Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Tired of the Anti-Trump Drip, Drip, Drip?

Mark Steyn, "Coup d'etat profond (8/8/17)
Now past the 200th day of the Trump Administration, the 45th presidency is under assault as few legitimately elected governments in free stable nations have ever been. The weapon of choice is, as Jeff Sessions' Justice Department has very belatedly recognized, the leak. There are three kinds of leak:
The first is the palace-intrigue stuff: Spicer loathes Scaramucci, Scaramucci hates Priebus, Priebus despises Bannon, etc.

The second is the drip-drip-drip of the "Russia investigation": Robert Mueller has empaneled a grand jury, he's looking into eight-year-old Trump property deals, he's going to flip Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort...

The third is the full transcripts in American newspapers of Trump's conversations with the Mexican president and the Australian prime minister.
To take these in order:

The palace gossip is irritating and undisciplined, but not particularly important - and in fairness the spectacular corpse count suggests that it's not without consequence. The other two categories of leak are far more disturbing, and seem to be entirely without consequence for the perpetrators.

The Mueller leaks belong to one of the most repulsive of American prosecutorial traditions, especially at the federal level, where the prosecution enjoys such a stacked deck that, as my old boss Conrad Black is wont to point out, the feds win 99.5 per cent of cases (97 per cent without a trial) - a scorecard that would impress Saddam Hussein or Kim Jong-Un. I have more to say about federal justice in the first edition of our new newsletter The Clubbable Steyn (which comes free with membership of The Mark Steyn Club). But let me say that all the most malodorous aspects of this system - from prosecutorial leaks to the inevitable plea bargains - are intensified in the hands of a "special counsel", and nuclearized when the special counsel is not just some dogged no-name lawyer but, as in this case, an A-list celebrity Beltway lifer like Bob Mueller - who is way too special to be a special counsel.

So we now hear that he's empaneled a second grand jury not in Virginia (where the "Russia investigation"'s first grand jury is sitting) but in the District of Columbia. Setting aside that the grand jury is a discreditable relic which every nation other than Liberia has dispensed with, and (given that only one side of the "case" is ever heard) is in fact a perversion of a jury, why is Mueller's "case" being moved to Washington? I ask that not only because the other week I began my second half-decade in the choked toilet of DC justice, but because cases are usually heard where the alleged crime took place. The alleged crime in the "Russia investigation" is that the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin. The Trump campaign was based not in Washington but in New York: Indeed, the man himself barely set foot in the swamp until January 20th. So why empanel a grand jury in DC?

Well, according to Alan Dershowitz (a very liberal Democrat), Mueller moved the grand jury to DC because that means any eventual trial will be in DC, where a mere 4.07 per cent of electors voted for Trump. Which means that, of any 12 good men and true on the petty jury, eleven will be Hillary voters, and the twelfth will be torn between Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. So, if you're Mike Flynn and Mueller's leaning on you to sing like a canary, the prospect of rolling your dice with that lot will concentrate the mind wonderfully: Mueller hasn't empaneled a grand jury, he's empantsuited it.

Meanwhile, the only actual crime to date is the leaking of details of the surveillance of "unmasked" US citizens, such as the aforementioned General Flynn. And the only prima facie evidence of any darker crime underlying these leaks is whether the surveillance of these "US persons" was orchestrated by senior members of the Obama Administration. For example, much of the "unmasking" was at the behest of Samantha Power. Ms Power was Obama's Ambassador to the United Nations. The US Ambassador to the United Nations is not generally regarded as part of the "intelligence community" (which is itself a big part of the problem: when your intelligence services get big enough to become a "community", you get a lot less intelligence and a lot more wilderness-of-mirrors monkey business). So why was Samantha Power auditioning to succeed Judi Dench as M? There remains no evidence that the Russian government was colluding with the Trump campaign to subvert the presidential election, but there's plenty to suggest the US government was colluding with the Clinton campaign to subvert the presidential election. The scandal here is the ruling party's use of the intelligence agencies to get the goods on its domestic political opponents. As some of us pointed out during the Lois Lerner IRS scandal, the merger of the party and the state is not a feature of free societies.

Which brings us to the third category of leaks. The notion that the "intelligence community" is entitled to leak against the President has been so normalized that one-on-one phone conversations between heads of government can be published on the front pages of the public prints to the approval of half the country. I'm a foreigner, so I look at this from a foreigner's point of view. I don't know the Mexican guy but over the years I have had some small contact with the Aussie Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. As some of you know, he once walked out of a speech of mine. On the other hand, we passed a not unpleasant day sitting side by side at some gabfest - lot of loose lips, including a somewhat lively exchange between him and me ...but on Chatham House rules. So, when somebody or other sought permission to publish our back-and-forth, Mr Turnbull nixed it - because that wasn't the basis on which our conversation was conducted. I can imagine how he feels seeing his Trump convo splashed across The Washington Post.

But I find it harder to see why he should take a call from the White House ever again. Because there's no point in heads of government phoning each other unless they can talk candidly. Otherwise, they might just as well hitch a ride with the Queen in the Imperial State Coach and wave gloved hands to the crowd. In fact, I can't see why my old chum Julie Bishop, the Oz Foreign Minister, should take a call from Rex Tillerson in the present conditions. Or my old boss Boris Johnson or anybody else, all the way down to the Deputy Tourism Minister of the South Sandwich Islands. These leaks make state-to-state relations impossible - which is the point: There's nothing in the content to warrant "whistleblowing"; the purpose of the leaks is only to cripple the business of the government.

By the way, last month the big story was that Trump had a private conversation with Putin at the G20 banquet. Outrageous! Who does he think he is - trying to have a private chat we can't screw him over on by leaking it six weeks later? Disgraceful!

If I were the Aussie PM or Mexican president, I'd be wishing I'd got that deal. And, if I were the German chancellor or the French president, about the only conditions I'd be willing to open up to the Yanks is sotto voce over the tiramisu at the next G7. We're told that the President isn't behaving presidentially. But it's actually more disturbing and subversive that the civil service isn't behaving civilly, or serving.

And America's permanent bureaucracy is the biggest in the world. One would assume, for example, that a conversation between the President and a foreign leader would be relatively tightly held. But that's not the American way. As I wrote some years ago:
Over four million Americans (or about two percent of the adult population) [have] "security clearances," and, according to the Director of National Intelligence last October, just under 1.5 million federal employees with "top secret" clearances. Which helps explain why one army private was able singlehandedly to download bazillions of (admittedly mostly worthless) "secrets" for Wikileaks. Imagine the entire population of New Zealand with security clearances, and the entire population of Philadelphia or Phoenix with "top secret" clearances.
You don't have to imagine anything anymore: the consequences of such madness are all over the news channels. The Deep State isn't just deep, it's broad and bloated - and it decided last November that it would not accept the result of a perfectly lawful and proper election. So it doesn't care about putting the Turnbull transcript all over the press, because, while the Australian Prime Minister may recognize Donald Trump as the President of the United States, the Deep State does not. So anything goes.

