The Politics of Abortion- Sadism as Politics: Rick Perry, Paul Ryan, Anti-Abortion Politics and Kicking the Poor
The victory in Texas on Senate Bill 5 – the successful filibuster by State Senator Wendy Davis and the crowd of pro-choice Texans who packed the Capitol to stand with her, who shouted down the vote in what Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst petulantly called “Occupy Wall Street tactics” – may be short-lived, as Governor (and failed Republican presidential candidate) Rick Perry has already declared that he’s calling another special legislative session to pass the bill. As if that’s not enough, Perry gave a speech Thursday at the National Right to Life conference and used Davis’ personal life as an example of someone who was “born into difficult circumstances,” the daughter of a single mom and a teen mother herself. Perry’s immediate need not just to argue with Wendy Davis and the people who stood with her but to shame them personally, to tell a crowd that “The louder they scream, the more we know that we are getting something done” is just the latest reminder of what this kind of anti-abortion politics is really about: power. It’s not just a tactic to move toward banning abortion slowly, inch by inch, hoping that we don’t notice our rights disappearing. This strategy of passing more and more restrictions on how and when and where and with whose permission one can obtain an abortion is itself a method of demonstrating and reiterating power over our bodies; it’s a sharp reminder that they exercise this power largely because they can. Because as members of a privileged class – economically and politically as well as by virtue of race and gender – they will wield that power, not for our own good but in spite of our desires, and the more we scream the more pleasure they take in their victory. The discipline, Perry’s comment shows, is the point. Perry, and his comrade-in-sadism Paul Ryan, aren’t just anti-abortionists, of course. They’re also big fans of punishing and controlling the poor – usually imagined, often not entirely correctly, as non-white people. Ryan has proposed drastic cuts to Social Security, wanted to turn Medicare into a voucher program, and just last week voted to support an amendment that would boot people off food assistance if they can’t find a job; Perry wants to drug test the unemployed and recipients of food stamps and presided over the largest cuts to public education since World War II. And of course, the granddaddy of today’s vicious, sadistic politics is Newt Gingrich, about to be launched back into our living rooms via CNN’s resurrected Crossfire program. Americans remember him recently telling us that low-income children should work as janitors in schools and should remember him, too, as the driving force behind the 1990s welfare “reform” signed and promoted by Bill Clinton. Welfare reform is perhaps the perfect policy to demonstrate where these issues come together. The Gingriches of the world would deny low-income parents the right to plan their families, and then would punish them for having families at all by forcing them into dead-end low-wage jobs, all the while beating them up rhetorically as well for not being the kind of full-time parents that conservatives dream of. Reproduction is always another pathway to punishment. And we shouldn’t forget that the night before Perry spoke these words, he presided over Texas’ 500th execution since resuming capital punishment in 1982 – of a woman, Kimberly McCarthy, convicted of the 1997 murder of her neighbor during a robbery. Perry’s been in charge of more than half of those 500 executions – 261, to be exact – over the course of his three terms as governor, more than any other governor in the country. In consensual S&M, the exchange of power, the restriction of freedom down to what a dominant allows, is done for pleasure, for boundary-pushing. It’s about control willingly given up – without that willingness, play violence turns real. The thrill is seeing how far you can go, not in actually being abused. In the game that Perry and his comrades are playing, there has been no informed consent; there is no safe-word we can use to stop the pain, and the “no” of thousands of Texas women is just an excuse to try it again. We may think we see the psychosexual glint in Perry’s eye when he talks about women “screaming,” but what he reveals is much bigger than a personal kink – it’s the connections between sadistic economic policy, sadistic reproductive health policy (if you can call it that) and sadistic “justice” policy. These issues are of a piece, and the piece is control. Many of us like to point out that abortion is an economic issue, and this is certainly true, but what Perry shows us is that even economic policy is about more than money. It’s not enough that unemployment remains high and the people in Texas who are finding jobs are largely finding them in low-wage, no-security industries; no, he has to keep finding ways to turn the rack. A thoroughly