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  1. First, you should learn How to Use a Touch-Screen Voting Machine, by watching this informative video from PBS on voting and elections. Then go out on and film your voting experience. Then Upload it to our channel so if anything is fishy, we can review voter's real experiences. View the video at YouTube. Video the Vote is a national network of citizen journalists, independent filmmakers, and media professionals working together to document voter suppression and disenfranchisement.
  2. Concerns With The Electoral College Many observers believe the Electoral College introduces complications and potential problems into our political system. Grossly unequal distribution of campaign resources Unequal voting power depending on where you live The Electoral College gives disproportionate voting power to the states, favoring the smaller states with more electoral votes per person. For instance, each individual vote in Wyoming counts nearly four times as much in the Electoral College as each individual vote in Texas. This is because Wyoming has 3 electoral votes for a population of 493,782 and Texas has 32 electoral votes for a population of over 20 million people. By dividing the population by electoral votes, we can see that Wyoming has an "elector" for every 165,000 people and Texas has an "elector" for every 652,000 people. The small states were given additional power to prevent politicians from only focusing on issues which affect the larger states. The fear was that without this power, politicians would completely ignore small states and only focus on big population centers. Ironically, there is a study that concludes that larger states are actually at an advantage in the Electoral College. Because almost all states give all their electors to whichever candidate wins the most votes within that state, candidates must win whole states in order to win the presidency. Naturally, candidates tend to concentrate resources on the largest payoffs, the states which can provide the greatest number of electoral votes. For a history of the development of the Electoral College, see William C. Kimberling's essay, A Brief History of the Electoral College . Kimberling is the Deputy Director of the FEC's Office of Election Administration. This document provides a historical interpretation of the Electoral College. The winner-take-all method of distributing electoral votes The Electoral College favors the smaller states with disproportionate voting power. Advocates of the system say that this uneven power forces politicians to pay attention to smaller states, which would otherwise be ignored. Despite its intentions, the Electoral College does not encourage politicians to campaign in every state. Some states are still excluded from the campaign; these are not necessarily the small states, but rather they are the states that are not viewed as competitive. Since all but two states allocate their votes via a winner-take-all method, there is no reason for a candidate to campaign in a state that clearly favors one candidate. As an example, Democratic candidates have little incentive to spend time in solidly Republican states, like Texas, even if many Democrats live there. Conversely, Republican candidates have little incentive to campaign in solidly Democratic states, like Massachusetts, especially when they know that states like Florida and Michigan are toss-ups. The winner-take-all rule also leads to lower voter turnout in states where one party is dominant, because each individual vote will be overwhelmed by the majority and will not, in effect, "count" if the winner takes all the electoral votes. Unbound electors In 21 states, electors are not obligated by law to vote for the candidate for whom they were selected. In the 29 states where electors are obligated by law or pledge, they can often still vote against their party without being replaced. Some states issue only minimal fines as punishment. Other states instigate criminal charges varying from a simple misdemeanor to a 4th degree felony. This inconsistency allows for discrepancies in our electoral system. The electors from nearly half the states can vote however they wish, regardless of the popular will of the state. In the founding of our nation, the Electoral College was established to prevent the people from making "uneducated" decisions. The founders feared uneducated public opinion and designed the Electoral College as a layer of insulation from the direct voice of the masses. There is no reason, in this modern day, to assign this responsibility to a set of individual electors. Thousands of votes can and have been violated by an individual elector, choosing to act on his or her own behalf instead of on the behalf of the people. Since the founding of the Electoral College, 157 electors have not cast their votes for the candidates they were designated to represent. House of Representatives can choose the president If no candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes, the presidential vote is deferred to the House of Representatives and the vice presidential vote is deferred to the Senate. This could easily lead to a purely partisan battle, instead of an attempt to discover which candidate the citizens really prefer. If the Senate and the House of Representative reflect different majorities, meaning that they select members of opposing parties, the offices of president and vice president could be greatly damaged. This potential opposition in the presidential office would not be good for the stability of the country or the government. Enforcement of a two-party system Because of our two-party system, voters often find themselves voting for the "lesser of two evils," rather than a candidate they really feel would do the best job. The Electoral College inadvertently reinforces this two party system, where third parties cannot enter the race without being tagged as "spoilers." Since most states distribute their electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis, a smaller party has no chance to gain support without seeming to take this support from one of the major parties. Few people will support a party that never wins, especially when they are supporting that party at the possible expense of their least favorite candidate taking power (as happened to Nader/Gore supporters in 2000 and Perot/Bush supporters in 1992). Presidency can be won without a majority of the popular vote As the 2000 election demonstrated, it is possible for a President to be elected without winning the popular vote. Nor was the Bush/Gore election the first time a presidential candidate has won the presidency while someone else claimed a plurality of the votes cast. Andrew Jackson and Samuel Tilden won the popular vote in 1824 and 1876 respectively, only to see someone else walk into the White House. An even more common occurrence is for a presidential candidate to win both the presidency and the popular vote without actually winning a majority of all ballots cast. This has happened 16 times since the founding of the Electoral College, most recently in 2000. In every one of these elections, more than half of the voters voted against the candidate who was elected. With such a winner-take-all system, it is impossible to tell which candidate the people really prefer, especially in a close race.
  3. The Electoral College was established in Article II, Section I, of the United States Constitution, and was later modified by the 12th and 23rd Amendments, which clarified the process. When U.S. citizens vote for President and Vice President every election year, ballots show the names of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates, although they are actually electing a slate of "electors" that represent them in each state. The electors from every state combine to form the Electoral College. Each state is allocated a number of electors equal to the number of its U.S. senators (always two) plus the number of its U.S. House representatives (which may change each decade according to the size of each state's population as determined in the census). See list of state populations and respective electoral votes Each political party with a candidate on the ballot designates its own set of electors for each state, matching the number of electors they appoint with the number of electoral votes allotted to the state. This usually occurs at the state party conventions. Electors are typically strong and loyal supporters of their political party, but can never be a U.S. senator or representative. Electors are also generally free agents, as only 29 states require electors to vote as they have pledged, and many constitutional scholars believe those requirements would not stand in a court challenge. After the election, by statutes in 48 states and the District of Columbia, the party that wins the most votes in that state appoints all of the electors for that state. This is known as a winner-take-all or unit rule allocation of electors, which became the norm around the nation by the 1830's. Currently, the only exceptions to the unit rule are Maine and Nebraska. By federal statute the electors for each state are required to cast their votes in mid-December, after which the votes are sealed and sent to the president of the senate. Though the public votes for the party as a whole, the electors cast individual votes on separate ballots for president and vice president. This has become important in several elections where electors voted for candidates other than those they were pledged to. See which states have legal control over their electors On January 6 following the election year, the president of the U.S. senate opens all of the sealed envelopes containing the electoral votes and reads them aloud. To be elected as president or vice president, a candidate must have an absolute majority (50%, plus one vote) of the electoral votes for that position. A majority is never guaranteed within the Electoral College. An election with no Electoral College majority could occur in two ways; if two candidates split the total of electoral votes evenly (with 538 electoral votes as of 2005, a tie would mean a split of 269-269) or if three or more candidates receive electoral votes. If no presidential candidate obtains a majority of the electoral votes, the decision is deferred to the U.S. Congress. The House of Representatives selects the president, choosing among the top three candidates, and the Senate selects the vice president, choosing between the top two candidates. In the House selection, each state receives only one vote and an absolute majority of the states (26) is required to elect the President. (In this situation, Washington, DC would lose the voting power given to it by the 23rd Amendment since it does not have the same congressional representation given to the states). However, a majority winner is not guaranteed in the Congress either. The states could feasibly split their votes equally between 2 candidates (25 state votes each) or the votes could be split between three candidates in such a way that no candidate receives a majority. Also, since every state only gets one vote, the representatives from each state must come to a decision on which candidate to support in the House. A state with an equal number of representatives supporting the competing parties would not be able to cast its vote unless one representative agreed to vote for the opposing side. If a majority is not reached (for president) within the House by January 20 (the day the president and vice president are sworn in), the elected vice president serves as president until the House is able to make a decision. If the vice president has not been elected either, the sitting speaker of the House serves as acting president until the Congress is able to make a decision. If a president has been selected but no vice president has been selected by January 20, the president then appoints the vice president, pending approval by Congress.
