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          Exit polls - live updates: Find out the first results as Democrats battle to take the House      Cache   Translate Page      
All seats are up for grabs in the House of Representatives, along with 35 seats in the Senate
          In Senate, opposition parties criticise government for not being forceful enough in dealing with TLP       Cache   Translate Page      

The Senate convened on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to debate the law and order situation after the Supreme Court's acquittal of Aasia Bibi in the blasphemy case against her.

Before the debate formally began, Minister of IT Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui filed a motion to withdraw proposed amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act on behalf of the government, which was approved by the house.

The minister argued that the bill had been authored on the directives of deposed Islamabad High Court judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and it was therefore proper that the government re-examine it.

Right after, the opposition pushed for a debate on Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan's (TLP) nationwide protests.

"We do not want the state and Constitution to be sullied like this," the PPP's Parliamentary Leader, Senator Sherry Rehman said.

"The entire nation was at a standstill for three days. If we start to examine [what happened], they [the government] will say 'This was also done before; the state entered a similar agreement last year as well," she continued.

"[But] what happened this time is a grave tragedy. We are not here to taunt and challenge the government — enough of that was done on the streets for [those] three days.

"[But] Our army chief was called out by name. The judiciary, the state and the army were dragged [into the mess]: what kind of message is being sent with these actions?" she asked.

"The government was all talk and no action. This was the first time we've heard the state challenged like this. How can this challenge be ignored?"

"We will not politic on this: the PPP has always toed the patriotic line in times like these. [However,] we will demand that the state provide protection to everyone.

"The state ought to protect the judges. Whether they give right decisions or wrong ones, the state should be behind them. Those who are openly rebelling against the law and Constitution should be dealt with. This is a trying time for Pakistan: the government should not try to bypass parliament," she concluded.

The PPP veteran also sought answers from the government over loans secured from foreign governments and foreign policy.

"The parliament was not taken into confidence on [foreign] loans," she regretted.

"We have also promised to mediate the Yemen-Saudi Arabia dispute: on what terms will this mediation be done? We should tackle our own wars first," she said.

Taking over, Senator Raza Rabbani regretted that the country was shut down for three days and Constitutional institutions were attacked.

He said the Senate ought to address a matter of this nature but his demand was ignored, prompting him to register a protest.

"If parliament itself cannot address a challenge to the [supremacy of the] Constitution, who will?" he asked. "It is incumbent upon us to defend the Constitution."

Taking over, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) attacked the judiciary and Supreme Court for a judgement that he described as "the murder of justice".

His party actively organised and participated in protests calling for the death penalty to be administered to Aasia Bibi despite the apex court finding glaring inconsistencies in witnesses' statements and other aspects of the case.

"[Tell us], did America or the west interfere [in the judicial process]? What took the Supreme Court so long to decide the case," he said.

"The chief justice claims to love the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and then lets the person who insulted him go," he said.

His remarks were swiftly expunged by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.

"There can be no debate over the conduct of judges," he said. "All personal remarks against judges and their judgements should be expunged from the day's proceedings," he ruled.

Regretting the line taken by the opposition, Murad Saeed, the minister of state for communication, said: "I had come here expecting some good suggestions to come out of this debate."

"The Constitution accords the right to peaceful protest to every citizen," he noted. "Every party had said we do not want a repeat of Lal Masjid or the Model Town tragedy," he reminded the opposition parties, addressing criticism of the government not having done enough to address the protests.

Conflicting messages?

The strong stance taken by the opposition against the government's settlement with TLP leaders appears to be at odds with its own desire to resolve the matter with talks ahead of the weekend.

On Thursday, former opposition leader and PPP stalwart Khursheed Shah had condemned Prime Minister Imran Khan for taking an adversarial stance by warning protesters to not clash with the state in a televised address a day earlier.

"There was violence in his [PM Khan's] tone. You cannot bring peace with this tone," Shah had said.

He had been backed up by the PML-N's former railways minister, Khawaja Saad Rafique, who had said: "We believe that Imran Khan's body language and tone was aggressive during his address."

Later the same day, Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif had made it clear that the opposition would not stand by the government in case of a crackdown on mobs and urged a resolution to the ongoing crisis with "political shrewdness".

"The supremacy of the Constitution is the foundation of this country. Institutions should not be disrespected. [However,] we will not support the use of force under any situation," Sharif had stated in clear terms.

A day later, while the government sought a joint parliamentary resolution condemning the protests, former PPP prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had reiterated that his party would not support the use of force.

"We want a resolution through dialogue," Ashraf had said.

Meanwhile, the PML-N had refused to discuss how to tackle the issue over a tiff on the adjournment of the National Assembly due to a lack of quorum on that day.

"Given the current situation, if the government proceeds with the policy it has undertaken, it will cause things to worsen," former PML-N defence minister Khawaja Asif had warned while calling for the National Assembly to be reconvened to discuss the matter.

          US voters head to midterm polls to render judgment on turbulent Trump era       Cache   Translate Page      

A turbulent election season that tested President Donald Trump’s slash-and-burn political style against the strength of the Democratic resistance comes to a close as Americans cast ballots in the first national election of the Trump era on Tuesday.

US voters will decide whether Trump will keep his Republican majority in Congress or face a hostile Democratic majority after a bitter campaign for midterm elections described by both sides as a battle for America's soul.

For almost two years, Trump's rule-breaking, sometimes chaotic administration has enjoyed a largely free hand from the twin Republican-controlled chambers, but the midterms could finally see his wings clipped.

The entire 435-member House of Representatives and a third of the 100-seat Senate are up for grabs.

US midterm elections
US midterm elections

Anxious Republicans privately expressed confidence in their narrow Senate majority but feared the House was slipping away. Trump, the GOP’s chief messenger, warned that significant Democratic victories would trigger devastating consequences.

“If the radical Democrats take power they will take a wrecking ball to our economy and our future,” Trump declared in Cleveland, using the same heated rhetoric that has defined much of his presidency. He added: “The Democrat agenda is a socialist nightmare.”

Tuesday’s results will be colored by the dramatically different landscapes in the fight for the House and Senate.

Most top House races are set in America’s suburbs where more educated and affluent voters in both parties have soured on Trump’s presidency, despite the strength of the national economy. Democrats were buoyed by a wave of Republican retirements and an overwhelming fundraising advantage.

They need to pick up two dozen seats to claim the House majority.

Democrats face a far more difficult challenge in the Senate, where they are almost exclusively on defense in rural states where Trump remains popular. Democratic Senate incumbents are up for re-election, for example, in North Dakota, West Virginia, and Montana — states Trump carried by 30 percentage points on average two years ago.

Democrats need to win two seats to claim the Senate majority.

Given Trump’s stunning victory in 2016, few were confident in their predictions.

“I feel less comfortable making a prediction today than I have in two decades,” Republican pollster Frank Luntz said.

'Awakening of the Democratic Party'

Democrats, whose very relevance in the Trump era depended on winning at least one chamber of Congress, were laser-focused on health care as they predicted victories that would break up the GOP’s monopoly in Washington and state governments.

Voters cast their ballots for Early Voting at the Los Angeles County Registrar's Office in Norwalk, California. ─ AFP
Voters cast their ballots for Early Voting at the Los Angeles County Registrar's Office in Norwalk, California. ─ AFP

“They’ve had two years to find out what it’s like to have an unhinged person in the White House,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who leads the Democratic Governors Association. “It’s an awakening of the Democratic Party.”

Democrats could derail Trump’s legislative agenda for the next two years should they win control of the House or the Senate. Perhaps more important, they would claim subpoena power to investigate Trump’s personal and professional shortcomings.

Some Democrats have already vowed to force the release of his tax returns. Others have pledged to pursue impeachment, although removal from office is unlikely so long as the GOP controls the Senate or even maintains a healthy minority.

Democrats’ fate depends upon a delicate coalition of infrequent voters — particularly young people and minorities — who traditionally shun midterm elections.

If ever there was an off-year election for younger voters to break tradition, this is it. Young voters promised to vote in record numbers as they waged mass protests in the wake of the February mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 students and staff dead.

Democrats are drawing strength from women and college-educated voters in general, who swung decidedly against Trump since his election. Polling suggests the Republican coalition is increasingly older, whiter, more male and less likely to have a college degree.

Diversity in national elections

Democrats boast record diversity on the ballot.

Three states could elect their first African-American governors, while several others are running LGBT candidates and Muslims. A record number of women are also running for Senate, House, governorships and state legislative seats.

“The vast majority of women voters are angry, frustrated and they are really done with seeing where the Republican Party is taking them, particularly as it related to heath care and civility,” said Stephanie Schriock, who leads EMILY’s List, a group that help elect Democratic women. “You’re going to see the largest gender gap we’ve ever seen.”

The political realignment, defined by race, gender and education, could re-shape US politics for a generation. The demographic shifts also reflect each party’s closing argument.

While the economy continues to thrive, Trump has spent much of the campaign’s final days railing against a caravan of Latin American immigrants seeking asylum at the US border. He dispatched more than 5,000 troops to the region, suggesting soldiers would use lethal force against migrants who throw rocks, before later reversing himself.

Republicans have privately encouraged the president to back off, to no avail.

Democrats, meanwhile, have beat their drum on health care.

“Health care is on the ballot,” former President Barack Obama told Democratic volunteers in Virginia. “Health care for millions of people. You vote, you might save a life.”

Bernie Sanders, the leftist populist who some feel would have had a better chance than Clinton to take on Trump in 2016, lashed out Monday at the president, calling him a "pathological liar".

"He is a sexist, a racist, a homophobe, a xenophobe and a religious bigot. He is trying to do what we have never seen in the modern history of this country, to do what he is doing right now, to gain votes by trying to divide the American people up based on where we came from," Sanders said on SiriusXM Progress radio.

          ‘PM advised to sign convention against enforced disappearances’       Cache   Translate Page      

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Human Rights has suggested that the prime minister sign the International Convention against Enforced Disappearances, Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said on Monday.

She also said that the PTI was committed to ending enforced disappearances.

“Country-wide legislation takes a lot of time as bills get stuck in different ministries. So for quick redress, we should sign the convention with reservations over three clauses which do not suit Pakistan,” she said at a meeting of the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights.

Although she did not reveal what these three clauses are, it has been suggested during various parliamentary committees to express reservations over section 26 of the convention, which empowers a United Nations body to conduct raids in countries and make surprise visits to check missing persons.

Truth and reconciliation commission should be established, work will continue on domestic enforced disappearances bill, minister says

Dr Marazi added that “we can ratify the convention later”, but signing the convention would send the message to the people and the international community “that we are serious about it”.

She said families were suffering while their loved ones had been missing for years, so a truth and reconciliation commission should also be established.

She said Prime Minister Imran Khan also wishes to address the issue, as he spoke about it while in opposition.

The minister said that they would simultaneously continue working on the domestic bill and “with the passage of time we will pass a comprehensive domestic bill regarding enforced disappearances”.

There is a long list of missing persons, which has even been tabled in parliament, Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini from the Balochistan National Party (BNP-M) said during the meeting.

“The people of Balochistan have confidence in Justice Kamal Mansoor’s report. However, they have reservations over the reports of Justice Noor Mohammad Meskanzai and Justice Javed Iqbal on enforced disappearances.

“Retired Justice Iqbal says that the majority of missing persons are out of the country and others are in feudals’ jails. According to him, only 3pc of missing persons are in internment centres. If this is correct, why are the relatives of missing persons running after politicians and wasting their time,” he asked.

Senator Jamaldini said that under the National Action Plan (NAP), missing persons are to be produced in court within 10 days of their arrest. However, this could not be implemented.

“Relatives are waiting for their loved ones, and they have every right to know if those missing persons are alive or not. Moreover, the committee should record the statements of those who have been recovered,” he added.

Committee chair Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar from the PPP said enforced disappearance is a burning issue. The National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) had drafted a bill on enforced disappearances which was rejected by the government, he added.

There is currently no law regarding enforced disappearance in Pakistan, and a law should be made at the earliest, he said.

“While we were in government we tried to sign the International Convention against Enforced Disappearance, but failed. It could not be signed during the PML-N government and may not be signed during the PTI government. So serious efforts should be made for domestic legislation along with the signing of the convention,” he said.

The committee has decided to hold its next meeting solely on the missing persons issue and associated legislation.

Piera briefs senators

The committee was also given a comprehensive briefing by the chairman of the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority regarding steps taken against undue fee increases by private schools.

Senators were told the matter was deliberated on at length by the NCHR and a committee has been constituted under the federal ombudsman by the Supreme Court as well to report on the matter.

The committee decided to defer the matter until the end of the month so the report may be discussed.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018

          Senate panel recommends allowing INGOs to operate       Cache   Translate Page      

ISLAMABAD: The Senate functional committee on human rights on Monday recommended allowing international non-government organisations (INGOs) to work as, in the light of a Supreme Court verdict, the interior ministry was not authorised to ban or stop them from working.

“The 2016 apex court verdict clearly says that only the government, which is the federal cabinet, can take decisions, but in this case without seeking approval from the cabinet it was decided that the controlling authority of INGOs would be the interior ministry rather than the Economic Affairs Division. The interior ministry cannot be controlling authority unless the federal government decides about it,” said Senate committee’s chairman Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, who belongs to the Pakistan Peoples Party.

“Moreover it was unfair that the INGOs were not informed about the reason for which they were stopped from working. That decision not only triggered criticism but also allowed foreign envoys to write a letter to the prime minister asking him why INGOs were not informed about their unlawful activities,” he said.

Shireen Mazari says by writing to the prime minister foreign envoys overstepped their limits

On Oct 29, the Senate committee took notice of banning of INGOs and directed the interior secretary to brief it on Nov 5. The notice was taken after criticism on social media and circulation of a joint letter of foreign envoys which requested the prime minister to look into the matter.

Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said that by writing the letter to the PM foreign envoys overstepped in Pakistan’s mandate.

“They cannot force Pakistan to change the rules. A number of Muslim INGOs are not allowed to work in Europe. In Pakistan, INGOs are given the right of appeal, but Pakistanis, who try to get work permit in the West, are not granted this right. Moreover, some German INGOs were not doing social work and had political agenda as they were attached with German political parties. Some INGOs were doing mapping in Pakistan and they entered in security domain,” she said.

“However, I agree that INGOs should have been told the reason why they were stopped from functioning because if that was done the issue would not have blown up,” Dr Mazari said.

Earlier, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Interior Mohammad Siddique informed the committee that it was a four-year-old issue and needed to be linked with the war on terror and incidents of terrorism in the country.

“Policy for INGOs was revised in 2015 and earlier this sector was unregulated. Some INGOs were working beyond their mandate so we limited them to socio-economic development. Applications of all INGOs were examined by a body which has representation of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior, the Intelligence Bureau, Inter-Services Intelligence, etc. Applications of 74 INGOs were approved and 27 were rejected,” he said.

“Nine INGOs decided to leave the country, but 18 filed appeals. All of them were given an opportunity of personal hearing and after that some applications were rejected. They have been directed to wind up their operations within two months and leave the country. They can again apply after six months but they would be limited to issues such as clean drinking water, education, health, etc. In the past, they were holding debates on homosexuality, etc,” Mr Siddique said.

“It has been decided that the German INGOs would be handled by the ministry of foreign affairs. We are not against any country as INGOs, which have been stopped from working, belong to different countries including Japan and the US,” he said.

Representative of an INGO Khurram Hashmi said that during a number of meetings he was never told about any illegal practice.

“We provided all the documents demanded by the body, but 18 INGOs were directed to stop operations on the same date. Now we are being told to apply again after six months. INGOs would not return if they were directed to leave the country. A large number of people are losing jobs,” he said.

Another representative of an INGO Saba Gul Khattak asked how organisations could change their programme if they were not told about their flaws.

The committee directed the interior ministry to share the reasons with INGOs for which they were directed to stop operations.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018

          Oil industry wants forex exposure impact part of pricing       Cache   Translate Page      

ISLAMABAD: The oil industry is seeking to include the impact of its foreign exchange exposure in the pricing of petroleum products in view of rising consumption, increased reliance on imports and abrupt currency fluctuations.

This is part of the new downstream petroleum policy 2018 which is currently being firmed up. At a meeting last week, the industry had also reportedly made a case for continuation of 7.5 per cent deemed duty on diesel refining and in some cases an increase to 9pc as opposed to a call by the Senate standing committee on petroleum to abolish the deemed duty.

Sources said import of finished products had put an additional burden on oil companies owing to foreign exchange availability and fluctuation and, therefore, should be worked out by the ministries of energy and finance to make it part of the pricing of petroleum products.

Rising consumption, increased reliance on imports and abrupt currency fluctuations cited as reasons

The meeting presided over by Asad Hayaud Din, secretary in charge of the petroleum division, was warned of serious supply chain consequences in the absence of a clear policy on utilisation of high sulfur furnace oil (HSFO).

It was reported that there was a crisis relating to non-utilisation of HSFO in October last year that led to almost closure of local refineries which annually produce about three million tonnes of HSFO.

Although there had been a strict policy not to import HSFO, recent developments showed Pak-Arab Refinery had only two days’ ullage in its tanks which could lead to supply problems.

On the other hand, the government has not been able to streamline import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the power sector despite availability of two import terminals having capacity of 1.2 billion cubic feet per day and yet significant gas shortages in the country. “There should be a forward looking predictability developed through close coordination of power and petroleum divisions about the demand and requirement of HSFO and LNG during the Nov-Jan period,” an official said.

Oil companies, including the Pakistan State Oil (PSO), said they would not be able to import HSFO on short notice if needed during winter months of low hydropower availability. A decision, it was put on record, had been taken in September last year to set up a committee comprising top officials of the petroleum and power divisions as well as the PSO and Oil Companies Advisory Committee on the subject, but the committee has yet to be operationalised.

The meeting also discussed the issue of increase in smuggling of petroleum products from Iran and the participants believed this would further go up in the coming days with re-imposition of US sanctions on Tehran as people across the border could resort to phenomenal dumping at low prices.

These policy adjustments should be made in the initial days of the new government for predictability over the next four years as the consumption of all petroleum products is set to go up. For example, the country’s petrol consumption is estimated to surge by 80pc to 14 million tonnes and the overall oil demand will increase by about 18pc despite a 65pc fall in furnace oil needs in five years. The demand for petrol currently stood at about 7.97m tonnes would jump to 14.17m tonnes in 2021-22, showing an increase of about 78pc.

On the other hand, the consumption of furnace oil is estimated to reduce by almost 65pc to 3.2m tonnes in five years from about 9m tonnes. In fact, the furnace oil consumption would drop to 3.2m tonnes next year and then remain flat at that level for five years due to diversion of power generation to imported LNG and coal. Fuel switch in the power sector is estimated to save about $2.5-3 billion per annum.

The demand for total petroleum products is estimated to increase from 27m tonnes this year to about 32m tonnes in five years, showing an increase of 17.5pc. High speed diesel will be another major driver for growth in consumption of petroleum products. Its consumption is estimated to increase by 46.4pc to 13.7m tonnes in five years from 9.3m tonnes.

The demand for kerosene and light diesel oil is also estimated to increase by 8.24pc each to 141,000 tonnes and 25,000 tonnes, respectively, in five years.

The deficit of petrol currently stood at 4.8m tonnes owing to insufficient refining capacity in the country will surge by 122pc by 2021-22. Likewise, the HSD deficit will increase from 3.9m tonnes to 6.3m tonnes, showing an increase of more than 62pc.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018

          Calif. senators call for improved housing conditions at Camp Pendleton      Cache   Translate Page      
California Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein sent a letter today calling for improved housing conditions at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.
          Coming up: What happened in the U.S. House and Senate?      Cache   Translate Page      
Two political science professors will chat with MPR News host Kerri Miller about the makeup of the House and Senate after the midterm elections.
          Comment on Josh Newman is Recalled, Ending Democrats’ Supermajority in State Senate by California Republicans Had One Desperate Gambit to Get Their Voters to the Polls — And It's Failing – Liberal View News      Cache   Translate Page      
[…] gleefully of backlash against the Democrats’ tax overreach. A Democratic state senator was recalled from office earlier this year over the gas tax hike, and GOP congressional candidate Diane Harkey […]
          'Because I'm White': A Texas Poll Worker Was Just Fired After Reportedly Hurling a Racist Insult and Pushing a Black Voter      Cache   Translate Page      
An election judge in Houston made a shockingly racist comment to an African-American voter who protested being flagged by poll workers.

On Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle reported that a Harris County poll worker named Juanita Barnes has been fired and faces criminal assault charges over a fight she got into with local voter Rolanda Anthony over the address on her photo ID, during which she reportedly made a racist outburst:

Anthony went to vote at her polling location before 8 a.m. at Iglesia Bautista Libre in north Houston, a poll worker, Evelyn Tillman, told her there was an issue with her address in the system and she needed to fill out a residency verification form.

Anthony, who is in her early 40s, asked Tillman why she needed to fill out the form, since as far as she could tell, the address in the system and on her ID matched up perfectly. Before Tillman could respond, Juanita Barnes, the alternate election judge, came very close to Anthony and began yelling and pointing her finger in Anthony's face.

Anthony said Barnes told her it, "It's illegal for you not to change her address on your driver's license if you move." About five or six voters were looking on, Anthony said.

Anthony told her, "Ma'am, I've been living here for years. What are you talking about? The address is correct."

Barnes, who is white, then told Anthony, who is black, "Maybe if I'd worn my blackface makeup today you could comprehend what I'm saying to you." Witnesses confirmed this is what they heard Barnes say.

After this exchange, other poll workers intervened on behalf of Anthony, at which point Barnes reportedly cornered her against a wall and started shouting. Barnes later "bumped" into Anthony, the report said, and told her that the police would not help her because Barnes was white and Anthony was a "loiterer."

"If you call the police, they're going to take you to jail and do something to you, because I'm white," Barnes reportedly said.

Barnes was eventually escorted from the building by Harris County deputies, according to the Chronicle.

This incident is not even the only case of a Texas poll worker landing in hot water for an altercation with a black voter. On Friday, Liza Guzman, another poll worker in Round Rock, screamed at a black voter who was confused about where to vote, saying "Get out. Get out. Get out. You are rude. You are not following the law," and threatening to call the police. Guzman resigned after a video of the incident went public.

Texas is one of the most closely watched states in the midterm election. Up to ten GOP-held Texas House seats have serious Democratic challenges, and race between GOP Sen. Ted Cruz and El Paso Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke has become one of the most expensive Senate races in history.

          Distacco invariato tra Matelica e Cesena entrambe ko. San Nicolò terzo, a -3 dalla vetta      Cache   Translate Page      

Capolista (al 2° ko stagionale ed esterno) cade (1-0) sul campo della Sammaurese ma conserva un +2 sulla formazione cesenate (al 2° ko stagionale, il 1° interno) anch'essa sconfitta, ma in casa dalla Recanatese (al 2° successo consecutivo, il 4° stagionale, il 1° esterno). Non ne approfitta Sangiustese (al 3° pari consecutivo) fermata sullo 0-0 nell'anticipo di Agnone e sorpassata in classifica dalla squadra teramana che batte (2-0) Campobasso (al 2° ko consecutivo). Bene Giulianova, Pineto (al 2° successo consecutivo) e Vastese (al 1° successo interno). Sfuma primo successo Castelfidardo (al 3° pari consecutivo), raggiunto (sull'1-1) al 92'dal Forlì.

L'articolo Distacco invariato tra Matelica e Cesena entrambe ko. San Nicolò terzo, a -3 dalla vetta proviene da Riviera Oggi.

          Procedural Clerk - Parliament of Canada, Senate - Ottawa, ON      Cache   Translate Page      
This job offers you the opportunity to travel and periodically rotate assignments into many exciting positions within the Legislative Sector....
From Parliament of Canada, Senate - Fri, 17 Aug 2018 22:04:27 GMT - View all Ottawa, ON jobs
          The Senate Page Program - Parliament of Canada, Senate - Ottawa, ON      Cache   Translate Page      
Whether in the Senate Chamber, at a Senate committee meeting, or during special ceremonial events, Pages support the important and valuable work of the Senate...
From Parliament of Canada, Senate - Mon, 15 Oct 2018 16:08:43 GMT - View all Ottawa, ON jobs
          Law Clerk & Parliamentary Counsel - Parliament of Canada, Senate - Ottawa, ON      Cache   Translate Page      
You will also be overseeing and providing direction to the development and implementation of the Law Clerk’s Office’s ongoing strategic and operational plans,...
From Parliament of Canada, Senate - Tue, 23 Oct 2018 04:07:47 GMT - View all Ottawa, ON jobs
          77-year-old Beto O'Rourke supporter tears up after seeing him at the polls      Cache   Translate Page      

What's more exciting than voting in the midterm elections? Seeing a candidate you're there to vote for while you're at the polls.

Pamela Aguirre, a 77-year-old Texas resident who voted in El Paso on Tuesday, got to experience this thrill first-hand, according to MSNBC. While she was casting her vote for Rep. Beto O'Rourke (who is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz,) O'Rourke himself walked into her polling place to cast his own vote.

Aguirre, who brought her oxygen tank with her to the polls and was wearing a "Beto for Senate" shirt, saw the candidate for Senate and got very emotional. Read more...

More about Politics, Culture, Voting, Midterm Elections 2018, and Culture
          Attack on Ekweremadu: Police say it’s burglary not assassination      Cache   Translate Page      
The police said they have arrested a suspect in connection with the attempted burglary in the Abuja residence of deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, […]
          US mid-term election results 2018      Cache   Translate Page      
A third of the Senate is up for grabs, as well as every seat in the House of Representatives, see results here as they are published.
          Ekweremadu: Police investigate alleged assassination attempt      Cache   Translate Page      
The Nigeria Police Force said it had commenced investigation on the alleged assassination attempt on Deputy President of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu.
          Three key races to watch      Cache   Translate Page      
Results in key races in these states will likely offer strong clues about the fate of House and Senate control in 2019.
          Roman Invective      Cache   Translate Page      

Roman invective (uituperatio lat.) was the rhetorical and literary genre that aimed at systematically and publicly blaming a political foe to set him aside from the whole community and turn the audience against him during judicial, forensic and deliberative speeches delivered in a judicial prosecution, in the Roman Senate or the popular assembly (contio). Consequently, Roman invective, which could...

          Senate bemoans low budgetary allocation to Ministry, agencies      Cache   Translate Page      
The Senate Committee on Environment has bemoaned low budgetary allocation to the Federal Ministry of Environment and some of its agencies, calling for more financial support to assist them in the discharge of their responsibilities.
          Buhari proposes Abike Dabiri as CEO of Diaspora Commission      Cache   Translate Page      
President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the Senate to confirm Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, as Executive Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Diaspora Commission. The request was contained […]
          US Senator Cory Booker uses anti-Semitic massacre in Pittsburgh as excuse to dismiss Palestinians' rights      Cache   Translate Page      
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker says that the Pittsburgh massacre has led him to support the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. He becomes the first politician to use the killings of 11 Jews to take a racist position against Palestinian rights. His move should be described exactly that way, as a cynical use of real antisemitism as an excuse to dismiss Palestinian rights so as to further his political career. Booker, who is thought to have presidential ambitions, had opposed the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, but last week told Jewish Insider: "We've seen the alarming rise in anti-Semitism in the United States and across the world in recent years manifest itself in many deeply concerning ways, including in the actions of foreign governments targeting Israel and the Israeli people." "I have long and staunchly opposed the BDS movement, and support this bill which will prevent international entities from imposing their will on US businesses with regards to their decisions, consistent with US law, to...
          Will The Big Self-Funders Win Today?      Cache   Translate Page      

Many of the most egregious self-funders this cycle lost their primaries, like Democrats Herbert Lee (CA- $1,057,942), Alison Friedman (VA- $1,080,365), Hans Keirstead (CA- $1,080,400), David Kim (GA- $1,164,689), Jerome Segal (MD- $1,271,189), Tahir Javed (TX- $1,333,416), Sara Jacobs (CA- $2,117,987), Andy Thorburn (CA- $2,832,018) and Paul Kerr (CA- $5,912,728), as well as Republicans Troy Downing (MT- $1,100,000), Peter deNeufville (NJ- $1,238,165), Bob Corlew (TN- $1,496,153), David Dodson (WY- $1,643,784), Mike Gibbons (OH- $2,690,226), George Flinn Jr. (TN- $3,068,270), Don Blankenship (WV- $4,107,710), Sandy Pensler (MI- $5,009,578), John Kingston (MA- $5,188,265), and Kathaleen Wall (TX- $6,169,732).

Don't you love to see plutocrats waste millions of their own dollars on campaigns and fall flat on their faces. Today there are 18 candidates running who have already spent at least a million dollars of their own on their campaigns. Some will win and some will lose. Here are the ones still in the running, in order of how much they had put in by last month.

Florida Senate- Rick Scott (R)- $51,028,228 (45%)
New Jersey Senate- Bob Hugin (R)- $27,500,000 (30%)
MD-06- David Trone (D)- $15,983,172 (100%)
PA-01- Scott Wallace (D)- $12,756,892 (55%)
Indiana Senate- Mike Braun (R)- $9,614,377 (49%)
CA-39- Gil Cisernos (D)- $8,852,762 (60%)
Tennessee Senate- Phil Bredesen (D)- $5,516,942 (50%)
California Senate- Dianne Feinstein (D)- $5,006,050 (90%)
Massachusetts Senate- Shiva Ayyadurai (I)- $4,805,464 (1%)
Ohio Senate- Jim Renacci (R)- $4,000,000 (25%)
IN-02- Mel Hall (Blue Dog)- $2,522,000 (10%)
TX-03- Van Taylor (R)- $2,136,908 (99%)
NY-01- Perry Gershon (D)- $1,843,746 (25%)
PA-08- John Chrin (R)- $1,622,762 (10%)
Minnesota Senate- Jerry Trooien (I)- $1,591,000 (1%)
NJ-03- Thomas MacArthur (R)- $1,400,000 (45%)
PA-09- Dan Meuser (R)- $1,161,442 (99%)
CA-48- Harley Rouda (D)- $1,138,955 (60%)
That percentage next to each name is my own handicapping-- not the actual scores, but the chance the candidate has to win for all that money. We'll see later how many candidates have been able to buy seats in Congress.

          What's Happening With Florida Today? Plus-- A Note From Matt Haggman      Cache   Translate Page      

Politico: "The general consensus among Republicans is that they will lose the House, and end up in at least a five-seat minority-- that would correspond to a 28-seat loss. Senior Republicans tell us that even in a worst-case scenario, they do not expect to lose 40 seats. A prescient prediction or famous last words?"

Of all the senior Republican lawmakers they spoke with over the weekend, "only one made the case that the GOP will keep the House." If it's who I think it was, he was staggering drunk for the entire weekend. Many Republicans expected the House races to tighten up by election day. Instead the generic ballot polls have gotten even worse for them. The last one for CNN by SSRS shows an absolutely massive 55% to 42% preference for Democrats among likely voters. As I've said before, the pollsters' likely vote modeling is wrong because it is not taking increased Latino and millennial voting into account. Polls predicting less than 30 flipped seats will all be off by as much as 100% tonight.

Let's look at Florida. Yesterday's Marist poll shows Andrew Gillum leading Ron DeSantis in the gubernatorial race-- 50% to 46%-- and Bill Nelson leading Scott in the Senate race by the same 50% to 46%. Democrats are very lucky to have Gillum at the head of the ticket instead of dull conservative Gwen Graham, who had been the establishment candidate and who would have dragged the party down the toilet with her. But it's a shame Florida doesn't have any good congressional candidates who could ride the wave and Andrew's coattails into office. Instead, it's a bunch of DCCC-recruited backs from the Republican wing of the party-- New Dems and Blue Dogs. This is the key today: "Democrats in both races are performing better than their Republican counterparts with likely voters who are independents, minorities and women."

Stoking domestic terrorism goes over especially badly with independent voters

Results from Quinnipiac are nearly identical: seven point leads for both Gillum and Nelson, entirely because of double-digit leads for both among women, minorities and independent voters. Writing Sunday for the Miami Herald Steve Bousquet reported on the surge in early voting for Democrats. On Sunday, "Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough and Orange, the five biggest 'blue' counties, all reported their highest one-day early voting totals of the 2018 campaign. As a result, on a day when President Donald Trump rallied thousands of Republicans in Pensacola, the GOP’s ballot advantage over the Democrats shrank to six-tenths of 1 percentage point (0.6), with GOP ballots at 40.8 percent of the statewide total and Democrats at 40.2 percent." By Monday morning Dems had a +0.5% lead over Republicans in ballots cast. In 2014 Republicans held almost a 6% lead over Dems going into election day.

So how many Democratic candidates will Gillum's coattails and the anti-red wave drag to victory in Florida today? Most of the candidates are so terrible that it's hard to say-- but even the worst of them are less horrible than the Republicans they're opposing. Donna Shalala, as bad a candidate as you'll find anywhere, will probably beat Maria Salazar in bright blue FL-27 (PVI- D+5) despite herself. Nate Silver gives her a 6 in 7 chance to win (84.7%). Next door in Carlos Curbelo's district (FL-26-- where the DCCC and Pelosi's PAC have spent $7,175,066 attacking Curbelo-- another weak Democrat, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell looks like she'll take the seat (PVI is D+6). Silver gives her a 5 in 9 chance (55.6%). The other Republican-held Miami-Dade seat, Mario Diaz-Balart's 25th district (PVI- R+4) has the best of the 3 Democratic challengers, Mary Barzee Flores, but in the toughest race. Silver gives her a 2 in 7 chance (27.8%) to beat Diaz-Balart. The wave will have had to have turned into a tsunami tonight for her to win.

Silver gives Wasserman Schultz a 99.9% chance of retaining her seat in a 3-way contest against progressive Tim Canova and some Republican sacrificial lamb, more or less the same chance Joe Crowley had in beating Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The only polling in the district-- by a GOP firm-- shows Wasserman Schultz exactly tied with Canova.

The DCCC has 4 other Democratic candidates on their Red to Blue page-- Nancy Soderberg (FL-06, Ron DiSantis' open seat with an R+7 PVI), Kristen Carlsen (FL-15, Dennis Ross' open seat stretching from the Tampa suburbs to the Orlando area with an R+6 PVI), David Shapiro (FL-16, Vern Buchanan's Sarasota, Bradenton seat with an R+7 PVI) and Lauren Baer (FL-18, Brian Mast's Treasure Coast district with an R+5 PVI). Silver doesn't give any of them much of a chance to win. Soderberg 1 in 4, Carlsen 3 in 7, Shapiro 1 in 7, and Baer 1 in 12. Soderberg, Baer and Shapiro (as well as Mucarsel-Powell) are all New Dems. The 2 Florida candidates in red districts with the best shot are 2 normal Dems, Kristen Carlsen and Mary Barzee Flores. The DCCC has spent modestly in a few of the races-- $499,932 in FL-06, $146,362 in FL-16, $868,290 in FL-18, and $694,360 in FL-15

Matt Haggman is one of the progressive Democrats Blue America endorsed this cycle but who didn't win his primary, losing out, in this case, to an establishment nothing with lots of name recognition and money but with nothing to offer the voters except that she's not a Trumpist. Tragic waste of a blue seat but Matt has been good sport about it, endorsed her and has been working to help elect her. He agreed to catch us up on what he's been up to down in South Florida. He reiterated that "This is the most important mid-term election in our lifetimes. It’s a moment when we will decide as a country who we are and who we are not. Here in Florida I have been working to help Andrew Gillum, Donna Shalala, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Mary Barzee Flores and Bill Nelson all win. Just this weekend I was out canvassing. But, before this, I was a candidate. I was one of the many across the country who left good jobs to up and run for Congress following the 2016 presidential election. For me, it didn’t go as hoped. I lost to Donna Shalala in Florida’s Congressional District 27. Howie asked that I share a blog post I wrote in the weeks after the Aug. 28 Florida primary. It’s a reminder of the reasons why this mid-term is so important. Why each of us can have a big impact even if we’re not on the ballot. And why, whether a candidate or supporter, we must do all we can to ensure everyone gets out to vote this Election Day to turn a new page in our politics."

Until Next Time, Thank you

It’s been a few weeks since the primary election. Obviously, for me, it was a disappointment. But the many great wishes since election night from friends and supporters has been wonderful. I wanted to write a post and say thank you. And also reflect a bit on the past 13 months campaigning for US Congress.

