Georgia: Republicans Close to State Senate Supermajority

The Marietta Daily  Journal:

FIRST, state Sen. Doug Stoner (D-Smyrna) nearly got gerrymandered out of
his seat by this year’s legislative redistricting, which shifted its
borders deep into Republican-leaning Buckhead.

Now, it appears
that his reconfigured District 6 might be the most hard-fought of any in
next year’s elections. Moreover, it’s a race likely to have a vastly
disproportionate influence on state politics than the typical election.

Making matters even more unusual, that influence would not be based on geography or fundraising potential.

it’s all about numbers: The occupant of that seat, if Republican, would
represent the key “supermajority” vote. A supermajority occurs when one
party obtains two thirds of the votes, allowing it to put a
constitutional amendment before voters without interference from the
opposing party.

The 180-member Georgia House needs 120 votes to
achieve a supermajority, while the 56-member Georgia Senate needs 38,
Stoner said.

Pennsylvania Party Switch! Township Supervisor Joins GOP

Jerry Geake, the longtime Democratic Upper Mount Bethel Township supervisor who was defeated in the May primary, has found new life in the township supervisor race on the Republican ticket.
Geake was left off the Democratic ballot after finishing third behind former Supervisor Loren Rabbat and Board President Ed Nelson.
Former Supervisor Larry Hallett ran unopposed on the Republican ticket,
and Rabbat won the write-in campaign for the second slot.
Geake is back in the race after a series of political maneuvers in
August. He switched his party affiliation to Republican, and Rabbat
stepped off the Republican ticket. The Northampton County Republican
Committee eventually appointed Geake to take her spot. A call to the
Northampton County Republican Committee seeking comment was not
immediately returned.

Democrats Lack Enthusiasm for Voting

Self-portrait of Joseph DucreuxImage via Wikipedia


PRINCETON, NJ — In thinking about the 2012 presidential election, 45% of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic say they are more enthusiastic about voting than usual, while nearly as many, 44%, are less enthusiastic. This is in sharp contrast to 2008 and, to a lesser extent, 2004, when the great majority of Democrats expressed heightened enthusiasm about voting.

Washington Governor: McKenna 44, Inslee 38

070531_weekday9_139Rob McKenna image by kuow949 via FlickrSeattle PI

McKenna enjoys lead over Inslee:  A new KING 5 poll gives Republican Rob McKenna the edge over Democrat Jay Inslee in the race for governor in 2012.  Among 532 registered voters statewide, 44% tell SurveyUSA they’d vote for McKenna if the election were held today, while 38% say Inslee.
McKenna’s early lead can be attributed in part to his strength in the Puget Sound area.  In King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, he’s even with Inslee at 41% each, which is significant for a Republican candidate.  As expected, McKenna picks up votes in more conservative eastern Washington with a 59%-25% advantage.  But the large population in the Metro Seattle area is key.
The poll has a margin of +/- 4.3% and includes both landline and cell phone users. Later today, we’ll have results of our polling on the state Attorney General’s race.

Pennsylvania: Tom Smith Launches Senate Campaign

Politics PA: 
Coal industry veteran and former Tea Party leader Tom Smith officially announced his U.S. Senate candidacy Tuesday morning in a fly-around tour of the state.
“I am humbled and encouraged by the support I have received in my campaign, from Republicans … and also from Democrats and Independents who believe it may be time for Mr. Smith to go to Washington.”
Harrisburg was Smith’s second stop on a two-day announcement tour across the state. He spoke in the headquarters of Hydroworx, a company that manufactures specialty underwater treadmills for use in rehabilitation.

Republicans Likely to Take Over Senate in 2012

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 19:  In a break with man...Jeff Flake image by Getty Images via @daylifeReal Clear Politics: 

But the Democrats’ chances of holding the Senate aren’t particularly good. Right now Republicans hold 47 of the 100 seats; if they win the presidency, they would need to pick up three more seats to have a majority. As of today, they are favored to pick up two Democratic seats. Two Republican seats are tossups, along with six Democratic seats. If we assume Democrats pick off one of the two Republican tossups, and that Republican pick off half of the Democratic tossups, Republicans would have a 51-49 majority.

