Lavish public safety pensions often add billions of dollars of taxpayer debt to local districts. It’s important that voters pay close attention to the down ticket candidates and find out where they stand on compensation and pensions. Far too often unions are able to influence elections and get their handpicked candidates into office. And taxpayers are getting burned in the process.
(Caroline Glick is deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post. A former officer in the Israel Defense Forces, she was a core member of Israel’s negotiating team with the Palestinians and later served as an assistant policy advisor to the prime minister. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the widely-published Glick was an embedded journalist with the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry Division. She was awarded a distinguished civilian service award from the U.S. Secretary of the Army for her battlefield reporting.)
In Nevada, KTVN-TV in Reno reports that Senator Dean Heller is focused on helping small businesses across the Silver State. Senator Dean Heller spent the day talking to small businesses about what they think the federal government should do to help create jobs, as our recovery continues. Nevada’s unemployment rate remains at 12.3% and the economy is expected to be a huge topic as we head to the polls. That’s why Heller met with management and employees of these businesses. “These are enthusiastic, local people that work hard, that are part of the community, that’s good to be a part of and spend some time with and get a better understanding of what they do and the impact it has on the country,” Heller said.
From The Week:
Is the Senate up for grabs?
Many Republicans think it is, and are quietly arguing that their odds of success there are higher than in defeating the incumbent president, Barack Obama. As a result, they’re urging party operatives to focus their energies on the attainable goal of winning a Senate majority, rather than focus too heavily on the presidential race. Democrats currently have only a slim, 53–47 majority in the Senate, and of the 33 seats being contested this year, 10 are currently held by Republicans and 23 by Democrats. Ten sitting senators are retiring, the highest number since 1996, and seven of them are Democrats. Even if Obama is re-elected, some Republicans argue, Republican majorities in both houses of Congress could block the president’s initiatives, stop him from appointing liberal judges or other officials, and exert real influence over the national agenda. “I think this election is more about the Senate than the presidency,” said Sen. Jim DeMint (R–S.C.). “If we don’t have a majority with a strong conservative voice in the Senate and a majority in the House, then it doesn’t matter what we have in the White House.”
How could the Republicans win a majority?
The party needs to pick up a net total of four seats, and its likeliest gains are seats now held by Democratic senators in traditionally red states. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Kent Conrad of North Dakota are retiring this year, and the GOP has good chances in open elections in these conservative states. In Ohio, Democrat Sherrod Brown is considered vulnerable to Tea Party–endorsed Josh Mandel, and in Florida, Bill Nelson faces a popular opponent in Rep. Connie Mack. Republicans are also targeting seats in Virginia, New Mexico, and Hawaii, where Democratic senators are retiring. Of these, Republicans have the best odds in Virginia, where former Republican Gov. George Allen is running neck-and-neck with former Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine.
Could the GOP retain all 10 of its contested seats?
That’s unlikely. Democrats see some opportunities of their own in November. Republicans face a tough challenge in trying to hold onto the Maine Senate seat of retiring moderate Olympia Snowe; the race’s current front-runner, independent Angus King, is likely to caucus with the Democrats. And while polls currently give Sen. Scott Brown (R–Mass.) a healthy lead in a tough re-election battle against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, she has a formidable fund-raising advantage as a nationally known consumer advocate and opponent of big banks. In Nevada, the Republican incumbent, Dean Heller, appointed after scandal-plagued John Ensign resigned last year, faces a close race against Rep. Shelley Berkley. But with so few GOP seats in play, the Democrats have to retain most of the contested seats they now hold to remain in the majority.
How hard will that be?
The Democrats are vulnerable in several of these races. They had high hopes in Nebraska last month after Bob Kerrey, a former Democratic governor and senator, announced that he would seek Ben Nelson’s seat. But polls show Kerrey, a Vietnam veteran who has lived in New York for years, trailing Republican Jon Bruning, the state’s attorney general, by a 17-point margin. Democrats think they have a better chance in North Dakota, where former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp is running against Republican Rep. Rick Berg. Heitkamp has sought to tie Berg to the deeply unpopular House of Representatives. In fact, many of the new Republican candidates for Senate are current or recently departed members of Congress, and that could help Democrats. “Approval ratings right now are so abysmally bad, it has to rub off on members seeking higher office,” said political analyst Stuart Rothenberg.
From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
This may be a bit wonky, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has lost a procedural ruling issued by the Senate parliamentarian that Politico reports this morning could have political ripples through the spring and beyond.
Despite pressure from Republicans, Reid has been saying the agreement that Congress passed last summer allowing more government borrowing on the debt also contained caps on spending that make it unnecessary for the Senate to form a separate budget for fiscal 2013.
But newly appointed parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough has decided the deal does not preclude the Senate from considering other budgets.
“The written opinion, shared late last week with a handful of Democratic and GOP senators, gives Republicans significantly more leverage to push for votes on budgets of their choosing,” Politico reported.
Republicans charge that Reid is refusing to advance a Democratic budget because he is unwilling to expose Dem senators to awkward votes in an election year, including expected GOP bids to repeal health care reform.
Hitachi GST has laid a nice Easter egg: a 4TB enterprise disk drive and a first at this capacity level. It’s HGST’s second 4TB product.
This 3.5-inch drive technology first surfaced in September when Hitachi GST launched its 4TB G-Drive external Thunderbolt product. Now it has updated its Ultrastar line, jumping from the 3TB 7K3000 to this 7K4000 product.
Like the 7K3000, it spins at 7,200RPM, and has five platters each with a 800GB capacity and a 466Gbits/in2 areal density. There is a 64MB cache and a 6Gbit/s SATA interface. The sequential transfer rate is up to 171MB/sec.
Seagate and HGST parent Western Digital are still at the 3TB level with their internal drives, although Seagate has a 4TB GoFlex external drive and we suspect a 4TB Barracuda internal drive will spring up like an Easter bunny any day now. Toshiba and Samsung are at the 2TB level with their 3.5in technology. More
There’s a new Mac trojan that’s been floating around, and it’s terrifying everyone. It’s written in an unknown language, doesn’t even need your password to compromise you, and now it’s apparently infected 600,000 users. Here’s how to use Terminal to check if you’re one of the unlucky many.
The instructions come from F-Secure, which also details how you can remove the trojan if your Mac is, in fact affected. But let’s not put the cart before the virus; here’s how to see if you’re clean.
First, open Terminal from your Utilities folder. If you’ve never ever done that before, don’t be scared! It’s a nice way to turn your Mac into a computer you actually have some control over.