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Wednesday News

Good Day Conflucians!!!

The big news of the day are the election results from yesterdays primaries. So let’s look at a few of those first.

A big upset in the making seems to be Murkowski’s senate seat in Alaska:

A political newcomer with the backing of Sarah Palin has put Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski in unexpected danger today, threatening to make her the seventh incumbent to lose a seat in this year’s primary elections.

Joe Miller, a Gulf War veteran, won 51% of the vote, according to unofficial returns this morning. Murkowski, who is in her second term, had 49% of the vote. With 98% of polling places accounted for, the two candidates were separated by 1,960 votes.

Miller told the Anchorage Daily News that Palin’s endorsement was “pivotal.”

Alaskan election officials say they had received 7,600 absentee ballots by Monday – and that number is likely to grow. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by election day, but can be received 10 days after the election. Officials say they plan to begin counting those ballots on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

“Our country does not need another Democrat in the Senate voting for the Obama agenda which is bankrupting us,” Palin, referring to Murkowski, wrote on her Facebook page this week. “Alaska deserves a senator who will not talk one way in the Last Frontier and then vote the opposite way in the Beltway. “

Part of the mix of that election is that Palin beat Murkowski’s father in her governors race in ’06, so there’s a bit of history. I’m sure the faux progressive bloggers will be blowing a gasket; trying to decide if Palin is completely irrelevant somehow anyway, or the most evil human ever in the universe. The general news from many of the elections on the right is that the party regulars are in trouble. Tea Party members are winning. Or more generally, anti-establishment candidates are winning. There’s a big lesson there for the MSM and the established old farts in both parties to not get. LATimes has more on the story as well. The election is not finalized yet, so anything can happen.

Another big race to watch has been the GOP governors race in FL. Here the established candidate, Bill McCollum, lost to the anti-establishment guy Rick Scott. As an example of the feelings out there, McCollum conceded the race but hasn’t endorsed Scott:

Bill McCollum conceded his loss in the Republican governor’s primary early Wednesday morning without endorsing the victor, millionaire Rick Scott.

“The votes today have been tallied and I accept the voters’ decision,” McCollum said. “This race was one for the ages. No one could have anticipated the entrance of a multimillionaire with a questionable past who shattered campaign spending records and spent more in four months than has ever been spent in a primary race here in Florida.

“While I was disappointed with the negative tone of the race, I couldn’t be more proud of our campaign and our supporters for fighting back against false and misleading advertising when we were down by double-digits.”

McCollum’s spokeswoman, Kristy Campbell, said Wednesday morning that McCollum had not spoken to Scott. When asked if he planned to endorse Scott in his race against Democrat Alex Sink, Campbell said that McCollum is focused on helping other Republicans, such as Marco Rubio who is running for U.S. Senate.

“He and Mr. Scott have not talked,” she said.

Poor baby.

And over in Arizona, McCain handily won his primary after Palin’s endorsement:

Conscious of the danger posed by the Tea Party, McCain fought hard to ensure his political survival. Although Hayworth was a weak candidate, McCain took no chances, spending $20m (£13m), much of it on advertising blitzes, to beat him.

There was a political cost to McCain, as he had to shift repeatedly to the right, renouncing previous policy positions, not least immigration reform, which he once championed with the late Democratic senator Ted Kennedy. He even denied he had once taken pride in his label as a “maverick”.

The $20m is an extraordinary amount to spend on a primary in a state with a relatively small population, and Hayworth could not compete, claiming he had been outspent 10 to one.

McCain was helped, too, by a public appearance on his behalf by Sarah Palin, his vice-presidential running mate in 2008. A Tea Party favourite, her support for McCain saw some of Hayworth’s supporters peel away. Some Tea Party activists had been ambivalent about Hayworth anyway, sceptical about his rightwing credentials and his past political performances.

He managed to narrow the polls earlier this year, threatening an upset, but the poll gap was well into double digits on the eve of the primary. In spite of that, Hayworth insisted he was “poised to pull one of the greatest upsets in political history”.

The Arizona battle was the highlight of a night that also saw Republican and Democratic primaries fought in Florida, Alaska, Oklahoma and Vermont. The last of the primaries will be on 14 September.

This was indeed an interesting race. On the one hand McCain was an established candidate and not with the Tea Party movement, on the other hand he got an endorsement and support from Palin. And of course he spent a lot of money. I’m not sure what to take away from this one. McCain clearly moves all over the map when it comes to needing to get elected. It’s like he’s a politician or something. But who is the real John McCain?

In completely irrelevant election news, Meeks wins the Democratic primary for Florida’s open senate seat:

Representative Kendrick Meek won Florida’s Democratic U.S. Senate primary on Tuesday and will square off against Governor Charlie Crist and conservative Republican Marco Rubio in the closely watched Nov. 2 election.

