An online journal of politics, policy, and society with a special focus on Maryland -- Contact: on_background at yahoo.com.

Monday, December 08, 2003

All the news that's...

As you may be aware, there are questions about how secure electronic voting machines are. Many citizens and leaders are concerned enough that they are moving to have a paper record available of how people vote, for verification purposes. Sometimes this is harder than you might expect, as the Gazette reveals :
"An e-mail found in a collection of files apparently stolen from Diebold Elections Systems' internal database recommends charging Maryland "out the yin-yang" should the state require Diebold to add paper printouts to the $73 million voting system it purchased."

Anyone bemoaning the loss of zest and flamboyance in Congress should be excited by the news that Bob “B-1" Dornan is going to run for Congress from California again, whether he has a shot or not, as is the Angry Clam. For those who miss Dornan’s bombastic House floor speeches, he is coming out of radio talk-show land to attempt to beat conservative Rep. Dana Rohrabacher after losing his seat to Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

One of the sillier sets of regulations out there are those that govern how workers can decide whether to be represented by a union. Arcane, complex, and employer-favoring rules make it extremely difficult for workers to fight intimidation tactics intended to stop them from organizing, as the labor rules intend. Of course, a number of Democrats are sponsoring a bill to streamline the process so that workers’ intentions become fact, but we know how far that will go in today’s Congress...

In other news today, the Washington Post reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin consolidated power in elections, the New York Times talked about the continued trade in human organs, Roll Call tells us about a photo on Yahoo that suggests something big about Dick Gephardt, and the Chicago Tribune went off the deep end by letting us know that "man fishing in Galveston Bay found a headless torso inside a floating suitcase and then spotted a plastic bag that contained a head..."