Before doing that, I again congratulate Donna Shalala on her victory. This is a moment in our politics that is bigger than any individual and it’s critical that the Democratic party take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. We must unite behind her. In addition, we have to elect Andrew Gillum as our next Governor! His campaign has energized us all, and it’s time to bring it home.

Looking back on the primary, my overriding feeling is gratitude. I’m extremely thankful to my wife Danet, who supported me in this effort, and thankful to all of the people who propelled our campaign--  the volunteers, fellows, staff, donors and, ultimately, voters. I had never run for any elected office, yet so many went all-in supporting our campaign. Thank you very, very much.

Our fellows were, in particular, an inspiration to me. We recruited more than 50. Most were in college, some still in high school. Working on the campaign after class or full-time during summer break. Weekends, nights. Calling voters, knocking on doors. They were passionate and dedicated. Now, they are back on campus. At schools from Miami Dade College and Michigan to Boston University and Palmetto Senior High School. At a time when our political system badly needs a reset, they showed what it means to take hold of our democracy. With them, our future is so blazingly bright.

Along with our fellows, what I loved about being a candidate was talking with voters and being out in the community. I loved it. Going door to door on sweltering summer afternoons in Kendall, or Little Havana, or Richmond Heights. Evenings canvassing in Westchester or Palmetto Bay. Unfiltered and alone, it was just us; talking about our community and country. On those days and nights there was no place I would rather be.

Life revealed itself in its many forms on these unannounced visits. The couple celebrating their daughter who was headed to college. The single mom working three jobs to keep current on her mortgage. The middle-aged woman who tried to chat amiably but, after a time, couldn’t hold it back any longer, sharing that she’d just been diagnosed with cancer. “I need a hug,” she said, a tear running down her cheek, which she quickly and defiantly wiped away.

The conversations were always so real--  standing at front doors, sitting in living rooms, meeting people where they are, learning about their hopes and concerns, aspirations and struggles. At a time when Washington has so fundamentally and collectively lost its way, at the grassroots people are making sense. We need to spend more time listening to them.

Indeed, throughout the campaign I often said the best ideas come from the community, not candidates. I really meant it. Change happens from the ground up, and that’s never been more true than today. From start to finish, our campaign sought to stay true to that ethos. Namely, we focused on voters, rather than cutting down competitors as a means to win.

We visited every precinct, we knocked on some 45,000 doors. Again and again, I found a sincerity, thoughtfulness and a belief that things will get better. I always thought we lived in a special community, but over the last year I’ve vividly seen it with my own eyes in one neighborhood after another. Those thousands of conversations leave me today more hopeful and optimistic than ever.

If only our politics can be as good as them. I think it can, but we are going to have to change in big ways.

To me, election night 2016 was a shattering moment--  and it’s what ultimately prompted me to run. I had believed that America would never elect a person who said and did the things that Donald Trump said and did. I believed that America today would never elect a bully, a liar, someone who preyed upon our worst fears and sought to divide us to win support. We might come close to electing such a demagogue, but at this stage in our country’s history we would never actually do it. I was obviously wrong.

The better angels of our nature had given way to our most base sensibilities. A presidency built on hope was followed by one grounded in our worst fears.

In early January, as President Obama prepared to leave office, he gave his farewell address, warning that we can’t take democracy for granted. That it “falls on each of us to be anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy.” What the speech said to me is that, yes, America is a special place. But it’s only special because generation after generation has continually engaged in making it so--  even as there are setbacks, sometimes dramatic setbacks, along the way.

Then, at Danet’s urging, on January 21st we attended the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. My sister Meghan and our friend Lissette went too. It was an extraordinary day as millions around the world rose up. It was there that I thought to myself that this remarkable moment of protest must also be a moment of real and lasting change--  and wondered how to try and live that. It was there that I decided to run.

The reason I decided to drop everything, leave my job at Knight Foundation and do something I’d never done before was because I believed we were--  and are--  at a pivotal moment. This is not a normal election year.

I firmly believe that years from now people will ask about this time, what did we do?

What did we do when a President--  along with a compliant Republican-controlled Congress--  called for border walls, Muslim bans, tore thousands of immigrant children from their parents, bowed to a foreign power that meddled in our election, sympathized with neo-Nazis, sought to use law enforcement as a means to settle political scores, and declared the press an enemy of the state.

This election is our moment to reaffirm and declare who we are-- and who we are not--  as a country.

But, in doing so, we have to realize that this election is about what’s next. It can’t just be about what we’re against, but it has to be about what we’re for. Indeed, while Donald Trump has contributed much to our dysfunctional politics, the truth is that he’s the result of a dysfunctional system that has been spiraling for some time.

We are only going to achieve the change we need if we dispense with the incrementalism that has defined our politics for so long and think--  and do--  in dramatic new ways. And allow new leaders to emerge in a political system that’s long become stuck.

Put another way, it’s a two-part challenge: ensure that today does not become the new normal, and provide a vision for what tomorrow will look like. With that in mind, we sought to run a campaign that actually represented the change we seek.

At a time when money is undermining our democracy, we didn’t accept any funding from political action committees, federal lobbyists or special interests like big sugar.

At a time when so many have given up on politics, our campaign was powered by extraordinary campaign fellows who were the heart and soul of our effort.

At a time when so many are disconnected from our government, we built a field program that sought to personally engage voters in every neighborhood in every part of the district.

At a time when the leadership in Congress hasn’t changed in years, we called for an entirely new slate of people in leadership roles in the House. The new faces in the next Congress must not be just newly elected members, but the leaders at the top too.

Of course, our efforts did not result in a victory. But I have no regrets. After all, this is a moment to take chances. And throughout my life I’ve always sought to take chances by diving into entirely new things; and going all-in when I do.

Whether it was going to New Orleans to write a biography on Professor Longhair (still unfinished). Or moving to Miami-- where I didn’t know a soul (but met my soulmate)--  to become a journalist (where I had a great run that lasted nearly a decade). Or leaving the Miami Herald to join Knight Foundation (where I had an even better run), in which I launched an entirely new program that planted the seeds and propelled Miami’s rapidly emerging startup and entrepreneurial community.

I want to stretch myself, test boundaries and be willing to do entirely new things. Incumbent to that approach will be wins and losses. It’s the in-between that I want to avoid.

Make no mistake, I dearly wish I was part of the Blue Wave at this critical point in our country’s history. But I’m not. This moment belongs to candidates with names like Gillum, O’Rourke, Pressley, Lamb, Ocasio-Cortez, and so many others. I will be cheering every one of them on, and support in any way I can. We need them to win and be good leaders when a new Congress is sworn in in January.

And, each in our own way, we all need to lean in and help. The moment is too important. The challenges are too great. The stakes too high. No one can sit this out.

So what’s next? The short answer is, I don’t know.

I do know that I have many people to thank. I remember when I decided to run, a friend advised that people look at you differently when you’re a political candidate. He cautioned that you’ll be disappointed by friends you thought would be there. But he also said you’ll be surprised by the support from those you didn’t know before or never expected. Focus and delight in the latter, he said. And I will.

(One quick note: Danet and I took some time away after the election. If you haven’t heard from me yet, you’ll be hearing from me soon.)

After such an all-consuming period I also have many friendships to renew, which I am looking forward to doing.

Life is about chapters and seasons. The thing about political campaigns is the chapter ends so suddenly. After such an intense period, it’s quickly and suddenly over. It’s a crash landing. But a new chapter begins. There is power in blank canvases. I’ve experienced it before. It’s at moments like these when you can edit your life and think completely anew. It’s often at these moments when the unimagined happens, when you follow completely new paths and find unexpected success.

I have no idea what this next chapter will bring, but I’m excited to find out.

After the race, I spoke with Reggie, who is a great friend and the father of Joshua, my little through Big Brother Big Sister for more than a decade. Reggie said to me: “You gotta keep pressing on my man. It’s all good.”

That pretty much says it all. Keep pressing on.

          Por Favor Vote Hoy-- PorTodo Nuestro Bien      Cache   Translate Page      

This isn't a new poll but it could be the numbers we see on our TV screens tonight. Say a prayer. A result like that in Texas today is going to be dependent on, among other things, Latino turnout. Virtually all polling models assume Latinos will not turn out in large numbers. If that changes today, say goodbye to Ted Cruz and... HELLO BETO! Nearly 39% of Texans are Latino. BETO will win if they vote today in larger numbers than has been usual. AND, a big Latino turnout in Texas today could also help in more than a few districts with big Hispanic populations-- here's who has the most to gain:
TX-02- 29.6% Todd Litton
TX-07- 31.5% Lizzie Fletcher
TX-10- 25.9% Mike Siegel
TX-21- 27.7% Joseph Kopser
TX-23- 70.8% Gina Jones
TX-27- 50.8% Eric Holguin
TX-32- 28.3% Colin Allred

California is another state with a huge Hispanic population-- like Texas, around 39%-- where an oversized Latino turnout today could be determinative, maybe even electing a progressive senator, Kevin de León, instead of reelecting the conservative Dianne Feinstein, with a shameful anti-immigrant history unworthy of our state. In California congressional races, a big Latino turnout will make all the difference in 7 close, key races:
CA-10- 40.0% Josh Harder
CA-21- 72.1% TJ Cox
CA-22- 45.9% Andrew Janz (Devin Nunes' district)
CA-25- 37.9% Katie Hill
CA-39- 34.6% Gil Cisneros
CA-49- 25.7% Mike Levin
CA-50- 29.7% Ammar Campa-Najjar
And then there are the key Senate races in Arizona (30.1% Latino) and Nevada (27.1% Latino) which have both tightened up in the last month.

So... has Trump been enough of a determinant to rouse Latino voters up in big numbers tomorrow? All cycle, the answer has been a disappointing "NO!" But that seems to have changed in the last few weeks. Yesterday, Chris Kahn and Dan Trotta, reporting for Reuters, wrote that a new IPSOS tracking poll shows a 
marked increase in Latino enthusiasm for voting this week.

Hispanics are more interested in voting this year than in the last U.S. congressional midterm elections in 2014 and their enthusiasm outpaces that of all U.S. adults, according to a Reuters/Ipsos national tracking poll released on Sunday.

The poll also found likely Hispanic voters nearly twice as inclined to support Democrats for the House of Representatives as Republicans in Tuesday's elections.

Voter registration groups are using Republican President Donald Trump's nationalist, anti-immigrant rhetoric as an opportunity to drive up Latino enthusiasm. In an illustration of their passion, one group that is part of an alliance that has reached out to more than 1 million potential voters in Arizona took its name from the Spanish word for "fight."

...Latinos could play a crucial role in several races, from tight Senate battles in Arizona and Texas to Florida's close Senate and governor's races. In California, the flourishing Latino population has helped put in play some Republican-controlled House districts Democrats hope to flip.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll, taken Sept. 1 to Oct. 29, found that 36 percent of Hispanic voters said they were "certain" to vote, up from 27 percent in 2014. That increase is nearly double the five percentage point rise in voter enthusiasm among all Americans over the same period, the poll showed.

Enthusiasm appears especially high among Hispanic Democrats.

Forty-two percent of Hispanic Democrats said they were "certain" to vote, up from 29 percent in 2014. Among likely Hispanic voters, 60 percent said they will vote for a Democratic candidate for the House, and 32 percent would back a Republican.

Hispanics are a politically diverse group, with 55 percent of likely voters identifying as Democrats, 31 percent as Republicans and 12 percent as independent, the poll showed.

Just over half, 53 percent, of likely Hispanic voters said they were "very motivated" to pick a candidate for Congress who opposes Trump, compared with 43 percent of all likely voters, 75 percent of likely Democratic voters and 9 percent of likely Republican voters.

...America's 29 million Latinos account for nearly 13 percent of eligible voters this year, but their turnout rate has declined since 2006, according to the Pew Research Center. Only 27 percent of eligible Latinos voted in the last midterm elections in 2014, and only 16 percent of those aged 18 to 35, Pew said.

          DWT California Voter Guide For Tuesday (Reprise)      Cache   Translate Page      

We published this a few weeks ago for early voters but I figured I'd run it again-- with a bonus video at the end-- for Californians going to the polls on Tuesday. First and foremost on our list is the U.S. Senate race, in which we strongly back Kevin de León against fossilized conservative incumbent Dianne Feinstein.

Goal ThermometerWe don't usually back better of two evil candidates-- which is what the Democratic Party usually encourages, particularly on the federal level. But, this year, because of the existential threat from Trump, we are doing just that. Vote for every Democrat and against every Republican-- even for candidates as lacking in anything to recommend them as Andrew Janz and Gil Cisneros. There I said it!. That said, we are genuinely excited about some Democrats, especially Katie Porter, the progressive running in Orange County (CA-45), Ammar Campa-Najjar, the progressive running for Congress in San Diego County (CA-50) and Jovanka Beckles, the progressive running for state Assembly in the East Bay. All of our California faves are on the Blue America thermometer on the right. Prediction: Gavin Newsom will win and any progressive who voted for him will be very, very sorry. For state Superintendent of Schools, there's a really good candidate: Tony Thurmond and a really bad canddiate, the charter school guy, Marshall Tuck. OK, that's the easy stuff. Now the statewide propositions:
Prop 1- YES-- authorizes $4 billion in bonds to fund affordable housing for low-income families, seniors, people with disabilities, farmworkers and veterans.
Prop 2- YES-- authorizes $2 billion in bonds to provide supportive housing (i.e. ,mental health and drug rehab) for homeless Californians with mental illness.
Prop 3- NO-- an $8 billion boondoggle for Big Agriculture, while causing environmental problems.
Prop 4- YES-- authorizes $1.5 billion in bonds to fund building, renovating and equipping children’s hospitals.
Prop 5- NO-- another boondoggle, this one for wealthy developers and older rich homeowners-- expands Prop 13.
Prop 6- NO-- overturns the increase in gas taxes and vehicle fees that fund transportation infrastructure. Bad for Climate Change and deincentivizes electric car development.
Prop 7- YES or NO-- empowers the legislature to adopt permanent daylight saving time, eliminating standard time in the future if it Congress gives the OK.
Prop 8- YES-- requires notoriously profiteering dialysis centers to stop cheating their patients and to accept Medicare and Medicaid without discrimination.
Prop 10- YES-- allows cities, towns and counties to pass and strengthen rent control laws by repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.
Prop 11- NO-- An anti-union proposal that allows private ambulance companies to require workers to remain on-call during meal and rest breaks.
Prop 12- YES-- an animal welfare measure set ting reasonable minimum floor space for pigs, calves and hens at one square foot.

L.A. County has Measure W, an excellent idea to fund rainwater capture, cleaning and storage projects in order to grow the county's local water supply. Vote YES.

And the city of L.A. has two measures, both worth supporting. Measure B amends the City’s charter to permit Los Angeles to establish a public bank. Vote YES.

Measure E sets the City’s primary election on the same date as the State’s primary election. Vote YES.

          The Dozen Worst Democrats Facing The Voters Are Better Than The Dozen Best Republicans      Cache   Translate Page      

Perhaps trying to torture Señor Trumpanzee, a 4 month old Pew Research poll was widely circulated on the internet over the weekend, showing that President Obama, by far, is the president who the most Americans think was the best in their lifetimes (31%) followed by Reagan (21%) and Clinton (13%).

I didn't have time to conduct a poll, but I'm going to tell you who the best non-incumbent candidates running for Congress on Tuesday are. In alphabetical order-- based strictly on how well they will perform in Congress if they are elected. These are a dozen potential superstars:
Lisa Brown (WA-05)
Randy Bryce (WI-01)
Kara Eastman (NE-02)
Jared Golden (ME-02)
Jess King (PA-11)
Nate McMurray (NY-27)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14)
Katie Porter (CA-45)
JD Scholten (IA-04)
Mike Siegel (TX-10)
James Thompson (KS-04)
Rashida Tlaib (MI-13)
Nor did I poll anyone about who the worst Democrats are running for the House. I'm tempted to put this list in order of horribleness but I'll keep it alphabetical, so I don't get into any arguments about why I say Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02) is worse than, for example, Abigail Spanberger (VA-07). Hard to narrow it down to just 12 and I was tempted to sneak in another, calling it a baker's dozen, but I'll save Paul Davis (KS-02) and Anne Kirkpatrick (AZ-02) for another time. 12 Democrats-- bolstering and strengthening the Republican wing of the Democratic Part-- who will make Congress a far worse and less productive place than it would be without them:
Anthony Brindisi (NY-22)
Gil Cisneros (CA-39)
Jason Crow (CO-06)
Gretchen Driskell (MI-07)
Brendan Kelly (IL-12)
Joseph Kopser (TX-21)
Susie Lee (NV-03)
Kathy Manning (NC-13)
Dan McCready (NC-09)
Max Rose (NY-11)
Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11)
Abigail Spanberger (VA-07)
[Oops, I forgot New Jersey Blue Dog Jeff Van Drew... probably because I don't even think of him as a Democrat. But he's the worst Democratic candidate this cycle. The DCCC begged him to run. And he has absolutely no chance of being defeated. He will be in Congress next year, a real tragedy.]

Hold your nose and vote for these lunks so Trump winds up getting checked and balanced. The only horrible Democrat running for the House who I would not hold my nose, shut my eyes, vomit in my mouth and vote for is an incumbent, the shockingly Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23). But in that case, the alternative is a progressive running as an independent, Tim Canova, who will caucus with the Democrats, making not just the House, but the wretched party, a better institution. The video message from Elizabeth Warren below is specifically about the Senate but... same, same; the principle works for the House as well. I have a question for progressives-- real ones only, please-- in Arizona: Are you going to vote for Sinema?

One more thing about the Senate. With a horrible map for Democrats, the likelihood of it flipping from red to blue in minimal-- though not impossible. Trump is counting on ignoring his likely evisceration in the House by claiming he saved the GOP from doom in both houses. That will be fun.

          Under Assault by Trump's GOP and Supreme Court, Unions Lead Massive Get Out the Vote Effort for Midterms: 'We Vote, We Win'      Cache   Translate Page      
"We don't know any other way. For us, it's a very natural way to survive: organize, organize."

In the face of a coordinated, corporate-funded assault on their very existence by President Donald Trump, Republicans at the federal and state level, and the right-wing Supreme Court, labor unions nationwide have mobilized massive numbers of struggling workersto turn out for Tuesday's critical midterms with the goal of defeating anti-union candidates and electing politicians willing to fight for progressive policies that benefit the working class like Medicare for All, a higher minimum wage, and the fundamental right to organize.

"The Culinary Workers Union registered 10,300 voters for the midterms. This union really gets it done. Still impressed by what I saw reporting on them in Vegas."
—David Jamieson, Huffington Post

"We don't know any other way," said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, the Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas, which has registered over 10,300 new voters ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections to defeat Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.). "For us, it's a very natural way to survive here in Las Vegas: organize, organize."

With the rallying cry, "We vote, we win!" the union has provided resources for workers to learn about the candidates on the ballot, spread the word about the issues at stake in the midterms, and find the closest polling site.

The Culinary Union's get-out-the-vote efforts have been replicated throughout the nation, including in so-called "right-to-work states," where Republican legislatures have barred unions from collecting dues from all workers they represent in collective bargaining efforts to raise wages and improve working conditions.

"Things aren't changing for the better like they thought would happen. Real wages are not keeping pace with inflation. We haven't replaced the well-paying manufacturing jobs that we lost."
—Tim Burga, Ohio AFL-CIO

In Southern states like North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia, the Communications Workers of America (CWA)—which represents 700,000 workers nationwide—say it organized canvassing, mail, and phone bank operations that resulted in over four million door knocks."

In the Midwest, where workers have suffered from decades of deindustrialization, corporate outsourcing, and neglect from politicians who so often claim to care about their plight, the AFL-CIO says it has convinced thousands of union workers who backed Donald Trump in 2016 to turn out for progressive Democrats on Tuesday.

"About half of union households that voted for Trump said they are planning to vote for Democrats in two key statewide races," Vox reported on Monday, citing figures from the Ohio AFL-CIO. "That includes 51.4 percent of Trump voters who plan to cast a ballot for progressive Democrat Richard Cordray for governor and 49.9 percent of Trump voters who favor incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown—the only Democrat currently holding statewide office."

Tim Burga, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, said many union workers who initially backed Trump have realized after two years of plutocratic policies and stagnant wages that the president and his billionaire-filled cabinet are not on their side, and never were.

"Things aren't changing for the better like they thought would happen," Burga said. "Real wages are not keeping pace with inflation. We haven't replaced the well-paying manufacturing jobs that we lost."

With a historic number of House Democratic candidates backing Medicare for All, National Nurses United (NNU)—the largest organization of registered nurses in the U.S.—has also been tirelessly canvassing and phone banking in Maryland, Florida, and the many other states where candidates are standing up to America's disastrous for-profit healthcare industry.

See NNU's full list of all 225 House Democratic candidates running on Medicare for All here.


           Five Midterm Races That Matter Most      Cache   Translate Page      
I've been arguing for months that the ideal outcome in the midterm elections to set up Donald Trump for a landslide re-election in 2020 is for Republicans to hold the Senate and narrowly lose the...

           What Is a Wave Election, Anyway?      Cache   Translate Page      
Democrats look poised to have a good showing on Tuesday. They are almost certain to gain seats in the House, and may break even in a Senate cycle where they have to defend 10 seats in states Donald...

           If You Don't Vote for the Party, You're Not Doing Your Part      Cache   Translate Page      
There once was a time when a principled voter would declare, “I vote for the person, not the party,” but today that is a fool’s errand. As a half-dozen Senate races in 2018 prove,...

          'Because I'm White': A Texas Poll Worker Was Just Fired After Reportedly Hurling a Racist Insult and Pushing a Black Voter      Cache   Translate Page      
An election judge in Houston made a shockingly racist comment to an African-American voter who protested being flagged by poll workers.

On Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle reported that a Harris County poll worker named Juanita Barnes has been fired and faces criminal assault charges over a fight she got into with local voter Rolanda Anthony over the address on her photo ID, during which she reportedly made a racist outburst:

Anthony went to vote at her polling location before 8 a.m. at Iglesia Bautista Libre in north Houston, a poll worker, Evelyn Tillman, told her there was an issue with her address in the system and she needed to fill out a residency verification form.

Anthony, who is in her early 40s, asked Tillman why she needed to fill out the form, since as far as she could tell, the address in the system and on her ID matched up perfectly. Before Tillman could respond, Juanita Barnes, the alternate election judge, came very close to Anthony and began yelling and pointing her finger in Anthony's face.

Anthony said Barnes told her it, "It's illegal for you not to change her address on your driver's license if you move." About five or six voters were looking on, Anthony said.

Anthony told her, "Ma'am, I've been living here for years. What are you talking about? The address is correct."

Barnes, who is white, then told Anthony, who is black, "Maybe if I'd worn my blackface makeup today you could comprehend what I'm saying to you." Witnesses confirmed this is what they heard Barnes say.

After this exchange, other poll workers intervened on behalf of Anthony, at which point Barnes reportedly cornered her against a wall and started shouting. Barnes later "bumped" into Anthony, the report said, and told her that the police would not help her because Barnes was white and Anthony was a "loiterer."

"If you call the police, they're going to take you to jail and do something to you, because I'm white," Barnes reportedly said.

Barnes was eventually escorted from the building by Harris County deputies, according to the Chronicle.

This incident is not even the only case of a Texas poll worker landing in hot water for an altercation with a black voter. On Friday, Liza Guzman, another poll worker in Round Rock, screamed at a black voter who was confused about where to vote, saying "Get out. Get out. Get out. You are rude. You are not following the law," and threatening to call the police. Guzman resigned after a video of the incident went public.

Texas is one of the most closely watched states in the midterm election. Up to ten GOP-held Texas House seats have serious Democratic challenges, and race between GOP Sen. Ted Cruz and El Paso Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke has become one of the most expensive Senate races in history.


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          Trump Is Bracing for the Worst as White House Aides Warn the Election Results Could Be 'Brutal': Report      Cache   Translate Page      
The president has no public events scheduled.

After weeks on the campaign trail for Republicans around the country, President Donald Trump has hunkered away in the White House Tuesday as Americans head to the polls.

And according to a new report in the New York Times, the president and his aides are bracing for the worst.

Reporters Michael Shear and Maggie Haberman say the mood in the White House was "gloomy" on Tuesday, citing aides and others who have talked to the president. The majority of pollsters and analysts expect Democrats could make significant gains in the House of Representatives and are likely to flip control of the chamber. The fact that the GOP is expected to keep control of the Senate — due in large part to the favorable terrain this year for Republicans on the ballot — is offering some comfort in the White House, the report said.

"For days, Mr. Trump’s advisers have warned him that the losses could be brutal, even as they have said that the Senate should be a bright spot," the report said. "Advisers acknowledge that Mr. Trump has a problem with women voters as he begins his own re-election effort."

The report notes that Trump seemed to admit in an interview Monday with an ABC affiliate that his rhetoric may have gone too far at times — a rare admission of error on the president's part. People familiar with his thinking told Haberman and Shear that he does, in fact, believe he may have stepped over the line. Yet even Monday night, Trump was his usual pugnacious self at the final rally of the cycle, attacking Justice Brett Kavanaugh's accusers — who say he is guilty of sexual assault and misconduct — were part of a "scam" as his supporters cheered "lock her up."

Whether or not the dire warnings for his administration and his party will be borne out can only be confirmed once the votes around the country are tallied. The possibility of contested results and close calls may even leave the question of who controls Congress up for grabs until Wednesday, or possibly even later.


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          ‘Saturday Night Live’ Got It Right: New Gallup Poll Finds High Anxiety Among Democrats on Election Day      Cache   Translate Page      
There's a lot at stake.

NBC’s long-running “Saturday Night Live” has never been shy about making fun of Democrats along with Republicans. A hilarious “SNL” skit that aired on November 3 depicted Democratic voters as being in a state of maximum anxiety over the 2018 midterms no matter how much they tried to pretend they were feeling optimistic—and according to a new Gallup survey, that skit isn’t off base. Gallup, on Election Day, reported that 81% of voters it described as either Democrats or “Democratic leaners” are “very or somewhat worried” about what will happen in the U.S. if Republicans maintain their majority in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. And only 19% of them are “not too or not at all worried” about the results of that possibility.

However, Gallup finds that Republicans and “Republican leaners,” in contrast, are less worried about what will happen in the U.S. if Democrats obtain a majority in either house of Congress. According to Gallup, 66% of Republicans or “Republican leaners” are “very or somewhat worried” about what would happen with a Democratic majority in the House or Senate—while 34% are “not too or not at all worried.”

Gallup also found that Democrats are less optimistic than Republicans when it comes to their chances of having a majority in the House in 2019.

Of the Republicans surveyed, 87% predicted that the GOP would maintain its House majority on Election Day, while only 74% of Democrats believed that their party would retake the House. And Democrats were even less optimistic about the Senate.

Gallup found that 83% of Republicans predicted that the GOP would keep its Senate majority on Election Day, while only 49% of Democrats believed their party would obtain a majority in the Upper House.

In order to achieve a Senate majority this year, Democrats would need to maintain every seat they presently hold while capturing two Republican-held seats. If Democrats could capture the Republican-held seats in Arizona and Nevada and not lose any seats, they would obtain a narrow Senate majority. But those races, according to many polls, are close—and Democratic incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has been trailing Republican Kevin Cramer in North Dakota’s Senate race.

The morning of Election Day, pollster Nate Silver’s found that Democrats had an 87% chance of retaking the House but only a 19% chance of retaking the Senate. All 435 House seats are up for grabs today. 

Watch the SNL skit below:


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          Here's How Former Green Party Candidate Angela Green Still Be a Spoiler in This Key Senate Race      Cache   Translate Page      
The race could be the key to control of the Senate.

On November 1, Angela Green—the Green Party candidate in Arizona’s U.S. Senate race—made a major announcement: she was dropping out and urging Arizona residents to vote for centrist Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema, who has been in a nail-biter race against Republican nominee Martha McSally. Green, obviously fearing that she was taking votes away from Sinema, didn’t want to be a spoiler. But Green’s name still appears on absentee ballots in Arizona, and with the competition between Sinema and McSally being so tight, could Green end up being a spoiler anyway?

Green has performed relatively well for a third-party candidate. In October, an NBC News poll showed her winning 6% of the vote, and RealClearPolitics’ average of various polls had her at around 3%.

Green’s participation in the Arizona Senate race wouldn’t have been a big deal if Sinema had a double-digit lead over McSally. But poll after poll has indicated that the race could swing to either Sinema or McSally, depending on turnout. Some polls in early November showed that Sinema was ahead by 1% (Emerson College) or 3% (Trafalgar Group), while in other polls, McSally was leading by 3% (HarrisX) or 1% (ABC 15/OH Predictive Insights).

Truth be told, even the most scientific, meticulously conducted polls have a margin of error of 5%. But polls are good for giving candidates a general idea of where things stand—and when one poll shows Sinema slightly ahead while another shows McSally slightly ahead, the race is clearly a nail-biter.

Had things worked out differently, Sinema might be running against Sen. Jeff Flake instead of against McSally. But Flake, who has been quite critical of President Trump at times, decided not to seek reelection. And the hard-right McSally won the GOP nomination after defeating two fellow Republicans who are even more extreme: former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Tea Party wingnut Kelli Ward (who challenged the late Sen. John McCain in Arizona’s 2016 GOP Senate primary, arguing that he wasn’t far enough to the right).

When she dropped out of the race, Green urged Arizona residents to “vote for a better Arizona, and that would be for Kyrsten Sinema, the Democratic Party.” But the question is: how many Arizona residents have already voted for Green already via absentee ballots? We won’t know that for certain until after the election, but Arizona is very friendly to absentee voting—and according to the NBC-affiliated Channel 12 in Phoenix, an estimated 60% of all votes in the midterms in Arizona have already been cast via absentee ballots. So among that 60%, Arizona residents who have already voted for Green won’t have a chance to vote for Sinema or McSally instead.

But among the other 40%, Sinema still has some wiggle room. Any voters of the Grand Canyon State who think that their vote in the Arizona Senate race doesn’t count haven’t been paying attention to the polls—and Arizona residents might be up really late tonight waiting to find out whether Sinema or McSally will be taking over Jeff Flake’s seat in 2019.


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          Former FBI Director James Comey Urges Americans to Reject President Trump’s ‘Lying, Misogyny, Racism’ in Epic New York Times Op-Ed      Cache   Translate Page      
"The history of America consoles us, but also, calls us to action.”

Although James Comey spent much of his adult life as a registered Republican and made donations to the presidential campaigns of Sen. John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, he has hardly been an ally of President Donald Trump—who fired him as FBI director in May 2017. And in an epic New York Times commentary published on Election Day, the former FBI director urges American voters to reject “the lying, misogyny, racism and attacks on the rule of law from our president.”

In 2018, Comey has not been shy about encouraging Americans to vote Democrat in the midterms—even if they are Republicans who, like himself, have policy differences with the Democratic Party. Republicans in Congress, Comey has complained, have been putting their party before the good of their country and become subservient to the Trump Administration. And that theme asserts itself in his Election Day piece.

Comey’s article delves into U.S. history, noting that periods of social progress can be followed by an angry backlash—which is how he characterizes the Trump administration.

“Our country has changed dramatically in recent years,” the former FBI director explains. “We elected a black man president for two terms, and a woman won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election. We legalized gay marriage, have an entirely new approach to work and technology and families, and we are on a path to the white majority becoming a minority. History shows us that with so much progress and change, a spasm of negativity and backlash was inevitable.”

Drawing a parallel between the Trump era and the 1920s, the 57-year-old Comey notes that progress for African-Americans, women and Jews after World War I was followed by a resurgence in Ku Klux Klan activity during the following decade.

“The years after the end of World War I were a period of stunning progress for our country,” Comey asserts. “Women got the right to vote. Blacks moved into the growing industrial economy. Catholics and Jews flooded in as immigrants. But that change brought reaction. In the 1920s, the Klan was reborn. Millions of Americans joined the KKK, including 16 United States senators, 11 governors and dozens of members of the House of Representatives.”

Comey quickly adds, however, “The Klan fever broke in the late 1920s, and we resumed our upward progress. That’s the story of America.”

Comey goes on to note that Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunt of the 1950s “disappeared almost overnight” after he was discredited, and that the racist bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church (a black church) in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963 “led to bipartisan support in Congress to pass the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts that changed our country for the better.” And history, according to Comey, shows that sooner or later, Americans “resume our upward march.”

“Every American should be speaking about our nation’s values,” Comey concludes. “Every American should be voting those values, which are far more important than even the most passionate policy differences. The history of America consoles us, but also, calls us to action.”

          Information Warfare and Security Flaws: Why the American Voting System Is Still at Serious Risk      Cache   Translate Page      
As this election’s results come back, they will reveal whether the misinformation and propaganda campaigns conducted alongside the political ones were effective.

As the 2018 midterms proceed, there are still significant risks to the integrity of the voting system – and information warfare continues to try to influence the American public’s choices when they cast their ballots.

On the day of the election, there were a number of early hitches in voting at individual polling places, such as polling places opening late and vote-counting machines not plugged in. But there seem not – at least not yet – to be major problems across the country.

However, not all the election-related news and information voters have been encountering in recent days and weeks is accurate, and some of it is deliberately misleading. As this election’s results come back, they will reveal whether the misinformation and propaganda campaigns conducted alongside the political ones were effective.

Securing election systems

America’s electoral process remains highly fragmented, because of the country’s cherished tradition of decentralized government and local control. While this may leave some individual communities’ voting equipment potentially vulnerable to attack, the nation’s voting process overall may be more trustworthy as a result of this fragmentation. With no unified government agency or office to provide, administer and protect election technologies, there’s not one central national element that could fail or be attacked.

Across the country, though, many districts’ voters will cast ballots with the help of machines that have long-standing security concerns. Fortunately, 45 states keep a paper record of each vote cast – whether for fear of threats to voting integrity or just budget constraints preventing purchase of newer gear. But that means five states – Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, New Jersey and Delaware – don’t keep paper records of their voters’ choices.

Voting machine vendors have been reluctant to appear before Congress to explain their systems’ security practices – and shortcomings. However, federal agencies have helped some states reduce the likelihood of voting machines being hacked or physically tampered with.

Beyond voting machines

Election security is about much more than voting machines and vote-counting systems, though they are the most visible technologies at work on Election Day. State systems that track voter registrations, or allow users to register online, are enticing targets for hackers, too. Security firm Carbon Black reported that 81 million voter records from 20 states are available in online forums. This data, obtained by hacking various official and corporate databases, could be used to facilitate voter fraud or sow confusion at polling places on Election Day: How would you feel if you were told that someone using your name and address had already voted?

There are security concerns even in states like Oregon, where everyone votes on paper and mails in their ballots in advance of Election Day. That state’s election officials were targeted by hackers seeking to gain access to state email and database systems. With that access, attackers might be able to digitally impersonate a government official to send false or confusing emails, press releases or other notifications to citizens, journalists or poll workers.

Also at risk are public-facing official websites that carry election information. Merely changing the reported location of polling places or voting hours could prevent some people from voting. Also vulnerable are states’ methods of announcing preliminary election results. At a major internet security conference in August, children were able to compromise replicas of several states’ election-reporting systems. The most remarkable was that in just 10 minutes, an 11-year-old boy cracked the security on a copy of the Florida secretary of state’s website and was able to change the publicly announced vote totals for candidates. That could be enough to cast doubt on whatever was later reported as the official results – and the integrity of the system itself.

Managing information on social media

A more difficult threat to defend against is information warfare, which doesn’t attack voting machines or election officials’ computers. Rather, it targets voters’ perceptions and decisions, seeking to influence how they vote.

Long before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, information warfare was influencing elections around the world, including in Ukraine, Myanmar and Egypt. But after 2016, Facebook and Twitter came under intense scrutiny for their role in providing digital environments that facilitated the spread of misinformation to sow discontent, and special counsel Robert Mueller began investigating Russians’ influence efforts.

In the run-up to the 2018 midterms, Russians and others were still hard at work trying to influence Americans to vote in ways that help foreign interests. In October, the U.S. Department of Justice charged a Russian woman with creating thousands of fake social media accounts allegedly representing American citizens to “create and amplify divisive social media and political content” before the election.