From November to January we had three months of blather about the "peaceful transfer of power", but that is in fact precisely what the losers have denied the winners: Instead, they weaponized the transfer. Do you think, after last week, the Aussies think this is a normal "transfer of power"? What we are witnessing is a slow-motion coup against a duly elected government by people determined to use whatever they have to hand - national-security leaks by the permanent bureaucracy, money-no-object fishing expeditions by hopelessly conflicted prosecutors, domestic surveillance of political opponents by Obama officials, and indifference to most of the preceding by a GOP congressional leadership that has no interest in seeing Trumpism succeed.

If they prevail, they will be teaching the electorate a very dangerous lesson: you can vote for change all you want, but you ain't gonna get any. And that leads nowhere good.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Ten Years of Eco-Activism Impact on America's Energy Consumption

Change in Gas Consumption: from 24% to 29%... +5%
Change in Nuclear Consumption: from 8% to 9%... +1%
Change in Petroleum Consumption: from 39% to 37%... -2%
Change in Coal Consumption: from 23% to 15%... -8%
Change in BioMass Consumption: from 2.8% to 4.6%... +1.8%
Change in Hydro Consumption: from 2.7% to 2.4%... -0.3%
Change in Geothermal Consumption: from 0.3% to 0.2%... -0.1%
Change in Wind Consumption: from 0.12% to 2.1%... +2%
Change in Solar Consumption: from 0.06% to 0.6%... +0.5%

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Is Legal Abortion Safe?

from American Thinker
Is abortion 'the safest procedure?' The Planned Parenthood propaganda has dined out for years on its claim that legal abortions are the preferable alternative to 'back-alley' and 'coat-hanger' abortions. There's not a Democratic Party convention since 1973 where this hasn't been shouted to the rafters.

Apparently it's not even true.

Planned Parenthood is fighting with every tooth and nail it has to keep abortion reporting requirements 'safe' from the public eye, and it's prompting questions about just what they have to hide. According to Washington Examiner op-ed contributor Rachel N. Busick, of Americans United for Life:
Many states have passed laws requiring abortion reporting or enhancing existing reporting laws, including Idaho, Indiana, and Arizona just this year. Surprisingly, abortion providers meet these laws with stiff resistance, lobbying against them before they’re passed and filing lawsuits challenging them after they’re enacted. For example, Planned Parenthood sued to stop both Idaho’s and Indiana’s new reporting laws from going into effect. The outcome of these ongoing court cases will determine whether women in those states will have adequate and relevant information on the impact of abortion as they consider the procedure.
In other words, they don't want women, potential clients, or anyone to know just how dirty and dangerous these acts of killing life are, even in supposedly clinical conditions. Women die from these operations, so far as unofficial data uncovered from death certificates can show and for every one that's died, you can bet a large number of others have been injured. The activists have uncovered a half a dozen deaths. That's not counting the baby, of course.

They just don't want anyone to know, according to New York Post op-ed writer Rachel N. Busick of Americans United for Life, because such facts would destroy their "narrative" about all the coat hangers.

But reporting requirements are necessary for informed consent, Busick notes. If women knew just how dirty and dangerous these procedures were, many would consider other options for unwanted pregnancies, a result that could cut into Planned Parenthood's bottom line. Informed consent is a requirement for every other type of medical procedure, every foot operation and every chemotherapy session, it's a strange exception that abortion (which is an elective procedure, not something you would utterly need, like chemo) seems to be exempt from reporting requirements. Some bureaucrat in Washington needs to be compiling these statistics. That there isn't is precisely why a butcher like abortion 'doctor' Kenneth Gosnell was able to operate with such impunity.

What, indeed, are these people hiding? And what is what's left of our Congress going to do to make these reporting requirements go national?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Rand Paul on the Deep State

from Breitbart
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) offered his thoughts on who should replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions during an interview with Breitbart News Deputy Political Editor Amanda House.

“I think your cabinet needs to have people in it who agree with you,” Paul said when asked if he was happy about Sessions’ departure. “I think for a long time Jeff Sessions hasn’t really been working for what the president would like him to do.”

“I also think that there are some big reforms that we need of our justice and our intelligence agencies, and I think justice can be part of that,”

Paul added. “What they’ve done to the president has been very unfair with going after his campaign, trying to entrap people.”

Paul then referenced the deep state, as he believes they are the ones targeting members of the Trump Administration.

“This whole thing [of going after Trump’s campaign], I think, was set up by people in the intelligence community. Some call it the deep state. Yes, these are people that are there forever and they care more about power and their power than they do about anybody’s individual rights.”

“What I’ve been encouraging the president is that he needs somebody to be attorney general who actually recognizes what they did to President Trump was wrong,” Paul explained.

Sessions has a steady past of opposing criminal justice reform. During his time as a United States senator, Sessions fought against the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. As attorney general, Sessions was unmoveable when it came to low-level drug offense reform, for which he was often criticized.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Democrats Reverting to Type?

Democrats Now
from the Washington Times
When a mob of left-wing antifa activists descended Wednesday night on Fox News personality Tucker Carlson’s D.C. home, it signaled a new phase in the political violence and angry confrontations that now are targeting the news media.

Political violence has been rising in the U.S. since 2012, according to the Global Terrorism Database. Increasingly aggressive activists have pushed political confrontation to the limit since 2016, accosting Republican lawmakers and Trump administration officials in restaurants and in the halls of Congress. And now they’re going after conservative journalists at their homes.

“Tucker Carlson, we will fight. We know where you sleep at night!” the activists allied with antifa chanted outside Mr. Carlson’s home.

Antifa is short of anti-fascist, though the group has anarchist leanings and targets anyone perceived as not in step with a far-left agenda.

“Here’s the problem. I have four children,” Mr. Carlson, whose wife was home alone during the disturbance, told Fox News. “I never thought twice about leaving them home alone, but this is the reaction because this group doesn’t like my TV show.”

On Capitol Hill, the overheated political debate has lawmakers increasingly working under a threat of violence.

Capitol police say they saw a surge in protective details assigned to lawmakers earlier in the fall, when senators were facing hallway protests during the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Security details were assigned to at least two Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee, Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Jeff Flake of Arizona.

Security details typically are assigned only to members of leadership.

Senators have mostly been away from Washington since the Kavanaugh confirmation, and it’s not clear whether enhanced security will still be the norm.

About 2,000 threatening incidents and communications were made against members of Congress last year, according to the House Sergeant at Arms office. That’s nearly double the 902 threatening incidents and communications in 2016.

Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Maleki refused to divulge the numbers so far for 2018.

“Our responsibilities include consulting with member offices on security-related matters. However, we do not comment on these consultations, provide data on the number of threat investigations, or discuss how we carry out our protective responsibilities for Congress,” she said in a statement to The Washington Times.

The threats have extended to anyone entering the political arena.

California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford is still receiving death threats and has been unable to return to work more than a month after she testified to Congress against Justice Kavanaugh during confirmation hearings, according to her legal team.

The threats started when she accused Justice Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her more than 30 years ago when the two were at high school party. The allegations were never corroborated, but her testimony nearly derailed his confirmation.

