Live Blog: Returns of the Night

In 17 years of voting at this polling place, nevr took longer than 5 minutes...today it took 1 hr and 5 minutes!

Good Evening!

Tonight we’re waiting for the returns from the state of Michigan even though there are three other states voting.  Hawaii, Idaho, and Mississippi are also voting although several of these are Republican voting events only.

The biggest prize is Michigan where the front-runners – Donald Trump for the Republicans and Hillary Clinton for the Democrats – will seek to consolidate leads over their respective rivals.

Both parties are also holding primaries in Mississippi on Tuesday.

In addition, the Republicans are voting in Idaho and Hawaii.

Billionaire businessman Mr Trump is well ahead in the all-important delegate count, but a poor debate performance and some recent losses to Texas Senator Ted Cruz have raised questions about the solidity of his lead.

hawaiiWhat’s at stake?

It’s an important day for Republicans, in which 6 percent of the party’s delegates are at stake. And by the time the dust has settled tonight or (more likely) tomorrow, about 43 percent of the party’s delegates will be allotted overall.

But really, today is a prelude to the far more consequential contests taking place in one week. That’s because today’s delegates are allocated mostly proportionally, making it tough for any candidate to pick up a huge lead. Next week, though, Florida and Ohio will vote winner-take-all, and the outcomes there could have major implications for the future of the race, since Donald Trump has led recent polls of both states. If he wins those two, he could amass a delegate lead that will be very difficult for any of his rivals to surmount.

So expect Republicans to interpret tonight’s results mainly in terms of what they might mean for next week. Does Trump look mortal, as he did on Saturday, or will he rebound with a dominant performance? Is Marco Rubio truly in free fall, as some recent polls have indicated? Is the anti-Trump vote consolidating around Ted Cruz, or will it remain split?

As for Democrats, Hillary Clinton is up big in polls of both states voting today. A win in Mississippi tonight wouldn’t be a surprise, since she’s romped in the South so far, but it would let her continue to pad her lead in pledged delegates, which is already sizable. But if Sanders gets blown out in Michigan, that may indicate that Clinton is likely to win several other primaries in large, delegate-rich states outside the South — making analready tough delegate math challenge for Sanders even tougher.

Michigan is a state that’s undergone a vast change. It used to be the center of a great post-War industrial automobile industry but most of its lucrative union jobs are gone.  The auto industry is on the mend but no abandoned-detroit-high-schoolwhere as powerful as it used to be in the country.  It is perhaps a great test of the power of establishment vs. outsider revolution.

While Sanders has made awkward attempts to court African American voters, Hillary Clinton has deep ties to the community. She was the first presidential candidate to visit Flint, Michigan, a predominately African American city with toxic water.

Clinton hopes to appeal to people like Lawrence White, a 43-year-old state employee and owner of a small security firm who feels betrayed by every level of government and by both parties. “I’m not just singling out Governor [Rick] Snyder,” the African American Democrat told me in January. “All the politicians including the EPA are playing tit-for-tat, playing games at our expense. It’s everybody. It’s Republicans. It’s Democrats. It’s a globalization of not caring for the people of Flint.”

Just north of Detroit, in the suburbs of Oakland and Macomb counties, live the children and grandchildren of Reagan Democrats, white working-class voters who defected their party to support Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

I grew up among Reagan Democrats; their racial and economic grievances were the soundtrack of my childhood. For people like Benson Brundage, a Macomb County contractor who told me in 2012 that welfare is racial “subsidization,” Donald Trump gives voice to their fears.

Mitt Romney dog-whistled at them in 2012. Now the former GOP nominee issuggesting that Trump is a bigot.

550x369x102422-004-E40CDA5E.jpg.pagespeed.ic.yKL-la4y8fPolls show that all the midwestern industrial states favor Trump and Clinton.  Here’s a list of the latest polls from RCP.  It’s bound to be a dismal day for Marco Rubio. That’s pretty obvious.  Is Kasich rising since these states should be favorable to him?