This year, though, unlike two years ago, social media companies are taking action. Twitter and Facebook have both deleted thousands of accounts they identified as engaging in propaganda and influence-peddling. And they have made other efforts to identify and fight falsehoods on their platforms, too.

Nevertheless, online misinformation continues to thrive. More than 80 percent of the Twitter accounts that often shared links to false and misleading information in 2016 are still active today. And the amount of online misinformation is higher than it was two years ago.

Investigating alleged wrongdoing

U.S. intelligence and police agencies are concerned about the potential effects of misinformation on the American electorate. But large proportions of the country don’t trust those organizations to be politically independent. It doesn’t help that the White House continues to claim, without evidence, that voter fraud is a significant problem.

Mainstream news organizations can find themselves under scrutiny too, either for reporting falsehoods that appear to gain traction online or for failing to filter out or properly identify inaccurate information for their readers.

Looking ahead

Protecting democracy is a huge challenge. I’ve written before that it involves more than technical solutions to computer problems. The U.S. government, and the people it serves, must find the desire and the drive to establish secure and trustworthy procedures for running elections across the country. Education is also key, teaching people from an early age how to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and think critically about the information they encounter. Facts are not subject to alternative views; without widespread agreement on common objective realities, society and government cannot function well.

Technology continues to evolve, presenting challenges to individuals and society alike. Emerging “deepfake” technology is already helping create convincing videos of people appearing to say and do things they never said or did. In addition, intelligent social media bots are becoming more human-like, making identifying and blocking them much more difficult. That’s just some of the challenges that democracies will face in the future.

Many of these problems will not have a clearly defined fix, because they involve a nuanced balancing of individual rights and social necessities. Real and lasting solutions must come from civil discourse by rational and objectively informed people who have, above all, the actual honest desire to do it right.

Richard Forno, Senior Lecturer, Cybersecurity & Internet Researcher, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


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          Border Patrol Conducting ‘Crowd Control Exercise’ on Election Day Near El Paso Hispanic Neighborhood’s Polling Station      Cache   Translate Page      
That Hispanic neighborhood is in El Paso, which happens to be the hometown of Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

The U.S. Border Patrol is preparing for the migrant caravan – still weeks and hundreds of miles away – by conducting a "crowd control exercise" on Election Day in a Hispanic neighborhood a half-mile away from their polling station.

(Looks like this “crowd control exercise” is only about 5 or 6 blocks from the polling site at the Armijo Recreation Center.)

— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) November 6, 2018

That Hispanic neighborhood is in El Paso, which coincidentally happens to be the hometown of Rep. Beto O'Rourke, the popular Democratic candidate challenging U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

Texas Monthly, reporting on the "exercise," notes that Senator Cruz "has welcomed news of the deployment and criticized his opponent for being soft on immigration. 'He is waiting on the Rio Grande with welcome baskets and foot massages,' Cruz said of O’Rourke recently. Cruz has also consistently pointed out that he has received the endorsement of the national U.S. Border Patrol Union."

A Customs and Border Protection spokesman describes the Election Day event as part of ongoing preparations and insists there is "no link to the election date."

That Hispanic neighborhood is in El Paso, which coincidentally happens to be the hometown of Rep. Beto O'Rourke, the popular Democratic candidate challenging U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

Texas Monthly, reporting on the "exercise," notes that Senator Cruz "has welcomed news of the deployment and criticized his opponent for being soft on immigration. 'He is waiting on the Rio Grande with welcome baskets and foot massages,' Cruz said of O’Rourke recently. Cruz has also consistently pointed out that he has received the endorsement of the national U.S. Border Patrol Union."

A Customs and Border Protection spokesman describes the Election Day event as part of ongoing preparations and insists there is "no link to the election date."

U.S. Rep. David Price (D-NC) accuses the Border Patrol of engaging "in voter intimidation tactics. In the United States of America. Add this to the list of investigations for the next Congress," he warns.

          The Midterm Elections Show a Major Shift in America's Attitude Toward Charter School Privatization      Cache   Translate Page      
It's not hard to find news stories about waste, fraud, abuse and downright theft in the school privatization sector.

For years, the policy window for privatizing public schools has been wide open, and what was once considered an extreme or at least rare idea—such as outsourcing public schools to private contractors with few strings attached, or giving parents public tax money to subsidize their children’s private school tuitions—has become widespread as charter schools are now legal in all but a handful of states, and voucher programs have proliferated in many forms across the country.

Politicians of all stripes have been extremely reluctant, especially at the national level, to lean into a real discussion of the negative consequences of redirecting public education funds to private operators, with little to no regulation for how the money is being spent. Candidates have instead stuck to a “safe boilerplate” of education being “good” and essential to “the workforce” without much regard to who provides it.

But policy windows can be fleeting (remember “the deficit crisis”?), and multiple factors can rejigger the public’s views. Indeed, in campaigns that candidates are waging in the upcoming midterm elections, one can see the policy window on school privatization gradually shifting back to support for public schools and increasing skepticism about doling out cash to private education entrepreneurs.

‘Vulture Schools’

It is the wave of new progressive candidates who appear to be the ones who are shifting the policy window on school privatization.

Take the campaign of progressive superstar Randy Bryce, running for the congressional seat Paul Ryan held in Wisconsin. The Badger State recently expanded statewide a voucher program that was confined to Milwaukee and Racine, and charter schools have expanded significantly under the leadership of Republican Governor Scott Walker.

On his website, Bryce provides the usual bromides about “every child deserves a quality education” and “charter, private and traditional public schools can all thrive,” but he then adds the curious statement that “no student should see money taken from their classroom in order to serve another.” What does that mean?

Click through the “learn more” prompt and you’ll watch a video in which he makes a much stronger statement about the problems of privatizing public schools. “We can’t afford two school systems, a public one and a private one,” he elaborates, and he blasts “vulture schools that don’t have the same accountability and don’t have the same rules.”

The example of the school he brings up that closed after head count day, and the owners “moved to Florida,” is a real school run by a husband-and-wife team who abruptly closed their Milwaukee private school, after taking more than $2.3 million of state voucher money, and moved to Florida to start another one.

These sorts of scandals have become nearly daily occurrences in the privately operated school industry.

Schools for Scandals

The latest scandal breaks from Arizona, where the state auditor found that parents who used the state’s voucher-like education savings program spent more than $700,000 on cosmetics, music, movies, clothing, sports apparel, and other personal items. Some even tried to withdraw cash with the state-issued debit cards. The state has not recovered any of the money. But the state legislature recently passed a bill to expand the voucher program, which is now being challenged by a recall effort on the ballot on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, in Florida, the founder of a company that operated charter schools in seven counties was found guilty of using those schools to steer millions of dollars into his personal accounts. In one school district alone, “nearly 1,000 students were affected by the chaos and disruption that ensued.”

In California, a recent audit of a charter school found the married couple who ran the school made almost $850,000 in less than two years and secretly hired people and created positions without approval from the school’s board.

A video from Florida that went viral shows an African American boy being denied admission to a private school that his parents used public school voucher money to enroll him in. An enormous white cross adorns the school’s front lawn. This and other similar occurrences of discrimination by voucher-funded private schools in the Sunshine State has prompted the NAACP to call for an investigation into all private schools accepting vouchers. Around the same time, an op-ed appeared in a Florida newspaper recounting the scandal of a voucher-funded private school that stiffed teachers and skipped rent payments. Teachers filed formal complaints about a “lack of basic school supplies,” academic “irregularities,” student safety concerns, and inadequate staffing. But when the school was evicted, it simply moved to a new location and started the whole flimflam all over again.

In Georgia, a police investigation of a charter school found the governing board terminated the school’s leader, made no public announcement of the firing, and never told parents why. At another Georgia charter school, parents were told to “watch your bank accounts” after 6,000 school records were mysteriously transferred to a personal email account.

In Nevada, an analysis of the state’s charter school industry found they increase racial and economic segregation by enrolling far fewer low-income kids and far more white and Asian students than public schools do. A state audit of a charter school in New Mexico found tens of thousands of dollars have been stolen by the school’s employees.

Some Regulatory Control, Please

One doesn’t need to “cherry pick” to find news stories about waste, fraud, abuse, and downright theft in the school privatization sector. The above examples all happened within the last month.

Of course, financial scandals happen in public schools too. That’s why they’re heavily regulated. But the notion that “parent choice” can keep charter schools and private voucher schools clean and honest is disproven nearly every day.

In Washington, D.C., there now seems to be an inkling to address the mountain of fraud created by charter schools and voucher programs. Prompted by a massive scandal involving an online charter school in Ohio, Democratic senators want the top watchdog agency for the federal government to investigate the business practices of online charter schools.

Their investigations can’t stop there. A recent analysis of states with the most charter schools and the most charter closures finds the federal government dumps millions into these schools but provides little oversight and guidance for what to do when these schools close, leaving millions of dollars in taxpayer money at risk to scamming.

More Progressive Democrats Against Privatization

The endless revelations of corruptions in the charter school and school voucher racket are now what’s driving policy, more so than dry, empirical studies about whether privatizing public schools “works” academically.

You can see that especially in the campaigns of progressive standouts like Andrew Gillum, who is running against Ron DeSantis to be the next governor of Florida, a state that is rife with charter school and voucher scandals.

While members of the family of U.S. Secretary DeVos are bankrolling the DeSantis campaign to push their agenda for charters and vouchers, Gillum is determined to stanch the flow of public dollars to the state’s many voucher programs and make charters more accountable for how they spend public money.

A review compiled by the Intercept of progressive candidates running for Congress singles out Leslie Cockburn running in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. Cockburn opposes school vouchers and shows her skepticism for charter schools by noticing their problems with teacher turnover and their lack of oversight. At a recent meet-and-greet, she said, “We want more funding for public schools, not less. We need to not take away funds from public schools and give them to charter schools or private schools.”

Another candidate, Kara Eastman, running in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, says on her website, “We must resist the administration’s political nominees who advertise the benefits of expanding charter schools.”

Among People’s Action’s endorsements in congressional races is Anthony Brindisi, running in New York’s 22nd Congressional District. Brindisi has pledged “to fight any and all attempts to privatize our public education system for corporate gain.”

A candidate endorsed by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), Dana Balter, running in New York’s 24th Congressional District, is a special education teacher turned Syracuse professor who got the endorsement of the powerful state teachers’ union largely because she “understands that giving money away to charter schools is not the right approach.”

Candidates for state houses have similar positions. In the race for West Virginia Senate 1st District seat that pits Democrat William Ihlenfeld against Republican Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, Ihlenfeld says, “I am not a supporter of charter schools … I don’t think charter schools are a good idea for West Virginia. I don’t think we can afford to allow the private sector to come in and profit from precious education resources.”

Of course, some progressive candidates still stick to the old script of “investing in schools” with little regard to who runs them, and a few still cling to the school privatization cause. But the trend that made privatizing public schools an acceptable if not preferential policy has at least stalled, if not completely been thrown into reverse.

This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.


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          GOP Candidates Face Outcry For Depicting Jewish Opponents Clutching Fistfuls of Cash      Cache   Translate Page      
The GOP isn't even trying to be subtle about it anymore.

The dust has barely settled from the horrific Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, committed by a neo-Nazi who believed Jewish groups are funding an influx of nonwhite migrants into the United States for nefarious purposes.

But Republicans apparently feel no responsibility to stand up to anti-Semitic sentiment. On the contrary, many GOP candidates are exploiting age-old stereotypes to attack Jewish opponents as avaricious and money-grubbing.

On Tuesday, with the polls opening nationwide, the Washington Post detailed multiple instances around the country of Republicans who have gone after Jewish Democrats by depicting them clutching fistfuls of cash.

One ad in Alaska depicted a Jewish state Senate candidate as a shadowy figure stuffing $100 bills into his suit, captioned "If you give Jesse Keihl your vote, you may as well give him your wallet." Republicans in Washington's 8th District illustrated the Democratic candidate, Dr. Kim Schrier, clutching a wad of $20 bills with the line "Dr. Tax will see you now!"

Another mailer in North Carolina showed Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer with a stack of bills, while a GOP state assembly candidate in California showed challenger Josh Lowenthal tinted green and clutching $100s, and the Connecticut Republican state Senate candidate put out an attack against opponent Matthew Lesser showing him grasping a wad of cash with a bug-eyed, demonic grin.

The anti-Semitic attacks are getting so grotesque that even some Republicans are sickened. "Jesse is proudly and prominently a member of Juneau's Jewish community," said Scott Kendall, a Jewish Republican who served as chief of staff to outgoing Gov. Bill Walker. "It is tough for me to process through that and not see an ill intent."

The stereotype of the Jewish people as money-grubbing and usurious dates back centuries, originating from Roman and medieval Church depictions of Judas' betrayal of Christ for thirty pieces of silver. It has been used to justify horrific persecution of Jews — a key fixture of Nazi propaganda was that the postwar German economy was suffering because Jews had bled the nation of all its money.

But Republicans have been increasingly willing to lean on this poisonous imagery for political ends. In 2016, the Trump campaign shared an image of Hillary Clinton depicting her on a pile of cash with a Star of David, an image first posted on an anti-Semitic message board (Clinton is a Methodist).

More recently, they have sought to tie the Honduran migrant caravan to George Soros, a Jewish Hungarian-born philanthropist billionaire and Holocaust survivor known for his contributions to liberal causes.


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          Here Are 5 Deceptive Republican Candidates Who Have Been Campaigning on Protections for Pre-existing Conditions While Fighting Relentlessly to Take Them Away      Cache   Translate Page      
Make no mistake: Health care protections are on the ballot today.


In the 2010 midterms—when President Barack Obama was serving his first term and Republicans retook the House of Representatives with a 63-seat landslide—health care was not a winning issue for Democrats. The GOP had successfully vilified the Affordable Care Act of 2010, a.k.a. Obamacare, and Fox News viewers actually believed the buffoonish Sarah Palin when she claimed that “death panels” for older Americans were a feature of the ACA. But in 2018, millions of Americans realize that the only “death panels” are insurance companies and Republicans, and the ACA has increased in popularity: according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released earlier this year, 54% of Americans now approve of the ACA.


Health care has become a winning issue for Democrats, many of whom have been lambasting the GOP relentlessly for its efforts to overturn the ACA and deprive millions of Americans of health insurance—especially if they have pre-existing health conditions, which could be anything from diabetes to asthma to heart disease to back problems. In the 2018 midterms, many Republican candidates have been addressing health care as well, insisting that protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions is a high priority for them. But it’s important to look at what Republican candidates do rather than what they say, and as Obama has been stressing in his recent speeches, many of them are flat-out lying when it comes to health care.


Here are five deceitful Republican candidates in key races who been campaigning on protecting Americans’ health coverage while fighting relentlessly to take it away.



1. Arizona Senate Candidate Martha McSally


In the Arizona Senate race, Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema has been attacking her GOP opponent, fellow congresswoman Martha McSally, nonstop over health care—stressing that McSally would gladly throw Americans with pre-existing conditions to the wolves. And McSally has responded by insisting that protecting them is a high priority for her. But McSally showed her true colors when, in late October, she snapped at a reporter and asked, “Can we please talk about the things that matter to most voters, instead of repeating the Arizona Democrat Party press releases? Do you have anything to talk about, like the caravan or job opportunities?” And McSally also showed her true colors when, in 2017, she voted for the GOP’s American Health Care Act, which would have repealed the ACA and allowed insurance companies to charge much higher premiums for Americans with pre-existing conditions.


2. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker


In Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker has been running ads insisting that he will protect Americans with pre-existing conditions if reelected. But when Obama was in Milwaukee recently stumping for Walker’s Democratic opponent Tony Evers, he pointed out that Walker has signed on to a GOP lawsuit that seeks to end those protections (Texas v. Azar). Evers has been calling for Walker to drop Wisconsin from the lawsuit—which, of course, he hasn’t done. When Walker insists that he is looking out for cancer patients or diabetics who are worried about keeping their health coverage, he is—as Obama asserted in Milwaukee—flat out lying.


3. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz


In 2018, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz has received a surprisingly strong challenge from Democrat Beto O’Rourke in the Texas Senate race—and health care is one of the issues that O’Rourke has been campaigning on aggressively. Cruz has maintained that protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions is a priority for him, but his record says otherwise. Cruz once helped shut down the federal government over his demand that the ACA be reversed, and he happily voted for the American Health Care Act in 2017.


4. California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher


In 2017, incumbent Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher voted for the American Health Care Act. But in 2018, the California congressman has had the audacity to campaign on protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions—and his Democratic challenger, Harley Rouda, has been calling him out. While Rouda has described the ACA as a “great program,” Rohrabacher has called it “disastrous.” In other words, Rohrabacher is much more interested in playing partisan politics than protecting Americans who have had the misfortune of suffering from cancer, heart disease and other illnesses that insurance companies consider pre-existing conditions.


5. Florida Gov. and U.S. Senate Candidate Rick Scott


Florida’s two-term Republican governor, Rick Scott, is term-limited in the Sunshine State and has been trying to capture Democrat Bill Nelson’s seat in the U.S. Senate. It’s been a tight race, with some polls showing Scott slightly ahead and others showing Nelson slightly ahead—and Scott has been running ads asserting that if he is elected to the U.S. Senate, he will help protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. But Scott’s record shows that he is lying.


Scott has repeatedly called for a full repeal of the ACA, and he is among the 20 GOP governors who has signed on to the Texas v. Azar lawsuit. In contrast, Nelson voted for the ACA in 2010. And Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Andrew Gillum, is a strong opponent of Texas v. Azar.



          Under Assault by Trump's GOP and Supreme Court, Unions Lead Massive Get Out the Vote Effort for Midterms: 'We Vote, We Win'      Cache   Translate Page      
"We don't know any other way. For us, it's a very natural way to survive: organize, organize."

In the face of a coordinated, corporate-funded assault on their very existence by President Donald Trump, Republicans at the federal and state level, and the right-wing Supreme Court, labor unions nationwide have mobilized massive numbers of struggling workersto turn out for Tuesday's critical midterms with the goal of defeating anti-union candidates and electing politicians willing to fight for progressive policies that benefit the working class like Medicare for All, a higher minimum wage, and the fundamental right to organize.

"The Culinary Workers Union registered 10,300 voters for the midterms. This union really gets it done. Still impressed by what I saw reporting on them in Vegas."
—David Jamieson, Huffington Post

"We don't know any other way," said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, the Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas, which has registered over 10,300 new voters ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections to defeat Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.). "For us, it's a very natural way to survive here in Las Vegas: organize, organize."

With the rallying cry, "We vote, we win!" the union has provided resources for workers to learn about the candidates on the ballot, spread the word about the issues at stake in the midterms, and find the closest polling site.

The Culinary Union's get-out-the-vote efforts have been replicated throughout the nation, including in so-called "right-to-work states," where Republican legislatures have barred unions from collecting dues from all workers they represent in collective bargaining efforts to raise wages and improve working conditions.

"Things aren't changing for the better like they thought would happen. Real wages are not keeping pace with inflation. We haven't replaced the well-paying manufacturing jobs that we lost."
—Tim Burga, Ohio AFL-CIO

In Southern states like North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia, the Communications Workers of America (CWA)—which represents 700,000 workers nationwide—say it organized canvassing, mail, and phone bank operations that resulted in over four million door knocks."

In the Midwest, where workers have suffered from decades of deindustrialization, corporate outsourcing, and neglect from politicians who so often claim to care about their plight, the AFL-CIO says it has convinced thousands of union workers who backed Donald Trump in 2016 to turn out for progressive Democrats on Tuesday.

"About half of union households that voted for Trump said they are planning to vote for Democrats in two key statewide races," Vox reported on Monday, citing figures from the Ohio AFL-CIO. "That includes 51.4 percent of Trump voters who plan to cast a ballot for progressive Democrat Richard Cordray for governor and 49.9 percent of Trump voters who favor incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown—the only Democrat currently holding statewide office."

Tim Burga, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, said many union workers who initially backed Trump have realized after two years of plutocratic policies and stagnant wages that the president and his billionaire-filled cabinet are not on their side, and never were.

"Things aren't changing for the better like they thought would happen," Burga said. "Real wages are not keeping pace with inflation. We haven't replaced the well-paying manufacturing jobs that we lost."

With a historic number of House Democratic candidates backing Medicare for All, National Nurses United (NNU)—the largest organization of registered nurses in the U.S.—has also been tirelessly canvassing and phone banking in Maryland, Florida, and the many other states where candidates are standing up to America's disastrous for-profit healthcare industry.

See NNU's full list of all 225 House Democratic candidates running on Medicare for All here.

          'Women Are Just Deserting the Republican Party': CNN Analyst Argues Trump Just Realized He's Gone Too Far      Cache   Translate Page      
Trump is making his final election pitch with women surrogates. Gloria Borger thinks that's not an accident.

On Monday, in one of his final campaign stops before the polls open on Election Day, President Donald Trump brought two White House officials to help him stump for Senate candidate Mike Braun at a rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway.

The presence of two of the Trump administration's most prominent, forward-facing women, and Trump's simultaneous comments to local reporters about his "tone" were not lost on CNN political analyst Gloria Borger, who discussed the rally with Anderson Cooper and hit on a key point: that he may understand the most recent House polls show the Republican Party getting crushed among women, in the largest political gender gap in modern times.

"What do you make of President Trump bringing out Kellyanne Conway, bringing out Sarah Huckabee Sanders?" said Cooper. "Also saying, talking about tone, which is something he talked about a lot during the campaign, saying that when he became president he would change his tone ... maybe this was like a one-off in some local affiliate interview, but it's interesting that he's talking about, oh, it's kind of my regret."

"Gee, do you think it could be about women?" said Borger. "I mean, I'm just sort of thinking here that, he brings out all these women onstage, talks about his daughter, talks about his tone. Could it be about that women favor Democrats by about two to one now, and he understands that this is going to be a problem for him, particularly in the House?"

"And you know that he's usually not really reflective about these kind of things, so I thought it was actually quite surprising that he said that," she continued. "But the fact that he is saying it leads me to believe that he really understands that women are just, you know, deserting the Republican Party in droves."

"It doesn't mean he's going to change his tone," said Cooper.

"No," agreed Borger. "No, but I think he wanted to sound like he was."

Watch below:


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          White House Officials Reportedly Fear a Major Move from Robert Mueller Coming Soon: 'I’m Very Worried About Don Jr.'      Cache   Translate Page      
Once the midterms are done, Mueller may start right back up again.

With the entire political world laser-focused on the 2018 midterm elections, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation has slipped beneath the radar in recent weeks.

But according to a new report in Vanity Fair, the specter of the investigation is still hanging over the White House.

Gabriel Sherman reported that President Donald Trump's team is fearful that a report from Mueller could come as early as Wednesday — the day after the midterms. Though Mueller's investigation has continued apace behind the scenes, the special prosecutor has respected Justice Department protocol by avoiding any major investigative steps that might affect the election.

Once the election is over, there will be nothing holding him back.

"Sources say besides the president, the ones with the most exposure are Roger Stone and Donald Trump Jr.," Sherman wrote. "'I’m very worried about Don Jr.,' said another former West Wing official who testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The possible exposure would be that Mueller would demonstrate that Don Jr. perjured himself to investigators when he said he didn’t tell his father beforehand about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting to gather 'dirt' on Hillary Clinton."

Sherman also notes that Rudy Giuliani has been conspicuously absent from cable news in recent weeks. He reports that one source said Trump told Giuliani to stay away during the run-up to the election — presumably to avoid focusing the nation's attention on the Russia issue.

If Mueller does celebrate the end of the midterm campaigns with a new investigative salvo, there's no telling what could happen. Trump might even try to preempt any such move by firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and perhaps even Mueller himself. What happens thereafter could be determined by Congress — and its fate is in the voters' hands on Tuesday.


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          Maintenance Worker (night shift) - Parliament of Canada, Senate - Ottawa, ON      Cache   Translate Page      
Experience in using the tools and equipment necessary to clean different environment or surfaces (for example, industrial vacuum cleaner, dry mop, …)....
From Parliament of Canada, Senate - Fri, 05 Oct 2018 22:05:04 GMT - View all Ottawa, ON jobs
          American celebs vote in the 2018 U.S. midterms      Cache   Translate Page      

American celebs headed to the polls to vote on who will control the U.S. house and senate.

source 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

ONTD did you vote? And are you going to watch the election results or have you been too scarred by 2016?
          Election Day test for Trump as America votes      Cache   Translate Page      
All 435 seats in the House, 35 seats in the 100-member Senate and 36 governorships are up for grabs as Americans cast their ballots.
          Midterm Scoreboard Reveals Massive Influence of Pro-Israel PACs on Congressional Candidates      Cache   Translate Page      
by Kathryn Shihadah and Alison Weir A detailed scoreboard on candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives shows that 28 pro-Israel PACs and numerous pro-Israel individuals have given candidates millions of dollars in campaign contributions. The scoreboard presents 29 bills and resolutions that were introduced on behalf of Israel. 20 passed into law or on-record statement, many by […]
          Battle For U.S. Senate Seat Has Some Texan Voters Anxious About Results      Cache   Translate Page      
Texans have turned out in record numbers to vote this year. In fact, more people in the state voted early than in the entire 2014 midterms. The biggest race is for a Senate seat.
          What's at stake in the US mid-term elections      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON: Americans head to the polls on Tuesday (Nov 6) for mid-term elections with President Donald Trump's Republican party seeking to retain control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Mid-term elections are often seen as a referendum on the president and there is no shortage of ...
          Tennessee faces defining choice in open US Senate contest      Cache   Translate Page      

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Democrat Phil Bredesen and Republican Marsha Blackburn are asking Tennessee voters to make polar-opposite statements Tuesday when they decide a critical, $85 million-and-counting U.S. Senate race. A win for Bredesen would show Tennesseans prefer the popular former two-term governor’s pledge to be independent in Washington, even though he’s a Democrat in […]
          Democrats aim to win supermajority in Oregon Legislature      Cache   Translate Page      

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Democrats have a chance to win one more seat each in the state Senate and House in Tuesday’s election. If they do that and hang onto existing seats, they’ll reach a three-fifths supermajority in both chambers. That would give them a better shot at increasing corporate taxes in a state where […]
          New Record: Senate Blast at McNamara Calls for Closing Haiphong - source unknown - Newspaper Article - 31 December 1969      Cache   Translate Page      
[ Document - 1071101001; 5 page(s) ] - click title above for full record and link to digitized item.

          New Record: Fax from Senator Dole Hart to Sedgwick Tourison - re: AIM Report: Newsmags Clash Over POWs - 31 December 1969      Cache   Translate Page      
[ Document - 2862212006; 006 page(s) ] - click title above for full record and link to digitized item.

          Comment on With a Clothespin Affixed to My Nose… by fred      Cache   Translate Page      
At the poll guy in front of me asks.."If I leave one blank,will it mess up my ballot?" gal just smiles and says no.We all knew what he meant too.For Senator it was Fienstien or another from her party.Wife and i left that one blank too! :) I thought of you Nunzio as I left lots of blanks,and voted NO on all the judges. And that if you dont vote,you cant complain is hogwsh IMO.If you find voting any of them repugnant thats valid in my book.
          A Reporter Thought She Had Hung up the Phone After Requesting an Interview With GOP Candidate John James. What She Said Next Will Put Your Jaw on the Floor      Cache   Translate Page      
A reporter for a Michigan newspaper called Michigan Senate Republican candidate John James’s campaign looking for an interview.
          Senate Judiciary: Here’s Everyone We Interviewed About Ford’s Allegations and What They Said      Cache   Translate Page      
The Senate Judiciary Committee released a 28-page summary of its investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, along with 386 pages of exhibits.
          (Don’t) panic      Cache   Translate Page      
11.05.18 10:01 PM Welp, we made it, kids. Despite an electoral run-up which resembled a 20-car pileup on the interstate, today ought to be fun to watch, in much the same way a 20 car pileup on the interstate is “fun to watch.” Today marks the latest iteration of the Most Important Election of Our Lifetimes. Granted, the same analysts who insist that today is the proverbial precipice over which the entire nation will fall if loses to also said that two years ago, and they’ll say it again two years from now. Instead of sending you off to the ballot booth with some push piece which is really nothing but rehashed poll numbers and terrifying warnings of the imminent Apocalypse if the wrong candidates win, I’m going to remind you that America will survive today; just as she survived Hillary Clinton’s attempted heist of the Oval Office in 2016. Even if Hollywood manages to buy a Senate seat for that pseudo-Latino buffoon running against Ted Cruz in Texas; even if Oprah and...
          7 of the Most Epic Midterm Elections in American History      Cache   Translate Page      
On 11.05.18 01:40 PM posted by Fred Lucas President Donald Trump isn’t on the ballot, but will face the biggest electoral test of his presidency so far during Tuesday’s midterm election—one that may well end in repudiation or vindication. History is not on any president’s side in a midterm election. Since 1862, the president’s party on average loses 32 House seats ( and more than two Senate seats in a midterm. And in the 47 midterms ( since 1826, the president’s party lost seats in 41 of them. Several scenarios could play out.
          New Jersey Flirts With Requiring Dog Groomers to Obtain a License      Cache   Translate Page      
On 11.05.18 01:45 PM posted by Amanda Botts New Jersey lawmakers are moving to license pet groomers after several New Jerseyans’ canine companions sadly died, allegedly due to grooming at well-known pet stores. The legislation cleared a key hurdle last week when the New Jersey General Assembly approved ( Assembly Bill 3044 (, named “Bijou’s Law” after a Shih Tzu who died during a grooming. The bill now moves to the Senate for further deliberation. As Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel once said (, “You never want a serious crisis to go waste.” A crisis creates an “opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” We love dogs, but it takes Emanuel’s unique sense of opportunism to see the sad death of a dog as justification for a state “Board of Pet Groomers.”
          Some State Officials Want to Adopt Bernie-Style Health Care. Here’s What It Would Cos      Cache   Translate Page      
On 11.04.18 01:41 PM posted by Nina Owcharenko Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has not let up in his push for single-payer health care—and some state legislators are matching his proposal. Earlier this year, Sanders introduced a big and comprehensive “Medicare for All” proposal that would create a government-controlled health care system at the national level. The plan has gained momentum among Senate Democrats, but has also slammed into a fiscal reality check. Three independent estimates from a diverse range of health care economists and policy analysts have highlighted the enormous additional cost of Sanders’ proposal. The liberal Urban Institute estimated that the 10-year costs would amount to a stunning $32 trillion (, while the conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University put the cost at $32.6 trillion...
          Comment on Go Vote! by Bryan      Cache   Translate Page      
There used to be decent people with R's after their name, like the late Jacob Javits who was a Senator from New York and who opened the Senate intern program to women. Alas, people like that are eliminated in the primaries these days. I badger tenants about registering and voting. I don't ask which party they support, I just want politicians who are backed by a majority of the people they represent, unlike Trump. Well, Anya, you have a bigger effect on Presidential candidates than I have down here, but I vote anyway.
          Il senatore piemontese del Pd urla alla collega grillina: "Tornatene in cucina". Ed è polemica      Cache   Translate Page      

Il dem Mauro Laus nel mirino dei 5 Stelle: "Vergognoso sessismo". Lui si difende: "Sono stato frainteso, in ogni caso mi scuso"

          Election Eve Wrangle      Cache   Translate Page      
Whatever happened to 'vote your hopes and dreams'?

There will be a blue wave, unless there isn't.  The red firewall will break the azure tsunami, unless Trump's hate spew has punched suburban holes in it.  The US House flips (but maybe not), and the Senate stays in Mitch McConnell's terrapin-like appendages, except maybe for a systematic polling error, a la 2016.

No wonder Team Donkey is experiencing some cognitive dissonance.

Who, or what, gets the blame if the Ds can't get it done tomorrow?  Voter suppression, from Georgia to North Dakota to Texas college campuses like Prairie View A&M and Texas State?  Voting machines flipping straight-ticket votes (to Ted Cruz?)  There will still be plenty of finger-pointing at Russian hackers and Green candidates, I feel certain.  Even if some dropped out of their race and endorsed the Democrat.

[The old Catch-22: "Greens should run in state and local races and build up to presidential races" instead of playing spoiler (sic) every four years.  "Greens should drop out and endorse Democrats because this is the most important election of our lifetime".  You know, since the one two years ago.  That was their fault Democrats lost.  Blah blah.]

There may be some less nefarious, more legitimate reasons the election will be won -- or lost; for example, the strength of women voters.  Notable for the demographers, moderate Republican women who live in suburban America turning out to cast their ballots against Trump and the GOP.  No, wait; it's the youth vote.  That's it *snaps fingers*, the children are our future.  Either is better than blaming the Latinxs, after all.  We're all tired of hearing that.

Hold on a minute: this is a midterm election, and Texas Democrats who haven't elected one of theirs since, you know, Jim Hightower was Ag Commissioner always lose because they can't raise any money for consultants, advisers, pollsters, etc.  Except they did, a shitpot full of dough, in 2018 -- at least those running for Congress; not so much the statewides save Congressman SuperBeto, whose massive Bernie-like ATM machine reversed both the prevailing Texas narrative and the cash flow, doubling the take of Senator Serpent Covered in Vaseline.

The Cult of RFO'R aims for the upset tomorrow evening.  Rumor has it happening.

So as President Shitler is fond of saying: we'll see what happens.  I'm ready it to be over; how about you?  Here's your roundup of lefty blog posts and news from the final week before E-Day.


One unplumbed premise that the midterms might reveal is whether the strength of the Lone Star grassroots has shifted from one major party to the other, either because of 'outsiders' becoming 'insiders' or because there needs to be a "bad guy" to focus on and motivate the base.

Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, says Democrats nationally — and in some parts of Texas — have unleashed the kind of intensity we used to see from the tea party.

“So the question of whether there is still that ability to motivate Republican voters on the other side is the big question going into this cycle,” Henson said.

Henson believes one reason the tea party’s galvanizing force has slipped in local and congressional races is that conservatives no longer have Barack Obama to target. And Donald Trump has taken over the role of chief agitator of conservatives.

Tea party-backed candidates have also been elected. In Texas, the movement has been changed by that success.

“I think once you have people who are part of institutions, it inevitably looks different, because you aren’t banging from the outside,” Henson said. “Like it or not, you are part of the status quo, and you are part of the establishment.”

Perhaps the only competitive statewide contest down the ballot shows signs of GOP panic, as indicted felon/AG Ken Paxton digs in to the deepest pockets of the friends he has left.

In addition to the TV ads, Paxton’s recent campaign finance filings have indicated that Republicans in high places are tuned in to the race in its home stretch. In recent days, the attorney general has received a $282,000 in-kind donation from Gov. Greg Abbott’s campaign; more than $350,000 in in-kind contributions from Texas for Lawsuit Reform, the political arm of the tort reform group; and $10,000 each from two of the biggest donors in the Republican Party: Sheldon and Miriam Adelson.

Millard Fillmore's Bathtub linked to a picture of Sweaty Beto, which may have been the Halloween costume of the year.

Stirred by Trump's call, armed militia groups head south to welcome the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free intercept the invading (sic) migrant caravan.

Asked whether his group planned to deploy with weapons, McGauley laughed. “This is Texas, man,” he said.

Off the Kuff examined a pair of statewide judicial races.

In Harris County, the Texas Observer foresees a day of reckoning for Republican judges who have held fast to the money bail system, rewarding their friends and penalizing the poor.

Isiah Carey of Fox26 was first with the news that Houston mayor Sylvester Turner's first announced challenger next year will be former Democrat*, now (?) not-Trump Republican, non-DWI-convict and megawealthy trial lawyer -- Rick Perry's defense attorney, for those catching up -- Tony Buzbee.  *Lookie here, from Texpatriate:

(D)espite being the one-time Chairman of the Galveston County Democratic Party, a two-time Democrat nominee for the State Legislature and the once rumored Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor. However, of late, Buzbee has been appointed to the Board of Regents of his alma matter, Texas A&M University, and become a key financial supporter of both Perry and (Gov. Greg) Abbott.

Durrel Douglas at Houston Justice blogged the 2019 Houston City Council District B early line.  And in an excellent explainer, described how the local activist/consultant game -- getting paid to do politics, that is -- is a lot like having the app on your phone for the jukebox down at the local bar.

Socratic Gadfly, returning from a recent vacation, took a look at a major nature and environment issue that fired up up opposition to Trump — the Bears Ears downsizing — and offered his thoughts on the value of the original national monument site versus critics of several angles, and things that could make it even better.

