Armed Forces Show Overwhelming Support for Obama: “Despite the fact that Paul once raised almost twice as much as Obama did from the military, the president has received $536,414 from military donors, compared to Paul’s $399,274 and Romney’s $287,435, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics. These numbers are based on donations greater than $200, as reported to the Federal Election Commission. […] Contributing $176,121, the Department of Defense is Obama’s biggest supporter, with the Army not far behind with $165,646. The Navy sits in third at $86,656. In comparison, Romney’s top military contributor is the Army with $115,458, followed by the Air Force with $90,611 in contributions. However, although Obama’s fundraising totals are higher than his opponent’s, six of the 11 military branches the Center for Responsive Politics analyzed have given more to Romney — most notably the Navy, the Air Force and the Marine Corps. The Obama advantage comes even though he said $500 billion in military spending would be cut as part of the sequestration process to help balance the budget, while Romney has alluded to a multi-trillion-dollar increase over the next decade.” From Open Secrets blog.
Chinese man appeals labor camp sentence over T-shirt slogan: “When Patrick Henry proclaimed “Give me liberty or give me death” at the Virginia Convention in 1775, he convinced the colony to send troops to the Revolutionary War. When a 25-year-old Chinese civil servant named Ren Jianyu ordered a T-shirt off the Internet with the same message inscribed on it, he was sentenced to two years in a labor camp. Last September, Ren was sent by the Chongqing Public Security Bureau to be re-educated in a labor camp for two years. The evidence against him consisted of his ordering the Revolutionary-themed shirt and forwarding and commenting on “more than 100 pieces of negative information” on the Chinese social network Weibo, the English-language Chinese site Ministry of Tofu reported. Ren is appealing his sentence, arguing that he’s been jailed without cause. The messages he was accused of re-posting or commenting on were by Chinese activists such as He Weifang and Yang Hengjun, and some were critical of Bo Xilai, the former Chongqing party boss who was recently ousted from China’s Communist Party for his alleged involvement in the murder of an English businessman, for which his wife has been convicted.” From the Washington Post.
Supreme Court says No to blocking early voting in Ohio: ” The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down a request from officials in Ohio to block an appeals court ruling concerning early voting there. The Supreme Court’s brief order, without noted dissents, was a victory for the Obama campaign. Ohio had planned to eliminate early voting the weekend before the election next month, but it made an exception for members of the military. Earlier this month, the federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled that the option of voting early must be offered to all voters if it is offered to the military. The Obama campaign, which brought the lawsuit, had argued that poor and minority voters often vote the weekend before Election Day. The campaign issued a statement soon after the ruling was announced. “We are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to overturn federal court rulings that every Ohioan be allowed to vote during the weekend and Monday before the election,” the statement read. “This action from the highest court in the land marks the end of the road in our fight to ensure open voting this year for all Ohioans, including military, veterans, and overseas voters.” The Supreme Court’s action left local election officials free to allow early voting or not. But if they allow it, they must welcome all voters.” From the Times.
Claims of torture at the hands of the Chicago police: “Attorneys with Northwestern University Law School filed a class-action petition today asking a judge to grant hearings to scores of men imprisoned for murder who have “credible claims” they were tortured into confessing by disgraced former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge or detectives under his control. The petition is the first of its kind in Cook County and represents the only way to bring closure to “the scandal that won’t end,” said Locke Bowman, of the university’s MacArthur Justice Center. “None of these men has ever had a full or fair hearing,” Bowman said at a news conference at the law school’s downtown campus. “It is time, it is past time, to have closure on the Burge scandal.” The petition, filed before presiding Criminal Court Judge Paul Biebel, asks the court to establish a process to ensure that every Burge victim still incarcerated is given a fair hearing to determine whether his conviction rests on a confession wrongly obtained through torture or physical abuse.” From the Chicago Tribune.
Modern humans found to be fittest ever at survival, by far: “Modern humans have gotten incomparably good at survival, doing more to extend our lives over the last century than our forebears did in the previous 6.6 million years since we parted evolutionary ways with chimpanzees, according to a new study. In fact, humans in societies with plentiful food and advanced medicine have surpassed other species used in life-extending medical research in stretching our longevity and reducing our odds of dying at every point along our ever-lengthening life spans, the study finds. The research, published online Monday by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, touches upon the hotly debated question of whether an upper limit to longevity is inscribed in our genes. It makes clear that life extension begins at birth, with a child born in the last four generations standing a better chance of being alive during infancy, adolescence, the reproductive years and after than in any of the 8,000 human generations that came before. The study authors, from Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, began by comparing people who have lived or now live in primitive hunter-gatherer societies around the globe in which life spans have been well documented with citizens of industrialized countries in Europe and Asia. A typical Swede, for instance, is more than 100 times more likely to survive to the age 15 than a typical hunter-gatherer. And a hunter-gatherer who has reached the ripe old age of 30 is about as likely to die in the following year as the world’s champion of longevity — a 72-year-old woman in Japan.” From the LA Times.