fish wrap


MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) — A state election board on Monday will announce Democrat Al Franken has defeated Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race, state officials told CNN Sunday.

A board will say Al Franken won the U.S. Senate race by 225 votes, Minnesota's secretary of state says.

A board will say Al Franken won the U.S. Senate race by 225 votes, Minnesota’s secretary of state says.

The canvassing board on Monday will say a recount determined Franken won by 225 votes, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie told CNN.

However, Coleman’s campaign, which contends the recount should have included about 650 absentee ballots it says were improperly rejected in the initial count, has indicated it will challenge the certification.

Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan said his team believes the recount process was broken and that “the numbers being reported will not be accurate or valid.”

“The effort by the Franken campaign, supported by the secretary of state, to exclude improperly rejected absentee ballots is indefensible and disenfranchises hundreds of Minnesota voters,” Sheehan said.

After the results are certified, Coleman’s campaign will have seven days to file a challenge.

The initial count from the November 4 election put Coleman, a first-term senator, 215 votes ahead of Franken — known for his stint on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and as a former talk-show host on progressive radio network Air America.

The slim margin triggered an automatic recount.

During the recount, Franken’s campaign alleged that thousands of absentee ballots had been improperly rejected and asked that they be counted. The state’s Supreme Court eventually ordered that rejected absentee ballots be counted if local officials and each campaign could agree that the selected ballots were rejected mistakenly.

About 950 initially rejected absentee ballots were counted Saturday after all parties agreed on them. However, Coleman’s campaign said about 650 other rejected absentee ballots — many of them from pro-Coleman areas — also were improperly rejected and should have been counted.

The Coleman campaign has also alleged that more than 100 ballots may have been accidentally counted twice and may have unfairly benefited Franken.

“When a candidate is leading because of double counted votes, and votes that get counted even when ballots don’t exist, it clearly means that a [post-election challenge] is the only likely remedy to ensure a fair outcome,” Sheehan said.

Franken’s attorney, Marc Elias, in a statement said: “The next step is the canvass board’s meeting tomorrow, where we have every expectation they will declare that Al Franken won this election.”

Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann, who oversaw Saturday’s tallying of the 950 improperly rejected absentee ballots, said the only thing left for the canvassing board to do Monday is certify the numbers. The board’s meeting will convene at 2:30 p.m.

“Candidates may have objections or suggestions or comments that they want to make,” Gelbmann said. “I would assume the canvassing board will allow that as long as they’re brief.”

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York and chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued a statement Sunday declaring Franken the winner and expressing confidence Franken would remain on top following any legal battle.

“There is no longer any doubt who will be the next senator from Minnesota,” Schumer said. “Even if all the ballots Coleman claims were double counted or erroneously added were resolved in his favor, he still wouldn’t have enough votes to win.”

Schumer also said it is “crucial” Minnesota’s second seat in the Senate not go empty, implying Franken should be seated when the rest of the Senate convenes to be sworn in Tuesday.

Minnesota’s other seat is held by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has pledged a GOP filibuster if the Democrat-controlled Senate attempts to seat Franken before all legal battles play out and before Minnesota’s Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, can co-sign the secretary of state’s certificate.

Ritchie said the state has no problem with not having two sworn-in senators Tuesday until the process is completed

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Huffington Post reports:

GOP Group In Panic Over Possible Franken

Update: 7:35 Central

Franken projected to win by 35-50 votes.

Submitted by www.lostmarbles.us
While Iraqi reporter and pitcher, Muntadar alZaidi, awaits trial the BBC reports that sales for the brand of shoe that was hurled at President Bush have skyrocketed. There is no word as to the reason for the sudden increase in sales but insiders say that the Lame-Duck President has been practicing weaving and ducking should anyone else hurl over his performance as Commander and Chief.

Muntadar alZaidi’s trial is set for December 31, 2008 where he faces up to 15 years for “aggression against a foreign head of state” which the BBC reports could be reduced to a lesser charge of “attempted aggression” (I didn’t make that part up). No one was injured during the attack except for the shoe-wielding assailant. Muntadar alZaidi’s brother told BBC reporters that he has been abused in detention and plans to file a legal suit over his injuries.

The scheduled trial date was specifically selected to provide Christmas cheer and entertainment to Black Water thugs.

Since a number of individuals including alZaidi have referred to Bush as a dog, the Obama’s are reconsidering the adoption of a new White House mutt and may elect to keep George Walker Bush instead.

Link to online shoe throwing game

Submitted by Black Marlon:

Dear President-Elect Obama,
I was listening to NPR and they were discussing your selection for the Director of the CIA. It was mentioned that John Brenner was probably high on the list but removed himself from the question due to the reaction of bloggers.
You strike me as the kind of guy who is willing to buck criticism in the interests of achieving the best results. It’s my suggestion that you talk to him and try to convince him to accept the job.

Clearly, Brenner is aware of and concerned with the way things look and to that extent that he’s willing to take the hit to his own career. I cannot imagine anything that is more desperately needed in the CIA than for the CIA to be aware of not only the logistical interests of the United States but also of its Geo-Political interests.
Don’t discount him even though he’s discounted himself.

CNN Report

Senior Journal

WD

Docket # FSIS-2008-0028

I am writing to urge you to reject the American Meat Institute petition to use
carcass irradiation as a processing aid.

Irradiation of meat, no matter what the dose, alters the chemistry of food.
Even low-dose irradiation has been found to create dangerous
byproducts such as 2-ACBs.  For other foods, irradiation is categorized
as a food additive and this is how it should continue to be regulated.
And it is entirely unacceptable that this petition asks for permission
to use irradiation without any labeling requirement.  Consumers need to
know if irradiation is used in the processing of their food.

I am opposed to the use of irradiation no matter how it is
categorized or at what stage of processing it is used.  I urge the
agency not to approve this petition.  Consumers need USDA to strengthen
microbial testing in meat plants, not more reliance on failed
technologies like irradiation.

Sincerely,

Click Here to Sign Petition

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in British Columbia.

History: Keep Mad Cow out of the US

The 2003 discovery of the first case of mad cow disease in the United States cast serious doubts on years of reassurances from the meat industry and the USDA that it couldn’t happen here.  Now the USDA and the big meat companies want consumers to believe them again.  We need your help to keep Mad Cow Disease out of the U.S.

For the last three years, the USDA has been trying to open the border to Canadian cattle over the age of thirty months.  This is significant because older cattle (those over thirty months of age) are considered to be at higher risk for having Mad Cow Disease and therefore pose a greater risk if they enter the food supply.  Canada has had 13 cases of Mad Cow Disease, the most recent of which was discovered in June.

So why would the United States take older, high risk cattle from a country known to have a significant prevalence of this disease?  The meat companies want to be able to source cattle from wherever they are the cheapest, which is often Canada.

Combined with the known problems in U.S. slaughterhouses in following the rules for handling the risky nervous system materials believed to spread the disease, importing older Canadian cattle creates unnecessary risk for U.S. consumers. 

Tell USDA to put public health before meat industry profits and not to open the border to older Canadian cattle. Take Action Now.

Thanks for taking action,
Patty Lovera, Deputy Director
Food & Water Watch

Sign petition to keep Mad Cow out of the US 

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