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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

August 06, 2004
Looking At the Headlines

"Hiring Slows Dramatically" is the CNN headline. I guess an expectation of over 200,000 jobs thatís filled with 30,000 jobs is worth a headline.

CBS? Jobs again.

The NYTimes lets terrorists and the lack of new jobs share space. A gap where 170,000 jobs were expected to be is significant

Economists, however, look more closely at the payroll figure as a better barometer of the health of the jobs market. The 32,000 net jobs added in July represented the smallest gain in hiring since December and followed a revised gain of just 78,000 in June, even less than previously reported. May's payrolls also were revised down to show a gain of 208,000.

By the time they revise July down, we'll probably have lost jobs.

ABC is talking about terrorists. As far as I can tell, the story seems to be that these are the guys who said or did something that caused the recent increase to Organic Orange in the Amazing Alert system. I didn't read it closely because I was looking for a different story.

I guess the "handover of authority" in Iraq has done its job. The USofA media is largely moving on to new topics.

With the third item on the NYTimes page, they finally get to Iraq.

They say the "heaviest" fighting over the last couple of days has been in Najaf, a hundred miles south of Baghdad.

The heaviest fighting occurred mainly in Najaf, a Shiite holy city and Sadr stronghold 100 miles south of Baghdad, where the Health Ministry said 19 people were killed and 111 were wounded during fighting Thursday and early today, The Associated Press reported.

No..wait...the Washington Post is also featuring it.

Fierce fighting between U.S. and Iraqi forces and Shiite rebels loyal to cleric Moqtada Sadr escalated in five cities Friday, in a second day of combat resembling the Sadr-led uprising of last Spring.

Casualties were reported to be significant among Americans and Iraqis alike, although no official totals were immediately available for Friday's fighting. The military did announce Friday that two Marines were killed Thursday during combat with the rebels in the southern Shiite city of Najaf.

"Significant" casualties does not sound good.

It looks worse if you check the the BBC to see what they have to say. (Sure enough, they lead with the story.)

US-led forces in Iraq have clashed with Shia militiamen in several cities, in a second day of fighting that has shattered a truce agreed in June.

A US military spokesman says 300 supporters of radical cleric Moqtada Sadr have been killed in the holy city of Najaf on Thursday and Friday.

There has also been heavy fighting in a Shia area of the capital Baghdad, where 34 people have died since Thursday.

There are some pretty significant differences in casualty numbers here.

I'm just saying. There was a time when if we were (maybe) killing people at the rate of 150+ a day, it would have been considered worthy of some significant press coverage here in the USofA.

Have you heard of the Help America Vote Act? I got an earful the other night, at the FairVoteColorado training meeting. (I've volunteered to observe at the polls during the primary on Tuesday and on November 2.)

Rules supposedly designed to prevent another Florida Fiasco are sometimes doing more harm than good

Colorado enacted one of the first provisional-balloting laws in 2002, and immediately fell into an ugly dispute in a close Congressional race. Secretary of State Donetta Davidson issued a series of conflicting directives during the contentious post-election count. Counties used different standards for counting, and the race ended up in court.

Election officials expressed additional concerns over other changes instituted under the Help America Vote Act, including one that requires new voters to present identification at polling sites.

For the record, Colorado is referred to in the first paragraph but the article doesn't mention that Colorado's law is even more restrictive than HAVA demands. Not content with asking for I.D. from "new" voters, all Colorado voters will have to produce identification.

Thanks to the education received in my own comments sections, as well as the words of the representative from the Homeless Coalition who attended the meeting the other night, I have a fairly good grasp of why this is such a bad idea.

Colorado has, in fact, provided provisional ballots for those unaware of the (largely unadvertised) new law. It's anticipated that a lot of voters will use those provision ballots on Tuesday. The problem with each county setting their own standards for counting his not been resolved, and there are a number of other problems as well.

Of the 5,914 provisional ballots cast in the Chicago primary, 5,498 were disqualified, mostly on technical grounds.

Let's hope that doesn't happen here.

I have more to say (about everything) but I'm out of time. Maybe later.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:19 AM