Virginia: George Allen Would Narrowly Win Back Senate Seat

George Allen headshotGeorge Allen, via WikipediaThe Roanoke College survey has Allen leading Kaine by 3 percentage points, 42 percent to 39 percent, with 19 percent undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College interviewed 601 registered voters between Sept. 6 and Sept. 17. The results are statistically weighted for gender, race and age.
Allen and Kaine are seeking the seat held by Democrat Jim Webb, who is not running for re-election. The former governors are the front-runners in their respective parties and already are trading salvos on contentious issues.

Mexico: Zeta Killer Vigilantes?

Flag of VeracruzVera Cruz flag image via Wikipedia

Los Angeles Times:

Mexican authorities say they are investigating a group that announced a campaign to wipe out the feared Zetas gang in the coastal state of Veracruz.

In a statement issued late Monday, the federal attorney general’s office warned that it would crack down on “any criminal group or organization that acts outside the law and creates violence.”

The agency said the battle against organized crime belongs to Mexican authorities alone. “The only way to achieve lasting security and tranquility is by enforcing the law and strengthening our institutions,” it said.

On Tuesday, Interior Minister Francisco Blake Mora acknowledged weaknesses in Mexico’s police forces but said they were being fixed, if slowly. He said groups seeking to carry out justice on their own “will confront the force of the state.”

The warnings came after a group calling itself the “Zeta killers” posted a video during the weekend announcing plans to crush the Zetas, which have sown fear in Veracruz with killings, kidnappings and extortion.

The Treaty of Paris

In the Name of the most Holy & undivided Trinity.

It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the Hearts of
the most Serene and most Potent Prince George the Third, by the Grace of
God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the
Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lunebourg, Arch- Treasurer and Prince
Elector of the Holy Roman Empire etc.. and of the United States of
America, to forget all past Misunderstandings and Differences that have
unhappily interrupted the good Correspondence and Friendship which
they mutually wish to restore; and to establish such a beneficial and
satisfactory Intercourse between the two countries upon the ground of
reciprocal Advantages and mutual Convenience as may promote and secure
to both perpetual Peace and Harmony; and having for this desirable End
already laid the Foundation of Peace & Reconciliation by the
Provisional Articles signed at Paris on the 30th of November 1782, by
the Commissioners empowered on each Part, which Articles were agreed to
be inserted in and constitute the Treaty of Peace proposed to be
concluded between the Crown of Great Britain and the said United
States, but which Treaty was not to be concluded until Terms of Peace
should be agreed upon between Great Britain & France, and his
Britannic Majesty should be ready to conclude such Treaty accordingly:
and the treaty between Great Britain & France having since been
concluded, his Britannic Majesty & the United States of America, in
Order to carry into full Effect the Provisional Articles above
mentioned, according to the Tenor thereof, have constituted &
appointed, that is to say his Britannic Majesty on his Part, David
Hartley, Esqr., Member of the Parliament of Great Britain, and the said
United States on their Part, – stop point – John Adams, Esqr., late a
Commissioner of the United States of America at the Court of
Versailles, late Delegate in Congress from the State of Massachusetts,
and Chief Justice of the said State, and Minister Plenipotentiary of
the said United States to their High Mightinesses the States General of
the United Netherlands; – stop point – Benjamin Franklin, Esqr., late
Delegate in Congress from the State of Pennsylvania, President of the
Convention of the said State, and Minister Plenipotentiary from the
United States of America at the Court of Versailles; John Jay, Esqr.,
late President of Congress and Chief Justice of the state of New York,
and Minister Plenipotentiary from the said United States at the Court
of Madrid; to be Plenipotentiaries for the concluding and signing the
Present Definitive Treaty; who after having reciprocally communicated
their respective full Powers have agreed upon and confirmed the
following Articles.

Article 1st:
His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New
Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland,
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free
sovereign and Independent States; that he treats with them as such, and
for himself his Heirs & Successors, relinquishes all claims to the
Government, Propriety, and Territorial Rights of the same and every
Part thereof.