cowed working class that has to beg for scraps is less likely to rise up and exercise its own power when the punishment for doing so grows ever harsher. Those of us who’ve spent time in and around the labor movement know that the boss is often willing to grant workers a raise if they’ll give up their demands for a union – giving up a bit of power and control to the workers is infinitely more threatening to bosses than money. They regularly shell out plenty of cash to anti-union “consultants” to make sure their underlings remain suitably scared. The question is not money, but power. Take this line of thought a step further and include this week’s Voting Rights Act ruling, a question purely and honestly of power – not fairness or rights but of political power. State governments – like Rick Perry’s Texas – have gone about redistricting to draw bright slashes through communities of color that could exercise power at the ballot box by acting together to send representatives that actually speak for them to the legislature. They’re deliberately attacking the concentrated political power of those communities. Perry also pushed for and signed into law (in another “emergency” session; taking away rights is often an “emergency” for Perry) a voter ID bill that made “illegal voting” a felony, required one of five acceptable forms of picture ID, and was of course decried as racist by representatives whose districts are largely populated by people of color. The same people whose voting rights are being attacked are the ones who face incarceration and execution at hugely disproportionate rates, and they are the ones who will suffer the most if Perry’s anti-abortion bill makes it through. Those of us who don’t fit into the categories singled out for special punishment are supposed to be grateful that we’re better off, and keep voting the Perrys and Dewhursts and Ryans into office. It works more often than most of us would like to admit. Texas’ new district maps are legal now unless Congress – the current makeup of which is itself the result of gerrymandering that allowed a Republican majority to hold without holding a majority of the votes – acts. Of course, Perry can’t gerrymander the state’s borders (yet) and it’s there that we might hold out hope for change. He might be able to redistrict Wendy Davis out of her seat, but if Texans decide to fight back, maybe they can put her – or someone like her – in his job. The only way to beat Perry and his ilk is to be as merciless with them as they would be with us. Organize, shut them down, and throw them out. Via http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/17314-sadism-as-politics-on-rick-perry-paul-ryan-anti-abortion-politics-power-and-kicking-the-poor (2)
It seems that our corrupt, lying leaders in Washington are at it again. Just moments ago, the Administration said that Syria “Has crossed the Red Line” by using chemical weapons against the opposition. That isn’t what is driving this train.
According to international sources, the opposition is swiftly folding against the Army of Bashir al-Assad and this is unacceptable to the U.S. and its proxy Israel. You can read about the rebel fallback here on OEN.
This is also obfuscating the current news about the unwarranted NSA spying on all American citizens. Obama seems to be losing his credibility with his Progressive base over what they feel are their loss of privacy and 1st Amendment as well as 4th Amendment rights.
Americans are being railroaded into another lose/lose situation in the Middle-east to stop the political hemorrhaging here in America. This is unacceptable and Americans should see this as just what it is. War in order to keep dissent to a minimum is an old trick. People need to look at this for what it really is, something thrown into the mix to keep our eyes off the ball.
Senator John McCain was on CNN recently and was very satisfied that America was now going to send heavy weapons into Syria. We should not feel as pleased. Tensions will be getting even higher in the region and it could erupt into another World War. That would take the American peoples mind off of how badly their government has failed them.
Former Chairman of the Liberal Party of America, Tim is a retired Army Sergeant. He currently lives in South Carolina. A regular contributor to OpEdNews, he is the author of Kimchee Days or Stoned Cold Warriors. Tim’s political book, “From (
Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev speaks after being charged in hospital
BOSTON bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has uttered his first word after being charged with using a weapon of mass destruction – “No”.
The 19-year-old, who could face the death penalty if convicted, was mostly silent and nodded affirmatively throughout the brief bedside hearing, indicating that he understood the charges laid against him, court transcripts published by The New York Times reveal.
But when asked if he could afford a lawyer, the teen spoke for the first time, saying: “No”.
