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The Left Column


Republicans Sweating As Democrats Hold Leads In Georgia’s Senate And Governor Races

(Politicus USA) All the talk of a Republican takeover of the US Senate after this year’s midterms may have been a bit premature as a new poll in Georgia shows that Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn holds a three-point lead over Republican nominee David Perdue for Georgia’s open Senate seat. The seat is currently held by retiring Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss. The poll, conducted by Landmark Communications, has Nunn up on Perdue, 46% to 43%. The poll’s margin of error is 2.9%, so Nunn’s lead is razor-thin. However, considering that Georgia is a deep-red state, it has to be extremely disheartening for Republicans to see themselves down in a race where they’d normally be holding a comfortable lead.


School Districts Are Receiving Free Military Gear From The Pentagon

(TPM) More than 20 school districts in the United States have been equipped with military-grade equipment through the federal program that provides such gear to local and state authorities free of charge, according to civil rights groups.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Texas Appleseed, a legal advocacy group, sent a letter on behalf of a coalition of civil rights groups to the federal agency that administers the program on Monday. The letter requested reforms be made to the 1033 program, which has come under significant scrutiny after the heavily armed police response to protests in Ferguson, Mo., last month.


Arizona GOP official resigns after saying poor women should be sterilized

(Raw Story) Russell Pearce, the first vice-chair of the state’s Republican Party and recalled Arizona senate president, made the comments Sept. 6 on his weekly, self-titled talk radio program, reported the Phoenix New Times.

“You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I’d do is get Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations,” Pearce said on his KKNT-AM program. “Then we’ll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job.”

In addition to forced sterilization, Pearce suggested recipients of public assistance be tested for drugs and alcohol, have their homes subjected to random searches, and severely cutting the amount of food aid and dictating what items recipients could buy.


Colorado Gubernatorial Candidate Promises To Seize And Sell America’s National Parks, Public Lands

(Think Progress) In the first debate of the Colorado gubernatorial race last Friday, Republican nominee Bob Beauprez went on the record supporting the seizure of Colorado’s national parks, forests and public lands by the state government, saying “this is fight we have to wage.”

In a video taken by American Bridge, Beauprez, who is challenging incumbent Governor John Hickenlooper (D), claimed that all public land in the state was “supposed to be Colorado’s” and that “if this were private land and the federal government was a tenant, we would cancel their lease.”


NY Times: Conservative Experiment Faces Revolt in Reliably Red Kansas

(NYT) In his 40 years living in Kansas, Konrad Hastings cannot remember voting for a Democrat. He is the type who agonizes over big purchases, trying to save as much money as possible. He is against stricter gun laws, opposes abortion in most cases and prefers less government involvement in his life.

But when he casts his ballot for governor in November, he plans to shun the leader of this state’s conservative movement, the Republican incumbent, Sam Brownback, and vote for the Democratic challenger.


What Happened When Some Libertarians Went Off to Build Ayn Rand's Vision of Paradise

(Alternet) In Rand’s novel the great, throbbing “motor of the world” (it’s made of executives, remember?) retreats to an Atlantis-like idyll known as “Galt’s Gulch.” Without their ingenuity and drive the nation descends into chaos, leading many long pages later to their triumphant return and anointment as leaders of a new libertarian order.

Which gets us to the fraud charges now swirling around a venture called “Galt’s Gulch of Chile.” Its website is currently down, but it’s still being promoted as a real-world retreat for the world’s movers and shakers. “Yes, you read that right,” the organizer chirps cheerily. “Those who become one of GGC’s Founders will be paid back … within three years of the consummation of their Founders Club participation (please contact GGC for the fine print and T&Cs).”


Bernie Sanders: Presidential Run Is Not About Hillary, It’s About The ‘Collapsing’ Middle Class

(Raw Story) Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) indicated on Meet the Press today that he would seriously consider running for president in 2016, even if that required him to switch his party affiliation to Democrat.

“The truth is, profound anger at both political parties, more and more people are becoming independent,” he began.

However, “the issue of whether you run as an independent, with the necessity of setting up a fifty-state infrastructure, running as a Democrat, that’s something that I’m looking at,” he continued.


Historian Tells CBS: Fox News Would Have ‘Loved’ To Show FDR With Polio ‘At His Most Helpless’

(Raw Story) Historian Geoffrey Ward told CBS News on Sunday that Franklin D. Roosevelt would have difficulty running for president with a disability like polio today because Fox News would have “loved” to show him “at his most helpless.”

During a panel discussion about the PBS documentary “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” CBS host Bob Schieffer noted that Roosevelt could have never hidden his inability to walk from the public today.

“Hopefully, the public today would be much more understanding and glad to have somebody that had overcome this kind of problem,” historian Doris Kearns Goodwin agreed.


Ferguson’s massive cover-up: How police departments are protecting Michael Brown’s killer

(Salon) Are the police departments of Ferguson and St. Louis County, Missouri, involved in a conspiracy to obstruct justice in the case of Michael Brown’s murder? It seems disturbingly possible, given their actions over the past month, hiding basic evidentiary information from the public in direct violation of the state’s sunshine laws—and perhaps not even gathering it in the first place. This raises the further possibly that evidence is being hidden from criminal investigators as well, particularly since the investigators have shown no great interest, much less zeal, in getting to the truth of the matter.

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