Therese Odell at Foolish Watcher also leavens the politics with some Game of Thrones news.

And Harry Hamid's midnight tale from last week moves ahead to 1 a.m. (with no accounting for Daylight Savings Time and 'falling back' noted).

          As 3% Conference readies to tap into women’s anger, its founder works to extend its reach      Cache   Translate Page      

The power of women’s anger will be a central theme when the 3% Conference 2018 kicks off on 8 November. Behind the scenes, its team has been working to open up the program far beyond its US location.

Kat Gordon, founder of creative diversity organization The 3% Movement, is unsure what the mood will be like among delegates when the seventh annual 3% Conference begins tomorrow. The polls for the US midterm elections had just opened when she spoke to The Drum and the outcome of the vote — an unofficial referendum of the Trump presidency — is far from clear.

Gordon believes a Democratic comeback in the House and the Senate may spark optimism in women and minorities who hope the notion of inclusion will be placed back on the political roadmap. Conversely, she imagines a Republican win will further ignite the anger that has been crackling among these groups throughout the year.

“I have no idea what the temperature in the venue is going to be around this,” she said. “The 3% Movement is all about building bridges and the [current] administration is all about building walls.”

Still, anger — whether it be at the system, at industry injustices, or at specific agency HR practices — has a place at the marketing conference, which is making its Chicago debut. Gordon reports that in the first full year since the #MeToo movement emboldened generations of women to report cases of sexual harassment and abuse, emotions of rage and frustration have bubbled to the surface of the female workforce.

This year’s conference will address how to put these feelings to good use.

“We criminalize anger as an emotion for women to feel and bring into the workplace,” she explained. “But, actually, being in touch with your frustration and anger is a form of self-expression and self-care and if we want creative environments where people are ... in touch with all of their feelings, we have to sanction anger for women.

“It doesn’t mean women should be going around breaking walls, but we should allow them to feel frustrated, to state their frustration, and to be heard. That is the central theme of the conference this year.”

3 per cent conference
Cindy Gallop is a popular keynote at the event

The schedule will also mirror the movement’s efforts to help people look beyond gender when exploring diversity: other panels will discuss disability and neurodiversity, for instance, while new research from 3% and VMLY&R on the topic of parenthood in advertising will be published and discussed.

And Gordon’s ongoing crusade to get more men attending appears to finally be paying dividends. Women still dominate the speaker list, but the founder is confident that more men than ever will be listening, thanks in part to the vocal support of big network agencies.

Publicis, the holding company that famously did not attend Cannes Lions this year, has promised to send 250 people to Navy Pier in Chicago. And, three years since 3% keynote speaker Cindy Gallop publicly called out Leo Burnett for hiring an all-white, male leadership team, the agency has committed to sending 75 delegates — including its entire leadership team — and livestreaming the program to all of its employees around the world.

For Gordon, getting the messages out beyond the conference hall floor has been a priority this year. The solution is ‘Conference in a Box’ — online access to films of conference sessions, deep dives into key themes, blogs, and discussion guides.

“This way, when the event wraps, agencies can host gatherings of leaders and employees to have these discussions from within their own walls,” Gordon explained.

This ‘mobile conference’ will be made freely available to advertising schools across the globe as part of 3%’s mission to “educate the educators.”

“We were hearing that a lot of ad programs are being taught by people who have been out of the industry for a while, so they're not as aware that the move for inclusive cultures is taking root,” said Gordon. “We feel a big part of our brand and responsibility is ... to make sure [program leaders] are aware of best-in-class thinking around creative cultures and use these materials in their classroom.”

Further ahead — and further abroad — Gordon believes the 3% Conference’s expansion will come via well-established conferences in markets outside the US. Rather than organizing standalone events across the globe, she envisages “plugging” the program into existing events to reach the widest range of marketing professionals at a lower cost.

“We are open to so many possibilities,” she said. “We just need partners to open doors for us.”

          New Evidence Shows Texas Senate Race Is Vulnerable to Manipulation      Cache   Translate Page      
Will the critical contest between Beto O'Rourke and Ted Cruz be counted correctly?

The post New Evidence Shows Texas Senate Race Is Vulnerable to Manipulation appeared first on Truthout.

          The Mid Terms      Cache   Translate Page      
So, the polls suggest the Democrats stand a good chance of winning the House and a small chance of winning the Senate. Let us hope they win at least one of the two, since divided government, in the face of Trump, will be a good thing. Trump’s been doing a lot of mean, stupid things, […]
          Polls Begin Closing As Americans Vote In U.S. Midterm Elections      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON – Polls have started closing in parts of the United States, as Americans cast ballots in one of the most bitterly fought midterm elections in years, a vote that will decide the controls of Congress for the next two years. The November 6 vote for all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the Senate’s 100 seats will also heavily influence the next two years of Donald Trump’s presidency. There were scattered reports of problems in some places around the country,...
          U.S. Voters Line Up To Cast Ballots      Cache   Translate Page      
Amid scattered reports of difficulties with polling machines and other glitches, Americans have voted in a bitterly fought midterm election that will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for at least the next two years. Despite heavy rain, voters showed up in large numbers at a polling station in Arlington, Virginia on November 6
          Is Richard Pitino likely to be the first coach fired this season?      Cache   Translate Page      
Welcome to the Tuesday edition of The Cooler, where we always keep the hot side hot and the cold side cold. Let’s get to it: *In advance of the first big night of men’s college basketball action — including the Gophers’ opener against Omaha at Williams Arena — comes a reminder from an online betting web site of just what might be at stake for head coach Richard Pitino this year. Per, the site BetDSI has labeled Pitino as the most likely candidate to be fired first among coaches this season. The odds are still 2.5 to 1 of him being the first to go — barely ahead of Maryland’s Mark Turgeon at 3 to 1 and certainly more likely to not happen than to happen — but it’s still instructive. At the very least, it underscores the perceived expectations for the Gophers this year, who finished a disappointing 15-17 last season after reaching the NCAA tourney two years ago. Last season was a mess filled with injuries — chronicled nicely here by Marcus Fuller — but the Gophers have the talent to make the NCAA field this year. If it doesn’t happen for Pitino, who has a 90-78 record which includes a disappointing 31-59 Big Ten mark in five seasons, he is certainly a candidate to be replaced by the athletic director who inherited him, Mark Coyle. *In a video that raises all sorts of interesting questions, several Ottawa Senators players were recorded during a recent Uber ride on a road trip in Phoenix bad-mouthing their coaches. The video was posted on YouTube and Twitter, though it has been subsequently taken down. The Ottawa Citizen has details, and the strongest comments come from Senators forward Matt Duchene. He can be heard ripping the coaching skills of assistant Marty Raymond. “Here’s the other thing, too. We don’t change anything, ever. So why do we even have a meeting? I haven’t paid attention in three weeks.” The players involved issued an apology Monday night. The bigger fallout could come from the perception of Uber, where passengers should have a reasonable expectation of privacy. *After the Cowboys lost 28-14 to the Texans on Monday Night, Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman went on the radio Tuesday and blasted the organization’s current state. “I talk to people who have been inside the building and have a pretty good understanding of how things are run, and in a lot of ways there’s a lot of dysfunction,” he said, per the Dallas News transcription. “And that has to change if this team is going to be able to compete on a consistent basis like the teams you look to around the league that seemingly are in the hunt each and every year.” Dallas recently traded a first round pick for Amari Cooper, who had a TD grab Monday, in a desperate attempt to jump-start their season. The Vikings did that in 2010 with Randy Moss, and you’ll recall it didn’t work out so well.
          Amy Klobuchar and Jim Newberger, Tina Smith and Karin Housley vie for U.S. Senate seats      Cache   Translate Page      
The two U.S. Senate races on Tuesday’s ballot are vital to Republican efforts to retain control and protect President Donald Trump’s agenda.
          The Senate Page Program - Parliament of Canada, Senate - Ottawa, ON      Cache   Translate Page      
Pages are hired for a one-year contract that can be renewed for a second year, and even a third if they are selected as Chief Page or Deputy Chief Page....
From Parliament of Canada, Senate - Mon, 15 Oct 2018 16:08:43 GMT - View all Ottawa, ON jobs
          Ab heute sind die USA noch tiefer gespalten      Cache   Translate Page      
Ein Kommentar von oe24-Chefredakteur Niki Fellner.
Wenn wir heute in der Früh aufwachen, werden die USA noch tiefer gespalten sein, als es ohnehin schon davor der Fall war (auf oe24.TV sehen Sie ab 5 Uhr früh eine große Sondersendung mit allen Ergebnissen). Wobei es so viele Wahlentscheidungen gibt (Senat, Repräsentantenhaus, Gouverneurswahlen), dass genug Interpretationsspielraum bleibt, damit sich diesmal beide Seiten als Sieger feiern können.
          Midterm elections: First polls close as voters cite Trump and health care as key issues - Washington Post      Cache   Translate Page      

Washington Post

Midterm elections: First polls close as voters cite Trump and health care as key issues
Washington Post
Polls have now closed in parts of Indiana and Kentucky — the beginning of the end for Tuesday's momentous midterm elections. The results of Tuesday's election, only now beginning to trickle in, could bring significant changes to Washington after two ...
What Time the Polls Close, State by StateNew York Times
Election Day: Blue wave? Red wave? Turnout? Finally, voters have their sayUSA TODAY
2018 Election: Live Coverage And ResultsFiveThirtyEight (blog)
CNN -Wall Street Journal -CBS News
all 6,880 news articles »

          A reporter unwittingly left a voice mail for a GOP candidate. She was fired for what she said. - Washington Post      Cache   Translate Page      

Washington Post

A reporter unwittingly left a voice mail for a GOP candidate. She was fired for what she said.
Washington Post
The Monday afternoon call was innocuous at first. Brenda Battel, a staff writer for the Huron Daily Tribune in rural Michigan, was seeking a chance to speak with Republican Senate candidate John James on Wednesday after the election. Battel left a ...
Fired anti-GOP Michigan reporter apologizes for 'mistake' in leaving 'f--king John James' voicemailWashington Examiner
Tribune fires staff writerHuron Daily Tribune
EXCLUSIVE: Michigan Reporter Caught On Tape Saying 'F**k Could You Imagine John James Winning'The Daily Caller
Huron Daily Tribune
all 44 news articles »

          Private Memoir of Thomas Worthington, Esq. of Adena, Ross County, Ohio, Senator, Governor, etc., etc., by His Daughter (Peter)      Cache   Translate Page      
Private Memoir of Thomas Worthington, Esq. of Adena, Ross County, Ohio, Senator, Governor, etc., etc., by His Daughter (Cincinnati: Press of Robert Clarke and Co., 1882), by Sarah Worthington King Peter (PDF at State Library of Ohio)
          SKANDALEN: Här toksågar NHL-spelarna egna tränaren – i läckt video      Cache   Translate Page      

Det ser riktigt kämpigt ut för Ottawa Senators just nu. Laget har bara mäktat med att ta 13 poäng på NHL:s inledande 14 omgångar, och ligger med det sexa i sin division – men som ...

The post SKANDALEN: Här toksågar NHL-spelarna egna tränaren – i läckt video appeared first on Sportbibeln.

          Dems Hold 7-Point Lead in Polls for Governor, Senator in Florida      Cache   Translate Page      
T. Belman. How can this be in a state that voted for Trump and currently attend his rallys in historic numbers. And then there is all the good he has done for their economy. It doesn’t make sense. By John Gizzi, NEWSMAX Andrew Gillum (AP) In Quinnipiac Polls released just 48 hours before the election, Democratic nominees for governor and U.S. Senator from Florida both held seven-point leads over their Republicans opponents. In the race for the governorship, Democrat and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum led Republican former Rep. Ron DeSantis by 50 to 43 percent among likely voters.  The margin Read More
          Ottawa Senators players caught on camera mocking coaches, team during Uber ride      Cache   Translate Page      
'I haven't paid attention in three weeks' - Source:
          US-Midterms im Liveblog: Die ersten Wahllokale in Amerika schließen      Cache   Translate Page      
Voters wait to cast their midterm elections ballots at Burton Barr Library, a polling station in Phoenix, Arizona

Die Auszählungen der Zwischenwahlen beginnen. Wer übernimmt die Mehrheit im Senat? Wer im Repräsentantenhaus? Wird Donald Trump abgestraft? Verfolgen Sie die Wahlnacht im SZ-Liveblog.

          California state Senate candidate’s headquarters broken into on Election Day      Cache   Translate Page      
A California state Senate candidate's office was broken into and burglarized during the early hours of Election Day.Anna Caballero's campaign posted a video on Twitter showing the damage done to the Democrat's campaign headquarters in Merced.The...
          Michigan paper fires reporter for bias against GOP Senate candidate John James      Cache   Translate Page      
A Michigan paper fired one of its reporters Monday after members of newsroom management heard a disparaging voicemail left by the staffer to GOP Senate candidate John James.The Huron Daily Tribune reported Monday evening that Brenda Battel, who...
          Election Countdown: Election Day edition | Hour-by-hour viewer's guide | What to watch as results come in | Pundits' predictions | Election to deliver verdict on Trump | GOP braces for possibility of losing House | Dems see slim hopes for taking Senate      Cache   Translate Page      
This is Election Countdown, The Hill's newsletter from Lisa Hagen (@LA_Hagen) and Max Greenwood (@KMaxGreenwood) that brings you the biggest stories on the campaign trail. We'd love to hear from you, so feel free to reach out to Lisa at LHagen@...
          LIVE Alegeri in SUA, primele rezultate: Republicanii conduc in statul Indiana, sansele democratilor de a lua Senatul scad!      Cache   Translate Page      
Americanii sunt chemati la urne in alegerile legislative partiale si regionale, in primul scrutin organizat dupa venirea lui Donald Trump la Casa Alba.
          Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont re-elected to Senate      Cache   Translate Page      

WASHINGTON (AP) — Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont re-elected to Senate.
          Election Day 2018      Cache   Translate Page      

As we receive numbers from the Brazos County elections office, they will be posted here. Election night interviews will also be posted here after they are aired on 1620 and U.S. SENATE (BRAZOS COUNTY ONLY) Ted Cruz Beto O’Rourke Neal Dikeman CONGRESS DISTRICT 17 (BRAZOS COUNTY ONLY) Bill Flores Rick Kennedy Peter Churchman TEXAS […]

The post Election Day 2018 appeared first on WTAW.

          Election 2018: Midterm Results by State from ABC News, FiveThirtyEight      Cache   Translate Page      
Election 2018 results for the November 6 midterms, listed by state for House and Senate races, from ABC News and FiveThirtyEight.
          Beyonce Officially Endorses Beto O’Rourke For Texas’ Senate Seat With An Explanatory Instagram Post      Cache   Translate Page      
Beyonce makes a political statement.
          First Polls Close In 2018 Midterm Elections      Cache   Translate Page      
The first polls are closing in the 2018 midterm elections, with several key House and Senate races on the line in Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia and South Carolina.
          Stocks end higher as investors turn attention to midterms      Cache   Translate Page      

U.S. stocks finished higher on Tuesday ahead of midterm election results. The S&P 500 ended higher by 0.6% at around 2,755, according to preliminary numbers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up around 175 points, or 0.7%, to 25,637. The Nasdaq Composite was up by more than 0.6% at around 7,376. Investors are closely watching the midterm results, with most anticipating a split Congress with Democrats taking control of the House, and Republicans retaining a Senate majority. That could set up investors for a legislative impasse in Washington, usually seen as a positive by Wall Street.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit for more information on this news.

          Here's a map showing where the Senate and House will likely be won and lost      Cache   Translate Page      
The midterm election results that will come in after 8 p.m. ET will make or break Democrats' chances of taking control of Congress.
          Wszystko wskazuje, że w wyniku dzisiejszych wyborów demokraci przejmą Izbę Reprezentantów      Cache   Translate Page      
Kongresmani dostają mandat na 2 lata, senatorzy na 6 w systemie rotacyjnym, a jedna z podstawowych zasad skomplikowanej gry, którą jest amerykańska polityka, mówi, że tzw. wybory środka kadencji to referendum popularności prezydenta. Aby partii rządzącej nie ubyło foteli na Kapitolu, jej szef powinien mieć wskaźniki poparcia rzędu 65 proc. jak Clinton w roku 1996 czy Bush w 2002. Trumpowi brakuje do tego pułapu 20 proc., a negatywną opinię na temat lokatora Białego Domu ma grubo ponad połowa obywateli.
          Ted Cruz is still using a blacklisted Cambridge Analytica app developer      Cache   Translate Page      

In his re-election campaign’s final hours, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is still deploying a smartphone app created by a software team at the heart of the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

The app, Cruz Crew, was developed by AggregateIQ, a small Canadian data firm that was for years the lead developer used by the infamous data analytics consultancy that made headlines last spring for harvesting user data on millions of unsuspecting Facebook users while working for the Trump campaign. Since that firm’s demise, AggregateIQ has become one focus of an international investigation into alleged data misdeeds during the 2016 Brexit campaign, and is the first company to be targeted by regulators under Europe’s new data privacy law.

The Cruz Crew app’s login screen. The app’s Facebook login was finally removed in June. [Image: Google Play]
Both Cruz Crew as well as an app for Cruz’s presidential campaign in 2016 share an interconnected history of developers and clients linked to Cambridge Analytica, its British affiliate SCL Elections, and architects of the Republican Party’s recent digital efforts. Part of a group of apps presented as walled-garden social networks for political supporters, the software helps campaigns collect voter data and microtarget messages.

In April, Facebook announced it had suspended AggregateIQ over its possible improper access to the data of millions of Facebook users. But over a dozen apps made by AggregateIQ remained connected to Facebook’s platform until May and June, when Facebook belatedly took action against them.

A Facebook spokesperson told Fast Company that it was still investigating AIQ’s possible misuse of data, amid an ongoing investigation by Canadian prosecutors. The Cruz campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

David Carroll, a professor at Parsons School of Design at the New School in New York, who has brought a legal challenge against SCL and Cambridge Analytica for release of his voter data profile, said Cruz’s continued relationships with AggregateIQ highlighted problems with the use of data by a growing ecosystem of partisan election apps and databases. The risks are particularly high, he said, when the vendors are combining data from multiple sources and processing Americans’ data overseas.

“Despite the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, it seems that the Republican data machine is still a shadowy network that includes international operators, tangled up with vendors under intense scrutiny for unlawful conduct in multiple jurisdictions,” he said. “I don’t understand why Republicans don’t insist on working with domestic tech vendors and technologists who are U.S. citizens.”

The Cruz-Cambridge Analytica connection

During the 2016 race, a U.S.-based software firm named Political Social Media, but better known as uCampaign, was credited as developer and publisher for the official “Ted Cruz 2016” presidential primary app. At the time, the app achieved modest notoriety as a somewhat novel data collection tool– appearing alongside Cambridge Analytica under headlines like, “Cruz App Data Collection Helps Campaign Read Minds of Voters”–with the app colloquially referred to in the press as “Cruz Crew.”

As in 2016, the 2018 Cruz re-election campaign relies on constant polling and voter modeling to understand and target mainstream conservatives in Texas. Cruz and his Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, who has repeatedly brought up Cambridge Analytica during the campaign and has refused to use big data analytics, have both heavily invested in social media. The media blitz hasn’t been cheap: According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the candidates in the 2018 Texas Senate race have set the all-time record for most money spent in any U.S. Senate election.

As part of its digital push, the Cruz campaign rolled out a new app, officially named “Cruz Crew,” which awards points to users for tweeting pro-Cruz messages, volunteering, and taking part in other campaign activities. On the app’s pages in the Google and Apple stores, AggregateIQ is not mentioned, but its name is visible as the developer in the app URL and in internal code. The app’s publisher is listed as the political marketing agency WPA Intelligence, or WPAi.

Chris Wilson, WPAi’s founder and chief executive, is a veteran GOP pollster who previously worked for George W. Bush and Karl Rove. WPAi’s past campaign successes include a trio of high profile Tea Party-cum-Freedom Caucus sympathizer senators: Cruz, Mike Lee (R-UT), and Ron Johnson (R-WI). By far, however, Cruz has been WPA’s biggest political client in the U.S. Between his bids for senator and president, Cruz campaign committees have paid out over $4.3 million to Chris Wilson’s firm since 2011.

As the director of research, analytics and digital strategy for Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign, Wilson oversaw a large data team that included Rebekah Mercer and Steve Bannon’s Cambridge Analytica. Rebekah’s father, Robert Mercer, footed the $5.8 million bill for Cambridge Analytica by doubling that amount in donations.

Wilson and the Cruz team have repeatedly said that Cambridge Analytica represented to the campaign that all of the data it had was legally obtained. They also claimed that Cambridge did not deliver the results expected of them, neither through their much-discussed psychographics work nor through an important piece of software called Ripon.

In schematics, Ripon was drawn up as an all-in-one campaign solution to manage voter data collection, ad targeting, and street canvassing. According to files retrieved by computer security analyst Chris Vickery, Ripon was intended to tap into something called “the Database of Truth.” Documents revealed that the Truth project “integrates, obtains, and normalizes data from disparate sources,” beginning with the Republican National Committee’s Data Trust database, combined “with state voter files, consumer data, third-party data providers, historical WPA survey, and projects and customer data.”

Despite being a deliverable promised by Cambridge Analytica, the work on Ripon was outsourced to AggregateIQ. More recently, WPAi hired the firm to develop and manage the software for Cruz Crew, along with its two other currently available apps: one for Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s re-election campaign, and one for Osnova, a Ukrainian political party dedicated to the long-shot presidential aspirations of its oligarch founder, Serhiy Taruta.

In the 2018 race, WPAi and the Cruz campaign have said Cruz’s effort isn’t using new Cambridge Analytica-style “psychographic” modeling, but it is using social media data for specific targeting, and relying on previous campaign data. “We use social data to ID voter groups in our core universes,” WPA’s Chris Wilson previously told Fast Company. “A lot of those are 2016 voters who we know are persuaded by specific messages.”

Cruz Crew and currently share a privacy policy has barely changed since late 2015, when Cambridge Analytica and uCampaign were Cruz vendors. In both cases, the policy states that the campaign may “access, collect, and store personal information about other people that is available to us through your contact list,” match the info to data from other sources, and “keep track of your device’s geographic location.”

Related: How Ted Cruz plans to beat Beto O’Rourke: Play it simple

Beyond the existing campaign app, however, AIQ’s current involvement in the Cruz campaign’s data management and software development is unknown. A report by the New York Times last month found that when users shared their friends’ contact information with the Cruz app, that data was still being sent to AggregateIQ domains.

Wilson told the Times that his company, not AggregateIQ, received and controlled app users’ information. Representatives for AggregateIQ did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and WPAi did not respond to questions about the data firm.

Intelligence quotient

AIQ, founded in 2013 in Victoria, British Columbia, is currently under investigation in the U.K. and its homebase of Canada for electoral impropriety during the Brexit Leave campaign. The company’s name has come up repeatedly in parliamentary testimony for its alleged campaign finance and data protection misdeeds in connection with the parent company of Cambridge Analytica.

“Concerns have been raised about the closeness of the two organizations including suggestions that AIQ, [SCL Elections, and Cambridge Analytica] were, in effect, one and the same entity,” stated a recent report by the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office.

In testimony to a U.K. parliamentary committee, former Cambridge Analytica executive Brittany Kaiser said that AggregateIQ was the exclusive digital and data engineering partner of SCL, the British parent affiliate of Analytica.

“They would build our software, such as a platform that we designed for Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign,” she said. “That was meant to collect data for canvassing individuals who would go door-to-door collecting and hygiening data of individuals in those households. We also had no internal digital capacity at the time, so we did not actually undertake any of our digital campaigns. That was done exclusively through AggregateIQ.”

AIQ founders Zack Massingham and Jeff Silvester had been brought into the fold a year prior by their friend Christopher Wylie, then an SCL employee, who blew the whistle on the firm’s practices earlier this year. According to Wylie, the founders registered their company in their hometown of Victoria as a result of an SCL contract, which subsequently led to political work in the Caribbean.

After the two firms first made contact in August 2013, while SCL was performing its first American political work in the Virginia gubernatorial race, AIQ designed solutions for deployment in campaigns under SCL’s supervision in Trinidad and Tobago. Part of the intent, according to records obtained by the Globe and Mail, was to harvest the internet histories of up to 1.3 million civilians in order to more accurately model their psychographics for message targeting.

In December 2013, an SCL employee proposed requesting the data from the country’s internet provider by posing as academic researchers, while seeking to tie internet addresses to billing addresses, without naming customers. In response, AIQ CEO Massingham replied by email that he could use every bit of data they could get. “If the billing addresses are obfuscated, we’ll have a difficult time relating things back to a real person or household,” he wrote. It remains unknown if that data was obtained.

Related: How Cambridge Analytica fueled a shady global passport bonanza

The primary work AIQ performed was to design software that could be used to motivate volunteers, canvassers, and voters. This software concept was repeated for multiple clients, including Petronas, an oil company that sought to influence voters in Malaysia.

Campaign software developed by AIQ was used by Cambridge Analytica in U.S. elections and for clients like the oil giant Petronas. [Image: SCL]

AggregateIQ’s work across the pond

During the U.K.’s Brexit campaign in 2016, Vote Leave hired AIQ to place online ads, with AIQ paying for all 1,034 Facebook ads run by the campaign. AIQ’s services were also retained to develop and administer a piece of software that Vote Leave executives, including chief technology officer and former SCL employee Thomas Borwick, later credited with a large portion of the campaign’s success.

Vote Leave campaign director Dominic Cummings wrote an extensive blog post about the project, called the Voter Intention Collection System (VICS).

“One of our central ideas was that the campaign had to do things in the field of data that have never been done before,” Cummings wrote. “This included a) integrating data from social media, online advertising, websites, apps, canvassing, direct mail, polls, online fundraising, activist feedback . . . and b) having experts in physics and machine learning do proper data science in the way only they can, i.e. far beyond the normal skills applied in political campaigns.”

As the voter-facing front end for the Leave campaign data team, uCampaign was brought in and paid by AIQ to deliver the smartphone apps that helped to gather users’ cell numbers, email addresses, phone book contacts, and Facebook IDs for integration, exactly as it had done during the previous months for the Cruz 2016 campaign. Just as in that case, the app collected voter information for use in AIQ tools.

“We could only do this properly if we had proper canvassing software,” Cummings wrote. “We built it partly in-house and partly using an external engineer who we sat in our office for months.”

AIQ’s Zach Massingham repeatedly flew to the U.K. as his company was paid hundred of thousands of pounds for its Vote Leave work in 2016 after a series of transactions between several campaigns that Canadian officials have questioned as “money laundering” and British authorities are investigating as criminal offenses. Nonetheless, after the referendum, Cummings released an open-source version of VICS code on Github for future micro-targeters to use.

In early 2018, one of Vote Leave and SCL vet Thomas Borwick’s handful of data firms, Kanto, was hired to do canvassing and social media work during the Irish abortion referendum. Anti-abortion activist groups also contracted uCampaign to build two separate apps, which alarmed campaign finance and privacy watchdogs and led to a ban on internet advertising.

As with uCampaign, which has also made apps for the likes of Donald Trump and the NRA, AIQ’s smartphone apps were designed to gather information via Facebook Login, a tool offered by Facebook to streamline user registration across the internet. Though Facebook tightened some restrictions this year as a direct response to the Analytica flare-up, Login has allowed third-party developers to gain access to a wide range of Facebook account information about registered users.

As part of its investigation into Cambridge Analytica and its affiliates, on April 7, Facebook said that it had suspended AIQ, effectively ending its ability to deploy Facebook Login. However, security researcher Chris Vickery discovered that AIQ’s access to the Facebook platform was still active as of May 17. Additionally, he found, AIQ had already collected info on nearly 800,000 Facebook account IDs in a database, with many matched to addresses and phone numbers. Facebook removed more AIQ apps two weeks later, but it was not until June 19 that the Facebook Login feature was removed from the apps for Cruz, Osnova, and Abbott.

In written testimony to Parliament, AIQ chief technology officer Jeff Silvester, who visited British prime minister Theresa May’s office with Massingham in the weeks after the Brexit vote, explained the history of the relationship between SCL and AIQ, which began in late 2013.

After building a “customer relationship management (CRM) tool” for SCL in Trinidad and Tobago, AIQ created “an entirely new CRM tool” for the 2014 U.S. midterm elections. “SCL called the tool Ripon,” Silvester wrote. AIQ was then required to transfer all software rights to SCL before working “with SCL on similar software development, online advertising, and website development” in support of Cambridge Analytica’s work for the Ted Cruz 2016 campaign.

A referral from “an acquaintance who was working with Vote Leave” led to AIQ being hired by Vote Leave in April 2016, the day before the campaign was designated as the official Leave organization.

[Photo: Stock Catalog]
This past May, after questioning the legality of AggregateIQ founder Zach Massingham’s work on British soil while developing VICS, parliamentary committee chair Damian Collins asked Silvester about AIQ’s recent work for WPAi.

Silvester explained, “They sell their software that we create for them to whomever they like, and we just simply support that work.”

In March, WPAi CEO Chris Wilson told Gizmodo that he had almost no knowledge of the controversy surrounding AIQ, despite their work for the Cruz 2016 campaign. “I would never work with a firm that I felt had done something illegal or even unethical,” he said. The firm’s work for WPA was the result of a competitive bidding process, he said, and AIQ “offered us the best capabilities for the best price.”

Leaving the nest

In February 2017, a story on the Politico Pro website announced Archie, WPA Intelligence’s new piece of software for 2018 campaigns. The software goes by a nickname used by Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s political team, referring to Archimedes, the Greek mathematician who said, “Give me a lever and I can move the world.”

A diagram describing Archimedes, WPAi’s new campaign software [Image: WPAi]
“The program allows campaigns to work across all formats and vendors to collect data in one place,” the article said, and campaign staffers “will be able to use the app to generate models, target audiences, cut lists, and produce data visualization tools to make strategic decisions.”

From that description, Archie sounded very much like AIQ’s Ripon and VICS all-in-one campaign solutions. AIQ’s smartphone app for WPAi client Greg Abbott first appeared on Google Play and Apple’s iOS Store three months later, in May 2017.

Archie’s predictive modeling of Texan voters “yielded approximately 4.5 million individual targets for turnout efforts,” according to WPAi. That helped the Abbott campaign win the 2018 Reed award for Best Use of Data Analytics/Machine Learning in Field Program. In attendance at the March ceremony were representatives from Cambridge Analytica, which was nominated for Best Use of Online Targeting for Judicial Campaign.

Three weeks after the Reed awards, Christopher Wylie’s whistleblower account in the Observer were splashed across the world’s front pages. By the following month, SCL and Analytica were claiming bankruptcy, and AIQ’s cofounders were appearing at Canadian Parliament and dealing with its suspension from Facebook as developers.

In June, a week before AIQ’s WPA apps finally removed Facebook Login, Silvester appeared before Canadian Parliament for a second time, where he was admonished by Vice Chair Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who remarked, “Frankly, the information you have provided is inadequate.” After being threatened with a contempt charge for excusing himself from sworn testimony with a one-line doctor’s note, Massingham later spoke with the committee via audio-only link from his lawyer’s office.

In July, AggregateIQ was served with the U.K.’s first-ever enforcement notice under the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation, known as GDPR. The U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office subjected AIQ to millions in fines if it did not “cease processing any personal data of U.K. or EU citizens obtained from U.K. political organizations or otherwise for the purposes of data analytics, political campaigning, or any other advertising purposes.”

After AIQ appealed the order, it was merely mandated to “erase any personal data of individuals in the U.K.,” though it was found to have “processed personal data in a way that the data subjects were not aware of, for purposes which they would not have expected, and without a lawful basis for that processing.”

As Ted Cruz wraps up his campaign, he continues to outsource part of his voter data harvesting to a foreign firm that has been blacklisted by Facebook and British and European regulators. The total data amassed through apps like Cruz Crew and projects like Ripon and Archimedes remains unknown, but they raise concerns that Cruz acknowledged when he launched his presidential campaign at Liberty University in March 2015. “Instead of a government that seizes your emails and your cell phones,” he said, “imagine a federal government that protected the privacy rights of every American.”

Jesse Witt (@witjest) is an independent researcher, writer, and filmmaker.

With additional reporting by Alex Pasternack.

          Blue Wave watch: 4 ways to track election results and get either ecstatic or furious      Cache   Translate Page      

Saturday Night Live made fun of it. Steve Bannon admitted he’s worried about it. But until the races are over, no one really knows if the 2018 midterm elections will bring a so-called Blue Wave of Democratic victories.

First, a little math: To take back the House, Democrats need to flip at least 23 seats, per CNBC. With all 435 Congressional districts up for reelection tonight, that’s definitely doable. Flipping the Senate is seen as less likely, but with Senate races in the running in key states—Arizona, Texas, and Nevada, in particular–anything’s possible.

If you’re looking to track the election results online without a TV, I’ve rounded up a few options below:

  • PBS NewsHour: Always a good option for cord-cutters. Its election-night coverage will be live-streamed via YouTube and you don’t need one of those pesky cable logins. I’ve also embedded the video below. Find it here.
  • Politico’s Election Results: This infographic is a good resource, with a simple design and updated in real time. Find it here.
  • The New York Times live results maps are a personal favorite. You can find the House map here and the Senate map here.
  • Live Governor Results: Another resource from the Times, which will track the results of the 36 gubernatorial races on the ballots in the 2018 midterms. Find it here.

          The colors of the midterm elections? Purple, green, and gold      Cache   Translate Page      

Krysten Sinema, a Democrat running in a hotly contested race for Senate in Arizona, sets her name in purple against a golden desert sunrise. Sri Preston Kulkarni, a Democrat running for Congress in Texas, uses a blue lone star bursting into shades of purple and red.

For the most part, this election’s campaign design looked fairly predictable: Nearly 75% of Democrats and and more than half of Republicans used blue as their primary campaign color this year. If you’re a Republican running in a solidly Democratic district, you’re three times more likely to use red as your logo color than your peers in Republican districts. But in general, candidates choose blue–a color strongly associated with America from the beginning, from the color George Washington chose for continental army uniforms to the resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777 describing a flag with white stars against a “blue field representing a new constellation.”

[Image: courtesy Center for American Politics and Design]

Things get more interesting when you take a closer look at Democratic candidates specifically, though. Democrats were twice as likely to choose purple as their running color compared to Republicans–and three times as likely to choose green.

[Image: courtesy Center for American Politics and Design]
These numbers come from the Center for American Politics and Design, a new group of designers and creative directors including Susan Merriam of Graj + Gustavsen, Kevin Wiesner and Lukas Bentel of Hello Velocity, and Will Denton and Seth Kranzler of Channel Studio. Their analysis of every campaign brand in the midterm election is a glimpse into the visual culture of campaign season–and in some cases, a way to track the evolution of visual identities across the political spectrum.

“Overall, it’s interesting to think about why some of these trends exist,” says Merriam over email. “Given the production value of a lot of these logos, we can guess that many of these design decisions aren’t (necessarily) 100% calculated or engineered to appeal specifically to the audience’s psyche, but that they are symptomatic of the designers’ and candidates’ own.”

One trend the analysis calls out: The similarity between well-known corporate brands and campaign identities. [Image: courtesy Center for American Politics and Design]

Do the purple, gold, and green campaigns of 2018 reflect the simmering conflicts within the Democratic party, with left-leaning candidates renouncing party leadership and centrists attempting to align more closely with Republicans?

But Merriam points out another detail: All of those purple campaign logos, 21 are women, four are men of color, and only one is a white man. “Why do only women or men of color use purple?” Merriam continues. “That would probably be relevant for a larger discussion about the relationship of white masculinity and color theory.”

[Image: courtesy Center for American Politics and Design]

A slew of low-fi campaign logos are highlighted by CAPD’s analysis, including Republican Ron Curtis’s comic sans wordmark set against an American flag graphic. In another election, such details might have been funny–and let’s be honest, they are still kinda funny–but it would be naive to see them as stupid or thoughtless. If the 2016 presidential campaign taught us anything about the power of design in politics, it was that “bad design” can be an incredibly powerful way to broadcast a candidate’s outsider status successfully.