Details of Tsarnaev’s bedside hearing came amid reports that the teen reportedly told investigators his older brother and alleged co-conspirator Tamerlan was the driving force behind the bombings.
CNN says Tsarnaev, who has an injury to his throat, has communicated he and his brother acted alone and that Tamerlan, the older of the two, was the ringleader in the bombings.
The teen has reportedly told investigators that no international terrorist groups were behind the act and that his elder brother carried out the bombings as he wanted to defend Islam from attack, CNN says.
MORE TO SAUDI ARABIA’S CONNECTION TO BOSTON BOMBINGS THAN MEETS THE EYE?
During his Monday evening broadcast, Glenn Beck addressed news surrounding Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, the Saudi national who was at one point considered a “person of interest” by U.S. authorities in the aftermath of the Boston bombings.
“Believe me we have spent an enormous amount of time [on this story],” Beck noted during his program’s opening remarks.
“Most of my staff have not slept, those in Washington and around the country and in New York have really not slept. We have been meeting with attorneys and congressman trying to make sure it is exactly right,” Beck said.
While Alharbi has gone from a person of interest, to a witness, and now to someone deemed unimportant to the case, sources have told TheBlaze that there is more to this story than is being told by the media or the government.=
Funerals begin for victims of Boston marathon bombing
BOSTON, April 22 (Reuters) – A day of remembrance in Massachusetts reached around the world.
Hundreds of mourners crowded outside a suburban Boston church on Monday for the first of a series of funerals for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. It was followed by an evening university service for another young life cut short, this time a student from China.
The morning funeral was for Krystle Campbell, 29, a restaurant manager, and the evening’s for graduate student Lingzi Lu, whose death resonated in China.
The April 15 attack at the marathon’s finish line killed three people and injured more than 200.
No public funeral has yet been scheduled for the bombing’s youngest victim, 8-year-old Martin Richard.
News Track India
No reports of link between Boston bombers, Caucasus militant group
Moscow, April 23 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Russian branch of Interpol has said it had no information on any links between the two men suspected of the deadly bombing at the Boston marathon and a militant organisation based in Russia’s North Caucasus.
“We are not searching for anyone, we have received no tip-offs,” said Interpol Russia official Dmitry Yershov. “We do not have this information.”
US media reports have suggested that investigators are searching for links between Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the two men suspected of the April 15 bombing of the Boston marathon, which killed three and left 180 people injured, and the Caucasus Emirate militant organisation.
A Missouri State Student is thankful to be alive after a disturbing picture of her running the Boston Marathon surfaced.
It shows her just feet away from the accused bombers, moments before the bombs went off.
The picture shows 20-year old MSU student Tina Bradshaw at the very end of the Marathon. She runs right by the two bombing suspects.
The picture was circulated in newspapers and online, around the World.
Bradshaw was running the race for her father who died from lung cancer a year before. She had just gotten her medal when the bombs went off.
She didn’t discover the picture until she got back home.
“I think it’s crazy that out of the 27,000 runners, I’m the one in the picture with the bombers a few feet by me. It’s terrifying and bone chilling to think what could have happened,” Bradshaw said.
The experience hasn’t scared Bradshaw from running.
She’s running her 6th marathon in Colorado in two week
Boston Marathon bombing suspects elude labels
Chechen? American? Immigrant? Citizen? Muslim?
Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may be all of the above, but how we attempt to come to grips with the attacks allegedly perpetrated by the brothers has much to do with how we identify them.
The brothers “don’t neatly fit into pre-existing boxes,” says Peter Spiro, an international law professor at Temple University. “It is a very complex picture,” challenging the psychological need to “set the boundaries of the in-group and treat others differently.”
For many Muslims, even the possibility that the perpetrators could be Muslim reignited the fear that all people of that faith would pay a price in the form of discrimination or retaliation or shame. “Please, don’t be a Muslim” many tweeted in the hours before the suspects were pinpointed.