As you can see by the quote above, the reason this is irrelevant is because the real race will be between the formerly Republican now Independent candidate Crist and Republican candidate Rubio. That will be an interesting race to watch. Republican’s will be pulling out all the stops to help Rubio win. Interestingly, many Democrats and typically Democratic affiliated organizations are backing Crist:

Democrat Kendrick Meek has the support of Florida’s AFL-CIO and SEIU, but independent Charlie Crist is rolling out a labor endorsement of his own today, from a coalition of Florida Teamsers locals.

In other election news, a transgender candidate for a GOP house seat got 22% of the GOP vote:

As Senate and gubernatorial races dominated political headlines Tuesday night, here’s a result that was easy to overlook: transgender candidate Donna Milo received 22 percent of the vote in her Republican primary for Florida’s 20th congressional district.

Milo placed third in a three-way race, finishing behind winner Karen Harrington (40 percent) and runner-up Robert Lowry (38 percent). Milo received over 4,100 votes out of more than 18,400 cast.

The district, which surrounds Ft. Lauderdale, is strongly Democratic. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a deputy Democratic whip, currently represents it.

Sadly she’s the typical pro life, anti gay marriage very conservative Republican. But the better than expected showing is worth note.

In non election news, the housing market looks pretty bad

The annualized rate of new homes sales fell 12.4% in July to a seasonally adjusted rate of 276,600 a year, the US Commerce Department said.

That makes it the slowest rate since records began in 1963.

On Tuesday, the National Association of Realtors also reported a sharp drop in sales of existing homes.

Analysts fear the data could reflect the weakness in the US economy.

The annualized rate represents what the total number of sales would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months.

Although most analysts had expected a fall in sales, the number was even weaker than expected.

“There is nothing good you can say about the number,” said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities in New York.

“The odds of the dreaded double-dip [recession] are increasing.”

NYTimes has a more in depth article on the subject and also includes some about durable goods bad news:

The Commerce Department report said that orders to American factories for durable goods rose 0.3 percent last month, much less than the 3 percent growth that was forecast. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders dropped 3.8 percent. Orders for machinery dropped 15 percent, while those for capital goods dropped 8 percent.

“July’s durable goods report adds to the recent evidence from numerous activity surveys that the manufacturing recovery has lost nearly all of the considerable momentum it had,” economists from Capital Economics in a research note said.

“The rebound in manufacturing was one of the bright spots in an otherwise disappointing recovery, the research note said. “Take it away, throw in a renewed collapse in housing, and you don’t have much left.”

But the important news of the day is that Obama is “having a good time” on his vacation. Yep, another vacation:

On Day 6 of President Obama’s summer sojourn on Martha’s Vineyard, it is Day 4 of wind-whipped rain here. So what if the clouds have followed him here, metaphorically and figuratively? The First Vacationer says he is a happy camper.

“I’m having a great time – doing a lot of reading,” a smiling Mr. Obama told reporters waiting outside the popular restaurant where he had a leisurely dinner on Tuesday night, near the farm property he is renting.

With the president were his wife, Michelle; his Chicago friends Valerie Jarrett, who is a senior White House adviser, and Eric and Cheryl Whitaker; and the Washington establishment figures Vernon and Ann Jordan, longtime summer visitors to the island who frequently socialized with President Clinton during his seven vacations here in the 1990s but did not see the Obamas during their stay last year. Mrs. Jordan and Ms. Jarrett are cousins; Mrs. Jordan’s mother and Ms. Jarrett’s grandfather were siblings.

The group spent almost three hours inside the State Road restaurant. Reporters outside knew the president and his party were finally leaving by the sound of cheers and clapping and the flash of cameras from the other diners inside.

So that’s some of what’s happening today. What are you seeing today in the news? Chime in with any other news.

40 Responses

  1. A bit late with the news today. I’m just so happy we had a ton of rain yesterday and last night that it’s hard to think about all the crazy news. We’re still in the danger zone of a seriously dry summer, but I had to play in the rain.

    • Thanks for the news at any time! Congratulations on the rain. We had a long dry spell this summer – rain can be beautiful!

  2. Upsets are satisfying, but it’s still no win.

    Joe Miller’s political positions from Wiki:

    Miller advocates abolishing Medicare, Social Security and the federal Department of Education, and refers to scientific evidence for climate change as “dubious at best.”

    • Valid point. Frankly I see no way to win with either party. They’re both only there for the monopoly oriented mega corporations. One side sounds sort of reasonable and the other side sounds batshit crazy. But their policies, mostly Reagan/Bush policies, seem about the same to me. Sad for everyone.

  3. Nice roundup, DT. Great job with the analysis of last night’s primaries.

  4. So, were the patrons of the restaurant cheering that Obama, et al were leaving???

    • Is that an example of cash for clunkers?

      • It’s fun to see the Repubs have these troubles and turmoil, but I think I’d rather see the woman win this one.

        Here’s where we are: Dems answer to 8 years of Bush crap, elect someone just like Bush. Repubs answer after more of the same Bush policies, go even more batshit.