  4. It takes 270 Electoral votes to become the next president of the United States. But if the Electoral votes come out split down the middle, 269 votes each, what would happen then? When there is a tie in the Electoral College, the election is thrown into Congress, with the House picking the President and the Senate choosing the Vice President. In the House, each state is given one vote, an even further deviation from the principle of one person one vote. Furthermore, the whole setup provides the chance for a President and Vice President to be selected from different parties. If by chance no Vice Presidential candidate manages to obtain a majority in the Senate, there exists no provision in the Constitution providing an explanation of the procedure to follow. There is also no provision that addresses the possibility of Senators or Representatives running for President or Vice President voting for themselves. Under one scenario, if both houses of congress have not determined a winner by the time George W. Bush leaves office, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would have to resign her seat and serve as acting President. Sullivan also mentions several other dramatic possibilities including the involvement of courts and rogue electors. Furthermore, congressional representatives may be put in a position where they have to weigh party loyalty against the will of their state. As recently as September 19, election stats guru Nate Silver projected the odds of a tie at 3.2 percent. With Obama surging in battleground polling, the number of scenarios that would produce a tie has dwindled. Silver recently looked at scenarios by which a tie could occur. A new wrinkle to the electoral map, Nebraska's decision to award electoral votes by congressional districts could create or break a tie in any number of scenarios. Obama has a chance at winning a single electoral vote from Omaha, where Republican's voter registration edge is much smaller than in the rest of the reliably red state.
  5. Go directly to: Problem Report Form The election system in the United States may be fatally flawed. Results from the last three national elections are in doubt and the system does not meet the minimum standards required by international organizations that monitor elections. Even though there have been countless reports of failures and fraud in voting around the world, there have been few efforts to gather the reports all in one place so that we can see the true extent of the problems. ReportVotingProblems.org in a incident database designed to keep track of problems with elections in order to quantify and analyze failures and fraud in election systems. Citizens and organizations can fill out an Incident Report at ReportVotingProblems.org for all types of machine problems, registration errors, voter disenfranchisement, long waits, campaign violations, and ballot problems. Results will be compiled, analyzed and shared with qualified groups and the media. First person accounts of election problems are the most valuable. Third person accounts and news stories are also accepted as long as enough information is provided so that the incident and those involved can be tracked down. ReportVotingProblems.org is actively seeking databases that are already compiled to include in this repository in order to make this the most comprehensive collection of voting incidents. The major goal is to make an easily accessible and searchable online database to provide a more true picture of the state of electoral systems around the world.
  6. RFK Jr. On The Rachel Maddow Show Steal Back Your Vote! View the video at YouTube. Rachel Maddow calls the investigative comic book "really cool." Download it now for free at StealBackYourVote.org or pick up some print copies and support the Palast Investigative Fund.
