Friday, September 12, 2008

Are you STILL Registered to Vote?

Are you ABSOLUTELY SURE that you are registered to vote?

You'd be surprised how many people aren't, but think they are.

A massive effort to purge voters from the rolls, plus a certain amount of human error (to be charitable) makes it no longer certain that just because you voted in the primary, your voter registration is still valid.

Registration deadlines are coming up soon, and America needs every single vote.

Now, obviously, I have a political preference. You probably do too and it may or may not be the same as mine. That's as may be. Whatever your preference, you can check whether your voter registration is current (and correct for your current address here: Obama's new one-stop voter registration website.

As you go through the process, if you're not sure whether you're registered, it'll look you up at the address you give and tell you if you're still registered. If you're not, it'll email you the appropriate form for your jurisdiction to print, sign and send to your state's voter registrar. What could be easier??

Then tell others about this - just forward this message.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What Quality Initiatives Mean To Me

Fresh from a "Quality Initiatives" program at Massive Mutual Insurance Company, I saw that my next bit of minor maintenance was to tweak the instructional text on a data-entry screen.

"Cool!" thinks I, "While I'm in there, I'll change the LONG PARAGRAPH OF ALL CAPS TEXT to mixed case. It takes no more time to deliver a High Quality Product, just like they said."

At the clientside review ( I swear this is the literal truth):
Clientside manager: "Why did you take away the capital letters?"

Me: "Studies show it's easier and faster to read mixed case. This has no impact on system performance, and the dataentry clerks can be just that little bit more productive."

Clientside manager: "Our people aren't really that smart."
Silently I agreed with that statement, but not in a way the manager would have liked.

More of the Same | digg story

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

McCain Tells Palin to Veto Earmarks

"Washington DC - Republican candidate John Sidney McCain ordered running mate Sarah Palin to use her power as governor to cancel hundreds of millions of dollars of earmarks being spent in her state.

"I was shocked by reports that she had hired a lobbyist to bring in $27 million in earmarks to Wasilla, " McCain said, "That's about $3,000 of pork for each resident, or nearly enough to pay for four pair of my shoes!"

McCain was also startled to discover that Palin signed a budget accepting something like $300 per Alaska resident in pork. "The average America is the beneficiary of maybe $30 or $40 of earmarks," McCain explained. "Alaska is full of moose. Why does it need pork?"

"Fortunately, Palin can issue an executive order to suspend any project using earmarked money, and she can use her line-item veto to remove that money from Alaska's budget. It won't take her long!"

McCain also ordered his campaign to decline any use of facilities paid for with earmarks. "I refuse to land at a public airport that has benefitted from pork!" he muttered. "My bus will avoid any highways, off-ramps, overpasses or bridges built with earmarks."

There was concern among campaign staffers when McCain spotted a public frinking fountain. "The local water plant had been built with earmarks," a spokesman explained. "We've already been avoiding public restrooms because, you know, the whole Senator Craig thing. But the sight of John McCain enjoying free water purged of contaminants through pork would have been shocking. Fortunately, we had plenty of Evian on hand, and he didn't need to sully himself like a member of the common herd."

Calls to the University of Arizona, beneficiary of McCain pork, went unanswered.
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Monday, September 08, 2008

VA To Allow Voter Registration Drives At Its Facilities

The US Veterans Administration backed off its new policy banning voter registration drives at their facilities. Hundreds of thousands of veterans resident at VA facilities are once again able to enjoy the same voter registration drive rights as other American citizens.Of course, now someone has register those vets to vote!

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Green Jobs: Good Stuff!

From a joint project of the Sierra Club and Working America:
We must reinvest in the American workforce and rebuild our economy.
Since 2000, 3 million manufacturing jobs have been lost and corporations have shipped more than 525,000 white-collar jobs overseas. At the same time, energy costs are skyrocketing. A bold plan is needed to revitalize the American economy and lessen our energy needs.

A Greener Economy Will Create American Jobs

One solution is supporting green jobs, which will create thousands of new, good-paying jobs and help curb energy costs. We must demand that politicians get behind green jobs, instead of looking out for Big Oil.
A "green job" is more than just a job with an environmental consciousness. Green jobs provide a livable wage and a career ladder to move workers into higher-skilled occupations. Green jobs mean a sustainable economy, where environmental goals go hand in hand with social and economic goals.

Getting to Green

There are a number of strategies for promoting clean energy and green jobs:
  • Modernizing the electrical grid;
  • Retrofitting buildings;Mass transit;
  • Energy-efficient automobiles;Wind power;
  • Solar power; and
  • Cellulosic biofuels.
These would create a number of good-paying jobs—jobs manufacturing parts for wind turbines or biomass refineries, retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient, installing solar panels on buildings and manufacturing American-made clean energy vehicles.

Bringing green jobs into communities has multiple benefits:

  • Creation of new, good-paying jobs: 820,000 could be created nationwide;
  • Increased demand for occupations in which workers already are trained—such as construction, welding and electrical—which could drive up wages for all workers in those fields. In every state, there are hundreds of thousands of jobs which could see job growth or wage increase in a green jobs economy;
  • Enormous potential for energy savings and good jobs by modernizing and extending the 160,000 miles of high transmission lines that make up the electrical grid. This will increase energy efficiency by an estimated 20 percent and provide new, smart access for renewable energy projects;
  • Rebuilding America's manufacturing and industrial base by creating and keeping jobs here;
  • Creation of new domestic energy sources, which will curb skyrocketing energy costs and help take control back from special interests like Big Oil.

read more | digg story