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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 36,795

About Me

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Archives

Initial results show Austria tilting right in national vote

Initial results showed the party of Austria's 31-year-old foreign minister leading in national elections Sunday, putting him on course to become the youngest head of government in Europe.

Projections from the SORA polling organization showed the People's Party led by Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz receiving 30.5 percent of the vote and the euroskeptic Freedom Party 26. 8 percent of the vote. Both parties had focused their campaigns on concerns about immigration and Islam.

The Social Democrats, who campaigned on the need for social equality, were projected to come third with 26.2 percent of the vote.

While the projections were based on initial results, they could herald a coalition between the two parties that would mean a rightward turn for Austria, now governed by a coalition made up of the Social Democrats and the People's Party.

The parties with the initial lead have called for securing Austria's borders and quickly deporting asylum-seekers whose requests are denied — ideas that appear to have been heard.

The People's Party went into the election with the most support, according to polls, with the Freedom Party second and the Social Democrats third.


NJ-GOV: Murphy Leads Guadagno by 18 Points

Phil Murphy has a double-digit lead over Kim Guadagno in the New Jersey governor’s race with less than a month before the election, according to Stockton University poll released Friday.

Murphy, the Democratic nominee, has an 18-point advantage over Guadagno, the Republican nominee, according to the poll. Murphy received 51 percent support to Guadagno’s 33 percent. The poll included voters who “lean” toward either candidate. Nearly 7 percent prefer an independent or third-party candidate, and 8 percent are undecided or declined to name their choice.

The poll surveyed 585 New Jersey registered voters who voted in the 2016 presidential election and, according to Stockton, “were screened as likely voters” for the Nov. 7 election. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

Ricky Diaz, a Guadagno campaign spokesman, called the survey “useless” in a Twitter post because it was based on the opinions of voters from last year’s presidential race. But a Stockton spokeswoman said it was a poll of likely voters for this year’s gubernatorial race.


VA-GOV: Former Vice President Biden campaigns for Ralph Northam in roundtable discussion

RESTON, Va. (AP) -- Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigned in Virginia for Democrat Ralph Northam, who is running for governor there.

The Washington Post reports that Biden traveled to Reston, Virginia on Saturday to participate in a round table discussion on workforce development.

Vice President Mike Pence is also expected to travel to Virginia on Saturday to appear at a rally in support of Northam's Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie.

Biden said that "the only hope for leadership we have is at the state level," and praised Northam's "authenticity."


This is what leadership looks like.


Austrians are about to elect another Trump.

Wrapping up a bruising political campaign season, Austrian political parties were counting down to an election Sunday that could turn the country to the right amid voter concerns over immigration and Islam.

The vote is coming a year ahead of schedule after squabbles led to the breakup last spring of the coalition government of the Social Democrats and the People's Party. A total of 16 parties are vying for 183 seats in the national parliament and will be chosen by Austria's 6.4 million eligible voters. But less than a dozen parties have a chance of getting seats.

The People's Party, which has shifted from centrist to right-wing positions, is leading in the pre-vote polls after an image make-over by its leader, 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz.

Austria's traditionally right-wing, anti-migrant Freedom Party is expected to come in second and the center-left Social Democrats are thought to be trailing in third place.

Others that may clear the 4 percent hurdle needed to get into parliament seats are the Greens, the liberal NEOS, and Liste Pilz, led by former Greens politician Peter Pilz.

Favoring the People's and Freedom parties is distrust of migrants and Muslims among many Austrian voters.

The 2015 influx of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the war in Syria and poverty elsewhere into the EU's prosperous heartland left Austria with nearly 100,000 new and mostly Muslim migrants. That has fueled fears Austria's traditional Western and Christian culture is in danger. As a result, voters are receptive to the anti-migrant platforms of both the People's Party and the Freedom Party.


Election 2017: What races are you watching?

AL Senator
VA Governor
VA Attorney General
VA Lt. Governor
VA House of Delegates
NJ Governor
NJ Assembly
NYC Mayor
WA Senate District 45
MI House District 107
Mayor of Novi, MI
Mayor of Brook Park, OH
Mayor of St. Petersburg, FL
Maine Question 2, Medicaid Expansion Initiative

Donald Trump Jr. to appear at Cleveland fundraiser with Brook Park Mayor Tom Coyne later this month

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Donald Trump Jr. is slated to appear as a featured guest at a Cleveland fundraiser later this month alongside Brook Park Mayor Tom Coyne.