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has actually jumped ahead of Rubio for third place in Michigan, and is rising quickly, a Monmouth University poll out Monday showed. He appears to have worn well in last week’s Republican presidential debate, when he stayed out of the Trump-Rubio-Cruz scrum.

So imagine this scenario: Kasich beats Rubio in Michigan. Then, on March 15, Kasich wins his 66-delegate, winner-take-all home state of Ohio, and Rubio loses his 99-delegate, winner-take-all home state of Florida.

Find your presidential match with CNN’s 2016 Candidate Matchmaker

Suddenly, Kasich would become the leading moderate, establishment-type Republican in the race — and Rubio would lack a path forward.

There are a lot of “ifs” for that to happen. But for Kasich to stand any chance of turning what’s been a smaller-scale campaign that’s been much choosier about where he tries to compete into one with a real shot at quickly racking up delegates, Michigan is where it has to start.

Join us tonight for the returns!  I’ve put up a picture from each of the states.  As you can see, there couldn’t be a better example of the diversity in Americans and geography in the states voting tonight.downtown-boise-idaho-3213

Mississippi returns will come in first at 8 pm est so get ready!!!


Friday Reads: Zombie Memes

zombie-apocalypseGood Morning!

The Ebola Virus and the epidemic in Africa is real.  The right wing hysteria about the virus is rivaling the bad plots of the Zombie movies I’m watching during SyFy’s Countdown to Halloween.  I thought I’d spend some time separating the facts from the conspiracy theories today.  So let me start with one of the most outrageous Zombie Memes from one of the most vile women on the planet. Dementia or further evidence of the advanced stages of evil?  It’s your choice.

In an interview with WorldNetDaily published today, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly weighed in on the unfounded theory gaining traction in the right-wing media that Central American young people are to blame for an outbreak of a childhood respiratory illness in the U.S.

“There are all kinds of diseases in the rest of the world, and we don’t want them in this country,” Schlafly told WND, adding that “of all the things [Obama has] done, I think this thing of letting these diseased people into this country to infect our own people is just the most outrageous of all.”

She went on to imply that President Obama is intentionally allowing people infected with Ebola into the United States because he wants America to be “just like everybody else, and if Africa is suffering from Ebola, we ought to join the group and be suffering from it, too. That’s his attitude.”

Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly – author of “Who Killed the American Family?” – said she agrees Obama is responsible for allowing diseases to enter the country.

“There are all kinds of diseases in the rest of the world, and we don’t want them in this country,” Schlafly said. “And it’s Obama’s job to keep them out.

“Out of all the things he’s done, I think this thing of letting these diseased people into this country to infect our own people is just the most outrageous of all.”

Schlafly said the government should screen immigrants for disease before they enter the country, as was done at Ellis Island a hundred years ago.

“That was the purpose of Ellis Island – to have a waiting place where it was decided whether people were healthy enough or responsible enough to come into our country,” she said. “The idea that anybody can just walk in and carry this disease with them is just an outrage, and it is Obama’s fault because he’s responsible for doing it.”

When asked why the current administration hasn’t done more to prevent diseased illegal aliens or Ebola carriers from Africa from entering the country, Schlafly said Obama wants to make the U.S. more like the rest of the world.

“Obama doesn’t want America to believe that we’re exceptional,” Schlafly said. “He wants us to be just like everybody else, and if Africa is suffering from Ebola, we ought to join the group and be suffering from it, too. That’s his attitude.”

Yup, it’s despicable She. Still foaming at the mouth after all these years too.

Okay, so as not to overwhelm you with teh crazy all at once.  Let’s go to some science and medicine.zombies1

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told a top-level forum in Washington, D.C., that the Ebola outbreak is unlike anything he’s seen since the AIDS epidemic.

“I would say that in the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS,” Frieden said before the heads of the United Nations, World Bank and International Monetary Fund, according to AFP.

Frieden added: “We have to work now so that it is not the world’s next AIDS.”

Frieden’s comments come as the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. died Wednesday despite intense but delayed treatment. The U.S. government also announced it was expanding airport examinations to guard against the spread of the deadly disease.

