These are my links for February 24th through February 27th:
The State of the Twitterverse 2012 – Brian Solis – The first time I wrote about Twitter was March 2007. My, how time and Tweets fly. With 500 million registered users and 33 billion Tweets flying across the Twitterverse every day, Twitter has become a fabric of our digital culture. Twitter is now ingrained in our digital DNA and is reflected in our lifestyle and how we connect and communicate with one another.
While many struggle to understand its utility or its significance in the greater world of media, it is the most efficient global information network in existence today. News no longer breaks, it Tweets. People have demonstrated the speed and efficacy of social networking by connecting to one another based on interests (interest graph) rather then limiting connections to relationships (social graph). Twitter represents a promising intersection of new media, relationships, traditional media and information to form one highly human network.
I recently stumbled upon a well done infographic created by Infographic Labs to communicate the state of of the Twitterverse. It’s quite grand in its design. So, to help get the most out of it, I’ve dissected it into smaller byte-sized portions.
U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb – Even as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.
Stages in Developing a Nuclear Nation – A report by international nuclear inspectors offers new details about Iran’s nuclear program. While Iran has increased production of a type of fuel needed to create the core of a nuclear bomb, it stops short of crossing that line
55% Oppose Affirmative Action Policies for College Admissions – The U.S. Supreme Court last week agreed to hear a case involving the use of race as a factor in college admissions. Most voters oppose the use of so-called affirmative action policies at colleges and universities and continue to believe those policies have not been successful despite being in place for 50 years.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 24% of Likely U.S. Voters favor applying affirmative action policies to college admissions. Fifty-five percent (55%) oppose the use of such policies to determine who is admitted to colleges and universities. Twenty-one percent (21%) are undecided.
EPA Needs More Time to Reconsider Boiler MACT Rules – American workers and the industries that employ them face an ill-thought out and incomplete set of Boiler MACT regulations costing $14 billion to implement. Given current economic realities, these regulations place at risk the jobs of your constituents and 200,000 working Americans across the country. With the economic climate as it is now, we cannot afford to lose too many more American manufacturing jobs.
The EPA asked for proper time to reconsider the Boiler MACT rules, and even attempted to stay the rules to have more time to clarify them. The forest products industry, for example, is compiling additional data at the EPA’s request, but may not have time to complete needed testing. The courts have made it clear that only Congress can give the EPA the time they have asked for and need to provide clarity. As a result, this legal uncertainty is a cloud over American businesses, which must be able to plan for the future in these uncertain economic times. Our communities deserve environmental rules that have been fully considered, and will hold up scientifically in the long term
“Cutting the Bureaucratic Gridlock” by Senator Tony Strickland – While I was visiting Teixeira Farms to discuss agricultural issues, the owners told me that one state agency said they needed to recycle all their water, while another state agency said they couldn’t recycle any of their water. The owners of the farm told me they were happy to do whatever was needed, but they couldn’t recycle all their water and none of their water at the same time.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Constituents and small business owners in my district often call my office, telling me that one state agency has given them the run-around about an issue and referred them to yet another state agency. Round and round they go, from agency to agency, until they finally give up.
Cleary, California’s vast bureaucracy is not working. There has to be a way to make government more efficient and maximize your precious tax dollars that come to Sacramento.
This is why I’ve authored Senate Bill 953. SB 953 would create the Bureaucracy Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). SB 953 is modeled and named after the successful Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program, which was established by the federal government after the end of the Cold War. The Federal BRAC program successfully identified and closed obsolete military bases, saving an estimated $20 billion annually.
State party chief wants GOP candidates to rally around statewide theme – Tacitly acknowledging that the California Republican Party will likely be strapped for funds to support candidates in the tough new districts in which many of them will be running this fall, Chairman Tom Del Beccaro said Friday he hopes GOP candidates will rally around “statewide themes” to maximize the party’s efforts.
“We need to make this a statewide election around an issue that coalesces voters,” he said at a news conference at the opening of the state GOP convention. “We can’t be the party of no. Parties become more attractive when they have positive ideas.”