Former IRS official Lois G. Lerner told a federal judge this month that she is still getting threats stemming from her role in the tea party targeting scandal of five years ago.

She has been locked in a long legal battle trying to permanently seal her old testimony about the targeting, saying she expects a new surge of threats if her actions became publicly known.

“We are seeing more violent events recently as there seems to be a retreat from basic democratic norms,” said American University professor Joseph Young, a scholar of terrorism and political violence.

He said President Trump’s attacks on the press and reluctance to denounce violence on the right doesn’t help but isn’t the main cause.

“Some extremists do not see the value of dialogue or compromise and are concerned with the speed of change. Most importantly, when core values seem under threat, these individuals are using violence in what they perceive as a defensive action,” he said. “ISIS-inspired actors always cite their actions as defensive. The Pittsburgh synagogue shooter felt that his race and people were under threat. Whether this is true or not, I think these beliefs are motivating people to violent action.”

The threats, confrontation and violence come from extremists on the left and the right.

Cesar Sayoc, a crazed supporter of Mr. Trump, is charged with sending at least 16 pipe bomb packages to people viewed as enemies of the president, including high-profile Democrats Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama and commentators at CNN.

Left-wing activist James T. Hodgkinson opened fire on a congressional Republican softball practice in June 2017, almost killing House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

Also shot were House aide Zack Barth, lobbyist Matt Mika and U.S. Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner, who was assigned to protect Mr. Scalise.

D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the incident at Mr. Carlson’s home, during which the demonstrators allegedly damaged the front door.

It wasn’t the first time the group went after a journalist. But they usually attack reporters covering demonstrations, such as when they hurled eggs and water bottles at D.C. police and journalists during a counter-protest against the “Unite the Right 2” rally in August.

A year earlier, the first “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, sparked clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters. A man involved with white supremacy was charged with driving his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32.
Democrats Then

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Why Progressives Believe that Ben Jealous Lost the Maryland Governor’s Race

from The Intercept
Last night, Ben Jealous, the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, lost his race to incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, 56 percent to 43 percent. Jealous would have been Maryland’s first African-American governor and was running on one of the most left-wing policy platforms in the country,

Although polls had been showing Hogan with a significant lead for months, progressives hoped a strong blue wave on Election Day could bring about a major upset. After all, Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 ratio in Maryland.

But Jealous didn’t lose because he ran on issues like “Medicare for All,” a $15 minimum wage, and legalizing marijuana. In fact, voters in Maryland largely agree with Jealous on his signature policy issues. A Goucher College survey released in mid-September found that 54 percent of Maryland residents hold a favorable opinion on “Medicare for All” or single-payer health care, with 33 percent holding an unfavorable view. Support for other key parts of Jealous’s plan polled even higher. Seventy-one percent of Marylanders support raising the statewide minimum wage to $15 dollars per hour, with just a quarter of residents against it. This was actually a substantial jump from February, when Goucher found 66 percent of Marylanders supported the $15 minimum wage. On legalizing marijuana for recreational use, 62 percent of Maryland residents support it, with just one-third opposed.

A Hobbled Campaign

The primary reason Jealous lost is that his campaign couldn’t pull in the necessary funds to compete effectively. Despite winning 22 out of 24 counties in the state’s crowded Democratic primary, the Jealous campaign’s own internal polling revealed that as of July, one-third of Maryland voters, and one-quarter of the state’s Democratic voters, did not know who Jealous was. He had never run for office before, but had earned the teachers union’s endorsement in the primary, which many believe helped secure him his June victory.

Meanwhile, Hogan started out with a big fundraising advantage and a high approval rating. Although Jealous assumed he could turn things around after Labor Day, by then it was too late to change the narrative.

At the end of August, Hogan had $9.4 million to spend for his re-election campaign, compared to Jealous’s mere $385,000. And the gap never closed. In the final two weeks of the campaign, Hogan had almost 12 times more cash than Jealous, or $3.3 million to the Democrat’s $275,000. Few people wanted to donate to a race that seemed uncompetitive, which in turn made it even less competitive as the weeks went on.

While Hogan’s campaign and the Republican Governors Association have blasted negative ads against Jealous nonstop since July, Jealous’s campaign didn’t run its first TV ad until mid-September, and the Democratic Governors Association didn’t run their first ad against Hogan until late October. Jealous couldn’t afford to compete on television, or even really through mailers.

The Jealous campaign understood that it needed to invest more in on-the-ground organizing to make up for the complacency that gripped Democrats in 2014, when Hogan eked out his upset victory. So this year, 70 Democratic organizers were hired to work across the state, compared to 15 field organizers for the state’s Democrat-coordinated campaign in 2014.

But even Jealous supporters noted that his campaign was making it difficult to rally support for his team. On his campaign website, there was nowhere for supporters to order lawn signs, bumper stickers, or other paraphernalia to demonstrate support — unlike on Hogan’s website, where such ordinary purchases were made prominently visible and available. Supporters had to ask around to learn that they had to show up in person at a campaign office to get any swag. That information wasn’t even available on the website.

And while Democratic candidates across the country have been leaning on new media platforms like viral two-minute online-only campaign ads, the Jealous campaign relied predominantly on awkward and less popular tools like Facebook Live.

Lack of Endorsements

The Washington Post has been writing favorably about Hogan for years
, so much so that a reader wrote a letter to the editor in June asking, “Seriously, has Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) changed his name? Apparently so, at least according to The Post. In nearly every reference to the governor, The Post’s writers insist on referencing him with a new first name of ‘popular,’ as in the popular Maryland governor.”

As a result, it was unsurprising when the Washington Post gave its endorsement to Hogan, praising him for having the “agility and sense to govern as a moderate — that disappearing breed of American politician.” The Post dismissed Jealous’s plans as mostly “politically unrealistic” and “unwise.” But more staggering was the Baltimore Sun, which endorsed Jealous in the primary but endorsed Hogan in the general election, despite literally acknowledging in its own endorsement that Hogan’s “actions in office have too often treated [Baltimore] as an afterthought, if not with outright contempt.” (Hogan’s decision to cancel the Red Line light rail, a project that had been in the works for a decade and to which the federal government was going to contribute $900 million, was a disastrously cruel move for the long-neglected city.)

Outside Maryland, the national press was also largely uninterested in Jealous’s general election challenge, especially when compared to the attention paid to Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum, black candidates running to be Georgia’s and Florida’s first African-American governors, respectively. The Maryland race was deemed uncompetitive, and thus less exciting to cover.

During the primary, most of Maryland’s Democratic establishment lined up behind Rushern Baker, the outgoing county executive in Prince George’s County. (Kevin Kamenetz, the county executive for Baltimore County was also a frontrunner, and had raised more money than other candidates in the primary, but he died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest six weeks before the election.)

After Jealous won, several dozen Maryland Democrats announced their support for Hogan, though most were older white men who hadn’t served in office for years. Others had received political appointments from the governor, or had records of supporting Republican candidates in the past.