The checks will include taking the temperatures of hundreds of travelers arriving from West Africa at five major American airports.

The new screenings will begin Saturday at New York’s JFK International Airport and then expand to Washington Dulles and the international airports in Atlanta, Chicago and Newark. An estimated 150 people per day will be checked, using high-tech thermometers that don’t touch the skin.

The White House said the fever checks would reach more than 9 of 10 travelers to the U.S. from the three heaviest-hit countries — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

President Barack Obama called the measures “really just belt and suspenders” to support protections already in place. Border Patrol agents now look for people who are obviously ill, as do flight crews, and in those cases the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is notified.

It’s unlikely a fever check would have spotted Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died of Ebola in a Dallas hospital Wednesday morning. Duncan wasn’t yet showing symptoms when he arrived in the U.S.

signsofthezombieapocalypse_wpid-signsofthezombieapocalypse_zombies-cementerio1So the disease is ravaging West Africa.  That’s where the problem is and needs to be solved.

There are the facts about the state of the Ebola crisis. In West Africa, more than 8,000 people have contracted the disease and nearly half have died. In the U.S., there’s just one confirmed casethat of Thomas Duncan, the Liberian man who passed away in Dallas on Wednesday. Experts say that the caseload in West Africa is likely to get much, much bigger. As many as 1.4 million people could get the disease, with a large fraction of them dying from it. The same experts expect no similar outbreak here, even if a few more cases appear, because we have the personnel and the resources to limit exposure.

But all of the news on Wednesday was about developments here in the U.S.in particular, new screening efforts at five major U.S. airports, Duncan’s death, and reports of possible new cases in the U.S., including one in Dallas. You could tell by the questions that Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, fielded during a late afternoon press conference.  He got more than a dozen of them. Only two were about the situation abroad. (And one of them, it so happens, came from me.)

The preoccupation with what’s happening here, as opposed to what’s happening over there, is perfectly understandable. On Tuesday, a Gallup poll revealed that Americans today are as worried about contracting Ebola as they were about contracting H1N1, the swine flu, during that outbreak two years ago. By that time, millions of people had gotten H1N1 and thousands had already died. But people die from flu all the time, usually because they are very young or very old or already otherwise infirmed. It’s a threat that people have factored into their daily lives, if at all. Ebola is quite literally a foreign menace, one to which almost nobody gave much thought until a few weeks ago. The virus kills about half the people who get it, with little regard for age or health status of the person infected.

That fear goes a long way to explaining why the U.S. is implementing the new screening process at the airports. Customs and Border Patrol agents were already on the lookout for people with visible signs of the disease. Now they will add another layer of scrutiny. They will use questionnaires to screen for people who have been in affected countriesand, then, subject these people to temperature tests and more questioning. People who have fever or show other Ebola symptoms will be evaluated by quarantine officers from the CDC, then referred to local health authorities who will decide how to handle the cases. The primary goal is to identify any passengers infected with Ebola before they leave the airport.

But yes, the right wing is hysterical and afraid and lying as the right wing is prone to do.

Of all the issues that you would think would be non-partisan, Ebola should be at the top of the list. The disease is just a mindless germ that doesn’t check your race, gender, social class, sexual orientation or party identification before it strikes, suggesting both liberals and conservatives ¿Quién Está Creando Zombies Y Para Qué¿ 3have a stake in treating people exposed to the disease with compassion and care. And yet, to flip on Fox News or turn on any conservative media at all, you’d think that ebola was some kind of plague designed by the Democratic party in order to wipe out Republicans.

Blowing the threat of ebola out of proportion and trying to link it to Obama has been a constant theme on the right in recent days. Elisabeth Hasselbeck of Fox News literally demanded that we put the country on lockdown, banning all travel in and out. In a bit of race-baiting, Andrea Tantaros of Fox suggested that people who travel to the country and show symptoms of ebola will “seek treatment from a witch doctor” instead of go to the hospital. Fox host Steve Doocy suggested the CDC is lying about ebola because they’re “part of the administration”. Fox also promoted a conspiracy theorist who is trying to claim the CDC is lying when they caution people not to panic.