Article 2d:
And that all Disputes which might arise in future on the subject of the
Boundaries of the said United States may be prevented, it is hereby
agreed and declared, that the following are and shall be their
Boundaries, viz.; from the Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia, viz., that
Angle which is formed by a Line drawn due North from the Source of St.
Croix River to the Highlands; along the said Highlands which divide
those Rivers that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence, from
those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the northwesternmost Head
of Connecticut River; Thence down along the middle of that River to the
forty-fifth Degree of North Latitude; From thence by a Line due West
on said Latitude until it strikes the River Iroquois or Cataraquy;
Thence along the middle of said River into Lake Ontario; through the
Middle of said Lake until it strikes the Communication by Water between
that Lake & Lake Erie; Thence along the middle of said
Communication into Lake Erie, through the middle of said Lake until it
arrives at the Water Communication between that lake & Lake Huron;
Thence along the middle of said Water Communication into the Lake
Huron, thence through the middle of said Lake to the Water Communication
between that Lake and Lake Superior; thence through Lake Superior
Northward of the Isles Royal & Phelipeaux to the Long Lake; Thence
through the middle of said Long Lake and the Water Communication
between it & the Lake of the Woods, to the said Lake of the Woods;
Thence through the said Lake to the most Northwestern Point thereof,
and from thence on a due West Course to the river Mississippi; Thence
by a Line to be drawn along the Middle of the said river Mississippi
until it shall intersect the Northernmost Part of the thirty-first
Degree of North Latitude, South, by a Line to be drawn due East from
the Determination of the Line last mentioned in the Latitude of
thirty-one Degrees of the Equator to the middle of the River
Apalachicola or Catahouche; Thence along the middle thereof to its
junction with the Flint River; Thence straight to the Head of Saint
Mary’s River, and thence down along the middle of Saint Mary’s River to
the Atlantic Ocean.  East, by a Line to be drawn along the Middle of
the river Saint Croix, from its Mouth in the Bay of Fundy to its Source,
and from its Source directly North to the aforesaid Highlands, which
divide the Rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean from those which
fall into the river Saint Lawrence; comprehending all Islands within
twenty Leagues of any Part of the Shores of the United States, and
lying between Lines to be drawn due East from the Points where the
aforesaid Boundaries between Nova Scotia on the one Part and East
Florida on the other shall, respectively, touch the Bay of Fundy and
the Atlantic Ocean, excepting such Islands as now are or heretofore have
been within the limits of the said Province of Nova Scotia.

Article 3d:
It is agreed that the People of the United States shall continue to
enjoy unmolested the Right to take Fish of every kind on the Grand Bank
and on all the other Banks of Newfoundland, also in the Gulf of Saint
Lawrence and at all other Places in the Sea, where the Inhabitants of
both Countries used at any time heretofore to fish. And also that the
Inhabitants of the United States shall have Liberty to take Fish of
every Kind on such Part of the Coast of Newfoundland as British
Fishermen shall use, (but not to dry or cure the same on that Island)
And also on the Coasts, Bays & Creeks of all other of his Brittanic
Majesty’s Dominions in America; and that the American Fishermen shall
have Liberty to dry and cure Fish in any of the unsettled Bays, Harbors,
and Creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalen Islands, and Labrador, so long as
the same shall remain unsettled, but so soon as the same or either of
them shall be settled, it shall not be lawful for the said Fishermen to
dry or cure Fish at such Settlement without a previous Agreement for
that purpose with the Inhabitants, Proprietors, or Possessors of the

Article 4th:

It is agreed that Creditors on either Side shall meet with no lawful
Impediment to the Recovery of the full Value in Sterling Money of all
bona fide Debts heretofore contracted.