Jealous did end up securing endorsements from the Democratic Party’s current elected officials, but some were much slower to voice their support, and many remained muted in their enthusiasm. The long-serving state Senate president, Mike Miller, was a prime example. He was guarded in his support for Jealous, while being enthusiastic in his praise for Hogan’s work. Ike Leggett, the outgoing executive of affluent Montgomery County, at first withheld his endorsement of Jealous over tax issues that he said would hurt his wealthy constituents. When he finally did endorse Jealous in in mid-October, he did so in the world’s most half-hearted way. When the Washington Post asked him if Jealous would be a better governor than Hogan, Leggett declined to say yes. “That’s a good question,” he said. “I’m simply for the Democratic nominee.” About 45 percent of Montgomery County ended up voting for Hogan.

It’s unlikely that vocal enthusiasm from Leggett and Miller could have really changed Jealous’s fundraising numbers in a substantial way, but they certainly didn’t help.

Jealous also tamped down enthusiasm from some otherwise natural allies. Despite running on one of the most progressive platforms in the country, he didn’t even try to court some of the newly established Democratic Socialists of America chapters or get their endorsements. He also upset a lot of leftists over the summer, when he disavowed socialism in a way that not even Barack Obama did during the eight years he was blasted for being on the left. After Hogan called Jealous a “far-left socialist” in an interview, a different reporter followed up by asking Jealous if he identified as a socialist. Jealous responded, “Are you fucking kidding me?” The Republican Governors Association funded a TV ad this summer that featured Jealous saying, “Go ahead, call me a socialist,” cutting off the rest of his sentence, in which he went on to say, “It doesn’t change the fact that I’m a venture capitalist.” The Jealous campaign demanded that local stations pull the ad for being false and too misleading.

Larry Hogan Was a Better Campaigner

Hogan’s schtick of acting moderate was largely successful, in part due to the light press coverage his administration has received over the past four years. Over the summer, for example, he earned glowing national headlines by recalling Maryland’s four National Guard troops from the southern U.S. border — thus appearing to be someone willing to stand up to Trump and his family separation policy — but his actual record on immigration was far more hostile and overlooked. Hogan also moved to the left when he felt he needed to politically: In July, he announced a new student debt relief plan and announced he would no longer take donations or an endorsement from the National Rifle Association. In 2014, he took the gun lobby’s money and endorsement, and also received an A- rating.

It also helped that while Maryland voters are generally Democratic, they’re not always very progressive. Fifty-six percent of Marylanders think their state taxes are “too high,” and Hogan spent the bulk of his campaign emphasizing that he’d continue to cut taxes and that Jealous would significantly raise them. While the Jealous campaign was banking on major turnout in the city of Baltimore to push him over the edge, in the end, nearly one-third of Baltimore went for Hogan, up from 22 percent in 2014.

In the Maryland legislature, however, Democrats maintained their veto-proof majority. Republicans had targeted eight Democratic seats and hoped to flip five, but failed. Baltimore’s three largest suburban counties will now also be led by Democrats, with Anne Arundel and Howard counties flipping blue.
Sorry Progressives, but it wasn't a lack of money that sank Ben Jealous, it was his Medicare for All, $15 Minimum Wage economic policies that would bankrupt the middle class and that only a foolish minimum wage earning worker believes would work.

Unofficial Harford County 2018 Election Results

Sourced from the State Board of Elections

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Maryland, by Political Affiliation

from the Baltimore Sun

Hogan Endorsing Baltimore Sun Attempts to Apologize for Republican Advocacy

from the Baltimore Sun
Maryland Republican Party concedes that get-out-the-vote mailing depicting liberal protesters was 'inartful'

The Maryland Republican Party conceded Friday that a flyer it mailed to urge conservatives to vote and depicting apparently liberal protesters was an “inartful” way to get its message out.

The mailing — publicized Friday by the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous — shows a crowd milling about on one side, with a woman wearing an American flag over her face and flashing a peace sign on the other.

“Pay attention conservatives! Liberals like these will be voting,” it reads. “Will you be voting this year? These folks definitely will.”

The week-old flyer was distributed as some Republicans nationally have claimed Democratic victories in next month’s election will open the door to a kind of mob rule.

Patrick O’Keefe, a spokesman for the Maryland Republican Party, said the mailer was meant to echo Democrats’ own language about high turnout among their supporters.

“The mailing concedes only what Democrats have been saying themselves for two years, which is their voters are going to turn out in high numbers,” he said. “In retrospect, this was an inartful way to do that.”

Jealous said in a statement that the images appeared to be drawn from the international women’s march protests, held a day after the 2017 inauguration of Republican President Donald Trump, and said they crossed “clear lines of decency.”

“This is dangerous and sends the wrong signal about how society should respond to women peacefully demonstrating against a president who regularly demeans them,” Jealous said.

Jealous is running against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Early voting is underway in Maryland through Nov. 1, while Election Day is Nov. 6.
Apologies are unnecessary. Only a Liberal could find the ugly truth of Democrat tactical unseemliness through public protests "insulting". Inartful politics is what a Democrat protest represents in an enlightened society.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Maryland Wide Early Voting Statistics as of 8 pm Friday

As of 8 pm Friday, 26 October: 82,249 Maryland registered voters (2.28% out of 3,597,135) had early voted. 51,460 (2.40% out of 2,143,288) were registered Democrats. 21,416 (2.13% out of 1,003,153) were registered Republicans. 9,427 (2.09% out of 450,694) were Independents or affiliates of other parties.


Educated Workers? Or Lifelong Debt Slaves?

An ExPat's View of the MAGA Bomber

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Early Voting in Harford County Begins THURSDAY 10/25

Early voting in Maryland begins Thursday, October 25th, and runs through Thursday, November 1st. The following Early voting centers in Harford County are open between 10 am and 8 pm:

McFaul Activity Center
525 W. MacPhail Road
Bel Air, MD 21014

Edgewood Library
629 Edgewood Road
Edgewood, MD 21040

Aberdeen Fire Department
21 N. Rogers Street
Aberdeen, MD 21001

Jarrettsville Library
3722 Norrisville Road
Jarrettsville, MD 21084

Complete List of Early Voting Locations in Maryland

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Tony Campbell, Republican US Senate Candidate from Maryland

from Red
Tony Campbell


Office Sought and District
United States Senate

Doctorate, Liberty University

University Professor

Political Experience
Executive Committee, Maryland Republican Party. MDGOP Central Committee member, 1998 – 2018. State Chairman, Ben Carson for President 2016. State Chairman, Rick Santorum for President 2012. Led Redistricting Referendum Campaign 2012.


Social Media Accounts

Why are you running for office?
I am running for the United States Senate to push an agenda of Equal Citizenship. Better schools controlled by well administered local education authorities instead of Common Core one size fit all national agendas. Promoting a culture of Success, not subsistence, where every Marylander has the opportunity to thrive. I will also work to lower taxes and mandate a balanced national budget.

Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
President Ronald Reagan. Reagan was clear in his mission of winning the Cold War and accomplished this goal.