Other right wing media joined in. Tammy Bruce blamed ebola on the “Obama legacy”. Laura Ingraham said Obama was prevented from doing more to stop the disease because of his “core ties to the African continent”. Rush Limbaugh even went as far as to accuse Obama of letting the disease spread because he supposes liberals believe “we kind of deserve a little bit of this”.

Okay, so here’s a zombie mistake and a big one.   Justice Kennedy’s Typo Accidentally Stops Same-Sex Marriage in Nevada.

Yesterday, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy stunned America when he ordered a halt on Nevada’s same-sex marriages, less than a day after the Court voted to overturn a ban on gay marriages in that state. Turns out that it was a total accident. Yes, a big ol’ “oops, my bad” incident.

According to SCOTUSBlog, what happened was the following: The Ninth Circuit recently heard challenges to same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada, who, for the purposes of convenience, had combined both of their challenges into a single case. In two different rulings, the federal appellate court struck down both of these states’ bans, allowing same-sex marriage in Idaho and Nevada, and issued a mandate on the ruling to immediately enforce the new law. In other words, the moment that the Ninth Circuit struck down the ban, gay and lesbian couples could get married immediately.

This did not make Idaho happy, so they filed a request to Justice Kennedy asking him to put a stop on same-sex marriage in Idaho, so that state officials could review their case before the Ninth Circuit. Kennedy allowed it, but in a total brain fart moment, issued an order that put a stop on weddings in both Idaho and Nevada, even though nobody in Nevada had asked for a review, either.

Thankfully, same-sex marriages can still occur in Las Vegas for the time being, but unfortunately, nobody knows what the eff is happening anymore. As a result, the Ninth Circuit has recalled its order implementing same-sex marriage in Idaho and are asking for briefs as to whether they need to do the same in Nevada.

Good job, Kennedy. Look how much confusion your typo has caused.

Oh, another Zombie Meme replacing Benghazi these days.  It’s not only Ebola that’s Obama’s fault but also ISIL.  It’s all about killing white people!!!  Here’s some great links and proof from Politicus.toht-facepalm-jeff-robertson

We have shown that for the GOP, the threat of Ebola exists only as an excuse to attack President Obama, that it’s all Obama’s fault (of course) and that, Oh my God! Oh my God! It’s going to kill us all! Cue to Rand Paul diving under his bed.

We have also been closely following the rise of ISIL in Syria and Iraq, and have tried to show you the contrast between the Republican and the Democratic reactions.

We have shown that for the GOP, the threat of ISIL exists only as an excuse to attack President Obama, that it’s all Obama’s fault (of course) and that Oh my God! Oh my God! They’re going to kill us all! Cue to Lindsey Graham diving under his bed.

It is surely significant that yesterday Time Magazine should profile the Republican response to the ISIL “scandal”: GOP Ad Claims ISIS Plot to Attack U.S. Via ‘Arizona’s Backyard.’

As Time’s Zeke Miller and Alex Rogers describe the ad, which was posted to YouTube yesterday,

The National Republican Congressional Committee ad opens with grainy footage of black flags and fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) holding rifles on military vehicles. “Evil forces around the world want to harm Americans every day,” an ominous voiceover states. “Their entry into our country? Through Arizona’s backyard.” The spot goes on to recount how Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), locked in a close re-election fight with Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin, has voted against border security legislation, suggesting that she “leaves Arizona vulnerable.”

Chris Wallace of Fox News has already planted the suggestion in viewers’ facile minds that Ebola could come across our Southern Border and that it could be used as a weapon. It doesn’t matter after those words are spoken than an expert debunks them. The damage has been done.

The brain damage was done to any one that actually believes these things years ago.

So what’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Just By Chance: Quick Evening News Reads

Hello!

Minx here…We are still waiting for the modem to come in, I watch for that FedEx truck…even though I know the tracking shows delivery on Saturday or Monday. In an act of desperation, I hooked up the modem that has been causing all this trouble, and it worked. For how long I do not know, if the recent past is any indication, it will go down shortly. So I am taking the opportunity to upload a post, a quick one.