The older brother, Tamerlan, 26, was an avowed Muslim, although it is unclear whether his younger sibling shared his beliefs. The question of who the suspects were only became more bewildering as time dragged on. The brothers were identified as having roots in the Russian republic of Chechnya, in the North Caucasus mountains. Did this make them Caucasian — or “white” — in the way many Americans read that word? Misunderstanding ensued, leading to some 1,200 retweets of the following message: “Fox News just said ‘Chechens are not Caucasian’ despite the fact that Chechnya is literally IN THE CAUCUS [sic].” Embedded in the misunderstanding is the stereotype that to be a Muslim, one must be a darker-skinned person of Middle Eastern descent.
Asra Nomani, a Muslim writer, noted that some members of the larger Muslim American communities with Middle East or South Asian roots expressed relief when they saw photos of the accused bombers.
“ ‘Brown’ Muslims were like, ‘Whew, it’s not one of us,’ ” she said. “And then people felt that would protect Arabs or Indians or whomever from being targeted. It’s like a sigh of relief.”
Dalia Mogahed, author of “Who Speaks for Islam?,” acknowledged the human need to try to make sense of something as inexplicable as the marathon bombing by creating categories of a person, and a profile.
“When Sandy Hook happened, we were horrified, but the conversation quickly went to external environmental factors — guns or mental health,” Mogahed said. “It was all about, what environmental factors do we need to fix? From our perception, when the person is a Muslim American, the factors are not environmental, they are individual to that person.”
Add to that the brothers’ names, which many find difficult to pronounce.
“Maybe 2 percent of Americans could accurately pinpoint Chechnya on a map,” Spiro says. Evidence for that point: The Czech Republic’s statement last week that the brothers were not from that country. “They certainly fit our idea of foreign.”
Or do they? According to news reports, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was reared in the Boston area, developed strong relationships there and joined the wrestling team. There is little in his emerging biography that has stood out as foreign.
LOS ANGELES – USA – A new nicotine cigarette drink is taking the world by storm because there is no smoke, it is safe to drink in public and it is cheaper than buying real cigarettes.
“This is an amazing innovation that will revolutionise the tobacco industry. You do not need to smoke a cigarette now, spill ash all over the place, get ciggy breath or be told to put it out in public. People can now enjoy our cigarettes anywhere, even in aeroplanes, court houses, schools, cafes, restaurants, gyms, wherever you want,” Dan Bottnik, brand marketing manager for the Philip Morris tobacco company told CNN Tuesday.
The main benefits of course will be for the health of smokers worldwide where coughing up a lung will now be a thing of the past.
“We decided that Beijing, China was the best place to introduce our product to the world because people here are such prolific smokers. Soon we will have menthol and Marlboro red pack drinks too,” the brand spokesman added.
Hollywood star, Charlie Sheen was said to be so enamoured by the new cigarette drinks that he said he wants a drip permanently in his arm filtering the drink into his veins. He will also be the face of the new Marlboro drinks in a multi million dollar sponsorship deal.
No more ash trays, butts or tobacco breath, this is a product made in heaven for smokers all over the world.
“If Broadwell (top) and Kelley were fighting the Taliban in bikinis, maybe we’d have some interest,” said CNN.
In nearly 30,000 pages of documents seized by the FBI, the words “war,” “Afghanistan,” and “U.S. Forces” come up repeatedly, alongside those of generals David Petraeus and Joe Allen, as well as Petraeus’ mistress Paula Broadwell and Florida socialite Jill Kelley.
While the allegations of illicit affairs and sexual flirtation continue to capture the headlines, many were angered that military leaders continued to take part in what was thought to be a long-dead conflict.
“I understand generals are entitled to sex, but the idea that they were getting a little ‘shooty-shooty bang-bang’ on the side is infuriating,” said Littleton, Co. resident Krystal Anderson. “I don’t think it necessarily hinders them from being generals, but surely the military code of conduct frowns on this sort of thing.”
Far from denying it, Pentagon officials today readily confirmed the existence of the Afghan war, insisting they have repeatedly tried to call the nation’s attention to the 11-year-old conflict, in which more than 50,000 civilians and coalition forces have been killed or wounded.