        We’re so screwed.

  5. Kos has always surrported Crist over Meeks. Many Dems support Crist because they think Meeks can’t win and because Crist lost the Repub primary, they believe he will caucus with the Dems. Frankly, I don’t think the Dems need anymore former Republican Senators. I think Meeks could have pulled off the three way if the Dem establishment supported him, but many don’t.

    • This one should be interesting.

      If Meeks asks for support from the WH and the DNC, given that he is the elected nominee, and the WH or DNC support Crist instead, African American democrats could abandon Crist (the WH choice) completely.

      Advantage Rubio.

      Anyone think the WH will throw Meeks under the bus?

      • publicly? I dunno, that would be very tough for them to maneuver. but behind the scenes, I think Meeks is already under the bus.

        • I rather doubt that African America voters in Florida will be fooled by that “behind the scenes” crap, you know?

          Funding Crist secretly as the “favored” will not go over well with them, and without them, Crist can’t win.

          • well I didn’t say anything about secretly funding, but as masslib says and as was my point, they’re not lifting a finger to help Meeks. That’s already under the bus imho. They don’t have to fund or support Crist, just withholding support from Meeks serves a function. Remember Martha Coakley?

      • They basically have. I doubt they will out and out support Crist, not sure it would help if they did, but they are not lifting a finger to help him.

        • Okay, fair enough.

          But African Americans will be pissed that they’ve done so, and abandon Crist for Meeks. Without that block vote, Crist can’t win.

          That’s all I meant.

          Either way, advantage Rubio.

  6. Some statements just demand follow-up questions:

    I’ve never seen so many strippers at a funeral.

  7. Rick Scott (Think before you vote)

  8. CNN Anchor Smacks Down Health Care CEO Funding Anti-Reform Effort

    • Yea, put The Fox…oops Rick Scott …in charge of Health Care so we can pay even more.

      CPR=Conservatives for Patients Rights = Rick Scott
      It will be interesting to see if the Democrats loose to this $$$Money Bags and his ‘concern for patients rights’….

      Rachel Maddow on Rick Scott

  9. Poison gas hits Afghan schoolgirls (Suspects…hmmm…the Taliban…who else?)

  10. Whoa, how did I miss this one:

    An advocacy group is calling for the ouster of former Sen. Alan Simpson, the co-chairman of President Obama’s bipartisan debt commission, who described Social Security as a “milk cow with 310 million tits!” in an email.

    Ashley Carson, executive director of the Older Women’s League, wrote in a blog post in April that Simpson is targeting Social Security to fix the deficit even though it “doesn’t contribute” to the country’s debt problem. She also accused Simpson of “disgusting ageism and sexism” in characterizing those who oppose cuts to benefits as “Gray Panthers” and “Pink Panthers.”

    In his email to Carson, which was sent Monday night, Simpson said he is defending Social Security, not trying to undermine it, and referred her to information showing the program’s long-range shortfalls.

    He went on: “I’ve made some plenty smart cracks about people on Social Security who milk it to the last degree. You know ’em too. It’s the same with any system in America. We’ve reached a point now where it’s like a milk cow with 310 million tits! Call when you get honest work!”

    On Wednesday afternoon, Simpson released a letter to Carson apologizing. “I can see that my remarks have caused you anguish, and that was not my intention,” he wrote.

  11. Dandy, I take your point about who might be the ultimate winner in Fl- a state I know nothing about. However, the fact that Jeff Greene will not advance is a relief to the trail of contractors left behind in CA who were scr**ed, some of whom still haven’t been paid. His actions are those of a sociopathic misogynist bully, and even bizarre, in light of his platform on getting jobs for FL.

    Those who I know who have encountered this man were frankly astonished he would attempt a run. They were even more astonished that the only thing the press could deign to report were his friends and the fact that he was paying his own way.

  12. Lawyer for Women Accusing WikiLeaks Founder Maintains Charges of Sexual Misconduct

    Borgstrom said that specific details about the the allegations had not yet appeared in Swedish media. But he acknowledged that the principal concern the women had about Assange’s behavior—which they reported to police in person—related to his lack of interest in using condoms and his refusal to undergo testing, at the women’s request, for sexually transmitted disease. A detailed, chronological account of the women’s alleged encounters with Assange—which in both cases began with consensual sexual contact but later included what the women claimed was nonconsensual sex, in which Assange didn’t use a condom—was published on Tuesday by The Guardian; a Declassified item included a more explicit reference than The Guardian to Assange’s declining to submit to medical tests.

  13. ‘Rise in female genital mutilation’ in London

    Female genital mutilation ‘rising in London’

    The number of cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) reported in London has risen and some procedures are taking place in the city, a doctor has said.

    Dr Comfort Momah, who runs a clinic in Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, said she sees 350 women and children a year.

    The Met said it was aware that FGM was taking place in London and had intervened in 122 cases since 2008, including 25 times this year.

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