legendary fighter pilots "The Tuskegee Airmen".  

From The G-Man would like to take this opportunity to honor George Hickman, his love of country, and his service with the following video tribute. May he forever rest in peace. 

Video uploaded to YouTube by moderatepopulist

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Senator Addabbo to Host Annual "Veterans BBQ"

Senator Addabbo, pictured on the far right, with veterans at the 2011 Veterans BBQ. (Click on image to enlarge it.)

Addabbo: "This is Just Our Small Way of Saying 
Thank You for Your Service"

Queens, NY – New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens), a ranking member of the Senate’s Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs Committee, is inviting all local veterans and their families to his fourth annual “Veterans Barbeque”, outside his Howard Beach office.
The event is schedule to take place from 12pm to 3pm on Saturday, August 25, at 160th Avenue & 102nd Street, in Howard Beach.

The Senator and his staff reached out to the various Queens chapters of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Catholic and Jewish War Veterans, Vietnam Veterans and Knights of Columbus fraternal organization, to be their special guests.

Staff members, as well as Senator Addabbo, will cook and serve food and host a number of neighborhood events.
Senator Addabbo’s staff urges those planning to attend to R.S.V.P. by calling Senator Addabbo’s district office at 718-738-1111 no later than August 23, for preparation purposes.

“This is just our small way of saying ‘Thank you for your service’ -- not only to our local veterans, but also to their families. All nobly served our country in years past and of course, many brave volunteers are currently still doing so in Afghanistan and Iraq. We should show our veterans that we appreciate their dedication and commitment not just on Veterans Day, but every day of the year,” explained Addabbo.

Strategic Presidential Voting

A Special Guest Commentary by Renowned Activist Ted Glick

Future Hope column, August 20, 2012

Strategic Presidential Voting

By Ted Glick

It’s puzzling that there is almost no discussion among progressives about the U.S.’s completely unique way of choosing its top political leader and how we could use that fact strategically.

In the USA there are 50 separate election contests to choose “electors” to the Electoral College. It’s not the national popular vote that does it. If winning the most votes nationally was our system, Al Gore would have been inaugurated President in 2001.

It’s one of those things that’s kind-of “hiding in plain site.” All during Presidential campaign season journalists talk and write about the 10 or so swing states, or battleground states, that receive the overwhelming bulk of Presidential candidate visits and TV ads. These are the states that, historically, have voted for either the Democratic or the Republican Presidential candidate in the last few decades, that have not regularly chosen one or the other, as is generally true for about 40 or so states.

This reality is the flip side of the spoiler coin that keeps large numbers of progressives, even some revolutionary and radical progressives, from voting for a third party candidate. The fear of spoiling it for the Democrat, leading to the Republican winning, overwhelms their appreciation that a third party candidate’s positions on issues is much more progressive than the Democrat. This fear was present even in 2000 when the Green Party brought forward the most substantive third party Presidential campaign in decades in the persons of Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke.

The spoiler concern is the major reason these progressives give for voting for a candidate like Obama who by no means can be trusted to do the right thing on most issues. The other reason given is that existing third parties, the Green Party being the prime one today, are too small and weak to have any impact, so why “waste my vote” on them?

The Green Party is small and weak, no question about it, but it does exist, and given the incredibly undemocratic and corporate-dominated nature of our two-parties-only electoral system, that is an accomplishment. There are about 250 of its members who have been elected to local offices like water boards, school boards, town and city councils and even a few mayoral offices. It looks like it will be on the ballot in 40 or more states this year, no small thing given restrictive ballot access laws in many states. It qualified for federal matching funds by raising at least $5,000 in more than 20 states. And it has two candidates for President and Vice-President, Dr. Jill Stein and anti-poverty activist Cheri Honkala, who are substantive, hard-working, articulate and very good on the issues.

Of course, these candidates are not going to win. But it would be, strategically, a positive thing for the independent progressive movement, broadly defined, if, in a number of states, they won a decent percentage of votes.

