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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
October 31, 2015

PERFECT weather for trick or treating in Sf tonight.

High 60's with just enough fog on the Bay to make it spooky looking. And it's a Saturday night to boot!! I can't wait!!!

October 31, 2015

This could be the last time we go trick or treating.

Our sone is 9 now and only decided at the last minute to go trick or treating tonight. This could be it. I sure hope not. I hope we have a couple year left, because time marches on. Because once it's over, there's no going back.

October 31, 2015

Skull-shaped asteroid will fly past Earth on Halloween

As if Halloween needed to be any scarier, a giant skull is flying through space toward Earth.

"The (Infrared Telescope Facility) data may indicate that the object might be a dead comet, but in the Arecibo images it appears to have donned a skull costume for its Halloween flyby," said Kelly Fast, IRTF program scientist at NASA Headquarters.

Earth is in no real danger, though; NASA projects the object - officially "asteroid TB145" - will pass by Earth from about 302,000 miles away at about noon CST on Halloween.

Still, for Halloween drama it's hard to beat a giant space skull.

The object was first spotted Oct. 10 by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS-1 (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) on Haleakala, Maui. It's next Earth flyby will come in September 2018, although at a much farther distance: about 24 million miles.


October 31, 2015

Publisher And Two Secular Writers Hacked To Death In Bangladesh

DHAKA, Oct 31 (Reuters) - A publisher of a slain online critic of religious militancy was hacked to death on Saturday in the Bangladesh capital, police said, hours after similar attacks on two secular writers and another publisher in the majority-Muslim country.

Faysal Arefin published books by Avijit Roy, a U.S. citizen of Bangladeshi origin who was killed by Islamists militants in the same way in February.

Militants have targeted secularist writers in Bangladesh in recent years, as the government has cracked down on Islamist groups seeking to turn the South Asian nation of 160 million people into a sharia-based state.

The country has also been rocked by attacks in which two foreigners were shot dead and a Shi'ite shrine in Dhaka was bombed.


October 31, 2015

Hillary Clinton will be our next president — you can bet on it

At this stage, anyone wanting to place a bet on her winning the White House can get no odds better than even, according to bookmakers’ websites.

Anything can happen in this life, and nothing is completely certain. But I’d still bet on her at those odds — or even considerably shorter. At this stage, Hillary is starting to look like what gamblers call a “racing certainty.”

It’s only a few weeks since Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy basically admitted to Sean Hannity that the Benghazi committee’s goal was to drive down Hillary’s poll numbers. Oops.

The main bookmakers are based in London, although they take bets from around the world. But according to America’s only onshore political-betting operation, the University of Iowa’s Iowa Electronic Market, the outlook for Republicans is even worse.

As of the weekend, the betting was giving the Democrats a better-than-60% chance of winning the presidential election — with Hillary, it is assumed, the prohibitive favorite for the nomination.

You couldn’t make it up.


October 31, 2015

I learned something today that changed what I think the Catholic Church CAN be.

It was my life partner's idea a few years ago to send our son to a parochial school because I am not very religious and had reservations about what they would teach him about people who may be different. And, over time, they proved me wrong by teaching more general lessons about being kind to everyone. But it was today that I was floored by a frail, ninety-year old nun/counselor/spiritual advisor. A teacher informed me that this kind, mousy, meek lady to rides the municipal bus every day marched across California with Cesar Chavez in the 70's. And more recently, she took care of children in Juarez, Mexico during the height of the cartel wars. If this was how the Church worked globally, the world would be a much better place.

October 31, 2015

Hillary maintains lead in another new national poll.

On the Democratic side, 48% back Hillary Clinton, with 33% backing Bernie Sanders. Martin O'Malley, the only other Democrat in the race, gets just 2%.


October 31, 2015

Republicans Remain Divided as Democrats Unite

It is a good time to review the unusual—maybe unprecedented—presidential contest, which exhibits striking fluidity and uncertainty, with a huge group of candidates on the Republican side, and an equally striking coalescence toward an early consensus on the Democratic side. Making predictions is folly at this very early stage, but it is not too early to examine conventional wisdom and some possible scenarios.