  7. ACCORN - Greg Palast on CNN discusing electronic voting machine corruption, and voter denial fraud.
  8. Voter suppression is real. It's a crime. And it's happening to YOU. For many years, top investigative reporter Greg Palast and I have been exposing voter suppression. This is a deliberate strategy to keep minorities from voting, senior citizens from voting, young people from voting in an effort to suppress the vote and maintain their hold on power. Our concern is not partisan. We need every American to vote: Democrats and Republicans. You can do all the campaigning you want in a battleground state like Ohio or New Mexico, but if your voters aren't counted, you're going to lose the Presidency–and our democracy. Pass on this link: www.stealbackyourvote.org. Go to the site. Download copies of this comic book, buy copies in bulk and watch Greg's BBC Newsnight film. Get out the word! There's still time to steal back your vote! Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
  9. Virtually the entire mainstream electronic media drank ACORN Kool-Aid this month brewed up by the Republican National Committee. Almost no one seriously challenged John McCain's comical assertions that ACORN, a grassroots voter registration group, "is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy." While the Republicans had the distracted media searching for links between Obama and ACORN, RNC operatives were busily completing one of the most massive voter suppression and purging efforts in American history, stealing hundreds of thousands of Democratic votes across the embattled swing states and striving to arrange chaos and endless lines at the voting booths next week. First the facts about ACORN. Months ago, we obtained, as part of our investigation for Rolling Stone magazine, the Republican's list the GOP alleged were the very worst cases of vote and registration fraud by ACORN and similar groups. We went through the names the GOP asserted were "obviously, undeniably and clearly fraudulent" voter registrations. First, there was Melissa Tais, a dubious ACORN registrant. Her two voter registration forms show, admittedly, suspiciously different signatures. Republicans suggested Melissa was part of a massive fraud to allow Democrats to vote twice. They were wrong. Ms. Tais, a Cerrillos, New Mexico, waitress, told us she had signed one form on a table and one form holding the paper in her hand. Hence, a second, wobbly signature. Then there was Patricia White, who Republicans claimed was a fictitious voter. When we filmed her at home in Albuquerque, she seemed real enough. And so on, through the entire GOP list -- not one fraud. And these were their best cases out of the five million "illegal voters" who Republican leaders claim have infiltrated America's voting rolls. The overblown histrionics about ACORN do not surprise those of us who have been watching the RNC's election manipulation antics. For eight years White House operatives have been trying to gin up press stories about voter fraud. David Iglesias of New Mexico was one of seven U.S. Attorneys fired by the White House for their refusal to bring voter fraud prosecutions. "We took over 100 complaints," from the GOP, he told us, "We investigated for almost 2 years, I didn't find one prosecutable voter fraud case in the entire state of New Mexico." Iglesias, a McCain supporter, has, for the first time, leveled a new and serious charge: Despite finding none of the 200 voters guilty, he says the White House nevertheless ordered him to illegally prosecute baseless cases against innocent citizens, just to gin up voter fraud publicity. His refusal, he says, cost him his job. "They were looking for politicized -- for improperly politicized US attorneys to file bogus voter fraud cases." Certainly ACORN collected some bad signatures. But despite McCain's claims, now morphed into media theology, none of ACORN's actions will have any impact on any election. ACORN hired 13,000 canvassers to register new voters. A small number of these workers defrauded ACORN by handing in phony registration forms using names they had invented (e.g. Mickey Mouse), or copied from phone books. In one case ACORN canvassers used cigarettes to bribe a homeless man, now a Fox News regular, to register 17 times. None of these activities constituted voter fraud. It is no crime to register 17 times; only the final registration counts. His multiple registrations would not allow the tobacco lover to vote 17 times. Nor is there any evidence the phone book registrants will cast multiple ballots. Finally, the removal by GOP officials of hundreds of thousands of legitimate voters from voting rolls over the past year provides ACORN with a sound rationale for obtaining new registrations, even from voters who believe they are already registered. ACORN took pains to screen its registrations and cull out those it considered dubious. However, federal laws make it a felony for voter registration groups like ACORN to discard registrations even when it believes them fraudulent. So ACORN flagged the forms it considered doubtful and handed them in to the registry. Ironically, it was those flagged forms -- the fruits of ACORN's