“I hope going forward we can do some more analysis in relation to past elections as well,” Merriam says. “I’m interested to see for example the difference 2016 had on branding overall. As politics becomes increasingly polarized, are there more bold, red candidates with torch iconography? Will we also see more logos like Ocasio-Cortez‘s that try and get away from the traditional color schemes of the Democratic party? I would guess so, and we shall see.”

[Image: courtesy Center for American Politics and Design]

Red was associated with the Republican party long before Donald Trump slapped on his first MAGA hat–but it hasn’t been the color of the GOP for all that long. The “red state, blue state” trope seems to have emerged alongside contemporary network television coverage of politics within the last two decades. In 2004, The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi traced it to the 2000 election:

The first reference to “red states” and “blue states,” according to a database search of newspapers, magazines and TV news transcripts since 1980, occurred on NBC’s “Today” show about a week before the 2000 election. Matt Lauer and Tim Russert discussed the projected alignment of the states, using a map and a color scheme that had first shown up a few days earlier on NBC’s sister cable network, MSNBC. “So how does [Bush] get those remaining 61 electoral red states, if you will?” Russert asked at one point…

Newspapers began discussing the race in the larger, abstract context of red vs. blue. The deal may have been sealed when Letterman suggested a week after the vote that a compromise would “make George W. Bush president of the red states and Al Gore head of the blue ones.”

In this nightmare of a campaign season, it’s fascinating to remember that the simplistic language we use to talk about national politics–as if it were game between two teams of different jersey colors–was bestowed upon us by network graphics departments that chose those colors for on-air analysis.

          Triumph the Insult Comic Dog just brutally roasted Ted Cruz–right to his face      Cache   Translate Page      

Lat week, we established that it’s odd for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz to try to be in on the joke that people suspect he’s the Zodiac Killer. Do you know who is more than capable of building on that joke, though? Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

The fuzzy, felt-skinned creation of veteran comedy writer Robert Smigel showed up on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Monday night to unveil a video documenting the Texas senate race. At one point, while interviewing some Cruz supporters, Triumph takes the Zodiac joke to an unexpected place. He describes Cruz’s desire to repeal Obamacare as something that could potentially kill “way more people than the Zodiac,” emphasizing the “way more” again and again so many times that the Cruz supporters chuckling at his joke (but still supporting Cruz) have to actually think about it.

The last time we saw Triumph the Insult Comic Dog in action, in a 2016 Election special from back when we thought that comedy mattered, he was lamenting the fact that he couldn’t get an interview with Ted Cruz. He doesn’t quite pull off a full interview this time either, but he does get the chance to briefly come come face-to-fur with Cruz as he works his way through the crowd at a rally, and boy is it ever worth the effort.

Before getting to the Cruz segment of the video, Triumph starts off gently poking fun at Beto O’Rourke and his supporters. He offers to coach some Latinx voters in the O’Rourke crowd on how to pass as white so they won’t have a problem voting. “Repeat after me,” he tells them, “‘Have you seen the new season of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?'”

When it comes time to interview the man himself, Triumph/Smigel can’t resist flinging a few zingers O’Rourke’s way. He refers to him as “the 12th man on any basketball team” and asks questions like “Does it concern you that half your base thinks they can vote for you through Instagram?”

Obviously, Beto is getting off lightly. This is merely the bark; the bite is reserved for Ted Cruz. Without giving them all away, here are the seven sickest burns Triumph lands on Ted Cruz.

  • “What do you have that Ted Cruz doesn’t have?” Triumph asks Beto O’Rourke before adding, “besides the ability to regenerate your tail?”
  • “I’m here at the Ted Cruz rally,” Triumph announces, “or a Duck Dynasty cosplay convention. Not really sure.”
  • “Which do you think was harder for Ted to forgive?” Triumph asks someone in the crowd at a Cruz rally. “Donald Trump for insulting his wife or that mongoose for eating his offspring. See, because he’s a reptile.”
  • “If Ted loses, do you think he’ll end up back with his first love, that mute lady from The Shape of Water?” Triumph asks that same Cruz supporter. “See, because he’s a hideous fish monster.”
  • “Ted, I have a pre-existing condition that makes me vomit out of my eyes whenever I see you,” Triumph shouts from the back of the room during the Cruz rally. “Is that covered under the GOP healthcare plan?”
  • “You can’t ignore me, Ted,” Triumph says in the crowd as he nears Cruz. “I’m not ‘overwhelming scientific evidence of global warming.'”
  • “Ted, is it true that you will defend the constitution at all costs?” Triumph asks when he finally has a brief audience with Cruz. “Except when Donald Trump insults it on Twitter?”
  • Finally, Cruz tries to get in a zinger about how it was the Democrats who neutered Triumph, and the Insult Comic Dog is ready for it. “I support spaying and neutering,” he says. “Just like Trump did to you.”

Oof! There is no recovering from a burn like that. Ted Cruz now lives inside of a burn ward. While he treats his wounds, watch the entire video from Monday night’s Colbert show below.

          Ignoring Senate summons rebellion, security bosses told      Cache   Translate Page      
By Khwaja Baseer Ahmad on 06 November 2018

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Meshrano Jirga... read more

          Triumph The Insult Comic Dog triumphantly insults Ted Cruz!      Cache   Translate Page      

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert sent Triumph The Insult Comic Dog to interview to Texas to interview their candidates for Senator Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz. When the cigar smoker got a chance to talk to the emasculated candidate, the dog was really ruff on Cruz. The failed presidential candidate thought he had a […]

The post Triumph The Insult Comic Dog triumphantly insults Ted Cruz! appeared first on Seriously? OMG! WTF?.

          11/6/2018: SPORTS: Senators deride coach in candid video      Cache   Translate Page      
A number of Ottawa Senators joke about their penalty-killing abilities, mock one of their coaches and laugh at the ineffectiveness of special-team meetings in a candid video that was posted online. The video is the latest bit of embarrassing news for a...
          Re: Predictions anyone? A couple of Arkansas races of interest      Cache   Translate Page      
If we wake up and Mike Lee didnt prevail and Sabin did we might as well start putting out the yard signs for the Rutledge vs Sabin govnuhs race in 20. Im most interested in my local races. My state senator, Charlene Fite, has been down in LR for six years and has only cosponsored one piece of legislation. Nada on writing any bills. Shes got a super hard working opponent who has tried to cover the crazy jerrymandered district, which stretches from Tontitown in the north to Van Buren in the south. Id have to drive an hour and a half to get to my state Senators office. And itd be cool to see our county judge, fresh off his stint at Ecclesia College, get replaced by an old fashioned good guy like Jim House. Either way, these yard signs are coming down and the hogs are gonna pull out an upset over LSU this weekend.
Posted by China Rider
          Triumph The Insult Comic Dog Visits Senate Candidates Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz at Their Rallies in Texas      Cache   Translate Page      

Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, who was out on assignment for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert during the Conan hiatus, traveled to the great state of Texas to visit with the respective rallies of Senate candidates Beto O’Rourke and the previously hard to reach Ted Cruz to crack wise about this unexpectedly close race....

The post Triumph The Insult Comic Dog Visits Senate Candidates Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz at Their Rallies in Texas appeared first on Laughing Squid.

          Il polistrumentista Ugo Fagioli presenta il suo album solista ai Bevitori Longevi      Cache   Translate Page      
08/11/2018 - Giovedì 8 Novembre, il circolo Arci “I Bevitori Longevi” di Forlimpopoli ospiterà il concerto del cantautore cesenate, Ugo Fagioli. Autore, compositore e musicista polistrumentista, dopo le aperture dei concerti di Bud Spencer Blues Explosion, Ministri, Verdena, Bugo, decide di racchiudere le sue esperienze in un album da solista. Una collezione di brani da lui scritti ed arrangiati, descrizioni di momenti vissuti sulla pelle, dove facilmente ci si può ritrovare. Il concerto inizierà alle ore 22.00 L’ingresso sarà gratuito riservato ai soci Arci.
          3° edizione Premio Marietta Alboni al Teatro Bonci       Cache   Translate Page      
17/11/2018 - Sabato 17 novembre ore 21.00 al Teatro Bonci di Cesena Associazione Culturale Marietta Alboni e Associazione Amici della Musica Alessandro Bonci sono liete di presentare la 3° edizione del Premio Lirico “Marietta Alboni”. Maria Anna Marzia Alboni, detta Marietta, era un contralto italiano considerata una delle maggiori cantanti liriche della storia e (oltre a Rosmunda Pisaroni), come il maggior contralto rossiniano dell’Ottocento. Istituito nel 2014 dall&039Associazione Culturale “Marietta Alboni”, il Premio biennale ha lo scopo di valorizzare la figura del celebre contralto cesenate (1826-1894), assegnando un riconoscimento a una interprete di analogo timbro vocale. Quest&039anno è stata scelta dalla giuria e verrà premiata SARA MINGARDO (mezzosoprano contralto), per essersi distinta nel repertorio caro a Marietta Alboni. Parteciperanno Vittoria Magnarello - Soprano H. Ufuk Aslan - Baritono Coro Lirico Araba Fenice - diretto da M° Barbara Amaduzzi al Pianoforte M° Pia Zanca Conduce Raffaella Candoli Intervista Prof. Piero Mioli Sarà una serata all&039insegna del bel canto! INGRESSO A OFFERTA LIBERA Apertura Teatro dalle ore 20.00 (non è necessario prenotare anticipatamente) Per informazioni 329 872 6018 Bruno Benvenuti Presidente Associazione Culturale Marietta Alboni 0547 355959 Teatro Bonci
          Election 2018: Midterm results and coverage for Texas November voting      Cache   Translate Page      
The latest 2018 midterm election results, polls and coverage for the November vote, including Texas Governor, Attorney General, and Senate and House races.
          Zimbabwe: The Interception of Communications Bill      Cache   Translate Page      
Last week, Zimbabwean parliament passed “The Interception of Communications Bill” that will allow the government to monitor telephones, emails and the Internet. Zimbabwean ISPs are condemning this law, which is waiting the approval of the Senate, because it will require them to purchase expensive monitoring equipments they cannot afford. Transport...
          Ted Cruz vs. Beto O'Rourke: Look back at Cruz's fight to keep his Senate seat       Cache   Translate Page      
Beto O'Rourke and Sen. Ted Cruz have been engaged in a long battle for the seat held by Cruz since 2013.
          It Isn’t ‘Pro-Life’ to Vote for Beto O’Rourke      Cache   Translate Page      

It Isn’t ‘Pro-Life’ to Vote for Beto O’RourkeIt is a betrayal of the pro-life movement for an anti-abortion advocate to endorse politicians who support abortion rights — and especially to do so in the name of advancing the anti-abortion cause. Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, founder of New Wave Feminists, in part an anti-abortion advocacy group, wrote that she voted for pro-abortion Democrat Beto O’Rourke against Texas senator Ted Cruz, claiming she cast her vote in opposition to abortion. The idea that a voter should support such a candidate in order to advance the anti-abortion cause is borderline Orwellian, and there is no place for it in the pro-life movement.

          Beto O'Rourke's journey versus Ted Cruz in the race for Texas Senate       Cache   Translate Page      
Beto O'Rourke and Sen. Ted Cruz have been in a months-long race for the hotly contested U.S. Senate seat held by Cruz since 2013.
          Rep. Beto O'Rourke awaits election results after hard-fought campaign for US Senate      Cache   Translate Page      
The 46-year-old Texas congressman hopes to become the first Democrat in 24 years to win a statewide race.
          The TSN Insiders Tonight      Cache   Translate Page      
The TSN Hockey Insiders discuss the impact the viral Uber video has had on the Senators, whether the players and club will explore legal action, how the video might affect the future of the coaching staff, what's next for Joel Quenneville, and why Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman could be the next to go if Quenneville's firing has a negative affect. Watch at TSN.
          Kaine Defeats Stewart In Virginia Senate Re-Election Bid      Cache   Translate Page      
Keeps Virginia's Senate delegation in Democratic hands
          Liveblog: Demokratisk senator er i problemer i Indiana      Cache   Translate Page      
Følg livebloggen fra midtvejsvalget i USA.
          Dirty Tricks: Shady Liberal Group Deploys Illegal Mailers      Cache   Translate Page      
In 2016, the only battleground state Senate Republican to falter in a re-election bid was New Hampshire's Kelly Ayotte.  She fell by the slimmest of margins -- losing by roughly 1,000 votes (0.2 percentage points) statewide.  Conservative third party candidate Aaron Day ended up receiving more than 17,000 votes in the contest, tipping it to Democrat Maggie Hassan, who was also helped by a Libertarian candidate pulling in more than 12,000 ballots.  The little-known Day's candidacy benefited from anonymous mailers sent to Republican voters designed to attack Ayotte "from the right."  The liberal outfit behind the ads peddled their mischief...
          How My Family And I Escaped Assassination - Ekweremadu Narrates       Cache   Translate Page      
We reported earlier today that the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, was attacked at his Abuja residence, as the armed men discreetly evaded the security at his Apo Quarters home, to gain entry at about 4am this Tuesday morning.
While speaking shortly after the start of plenary at the Senate on Tuesday, Senator Ekweremadu, formally reported what he termed "an assassination attempt on him, his wife and son", to his colleagues.
According to PREMIUM Times who monitored the plenary, Ekweremadu narrated his experience with some gunmen who he said, came after his life and family members.
He said: “It is with gratitude to (the) Almighty God that I will like to tell my colleagues, my constituents and the general public that myself, my wife and my son narrowly escaped assassination in the early hours of this morning.
“It was about 4 am this morning. Some people evaded the security in my house and got all the way to my room where I was sleeping with my wife. There was a struggle, there was a fight, with heavy commotion and by the grace of God we eventually caught one of them. The rest escaped.”
The deputy senate president said he would not delve into more details so as not to jeopardise the investigation by the police on one of the gunmen who was handed over to them, and expressed worry over how the police is handling the matter.
“We handed that one over to the police investigating the matter. The annoying aspect of it or the one that is worrisome is that at that point, I called the Inspector-General of police (IGP), his phone was off.

"I called some of his aides, their phones rang out and nobody replied, till now. I called DIG operations, till I left my house, nobody showed up.
“I now had my people invite the DPO in charge of Apo police station. We didn’t see him till about 5:30, he sent his 2nd-in-command who came and he saw the dangerous weapons that they left behind, he left and sent that the DPO was coming. Until I left my house by 9 am, the DPO had not come.”
When contacted, the FCT Abuja Police Commissioner, Bala Ciroma, said he has not been informed of the incident.
“I have not received such report. It is only when I have such information that I would be able to comment,” Ciroma told PREMIUM Times by telephone Tuesday morning.

          Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, His Wife And Son Escape Assassination Attempt In Abuja      Cache   Translate Page      
Mr Ike Ekweremadu, The Deputy Senate President, has been reportedly attacked at his Abuja residence. This was revealed in a statement released by his spokesperson, Uche Anichukwu.
According to Uche Anichukwu, some armed men discreetly evaded the security at Ekweremadu’s Apo Quarters residence, to gain entry into his house. The incident took place at about 4am on Tuesday, November 5.
Read the full statement below:
"The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, and son escaped an assassination attempt at about 4am on Tuesday.

"The armed men discreetly evaded the security at Ekweremadu’s Apo Quarters residence, to gain entry into his house.

"The attackers, who could not immediately shoot in order not to attract the attention of the security personnel on duty, took hold of his son, and commanded him to lead them the Senator’s bedroom.

"It was at the Senator’s bedroom that a struggle ensued, leading to the arrest of one of the assailants with dangerous weapons and housebreaking devices, while the rest managed to escape.

"The arrested member of the gang has, however, refused to divulge any information on the operation and has been handed over to the police.

"Ekweremadu, his wife, and one of his sons were in the house at the time of the attack.

"It could be recalled that the lawmaker narrowly escaped an attempt on his life in Abuja on November 17, 2015.

"Although the 2015 incident was reported to the security agencies, nothing has been heard about the matter till date.
Uche Anichukwu,
"Special Adviser (Media) to Deputy President of the Senate"

          Trump verfolgt Wahlausgang mit Familie und Freunden      Cache   Translate Page      
Washington - US-Präsident Donald Trump erwartet die Ergebnisse der Kongresswahlen gemeinsam mit seiner Familie und Freunden. Aus dem Weißen Haus hieß es, der Präsident und First Lady Melania Trump hätten Familienmitglieder und Freunde zu sich eingeladen, um gemeinsam den Ausgang der Zwischenwahlen zu verfolgen. Bei den sogenannten Midterms werden alle 435 Sitze im Repräsentantenhaus neu vergeben - und 35 der 100 Sitze im Senat, der zweiten Kammer des US-Parlaments. Die Abstimmung zur Halbzeit von Trumps Amtszeit gilt auch als ein Referendum über die umstrittene Politik des Präsidenten.
          11/4/2018: Worldwide: Dummies’ guide to US midterms      Cache   Translate Page      
Q What are the midterm elections? A All seats in the House of Representatives and a third of seats in the Senate (the two bodies that make up US Congress) are up for grabs. Q What will it tell us and why does it matter? A It is the first time we really...
          Beyoncé endorses Texas Democrat Beto O'Rourke: 'When we are truly united we are unstoppable'      Cache   Translate Page      
It turns out Beyoncé is just as much of a procrastinator as the rest of us.The Houston native waited until Election Day to encourage her 119 million Instagram followers to vote, wearing a "Beto for Senate" hat in photos that went...
          Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont re-elected to Senate      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (AP) — Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont re-elected to Senate.
          Live coverage: U.S. Midterm Elections 2018 | Results, Senate races, vote counts, and more      Cache   Translate Page      
          The Latest: Vermont's Sanders cruises to 3rd Senate term      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on U.S. Senate elections (all times local):7:00 p.m.Vermont's Bernie Sanders has cruised to re-election for his third term in the Senate, easily outpacing eight candidates.Sanders, the independent...
          11/4/2018: News: Marlet: Labour senator a ‘serial housing objector’      Cache   Translate Page      
DEVELOPER Pat Crean’s Marlet Property Group has hit out at Labour Party senator Aodhan O’Riordain over his involvement in local opposition to its plan to deliver 164 new homes on a site overlooking Howth harbour in Dublin. While the Baily Court scheme...
          Media, Trump Must ‘Tone Down’ Rhetoric After 2018 US Midterms - Columnist      Cache   Translate Page      
On Tuesday, US voters cast ballots to fill 435 seats in the US House of Representatives, one-third of the 100-member Senate and other local and state positions. The outcome of the 2018 midterms will determine if the Republican Party can maintain control of both chambers of Congress.
          Midterm Elections Proceed Amid Reports of Technical Issues Across US      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The 2018 congressional midterm elections are proceeding with record number of voters participating to elect candidates for the 435-seat US House of Representatives and a third of the 100-seat US Senate, but deficiencies in the election process and infrastructure have been reported across the United States.
          Election Day 2018 – Watch the results roll in      Cache   Translate Page      
Today is Election Day in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Follow real-time coverage by PhillyVoice and other news sources of local U.S. House and Senate races, and state gubernatorial and legislative contests throughout the region. It's a midterm mashup.
          11/7/2018: Federal Politics: One Nation is on Mark      Cache   Translate Page      

FORMER Labor leader Mark Latham has joined Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party. Mr Latham and Senator Hanson will make a joint announcement this morning about the leadership of one of Australia’s most controversial right-wing political parties. Ms...
          Today's election in the USA is the main political event not only of the day, but also of the year. Typically, such elections      Cache   Translate Page      


Today's election in the USA is the main political event not only of the day, but also of the year. Typically, such elections do not exert strong pressure on the dollar or financial markets. The current situation is unique, so we should expect a violent reaction and surprises until the impeachment of the current president.

On the eve of the elections, the dollar yields to most of the key currencies, holding positions against the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc. This indicates that market participants do not expect a stock market crash.

In general, the markets have already laid in the current quotes the victory of the Democrats in the elections to the House of Representatives. Any other result can lead to significant fluctuations.

Note that with the full leadership of the Democratic Party, the legislation of recent years in the field of economic incentives may be partially repealed and the question of impeachment of Donald Trump will be raised. In this situation, the next two years will be extremely restless. Experts predict a "political dead end and big fireworks".

If victory is in the hands of the Republicans, it will mean an expression of trust in Donald Trump and his policies, the world will have to accept protectionism. In addition, markets will see opportunities for further tax cuts. Stocks will go down, bond yields will start to increase, and the dollar will rise.

Three possible scenarios and currency movements

  • The Republican Party retains control of Congress. This is a bullish dollar scenario. The USD / JPY rate can reach 114, and EUR / USD can reach 1.1350.
  • The Democratic Party gets a majority in the House, the Republican holds the Senate. The dollar will accept such news without enthusiasm, but not much upset. It is expected that the pair USD / JPY will take the mark of 112.50, and EUR / USD will be in the range of 1.1450-1.1475.
  • The victory of the Democrats is absolute control over both chambers. This will please dollar "bears". The pair USD / JPY will take the mark of 112, and the pair EUR / USD will rise above 1.15.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company -
          Where will the dollar rate go in the near future?      Cache   Translate Page      


This week, there should be two events that can determine the further movement of the US currency. We are talking about the upcoming elections to the US Congress and the next meeting of the Federal Reserve, which will be held on Thursday.

It should be noted that the so-called "midterm elections" usually do not have a significant impact on the markets, but this time, largely because of the contradictory policies of the White House, they have become an extremely important event.

According to recent polls, there is still a high probability that Democrats can take control of the House of Representatives, and Republicans can maintain a majority in the Senate. However, the parties are now almost nostrils in the nostril, so the balance of political forces in the US parliament may be unpredictable.

Experts predict that if Democrats gain the majority of seats in the House of Representatives, then EUR / USD may rise to the level of 1.15, and USD / JPY, on the contrary, may decline to the level of 112. If the Republicans manage to keep control over Congress, then USD / JPY may rise to 114, and EUR / USD to sink below 1.13.

At the same time, it is not likely that the elections will have a long-term impact on the dollar exchange rate, since investors will quickly turn their attention to the prospects for US monetary policy.

It is assumed that at the next meeting, the Fed will leave the interest rate unchanged and announce its further plans to tighten monetary policy. Thus, the impact of this event on the dollar will be temporary and limited.

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The Belleville Senators have signed defenceman Jonathan Racine to a one-year American Hockey League contract.Racine made his Sens debut Saturday a... - AHL Belleville Senators
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Yesterday, there was enough reason to resume the strengthening of the dollar, because the data on business indices in the US was even better than the wildest assumptions. Thus, the business activity index in the service sector increased from 53.5 to 54.8, while the preliminary assessment showed an increase to 54.7. The composite index of business activity rose from 53.9 to 54.9, while, according to preliminary data, growth was expected to 54.8. In turn, the business activity index in the UK services sector fell from 53.9 to 52.2, once again demonstrating business concerns about the uncertainty caused by the confusion with Brexit. Investors simply do not understand what awaits them in the near future, after the UK withdraws from the European Union. While there is no clear understanding of how trade relations will be built between the United Kingdom and Europe, there can be no talk of any optimism on the part of investors.


The growth of the dollar was hampered by preparations for today's elections in the United States, where Congress and almost a third of senators will be fully re-elected. Almost certainly, the Democrats will be able to take revenge for 2016, when the Republicans got the majority of the seats in Congress and in the Senate. And that's not counting the White House, where they also sent their delegate. Many fear that as soon as the Democrats get a majority in the legislature, they immediately begin to actively interfere with Donald Trump, for whom they have the most tender and touching feelings. So, there is a high probability of a certain paralysis of the American power system, which always leads to greater radicalization of US foreign policy.

So today, the factor of elections in the United States of America will have a major impact on the market. These exit-polls will determine the mood of market participants, and most likely, given the apparent uncertainty about how relations will be built between the various branches of government, it is worth waiting for a negative reaction. In addition to all this, the JOLTS data on open vacancies should show their reduction from 7,136 thousand to 7,100 thousand. The European data will not be able to affect investor sentiment, especially since the final data on business activity indices will simply confirm the preliminary estimate that showed them decline. Also, the growth rate of producer prices is likely to remain unchanged.

The euro / dollar currency pair returns to the level of 1.1440 after a rollback. It is likely to assume a temporary fluctuation within the level of 1.1440 (1.1430 / 1.1450) on the general information and news background.


The currency pair pound / dollar demonstrates active upward interest, reaching a range level of 1.3000 / 1.3050, where an attempt is being made to fix above it. Probably assume fluctuations within the slide-positive level, where traders should keep track of price fixing 1.3000 / 1.3090 when placing orders.


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          "Donkeys" vs. "Elephants": main scenarios of the US election results      Cache   Translate Page      

The dynamics of trading on the foreign exchange market this week will be determined by China, Brexit, and congressional elections. And if the real prospects for a trade war and Brexit will be known only in a few weeks, then we will know the results of the American elections tomorrow. On the eve of the plebiscite, the dollar is noticeably nervous, since with a high degree of probability the "elephants" (the historical emblem of the Republicans) will lose control over the House of Representatives, retaining the majority only in the Senate.


In general, this result was predictable long before the election. The composition of the lower house of Congress is re-elected every two years, that is, in the middle of the presidential term (hence the name "midterm elections"). As a rule, the ruling party fails in these elections, losing a majority in one of the chambers. Even the most popular American presidents could not project their success on the party they represented in order to "survive" the intermediate plebiscite. The rare exception in this regard is Bush Junior, but at that time, the Americans had just experienced September 11, which explains their political cohesion.

Given the odiousness of Donald Trump and the lack of absolute support even within the Republican Party, the result of the 2018 elections is not difficult to predict. By and large, the main intrigue now is how strong the Democrats will have over the Republicans in the House of Representatives and how the alignment of forces in the Senate will change.

The latest polls show that members of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives guaranteed 202 seats for themselves, but only 195 for Republicans. In total, there are 435 seats in the lower chamber, so 38 more positions remain in the air (ratings of candidates in these constituencies are about are equal), but, in the opinion of the overwhelming number of experts, the Democrats will definitely take the majority here. In the Senate, there is a struggle for only 35 seats out of 100, since only part of the Senate mandates are rotated during the midterm elections. Here, the advantage will remain with the Republican Party, at least, many analysts are sure of this.


In the context of the foreign exchange market, the main question is how the dollar will react to the results of today's elections. The most realistic scenario (Lower House for Democrats, Upper for Republicans) is unlikely to cause a flurry of volatility, although it will put downward pressure on the US currency. The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives will put Trump in a very awkward position, primarily regarding the implementation of a number of legislative initiatives. However, the Republican control over the Senate will allow the president to continue to pursue the personnel policy required by the White House. The Upper Chamber approves (or does not approve) candidates nominated by the head of state for key government positions.

Due to the fact that this, the most likely, option is now widely discussed (including among traders), it will not cause any panic in the markets. Moreover, according to some experts, the dollar may ignore this result. Another thing is if the election results are unexpected, in this case, dollar pairs will be influenced by strong volatility.

We are talking about two unlikely scenarios. If the Republicans maintain the status quo and vice versa, if the Democrats manage to take control of both houses of Congress. Despite the unlikelihood of such options, they cannot be excluded. In favor of losing the Republicans, the fact that the number of supporters of Donald Trump's policies last week fell by four percent, according to a weekly survey, says. In general, the head of state is supported by 40% of respondents, while 54% of respondents were dissatisfied with his policies. By and large, the mid-term congressional elections reflect the Americans' opinion on the actions of their president following the two years of his rule. Therefore, Trump's downgrade may also affect the overall Republican result.


There is another opinion, already in favor of the Republican Party. According to experts, Donald Trump has a very large number of so-called "hidden supporters". In the public plane (including during polls) they do not talk about their true political views, but in the polling booth "silent fans" support Republicans, associating them with Trump's policies. It is worth recalling that in the last election, many polls gave the victory to Hillary Clinton, but as you know, Trump won them. According to a number of political scientists, a similar sociological discrepancy occurred precisely at the expense of "hidden supporters", which this time may present a surprise.

Thus, despite numerous sociological studies, the intrigue of the midterm elections remains. This means that it is not advisable to trade dollar pairs in the next day due to the unpredictability of the greenback reaction to their results.

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          EM currencies will grow in the absence of surprises in the US elections      Cache   Translate Page      


The EM markets run along the precipice edge before the US midterm elections on Tuesday. The Democratic Party, according to polls, will gain control in the House of Representatives, while the Republican Party must retain a majority in the Senate. In such a scenario, risky currencies and currencies of developing countries can win, analysts of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Nomura International Plc predict. Most of all, in their opinion, the Turkish lira and South African rand will rise in price.

London bank strategist David Honor takes a tactical "bullish" position in emerging markets before today's US elections and on the eve of the November 30 trade summit.

The risks are extremely high, experts warn. On Monday, the index of imputed volatility of developing countries' currencies from JPMorgan Chase & Co. reached its peak level in a month due to hedging from wider price fluctuations in the options market.

It is almost impossible to predict the outcome of elections, therefore market participants rely on polls. Substantial support from Republicans could turn Donald Trump, who takes an even tougher stance on trade and immigration. The dollar will win, and risky currencies will suffer.

Opinion experts Citigroup

"The potential risks after the midterm elections, including the recession in the United States and impeachment, are likely to lead to increased risk aversion, which, as a rule, leads to a decrease in EM assets," write economists.

With an increase in the likelihood of such factors as recession and political paralysis in Washington, the dollar will be under pressure and weaken against the other currencies of G3. A cheaper US currency with growing risk aversion may indicate that EM will decline against the euro or the Japanese yen. However, their fall is not expected to be as strong as a weakening dollar.

Nomura International Forecast

The basic forecast of experts speaks well for the Democratic Party, which will receive a majority in the House of Representatives. This will have a downward pressure on the dollar and contributes to lower rates on the EM. This alignment will provide the Turkish lira and the South African rand with a tailwind.

Another scenario involving the preservation of a majority in the House of Representatives for the Republicans will lead to an increase in the yield of US bonds. The pressure on the currencies of Latin America and EMEA will increase.

It is possible that the full victory will be won by the Democratic Party. This scenario is unlikely, but there is a place to be. The leadership of Democrats in the Senate and the House of Representatives could lead to a massive sale of US bonds and stocks. It is noted that the subsequent risk aversion will put pressure on Latin American currencies, and in EMEA, the lira and the rand will show rapid growth.

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          Dollar on the threshold of midterm elections      Cache   Translate Page      


The dollar slowed down after three consecutive weeks of growth, because investors are fully focused on the special elections in the United States, which could lead to volatility in world markets.

Despite the sale of the dollar in the second half of last week, hedge funds have added their dollar reserves, making a bet on the highest levels since December 2016, as the latest macroeconomic indicators encourage bullish rates.

The market analysts warn that an unexpected result in the US midterm elections could provoke a massive cessation of long positions in dollars and undermine the dollar, which rose 7% from April lows against its competitors.

It is expected that the elections to the US Congress will help the Democratic Party, which has strong chances to gain control of the House of Representatives, and the Republicans, most likely, will retain an advantage in the Senate.

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          The dollar will continue to grow, or why there is no reason to decline      Cache   Translate Page      


The dollar held in tight ranges compared to its main competitors on Tuesday, investors are in no hurry to act in anticipation of the election results, the first serious test of Trump's policy of tax breaks and trade protectionism.

It is expected that the election to the US Congress will help the Democratic Party gain control of the House of Representatives, and the Republicans are likely to retain the Senate. Dollar bulls will be happy to receive a Republican-controlled Congress, because it will support Trump's policies. So if Republicans gain control, the dollar will rise. On the other hand, if Congress is split, Democrats will get the House of Representatives, and Republican Senate, the prospect of a legislative stalemate will make Trump's policy, including tax cuts, difficult and will negatively influence the dollar's dynamics in the short term.


While the US currency is holding very confidently, the dollar index versus the main currency basket at the level of 96.33 points, having reached a 16-month high of 97.20 points last week. Euro slightly, but fell to 1.1404 dollars. Against the yen, the dollar climbed 0.1 percent, to 113.27 yen, also close to a maximum in four weeks.


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          Special Coverage: Election Night 2018      Cache   Translate Page      
NPR has up-to-the-minute results and analysis on the 2018 midterms. On Tuesday, voters will decide the balance of power in the House and the Senate, and ultimately, the direction of the country.
          As Polls Close The Big Trend Is High Voter Turnout      Cache   Translate Page      
Polls are now closing in Ohio, North Carolina and West Virginia, with key Senate, House and gubernatorial races at stake.
          Midterm elections: Will Democrats really take the house and how could they do it?      Cache   Translate Page      
Democrats are generally thought to have a good shot at taking back the House, but their path to control of the Senate is much more difficult
          Democrat O'Rourke takes on big challenge: turning Texas      Cache   Translate Page      
In one of the biggest challenges for his party in Tuesday's elections, Beto O'Rourke hoped to oust Republican Ted Cruz and become the first Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate from the deeply conservative state of Texas in three decades.

          OUTRAGE: Reporter Caught Disparaging Black War Hero-Turned-Senate Candidate      Cache   Translate Page      
Listen For Yourself
          Dem Senator Admits to Beating Wife      Cache   Translate Page      
Support His GOP Opponent
          US midterm election results live: Democrats Republicans House Senate Donald Trump - latest news      Cache   Translate Page      
          Endorsements for Local Election 2018      Cache   Translate Page      

Unfortunately, this election seems to be a referendum on Donald Trump,  even in races where there is absolutely no connection.  One such race would be local state senator,  Pat Browne(R) vs.  Mark Pinsley(D).    Democratic straight lever pulling against Trump would be the only explanation for a Pinsley win..  Browne has mountains of experience and has brought heaps of benefit to Lehigh Valley.  Pinsley has no experience what-so-ever, and announced for state senator before he even began serving as township commissioner.  Although, he ran and won for township commissioner,  he never attended their meetings prior to that election.  After the unfortunate shooting by Dorney Park,  he went and stood with the protestors, against his own township and police department. He is entitled to his own beliefs, but as a commissioner, he should have restrained himself against being so demonstrative.  It was a self-serving optic for his state campaign, ignoring the best interests of South Whitehall.

One of the most geographically absurd state house districts in Pennsylvania is the 183rd.  It runs from Danielsville, east through Northampton to Slatington, and then south to the Allentown municipal golf course.  Former representative Julie Harhart had two decades to craft this gerrymandered contortion.  Her chosen successor was Zach Mako(R), who in addition to having no political experience,  also had no knowledge of the issues.  Now, as an incumbent,  he's running on the cliché of abolishing income tax.... He apparently still knows nothing.  His opponent, Jason Ruff(D) is a business owner from Slatington, who serves on the town's council. He is familiar with the issues, he is concerned with government, not just getting elected.

Regardless of how you feel about my bi-partisan endorsements,  I would ask you one favor.  Even if you decide to vote straight ticket, please do not pull the idiot lever.  Instead, pick each one of your choices, even if they are all of the same party.  You owe yourself and the candidates at least that much deliberation.

ADDENDUM: An early version of this post which cited a polling was in error.
          Hardball Intro Or Beto Campaign Ad?      Cache   Translate Page      

The introduction for Democratic candidate Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke, on the October 30, 2018 edition of Hardball, played like a campaign ad.

          Your Health, Social Security, and Safety Depend on Voting Democratic Today      Cache   Translate Page      
Today's midterm elections are among the more fateful in recent American history, quite simply because there is a madman in the White House whom the Republican Senate and House have absolutely refused to rein in.
          The Democratic Party doesn’t deserve your vote      Cache   Translate Page      

The record of the Democrats proves that voting for the “lesser evil” doesn’t stop evil.

NO ONE reading this article needed one, but the last weeks were a reminder anyway: that there is no low point of hate and fearmongering that Donald Trump can’t sink below.

Trump and his “brain” trust decided that the Republicans’ best bet for the midterm elections would be to slander a caravan of refugees from violence and oppression in Central America — and to send who knows how many U.S. soldiers to the border to meet this grave threat.

They succeeded in whipping up their right-wing base. But they also sharpened the outrage and anger of millions of people who already oppose Trump — and who will vote in today’s elections with a sense of alarm about stopping the fanatic in the White House.

In almost every case, those millions who want to vote against Trump will have no real choice but to vote for the Democratic Party, which has also been determined — but not about stopping Trump’s crimes.

During the same weeks when Trump piled one anti-immigrant atrocity on top of another, the leaders of the “party of the people” were determined not to say anything about it.