“Oh, that war,” said CNN producer Evan Dillard. “Yeah, we’ve got some archived footage of it somewhere, but it doesn’t really take precedence over images of Paula Broadwell and Jill Kelley in tight, sleeveless tops.”
Aware of the newfound attention, the Pentagon said it has begun issuing status updates on the war using more sexual terminology to keep media interest. Its first update was released hours ago:
“The Afghan National Security Forces are growing stronger, larger, and more virile every day, and in the coming months, we expect these vigorous, swarthy men in uniform to seize the curvaceous mountain areas and eventually penetrate deeper into the hot, musky interior of the nation’s furtive regions.”
The Pentagon added that it has had numerous candid and revealing telephone and email exchanges with Afghan leaders, all of which are recorded and can be purchased discreetly from its web site, http://www.defense.gov/Afghanaughty.
“It ain’t worth a damn,” the man responded. “None of it good at all. Don’t agree with anything he done.”
The president is so disliked in the county, in fact, that during the 2012 presidential election, he received only five votes. Yes, in a county with a population of about 255, only five people voted for President Obama.
This means King County holds the distinction of being the county where President Obama received the lowest vote percentage.
“If you could tell Barack Obama to do one thing,” Tuchman said to another resident, “what would you tell him?”
“To resign,” the resident laughingly responded.
John McCain Explodes After CNN Reporter Asks Him Why He Didn’t Attend Benghazi Briefing: ‘Who the Hell Are You?’
Earlier today it was revealed that Senator John McCain, along with several of his fellow Republicans, skipped a classified Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee briefing on the Benghazi consulate attack to hold a press conference about the lack of information on the Benghazi consulate attack.
CNN wanted to know why Sen. McCain decided it was more important to complain about “many unanswered questions” about Benghazi rather than, say, go to a committee briefing where those questions might be answered, so they sent a reporter to ask him.
But, ironically, McCain was in no mood to answer questions.
“I have no comment about my schedule and I’m not going to comment on how I spend my time to the media,” he told CNN’s Ted Barrett. Pressed on why he had no comment, McCain barked back, “Because I have the right as a senator to have no comment and who the hell are you to tell me I can or not?”
When CNN noted that McCain had missed a key meeting on a subject the senator has been intensely upset about, McCain said, “I’m upset that you keep badgering me.”
McCain’s spokesman Brian Rogers later told the media McCain missed the Benghazi hearing “due to a scheduling error.”
It’s worth noting that McCain was in a pretty foul mood yesterday as well, lashing out at a reporter who asked him if the national security threat from the Petraeus scandal was comparable to that of the Benghazi attack by calling the query “one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever heard.”
Hong Kong (CNN) — When Shaun Rein drives to Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, about 10 minutes outside the airfield, he begins to notice a line of cars — including Rolls Royces and Bentleys — parked along the side of the highway.
“Why? It’s because these people, who can spend a million dollars on a car, don’t want to spend $2 on parking at the garage,” said Rein, managing director at China Market Research Group.
For Chinese leaders, the nation’s newfound wealth represents a bumpy road as it tries to steer the nation on a new economic path. The ruling Communist Party (CCP) continues meetings this week for the 18th Party Congress, where it is expected to select Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang to become the president and premier, respectively, of China for the next decade.
One of the great challenges the new leadership faces is to move the economy — currently driven by exports and investment — toward a more sustainable course led by domestic consumer spending. While domestic consumption is rising, it still makes up just over one-third of the China’s total economy. American consumers, by comparison, power more than two-thirds of the U.S. economy.
China youth have savings rate near zero China’s migrants struggle More reforms in China’s future? Challenges for China’s new leaders
Much has been made of China’s growing group of super rich which has spurred record sales for luxury goods makers such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Prada. The nation has an estimated one million people with a net worth of $1 million or more, and that is expected to grow 2.5 times in the next three years, Rein said.