What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
John Locke – Two Treatises on Government / The Anti-Federalist Papers (various writers). Locke’s theory of government is how our government should be organized while the Anti-Federalist Papers prompted the debate to allow us to have “The Bill of Rights” added to the Constitution of the United States.

What will be your top priority in Congress?
As a member of the United States Senate, the top priority must be on protecting America’s interest domestically and globally. My top focus will be Securing America’s infrastructure against foreign actors (cyber, energy and transportation).

What is the biggest issue facing your district?
Enhancing our infrastructure. See above answer for detail.

What are the three biggest issues facing our country?
Deficient Infrastructure
Education Reform including school security
Lack of an American Community and the Growth of Identity Politics

What is your position on life issues? (abortion, assisted suicide)
I believe Every Life Matters. I am against Abortion and against Assisted Suicide.

What is your position on taxes, spending and the federal deficit?
NO tax Increases and I will push for a law to mandate a balanced national budget.

What is your position on gun rights?
I am an advocate for the 2nd Amendment. I am a member of the NRA.

What is your position on the legalization of marijuana?
I am not in favor of federal legalization of marijuana. However, I think marijuana does not need to be a schedule 1 drug. Our federal system allows for states to decide legality of marijuana within their borders. The Supreme Court has not decided to weigh-in on this issue yet. I am in favor of states making their own decisions at this point.

What is your position on trade?
I want our country to be competitive in the world marketplace. I support bi-lateral Fair Trade agreements.

What is your position on foreign policy and military issues?
The United States must secure its interest throughout the world without being overtaxed as the world’s policeman. Our government must use its diplomatic, financial and military assets in the most effective way possible. When our veterans return home, we must ensure they receive the care they deserve.

Would you support the passage of the Human Life Amendment?

Would you support the passage of the Balanced Budget Amendment?

Neal Jerry Simon, Maryland Senate Candidate

from Wikipedia
Neal Jerry Simon (born May 1, 1968) is a business executive and community leader in Potomac, Maryland.

Simon has led four businesses, and has served on the boards of several leading Maryland non-profits. He is the CEO of Bronfman Rothschild which manages $6.1 billion and has eleven offices in the Midwest and east coast. From 2006 to 2008, Simon was the chairman of the board of the Montgomery County Community Foundation[1] and in 2016 Simon was elected chairman of the board of the Greater Washington Community Foundation.[2] In April 2016, Simon and his family were recognized by Interfaith Works as Humanitarians of the Year.[3][4]

On February 6, 2018, Simon declared his candidacy to represent the state of Maryland in the U.S. Senate as an Independent.[5][6]

Early life and education
Simon was born in New York City, the middle child of Donald Simon and Sylvia Abitbol Simon. At a young age, his family moved to North Woodmere, New York, while his father worked in equipment leasing and his mother worked as a school teacher then a travel agent. In 1986, Simon graduated from George W. Hewlett High School, where he served as class president for three years. Donald Simon was from Brooklyn, NY and is the son of immigrants from Belarus. Simon’s mother, Sylvia Abitbol, was born in Casablanca, Morocco.

In 1986, Simon began his studies at Brown University. He also attended for the summer semester the Sorbonne (Universite de Paris). While at Brown University, Simon attended Tel Aviv University for the spring semester of his junior year, and he spent two summers working for Neuberger Berman in New York, NY. In 1990, he graduated from Brown University with a BA cum laude in Applied Mathematics and Economics. His senior thesis evaluated the impact on Palestinians of work in Israel. Between stints at William Kent International, Simon attended University of Chicago Graduate School of Business where in 1995 he received a Master of Business Administration high honors (top 5% of class). Upon graduation, in recognition largely for his starting and running the business school’s Public Service Fellowship program, Simon received the President’s Award for Student Volunteer Service.[citation needed]

While at University of Chicago, Simon attended Universidad Catolica in Santiago, Chile, for one trimester. During the summer of 1994, he worked for the World Bank in Washington, DC.

Simon worked for William Kent International (WKI) from 1990 to 1993 and again from 1995 to 1999. WKI specialized in helping large US corporations build their businesses overseas. Simon’s clients included Alcoa, Rockwell, Kennametal, and Rubbermaid. During his time at WKI, he worked in over 30 countries and ultimately became the firm’s COO. Simon also served on the Board of the company’s joint venture in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In 1999, Simon left WKI to become chairman and CEO of USLaw, a national network of small law firms. USLaw was financed with $15 million led by UBS Capital, and the website quickly became the leader for consumers and small businesses researching their legal issues. The company gained notoriety for its offering online chats with attorneys.[7][8] At its peak in 2000, the company employed 96. In November 2000, the company laid off 16 of its 96 people in a business restructuring. In late 2001, in the midst of the bursting of the tech bubble, USLaw was sold to Grand Central Holdings in New York City. In October 2000, Simon was recognized by Washington Business Forward as one of the top 40 business leaders under the age of 40 and in December 2000 he appeared on the cover of Money magazine.

After leaving USLaw in 2001, Simon joined the Meltzer Group as its president and COO. In 2002, Simon started a registered investment advisor which four years later became Highline Wealth Management. By 2015, the company managed $1.5 billion and was one of the fifty largest registered investment advisers in the country.[9]

On July 31, 2015, Highline was acquired by Bronfman Rothschild. As part of the transaction, the company moved its headquarters to Rockville, Maryland, and Simon was hired as chief executive officer. Simon’s new partners include Sir Evelyn Rothschild and Matthew Bronfman. The Washington Post estimated the acquisition price at $30 million.[10]

In 2015, Simon appeared on the cover of Charle Schwab’s Portraits of Independence, a collection of success stories in investment management.[11] In January 2016, along Matthew Bronfman, Simon appeared on the cover of Financial Advisor magazine.[12] In October 2017, Simon appeared on the cover of Financial Planning magazine, for an article featuring the company’s growth.[13]

In July 2016, Bronfman Rothschild was recognized by Financial Advisor Magazine as the second-fastest growing investment advisory in the country.[14]

In August 2017, Simon hired Michael LaMena as President and COO, creating a new position in the company's leadership team.[15]

2018 Campaign for U.S. Senate
On February 6, 2018, Simon declared his candidacy to represent the state of Maryland in the U.S. Senate.[16][17]

On February 27, 2018, Simon was formally endorsed by Unite America, a movement “to elect common-sense, independent candidates that represent the People not party bosses”.[18] Simon is joined in statewide elections by Governor Bill Walker (I-AK), Greg Orman, Terry Hayes, and Craig O’Dear.[19][20]

During the first quarter of 2018, Simon raised double the amount raised by incumbent Ben Cardin.[21][22]

In April and May 2018, Simon completed a “listening tour” of Maryland during which he is traveling to Baltimore City and all 23 of Maryland’s counties.[23]

On July 19, 2018, Simon submitted over 12,000 signatures to complete Maryland’s state requirement for Nomination by Petition, weeks ahead of the Aug. 6, 2018 deadline. This ensures Simon’s name will appear on the ballot as a candidate for Maryland’s U.S. Senate seat during the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.[24] Among Simon’s signers is Governor Larry Hogan.[25]