First, on the Republican side: Conventional wisdom—including most of the political scientists, pundits, professionals, and those in the betting markets—disdains the prospects of Trump, Carson, and Cruz, and puts Rubio in the driver’s seat. It is no wonder. History suggests that the party may flirt with an outsider but will end up with an establishment favorite. With Bush floundering and Kasich too much a compassionate conservative, Rubio is that man. And Rubio has the advantage of being young, Cuban-American, and just radical enough not to turn off the outside contingent.


On the Democratic side, the path seems remarkably clear for Hillary Clinton, after the best two weeks I have ever seen for a candidate. Two new polls show Clinton trouncing Bernie Sanders by nearly 40 points in Iowa. She might well still lose New Hampshire, but as the Democratic race moves to South Carolina, where her lead is overwhelming, and on to Super Tuesday, where she would be the prohibitive favorite everywhere but Vermont, she is likely to end the contest effectively before the end of March. The endorsement of Clinton by Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, a major figure on the populist left, shows the striking degree to which elected officials are rallying behind her—including, by the way, the governor of Vermont—in a fashion far more sweeping than, say, Walter Mondale in 1984 or Al Gore in 2000. Endorsements are not everything, and the populism that has made the Tea Party right such a potent force is also a force on the left. But the anti-establishment fervor is notably absent on the Democratic side.

It is still reasonable to expect a close presidential election in the fall. It is not a coincidence that parties rarely win three consecutive terms, something that has happened only once since the 22nd Amendment limited presidents to two terms. An open contest to replace a two-term president is framed by the choice between more of the same and change, and Americans tilt toward change. That is why the Clinton team worries about Rubio, who physically embodies change, more than the other Republican candidates. But if one party has a long and bitter fight to choose a nominee, against a backdrop of a civil war between insurgents and insiders in Congress and elsewhere, while the other unites early behind a nominee who can stockpile money, leisurely plan a convention, and work to consolidate support from all party and supporter factions, that is quite a contrast heading to next fall.


October 31, 2015

The Democratic Race That Isn’t

Here’s the little secret nobody’s telling you:

Barring an unexpected, serious health crisis, or the emergence of a scandal far bigger and more substantive than the laughable “Emailgate” controversy, Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States in 2016.


After Iowa and New Hampshire, two states whose Democratic caucus/primary electorates can be expected to be relatively friendly to Mr. Sanders—indeed, Mr. Sanders leads in New Hampshire, which borders his home state of Vermont—the contest moves to Nevada and South Carolina, where his prospects are dim at the moment. While polling has been scant in Nevada, the most recent CNN/ORC poll there, taken October 3-10, shows Ms. Clinton with a substantial 50-34 lead over Mr. Sanders, and that is with 12 percent going to Mr. Biden. As most polls have shown the bulk of Mr. Biden’s support moving toward Ms. Clinton with the vice president not in the race, it would be safe to say her lead in Nevada is somewhere in the ballpark of 20 points.

In South Carolina, there has been significantly more polling, and all of it has been catastrophically bad for Mr. Sanders. Per Real Clear Politics, no poll taken in the Palmetto State shows him closer than 23 points, and on average, he trails Ms. Clinton by 37 points. Keep in mind that most polling in South Carolina included Mr. Biden, who averaged 21.5 percent, and that most of his support appears likely to go to Ms. Clinton.

The current state of play in Nevada and South Carolina demonstrates that the murmurs about Mr. Sanders’ failure to gain ground among Latinos and African-Americans still ring true, and while a recent online poll by NBC News showed him within seven points among Latinos—far closer than other, more traditional polls indicate—he is still getting crushed by Ms. Clinton among African-Americans. If Mr. Sanders’ apparent struggles among voters of color persist, then he is in for significant defeats in those two states and a calamitous day on March 1, when 11 states (mostly in the South) hold their nominating contests. This so called “Southeastern Conference Primary” includes numerous states with significant African-American and/or Latino voting populations, and it is followed over the next few weeks by several key states that also have large non-white segments among their Democratic voters, including Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina. It is difficult to see how Mr. Sanders gets out of March alive, politically speaking. The calendar could hardly be unkinder to him.


October 30, 2015

It's been decades since I last heard of tainted candy or razors in apples.

Is it safe to 'Trick or Treat' in 2015?

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 01:53 PM
Number of posts: 53,948

About RandySF

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

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