In an email obtained by TheDC, Meckler told the state coordinators of Tea Party Patriots on Thursday night that he “fought long and hard” to maintain the group “as an organization that is run from the bottom up, with the intent of serving the grassroots.”
“Unfortunately, it is my belief that I have lost this fight,” Meckler said. “I probably fought the internal fight longer than I should have, but I wanted to give absolutely every possible effort to preserving what I believe was the unique nature of the TPP organization.”
Since the organization’s founding, Meckler has shared the role of national coordinator with co-founder Jenny Beth Martin. But Meckler wrote in the email that he had lost “influence in the leadership of the organization, and it has been that way for quite some time.”
Meckler said the board granted Martin “almost complete power over the day-to-day operations” in November 2011 after a “protracted fight in which I was complaining about the direction, operation (top-down) and finances of the organization.”
A talk with Scott Walker – For many conservatives frustrated with the Republican Party, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has been a bright spot. After taking office last year in a bluish state, Walker set out to close a $3.6 billion budget hole, in part, by reforming public sector unions. His reforms, which gave workers choices as to whether they wanted to join a union and curbed union collective bargaining powers that were crippling local budgets, sparked a wave a protests. But Walker stood firm and prevailed. Now unions plan to spend tens of millions of dollars on a campaign to recall him, with an election anticipated by June.
On Thursday, the Washington Examiner spoke with Walker by telephone about his reforms, the upcoming recall election, his decision to reject Obamacare funding, his views about the proper role of government and the extended Republican presidential primary.
Starting March 5, online readers will be asked to buy a digital subscription at an initial rate of 99 cents for four weeks. Readers who do not subscribe will be able to read 15 stories in a 30-day period for free.
Separately, The Times announced plans to launch a new weekly lifestyle section called Saturday for its print subscribers.
Other news outlets that have begun charging for online journalism include the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Dallas Morning News. Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper company, this week announced plans to launch a similar program at 80 publications, saying it could boost earnings by $100 million in 2013.
U.S. does not believe Iran is trying to build nuclear bomb – As U.S. and Israeli officials talk publicly about the prospect of a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program, one fact is often overlooked: U.S. intelligence agencies don’t believe Iran is actively trying to build an atomic bomb.
A highly classified U.S. intelligence assessment circulated to policymakers early last year largely affirms that view, originally made in 2007. Both reports, known as national intelligence estimates, conclude that Tehran halted efforts to develop and build a nuclear warhead in 2003.
The most recent report, which represents the consensus of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, indicates that Iran is pursuing research that could put it in a position to build a weapon, but that it has not sought to do so.
Although Iran continues to enrich uranium at low levels, U.S. officials say they have not seen evidence that has caused them to significantly revise that judgment. Senior U.S. officials say Israel does not dispute the basic intelligence or analysis.
Could California swing the Republican nomination? – If no clear front-runner in the delegate count emerges by the end of April, Texas and California will move to the center of the political universe. These two gigantic, expensive states could then hold the keys to the nomination and determine whether we are headed for a brokered convention.
What would a hotly contested California Republican primary campaign, unseen in decades, look like? Certainly it would be very expensive, and waged almost entirely on television. The state is too big to quickly organize on a district level (ask anyone who has run for statewide office in California), making broadcast media critical. A quick bus tour, some fly-arounds and earned media stops would make up the rest. An insurgent candidate could also conceivably attempt to organize the small number of Republicans who live in heavily Democratic congressional districts in Los Angeles to score a few delegates.
California’s primary is “closed,” meaning only registered Republicans may participate. This results in a more conservative electorate than in “open” primary states where voters of other affiliations may vote in the Republican primary.
Although California votes late enough to be winner-take-all, it isn’t. Under rules adopted in 2000 and first put into effect in 2004, the California Republican Party will allocate delegates proportionally by congressional district. In 2008, John McCain won in 48 of 53 districts, with Mitt Romney winning in the remaining five.
