A three-judge Minnesota court this afternoon has rejected 13 to 17 of the 19 categories of absentee ballots at the center of the case brought by Republic Norm Coleman in his attempt to erase a narrow vote margin favoring Democrat Al Franken in the U.S. Senate race.
Al Franken (AP File Photo)
Democrats hope Franken will prevail in the race to move them closer to the 60-seat threshold needed in the Senate to stop the Republican filibusters that for years have thwarted Democrats from enacting their agenda.
The core of the dispute is that Democrat Al Franken’s legal team wants the state of Minnesota to count every absentee ballot legally cast by registered voters. In contrast, Republican Norm Coleman’s legal team has wanted the state to count almost every absentee ballot, including those with legal problems, such as faulty voter registrations or improper signatures.
Saying election law cannot make exceptions on what ballots can legally be counted, the court today wholly rejected counting 13 categories of faulty ballots, and another four categories of ballot are likely to be rejected by Monday on the same grounds.
Mural painter Ron English stood contentedly before his fine Obama-Lincoln composite portrait on the side of a building on Thayer Street in Boston last July 2, 2008. The mural was an outdoor expression of his installation in Gallery XIV’, which passed out poster copies of the art that soon were pasted publicly across the city. The mayor’s office fielded angry calls protesting the prolific image (probably from Republicans), yet its spontaneous popularity showed how naturally voters saw a connection between Obama and Lincoln.(Photo courtesy of AdBusters; pay them a visit.)
Amid all the media hubbub about Barack Obama’s homage to his spiritual mentor on Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday, February 12th, I recalled an AdBusters photo spread on the intuitively brilliant portrait by Ron English. Some of you may have seen this image before, especially if you live in Boston. but I wager this tantalizing portrait is new to most of you.
Then I recalled a comment late last year from an “intuitive” friend of mine who is absolutely convinced that Abraham Lincoln has reincarnated as Barack Obama. She cited her “evidence” as Obama’s meteoric rise to the presidency after one term as the Senator from Illinois, which matched Lincoln’s meteoric rise to the presidency after one term in the House as a Representative from Illinois.
Hard-line Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu and ruling Kadima Party Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni have both claimed victory in Israel’s parliamentary election Tuesday, which early returns suggested is still too close to call.
Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu
greets supporters at the Likud election
headquarters at the convention center
in Tel Aviv, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009.
(AP Photo/Odd Andersen)
With 67 percent of the votes counted at about 7 PM (EST), according to an Associated Press report citing Israel’s Channel 1 television, Livni’s centrists Kadima Party had won 29 seats in the 120-seat Knesset parliament while Netanyahu’s hawkish Likud Party was right behind with 28 seats.
A final vote count will not be known until Thursday evening, when the votes are counted for soldiers at military bases across Israel. Those results could change the tally in the Knesset by a seat or two.
Under Israel’s parliamentary system, when there is no clear majority winner, the leader of the party winning the most seats automatically becomes the Prime Minister who forms the ruling government.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner today unveiled details of the Obama administration’s plans to address the worst U.S. financial crisis since the Great Depression more than seven decades ago.Initially dealing with the second half of the $700 billion banking bailout approved under the Bush administration, the new Obama administration program could eventually channel up to $2 trillion of public and private money to unfreeze the credit markets and get the economy moving again.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner speaks
at the Treasury Department in Washington,
Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009, detailing the Obama
administrations economic recovery plans.
(AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
“We have to both jump-start job creation and private investment,” Geithner said, “and we must get credit flowing again to businesses and families.”Speaking at the Treasury Department in Washington, DC, Geithner declared, “Right now critical parts of our financial system are damaged. Instead of catalyzing recovery, the financial system is working against recovery, and that’s the dangerous dynamic we need to change.
Beyond placing a previously announced $500,000 salary cap on the top executives of participating banks and other financial institutions, according to an Associated Press report, the Obama plan would “impose tough new standards on future payments to banks. It is also greatly expanding an effort to unclog credit markets to provide loans to consumers and businesses.”
A key focus, AP reported, will be funding to loosen banking limits on credit card debt, auto loans and student loans from $20 billion to $100 billion. In combination with a program operated by the Federal Reserve, the effort “would be enough to support an additional $1 trillion of lending in this area. Officials said the program would also be expanded beyond consumer and small business loans to cover loans for commercial real estate projects.”
When it comes to the evolving economic stimulus plan, we citizens need to warn Congress not to repeat the primal mistakes in the Bush era of rushing to enact bills that have not been fully studied, debated and amended for the higher good. Urgent fear-mongering by the administration gave us the convoluted mess of the USA Patriot Act, for example, let alone Congressional authorization for the invasion of Iraq.The text of the latest Senate compromise version of H.R.1 was only released on Saturday night. I do not see how any Senator or Senate staffer can digest all 778 pages (before amendments) in time to vote intelligently on Tuesday, as the Obama administration is urging.
I’ve spent a major portion of Sunday studying the Senate bill, and I barely made a dent in gaining a functional understanding. I’ve also gone online to explore as many trustworthy news sources as I could find. Perhaps, I can help you get started with studying the bill.