Article 5th:
It is agreed that Congress shall earnestly recommend it to the
Legislatures of the respective States to provide for the Restitution of
all Estates, Rights, and Properties, which have been confiscated
belonging to real British Subjects; and also of the Estates, Rights,
and Properties of Persons resident in Districts in the Possession on
his Majesty’s Arms and who have not borne Arms against the said United
States. And that Persons of any other Description shall have free
Liberty to go to any Part or Parts of any of the thirteen United States
and therein to remain twelve Months unmolested in their Endeavors to
obtain the Restitution of such of their Estates – Rights &
Properties as may have been confiscated. And that Congress shall also
earnestly recommend to the several States a Reconsideration and
Revision of all Acts or Laws regarding the Premises, so as to render the
said Laws or Acts perfectly consistent not only with Justice and
Equity but with that Spirit of Conciliation which on the Return of the
Blessings of Peace should universally prevail. And that Congress shall
also earnestly recommend to the several States that the Estates,
Rights, and Properties of such last mentioned Persons shall be restored
to them, they refunding to any Persons who may be now in Possession
the Bona fide Price (where any has been given) which such Persons may
have paid on purchasing any of the said Lands, Rights, or Properties
since the Confiscation.

And it is agreed that all Persons who have any Interest in
confiscated Lands, either by Debts, Marriage Settlements, or otherwise,
shall meet with no lawful Impediment in the Prosecution of their just

Article 6th:
That there shall be no future Confiscations made nor any Prosecutions
commenced against any Person or Persons for, or by Reason of the Part,
which he or they may have taken in the present War, and that no Person
shall on that Account suffer any future Loss or Damage, either in his
Person, Liberty, or Property; and that those who may be in Confinement
on such Charges at the Time of the Ratification of the Treaty in
America shall be immediately set at Liberty, and the Prosecutions so
commenced be discontinued.

Article 7th:
There shall be a firm and perpetual Peace between his Britanic Majesty
and the said States, and between the Subjects of the one and the
Citizens of the other, wherefore all Hostilities both by Sea and Land
shall from henceforth cease:  All prisoners on both Sides shall be set
at Liberty, and his Britanic Majesty shall with all convenient speed,
and without causing any Destruction, or carrying away any Negroes or
other Property of the American inhabitants, withdraw all his Armies,
Garrisons & Fleets from the said United States, and from every
Post, Place and Harbour within the same; leaving in all Fortifications,
the American Artillery that may be therein: And shall also Order &
cause all Archives, Records, Deeds & Papers belonging to any of
the said States, or their Citizens, which in the Course of the War may
have fallen into the hands of his Officers, to be forthwith restored and
delivered to the proper States and Persons to whom they belong.

Article 8th:
The Navigation of the river Mississippi, from its source to the Ocean,
shall forever remain free and open to the Subjects of Great Britain and
the Citizens of the United States.

Article 9th:
In case it should so happen that any Place or Territory belonging to
great Britain or to the United States should have been conquered by the
Arms of either from the other before the Arrival of the said
Provisional Articles in America, it is agreed that the same shall be
restored without Difficulty and without requiring any Compensation.

Article 10th:
The solemn Ratifications of the present Treaty expedited in good &
due Form shall be exchanged between the contracting Parties in the
Space of Six Months or sooner if possible to be computed from the Day
of the Signature of the present Treaty.  In witness whereof we the
undersigned their Ministers Plenipotentiary have in their Name and in
Virtue of our Full Powers, signed with our Hands the present Definitive
Treaty, and caused the Seals of our Arms to be affixed thereto.

Done at Paris, this third day of September in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three.


