FROM Emily Wagster Pettus
A Stunner in Mississippi Just under 7000 votes edged six-term Republican Senator Thad Cochran over the line to victory in his closely watched race yesterday in Mississippi against a more conservative challenger, Chris McDaniel. Tea Party groups had targeted the veteran lawmaker as early as last year, hoping to take down a GOP fixture. House Majority leader Eric Cantor's shocking loss in Virginia two weeks ago added to the movement’s momentum. Money and resources poured into McDaniel’s campaign, which is partly why Cochran’s win comes as a shock to most politicos.
Will the Recession Push State Governments to Shut Down? The recession is wreaking havoc with state governments all over the country by vastly reducing the revenues they depend on from taxes on property, sales and income. Last night, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Connecticut , North Carolina , Ohio and California failed to pass balanced budgets by the start of the fiscal year.
Will the Recession Force State Government Shutdowns? States all over the country are losing revenue. Last night, North Carolina and five other states failed to resolve disputes over taxes and spending in time for the start of the new fiscal year. Without balanced budgets, Pennsylvania and Illinois face partial shutdowns; Connecticut and Ohio are barely limping along. California has run out of money, and the biggest state in the union plans to pay its bills with IOU’s starting tomorrow. Last night in Sacramento, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made a $24 billion shortfall $3 billion worse by blocking a stop-gap agreement with Democrats. What are the consequences for education, medical care and public health? Or is it a blessing in disguise if it forces fiscal responsibility on state capitols?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.