diligence -- that have been flogged by Republicans as their best evidence of widespread election fraud. Voter fraud is a phantom according to Lorraine Minnite, an expert on voting crime at Columbia University. Only 24 cases of federal voter fraud have been uncovered between 2002 and 2005 despite massive government efforts devoted to uncovering evidence of a voter fraud crime wave. The GOP is ginning up hysteria about non-existent vote fraud by Democrats in order to distract the press from its own campaign to disenfranchise millions of American voters. The Republicans have created an obstacle course of barriers designed to suppress the vote, purge tens of thousands of Democratic voters from voting rolls, create mayhem and delay at voting venues on Election Day, and stop millions of votes from being counted this election cycle. Jailed GOP activist Jack Abramoff and his fellow convict, Congressman Bob Ney, wrote the most sinister provisions of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which Congress passed in 2002 creating a series of diabolically cunning new voting impediments. HAVA, for example, allows state voting officials to purge tens of thousands of voters from the polls using algorithms and voter ID requirements that disproportionately disenfranchise black, Hispanic and minority voters, and other Democratic demographics including senior citizens and young people. In 2004, highly organized GOP tacticians helped disenfranchise no less than 2.7 million American voters. Almost a million of them were African Americans. The The Federal Elections Commission has found black voters were nine times more likely to have their votes discarded than white voters and that over one-third of the million provisional ballots cast in 2004 -- ballots handed disproportionately to African Americans -- were never counted but simply thrown into dumpsters. In a technique known as "caging" RNC operatives send millions of first class letters to black voters across the country marked 'do not forward.' Republican operatives armed with lists then invade black precincts on Election Day to challenge those voters whose letters were returned to the RNC because the voter was not home when the mail arrived. That tactic deliberately targeted black students on vacation in August, homeless men and soldiers posted overseas. "Caging" is resurrecting Old Dixie's Jim Crow procedures designed to rid the lists of black voters and create long lines in black precincts. In this election, new HAVA mandates permit voting officials to precisely match registration form information with the voter's driver's license and other government records. While it may sound reasonable, in practice, any change, even a dropped hyphen, is cause for eliminating the voter from the rolls. Since 2004, Colorado's Republican Secretaries of State have purged one out of every five voters from the rolls. The current Secretary of State, Mike Coffman, a Republican also running for office, recently purged an additional 37,000 voters and discarded 6,400 new voter registrations -- overwhelmingly Democratic -- based upon an obscure technical mistake that Coffman's office encouraged voters to make in the first place. The GOP "anti-fraud" campaign resulted in one in nine New Mexico Democratic voters finding their names had disappeared from voter roles during this year's caucus. Despite a recent Supreme Court decision upholding Ohio's refusal to disenfranchise 200,000 legitimate voters based on this absurd demand to "match" voter names to databases, White House operatives are still fighting to purge these names from the rolls. President George Bush last week personally asked his Attorney General Mike Mukasey to renew Republican efforts to disenfranchise these voters. Contrary to Mr. McCain's assertions, the real threat to democracy is from the GOP itself. ACORN has served as a good distraction from Republican efforts to steal the vote from hundreds of thousands of legitimate voters, a genuine threat that has received almost no media attention. They're stealing your vote, but you can steal it back. Here are some steps you should take to protect your vote. First, avoid the November 4th minefield. Voters, wherever possible, should vote early and in person. Where feasible, avoid mailing in your ballot, many are rejected for flimsy reasons, and first time voters in many states must include a photocopy of ID. However, if you have a mail-in ballot, don't throw it away. Follow directions, use the correct postage (that's an error that cost a hundred thousand votes last time) and, if possible, walk it in to your elections office. At the polling station, should you find yourself one of the 2.7 million purged, or your ID rejected, then do your best to resist a "provisional" ballot--one third of which are not counted. Return with proper ID, or call 1-866-OUR VOTE for legal assistance. And never just walk away discouraged. That's just what they want you to do. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast are authors of an investigation of vote suppression in the current Rolling Stone, and a comic book voter guide, "Steal Back Your Vote," both available for download at StealBackYourVote.org.