Hopefully these links will be new for you…

I caught this item from Idaho earlier this week, In Gov. Butch Otter’s Cabinet, women make less money than men

Idaho Agriculture Director Celia Gould has been with Gov. Butch Otter from the first day of his administration in 2007, having been a leading figure in his campaign and a respected former legislator.

She is the highest-paid of the women in Otter’s Cabinet but ranks just 16th among all top full-time officials. The median salary for 11 women in the Cabinet is $85,446; the median for the 33 men is $103,002.

“We really do have a glass ceiling in Idaho,” said Rep. Wendy Jaquet of Ketchum, the senior Democrat in the Legislature and a member of the budget committee.

Jaquet compared Gould to Commerce Director Jeffrey Sayer, who was hired in October. Gould oversees 259 employees, Sayer 53. Based on Jan. 1 pay records now searchable at IdahoStatesman.com, Gould makes $106,621. Sayer makes $145,018.

“Director Gould is about $38,000 under the newly employed Jeff Sayer,” Jaquet said. “You can’t argue she doesn’t have as many employees. Our state is no different than the national averages that show women reach a ‘glass ceiling’ for promotion and pay.”

You can read the excuses and responding silence from the Governor’s office at the link up top. It is obvious that Idaho is not the only state which pays its women less than men, but it is quite annoying to see just how high Idaho ranks in the male/female pay gap.

In other state news, a report has just been released that measures states on the strengths of their public corruption and government openness laws…and my state, Georgia came in last, a rank state officials dismissed as a “biased hit job.” Georgia last in public corruption laws

The report, released today, scored states on 330 “corruption risk indicators” including open records law, campaign finance rules, and auditing and budgeting procedures. Georgia received an overall grade of 49 out of 100, an F.

The study was conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity, two Washington-based nonprofits that champion government reform, and Public Radio International, using journalists and academics from across the nation to compile the data. Representatives for the groups said it is the most thorough and wide-ranging study ever done on government accountability.

Georgia officials, who based on previous reports said they were surprised the state did so poorly, questioned the criteria used and the man selected to conduct the initial audit.

The report awarded no A’s, but most states passed the exam. New Jersey received the highest grade.

Let me tell you this, if New Jersey got the highest grade, then those Georgia folks better come up with a better reason to dismiss the findings.

I do not know if this link was brought to your attention this week, it is from The Seattle Times and it regards the medical center which cleared Robert Bales, the soldier who killed 16 Afghan civilians earlier this month.

Local News | 40% of PTSD diagnoses at Madigan were reversed | Seattle Times Newspaper

A Madigan Army Medical Center screening team reversed more than 40 percent of the post-traumatic stress disorder diagnoses of patients under consideration for medical retirement since 2007, according to information released by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

That is the first paragraph…please, read the whole thing…there is just too much information to quote bits and pieces from.

And then there is this, which again…is a link from March 19th, but you may have missed it. It’s Come To This: Watch TSA Agent Pat Down Handicapped Child | Mediaite

Has TSA finally gone too far? A video from 2010 — that just recently surfaced — featuring a young child strapped to a wheelchair being pat down by TSA is taking social media by storm. The incident occurred during the spring of 2010 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport during a family trip to Disney World. The child’s father was enraged by the security check of his son. “I was told I could NOT touch him or come near him during this process. Instead we had to pretend this was ‘OK’ so he didn’t panic,” according to comments on the video purporting to be the child’s father.

The video, which was uploaded March 17, describes the child’s ordeal with the TSA agent:

A toddler in a wheelchair is stopped by the TSA at ORD (O’Hare Airport in Chicago) and forced to into a sequestered area. On his way to a family vacation in Disney, this 3 year old boy is in a body cast for a broken leg. Despite assurances from his father that “everything is ok”, he is physically trembling with fear while he watches his two siblings, mother, father, grandfather and grandmother pass through along with everyone else…only to be singled out.