In August 2018, Simon launched a campaign ad titled “Together” which ran on broadcast television in the Baltimore media market.[26][27]

One of Simon’s stated primary objectives is to bring the country together. “It’s toxic and it’s divisive and that divisiveness in Washington trickles into our society and it pits us against each other,” Simon said. “Men versus women, black versus white, rich versus poor, left versus right and we’re all tired of it. We’re starved for leadership that brings us together.”[28]

Political Positions
Neal Simon identifies himself as a "moderate independent"; he described his fiscal positions as being closer to that of the Republican platform and his social positions as closer to those of the Democratic platform.[29] He supports lower taxes and cutting the budget. He is pro-choice on the issue of abortion. He supports same-sex marriage. On his Senate campaign site he supports the DREAM Act and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and some gun control measures.[30] He also supports tighter border security and nationalizing the E-Verify program, which is believed to cut down on illegal immigration.[30]

Simon supports open primaries, which would allow independent voters to participate in Maryland’s primary elections, a system believed to result in more moderate representatives.[31]

Personal life
Simon is married to Jennifer Brown Simon. They live in Potomac, Maryland, and have three children.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Larry Hogan is Crushing Ben Jealous in the Polls

from the Washington Post
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan holds a commanding 22-point lead over Democratic challenger Ben Jealous in a new poll that suggests the Republican is consolidating substantial support from groups that traditionally back Democrats in the deep-blue state.

The Goucher Poll, released early Wednesday morning, found likely voters favor Hogan over Jealous by a margin of 54 percent to 32 percent. Undecided voters have dwindled to just 9 percent of the electorate, the poll found, meaning Jealous must win the lion’s share of persuadable voters and bank on dramatically heightened Democratic turnout to have a shot on Election Day.

In addition to Hogan securing his Republican base by large margins, the poll found he had the support of 38 percent of Maryland Democrats, who outnumber GOP voters in the state by more than 2 to 1.

Even though most voters support the issues on which Jealous has campaigned — a $15-an-hour minimum wage, boosting education spending, and Medicare-for-all — they trust Hogan more on education, the economy and health care, the poll found.

“They like the issues, but they haven’t connected them to Jealous,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College in Towson, Md., which surveyed 472 likely voters from Sept. 11 to Sept. 16. “It’s clear that Ben Jealous needs to introduce himself to Marylanders.”

While Hogan and the Republican Governors Association have spent more than $2 million in a sustained advertising blitz in Maryland since June, Jealous launched his first television ad Monday, with a modest buy in the Baltimore market. The Goucher poll — the latest to show Hogan with a double-digit lead in the race — was completed the previous day.

A quarter of voters identified the economy and jobs as the most important issue that would determine whom they picked in the governor’s race — more than any other topic. That bodes well for Hogan, since likely voters said they thought he would handle economic development and job creation better than Jealous by 66 percent to 23 percent.

If elected, Jealous — a progressive political newcomer who previously headed the NAACP — would be the first African American governor in Maryland, a state with the largest proportion of black residents outside the Deep South.

The poll found that while Jealous holds a 14-percentage-point advantage among black voters, about 35 percent of those voters plan to vote for Hogan. That’s more than twice the proportion of the black vote Hogan won during his upset win in 2014.

Hogan’s opponent at the time, then-Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, had a campaign widely panned by Democrats and pundits as suffering from an “enthusiasm gap” that drove down Democratic turnout. Nonetheless, Brown — who also is African American — received 79 percent of the black vote, according to a post-election poll conducted by The Washington Post and the University of Maryland.

“African Americans could get [Jealous] into the governor’s mansion, but his message isn’t resonating,” said Sandy Pruitt, a Democrat who is co-founder of the Prince George’s County nonprofit group People for Change.

During a meeting this month of the South County Democratic Club, Pruitt, who is African American, surveyed a Jealous flier that promised Medicare-for-all, debt-free college and the creation of green jobs. She said voters in Prince George’s are more interested in help recovering from the foreclosure crisis or keeping seniors in their homes.

“It doesn’t seem to me like he would be a big advocate for black communities,” Pruitt said.

Wala Blegay, a volunteer with Our Revolution Maryland and a strong Jealous supporter who attended the meeting to speak on his behalf, said she frequently hears similar concerns. While knocking on doors in the predominantly African American town of Forestville, she said, many residents told her that “Hogan’s TV ads are working.”

“There is little knowledge of who Ben is at this point, and they think he’s going to raise their taxes,” Blegay said.

Hogan and the RGA have aired ads statewide portraying Jealous’s proposals for universal health care and expanded pre­kindergarten as too costly for the state. Jealous and his allies have yet to respond on the airwaves.

Todd Eberly, a political scientist at St. Mary’s College, said the poll’s findings may make it harder for Jealous to persuade outside groups to spend money on his candidacy and help combat Hogan’s $9 million cash advantage.

“Larry Hogan is in an incredibly strong position for reelection, and Ben Jealous has a lot of ground to close in the next [few] weeks,” Eberly said.

Jealous has struggled to generate support from some of the state’s mainstream Democratic leaders, including Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett. Leggett said in July that he was concerned about the impact of Jealous’s proposals on residents of the affluent county and wanted to discuss that and other issues before deciding whether to endorse him. Leggett met with Jealous last week and said Tuesday that they plan to meet again next month. He did not respond to questions about whether Jealous would get his support.

Some Democrats who might be inclined to vote for Jealous say they’ve yet to find a reason to do so.

“Hogan seems to be doing a pretty good job,” said Barrington Fair, a Silver Spring resident. He said he usually looks for a candidate focused on “those who need the help most,” but he knows too little about Jealous to make a judgment on his campaign.

The many Democrats willing to cross party lines for Hogan do not appear likely to do so for other Republicans on the ballot. Both Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) and Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) are leading their Republican challengers by more than 30 percentage points.

The poll has a 4.5 percentage point margin or error.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Hard Truths

Our movement is about replacing a failed and corrupt political establishment with a new government controlled by you, the American People. There is nothing the political establishment will not do, and no lie they will not tell, to hold on to their prestige and power at your expense.

The Washington establishment, and the financial and media corporations that fund it, exists for only one reason: to protect and enrich itself.”

“The establishment has trillions of dollars at stake in this election. As an example, just one single trade deal they’d like to pass, involves trillions of dollars controlled by many countries, corporations and lobbyists.

For those who control the levers of power in Washington, and for the global special interests they partner with, our campaign represents an existential threat.

“This is not simply another 4-year election. This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization that will determine whether or not We The People reclaim control over our government.

The political establishment that is trying everything to stop us, is the same group responsible for our disastrous trade deals, massive illegal immigration, and economic and foreign policies that have bled this country dry. The political establishment has brought about the destruction of our factories and our jobs, as they flee to Mexico, China and other countries throughout the world. Our just-announced jobs numbers are anemic, and our gross domestic product, or GDP, is barely above one percent. Workers in the United States, were making less than they were almost 20 years ago – and yet they are working harder.

It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.

Just look at what this corrupt establishment has done to our cities like Detroit and Flint, Michigan – and rural towns in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and across our country. They have stripped these towns bare, and raided the wealth for themselves and taken away their jobs.