But much of the hope of the rising domestic spending rests with China’s growing middle class. There are an estimated 350 million people in China’s middle class, which are households that earn between $6,000 and $15,000, Rein said. A government think tank predicted last week that by 2020 there will be 600 million Chinese earning middle-class incomes.
“But they are not really middle class in the American sense. In the U.S., you’re born a blue collar worker, your parents were blue collar, your grandparents — and you’re proud of that, you have that identity. And you like to shop at Macy’s on special occasions,” Rein said.
“In China, you don’t have that — that doesn’t really exist. Everyone here says they’re going to be rich,” he added.
That growth represents eye-popping opportunities for foreign multinationals and domestic companies. Chinese consumers prefer overseas brands for consumer electronics yet favor domestic companies for personal care or household items, according to a recent report by McKinsey & Company. And foreign companies that got into the market early — such as General Motors — are now raking in record profits.
But as outgoing President Hu Jintao noted last week, concerns remain. He set an ambitious target for 2020 to double per capita income in China from 2010 levels for both rural and urban dwellers to address the rising wealth disparity. China’s per capita income was $4,423 in 2010, according to the International Monetary Fund. “Unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development remains a big problem,” Hu said in his speech at the Party congress.
“I think what’s more alarming or more worrisome is how big is it going to get? Will it continue to grow and drive economic growth not only in China but for the world? Or will it stagnate under a mountain of new debt — debt from expensive housing to the cost of educating your kids to health care costs?” said Karl Gerth, author of “As China Goes, So Goes the World: How Chinese Consumers Are Transforming Everything.”
“These are all things that the government is trying to address by reinstituting some semblance of a social safety net, so instead of saving 40 or 50% of their disposable incomes, people can start to spend it,” adds Gerth, who teaches at Merton College of the University of Oxford.
For foreign companies, there are mounting worries of roadblocks from Beijing to prevent access to the growing Chinese domestic market. Last summer, a report from the European Union Chamber of Commerce showed that more than 40% of members said they think government policies for multinational companies are less fair than two years ago, and 22% say they may move investments out of the country as a result.
As Time’s Michael Shuman recently wrote, a new Chinese Great Wall — constructed of regulations and restrictions — are making it harder for foreign companies to compete with domestic players in the Chinese consumer market. “Things that were easy are less easy,” Michael Dunne, president of the Hong Kong-based auto consultancy Dunne & Co., told Time, adding that carmakers “have to work harder to get what they want. Free access is not part of the equation.”
Still, more cash is trickling down to Chinese laborers. More than half of the country’s growth last year “has come from domestic consumption, and it’s really because the government is pushing for more money to go into the pocket of everyday Chinese — 21 of China’s 31 provinces increased the minimum wage by 22%,” Rein said.
“So what you’re seeing is Chinese are getting wealthier, they’re starting to spend more,” he said. “That’s why you saw retail sales growth of 14.2% last month.”
US Election day live:Its on Twitter, so it’s official? @BarackObama Four more years – Latest updates
|OFFICIAL: FOUR MORE YEARS
• Obama wins New Hampshire and leads in swing states
• Both campaigns watch as Florida goes to the wire
• Exit polls put Obama ahead in Ohio and Wisconsin
• ‘Firewall’ holding as Obama wins Michigan, Pennsylvania
• GOP to hold House, Democrats on course for Senate
• Live video from campaigns’ headquarters
04.06 (23.06) CNN is now calling Wisconsin for Obama. The entire Midwest is now blue except for the state of Ohio.
04.05 (23.05) Polls close on the West Coast and with that California’s 55 votes have marched into Obama’s column. There are huge cheers at Obama’s rally in Chicago as they his electoral vote tally surges forward.
04.00 (23.00) Al Gore, a man has who spent more time thinking about the importance of Florida than anyone else, predicts it will go for the President. If you were a Democrat would you welcome a prophecy like that? Not sure.