The Democratic Party doesn't deserve your vote

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had the same infuriating message of evasion last weekend that she’s repeated for months. Rather than let voters “think the Democrats are all about impeachment, investigation, caravans, ‘scaravans,’” Pelosi recommended: “Don’t take the bait, just stick with health care, good-paying jobs and clean government.”

The Democrats are likely to make gains at all levels of government in today’s elections, probably enough to win a majority in the House, if not in the Senate. It will be a pleasure to watch some of the most monstrous Republicans go down to defeat.

If the Democrats win big, it will be because millions of people use this election to register their opposition to Trump, the Republican Party and the right wing agenda.

It won’t, however, be because the Democratic Party is providing an alternative to the Trumpian status quo, much less a lead to the popular resistance that has confronted the Trump administration from its first day in office.

This election has been a departure in one respect: The media spotlight has fallen on a number of left-wing candidates running as Democrats in this election, including members of the Democratic Socialists of America. The left needs to absorb the lessons of this development.

But we do know that those candidates won’t be calling the shots come January. As an institution, and under the leadership of those who will call the shots, the Democrats aren’t committed to the kind of change that most of their voters would like to see.

Whatever they say — or don’t say — on the campaign trail, the Democrats’ dismal record in office shows that they will disappoint their liberal base with compromises and capitulations to the Republicans.

Unless, that is, both Democrats and Republicans face pressure from outside the two-party system.

This is the key to building an actual resistance to Trump and the Republicans: Not voting for Democrats in the hope that they will change anything for us, but relying on the strength of our co-workers, our fellow students and our community to educate, agitate and organize struggles that put forward a left-wing alternative.

THE MISERY of living under Trump has produced some of the largest protests in U.S. history, starting with the Women’s March on the day after his inauguration.

These demonstrations have been an ongoing reminder of both the rejection of Trump and his politics by a majority of people in the country and the desire of millions of people to start doing something about it.

Democratic Party leaders have a use for the first part — but not so much for the second.

Thus, throughout the upsurge of anger over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, Democrats expressed their opposition — most of them, anyway — while trying to channel people’s outrage toward the voting booth and warning that protests could go too far and “alienate” potential supporters.

The unions and large liberal organizations, including organizers of the Women’s Marches, didn’t make the call to mobilize another massive show of anti-Trump strength, so the protests against Kavanaugh that did take place were angry and powerful, but scattered.

The dynamic is even more telling when it comes to immigrant rights.

The most recent of the truly massive anti-Trump demonstrations was the Families Belong Together mobilizations in late June that brought out hundreds of thousands of people for protests and marches in 750 cities and every state to vent their anger at the administration’s cruel family separation policy.

But this fall, the Democrats were mostly silent on the issue. They were advised — by the progressive think tank, the Center for American Progress, among others — to “spend as little time as possible” talking about immigration during election season, so as not to emphasize an issue where it’s taken for granted that the Republicans have an advantage.

Actually, the mass protests and even more massive public revulsion at Trump’s policies showed the potential for putting Republicans on the defensive — and on an issue they depend on to rev up their right-wing base.

But the Democrats followed the same election-year strategy they always do: chase every last “swing voter” in the political middle of the road, and that means avoiding anything controversial.

THE PROBLEM goes beyond timid campaign tactics. The Democrats’ strategy is the logical outcome for a party that says it stands for immigrant justice to satisfy its more liberal base at election time, but that stands in practice for a status quo where implementing justice would be a social and political threat.

It is no coincidence that the Democratic Party’s actual agenda on immigration issues mirrors that of Corporate America: support for a system that allows immigration to supplement the U.S. workforce at various levels, but that disciplines that workforce by keeping most immigrants in a second-class status.

Thus, the hopes in 2008 that Barack Obama would pass real immigration reform during his first months in office were fated to be dashed.

Not only did Obama fail to achieve any initiative, even a compromised one, to legalize the status of any undocumented workers, but he followed through on Corporate America’s other priority of using enforcement to maintain control over workers — and deportations went up, not down.

This experience illustrates the problems with voting for the Democrats as the lesser of two evils. On immigration, the “lesser evil” candidate in 2008 ended up presiding over more actual evil than his “greater evil” predecessor, George W. Bush.

In the era of Trump, it usually isn’t hard to figure out who the greater evil is in any one election. But as the American socialist Hal Draper wrote, the problem isn’t the answer, but the question itself — because it accepts the limits of the two-party system and distorts the political outlook of people who need to be a part of changing the world.

Let’s go back to Obama and the issue of immigration. In 2008, the immigrant rights movement was only two years away from an amazing high point that really did achieve a victory. The mega-marches and “day without an immigrant” strikes of 2006 stopped reactionary Republican legislation that would have criminalized all of the undocumented in the U.S.

But under Obama, the same liberal forces that helped organize the 2006 upsurge were far quieter, hoping that they could work with their supposed ally in the White House. Calls to protest Obama’s lack of action were met with warnings that being too radical would hand the Republicans an issue to hammer the Democrats with.

And so Barack Obama became the deporter-in-chief without facing mass opposition on the scale of 2006 — and the promise of any reform, even with the twisted compromises that the Democrats insisted on, went unfulfilled.

Malcolm X once said that “you put the Democrats first and the Democrats put you last.” When Nancy Pelosi and the leaders of the Democratic Party know they can count on the party’s liberal base to vote for their candidates, no matter what, they can move in the direction that inevitably feels more comfortable: to the right.

THOUGH YOU’D never know it to listen to Pelosi, there are more Democratic candidates this year who progressives might want to vote for, rather than only voting against the Republicans.

The anti-Trump upsurge of the past two years has helped the Democrats field a more diverse group of candidates than ever before, and more Democrats are willing to say they stand for progressive proposals like Medicare for All.

This is also the result of a surge of candidates who, following the lead of Sen. Bernie Sanders, explicitly identify themselves as democratic socialists. Their successes are a direct result of the hard organizing work of members of DSA and other left forces, and those successes have, in turn, raised the prominence of DSA and socialism in general.

Among DSA members in particular, there is sharp opposition to the neoliberal, pro-corporate program championed by the likes of Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Though many DSAers will likely choose to vote for establishment-sanctioned Democrats in 2018 and 2020, others will make the principled decision to refuse to support those Democratic candidates who don’t support them.

This is an important development for anyone who looks forward, as we do at SW, to the establishment of a left-wing political force independent of the two-party system.

But our analysis would be inadequate if we didn’t point out the dangers for socialists trying to build their forces within a capitalist party that is hostile to their aims. The very success of left-wing candidates within the party makes it harder to resist the pressure that draws them further in.

Thus, DSA member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won a primary election upset for a seat in Congress from New York City over powerful party boss Joe Crowley. Her victory was a blow to the party leadership — but her new prominence led to requests, to which she agreed, to endorse and campaign for Democrats who are well to her right.

Historically, the Democrats have been willing to tolerate a left within the party and a certain amount of criticism as a price worth paying for having well-known figures who can build enthusiasm among the party’s liberal base.

The great danger for the left has been to be drawn in — and to, as a consequence, tailor and limit its message and strategy based on the needs of the Democrats, rather than the Democrats changing the party’s aims and actions in any significant way.

Socialist Worker has maintained since its founding that we look forward to the creation of an independent left alternative to the two-party system, and we put this into practice in every election by supporting only independent left-wing candidates. We say that the Democratic Party doesn’t deserve your votes — and you shouldn’t give it something it doesn’t deserve.

There are only a few such independent left candidates around the country in 2018 offering an opportunity to cast a protest vote against the limitations of the two-party system.

More numerous are the very important referendums where socialists should take a stand: Issue 1 (drug law reform) in Ohio; Question 1 (safe staffing) and Question 3 (transgender rights) in Massachusetts; and Proposition 10 (rent control) and Proposition 11 (paramedics’ rights on the job) in California, to name a few that SW has written about recently.

Ultimately, organizing a socialist resistance in the Trump era depends much more on the struggles of every day other than Election Day. That was our task every day leading up to November 6 — and every day after, when we look forward to uniting to fight the Trumpian right, as well as its Democratic Party enablers.

          An hour-by-hour guide to watching on election night      Cache   Translate Page      
The results in these key races Tuesday will provide clues to which party will control the House and Senate for the next two years.
          Elizabeth Warren Re-Elected To US Senate In Massachusetts      Cache   Translate Page      
Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, among her party's harshest critics of President Donald Trump, has won re-election in Massachusetts.
          Check Live Election Results From Massachusetts & New Hampshire      Cache   Translate Page      
Check how your town voted in key races, from the House, Senate and Governor races, to local ballot initiatives.
          The Latest: Carper wins 4th term for Delaware US Senate seat      Cache   Translate Page      
The Latest on the general election in Delaware(all times local): 8 p.m. Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware has won a fourth term in the U.S. Senate, defeating a GOP … Click to Continue »
          Trump endorsed all of these candidates. Will the Trump bump help them win?      Cache   Translate Page      
President Donald Trump has endorsed nearly 100 candidates for Senate, House and governor in Tuesday’s elections as he tries to sway Americans to vote for like-minded politicians who will help … Click to Continue »
          The Latest: Warren among group of 5 Democratic winners      Cache   Translate Page      
The Latest on U.S. Senate elections (all times local): 8 p.m. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a potential 2020 White House contender, is among a group of five Democratic lawmakers … Click to Continue »
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The Latest on the general election in Maryland (all times local): 8:05 p.m. The popular and well-funded Ben Cardin has won a third term representing Maryland in the U.S. Senate. … Click to Continue »
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          Warum die Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung gegen die AfD vor Gericht verloren hat      Cache   Translate Page      
Warum die Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung gegen die AfD vor Gericht verloren hat

Rhein-Neckar/Heidelberg/Karlsruhe, 05. November 2018. (red/pro) Die AfD darf nach einem Urteil des Oberlandesgerichts Karlsruhe weiterhin behaupten, dass die Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung die “Antifaschistische Initiative Heidelberg unterstütze”. Die Tageszeitung sah sich dadurch geschmäht und als “objektives Medium” beeinträchtigt und forderte gerichtlich eine strafbewehrte Unterlassung. Das Oberlandesgericht Karlsruhe folgte dieser Auffassung in einem sehr abgewogenen Urteil überhaupt nicht. Ganz

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          The Senate Page Program - Parliament of Canada, Senate - Ottawa, ON      Cache   Translate Page      
Pages are hired for a one-year contract that can be renewed for a second year, and even a third if they are selected as Chief Page or Deputy Chief Page....
From Parliament of Canada, Senate - Mon, 15 Oct 2018 16:08:43 GMT - View all Ottawa, ON jobs
          Alaska’s Election 2018: Gov. Candidates Begich, Dunleavy      Cache   Translate Page      
Side-by-side headshot-style portraits of Mark Begich and Mike Dunleavy, wearing jackets and ties.KNOM spoke with Alaska gubernatorial candidates Mark Begich and Mike Dunleavy about their goals for Western Alaska. Particular topics of importance were education, subsistence, and climate issues.
          Experts say the Trump immigration ad pulled by NBC and Fox exposes a flaw in the way political ads are reviewed — and it could become a problem for TV networks      Cache   Translate Page      

In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Topeka, Kan. There’s a lot of talk in Washington these days about the formal politeness known as “civility” is possible _ or even desirable _ among the nation’s political combatants these days. It’s not likely to get better, at least before the Nov. 6 midterm elections in which Republicans are defending their House and Senate majorities.AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

  • NBC, Fox, and Facebook all pulled an ad widely condemned as racist following public backlash.
  • While all three companies have their own advertising standards teams that evaluate ads, an initial review didn't flag anything as impermissible in the ad.
  • Some experts note a perceived difference in the way ads are reviewed for commercial products and political issues.
  • Brand-safety issues come with running political advertisements for networks and platforms.

Less than 24 hours after an advertisement that was widely condemned as racist aired during a Sunday Night Football game on NBC, the network issued a sweeping reversal, vowing to immediately remove the ad. NBC cited the ad's "insensitive" nature as the reason for its removal.

Shortly after, both Fox and Facebook, which aired the ad on their respective platforms, issued similar statements and pulled the ad.

The 30-second primetime advertisement released by President Trump's campaign attempted to draw a connection between convicted cop killer Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who is now on death row, and the so-called migrant caravan now traveling up through Mexico toward the US border. There is no known connection, and Trump has frequently used the migrant caravan — a group of several thousand Central American migrants fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries — as a talking point to stoke fears about immigration in the US.

So how did the ad pass muster?

For one, it actually wasn't cleared by all the companies to which it was submitted. CNN, for example, rejected the ad, calling it racist.

NBC, Fox, and Facebook all have their own advertising standards teams that evaluate ads and originally accepted the Trump ad. Federal agencies, which have varying degrees of jurisdiction regulating ads, didn't flag anything as impermissible. It was a public rebuke that prompted a second review and the eventual pulling of the ad.

The original airing, outcry, and then reversal by the networks show both the difference in rules around enforcement between commercial and political ads, and the growing indication that networks and platforms must appreciate the brand-safety issues that come with political advertisements.

Standards and practices

The teams at a network or cable company that review an ad for a commercial product and for a political candidate or cause tend to be the same. But the evaluation process is different, according to people familiar with it.

"I have to believe that in a sane world when a political party or candidate buys time, the assumption is you don't have to scrutinize ads same way you have to if someone is selling something," Preston Beckman, former NBC and Fox executive, told Business Insider. "Political ads are selling policy." 

Ad agencies also note a perceived difference in the way ads are reviewed for commercial products and political issues.

"The FCC, the FTC, and the FEC leave the American people for dead when it comes to political advertising," Sarah O'Leary, lead strategist at Methods & Madness, told Business Insider. "They allow our public airwaves to be used to lie to us without any regulation." 

The FCC administers political programming rules for TV, but it doesn't evaluate messaging in ads. Both the FEC and FTC oversee campaign finance laws, including the disclosure of funds raised to influence federal elections.

The network is the real evaluation point on ad messaging, according to O'Leary, who owns an ad agency.

In her experience, the process of getting a commercial ad submitted involves reading product research to understand what facts can be included in an advertisement, multiple layers of review by lawyers, and a final review by networks or cable companies to decide if the ad is legal and fact based, or misleading.

"The people at the networks know this process inside and out," O'Leary said. "They figured they'd take a chance."

Money is part of the equation, she said, and primetime slots fetch significant ad dollars. Trump spent $2.7 million on national TV ads last week alone, according to iSpot.TV.

The Trump ad was created by Jamestown Associates, a corporate advertising firm based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with National Media as the ad-buying agency, and aired three times on NBC properties and 14 times on Fox properties over the last week before it was pulled. At the time it was removed, it had been viewed more that 21 million times, according to iSpot.TV.

The review of a political ad shouldn't be any less stringent than it is for a commercial product, O'Leary said. "They're selling the most important thing to our society they are selling ideas and principles that are going to determine our government."

Reputational risk

Since federal agencies don't thoroughly review political ad messages, that leaves the evaluation of whether an ad is appropriate to broadcasters and cable companies. And that determination has proven difficult. NBC, Fox, and Facebook all removed the ad not because it spouted factual inaccuracies, but for less quantifiable reasons. 

NBC used the term "insensitive." Facebook said the content was "sensational." In either case, the platforms seemed to designate the ad as a violation of social mores. And that may leave them exposed to a future mishap.

In the case of the most recent Trump ad that was removed, the damage seems contained.

"I don’t think there’s a reputational risk for the network and its other advertisers either way, unless an ad is so egregious that it somehow causes consumers to view other advertisers or the network negatively," Brian Wieser, senior analyst Pivotal Research, told Business Insider in an email. "Advertisers are concerned more about the content they are associated with than the brand company they keep."

YouTube is an example of a platform that faced backlash after advertisers noticed their ads running next to offensive or extremist content. It resulted in hundreds of advertisers pulling their ads from YouTube even though ads only rarely ran next to questionable content, Wieser said. 

But advertisers usually only act when there's a direct correlation between content or brand safety and an ad.

Take Facebook's role in the genocide against the Rohingya, a persecuted Muslim minority group. On Monday, Facebook admitted it didn't do enough to prevent its platform being used to incite violence and hate against the Rohingya. But advertisers aren't boycotting Facebook the way they did YouTube.

"No advertiser has concern at this time because, I think, the connection is too indirect for most consumers to appreciate even if it seems plain as day to someone studying the business closely," Wieser said.

It may take someone putting together a clear argument that resonates with large groups of people for the connection to become more problematic, he said.

But brand-safety issues for networks and platforms could become more of an issue in the future because of changing expectations of consumers.

"I think millennials and young people want to align with platforms and brands that are extensions of their values and their principles," Joseph Anthony, CEO of New York based advertising firm Hero Group, told Business Insider. 

"I think that the networks are not insulated from that, especially as you see more young people cut the cord and starting to look at more on demand platforms and there are a lot more options out there."

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Amendment 2, if passed, would amend the Alabama Constitution “to declare and otherwise affirm that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, most importantly the right to life in all manners and measures appropriate and lawful; and to provide that the constitution of this state does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”


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Oregon residents will vote on Measure 106, a citizen’s initiative to amend the state constitution to prohibit public funds being used for abortion, except when necessary to save the life of the mother, such as an ectopic pregnancy.


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Measure 106 narrowly qualified for the ballot in September with fewer than 300 signatures more than the legal minimum.


According to Americans United for Life’s annual “Life List,” which ranks states by pro-life laws, Oregon has some of the loosest abortion laws in the country. Oregon came in at 46, ahead of  only New Jersey, Vermont, California, and Washington.


In West Virginia, voters will be considering Amendment 1, which would “amend the West Virginia Constitution to clarify that nothing in the Constitution of West Virginia secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”


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Abortion is legal in West Virginia until 22 weeks gestation.


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Synagogue Shooting Worst Of Many Hateful Attacks In October
כיכר השבת על ידי יוחנן בלייך
נפתחה חקירה: תקפו ילדים חרדים ויידו צינור ברזל לתוך בית הכנסת • צפו - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Florida: Halloween Nazi Death Camp Theme Angers Neighbors - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Several US Synagogues Vandalized After Deadly Pittsburgh Massacre
Hamodia by Hamodia Staff
Pole Thrown Through Window of Williamsburg Shul on Shabbos
Yeshiva World News by Y.W. Editor
Pittsburgh Kollel Organizes Learning In Memory Of Pittsburgh Massacre Victims by Benjamin Kerstein
Jewish Nurse Who Treated Pittsburgh Shooter Is Son of Rabbi, Experienced Antisemitic Bullying as a Child by Benjamin Kerstein
Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Wears Star of David Cleats to Honor Tree of Life Victims
Hamodia by Yochonon Donn
Democratic Activist Arrested for Anti-Semitic Graffiti, Arson - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Jewish Nurse Who Treated Pittsburgh Shooter Speaks Out - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Watch: NBC Closes The Nightly News With The Kaddish
Yeshiva World News by ZalmyX
Memorial For Pittsburgh Victims at Great Synagogue of Paris; Attended By Hundreds [VIDEO & PHOTOS] - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
NYC Synagogue Vandalism Suspect Is Former City Hall Anti-Hate Crime Intern

South American Terrorism and Anti-Semitism
Hamodia by Yoni Weiss
Terrorist Shot, Neutralized, During Attempted Stabbing Near Kiryat Arba - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Report: Adolf Eichmann’s Sons Established A Nazi Cell In Argentina

Prayers for Those in Need
כי לה' המלוכה על ידי בחגוי הסלע
פיקוח נפש- מחלת החצבת – “לא תעמוד על דם רעך” - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Israel: Vaccination Campaign Launched In Orthodox Neighborhoods Amid Worst Measles Outbreak In Decades
Hamodia by Dror Halavy
Hospitals May Ban Visitors Without Measles Vaccination
Yeshiva World News by Spira
Suspect In Custody In The Stabbing Of A Ramat Gan Bus Driver - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
A Message From Hatzolah Regarding The Measles Outbreak
Yeshiva World News by Poch854
Yeshiva Bochur Injured in Fall in Yeshiva - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Bus Driver Stabbed In Central Israel Over Traffic Dispute
Yeshiva World News by ZalmyX
LEV TAHOR HORROR: Tales of Beatings and Torture Emerge From Excommunicated Cult Members
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
שני הרוגים בפיצוץ שאירע ברכב בתל אביב
Hamodia by Hamodia Staff
Measles in Ashdod School
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
חבלות קשות: נער נפל מגג בישיבה בעפולה ונפצע בינוני
Yeshiva World News by Spira
ANOTHER Major MVA On Israel’s Route 90 – This Time Involving Berland Motorcade [VIDEO & PHOTOS]
כיכר השבת על ידי כיכר השבת
שורת צעדים: במשרד הבריאות יוצאים למלחמה ב'חצבת'
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
התעללות ביהודים: 20 חודשי מאסר לערבי ש"איסלם" בחורי ישיבה
Life in Israel by Rafi G.
Proposed Law: Vaccination Sanctions
כיכר השבת על ידי קובי רוזן
כביש הדמים: תאונה בשיירה של הרב אליעזר ברלנד: חמשה נפגעים

כיכר השבת על ידי שאול כהנא
צפו בתיעוד: בהיכל הישיבה ספדו למשגיח הגר"י ישראלי זצ"ל
Hamodia by Hamodia Staff
Harav Eliyahu Shmuel Schmerler, Zt”l
Yeshiva World News by Y.W. Editor
Pittsburgh Kollel Organizes Learning In Memory Of Pittsburgh Massacre Victims
Yeshiva World News by Poch854
2 Killed in Tel Aviv Car Explosion [VIDEO & PHOTOS]
כיכר השבת על ידי דניאל הרץ
שני הרוגים בפיצוץ שאירע ברכב בתל אביב
Yeshiva World News by Spira
Petira of R’ Mordechai HaCohen Wallach Z”L, Senior Vishnitzer Chosid in Eretz Yisrael
Yeshiva World News by Spira
Beit Shemesh: Chareidi Infant Transported In Critical Condition, Is Niftar At Hospital
Hamodia by Hamodia Staff
Barkan Terrorist Still at Large
כיכר השבת על ידי אלי רוטמן
האסון בבית שמש: נחנקה למוות: הפעוטה שיחקה עם אחיה בפקק של תכשיר קוסמטי ובלעה אותו - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Rebbetzin Rochel Mayer a”h
כיכר השבת על ידי ישי כהן
הברכה והעקיצה: תיעוד: ראש הממשלה מנחם את משפחת אזולאי

Great Rabbis
כיכר השבת על ידי שאול כהנא
צפו בתיעוד: בהיכל הישיבה ספדו למשגיח הגר"י ישראלי זצ"ל
Hamodia by Hamodia Staff
Harav Eliyahu Shmuel Schmerler, Zt”l - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Watch: Giuliani At The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Ohel
Yeshiva World News by Spira
Simcha In The Mir: HaGaon HaRav Binyamin ‘HaTzadik’ Finkel Is Engaged - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Mazel Tov! R’ Binyomin Finkel From Mir Yeshiva Gets Engaged
כיכר השבת על ידי אבי רבינא
ההתלבטות בשיאה: אחרי הניצחון: ח"כי 'דגל התורה' נכנסו לבתי גדולי ישראל
כיכר השבת על ידי כיכר השבת
גלריה נרחבת: צפו: סיכום מסעו של האדמו"ר מוויז'ניץ לווינה
Life in Israel by Rafi G.
Interesting Psak: women at funerals
כיכר השבת על ידי אבי רבינא
לאחר אלמנות קצרה: שמחה בישיבת מיר: הגאון רבי בנימין פינקל התארס
Yeshiva World News by Yekusiel
PHOTOS: Photos From The Chabad Shluchim Visit To The Ohel (Photos by Shimi Kutner)

Hamodia by Yoni Weiss
Terrorist Shot, Neutralized, During Attempted Stabbing Near Kiryat Arba
Yeshiva World News by Spira
Attempted Stabbing Attack at the Entrance to Kiryat Arba
כיכר השבת על ידי כיכר השבת
ניסיון דקירה בצומת אליאס: המחבל חוסל - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
HATE IN LONG BEACH: Yeshiva Bochurim Shot at With BB Gun - The Online Voic by editor
Watch: Mordechai and Rikal Kaler Share Their Incredible Story

כיכר השבת על ידי ישי כהן
הפוליטיקאי האנטי-חרדי: ראש העיר טבריה רון קובי: "באתי לעשות פוליטיקה חדשה"
Yeshiva World News by Spira
A More Chareidi Friendly Version Of The Draft Law Seems To Be Advancing In Knesset
Yeshiva World News by Spira
SELF-HATING JEW: Tiveria Mayor Says Chareidim Mustn’t Be Permitted To Reach 30 Percent Of The City
כיכר השבת על ידי ישי כהן
הפוליטיקאי האנטי-חרדי בראיון: ראש העיר טבריה רון קובי: "באתי לעשות פוליטיקה חדשה"
Yeshiva World News by Spira
Above Ground Chilul Shabbos On Bnei Brak Section Of Light Rail
Hamodia by Hamodia
Chabad Kinus Hashluchim in Crown Heights - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Watch: Private Jet Takes Off To Chabad’s Kinnus Shiluchim
Life in Israel by Rafi G.
Interesting Psak: missing words from kesuba - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Full Video, Photos: Chabad Shluchim From Around The World Take Their Annual Group Photo in Crown Heights Ahead of 2018 Kinnus Hashluchim
Hamodia by Yoni Weiss
Teveria Mayor Comments Against Chareidi Community Sparks Uproar
Life in Israel by Rafi G.
Interesting Psak: women at funerals
Yeshiva World News by Y.W. Editor
FULL PHOTO ESSAY: Thousands of Chabad Shluchim Pose For Annual ‘Class Picture’ This Morning Outside 770
כיכר השבת על ידי כיכר השבת
הצהרה אנטישמית: ראש עיריית טבריה רון קובי: "רוצה שהחרדים יתפתחו - רק מחוץ לטבריה"

Election Stuff - The Online Voice of Torah Jewry by editor
Many Countries Planning To Move Embassies To Yerushalayim, Official Says
Hamodia by Hamodia
Go Vote!

          North Carolina Voter In Heavily Gerrymandered District Somehow Voting For Montana Senate, Mayor Of Phoenix      Cache   Translate Page      

GREENSBORO, NC—Admitting that it was difficult to keep up with all the different races, North Carolina voter Darin McDonough told reporters Tuesday that he was somehow voting for the Montana Senate and the mayor of Phoenix, AZ in his heavily gerrymandered district. “Man, there is a lot of confusing stuff on here. I’m…


          Americans Head To The Polls      Cache   Translate Page      

Citizens nationwide are heading to the polls today to cast their votes in the 2018 midterms, deciding which party will control the U.S. House and Senate, alongside other local offices and issues. What do you think?


          Mike Braun Defeats Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly      Cache   Translate Page      
Chicago (CBS) — Republican challenger for U.S. Senate Mike Braun has defeated incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly in Indiana.
          Pavol Demitra NHL Net Worth      Cache   Translate Page      

[divider] Pavol Demitra NHL Net Worth $4 Million [divider] Pavol Demitra is a Slovak professional ice hockey player for Vancouver Canucks worth about $4 million. Pavol Demitra began his career when he joined ZTS Dubnica in 1991. He moved to Czechoslovak Extra liga’s HC Dukla Trennin 1992–93. He remained against the Senators in 1995 as …

The post Pavol Demitra NHL Net Worth appeared first on Celebrity Net Worth.

          Demokraterne vinder første svingstatspladser i Kongressen      Cache   Translate Page      
Demokraterne har foreløbig genvundet senatspladser i en række stater og ombejlede pladser i Huset.
          Democrats vs Republicans: Watch live 2018 Midterm Election results for free on YouTube      Cache   Translate Page      
Today is a very important day in the United States -- Election Day! Yes, across this great nation, citizens will be casting votes for all sorts of things, such as senators, governors, and various initiatives. Make no mistake, however, just like in 2016, the 2018 elections are all about Donald Trump. We will see whether the country approves or disapproves of the president's performance based on tonight's results. In other words, if the fabled "blue wave" comes to fruition -- meaning Democrats win a lot of seats -- it could prove disastrous for Trump's legacy and possible re-election hopes. In… [Continue Reading]
          Arizona voters to pick the state's first female senator      Cache   Translate Page      
Voters in Arizona are choosing between two women in the Senate race – meaning the state is guaranteed to elect its first female senator. CBS News Washington correspondent Paula Reid reports.

          America on knife's-edge: First polls close in House and Senate races that could doom Trumpism      Cache   Translate Page      
As polls closed one time zone at a time in what politicians have called 'the most important election' in most Americans' lives, Democrats drew first blood by knocking off a GOP congresswoman.
          Ted Cruz hopes to hold on to Senate seat amid tough challenge from Beto O'Rourke      Cache   Translate Page      
One of the key midterm races is the battle for the Senate in Texas. Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz is facing a tough challenge from Democrat Beto O'Rourke, and voters are turning out in record numbers. CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca reports.

          Midterm Election Night 2018: We're Partying With Congressional Candidates and State Legislators!      Cache   Translate Page      
Weed! Tacos! A Motherfucking Blue Wave! by Stranger Election Control Board

6:10 PM



Jump to:





6:00 PM


In Missouri, a poll worker asked a voter if they were a member of a caravan. In Texas, a poll worker got canned for saying racist shit and bumping a voter. (The former poll worker now faces a criminal assault charge.) All over the country, lawyers are running to courts to get orders to keep polling stations open so that people standing in long line—often for many hours—will be able to vote. And in Georgia, where shit is real fucked up, the shady Republican Secretary of State who's running for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams while also overseeing the state's unfair election system—this shady dude who claims nothing's wrong with Georgia's voting system had his own troubles voting. Karma's a blank ballot, dude.

Everyone, everywhere, listen to Beto:


5:40 PM


The SECB is like the rest of you with the Post-2016 Traumatic Stress feelings. So we A) don't believe any of it until the Russians stuff the final batch of votes in all the boxes and B) desperately want these early signs of unusually high voter turnout and general Trump-rejection to be real. So lets take some deep, centering breaths, go to the New York Times's "calm place" and stare at water flowing over a hand-model's hands when necessary, and focus, for now, on the positive:


You ask: What about badass fighter pilot Democrat Amy McGrath in blood-red Kentucky? It's close. Send her the best vibrations you pick up at the calm place.


5:10 PM


John Roderick, Nathalie Graham, Rich Smith, and Benjamin Gibbard on Seattle streets shortly before midterm election results.
John Roderick, Nathalie Graham, Rich Smith, and Benjamin Gibbard on Seattle streets shortly before midterm election results. CF

On our way to fuel up on tacos before a night of crashing election parties, the SECB ran into Ben Gibbard (lead singer for Death Cab for Cutie and the Postal Service) and John Roderick (lead singer of The Long Winters and a former Seattle City Council candidate). We ran into them a block away from Carmelo's Tacos, our favorite new taco joint tucked inside Hillcrest Market.

Asked for predictions, Roderick said, "We take the House and lose the Senate. And who knows what happens after that." Gibbard concurred with Roderick's prediction.

"I think the governors' races are going to be a wash," Gibbard added. "Remember that beautiful, innocent time when we thought we could believe in polls?"

Roderick said, "All I want is to see Dino Rossi lose. I want to see him go straight into a hole. Put him up for dogcatcher."

After we parted with the famous musicians, a 22-year-old member of the SECB said, "I'm pretty cool in the face of fame."

The SECB hard at work while Carmelos makes us tacos. Also pictured: the balls of dough that get flattened into tortillas.
The SECB hard at work while Carmelo's makes us tacos. Also pictured: the balls of dough that get flattened into tortillas. CF

This post will be updated as more information trickles in. Or floods. We honestly don't know.

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          What I'm watching tonight      Cache   Translate Page      
With 435 House races, 36 governor races and 35 Senate races -- not to mention all the ballot initiatives and referenda -- it's impossible to watch everything. Unless you are very, very, very good at multitasking. Like, very good.

          Privacy concerns raised after leaking of Ottawa Senators’ Uber video      Cache   Translate Page      

Confidence in passenger privacy has taken a hit after video from an Uber cab was posted online — for all the world to see and hear — as a group of Ottawa Senators players mocked their coach and the performance of team members.

The video, recorded Oct. 29 in Arizona, shows seven players crammed into the moving car while they collectively deride one of their coaches and criticize the team’s penalty killing abilities.

As much as being a highly embarrassing team moment, it is a blow to peer-to-peer ride-sharing services, which aren’t stiffly regulated, like taxi cab companies, when it comes to customer privacy.

“This is a clear violation of our terms of service and we worked vigorously to investigate this issue,” said Rob Khazzam, Uber Canada’s general manager, via Twitter, in reference to the Senators’ snafu.

“A video was released by the media today of several Uber passengers being filmed without their consent while having a private discussion during a trip in Phoenix,” he added, referring to the video posted on a Postmedia YouTube page.

“Filming or recording passengers without their consent is totally unacceptable and if reported/detected we will investigate and take action to preserve our communities’ privacy and integrity. In this specific case, we made efforts to have the video taken down,” Khazzam said.

And while filming passengers without their knowledge is against Uber policy, the Senators’ privacy breach comes at a time when drivers in ride-sharing operations install dashboard cameras for their own safety and to disprove passenger accusations.

Cameras are required in municipally regulated and licensed taxi cabs, but protections are in place for passengers, industry experts say.

“In every taxi in the City of Toronto there’s a requirement for a camera installed in the vehicle that takes still photos during trips and it is activated by the opening an closing of the doors,” said Kristine Hubbard, operations manager with Beck Taxi.

“This is designed not only for the safety of passengers and drivers, but also in a case that they are accused of doing something they may, or may not, have done, and those cameras are only accessed by Toronto Police Services (in the event of an investigation), which answers the privacy issue question,” Hubbard said.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy for anyone putting their own cameras in a taxi. We do our own inspections and if someone was found to have a camera it would be taken out,” Hubbard added.

She pointed out that there is a sticker on every taxi warning passengers they are being photographed and that only police have access to download images in an investigation.

“Privacy is all about control, personal control over the use and disclosure of your personal information,” said Ann Cavoukian, former information and privacy commissioner of Ontario, and currently a member of Ryerson University’s Privacy and Data Analytics team.

She called the U.S. Uber driver’s actions “outrageous.”

“You have to draw the line where this is a completely unacceptable practice, unethical and I’m sure there are some grounds to take it to court. Cabs and Ubers theoretically have cams for the security of the drivers, but there should be clear notice when you get in that there is a camera capturing everything you are saying and doing. I don’t think that type of notice is available in Uber,” she said.

“What is completely unacceptable is disclosing that information publicly via the internet. It’s up to Uber’s management to lay down the law and say to all their drivers they cannot disclose the information from your webcam to anybody else, and certainly not online for the whole world to see.”

Cavoukian added that when something bad happens in an Uber, or a driver feels their safety was at risk, the video should be taken to the police, not posted online

“The driver caught a salacious story with the Senators bad mouthing some people and posted it online,” she said. “It not only places the passengers at risk of some repercussions but it is a completely unethical activity.”

She said she agrees people should be cautious in what they say or do in public places, they should expect a certain level of privacy when they pay for a ride service.

“These guys got into the Uber and they were just letting off steam. We all do this and expect a level of decency, as we wouldn’t broadcast it on the internet for anyone to see. I find it appalling and I think Uber senior managers have to step in and say you cannot do that.

“They have to make an example of this person and say: We don’t do things like that.”

David Murakami Wood, Canada Research chair in surveillance studies and professor at Queen’s University, said the way the incident will be viewed and handled depends largely on context, The Canadian Press reports.

If it had played out on Canadian soil, Murakami said the driver would likely be facing legal consequences for making a recording without permission. But laws vary widely by jurisdiction, he said, adding such consequences seem unlikely for the Arizona-based Uber driver.

Henry Stancu is a Toronto-based business reporter. Reach him on email:

          Election results live updates: Democrats hope to flip Republican seats to take control of House, Senate      Cache   Translate Page      
The first polls in tonight's midterm elections close at 6 p.m.
          The 2018 midterms: the women we’re watching      Cache   Translate Page      

Looking at today's elections, 238 women are major party candidates on the House ballot and 23 women are running for seats in the U.S. Senate.

The post The 2018 midterms: the women we’re watching appeared first on OpenSecrets News.