The event is scheduled for Oct. 27 at Crop Bistro in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood. An event fundraiser offers entry to a "VIP photo reception" -- presumably, a photo with Trump Jr. -- for $3,500 a person, or $5,000 for a couple. Tickets for lower levels of access run between $250 and $2,500.

While the event is honoring Coyne, the proceeds will go to the "Fund for Local Leadership." Cuyahoga County Republican Party Chair Rob Frost, who is also one of the event's chairs, said in a text message the fund is controlled by the county party, and is used to raise money to benefit local GOP elected leaders and candidates for local office.

Coyne is a lifelong Democrat who was elected to a second stint as Brook Park mayor in 2013. But he switched parties last year to become an official elector for Trump, and was one of Trump's most visible local supporters last year.


German soccer players kneel in solidarity with American athletes.

BERLIN — Hertha Berlin nodded to social struggles in the United States by kneeling before its Bundesliga home game on Saturday.

Hertha's starting lineup linked arms and took a knee on the pitch, while Pal Dardai's coaching staff, general manager Michael Preetz, club officials and substitutes took a knee off it before playing Schalke.

"Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and responsibility! For a tolerant Berlin and an open-minded world, now and forevermore!" the club said on Twitter.

The action was intended to show solidarity with NFL players who have been demonstrating against discrimination in the U.S. by kneeling, sitting or locking arms through the anthem before games. Last year, former quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement, which has been harshly criticized by President Donald Trump.

"We're no longer living in the 18th century but in the 21st century. There are some people, however, who are not that far ideologically yet," Hertha defender Sebastian Langkamp told Sky TV at halftime. "If we can give some lessons there with that, then that's good."


Watching Harvey Weinstein Fall, Trump's Accusers Feel Frustrated

For all the women who have cheered as accusations against the producer Harvey Weinstein force a public conversation about sexual misconduct, one small group of women has watched with frustration. They are some of the dozen women who publicly accused Donald Trump of groping or kissing them — accusations that Trump has denied.

In a sharp contrast to the women who accused Weinstein, Trump’s accusers did not see the public turn against him, the board of his company fire him, or the police launch an investigation. Instead, these women watched the man they say humiliated and abused them get elected president of the United States.

“When he won, I felt like I lost,” said Melinda McGillivray, a Palm Springs resident who came forward in October of last year to accuse Trump of groping her in 2003. She said she was assisting a photographer at a party at Mar-A-Lago when Trump came up and “grabbed my ass.” The photographer who was with her at the event, a Ray Charles concert, confirmed to the Palm Beach Post that she reported the alleged incident to him at the time.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on this story. But last year, as women were continuing to come forward, Trump tweeted a blanket denial: “Nothing ever happened with any of these women. Totally made up nonsense to steal the election. Nobody has more respect for women than me!”


NJ-GOV: Republican gubernatorial nominee Kim Guadagno put out a Willie Horton-esque ad

Republican gubernatorial nominee Kim Guadagno put out a Willie Horton-esque ad about illegal immigration, even though she doesn’t have much money to air it. She went on Fox and Friends Thursday morning, where Steve Doocy led the segment with a picture of an undocumented immigrant charged with raping a six-year-old girl. Her campaign consultant wrote a “memo” in which he accused public pollsters of intentionally trying to suppress the college vote.

We’re used to seeing Republican statewide candidates move to the center in the general election. That’s what Gov. Christie did. Guadagno appears to be doing just the opposite. A year ago, Guadagno kicked off her campaign at a Mexican restaurant. She picked a Hispanic-American running mate. She didn’t use Trumpian rhetoric. She focused relentlessly on property taxes.

But in the last couple weeks, Guadagno’s taken a right turn on immigration, apparently anticipating a low-turnout election and trying to gin up the Trump-voting base with a racially-charged ad. Democrats, rather than being spooked by it, are using it to galvanize their own voters.

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