Verizon, Vonage and patent madness

via sometimes snarky tech blog Engadget, the madness that is the technology patent system lately:

Verizon's patents may be illegitimate. Apparently the two patents in question, 6,104,711 (filed March 6, 1997) and 6,282,574 (filed February 24, 2000) may themselves use technology openly discussed and published by VocalTec back in 1996. In fact, it may also indirectly include technology input from the likes of IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Nortel, etc. made during the VoIP Forum in 1996, with the businesses' original intentions that this tech be used in future open standards.

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Mushroom Workers Reject Union?

[Southeastern PA is one of the great mushroom growing capitals.  Most mushroom farms in the region are still moderately-sized, family owned and/or operated business.  Started and staffed by Italian immigrants many decades ago, now they are largely staffed by Spanish-speaking immigrants and their decendants.]

If find it hard to believe that a group of Mexican mushroom farm workers would reject unionization without some negative campaigning from ownership and/or management:

Union voted down in Chesco

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I'm sorry if anyone was offended.

Statements from Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwen regarding their personal postings online before going to work for John Edwards both contain something along the lines of 'I'm sorry if anyone was offended.'

That's a BS comment.  I won't except non-apology apologies from the right and I won't accept it from them.  You either admit you stepped over a line, and apologize, or say I did not step over a line.  But saying if you think I stepped over the line, then I apologize to you is BS.

I believe that Edwards did the right thing by keeping them, and perhaps candidates will look a little deeper into the postings of public figures from now on.

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Singer vs Baucus

While Jonathon Singer continues to hit the bell that the Senate is capitulating to business-sector backed GOP demands for 'gifts' or 'massive giveaways' tied to a minimum wage increase, I think it's important to actually examine what those incentives might include, and just how critical they to the minimum wage issue, and US tax revenue.

I've so far dug up a few documents from Sen. Baucus' website, which I'll include below, but a quick rundown shows items like the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, and other tax issues for small businesses covering deprecitation, deductions and record keeping.

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RNC woos urban Latinos in Berks County

cross posted at Lutton Square

Interesting. This was probably helpful in Jim Gerlach barely holding onto his seat; something to be overcome in 2008. Catholic Latinos are probably receptive to the right-wing stance on Abortion rights.

This map I created at shows the Reading, PA vicinity. The whole region has an average Latino population of 9%-17%, and the pink area indicates the 'urban' region of Reading. Note that a significant portion of the urban population of the Reading area lies within the current PA-06 Congressional district (which lies primarily to the east and south of Reading itself).

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Simon Rosenberg (NDN) claims Emanuel & Schumer led victory

Just a few minutes ago on the Alex Bennett show (Sirius 146) Simon Rosenberg of the NDN (which he says now doesn't not mean anything, like KFC) claimed that Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer were the parties responsible for the overwhelming performance of Democrats, including the vast number of candidates running.

Of course, this is patently false.  Without the push of Howard Dean and the netroots to pursue the 50-State Strategy, these men and their campaign committees would have continued the losing strategy of pursuing just a few 'critical' seats, underfunding 'unimportant' races at federal and state levels, and basically trying to not rock the boat and upset the GOP majority by letting the GOP control the message, control the election and most likely continue to control the Congress.

You can call the Alex Bennett show:  866-997-4748

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PA-08 *** GOOD NEWS AT 99% ***

Murphy up +1412 with 347 of 350 precincts reporting

Murphy, Patrick Dem 124,475 50.29

Fitz., Michael (i) GOP 123,063 49.71

update: 12:20; going down to the wire 314 of 350 Precincts Reporting; 89.7%

Murphy 114,930

Fitz 113,063

+ 1867

update: Midnight 89% reporting: still 50/50; Murphy up ~1400 - 113,672 vs 112,260 11:20 PM

local Action news just had Pat Murphy up by 1048 vote (83k vs 82k) with 67% reporting.

this one is my baby; I'll be staying up late to see the results

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Six more FUs*

*Friedman Units

also at Lutton Square

MSNBC: Talabani: U.S. troops should stay 3 more years
Iraqi president denies civil war in Iraq but asks for help defeating terrorists

PS Don't worry about the capital. We know where the good news is; it's east, west, south and north somewhat of Baghdad:

“There is no civil war. The media is focusing only on the negative side of Iraq. ... We need to give the real picture. It’s not just car bombs. Visit Iraq from the north to the south. Never mind Baghdad,” he told reporters.

Listen, if they want to talk timelines, after the election, let's do it. That's what most Americans and most sensible candidates are considering. Light at the end of the tunnel and getting our troops out of the line of fire. I don't think the Iraqi's can pull it together on a national, unified level, but let's get them on board with taking care of their own...

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Draining the GOP bank?

Reacting to this article on TPMCafe, "NRCC Spends Nearly $40 Million In Seven Weeks!" I started to wonder about the convergence of current planned spending by the party, the campaign committees, the PACs, 527s and candidates, the party's willingness to borrow funds for a final push, along with our new push to get 'safe' candidates to throw some extra cash into the fray, plus the obvious signs of K Street begining to hedge their financial bets with outlays on our side:  Can we spend the GOP into looking up the financial hill at the Democrats?

The GOP fundraising has been hit hard, and they seem to be digging deep into their reserves, the money George Bush et al having been conjuring up since Nov 2004.  Meanwhile most of our fundraising has been accomplished this calendar year, and sometimes at traditionally slow periods, like the Netroots August push.  I believe the netroots retain an advantage in 'instant' fundraising for a candidate or issue of note.  We don't need to bring out the big-wigs or hired guns to drive funding...we have to present clear concise reasoning and ask a lot of people for a little help.

If we succeed in forcing the GOP to spend spend spend NOW, we can turn the tables on them heading into '08.  Especially if K Street starts sending more money to us, and less to them.  And also especially if the GOP 'leadership' continues to discourage their own supporters in both governing and campaigning.

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PA-04 now in play!

According to Josh Marshall, the race in PA-04 is in play:

CQ has bumped the race from Republican Favored to Leans Republican. So Hart is still favored. But it's a real race.

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