The Clinton Machine is at the center of this power structure. We’ve seen this firsthand in the WikiLeaks documents in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers.

And, likewise, the emails show that the Clinton Machine is so closely and irrevocably tied to media organizations that she is given the questions and answers in advance of her debates. Clinton is also given approval and veto power over quotes written about her in the New York Times. And the emails show the reporters collaborate and conspire directly with the Clinton Campaign on helping her win the election.

With their control over our government at stake, with trillions of dollars on the line, the Clinton Machine is determined to achieve the destruction of our campaign, which has now become a movement the likes of which our country has never seen before – and we won’t let them do that.

The most powerful weapon deployed by the Clintons is the corporate media. Let’s be clear on one thing: the corporate media in our country is no longer involved in journalism. They are a political special interest, no different than any lobbyist or other financial entity with an agenda. And their agenda is to elect the Clintons at any cost, at any price, no matter how many lives they destroy.

For them, it is a war – and for them, nothing is out of bounds.

This is a struggle for the survival of our nation. This election will determine whether we are a free nation, or whether we have only the illusion of Democracy but are in fact controlled by a small handful of global special interests rigging the system.

This is not just conspiracy but reality, and you and I know it.

The establishment and their media enablers wield control over this nation through means that are well known. Anyone who challenges their control is deemed a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe and morally deformed. They will attack you, they will slander you, they will seek to destroy your career and reputation. And they will lie, lie and lie even more.

The Clintons are criminals. This is well-documented, and the establishment that protects them has engaged in a massive cover-up of widespread criminal activity at the State Department and Clinton Foundation in order to keep the Clintons in power. Never in history have we seen such a cover-up as this, one that includes the destruction of 33,000 emails, 13 phones, laptops, missing boxes of evidence, and on and on.

People who are capable of such crimes against our nation are capable of anything.

[…] But I take all of these slings and arrows for you. I take them for our movement, so that we can have our country back. Our great civilization, here in America and across the civilized world, has come upon a moment of reckoning.

We’ve seen it in the United Kingdom, where they voted to liberate themselves from global government and global trade deals and global immigration deals that have destroyed their sovereignty.

But the central base of world political power is here in America, and it is our corrupt political establishment that is the greatest power behind the efforts at radical globalization and the disenfranchisement of working people.

Their financial resources are unlimited. Their political resources are unlimited. Their media resources are unlimited. And, most importantly, the depths of their immorality is unlimited.

Our political establishment has no soul. I knew these false attacks would come. I knew this day would arrive. And I knew the American people would rise above it and vote for the future they deserve.

The only thing that can stop the Corrupt Clinton Machine is you. The only force strong enough to save this country is you. The only people brave enough to vote out this corrupt establishment is you, the American People.

They control the Department of Justice, and they even clandestinely meet with the Attorney General of the United States – in the back of her airplane, while on the runway – for 39 minutes – to most likely discuss her reappointment in a Clinton Administration just prior to the Attorney General making a decision over whether or not to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

Likewise, they have corrupted the Director of the FBI to the point at which stories are already saying the great men and women who work for the FBI are embarrassed and ashamed to what he’s done to one of our great institutions. Hillary Clinton is guilty of all of the things that Director Comey stated at his press conference and Congressional hearings, and far more – and yet he let her off the hook, while others lives are being destroyed for far less.”

“This is a conspiracy against you, the American people.

This is our moment of reckoning as a society and as a civilization.

I didn’t need to do this. I built a great company, and I had a wonderful life. I could have enjoyed the benefits of years of successful business for myself and my family, instead of going through this absolute horror show of lies, deceptions and malicious attacks. I’m doing it because this country has given me so much, and I feel strongly it was my turn to give back.

Some people warned me this campaign would be a journey to hell. But they are wrong, it will be a journey to heaven because we will help so many people.

In my former life, I was an insider as much as anybody else – and I know what’s like to be an insider. Now I am being punished for leaving their special club and revealing to you their great scam. Because I used to be part of the club, I’m the only one who can fix it. I’m doing this for the people, and this movement is just right – and we will take back this country for you and Make America Great Again.

The corrupt establishment knows that we are an existential threat to their criminal enterprise. They know, that if we win, their power is gone and returned to you. The clouds hanging over our government can be lifted, and replaced with a bright future – but it all depends on whether we let the New York Times decide our future, or whether we let the American people decide our future.

If this Clinton Campaign of Destruction is allowed to work, then no other highly successful person – which is what our country needs – will ever again run for this office.

I will not lie to you. These false attacks hurt. To be lied about, to be slandered, to be smeared so publicly and before your family, is painful.

What the Clinton Machine is doing to me, and my family, is egregious beyond words. It is reprehensible beyond description.

But I also know, it’s not about me – it’s about all of you. It’s about all of us, together, as a country.

It’s about the Veterans who need medical care, the mothers who’ve lost children to terrorism and crime, it’s about the inner cities and the border towns who desperately need our help, it’s about the millions of jobless Americans. This election is about the people being crushed by Obamacare, and it’s about defeating ISIS and appointing Supreme Court Justices who will defend our Constitution.”

“This election is also about the African-American and Hispanic communities whose communities have been plunged into crime, poverty and failing schools by the policies of Hillary Clinton. They’ve robbed these citizens of their future, and I will give them their hope, jobs and opportunities back. I will deliver.

This election is about every man, woman and child in our country who deserves to live in safety, prosperity and peace.

We will rise above the lies, the smears, and the ludicrous slanders from ludicrous reporters.

We will vote for the country we want.

We will vote for the future we want.

We will vote for the politics we want.

We will vote to put this corrupt government cartel out of business. We will remove from our politics the special interests who have betrayed our workers, our borders, our freedoms, and our sovereign rights as a nation. We will end the politics of profit, we will end the rule of special interests, we will put a stop to the raiding of our country – and the disenfranchisement of our people.

Our Independence Day is at hand, and it arrives, finally, on November 8th. Join me in taking back our country, and creating a bright and glorious new dawn for our people.”
- Donald Trump

Friday, September 7, 2018

Friday, August 31, 2018


CDC Warns Of A ‘Steep, Sustained Increase’ In STDs

Changing sexual behaviors and downright dumbness have contributed to a fourth straight year of a soaring rate of sexually-transmitted diseases across the United States.

New cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia spiked another 10 percent last year, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.

New cases diagnosed alone in 2017 totaled 2.29 million for these three diseases, a national record. They are all easily detected and treatable and prevented with condom use.

CDC officials called the enduring eruption of STD infections a “steep, sustained increase” that began in 2013.

“We’re sliding backward,” said Jonathan Mermin of CDC. “It’s evident the systems that identify, treat and ultimately prevent STDs are strained to near-breaking point.”

Diagnoses of gonorrhea jumped 67 percent since 2013 and 19 percent during the last year, the CDC said. They cited lax screening procedures by too many medical professionals.

Primary and secondary syphilis diagnoses have climbed 76 percent. Chlamydia remained the CDC’s most commonly reported STD with almost half of all new cases being found in females ages 15 to 24.