          Election 2018: What Pa., N.J. results could say about the U.S. House and Senate outcomes      Cache   Translate Page      
Here's what to watch in the key U.S. House and Senate races in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and what the results could tell us about the national picture in the 2018 midterm elections.
          Special Coverage: Election Night 2018      Cache   Translate Page      
NPR has up-to-the-minute results and analysis on the 2018 midterms. On Tuesday, voters will decide the balance of power in the House and the Senate, and ultimately, the direction of the country.
          As Polls Close The Big Trend Is High Voter Turnout      Cache   Translate Page      
Polls are now closing in Ohio, North Carolina and West Virginia, with key Senate, House and gubernatorial races at stake.
          First Polls Close In 2018 Midterm Elections      Cache   Translate Page      
The first polls are closing in the 2018 midterm elections, with several key House and Senate races on the line in Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia and South Carolina.
          US 2018 midterm elections: all you need to know      Cache   Translate Page      
Election Day is today, November 6th, in the United States, and the 2018 midterm elections are likely going to be some of the most contentious elections in recent history. While President Donald Trump isn't up for reelection yet, the House of Representatives and Senate are in play for both parties, along with gubernatorial races, attorney general elections, and marijuana legalization initiatives in four different states. It's a lot to take in, but the internet is here to help. Here's everything you need to get ready for the big day, complete with registration information, polling locations, ride-sharing deals, and more.

To our American readers - get out there and vote.

          Dems on track to lose Senate seats, gain some in House      Cache   Translate Page      
Remember those graphs on Election Day in 2016 showing Hillary Clinton with a nearly 90 percent chance of victory – even late into the evening? They ended up reversing abruptly, and Donald Trump was the victor. The graphs were pulling a similar stunt on Tuesday, showing the developing results of the 2018 midterms. The GOP […]
          Democrat Senator Declares: I’m not Hillary Clinton      Cache   Translate Page      
Democrats now distance themselves from each other. And for the right reason: political expediency. I can’t think of a single Democrat running on Obama’s failed policies. They pretend to long for the “bad ol’ days” and the Era of Obama, but know America isn’t buying it. Kyrsten Sinema, Democratic senate candidate in Arizona barely admits […]
          Democratic Party in Georgia Under INVESTIGATION for Hacking Voting System      Cache   Translate Page      
Democrats are back at it. And by “it”, I mean cheating in elections. Let’s keep it real, cheating is the ONLY shot Democrats have at winning either the Senate or the House. In fact, Democrats would lose 80 percent of all elections if they ran on the up and up. Whether keeping “hidden” ballots, or […]
          President Trump and VP Pence: Republicans Will Keep the House      Cache   Translate Page      
I’ve been on record for months, declaring that Republicans will gain seats in the Senate and keep the House. Democrats’ only strategy is to win the House, or their house of crooked cards comes crashing down. And they put all their cards on the table. The race card was played against Trump, unsuccessfully. But they […]
          Let’s make elections about the issues, not “spoiler” hacks      Cache   Translate Page      

On the eve of the 2018 midterm elections, the issue of “spoilers” and third-party and independent candidates is front and center in several of most high-profile elections, even as Maine is showcasing the best solution: ranked choice voting.

President Donald Trump brought attention to how the major parties can manipulate voters through use and abuse of the role of third-party candidates. On Saturday, the president tweeted that allies of incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly have been seeking to elevate the Libertarian Party candidate as more conservative than the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate:

Rumor has it that Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana is paying for Facebook ads for his so-called opponent on the libertarian ticket. Donnelly is trying to steal the election? Isn’t that what Russia did!?

The Indiana Democratic Party indeed has issued ads that compare Republican Mike Braun and Libertarian nominee Lucy Brenton - not because they want Brenton to win, of course, but because they know that conservative votes for Brenton are votes not being cast for Braun.

Both parties engage in such tactics regularly, with controversies this year including the staff of a Republican congressman in Virginia collecting fraudulent signatures in an effort to help a former Democratic congressional nominee get on the ballot as an an independent. As Trump points out, Russian hackers of our elections in 2016 engaged in the same tactic in the presidential race, which former Republican congressman John Porter and I explained in an op-ed earlier this year.

More generally, third parties and independents are under attack across the nation for “spoiling” elections, as detailed last month by FairVote intern Ryan Joy. Notably, the past month has seen a run of prominent independents and third parties dropping out to avoid dividing a potential majority vote. Dropouts include the incumbent independent governor of Alaska Bill Walker and candidates running in major statewide races in Arizona, Maine, Oregon and - at least for one day - Michigan. In Georgia, votes for Libertarian nominees in elections for governor and secretary of state may trigger a December runoff election, as Georgia seeks to uphold majority rule.

Congressman Porter and I turn to a better way to secure our elections and put voters first:  ranked choice voting (RCV). Already used in 11 cities, with five additional cities recently enacting it for their next elections, RCV is being showcased this year in Maine in multi-candidate races for U.S. Senate and U.S. House for the first time in American history. Grounded in the editors’ experience with RCV in mayoral elections in Portland and the statewide primaries in June, this editorial in the Maine’s largest paper, The Portland Press Herald, about the withdrawal of independent gubernatorial candidate Alan Caron makes a compelling contrast between our usual single-choice, “top-of-the-heap” plurality system with ranked choice voting:

Caron came into the race with decades looking at Maine’s economic history and formulating ideas about what could make it grow now. But for most of the race, the first question he was asked was how he would navigate the spoiler question….. How different would this race have been if ranked-choice voting had been in play? Instead of asking him to drop out, people might have asked him about his plan to make the state energy independent by 2030, or two free years of higher ed for students who live in Maine for 10 years. Instead of focusing on how to prevent the worst possible outcome from the election, voters could have thought about what the best outcome could look like. That doesn’t mean that candidates like Caron would win, but they would at least have a chance to make their case.

Next Tuesday, Mainers will be able to compare the two voting systems. They will be able to rank preferences in the multi-candidate races for U.S. Senate and Congress but not in the three-way race for governor. Any of them who did not fill out a ranked-choice ballot in the June primary will get a chance to decide what’s more confusing: Marking a ballot that indicates a first and second choice, or trying to handicap a multi-candidate race, figuring out who’s a legitimate contender and who’s a spoiler.

In his news conference Monday, Caron said that he would work to pass a constitutional amendment to permit ranked-choice voting in state races. That remains the best way to address this problem.

FairVote’s senior fellow David Daley foreshadowed this editorial in his recent excellent analysis for the journal Democracy:

“[Ranked choice voting] is not a partisan reform. There will be times when it might help Democrats, or aid Republicans, or boost independents. This is a reform for voters, and a reform that incentivizes politicians to campaign and govern beyond their bases. RCV is the most significant reform we could enact to give voters more meaningful choices and ensure winners with true majority support. Candidates shouldn’t be dropping out, and offering voters fewer choices, just when most voters are beginning to pay attention. Likewise, there’s no need for voters to spend late October obsessing with polls and fretting a spoiler vote, or having to return a second time to the polls in November. The solution is as easy as 1, 2, 3.”

Let’s do what’s best for voters - and best for upholding the integrity of our elections - and avoiding electoral tactics based on undercutting representative democracy. Let’s enact ranked choice voting across our federal and state elections.

Illustration by Mikhaila Markham 

          De ce avea liderul PSD pistol. Explicaţia BOMBĂ despre JAF      Cache   Translate Page      
Senatorul PSD Nicolae Bădălau a fost jefuit, sâmbătă noapte, în timp ce dormea. Liderul PSD Giurgiu a rămas fără 16 ceasuri de câteva zeci de mii de euro, mai multe bijuteri și un pistol plin cu gloanțe.
          How We Voted: New York Senator Election Results      Cache   Translate Page      
Watch returns on the race between Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and GOP challenger Chele Farley.
          How We Voted: New Jersey Senator Election Results      Cache   Translate Page      
Take a county-by-county look at the race between Sen. Bob Menendez and GOP challenger Bob Hugin.
          Endelig stalltips for Senatet: Fortsatt republikansk flertall      Cache   Translate Page      

Det er 35 senatsvalg i år, inkludert suppleringsvalg i Minnesota og Mississippi. Her er våre oppdaterte og endelige stalltips for hvordan det går i november.

The post Endelig stalltips for Senatet: Fortsatt republikansk flertall appeared first on

          Demokraterne mister senatsplads til Republikanerne      Cache   Translate Page      
Nederlag i Indiana betyder, at Demokraterne får endnu sværere ved at overtage flertallet i Senatet.
          Senator denied by Nauru      Cache   Translate Page      

Australia told Nauru to stop an Australian senator from visiting the refugees Australia uses Nauru to imprison.

          Gillibrand re-elected to Senate in New York      Cache   Translate Page      

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, considered a potential Democratic candidate for the White House in 2020, defeated Republican challenger Chele Farley Tuesday to win re-election to a second full term in New York.

New York's junior senator was the overwhelming favorite over Farley in polls heading into ...

          Bob Menendez defeats Bob Hugin to retain Senate seat after legal woes      Cache   Translate Page      

Sen. Bob Menendez survived a tougher than expected re-election campaign in New Jersey in the wake of a corruption trial that threatened to upend the Democrat's political future.

Networks called the race for Mr. Menendez about 40 minutes after the polls closed.

Republican Bob Hugin and national GOP leaders had ...

          VoteCast: Nevada voters say nation headed wrong way      Cache   Translate Page      

A majority of voters deciding pivotal midterm races in Nevada said the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate.

As voters cast ballots for governor, U.S. Senate and members of Congress in Tuesday's elections, AP VoteCast found that about 4 in ...

          Mike Braun beats Joe Donnelly in Indiana Senate race      Cache   Translate Page      

Republican Mike Braun on Tuesday ousted Sen. Joe Donnelly, chalking up a big win for President Trump and putting a major dent in Democrats' long-shot hopes of flipping the U.S. Senate.

Networks declared Mr. Braun the winner almost three hours after polls closed, handing the GOP its first flipped seat ...

          Democrat Carper wins 4th term for Delaware US Senate seat      Cache   Translate Page      

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware won a fourth term in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, defeating a GOP opponent who was President Donald Trump's state campaign chair.

Carper's victory over Republican Rob Arlett, a Sussex County councilman, keeps his unbeaten streak in politics intact. He ...

          Ben Cardin re-elected in Maryland      Cache   Translate Page      

Sen. Ben Cardin won re-election in Maryland on Tuesday, easily turning aside several challengers to win a third term in the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Cardin, first elected to the Senate in 2006, defeated Republican Tony Campbell, independent candidate Neal Simon, libertarian Arvin Vohra, and several write-in candidates.

The Associated Press ...

          Elizabeth Warren defeats Geoff Diehl to easily win Senate re-election      Cache   Translate Page      

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, cruised to re-election Tuesday, setting her up for a widely expected bid for her party's 2020 presidential nomination.

The Associated Press called the race for Ms. Warren shortly after the polls closed in the deep-blue Democratic stronghold, where she faced challenges from Republican state Rep. ...

          Bob Casey defeats Lou Barletta in Pennsylvania Senate race      Cache   Translate Page      

Democratic Sen. Robert P. Casey of Pennsylvania easily won re-election to a third term Tuesday, turning back a challenge from Republican Lou Barletta, an immigration hardliner and ally of President Trump.

Networks called the race for Mr. Casey minutes after polls closed at 8 p.m. The incumbent campaigned mostly on ...

          VoteCast: Arizona voters divided on state of nation      Cache   Translate Page      

As they determined the outcome of one of the nation's most competitive Senate races, voters casting midterm election ballots in Arizona were divided over the state of the nation, according to a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate.

A little less than half said the country is on the right ...

          [ Politics ] Open Question : Don’t republicans realize even if they win they lose?      Cache   Translate Page      
If democrats get 40-45 percent of the House and senate republicans won’t get 2/3 votes to pass their legislation.
          2018 State Senate Results      Cache   Translate Page      

Note: All results are provisional. DISTRICT 1     John Fonfara* (D) Barbara Ruhe (R) Barbara Barry (G) DISTRICT 2...

The post 2018 State Senate Results appeared first on CBIA.

          Beyonce Endorses Beto O’Rourke For Texas Senate      Cache   Translate Page      
The singer shared her endorsement on Election Day.
          LIVE COVERAGE: Midterm Elections 2018 | Results, Senate Races, Vote Counts, And More      Cache   Translate Page      
Live coverage of the 2018 midterm elections as Campaign 2018 is in full swing. Stay here for results throughout the night from CBSN as America votes for key Gubernatorial, Senate and House candidates across the country. All 435 seats in the House are up for grabs, along with 35 Senate races and 36 gubernatorial contests. […]
          Władze krajowe PiS są zadowolone z wyników wyborów samorządowych w Kędzierzynie-Koźlu      Cache   Translate Page      
Senator Grzegorz Peczkis, szef struktur powiatowych Prawa i Sprawiedliwości, podczas dzisiejszej konferencji prasowej odniósł się do wyników wyborów samorządowych. Mimo że ugrupowaniu rządzącemu w kraju nie udało się powtórzyć wyniku w powiecie kędzierzyńsko-kozielskim i na Opolszczyźnie, to władze centralne partii pozytywnie oceniły rezultaty osiągnięte przez kandydatów PiS w naszym regionie. Ocenę wyników uzyskanych w wyborach […]
          Każdy może pomóc polskim dzieciom żyjącym na Ukrainie. Rusza zbiórka darów      Cache   Translate Page      
Już po raz drugi senator Grzegorz Peczkis organizuje akcję pomocy Polakom mieszkającym we wschodniej części Ukrainy. Przez cały miesiąc zbierana będzie żywność, zabawki oraz książki, które trafią do dzieci z obwodu charkowskiego i sąsiednich regionów. Dary można przynosić do biura senatora przy alei Jana Pawła II 36. Zbiórka rozpoczęła się dziś i potrwa aż do […]
           California's new insurance commissioner to face issue of increasing wildfire      Cache   Translate Page      
A key issue in the race for California insurance commissioner between former commissioner Steve Poinzer and democratic senator Richard Lara is widlfire, reported Ezra David Romero on Capital Public Radio. The new commissioner will have to deal with a complicated insurance system and a warming climate that's increasing the number, size and impact of California wildfires, said Susie Kocher, UC Cooperative Extension forestry and natural resources advisor. For many Californians, the possibility...

          Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in four states — this map shows every US state that has legalized marijuana      Cache   Translate Page      

states where marijuana legal map

  • Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in four states in Tuesday's midterm elections.
  • Recreational marijuana is already legal in nine states and medical marijuana is legal in 31 states.
  • A 2017 Gallup poll showed that 64% of Americans support legalization.

Four states are voting on marijuana legalization measures in Tuesday's midterm elections.

Michigan and North Dakota are weighing measures to legalize recreational marijuana for all adults, while bright-red Utah and Missouri residents are voting on medical marijuana measures.

Oklahoma voted to legalize medical marijuana earlier this year. Residents voted 56-43% in support of the ballot initiative, which is one of the most permissive medical marijuana laws in the US. 

Nine states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana for recreational use — no doctor's letter required — for adults over the age of 21. 

In January, Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislature, rather than a ballot initiative, when the governor signed the bill into law.

Marijuana prohibition began 80 years ago when the federal government put a ban on the sale, cultivation, and use of the cannabis plant. It remains illegal on the federal level.

Despite the efforts of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has been on a crusade to stamp out legal marijuana since his appointment, the industry is exploding.

Read more: The CEO of the largest cannabis company in the US says giant private equity firms could be his biggest competition — here's his playbook for defending against them

Legal marijuana sales exploded to $9.7 billion in North America in 2017, according to a report from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics. That represents a 33% increase over 2016, shattering previous expectations about how quickly the marijuana industry could grow in the face of federal prohibition.

The report also predicted the legal marijuana market will reach $24.5 billion in sales — a 28% annual compound growth rate — by 2021, as more state-legal markets come online.

Support for marijuana legalization reached new highs in 2017. A Gallup poll showed that 64% of Americans favor legalization, and a majority of Republicans back it for the first time.

Read more of Business Insider's cannabis industry coverage:

SEE ALSO: We went inside the best marijuana shop in America — here's what it was like

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Legal marijuana may have several health benefits

          Exit polls show healthcare is the biggest issue for voters — and that could be a good sign for Democrats      Cache   Translate Page      

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer

  • Early exit polls show that a plurality of voters identified healthcare as the most important issue in the 2018 midterm elections.
  • The polls could be a good sign for Democrats, who made healthcare their top issue during the campaign.
  • Preelection polls also showed voters trusted Democrats over Republicans on healthcare.
  • But exit polls can be unreliable and it's unclear how the focus influenced individual races.

Healthcare was the driving issue for many Americans in Tuesday's midterm elections, according to early exit polls, and the focus could be a good sign for Democrats.

According to early exit polls, healthcare was the most important issue for a plurality of voters in the midterms. An exit poll conducted by CNN, NBC, and other major outlets found 40% of Americans picking healthcare as their most important issue. Immigration came in second with roughly 20% of people selecting it as the top issue.

An exit poll conducted by the Associated Press' Votecast system also found that healthcare was the most important issue, but by a slimmer margin. 26% of Americans selected healthcare as the top issue with immigration nabbing a 23% share and 19% of people picking the economy.

Read more: Midterms 2018 LIVE: Follow along for live results and coverage of a wild election night

Healthcare was a dominant theme for Democrats throughout the election season with both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer imploring candidates to focus on the issue during the waning days of the campaign.

"I write to acknowledge the vital role Congressional Democrats played in protecting the Affordable Care Act and exposing the GOP’s monstrous health care agenda – and I urge all of us to continue to push this message in the next 24 hours," Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues on Monday.

Read more: The 2018 midterms will have a big impact on healthcare, from Medicaid to nurses to abortion — here are the key issues

The focus on healthcare may also be a good, though incredibly early, sign for Democrats' hopes of retaking the House of Representatives. According to polling done before the election, Americans generally trusted the party more on healthcare and Democrats poured money into advertising on the issue.

Additionally, support for Obamacare and the law's preexisting conditions protections are at relative high points — both are issues that the Democrats harped on in the lead up to Election Day.

On the flip side, Trump and the GOP largely played defense on healthcare and attempted to turn the focus onto the strong economy or immigration issues like the migrant caravan. But that fight seems to have been blunted.

The results do come with a few caveats. Exit polls are prone to unreliability and just because voters were focused on healthcare doesn't mean that they voted for Democrats.

But Democrats largely wanted the midterm elections to be a referendum on the GOP's handling of healthcare and it appears the party got its wish.

SEE ALSO: A fight over the most popular piece of Obamacare could define the 2018 midterm elections

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote

          Election results: Your hour-by-hour guide to midterm elections as polls close across the nation      Cache   Translate Page      
In the Senate, Republicans hold a razor-thin, 51-49 majority. In the House, Democrats will need to pick up 23 seats to gain a majority.                
          Beyoncé wants you to know she supports Beto O'Rourke      Cache   Translate Page      
Hours earlier than the polls closed in Texas, famous person singer Beyoncé took to Instagram to turn her enhance for the Texas Democratic Senate candidate. Beyoncé, a local of Houston, did not at once cope with O’Rourke within the caption to her picture, by which she wears a “Beto for ...
          Republican John Barrasso of Wyoming and Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York re-elected to the Senate      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican John Barrasso of Wyoming and Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York re-elected to the Senate.
          Where to find election results tonight      Cache   Translate Page      
* Click here for WBEZ’s election results. They have statewides and congressional. * Click here for the Sun-Times’ state Senate results, click here for the paper’s state House results, click here for their Cook County results and click here for their DuPage County results. The full set of results from the paper is here.
          US midterm elections: Republican Cruz take slim lead in Texas Senate race      Cache   Translate Page      
After first exit polls showed that Democratic candidate O'Rourke was in a comfortable lead over incumbent Republican Cruz, the gap narrowed as votes continued to be counted and just recently Cruz took a slim lead. Although experts all agree that Republicans will stay in control of the Senate, ...
          Tennessee Senate Stays Red As Marsha Blackburn Fends Off Democrat Phil Bredesen      Cache   Translate Page      
Blackburn is the first female senator in the state's history
          CIA's 'Surveillance State' Is Operating Against Us All      Cache   Translate Page      

Authored by Sharyl Attkisson, op-ed via The Hill,

Maybe you once thought the CIA wasn’t supposed to spy on Americans here in the United States.

That concept is so yesteryear...

Over time, the CIA upper echelon has secretly developed all kinds of policy statements and legal rationales to justify routine, widespread surveillance on U.S. soil of citizens who aren’t suspected of terrorism or being a spy.

The latest outrage is found in newly declassified documents from 2014. They reveal the CIA not only intercepted emails of U.S. citizens but they were emails of the most sensitive kind — written to Congress and involving whistleblowers reporting alleged wrongdoing within the Intelligence Community.

The disclosures, kept secret until now, are two letters of “congressional notification” from the Intelligence Community inspector general at the time, Charles McCullough. He stated that during “routine counterintelligence monitoring of government computer systems,” the CIA collected emails between congressional staff and the CIA’s head of whistleblowing and source protection.

McCullough added that he was concerned about the CIA’s “potential compromise to whistleblower confidentiality and the consequent ‘chilling effect’ that the present [counterintelligence] monitoring system might have on Intelligence Community whistleblowing.”

“Most of these emails concerned pending and developing whistleblower complaints,” McCullough stated in the letters to lead Democrats and Republicans at the time on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees — Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), and Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.).

The March 2014 intercepts, conducted under the leadership of CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, happened amid what’s widely referred to as the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers and mass surveillance scandals.

Is that legal?

According to the CIA, the spy agency has been limited since the 1970s to collecting intelligence “only for an authorized intelligence purpose; for example, if there is a reason to believe that an individual is involved in espionage or international terrorist activities” and “procedures require senior approval for any such collection that is allowed.”

But here’s where it gets slippery. It turns out the CIA claims it must engage in “routine counterintelligence monitoring of government computers” to make sure certain employees aren’t doing bad things. Poof! Now, all kinds of U.S. citizens and their communications can be swept into the dragnet — and it’s deemed perfectly legal. It’s just an accident or “incidental,” after all, if the CIA happens to pick up whistleblower communications with the legislative branch.

Or maybe it’s a lucky break for certain CIA officials.

The only reason we know any of this now is thanks to Sen. Chuck Grassley(R-Iowa), whose staffers were among those spied on. Grassley says it took four years for him to get the shocking “congressional notifications” declassified so they could be made public. First, Grassley says, Clapper and Brennan dragged their feet, blocking their release. Their successors in the Trump administration were no more responsive. Only when Grassley recently appealed to current Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who was sworn in on May 17, was the material finally declassified.

“The fact that the CIA under the Obama administration was reading congressional staff’s emails about Intelligence Community whistleblowers raises serious policy concerns, as well as potential constitutional separation-of-powers issues that must be discussed publicly,” wrote Grassley in a statement.

Legal or not, there was a time when this news would have so shocked our sensibilities — and would have been considered so antithetical to our Constitution by so many — that it would have prompted a swift, national outcry.

But today, we’ve grown numb. Outrage has been replaced by a cynical, “Who’s surprised about that?” or the persistent belief that “Nothing’s really going to be done about it,” and, worst of all, “What’s so bad about it, anyway?”

Some see the intel community’s alleged abuses during campaign 2016 as its own major scandal. But I see it as a crucial piece of a puzzle.

The evidence points to bad actors targeting candidate Donald Trump and his associates in part to keep them — and us — from learning about and digging into an even bigger scandal: our Intelligence Community increasingly spying on its own citizens, journalists, members of Congress and political enemies for the better part of two decades, if not longer.

          Gold Gains As Stocks, Dollar, Bond Yields Tumble After Early Election Results Hit      Cache   Translate Page      

Update: This is what drove it we suspect:


However, Democrat Jennifer Wexton's win in Virginia was expected. And though it'll cheer Democrats as an early pickup seat in the House, it may not be much of a bellwether.

Only 23 more to go...

*  *  *

While it is hard to discern exactly what drove this sudden shift towards a 'blue wave'-themed derisking in markets, Dow futures are down 100 points...

10Y yields are down 3bps...

and the dollar tumbled...

And gold is bid...

We don't have much data to work with so far, but we're starting to see slight movement in FiveThirtyEight's real-time forecast. They're now projecting Democrats have a 11 in 12 chance to win the House (a slight improvement) while they have just a 1 in 7 chance to win the Senate.

          After the US midterm elections, don’t count on a Democratic Congress to soften Trump’s hard line on China      Cache   Translate Page      
With the all-important US midterm elections nearing, and the prospect that Democrats will take control of the House and possibly the Senate, many are wondering if such a change would herald any substantive change in the Trump administration’s or American policy towards China. It is very ...
          Has Mike Bloomberg Begun The Battle For 2020?      Cache   Translate Page      

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via,

Did former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg just take a page out of the playbook of Sen. Ed Muskie from half a century ago?

In his first off-year election in 1970, President Richard Nixon ran a tough attack campaign to hold the 52 House seats the GOP had added in ’66 and ’68, and to pick up a few more seats in the Senate.

The issue: law and order. The targets: the “radical liberals.”

In that campaign’s final hours, Muskie delivered a statesmanlike address from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, excoriating the “unprecedented volume” of “name-calling” and “deceptions” from the “highest offices in the land.”

Nixon picked up a pair of Senate seats, but Democrats gained a dozen House seats, and the press scored it as a victory for Muskie, who was vaulted into the lead position for the 1972 Democratic nomination.

In the final days of this election, Bloomberg just invested $5 million to air, twice nationally, a two-minute ad for the Democratic Party that features Bloomberg himself denouncing the “fear-mongering,” and “shouting and hysterics” coming out of Washington.

“Americans are neither naive nor heartless,” says the mayor. “We can be a nation of immigrants while also securing our borders.”

That $5 million ad buy was only Bloomberg’s latest contribution to the Democratic Party during an election campaign into which he had already plunged $110 million of his own money.

Contributions of this magnitude support the idea that Bloomberg will seek the presidential nomination as a Democrat. With resources like this at his disposal, and a willingness to spend into the hundreds of millions, he could last in the primaries as long as he wants.

Yet, Bloomberg is no Ed Muskie, who had been Hubert Humphrey’s running mate in 1968 and was widely regarded a top contender for 1972.

The mayor has been a Republican and independent as well as a Democrat. And as The Washington Post’s Robert Costa relates, Bloomberg has drawbacks:

“He speaks flatly with the faded Boston accent from his youth, devoid of partisan passion and with a technocratic emphasis.”

With the energy of the Democratic Party coming from militants, minorities and millennials, would these true believers rally to a 76-year-old Manhattan media magnate who wants to make their party more centrist and problem-solving, and to start beavering away at cutting the deficit?

Yet Bloomberg’s opening move may force the pace of the politics of 2020. Should he announce, and start spending on ads, he could force the hand of Vice President Joe Biden, who appears the Democrats’ strongest candidate in taking back Pennsylvania, and the states of the industrial Midwest, from Trump.

On the left wing of the Democratic Party, which seems certain to have a finalist in the run for the 2020 nomination, the competition is stiff and the pressure to move early equally great.

If Socialist Bernie Sanders is not to lock up this wing of the party as he did in 2016, Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts may have to move soon.

But even before attention can turn to the presidential race, the U.S. House of Representatives seems certain to witness a leadership battle.

Nancy Pelosi is determined to become speaker again if Democrats take the House today, while the Congressional Black Caucus has entered a demand for one of the two top positions in the House.

Millennials also want new leadership. And to many centrist Democrats in swing districts, Pelosi as the visible voice and face of the national party remains a perpetual problem.

If the Democrats fail to recapture the House, the recriminations will be sweeping and the demand for new leadership overwhelming.

But even if they do capture the House, the rewards may be fleeting.

A Democratic House will be a natural foil for President Trump, an institution with responsibility but without real power.

And should the economy, which has been running splendidly under a Republican Congress and president start to sputter under a divided Congress, there is no doubt that the Democratic House majority, with its anti-capitalist left and socialist ideology, would emerge as the primary suspect.

Also, if Democrats win the House, Maxine Waters could be the new chair of the House Committee on Financial Services, Adam Schiff the chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Jerrold Nadler of New York the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the repository for resolutions of impeachment. Does that look like a winning lineup?

2019 is thus shaping up to be a year of gridlock on Capitol Hill, with the Senate attempting to expeditiously move through Trump’s nominated judges, and a Democratic House potentially hassling the White House and Trump administration with a snowstorm of subpoenas.

This could be the kind of battleground Donald Trump relishes.

A victorious Democratic Party today could be set up to take the fall, both for gridlock and any major reversal in the progress of the economy.

          Democrats strike early in battle for U.S. House, face uphill climb in Senate      Cache   Translate Page      
Democrats struck early in the battle for the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday, but faced an uphill climb to capture the Senate after Republican Mike Braun knocked off incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly in Indiana.

          US midterm elections 2018: Democrats hopeful of win but analysts say poll results fairly unpredictable as both sides rally for Senate      Cache   Translate Page      
Trump's Republican coalition is increasingly older, whiter, more male and less likely to have a college degree. Democrats are relying more on women, people of colour, young people and college graduates.
          U.S. senators, citing Reuters report, demand fixes in military housing      Cache   Translate Page      
Two U.S. senators on Monday called on the Department of Defense and one of its largest landlords to fix housing hazards documented by Reuters at military bases nationwide, including a Marine compound in southern California.

          'No evidence' to back Kavanaugh accusers' claims, Senate panel's report on FBI probe finds      Cache   Translate Page      
An investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh found no witnesses who could provide evidence to substantiate the claims, a letter to Senate Republicans from the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said Friday.
          Sign of the times: Developers pile cash on Democrats ahead of general election      Cache   Translate Page      
New York real estate developers gave the Democratic State Campaign Committee more than $270,000 in campaign contributions during just 10 days last month, hedging their bets as Democrats seek to take back control of the state Senate after Tuesday’s general election. City real estate concerns, which typically favor Republicans, accounted for more than 40 percent of $674,000 sent to the DSCC during the time period, Politico reported. For some developers, the choice to give to […]
          Republican Marsha Blackburn wins race for Bob Corker’s Tennessee Senate seat      Cache   Translate Page      
GOP Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn on Tuesday defeated Democratic opponent Phil Bredesen in the race to replace Republican Sen. Bob Corker, according to Fox News. Bredesen is the state’s former governor. Corker announced last year that he would not seek re-election.
          Democrat Tim Kaine of Virginia re-elected to the Senate, defeating Republican Corey Stewart      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Tim Kaine of Virginia re-elected to the Senate, defeating Republican Corey Stewart.
          Democrats lose first Senate seat of the night in Indiana      Cache   Translate Page      
Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly lost his Senate seat on Tuesday in a hard-fought race against Republican businessman Mike Braun. Donnelly, who took the seat in 2012, lost the first Democratic Senate seat of the midterm election in a state President Trump won by 19 points in 2016. Braun cast himself as an outsider and a...
          Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand re-elected to second full term      Cache   Translate Page      
Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has defeated Republican challenger Chele Farley to win re-election to the US Senate. Gillibrand was heavily favored in Tuesday’s election and has been talked about as a potential presidential candidate in 2020. At a recent debate, Gillibrand pledged to serve her entire six-year Senate term. Gillibrand was appointed in...
          Battle For U.S. Senate Seat Has Some Texan Voters Anxious About Results      Cache   Translate Page      
Texans have turned out in record numbers to vote this year. In fact, more people in the state voted early than in the entire 2014 midterms. The biggest race is for a Senate seat.
          URGENT - CNN projects Clinton running mate, Tim Kaine, and primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, will win re-election      Cache   Translate Page      
(CNN) -- The first Senate calls of the night are for Hillary Clinton's 2016 primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, and her running mate, Tim Kaine — both of whom will win re-election, CNN projects.
          Uber dashboard camera catches Ottawa Senators players badmouthing coach      Cache   Translate Page      
Ottawa Senators heart Colin White used to be some of the vital avid gamers. (AP Picture/Rick Scuteri) Ottawa Senators avid gamers apologized Monday evening for badmouthing assistant trainer Martin Raymond remaining month. Seven Senators avid gamers have been using in an Uber in Phoenix after ...
          Мнения: Выборы в Конгресс США всех разозлят      Cache   Translate Page      
Сегодня проходят очередные выборы в Конгресс США. Первые результаты станут известны в ночь на 7 ноября по московскому времени.

Сегодня проходят очередные выборы в Конгресс США. Первые результаты станут известны в ночь на 7 ноября по московскому времени.

Эти выборы называют промежуточными, поскольку они проходят в период между выборами президентскими.

Состав нижней палаты – Палаты Представителей – переизбирается каждые два года. Члены верхней палаты – Сената – занимают свой пост шесть лет, поэтому в каждый, как бы у нас сказали, всеобщий день голосования, ротируется только часть сенатских мандатов.

В этом году американцам предстоит избрать всех 435 представителей и 35 сенаторов из 100 (33 в рамках регулярных перевыборов и 2 в ходе специальных довыборов из-за досрочных отставок).

Республиканцы подошли к 6 ноября, обладая контролем над обеими палатами. Более того, именно кандидат от их партии находится в Белом доме. Однако первые выборы в Конгресс после избрания нового президента почти всегда в последние десятилетия складывались для правящей партии неудачно.

Этот электоральный феномен даже назвали «проклятием первых промежуточных выборов». Избежать его смог лишь Джордж Буш-младший в 2002 году. Тогда избиратели все еще находились под сильным влиянием терактов 11 сентября 2001-го и проголосовали за статус-кво.

Все остальные хозяева Белого дома, включая очень популярных в народе Рональда Рейгана и Билла Клинтона (скандал с Моникой Левински разразился гораздо позже), пали жертвой этого проклятия. Точнее, жертвой становилась их партия, которая теряла большинство по крайней мере в одной из палат Конгресса.

Если верить результатам социологических исследований, Республиканскую партию завтра ожидает та же участь. Они, скорее всего, сохранят контроль над Сенатом и утратят контроль над Палатой Представителей.

Еще пару месяцев назад практически все американские СМИ говорили о неизбежной «синей волне» (синий – официальный цвет Демпартии). Демократы были уверены, что одержат уверенную победу и обе палаты окажутся в их руках.

Результаты опросов показывали, что под угрозой оказались даже самые «надежные» мандаты, например, место Теда Круза в Сенате от штата Техас. Неизбежный, как тогда казалось, разгром республиканцев либеральные медиа преподносили в качестве свидетельства успехов антитрамповского «Сопротивления». «Говорящие головы» утверждали, что Америка проснулась и бросилась исправлять свою ошибку, допущенную в ноябре 2016-го.

Расхожей фразой стало: «Имя Трампа формально в бюллетенях не числится, но люди голосуют именно за или против Трампа». Промежуточные выборы в Конгресс превратились в референдум о 45-м президенте США.

И такой поворот предвыборной кампании сыграл против демократов. Правящая партия после первых двух лет нахождения в Белом доме нового президента проигрывает не из-за него, а из-за естественных изменений в настроениях избирателях. Точнее – в степени их мобилизованности.

Те, что выбрали президента, почивают на лаврах. Местный конгрессмен интересует их куда меньше главы государства. Ну а если тот не во всем согласен с хозяином Белого дома, то на такого законодателя и вовсе нет смысла тратить несколько часов своего времени (выборы проходят в будний день, из-за чего утром и вечером на участках выстраиваются длинные очереди).

Их оппоненты, напротив, всеми силами пытаются взять реванш, пусть и частичный, за проигрыш двухлетней давности.

У республиканцев дела бы шли не слишком хорошо даже в том случае, если бы никакого «Сопротивления» не существовало. И даже если бы у президента был заоблачный рейтинг. Такова электоральная динамика в США.

Кроме того, республиканские конгрессмены не слишком радовали своих избирателей. Их единственным успехом стал налоговый билль, принятый в конце 2017 года. Обладая большинством в обеих палатах, они так и не смогли изменить систему здравоохранения (одно из главных их предвыборных обещаний в 2014 и 2016 гг.), оказались не слишком хорошими помощниками президенту и долго раздумывали над тем, стоит ли вообще поддерживать главу государства.

За полгода до выборов стало известно, что не собираются баллотироваться на следующий срок три сенатора и тридцать семь представителей-республиканцев. В их числе оказался и спикер нижней палаты Пол Райан.