  10. The lipstick election. A funny new look at todays ever-spinning antics. Do you remember "School House Rock"?
  11. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:22-Sep-2008 CONTACT: Press Office 202-228-1122 Mikulski: America Needs Prompt and Targeted Action on Financial Crisis WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) took to the Senate floor today to urge Congress to take prompt but deliberate action to help resolve the financial crisis. The Senator voiced her strong opposition to allowing the Bush Administration to stampede a proposal through without careful vetting and consideration to ensure that middle class America is not punished for Wall Street's errors. "We must act with resolve, but we cannot be a rubber stamp for the Administration's proposal. This gives sweeping authority to those who were asleep at the switch in the first place," said Senator Mikulski. "This is a three-page bill that gives the Secretary of the Treasury unlimited power to intervene in our financial markets, without any review by Congress, agencies or courts. This makes Secretary Paulson a financial czar – it says, give us a blank check with no balances. Well, I say, no checks without balances." Senator Mikulski's floor speech, as delivered, is below: "I want to speak about this bailout that we've been asked to do. Starting last week, we were told by the powers that be in the Bush Administration that we needed to do a $700 billion bailout to stabilize our economy. When we heard that, Americans became scared. People who saved for their retirement, those who've been faithful in paying their mortgage, those who've worked hard to pay for college were wondering, 'What is going on?' People who've worked hard and played by the rules are wondering if they are being asked to bail out those who didn't. "Americans are mad as hell and they want to know, what about them? They've watched Wall Street executives pay themselves lavish salaries. They've watched them do irresponsible lending practices. They've watched them do casino economics, gambling on risky investment mechanisms and now those very same Americans who've worked hard and played by the rules and were prudent investors, prudent savers, prudent citizens are asked to pay the bill for those who didn't. "Now, it is for these people that I know that government must do something. We must protect our economy, we must protect our way of life and we must protect our middle class. Sure, the economy is in a crisis and yes, we do have a credit crisis. Wall Street did make very bad decisions, but now they're asking Main Street to pay the bill. We must act to restore our confidence in our economy. "I agree we must act promptly, but this Senator will not be stampeded into voting for this Bush Administration bill. So far, during the last seven years, every time there's a crisis, they generate fear and they generate bad ideas. Do you remember after the horrific days of 9/11 when we all came to the floor and pledged our patriotism, and I said we needed to put politics aside because we needed to be the red, white, and blue party? Well, they took advantage of that, and in that process we passed something like the Patriot Act, allowing the government to act with undue secrecy, with no parameters. We created the dysfunctional Department of Homeland Security. Now, we're being asked to deal with the fiscal crisis, the financial crisis, and I am concerned that we're going to create a fiscal FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency]. "We must act with resolve, but we cannot be a rubber stamp for the Administration's proposal. This proposal gives sweeping authority to those who were asleep at the switch in the first place. Remember the Fed? Remember the maestro at the Fed who lowered interest rates? And now we have helped create the housing bubble? Then there's the treasury. There's the Secretary of the Treasury. A couple of months ago he said 'no problem.' Then a couple months later they said, 'Oh, there is a problem,' and we lumped from one bailout to another. Bear Stearns, the insurance company, and now to Lehman and that failed. We've gone from no problem, to lumping around, to now $700 billion and a blank check. We've seen those George Bush plans before. "Now, we have a three-page bill, and it gives the Secretary of the Treasury unlimited power to intervene in our financial markets, without any review by Congress, agencies or courts. This makes the Secretary of the Treasury a financial czar, a financial potentate, because it's a blank check with no balances. Well, I say, no checks without balances. Even the President of the United States of America has to come to Congress if he wants to declare war. I believe the Secretary of the Treasury should be accountable to the Congress if he's going to intervene with $700 billion in his pocket. No blank check. There must be regulation. There must be safeguards. If they don't want safeguards, no way. "We are in uncharted waters, so we need to ask tough questions. First of all, how do we know it'll work? What guarantees are there that it will work? Could it bankrupt our treasury because it has no parameters? Could it cause runaway inflation, further eroding our economy? What are the safeguards? Also, who's going to benefit? Is it going to be the same Wall Street go-go guys, the same Wall Street casino types? Whatever we do, we have to insist that those who created the scandal do not benefit