The diseases are easily treatable and, obviously, the sooner they’re detected the better. But many cases go undetected because patients do not ask for and doctors do not always offer screening.

CDC officials worry now the diseases will soon mutate to overcome existing antibiotics. Already, gonorrhea is resistant to all antibiotics except ceftriaxone.

Without proper treatment, these diseases can cause infertility, pregnancy complications, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancies and greater risk of HIV transmission.

Gail Bolan, who is director of the CDC Division of STD Prevention, said:
We expect gonorrhea will eventually wear down our last highly effective antibiotic, and additional treatment options are urgently needed. We can’t let our defenses down. We must continue reinforcing efforts to rapidly detect and prevent resistance as long as possible.
They said with improved management of HIV, too many people have stopped using condoms. And called on state and local health officials to aggressively drive home the need to use protection during sex.

.”You don’t need a medical degree to prevent an STD,” said Michael Fraser, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. “You need to talk to people about using condoms.”

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Are You a Virtue Signalling 'Slacktivist'?

Slacktivism: A 21st century term defined by as "actions taken to bring about political or social change but requiring only minimal commitment, effort, or risk." I consider examples of slacktivism to include, but are not limited to, signing online petitions, sharing think pieces on Facebook, or changing one's profile picture to a certain image in support of a cause. In reality, everyone has been a slacktivist at one point or another, myself included. There's no harm in sharing your views and opinions through social media, but after awhile, you have to wake up and realize it really isn't doing much.

Many claim that social media campaigning and sharing messages through the Internet help to spread the word on issues and get people aware. However, I believe that it does nothing more than spread awareness about an issue that's in no way getting fixed. Now, those who know me are very aware of the constant think pieces and videos that I share on my page and may be quick to call me a hypocrite. However, a key difference between myself and a slacktivist is that I also try to go out and speak up for what I believe in.

In this day and age, most sources of information we receive is through the media, so it's easy to get comfortable and satisfied with just signing a petition to save the whales. However, that's not enough. Not everyone is an activist, I agree. To be honest, you won't see me chaining myself to a fire hydrant in solidarity for anyone anytime soon. But that doesn't mean that I won't attend a rally on a matter that I fervently support. As millennials, we have to find the time to use our voices to speak, not our fingers to share. If there's a march on your campus for an issue you believe in, go, don't just repost the flier on your Instagram. If there's an event that needs volunteers for an organization you'd love to be a part of, sign up, don't just click that you're attending the event on Facebook. There are little ways in which you can make a difference for your community and issues that you support that are much more effective than social media.

Oftentime, we are quick to share about why we think something is unjust, but aren't as quick to go out and work to fight that injustice. Slavoj Zizek, a Slovenian philosopher, responded to critics of today's injustice by asking, "OK, but what do you really want? What should replace the system?" If all we do as a generation is use social media as a platform to share about our oppression without actively voicing our opinions where it matters, who is ever going to know what we really want? The point I am simply trying to make is that 500 people gathered together in protest is much greater than 5,000 likes for a picture on Facebook.
The Odyssey Online

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Blue Wave in Maryland?

A Comparison of EARLY Voters in Maryland Primaries

Total Early Voters - 77,288
Democrats - 54,770 (71%)
Republicans - 21,656 (28%)

Total Early Voters - 141,590
Democrats - 104,776 (74%)
Republicans - 33,981 (24%)

Total Early Voters - 222,100
Democrats - 77% (~170,356)
Republicans - 21.5% (~47,736)

2018 - Primary Total (Early + Election Day) Voters
Total Voters - 597,317
Democrats - 414,519 (69%)
Republicans - 161,289 (27%)

Democrats were motivated to turn out Early this year, but seemed to fade on election day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

So Much for the Baltimore Ceasefire...Maybe Thugs Don't Do Community Outreach?

from the Baltimore Sun
'It's really senseless:' One killed, four injured in Baltimore shootings during Ceasefire weekend

Five people were shot — one fatally — in three separate shootings over the weekend in Baltimore.

Around 7:35 p.m. Sunday, a 27-year-old man was shot multiple times in the 2400 block of Wilkens Ave. in Southwest Baltimore, police said. He was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

Less than two hours earlier, three people were shot in the 900 block of North Broadway, a few blocks from Johns Hopkins Hospital, according to police.

When officers arrived on the scene around 5:46 p.m., they found one man who had been shot in the leg. A 37-year-old man was wounded in the torso, but did not die as police previously reported. On Sunday, police said he is listed in grave condition. Officers soon learned of a third victim who walked into a hospital with a gunshot wound to the foot.

On Saturday at around 5 a.m., officers found a man suffering from a gunshot wound to the head at the 1800 block of Winchester St. in West Baltimore. The man was listed as in critical condition at an area hospital, police said Saturday.

The weekend shootings took place during the third Ceasefire weekend this year — a movement meant to halt the citywide violence for a 72-hour period from Friday to Sunday.

Until Sunday, there had been no fatal shootings during the three Ceasefire events this year.

Just before midnight Sunday, Ceasefire organizer Letrice Gant, dressed all in white, scrubbed the air above the marble steps on the 2400 block of Wilkens Ave. with a bundle of smoking sage. It was a ritual cleansing of the space still stained with blood from the fatal shooting hours earlier.

The fire department had sanitized the sidewalk earlier, but a dark splotch still remained. They would need to use a power washer, said Gant.

Ceasefire organizer Erricka Bridgeford waved a bundle of sage and whispered chants. She bent to the ground, touching the splatter.

“A very dark thing happened here today,” she told a group of around a dozen people who gathered in a circle, holding hands. “We leave love and light right here.”

A woman walking by in Hello Kitty shorts watched uncomfortably, curiously. She sniffed and fidgeted. Someone offered a hand, and she, too, joined the circle.

“I was going through my own thing,” said Krystal Moffett, 32, when asked what moved her to join the group. “I miss my kids. I wanna get my life together. I’ve lost people, too.”

Following the shooting near Hopkins, Shaennika Miles, 29, said she knew two of the victims and was still collecting her thoughts after witnessing such trauma.

“It’s really senseless,” she said. “I heard all the shots when I was in the middle of Broadway. I see [one of the victims] in the middle of the street. I pray that he’s OK.”

Of the victims, she said, “We’re really good friends. … They made sure I’m OK. Tell me how good of a mom I am.”

Miles said she was speaking out in the hopes that she could change the status quo.

“Most of our kids are suffering,” she said of the violence in the city.

When they heard the shots, sisters Linda Cooper and Maggie Austin ran inside in such a hurry that Austin, 92, left her cane.

“I just grabbed her by the arm,” said Cooper. “I went in my door. All I can know is I got out of that shooting.”

After police arrived, they were willing to come back to sit on their front steps.

On the other side of the yellow tape, police scanned the nearby row homes, looking for possible security cameras and evidence.

“We don’t got nothin’ to worry about,” Cooper told her sister, touching her hand. With the officers in the area, they felt safe, she said. “When they leave, we’ll leave.”