03.55 (22.55) Obama has left his home and driven to the Fairmont hotel, where and the First Family will wait in one of the suites and continue to watch the results flow in. There’s only one more stop after this – the convention centre where his increasingly hopeful supporters are waiting.
03.50 (22.50) Will it all end in Florida? 88 per cent of the vote has been counted and Obama is up by 16,000 votes. There are still ballots to be counted but right now they look to be in Miami-Dade, a Democrat county.
03.45 (22.45) The Democrats have won the Senate’s marquee race in Massachusetts and Elizabeth Warren will replace Scott Brown as the Bay State’s junior senator. Brown, who upended the political world by winning Ted Kennedy’s old seat, is conceding in Boston now. Not far away Romney’s staff must be watching him concede defeat and wondering how their own night is going to end.
03.40 (22.40) For months and months and months we have been told Ohio was the centre of the political universe and would crown the next President of the United States. That may still prove true but there is a distinct possibility that Florida may steal the show. If Obama wins there then suddenly the Midwest may not matter.
03.10 (22.10) Two new battleground exit polls and both spell more gloom for Boston.
So far, Romney has only taken one of the states that Obama won in 2008 – Indiana, which the Democrats didn’t contest this year. Romney needs some good new – any good news – soon.
03.05 (22.05) We are at 86 per cent of votes counted in Florida and Obama is still ahead. As I said in my list of things to watch – if the Republicans are defeated in Florida then they fall at the first hurdle.
02.57 (21.57) Multiple networks are now calling New Hampshire for Obama, meaning Romney has lost the state where he launched his campaign and where he owns a summer home. The walls are beginning to close in on Romney and very soon he is going to have no path left to 270.
02.55 (21.55) Mark Hughes reports on the chaos in Florida.
With more than 80 per cent of the vote counted in Florida, the lead is continually changing with neither candidate leading by more than a few hundred votes at a time.
At times the margin has been fewer than 200 votes. It’s worth remembering that The Gore v Bush 2000 debacle was a 537 vote margin. Under Florida law a recount will be triggered if the margin of victory is less than a half of one percent which, going by the numbers at the last election, means one candidate needs to win by a margin of at least 40,000.
The latest numbers show Obama up by about 20,00 but you would be crazy to call it now.
02.45 (21.45) Rob Portman, the Republican Senator from Ohio is addressing Romney’s Boston supporters by video link. He says that the campaign’s efforts in the Buckeye State have been beyond anything Republicans have ever done before. But there’s no mistaking the heaviness in his voice – it’s not looking good for Team Romney in Ohio.
01.40 (20.40) We have 60 per cent of the vote counted in Florida and Obama is leading 51-49. That’s a tiny margin and there’s time for Romney to close the gap but it will have to come soon. In Chicago they may be beginning to indulge in the idea that they win Florida and end election night almost before it begins.
01.35 (20.35) Could the deeply-divided US bear a repeat of the Florida 2000 recount?
Romney: ‘I’ve written my victory speech’ 07 Nov 2012
01.30 (20.30) More bad news for Republican Senate hopes: the Democrats have held off a challenge from Linda McMahon, the former wrestling executive who poured $100m into her candidacy, are going to win in Connecticut, the AP reports.
Former Gov. John H. Sununu of New Hampshire, a co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s campaign, injected race into the presidential election in overt fashion on Thursday night, providing a potential hiccup for Mr. Romney in the closing days of the race.
Speaking with the CNN host Piers Morgan about the endorsement of President Obama by the former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin L. Powell, a Republican, Mr. Sununu suggested it was because of their shared heritage as African-Americans.
“When you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that’s an endorsement based on issues or whether he’s got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama,” Mr. Sununu said.
Mr. Morgan asked flatly, “What reason would that be?”
Mr. Sununu responded, “Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him.”
The remark drew immediate criticism on Twitter, shortly after midnight, Mr. Sununu released a statement backtracking, posted on the Web site of the conservative National Review magazine.
“Colin Powell is a friend and I respect the endorsement decision he made and I do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the president’s policies,” he said.