These are my links for January 11th through January 12th:
Mormons in America – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life – With a Mormon candidate among the front-runners for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, a musical about Mormons playing on Broadway and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) running television ads about ordinary Mormons, America is in the midst of what some media accounts have dubbed a “Mormon moment.” But how do Mormons themselves feel about the media spotlight, the election campaign and their place in America? A major new survey finds a mixed picture: Many Mormons feel they are misunderstood, discriminated against and not accepted by other Americans as part of mainstream society. Yet, at the same time, a majority of Mormons think that acceptance of Mormonism is rising. Overwhelmingly, they are satisfied with their lives and content with their communities. And most say they think the country is ready to elect a Mormon president.
Coming off his decisive win in Tuesday’s New Hampshire Primary, Romney earns 41% support with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich a distant second at 19%. A new telephone survey of Likely Florida Republican Primary Voters finds former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum running third with 15% of the vote.
Speaking to a sold-out Sarasota audience on Wednesday, Bush said she had hoped that her brother-in-law and former Florida governor would have jumped into the race this year.
Husband George W. Bush “and I wish he would,” Laura Bush said when asked if Jeb Bush will run for president someday. “We wanted him to this time.”
Laura Bush singled out his work on education as a key reason he would make a good president. She said his commitment to public policy is evident.
Jeb Bush has repeatedly said he is not running for president in 2012, though he has not ruled out a future campaign.
3 billionaires who’ll drag out the race – Meet the three billionaires who could drag out the GOP presidential primary, bloody up front-runner Mitt Romney and weaken the odds of defeating President Barack Obama: Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess and Jon Huntsman, Sr.
The three men are contributing millions of dollars to a trio of outside groups flooding the airwaves in early voting states with brutal ads attacking Romney and ads backing the candidates they would prefer to win the Republican nomination.
Homeland Security watches Twitter, social media – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s command center routinely monitors dozens of popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks and news and gossip sites including the Huffington Post and Drudge Report, according to a government document.
A “privacy compliance review” issued by DHS last November says that since at least June 2010, its national operations center has been operating a “Social Networking/Media Capability” which involves regular monitoring of “publicly available online forums, blogs, public websites and message boards.”
Aaron Suggs had been designated a non-serious, nonviolent felon when he was released from state prison Dec. 8 after serving a sentence for drug possession. That designation resulted in his supervision, upon release, being assigned to the Sacramento County Probation Department rather than state parole agents under a program adopted by the state last year to cut its costs.
State prisons spokesman Luis Patino said last year’s change in state law shifting responsibilities for some felons to counties did not affect how long Suggs spent in prison. County officials also denied that the shifting of post-prison supervision had an effect on Suggs’ ability to commit the crime, although Suggs spent five days in county jail for not immediately reporting to his county probation officer after his release from prison.
Suggs was arrested Monday after he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in a house near the Capitol and stole some of her possessions.
In the wake of a court order that the state move more than 33,000 inmates out of its packed prisons, an overwhelming number of voters oppose higher taxes — as well as cuts in key state services — to pay for more lockup space.
The survey, by The Times and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, shows a clear shift in attitude by residents forced to confront the cost of tough sentencing laws passed in recent decades.
The poll canvassed 1,507 registered California voters between July 6 and July 17, about six weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an earlier court order requiring the inmate numbers to be cut. It was conducted by two firms in the Washington, D.C., area: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a Democratic firm, and American Viewpoint, a Republican firm. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.52 percentage points.
The ailing economy far outweighs crime as the top concern for most people today, the pollsters said. That, along with the court order, could help explain voters' new receptivity to changes long sought by prisoner-rights advocates:
— More than 60% of respondents, including majorities among Democrats, Republicans and those who declined to state a party preference, said they would support reducing life sentences for third strike offenders convicted of property crimes such as burglary, auto theft and shoplifting.
— Nearly 70% said they would sanction the early release of some low-level offenders whose crimes did not involve violence.
— About 80% said they approve of keeping low-level, nonviolent offenders in county custody — including jails, home detention or parole — instead of sending them to state prisons. The same percentage favors paroling inmates who are paralyzed, in comas or so debilitated by advanced disease that they no longer pose a threat to public safety.
The pollsters noted that people don't generally favor the release of convicted criminals. But "when it comes to prisons," said Linda DiVall of American Viewpoint, "voters are looking for solutions that don't raise taxes or take money from other priorities like education."