What if, in multiple states, 4-5 or more, Stein and Honkala received 5% or more of the votes? That would be a victory. It would say to the Democrats that there are a growing number of voters who are looking for something other than centrist, system-supporting candidates. More importantly, it would say to the U.S. American people that there is a political force in the electoral arena other than the Tea Party that is consistently progressive and growing.

New York State, for example, is ripe for a serious campaign to get at least 5% of the vote for the Green Party. The latest polling results show Obama ahead of Romney by 25 points.

Voting for Barack Obama in New York State if you are a progressive who gets it on how problematic the Democrats are is a completely unstrategic, wasted vote.

It’s the same in a state like Utah, where polls show Romney ahead by 42%. In Idaho there are no polls at realclearpolitics, but it’s solidly red for Romney.

Other states where a smart 4th or 5th grader can predict who’s going to win on November 6:  California (Obama by 17%), Illinois (Obama by 21%), Arkansas (Romney by 24%), West Virginia (Romney by 21%) and Massachusetts (Obama by 19.2%).

The Green Party Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates are on the ballot in all of these states.

It makes sense that the Green Party would lead the organizing of this kind of an effort, although there’s no reason why non-Green Party activists in the states listed above, or others, couldn’t do so. It could be a campaign entitled, in New York for example, “New York, Don’t Waste Your Vote.” Literature and a website and social media and campaign organizers can explain the reality of 50 separate state elections and the certain winner in New York and utilize all kinds of tactics and media to reach out to progressive-minded voters to not waste their vote by voting for Obama in New York.

It’s late in the political season for something like this to be organized, but it’s not too late. I sure hope I’m not the only person who thinks this is a good idea.

Ted Glick has been a progressive activist and organizer since 1968. Past writings and other information can be found at, and he can be followed on twitter at

2012 Kids’ State Dinner

President Obama surprises junior chefs and their parents at the first ever Kids’ State Dinner at the White House.

Presidential News Conference

President Obama spoke to reporters and answered questions at the White House daily briefing. Topics included Syria's potential use of chemical or biological weapons against rebel forces in the country, Mitt Romney's tax returns, the recent increase of violence in Afghanistan, the economy, and a controversial campaign commercial produced by a super political action committee in support of the Obama campaign. 

In reference to U.S. Senate candidate and Representative Todd Akin's (R-MO) remarks about "legitimate rape," he said the "views expressed were offensive" and that "rape is rape." President Obama replied when asked if the congressman should drop out of the race, "He was nominated by the Republicans in Missouri. I'll let them sort that out."

Today in History: August 21st

Highlights of this day in history: Soviet coup against Mikhail Gorbachev fails; Exiled revolutionary Leon Trotsky murdered in Mexico; Nat Turner leads a slave rebellion; U.S. flag gets 50th star; Count Basie and singer Kenny Rogers born. (Aug. 21)

Mitt Romney's Abortion Evolution


By Zach Toombs

Anchor: Zach Toombs
Video courtesy of

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Ethiopian Leader Meles Zenawi Dies at 57

The Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi, has died. The 57-year-old, who had been seriously ill for several months, had been in power since 1991. The country's deputy prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has stepped in as interim leader. Al Jazeera's Peter Greste looks back at his political career.

New Somali Parliament Sworn In

After years of turmoil, Somalia's first formal parliament in two decades has been sworn in. It's hoped a new President can be chosen in the next few weeks. The transitional govt has been in power since 2004. It's been criticized for being corrupt and failing to improve security. Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri reports from Mogadishu.

Arrests in Israel Over Attack on Palestinian

Police in Israel have arrested seven suspects in connection with an attack on a Palestinian youth in the center of West Jerusalem. The 17-year-old was beaten almost to death by a mob, amid reports onlookers stood by and did nothing to protect him. Al Jazeera's Cal Perry reports from West Jerusalem.