List of American Holidays and Explanations

A mother plays the guitar while her two daught...Image via WikipediaAmericans celebrate a variety of federal holidays and other national observances throughout the year. American holidays can be secular, religious, international, or uniquely American.
With the wide variety of federal holidays, and the many levels of American government, it can be confusing to determine what public and private facilities are open on or around a given federal holiday. You can usually find such information in the daily newspaper or by calling the office you wish to visit.
The following are American federal holidays and other common national observances. Federal holidays are indicated as such.
New Year’s Day is January 1. The celebration of this federal holiday begins the night before, when Americans gather to wish each other a happy and prosperous coming year. Many Americans make New Year’s resolutions.
Martin Luther King Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday in January. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was an African-American clergyman who is recognized for his tireless efforts to win civil rights for all people through nonviolent means.
Groundhog Day is February 2, and has been celebrated since 1887. On Groundhog Day, crowds gather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to see if groundhog Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow after emerging from his burrow, thus predicting six more weeks of winter weather.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14. The day was named after an early Christian martyr, and on Valentine’s Day, Americans give presents like candy or flowers to the ones they love. The first mass-produced valentine cards were sold in the 1840s.
Washington’s Birthday is a federal holiday observed the third Monday of February to honor George Washington, the first President of the United States. This date is commonly called Presidents’ Day and many groups honor the legacy of past presidents on this date.
Easter falls on a spring Sunday that varies from year to year. Easter is a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For Christians, Easter is a day of religious services and the gathering of family. Many Americans follow old traditions of coloring hard-boiled eggs and giving children baskets of candy.
Earth Day is observed on April 22. First celebrated in 1970 in the United States, it inspired national legislation such as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Earth Day is designed to promote ecology, encourage respect for life on earth, and highlight concern over pollution of the soil, air, and water.
National Arbor Day was proclaimed as the last Friday in April by President Richard Nixon in 1970. A number of state Arbor Days are observed at other times to coincide with the best tree planting weather, from January and February in the south to May in the far north. The observance began in 1872, when Nebraska settlers and homesteaders were urged to plant trees on the largely treeless plains.
Mother’s Day celebrates mothers every second Sunday of May. President Woodrow Wilson, who issued a proclamation in 1914, asked Americans to give a public expression of reverence to mothers on this day. Carnations have come to represent Mother’s Day, following President William McKinley’s habit of always wearing a white carnation, his mother’s favorite flower.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed the last Monday of May. It originally honored the people killed in the American Civil War, but has become a day on which the American dead of all wars, and the dead generally, are remembered in special programs held in cemeteries, churches, and other public meeting places. The flying of the American flag is widespread.
Flag Day, celebrated June 14, has been a presidentially proclaimed observance since 1916. Although Flag Day is not a federal holiday, Americans are encouraged to display the flag outside their homes and businesses on this day to honor the history and heritage the American flag represents.
Father’s Day celebrates fathers every third Sunday of June. Father’s Day began in 1909 in Spokane, Washington, when a daughter requested a special day to honor her father, a Civil War veteran who raised his children after his wife died. The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 by President Lyndon Johnson.
Independence Day is July 4. This federal holiday honors the nation’s birthday – the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It is a day of picnics and patriotic parades, a night of concerts and fireworks. The flying of the American flag is widespread.
Labor Day is the first Monday of September. This federal holiday honors the nation’s working people, typically with parades. For most Americans it marks the end of the summer vacation season and the start of the school year.
Columbus Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the second Monday in October. The day commemorates October 12, 1492, when Italian navigator Christopher Columbus landed in the New World. The holiday was first proclaimed in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Halloween is celebrated on October 31. On Halloween, American children dress up in funny or scary costumes and go “trick or treating” by knocking on doors in their neighborhood. The neighbors are expected to respond by giving them small gifts of candy or money.
Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11. Originally called Armistice Day, this federal holiday was established to honor Americans who had served in World War I, but it now honors veterans of all wars in which the U.S. has fought. Veterans’ organizations hold parades, and the president places a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Thanksgiving Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest. Many regard this event as the nation’s first Thanksgiving.The Thanksgiving feast became a national tradition and almost always includes some of the foods served at the first feast: roast turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and pumpkin pie.
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is December 7. In 1994, Congress designated this national observance to honor the more than 2,400 military service personnel who died on this date in 1941, during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by Japanese forces. The attack on Pearl Harbor caused the United States to enter World War II.
Christmas Day is a federal holiday celebrated on December 25. Christmas is a Christian holiday marking the birth of the Christ Child. Decorating houses and yards with lights, putting up Christmas trees, giving gifts, and sending greeting cards have become traditions even for many non-Christian Americans.

Other Celebrations

Various ethnic and religious groups in America celebrate days with special meaning to them even though these are not national holidays. Jews, for example, observe their high holy days in September, Muslims celebrate Ramadan, African Americans celebrate Kwanzaa, Irish Americans celebrate the old country’s patron saint, St. Patrick, on March 17, and Mardi Gras is the day before the Christian season of Lent begins and is a big occasion in New Orleans, Louisiana, where huge parades and wild revels take place. There are many other such religious and ethnic celebrations in the United States.