from the bailout. No golden parachutes. Let them feel the hard landing that my constituents faced when they were laid off from Bethlehem Steel. Let them feel the hard landing of knowing what it's like to have your home foreclosed upon. Let them feel the hard landing that my constituents are facing right now. We do not need to subsidize bad behavior. "Now, George Bush said he was the first M.B.A. President. Well, hello? I don't have confidence in this administration. Remember? This was the same crowd that brought us Katrina, FEMA and hey 'you are doing a great job Brownie.' Is this what we're now supposed to say to those managing our finances? I don't think so. We also have to prudently ask ourselves, 'Are there better options?' "So let me be clear, I do believe that we need to act promptly but with safeguards. We need to act with resolve, but we need to have regulation and even retribution. If we have stabilization, which I believe we must do, we must also have reform. "We're all looking at the Administration's plan, but I want everyone to know where I stand. "At the minimum, the plan must, first of all, be limited and it must be temporary. It cannot be open-ended. There also must be a plan for those who have had those hard landings on Main Street. We need to put people first, to keep people in their homes, those who have had some of the most significant mortgage payment challenges. No golden parachutes that reward executives, for their excesses, their recklessness and their sheer stupidity and greed. No blank checks. There must be accountability and oversight. Rescue does require reform, regulation and a strong possibility of retribution. And it must be transparent. "Sure, I'm for prompt action, but I'll say it again, I will not be stampeded the way I've been stampeded in this institution by this Administration in the past. We need to make sure we do it right, and that means not handing over a blank check or getting rid of the balances. We have to ask tough questions and be sure we have the right principles. If not, then the taxpayers will be on the hook. "If we make the wrong decisions, taxpayers will be on the hook – not only for Wall Street's bad decisions, but also the government's bad decisions. We need to get government back on the side of the people who need it – public good over private profits. This means we need to take a look at a 21st century regulatory system. I am tired of creating or seeing this laxity where what emerges when we deregulate is the emergence of sharks and whales. Either way, the minnows get swallowed up. Well, I think we don't want our economy to sink, and I think it is time to swim. But when we do, we need to make sure we're asking the right questions. "We need to fight for the middle class. We need to fight for the people who go by the rules. We need to have a legislative framework that regards those who did their very best and might be having a temporary spill. So I look forward to hearing more about this plan, but right now I need to know more, I need to be reassured more, and I need to be absolutely sure that those that created the crisis don't benefit from the crisis, and that we don't leave the middle class with all of the responsibility." # # #
  12. ...here is another nifty cooking idea started in England. Ladies, gentlemen, start your engines. But only after you've loaded them up with sausages, chicken, crabs, Cajun shrimp and plenty of vegetables! Car engine cooking will change the way you take road trips, forever. As I've stated in the past, I love to get extra use out of the products I buy. Around 15 years ago, I saw a documentary on British television about a guy who had wrapped some sausages in foil, placed them on a strategic part of his engine, and then took a 40 minute drive to his friend's house. When he got there, the sausages were perfectly cooked and a great end to a small journey. How cool, I remember thinking. But as I couldn't drive at the time, I forgot all about it. Until last week. For some reason, sitting in my car at a red light smelling the grilling chicken of a nearby Chipotle reminded me of that story. And now I'm pleased and proud to present you with Car Engine Cooking, brought to you by the one and only source I could find on the subject...a wonderful book called Manifold Destiny. MANIFOLD DESTINY - The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine! Chris Maynard and Bill Scheller have a serious affinity with cars. Both experienced rally drivers, they must have worked up an appetite on the courses they drove. And as they are also both accomplished cooks, it seems only natural that a book on car engine cooking would be born. The book is witty, concise and well-written. Well worth a read on any day. It also goes into more detail than I can recount here, covering everything from types of cars, food placement on engines, international VS domestic models and so on. What I can give you is enough to whet your appetite, followed by the most important part of the story - my FIVE favorite car engine cooking recipes from the many delicacies listed in the book.
  13. Great news for all who choose to vote in the Potomac Primary before lunch today. Califoria Tortilla is giving a FREE TACO today to anyone with an "I Voted" sticker. I usually get the burrito-bowl, but the taco are fantastic. I really can't think of a better Mexican fast food place in DC. Can you?
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