Read it all…..
Just wait until some horrendous crime by a just released felon occurs.
Aguirre survived the rigorous screening process conducted by the State Auditor's Office and was ultimately chosen as one of 14 commissioners selected from a pool that originally included 25,000 applicants.
Now, with the commission poised to adopt political district maps that are certain to displease many Californians, Aguirre, one of five Democrats on the panel, has become the subject of sharp attacks from Republican Party leaders who accuse him of being a community activist who has been an advocate for a variety of causes.
The attacks raise anew questions that the State Auditor Elaine Howle struggled with in 2009 as she developed guidelines and regulations for the selection of commissioners, a task with which she was charged under Proposition 11, the initiative that created the independent redistricting process.
Kim Alexander, president and founder of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation, said she believes the auditor "struck the right balance" in disqualifying those whose political connections were so strong as to make them potentially beholden to a particular party or politician while at the same time keeping the process open to those who had been engaged in civic activities.
"No one involved in crafting this commission expected you to have applicants who had zero political involvement in their history," she said.
Indeed, a review of applications reveals a history of civic and political activism on the part of several commissioners. Some examples:
Read it all…..
The California Citizen's Redistricting Commission is a disaster. The law should be changed to empower the California supreme Court to draw the lines.
See which areas have the most unauthorized immigrants in California – Undocumented immigrants comprise about 7 percent of the state's population and 9 percent of its workforce, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. The number of unauthorized immigrants in the state has held fairly steady at just below 3 million for the past five years — even shrinking slightly — as immigrants settle more often in states other than California, according to the report, which is based largely on federal tax returns. Undocumented immigrants are heavily concentrated in farming areas and urban coastal communities. This map shows which areas have the highest proportion of undocumented immigrants.
Stone's wants to create South California. And although he tempered the secession talk at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting, he did convince his colleagues to give him the go ahead to put together a summit on state issues — provided no county funds or staff went toward the effort.
In a statement today, Stone proposed the summit for September or October and wants local officials to discuss ways to change the state. Stone, a Republican, wants a part-time Legislature, a balanced-budget requirement and changes to public employee pensions.
He has launched both a website — californiarebellion2012.com — and a Facebook page to bolster his efforts.
Never going to happen….
Meth Addict with Flame Thrower to Be Spared Prison as States Cut Spending – Zackariah Lehnen, a 30-year-old transient, was paroled from a California prison in November after serving five months of a 16-month sentence for drug possession. He left under a program intended to reduce state costs by freeing nonviolent prisoners without supervision.
Six months later he was arrested and charged with murder in the torture and stabbing deaths of an 89-year-old man and a 27- year-old woman in a Los Angeles suburb, according to court documents. He’s in jail, with a plea hearing set for July 28.
Lehnen’s case, reminiscent of Willie Horton, the Massachusetts inmate who committed rape in 1987 after failing to return from a weekend pass, is an extreme illustration of the risks states face when they look to reduce prison spending by locking up fewer convicts.
“It’s a perfect example of what goes wrong when you prioritize saving money over public safety,” said Ted Lieu, a former military prosecutor who’s now a Democratic state senator from Torrance, in a telephone interview.
U.S. crime has dropped in the past two decades, a period when the number of state prison inmates doubled to 1.4 million and correctional spending more than tripled to $52.3 billion in 2009, according to the Pew Center on the States and the National Association of State Budget Officers, respectively. Now deficits, and a rethinking of how convicts are handled, are prompting states to reduce the number of convicts they hold.
Read it all….
If they start letting these criminals out of prison, there will be more violent crime eventually.
Then, the media will show the outrage that built all of the prisons in the fist place.
The seizure in a warehouse took place in an industrial area in Queretaro, about 125 miles (200 km) north of Mexico City, the Mexican defense ministry said in a statement late on Wednesday.
The seizure, which the army made on Monday, included 787 tons of phenylacetamide and 52.5 tons of tartaric acid, all in 25 kilogram (55 pound) packets. Both chemicals can be used in the manufacture of meth.