According to MSNBC.com reporter, Harriet Baskas, the boy’s father, Matt DuBiel, said the video was made in spring 2010 during a family trip to Disney World. “We had a baby five weeks ago, and I was looking at some old family videos on Saturday night, and I got incensed and emotional watching it.”

I have another US crime/court news item to share with you. This one hits home because it is about a family that lived in my town of Banjoville…aka Blairsville, Georgia. My daughter went to school with this little girl, and the murder suicide took place down the road from where we used to live until recently. Topix: Innocent Man’s Life Destroyed by Anonymous Online Poster – ABC News

This article is a preview of the story that will air tomorrow on ABC’s 20/20.

PHOTO: Gene Cooley, of Blairsville, Ga., with his late fiancee, Paulette Harper, and her daughter.

The 20/20 crew filmed this report in early October…and it caused a stir on Topix, the very site that the story is about.

Topix Chief Executive Officer Chris Tolles said the company, started in 2007, was created to bring more news and information to small towns through articles and citizen reporting and open debate among users. The site operates in 5,000 towns and cities, averaging 125,000 posts a day.

Yet in some cases, the site reads less like a local newspaper and more like a graffiti wall. Mixed in with the mundane chitchat and community news are anonymous personal attacks.

I won’t go into the sordid details, they are given a quick mention in the preview article…but if you do get a chance to watch 20/20, please remember the personal lives that were destroyed in a violent murder suicide…and the ensuing hate fest and nasty “feeding frenzy” attack on Cooley from the local residents of my little mountain red-neck town…These are the same folks who pack the First Baptist Church every Wednesday and Sunday.

And lastly, the trailer for Dark Shadows, a movie based on my favorite gothic vampire Barnabas Collins, was released this week. Oh, I can’t wait to see this movie!

Hope this post can get uploaded to the blog…I miss you all very much. Being without the internet has been a terrible experience, it made me realize just how addicted I have become to that thing we call the world wide web.


Idaho Woman Challenges State’s Anti-Abortion Laws

Remember Jennie Lin McCormack of Pocotello, Idaho, who was prosecuted for inducing her own abortion a few months ago? The case was later dropped for lack of evidence, but McCormack has now filed a lawsuit challenging Idaho’s 1972 law that makes it a crime for a woman to terminate her own pregnancy, as well as a new “fetal pain” law that bans abortions after 20 weeks, according to Reuters.

The lawsuit is believed to be the first federal court case against any of several late-term abortion bans enacted in Idaho and four other states during the past year, based on controversial medical research suggesting a fetus feels pain starting at 20 weeks of development.

Modeled after a 2010 Nebraska “fetal pain” law yet to be challenged, similar measures were considered in at least 16 states this year as anti-abortion groups made good on sweeping Republican gains from last year’s elections.

When McCormack realized she was pregnant in 2010, she was desperate to have an abortion. She already had three children and could not afford to support another on her tiny income of $200-$250 per month. But she couldn’t afford a surgical abortion either, so she asked her sister to order some pills on line that would help induce abortion. A woman named Brenda Carnahan, the fetus fetishist sister of one of McCormack’s friends turned her in to police.

More from Reuters:

The 1972 Idaho law discriminates against McCormack and other women of limited means in southeastern Idaho, which lacks any abortion providers, by forcing them to seek more costly surgical abortions far from home, the lawsuit says.

The newly enacted Idaho law banning late-term abortions was not yet in effect when McCormack terminated her own pregnancy using abortion pills she obtained from an online distributor at between 20 and 21 weeks of gestation on December 24, 2010, according to her lawyer, Richard Hearn.

But Hearn, also a physician, argues that both the 1972 law and the newly enacted Idaho statute pose other unconstitutional barriers to abortion. He cited, for example, the failure to exempt third-trimester pregnancies (25 weeks or more) in cases where a woman’s health, not just her life, is at risk.

This is obviously a very important case for women to keep an eye on. Someone needs to challenge the slew of new state laws that have sprung up since the 2010 midterm elections.