В общем, Республиканская партия находилась не в лучшей форме перед очередными выборами. У многих избирателей складывалось впечатление, что партия деморализована, несмотря на значительные успехи новой администрации в экономике.

Значительная часть ядерного электората Трампа относилась к конгрессменам – однопартийцам президента в лучшем случае скептически. Некоторые же сторонники главы государства и вовсе не простили законодателям сопротивления Большому Дональду на этапе праймериз и в первый год инаугурации.

Республиканское большинство в Конгрессе рассыпалось само собой. Демократам оставалось только тихо взять власть на Капитолийском холме. Серьезной борьбы еще совсем недавно никто не ожидал.

Но борцы с Трампом слишком увлеклись своей «священной миссией». Летом первым (и, по сути дела, единственным) пунктом программы каждого демократического кандидата на место в Конгресс было объявление импичмента президенту.

С большим трудом лидеры Демпартии сумели убедить своих конгрессменов в необходимости сменить риторику. Но было уже поздно.

Теперь о намерениях демократов заговорили республиканцы. То, что 6 ноября предстоят не обычные выборы конгрессменов, а голосование за импичмент Трампа, стало основным аргументом консервативных кандидатов.

Очень не вовремя для Демократической партии подал в отставку судья Верховного суда Энтони Кеннеди, и у Трампа появилась возможность провести в высший орган третьей власти еще одного (после Нила Горсича в 2017-м) своего выдвиженца. Им стал Бретт Кавэно, известный своими консервативными взглядами на конституционное право.

Поскольку республиканцы обладали большинством в Сенате, помешать утверждению Кавэно демократы не могли. Но не могли они и отнестись спокойно к изменению состава Верховного суда. Впервые с конца 1960-х ВС США стал бы консервативным, причем на многие десятилетия.

Демократические сенаторы, левые активисты и либеральные медиа бросились в отчаянную атаку. Судью обвинили в непристойном поведении на вечеринке 35-летней давности.

Вашингтон оказался во власти митингующих. Здание Верховного суда было блокировано, а Конгресс практически взят штурмом. На сенаторов-республиканцев группы активистов кричали в коридорах Капитолия. И законодатели чуть было не дрогнули.

Президент проявил твердость. Разрешив провести дополнительное расследование силами ФБР (которое изначально было обречено на провал), он потребовал ни в коем случае не затягивать утверждение кандидатуры Кавэно. Новый судья Верховного суда в конце концов принес присягу.

Конгрессмены предстали перед избирателями не в лучшем свете. Но поведение оппозиции изрядно напугало республиканских избирателей. Теперь для многих из них промежуточные выборы стали такими же принципиальными, как и для демократов.

Еще одной проблемой Демпартии стал раскол в ее рядах. Все бóльшую роль в ней стали играть люди крайне левых взглядов, называющие себя «демократическими социалистами».

Партийное руководство оказалось в сложном положении. Оно не могло дистанцироваться от левых радикалов, потому что они не только захватили улицу, но и стали задавать медийную повестку. С ними пришлось мириться. Но следуя лозунгу 1960-х «требовать невозможного», американские социалисты осложнили лидерам демократов координацию предвыборной работы на местах.

Президент и его сторонники-конгрессмены стали называть Демпартию социалистической. И это стало еще одним фактором мобилизации консервативного электората.

Расколотыми оказались и республиканцы. В результате конгрессмены, не пожелавшие оставаться в «партии Трампа», попросту сошли с дистанции. Многие избирательные округа оказались ослабленными, но партийная повестка была консолидирована.

Президент активно включился в кампанию. Весь последний месяц он регулярно выступал на митингах по всей стране. Ее месседж был прост – если демократы победят, всё, чего удалось добиться действующей администрации за два года, будет обесценено. Все реформы будут свернуты, а сам Трамп и выдвинутый им судья Кавэно будут подвергнуты импичменту.

Демократические стратеги также не теряли времени даром. Им удалось перенести центр тяжести предвыборных программ на вопросы образования и здравоохранения. С одной стороны, это было уступкой социалистической фракции (поскольку главным лозунгом стала «доступная медицина для всех»), но с другой – позволяло продемонстрировать, что у партии есть позитивная программа.

В это время из Гватемалы, Гондураса и Сальвадора выдвинулись несколько тысяч мигрантов, которые маршевыми колоннами двигаются сегодня по территории Мексики. Демократы «не смогли молчать». Они потребовали впустить всех членов иммиграционного каравана на территорию США, называя противников такого «естественного решения» расистами.

Если бы караван уже был на границе страны, телеканалы смогли бы показать Америке плачущих гватемальских детей, которых в нечеловеческих условиях удерживают в пустыне солдаты по приказу Трампа.

Но караван запоздал. За день до голосования на экранах своих телевизоров американцы видят бесконечную колонну людей, состоящую по большей части из мужчин в возрасте до 35 лет, размахивающих национальными флагами центральноамериканских государств.

Все это не могло не повлиять на рейтинги. Результаты соцопросов в воскресенье показывали, что республиканцы не только сохранят большинство в Сенате, но и несколько укрепят его. В Палате Представителей демократы практически гарантировали себе 202 места, республиканцы – только 195. В 38 избирательных округах рейтинги остаются равными.

Сегодняшние выборы ничего не решат. И разозлят всех. Политическая борьба в США станет еще ожесточеннее, а раскол в обществе – глубже.

На его преодоление ни у кого не будет времени. Да и желание такое у политиков вряд ли возникнет. Уже завтра обе партии начнут готовиться к президентским выборам 2020 года.

Теги:  Конгресс США, выборы в США, внутренняя политика

          The (Final) Forecast: A Democratic House and a Republican Senate, but still some uncertainty      Cache   Translate Page      
Analysis by Harry Enten, CNN
          Tussentijdse verkiezingen VS: waar moeten we deze nacht op letten?      Cache   Translate Page      

De tussentijdse Congresverkiezingen zijn natuurlijk anders dan een presidentsverkiezing waar er maar één winnaar is. Bij tussentijdse verkiezingen zijn er honderden winnaars en verliezers op landelijk en regionaal niveau. We proberen duidelijkheid te scheppen in deze brij aan verkiezingen en aan te geven wat belangrijk is.

Let op de opkomstcijfers

Amerikanen zijn anders dan Nederlanders geen trouwe kiezers. Bij tussentijdse Congresverkiezingen is de opkomst doorgaans dramatisch laag. Vier jaar geleden bracht slechts 36,4% van de kiezers een stem uit. De opkomst is dan ook de doorslaggevende factor. De partij die de meeste kiezers weet op te trommelen, wint de verkiezingen.

Neem een staat als Texas, die steevast beschreven wordt als een Republikeins bolwerk. In 2014 kwam slechts 28% van de Texaanse kiezers opdagen. In Texas is bijna 40% van de bevolking latino, die doorgaans Democratisch stemmen. Als de Democraten de Texaanse latino's naar de stembus weten te lokken, kunnen ze de hele staat Texas blauw kleuren (spoiler alert: de opkomst onder latino's is notoir laag).

Democraten staan meer bekend als thuisblijvers dan Republikeinse kiezers, maar dit keer wijzen alle peilingen erop dat de Democraten supergemotiveerd zijn om te gaan stemmen. Maar het zijn niet alleen Democraten; ook Republikeinse kiezers laten zich gelden.

De Blauwe Muur

De staten Michigan, Wisconsin en Pennsylvania vormden in 2016 de Blauwe Muur, die Hillary Clinton moest beschermen tegen een verkiezingsnederlaag. Clinton was er zo van overtuigd dat ze daar zou winnen, dat ze niet eens campagne voerde in Michigan en Wisconsin. Trump voelde echter goed aan dat hij daar een slag kon slaan en was er vaak te zien.

Trump sloeg de Blue Wall aan diggelen en zijn verrassende winst in Michigan, Wisconsin en Pennsylvania bezorgde hem de verkiezingszege. De verschillen waren echter minimaal. Bij elkaar opgeteld won Trump deze drie staten met slechts 77.744 stemmen verschil.

Het wordt interessant om te zien of de president deze staten weet vast te houden met de Congresverkiezingen. De peilingen wijzen vooralsnog op verlies voor de Republikeinen.

Gouverneursverkiezingen zijn belangrijk

Laten we niet de vele verkiezingen om het gouverneurschap en de staatsparlementen vergeten. De uitslag op staatsniveau kan ook verstrekkende gevolgen hebben voor de landelijke politiek.

In Amerika moeten de Congresdistricten volgens de wet even groot zijn qua bevolkingsaantal. Omdat sommige regio's groeien en andere weer krimpen, worden de kiesdistricten na elke tienjaarlijkse volkstelling aangepast. Het zijn de staatsparlementen en de gouverneurs die deze grenzen intekenen.

De laatste volkstelling was in 2010 en die viel samen met een Republikeinse golf in tal van staten. De Republikeinen grepen dat aan om het kiessysteem in hun voordeel te manipuleren met het omstreden gerrymandering.

De volgende volkstelling is in 2020. Wie bij deze verkiezingen de macht grijpt, heeft grote invloed op de vorming van de kiesdistricten, maar ook bijvoorbeeld op wetgeving die het voor bepaalde groepen kiezers moeilijker maakt om naar de stembus te gaan.

Georgia en Florida

Twee gouverneursverkiezingen zijn bijzonder interessant: Florida en Georgia. In deze twee staten neemt een uiterst linkse, zwarte kandidaat het op tegen een Trumpiaanse Republikein.

Georgia springt in het oog door de pogingen van de Republikeinse kandidaat om grote aantallen burgers, onder wie veel zwarte kiezers, van de kieslijsten te schrappen. Als de Democratische kandidate Stacey Abrams wint, zou ze de eerste zwarte, vrouwelijke gouverneur van Amerika worden.

Florida is altijd interessant, omdat het de belangrijkste swingstate is van de Verenigde Staten. Het is geen toeval dat Trump juist hier veel zijn gezicht laat zien, omdat winst voor de Republikeinen ook hem kan helpen bij zijn herverkiezingscampagne in 2020. In zowel Georgia als Florida is het een nek-aan-nekrace.

Een verkiezing met veel primeurs

De Midterms van 2018 kunnen een verkiezing van vele primeurs worden. Een recordaantal vrouwen doet mee aan deze verkiezingen. Kandidaten uit minderhedengroepen laten zich luid en duidelijk horen. In Vermont kan Christine Hallquist de eerste transgender gouverneur van Amerika worden. Jared Polis kan de eerste gouverneur worden die openlijk homo is.

Veronica Escobar gaat vrijwel zeker haar kiesdistrict winnen in El Paso, Texas. Daarmee wordt ze de eerste latina die namens Texas in het Huis van Afgevaardigden plaatsneemt.

Ilhan Omar en Rashida Tlaib worden waarschijnlijk de eerste moslima's die in het Congres komen. Stacey Abrams kan de eerste vrouwelijke, zwarte gouverneur van Amerika worden. En de kans is groot dat voor eerst een native American verkozen wordt in het Huis van Afgevaardigden.

De Senaat en de rechterlijke macht

De verkiezingen in een aantal staten gaan bepalen welke partij de macht grijpt in de Senaat. De Republikeinen hebben volgens de peilingen goede kansen om hun meerderheid te behouden of misschien zelfs uit te breiden. Dit heeft vooral te maken met een tiental Democratische senatoren die hun zetels moeten verdedigen in staten die twee jaar geleden naar Trump gingen.

De Republikeinen hechten veel waarde aan het behoud van hun meerderheid in de Senaat. De Grand Old Party heeft zich voorgenomen de gehele rechterlijke macht te hervormen. De partij die zowel de Senaat als het Witte Huis in handen heeft, heeft min of meer vrij spel bij de benoeming van federale rechters. Immers, de president draagt rechters voor en de Senaat keurt ze goed. De Republikeinen hebben al grote vorderingen gemaakt in hun project, maar als ze de Senaat zouden verliezen, dan komt daar een abrupt einde aan.

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Grace Cavert Grace Cavert is the longtime wife of current senior US Senator from Florida, Bill Nelson. Grace’s husband is the only Democrat to win a statewide office since 2006. He was born Clarence William Nelson II on September 29, 1942; the Miami native has served three terms in the Florida House, six terms in […]

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In the U.S. Senate race that keeps attracting national attention, our CBS-11/Dixie Strategies Texas poll shows Republican Senator Ted Cruz leads Democrat Beto O'Rourke by four points, 46%-42%.
          Bernie Sanders Wins Third Term to U.S. Senate      Cache   Translate Page      
Updated at 9:40 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) coasted to reelection Tuesday night, winning a third term to the U.S. Senate without breaking a sweat. The Associated Press called the race for him at 7:00 p.m. sharp, the moment polls closed.

About two hours later, the AP projected that U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) won a seventh term representing Vermont’s at-large seat in the U.S. House.

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist from Burlington, faced Republican real estate agent Lawrence Zupan of Manchester, as well as seven other candidates, in a race that never quite took off. Sanders campaigned infrequently in the state, spending much of his time stumping for Democratic candidates across the country. He agreed to take part in just one debate and one candidate forum.

At a Vermont Democratic Party gathering at the Burlington Hilton, Sanders told an enthusiastic crowd, “Being a United States senator from Vermont has been the honor of my life.”

Sanders also weighed in midterm elections throughout the country. “We don’t know what the overall election results for the United States will be tonight but what we do know is that this is a pivotal moment in American history,” he said. “And we do know that we have Republican leadership in the House and the Senate who have turned their backs on working class people in this country.”

During a speech at the DoubleTree in South Burlington, Zupan said he had just spoken to Sanders. “I thanked him for the campaign, and I acknowledged that the number seemed to be in his favor, and I wished him a long and peaceful, happy and healthy life, and he thanked me for a campaign well-run.”

Then Zupan launched into a familiar tirade against Sanders and his “system of socialism.”

“Emperor Sanders is not wearing any clothes,” the Republican nominee said, explaining that clothes, in this case, were a metaphor for policy ideas that could work.

“My head is unbowed,” Zupan said.

A former mayor of Burlington, Sanders was first elected to the U.S. House in 1990 and the Senate in 2006. If he serves out his next six-year term, he'll have spent 34 years in Congress.

With his reelection behind him, the 2016 presidential candidate will now consider whether to make another run for the White House in…
           Comment on The Obama Administration Wants another Housing Bubble…Plus Final Predictions for the 2014 House and Senate Mid-Term Elections by 2018 Election Predictions…and Potential Economic Consequences | International Liberty       Cache   Translate Page      
[…] you look at my election predictions from 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016, you’ll see that my occasional insights are matched by some big misses. So I […]
           Comment on The Final 2012 Election Prediction: Everything from the Electoral College Map to Which Party Controls the House and Senate by 2018 Election Predictions…and Potential Economic Consequences | International Liberty       Cache   Translate Page      
[…] you look at my election predictions from 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016, you’ll see that my occasional insights are matched by some big misses. So I […]
          Out Senator Tammy Baldwin wins reelection bid against anti-LGBTQ opponent      Cache   Translate Page      
Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI)Baldwin's opponent, far right state senator Leah Vukmir, was one of the state's most anti-LGBTQ politicians.
          Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly loses his Senate seat in closely watched race      Cache   Translate Page      
FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, file photo, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., arrives early on Capitol Hill in Washington. Donnelly says he'll support the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Indiana Democrat announced his support on Sunday, April 2, 2017, for President Donald Trump’s pick, calling Gorsuch "a qualified jurist who will base his decisions on his understanding of the law and is well-respected among his peers." Donnelly faces a tough re-election in 2018.Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly has lost his reelection race after doing everything he could to irritate the Democratic base.
          Republican win in Indiana makes Democrat path to Senate majority trickier      Cache   Translate Page      
The race for the House of Representatives and Senate continues.
          Menendez fends off tough challenge in NJ Senate race      Cache   Translate Page      
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) won reelection in New Jersey's Senate race on Tuesday night, a huge relief for Democrats as he faced a tougher-than-expected challenge in the deep-blue state. Menendez defeated Republican Bob Hugin, a former pharmaceutical company CEO, in race that became surprisingly tight over the summer. Republicans haven't won a Senate seat in New Jersey since 1972. The Garden State voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by 14 points in 2016. But Menendez's campaign was heavily dogged by his past legal woes, which were a frequent line of attack from Hugin. In 2015, Menendez was indicted on bribery and fraud charges for which he has denied any wrongdoing. His trial ended in a hung jury and federal prosecutors ultimately dropped the charges, but he was "severely admonished" by the Senate Ethics Committee.
          Im Zeichen der Spaltung : Warum die Midterms in den USA so spannend sind      Cache   Translate Page      
Die Zwischenwahlen in den USA laufen: Es geht um alle 435 Abgeordneten-Mandate im Repräsentantenhaus und 35 der 100 Senatssitze. Außerdem finden in 36 Bundesstaaten Gouverneurswahlen statt. Traditionell nutzen die Wähler die Gelegenheit, um mit dem Präsidenten abzurechnen.
          Sabato's Crystal Ball: Dems will pick up more than 30 House seats, GOP set to keep Senate      Cache   Translate Page      
Sabato's Crystal Ball is projecting that Democrats will comfortably win control of the House during Tuesday's midterm elections, while Republicans will slightly expand their majority in the Senate.The election handicapper warned Monday,...
          Early results boost GOP effort to hold Senate as voters cast midterm verdict      Cache   Translate Page      

Rendering their verdict after a caustic season of anger and political recrimination, voters poured into polling places across the country on Tuesday in a midterm contest offering the first electoral judgment on the tumultuous presidency of Donald Trump.

Early results heartened both parties.


          GOP's Braun wins in Indiana as voters test Trump strength      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump Republicans seized victory in Indiana's high-profile Senate contest on Tuesday, defeating Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly and making the Democrats' narrow path to a Senate majority ever slimmer.
          Dems keep NJ seat as GOP fights to maintain Senate control      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic incumbents were re-elected Tuesday from New Jersey to Ohio as Republicans fought to retain control of the Senate, hoping that President Donald Trump's nationalistic appeals to hard-right voters would let them continue their role as protectors of his conservative agenda.
          elecciones en usa      Cache   Translate Page      

          GOP clinging to Congress as voters test Trump strength      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans were clinging to delicate majorities in the House and Senate Tuesday night as an anxious nation watched whether voters would reward or reject the GOP in the first nationwide election of Donald Trump's turbulent presidency.
          What to watch for in the Missouri Senate race      Cache   Translate Page      
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill faces a tough race in a state President Trump won by 18 points
          Arizona voters to pick the state's first female senator      Cache   Translate Page      
Voters in Arizona are choosing between two women in the Senate race – meaning the state is guaranteed to elect its first female senator. CBS News Washington correspondent Paula Reid reports.
          Ted Cruz hopes to hold on to Senate seat amid tough challenge from Beto O'Rourke      Cache   Translate Page      
One of the key midterm races is the battle for the Senate in Texas. Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz is facing a tough challenge from Democrat Beto O'Rourke, and voters are turning out in record numbers. CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca reports.
          Fiducia al maxi emendamento sicurezza, FdI: noi ci asterremo      Cache   Translate Page      

La fiducia sul maxiemendamento interamente sostitutivo al testo del dl sicurezza verrà votata domattina in Senato. Lo ha stabilito poco…

L'articolo Fiducia al maxi emendamento sicurezza, FdI: noi ci asterremo sembra essere il primo su Secolo d'Italia.

          “Forze armate e pubblica opinione”: sondaggio di Fratelli d’Italia al Senato      Cache   Translate Page      

Nuova iniziativa di Fratelli d’Italia sul tema delle forze armate. Giovedì 8 novembre alle ore 12 al Senato, nella Sala…

L'articolo “Forze armate e pubblica opinione”: sondaggio di Fratelli d’Italia al Senato sembra essere il primo su Secolo d'Italia.

          America is in the Midst of a Rural Housing Crisis      Cache   Translate Page      

For decades, the United States has been in the midst of a housing crisis. Every day, individuals from each and every state struggle to find clean, safe homes and apartments that cost less than 30 percent of their total gross annual income.

The narrative is typically framed in terms of big urban areas, where housing and living costs are rising rapidly, and gentrification pushes long-time residents out of homes and neighborhoods they've lived in for decades. The same is true for suburban areas, who have experienced a tremendous growth in poverty. What few realize, however, is that affordable housing crisis also affects rural America.

A report published this month by the Urban Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank, highlights the problem by ranking the affordable housing needs of rural communities across the United States. The study, entitled Rental Housing for a 21st Century Rural America, analyzed 152 rural counties that have the most-severe affordable housing needs.

There were very specific areas that exhibited a particular need including the southern border from Texas to California, the Southern Mississippi Delta, and the southeast including Florida, Alabama, and Georgia.

Rural counties, which have been defined by the Urban Institute as those that qualify for U.S. Department of Agriculture housing programs, were ranked by seven factors. Those factors included high rates of population growth, high rates of poverty, low vacancy rates and high unemployment rates. Counties who exh ibitedfour or more of these factors were considered to be in severe need of affordable housing.

"It was surprising to see so many rural communities that are struggling with just having very few vacant rental units available, and to see so many rural communities with very few federally subsidized rental units," Corianne Scally, the author of the report and a senior research associate at the Urban Institute told the Huffington Post.

In comparing rural areas to more urban environments, you might expect the reasons for the housing crisis to be vastly different. However, some of the problems are by and large the same.

Today's tenants and aspiring homeowners have a laundry list of issues that can prevent them from finding affordable housing, including an increased cost of living, stagnating household incomes, and gentrification. Many wonder whether it's worth it to rent, or if it's in their best interest to buy. Others wonder if they're ready to purchase homes, given the state of the housing market. They also have to consider situations in which they could lose their housing, including government acquisition of property, eviction, and the threat of foreclosure when faced with financial hardship.

While there are some similarities, there are also significant differences between urban and rural problems with affordable housing.

"Housing issues in rural communities can get overlooked as living and housing costs tend to be lower there than in the cities," writes Huffington Post contributor Laura Paddison. "However, incomes in many of these areas tends to be lower too, especially in areas that used to rely on the coal industry or that otherwise have limited job opportunities."

It's not just stagnated wages that are an issue. Though America has had a recent economic boom and relatively low unemployment for years now, this hasn't translated into a house-building boom. In fact, rates of construction are at record lows even though the demand for affordable housing is high. In rural areas in particular, there are specific obstacles preventing developers from starting construction.

"Developers find it difficult to get financing there," David Dangler said in the same Huffington Post piece. Dangler is the director of rural initiatives at the nonprofit NeighborWorks America. He went on to say "The already limited number of firms specializing in affordable rental housing is even smaller when it comes to rural markets. Rural rental housing developments tend to be significantly smaller than their urban counterparts, and financing is complex."

Additionally, developers note that in rural areas, things like water system infrastructure, electricity, garbage, sewage, and other utilities may not be available in the same capacity that they are in urban environments.

One solution to making housing more affordable in these rural areas is through government assistance. Scally, of the Urban Institute, is calling on lawmakers to allocate more money into building affordable rental housing in these areas.

"We found almost 700 counties with rural communities that had equal to or less than 5 percent of federally subsidized units, so again there just hasn't been much investment in these communities even through standard federal programs," she said.

Another solution, the report suggests, is that incentives be given to developers who operate in these underserved markets, whether that be through technical assistance or financial rewards, since many of these developers work in areas devoid of adequate construction material and labor.

Should Democrats succeed in the midterm elections, there are a number of proposed bills that seek to rectify the affordable housing issue. A number of bills were introduced earlier this year by introduced by Democratic Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.

The most recent bill was introduced in September 2018 by Senator Elizabeth Warren. The American Housing and Economic Mobility Act calls for a half-trillion dollar investment in affordable housing to be allocated over the next decade. This bill would create up to 3.2 million new units for low-and middle-income families. The bill also expands protections of legislation to reduce discrimination in banking, housing, and aims to desegregate neighborhoods.

Warren's bill, for example, would make it illegal for landlords to discriminate against renters with federal housing vouchers and would also impose new regulations on credit unions and nonbank mortgage lenders like Quicken Loans. The bill also aims to incentivize states to rectify any racist and discriminatory zoning restrictions; hopes to ease the path for low-income families to move into more affluent communities; and provides federal assistance to first-time homebuyers from formerly segregated areas and those who saw their wealth decline during and after the 2008 financial crisis.

"Much of the housing discussion has been about affordability, production, and tenant protections, which are all really important issues," Philip Tegeler, the executive director of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council tells The Intercept. "What's so powerful about Warren's bill is that it aims to tackle all those things, and it also looks at how are we going to structure our society going forward. Fair housing is really embedded in the legislation, and that's why I find it so creative."

These bills are all highly dependent on Democrats doing well in midterm elections, or at the very least bipartisan support. Regardless, amidst America's housing crisis, it's going to be important for governments, whether federal, state, or local to intervene.

          SENATE: Dems keep New Jersey seat as GOP fights to maintain Senate control      Cache   Translate Page      
Democrats' longshot prospects for capturing a Senate majority were pinned on expectations that their supporters, roused by revulsion toward Trump, would surge to the polls.
          GOP clinging to Congress as voters test Trump strength      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (AP) " Republicans were clinging to delicate majorities in the House and Senate Tuesday night as an anxious nation watched whether voters would reward or reject the GOP in the first nationwide election of Donald Trump's turbulent presidency.With control of Congress and statehouses across the nation at stake, many of the nation's top elections were too close to call.Democrats seized early victories in contested House races in Florida and in Virginia, but lost a high- [...]
          Usa, repubblicani avanti in Senato ma rimane il nodo della Camera      Cache   Translate Page      
La sfida di Donald Trump comincia in Indiana dove si sono chiusi i primi seggi. Il repubblicano Mike Braun è infatti avanti al candidato democratico Joe Donnelly (61% delle preferenze contro il 35%). Questa vittoria non è affatto da sottovalutare in quanto i repubblicani, in questo modo, conquistano un seggio democratico.La sfida per il senato sembra, per ora, premiare i repubblicani, che controllerebbero 44 seggi contro i 34 dei dem. Come nota Repubblica, "Donnelly è il senatore uscente e se dovesse essere scalzato da un repubblicano diventerebbe praticamente impossibile l'impresa democratica di strappare ai repubblicani i due seggi necessari a rovesciare la maggioranza (attualmente 51 a 49 in favore del partito di Trump) nella camera alta americana".Anche dal Kentucky, ma questa volta dalla Camera, arrivano notizie positive per il tycoon. Qui infatti è stato eletto il primo deputato: il repubblicano Hal Rogers.Ben diversa, invece, la situazione a Guam, dove è stata eletta governatrice la democratica Lou Leon Guerrero, che ha battuto il repubblicano Eddie Calvo. "Siamo estremamente grati per l'opportunità che ci è stata data di apportare un cambiamento positivo per la nostra gente", ha commentato la dem. I democratici vincono anche in Vermont, dove è stato riconfermato Bernie Sanders, che aveva sfidato Hillary Clinton alle ultime primarie, tirandosi addosso le ire del partito, che fece di tutto per boicottarlo. In Virginia, invece, è stato rieletto l'ex candidato alla vice presidenza nel 2016 con Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine.Una delle sfide cruciali riguarda il Texas, dove per ora i risultati segnalano un incredibile testa a testa tra il dem Beto O'Rourke e il rivale repubblicano Ted Cruz.Il voto rappresenta, per forza di cose, anche un referendum per Donald Trump. In questi due anni l'economia ha cominciato a volare, così come Wall Street, e la disoccupazione è arrivata ai minimi storici. Risultati che il presidente americano ha voluto sottolineare non appena sono usciti i primi dati sul voto: "Questa notte possiamo continuare sul sentiero della prosperità e della sicurezza o tornare indietro".
          Prescrizione, il M5s ricatta: "Lealtà o il dl Sicurezza salta"      Cache   Translate Page      
Il governo va in tilt sulla prescrizione. Mentre continua ad essere rimandato il vertice tra il premier Giuseppe Conte e i due vicepremier Luigi Di Maio e Matteo Salvini per sciogliere i nodi sul disegno di legge sull'anti corruzione, i capi del Movimento 5 Stelle ricordano che il decreto Sicurezza, fortemente voluto dal leader leghista, deve passare ancora al vaglio della Camera. "Se non ci sarà lealtà sulla prescrizione - dicono all'Adnkronos - non ci sarà sul dl Sicurezza". E così, nonostante il governo abbia deciso di porre la fiducia sul decreto Sicurezza, c'è il serio rischio di un ammutinamento dei pentastellati nel caso in cui il Carroccio dovesse continua a osteggiare la riforma della prescrizione."La riforma della prescrizione è nel contratto di governo: poi, ci sono le diverse modalità per esercitarla". Lo ha ricordato nei giorni scorsi Conte e lo ha ribadito oggi il ministro dell'Ambiente Sergio Costa ai microfoni di Matrix. "Dobbiamo assicurare la giustizia al cittadino in tempi certi e, nello stesso tempo, essere sicuri che la giustizia arrivi, non che venga prescritta, perché altrimenti è un'impunità ulteriore - spiega Costa - si può modulare il sistema bilanciando l'una e l'altra cosa, ed è lì che veramente si fa giustizia". Le posizioni della Lega e dei Cinque Stelle, però, sono diametralmente opposte. E da giorni le due forze di maggioranza si stanno scannando senza arrivare a una quadra. Secondo Salvini, però, il governo sarà in grado di trovare un punto di sintesi e far rientrare i malumori. "Vglio avere processi veloci che bastonino i corrotti e i corruttori - spiega il vice premier leghista - però non voglio che 60 milioni di italiani abbiamo un processo che non si sa quando finisca".Salvini non chiude alla riforma della giustizia. Vuole, però, vederci chiaro sulle modalità di attuazione. "Sul come ci stiamo ancora lavorando...", mette le mani avanti facendo ben presente che prima vuole il via libera al suo decreto. "Poi - conclude - una volta approvato il decreto Sicurezza parliamo di tutto il resto". I vertici dei Cinque Stelle, però, vogliono certezze. Sono disposti a essere leali sul decreto Sicurezza, solo se la Lega farà altrettanto al momento di votare il ddl anti corruzione. Proprio per dirimere questi dissapori, si era inizialmente parlato di un vertice di governo. Il vertice avrebbe dovuto tenersi intorno alle 21, subito dopo la registrazione del programma televisivo Dimartedì, durante il quale Giovanni Floris ha intervistato Conte. "Ci aspetta una lunga nottata...", ironizzavano i vertici grillini. Ma, arrivando al Senato, Salvini ha tagliato corto: "Ma quale vertice? Stasera io ho un vertice con rigatoni al ragù e Champions League...". Quindi ha rilnciato: "Io sento quotidianamente Conte e Di Maio, quindi non ho l'esigenza carnale di incontrarli ogni 24 ore. Esiste il telefono, quindi le cose si possono risolvere al telefono".Al momento il vertice, che avrebbe dovuto tenersi questa sera, resta congelato. "Non serve se le posizioni restano le stesse", ragionano i vertici del Movimento 5 Stelle. Che, attraverso l'Adnkronos, hanno fatto filtrare un messaggio agli alleati di governo che suona come un ultimatum. "Noi leali su sicurezza ma loro leali su prescrizione - mettono in chiaro - Salvini si ricordi che il suo decreto legge deve essere ancora votato dalla Camera e che il ddl anticorruzione è calendarizzato alla Camera (12 novembre, ndr) prima del decreto sicurezza. Se slitta l'anticorruzione - è l'ultimatum lanciato dai grillii - muore il decreto Sicurezza".
          Louis Farrakhan, Live from Tehran      Cache   Translate Page      

Monday November 5, one day before the election, marked the resumption of sanctions on the Islamic regime by the Trump administration. Nation of Islam boss Louis Farrakhan flew to Iran to speak out on behalf of the ruling mullahs.

As Fox News reported, Farrakhan told Mohsen Rezaei, Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council: “Today, I warn the American government that sanctioning Iran is a big mistake.” The eager Farrakhan failed to flag any mistakes by the Iranian Islamic regime, the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism. And Farrakhan took care to time his visit with an important event.

Thirty-nine years ago, in 1979, the Islamic regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini invaded the U.S. embassy in Tehran, took more than 50 American diplomats and civilians hostage, and held them for 444 days. Farrakhan marked the anniversary by telling law students at the University of Tehran, that “America has never been a democracy” and then led the students in a chants of “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!”

No one in America had ever seen a performance quite like that. On the other hand, in his live Tehran show the Nation of Islam boss was not advancing any new themes.

On October 14, the 23rd anniversary of the Million Man March, Farrakhan addressed a cheering audience in Detroit: “To the members of the Jewish community that don’t like me — thank you very much for putting my name all over the planet…I’m not mad at you, ‘cuz you’re so stupid.” The Nation of Islam leader also claimed “I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite,” and repeated that message in a tweet.

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz denounced the speech and called out presidents Obama and Clinton, along with former DNC boss Keith Ellison, for their ties to Farrakhan. Even so, prominent Democrats running for office were not swift to denounce Farrakhan for his Jews-are-termites speech. In fact, Farrakhan thrives on special treatment from high-profile Democrats.

“Louis Farrakhan has ingratiated himself with the liberal elite in the United States,” Howard Feldman noted after the “termites” speech. “Both Obama and the Clintons have been photographed alongside him. And whereas they publicly denounce his attitude towards Jews, the fact that they continue to be seen with him is that which empowers him.”

True to form, at the funeral of Aretha Franklin, who passed away in August, Farrakhan got a place of honor, right up front with Democrats Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Erica Holder. Many speakers exploited the occasion to bash President Trump, but none of the prominent Democrats took Farrakhan to task about anything. Viewers got the impression the Democrats liked being seen with him.

Back in 2005, a smiling Illinois Senator Barack Obama duly posed with Farrakhan for a photograph that only recently emerged. That was no surprise because the senator’s 1995 Dreams from My Father portrayed the Nation of Islam in a completely favorable light.

The author’s hatemongering Chicago pastor Jeremiah Wright, who prefers “God damn America” to “God bless America,” was a longtime pal of Farrakhan, and the Dreamsauthor participated in the Million Man March. In 2008, when the dreamer ran for president, Farrakhan called him the “messiah.” 

Once elected, POTUS 44 preferred to target conservatives rather than take Farrakhan or Wright to task. In similar style, for the most part, the establishment media have remained uncritical of the Nation of  Islam boss, even though his racist views were no secret.

As Stanley Crouch explained in the Village Voice in 1985, in the view of Louis Farrakhan, “the white man was a devil ‘grafted’ from black people in an evil genetic experiment by a mad, pumpkin-headed scientist named Yacub. That experiment took place 6000 years ago. Now the white man was doomed, sentenced to destruction by Allah.”  It follows that, regardless of self-image, anyone who believes that Dave Brubeck, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Wright Brothers are the devilish result of Yacub’s failed experiment is a racist.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton was quick to target Trump supporters as racists, sexists, homophobic, islamophobic, and so forth, a veritable “basket of deplorables.” When it comes to racism, the former First Lady and Secretary of State, who would still like to be president, pretty much gives Farrakhan a free pass.

For his part, the Nation of Islam mouthpiece knows he can call Jews termites, denounce America from Tehran, and most prominent Democrats will treat him gently. In reality, his “Death to America” chant differs from the Democrats only in degree, not in kind.

Now completely dominated by the left, Democrats despise the America that actually exists, with its culture, history, traditions and borders. Their dream is the future social justice America, with no borders. In the Democrats’ vision, only their party prevails, with help from an imported electorate.

"No Trump, no wall, no USA at all,” the refrain of leftist Democrats, is no great distance from “Death to America,” as chanted by Louis Farrakhan in Tehran. Democrats have effectively empowered this loathsome racist and anti-Semite. At election time or any time, non-Democrats, journalists and civil rights leaders would be wise call them on it.

          The Tale of Two Wacky Federal Cases      Cache   Translate Page      

Pro-illegal immigration advocates and environmental extremists are abusing the judicial system to pursue their radical policy agendas. Constitutionalists sitting on the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts are needed more than ever to prevent progressive judges from using such cases to re-write the Constitution to their liking.

Last week, six Honduran migrants currently traveling towards the U.S. border with Mexico, as part of a mob force that they call a caravan, filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court on behalf of themselves and their children against President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the heads of various federal agencies dealing with immigration. Although still hundreds of miles away from the border, they are claiming that the Trump administration’s stated intention to bar them from  entering the United States violates their due process rights under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“Trump’s profe