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Perhaps a Ray of Hope in Virginia

It is beginning to look like the Chumph’s acolytes in Virginia are in trouble in the State’s off -year election.

Roughly two months ago a series of vicious attack ads by the Republican candidate for Governor Ed Gillespie had put the race in range according to polls. Then Gillespie made the fata mistake, tying his wagon to Trump.

Northam, the Democrat candidate’s team finally got a clue about a month ago, and began relentlessly hammering away at the Trump association.

The result?

Now – the Russians have already made their appearance to support their boi Chumph. Unless the hack the voting machines as they did in the national election – it pretty much is looking like a Democrat (anti-Chumph) sweep.

October 30, 2017 – Democrat Holds 17-Point Likely Voter Lead In Virginia, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Small Gender Gap, Huge Racial Gap

With overwhelming support from non-white voters and double-digit leads among both men and women, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam holds a 53 – 36 percent likely voter lead over Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia governor’s race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Libertarian Party candidate Cliff Hyra has 3 percent.

Today’s result compares to a 53 – 39 percent likely voter lead for Northam in an October 18 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

Non-white likely voters back the Democrat 72 – 15 percent, with 2 percent for Hyra. White voters are divided 46 – 46 percent, with 4 percent for Hyra. Women back Northam 56 – 36 percent, with 1 percent for Hyra. Men go Democratic 51 – 37 percent, with 5 percent for Hyra.

Independent voters tip to the Democrat 47 – 42 percent, with 6 percent for Hyra. Democrats back Northam 97 – 1 percent, with less than 1 percent for Hyra. Republicans back Gillespie 86 – 8 percent, with less than 1 percent for Hyra.

Virginia likely voters disapprove 60 – 34 percent of the job President Donald Trump is doing, compared to a 62 – 35 percent disapproval rating October 18.

“In 2014, Republican Ed Gillespie came oh-so-close to upsetting Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, at least in part because 2014 was a Republican year and Gillespie benefited from the national pro-GOP mood. But with President Donald Trump’s approval ratings in the dumpster in Virginia and in the nation, this year the shoe is on the other foot for Gillespie,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“Anything, of course, is possible in politics. But the size and scope of Lt. Gov. Northam’s lead is impressive. He leads among most voter groups. He even carries men.”

“And history does not provide many examples of candidates who have come back from this large a deficit so close to the actual voting,” Brown added.

From October 25 – 29, Quinnipiac University surveyed 916 Virginia likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points, including the design effect. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys nationwide, and statewide polls in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa and Colorado as a public service and for research.

Visit poll.qu.edu or http://www.facebook.com/quinnipiacpoll

Call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

1. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Ralph Northam the Democrat, Ed Gillespie the Republican, and Cliff Hyra the Libertarian, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Ralph Northam the Democrat, Ed Gillespie the Republican or Cliff Hyra the Libertarian?

                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Northam              53%     8%    97%    47%    51%    56%    56%    33%
Gillespie            36     86      1     42     37     36     40     53
Hyra                  3      -      -      6      5      1      1      7
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 7      6      2      5      7      7      3      6
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Northam              43%    50%    46%    72%
Gillespie            47     44     46     15
Hyra                  6      2      4      2
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      1
DK/NA                 5      4      4     10
 
 

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as President?

                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              34%    79%     2%    35%    38%    31%    32%    54%
Disapprove           60     16     96     57     56     64     64     38
DK/NA                 6      5      2      8      6      6      4      8
 
                     WHITE.....           Non-
                     Men    Wom    Wht    Wht
 
Approve              47%    36%    41%    17%
Disapprove           47     58     53     79
DK/NA                 6      5      5      5
 

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Houston – You Have a Problem

There are a series of manmade issues which have resulted in the massive damage we are seeing in the Houston region of Texas. The major contributor is the lack of Zoning Laws which would require developers to use certain standards in location and construction. Much like what happened in Florida during Hurricane Andrew some years back, there are no laws requiring builders not to build on floodplains, or to utilize special construction. As such a lot of the lessons from Andrew, and Katrina (I worked on parts of the Katrina recovery) were ignored.

The second problem is the US Government and FEMA. While FEMA is really strict on rules for coastal homes built along the ocean, and insurance rates are sky high (if you can get it at all) – they take a highly permissive approach to insuring homes and property a few miles inland – even when that property is located on a floodplain which repeatedly floods. I live in a coastal area, designated as a “flood zone”. I was required to utilize certain building methods. For instance the roof and siding are designed to survive a Category 5 hurricane – 140 MPH winds. The house is on “stilts” 13′ above the ground, which were driven 20′ or more into the earth. It has survived 4 Hurricanes, including a direct hit by a Cat 5 with no significant damage despite a 12′ Storm Surge and flooding. Indeed as I write this, my area is being pounded by a Tropical Storm moving up the East Coast, and we are expecting 60 MPH winds and 2-4 inches of rain.

FEMA has paid on properties which repeatedly flood – far in excess of the property values. Properties and localities with no storm mitigation systems.

The National Flood Insurance Program, established in 1968 was meant to protect and indemnify people without creating economic catastrophe. Instead of avoiding the floodplain, insurance allowed people to build within it, within management constraints recommended by FEMA. In theory, flood-hazard mitigation hoped to direct development away from flood-prone areas through the disincentives of risk insurance and regulatory complexity. It isn’t working – especially in areas where there was substantial construction before the law (NOLA), and in Texas where there is no Zoning.

In Houston’s case, catastrophic floods have been anticipated for some time. The combination of climate change, which produces more intense and unpredictable storms, and aggressive development made an event like this week’s almost inevitable. The Association of State Floodplain Managers has called for a national flood risk-management strategy, and the Houston Chronicle has called flood control the city’s “most pressing infrastructure need.” A lack of funding is often blamed, and relaxed FEMA regulations under the Trump Administration won’t help either.

The famously “un-zoned” city has allowed developers to pave over natural areas that provide resilience to floods, and build homes in the way of cataclysm. According to a 2016 analysis by ProPublica and the Texas Tribune, 166,000 acres of coastal prairies have been destroyed by development since 2001.“More people die here than anywhere else from floods,” Sam Brody, a Texas A&M University at Galveston researcher, told us last year. “More property per capita is lost here. And the problem’s getting worse.”

Not counting the Harvey’s devastation in Houston, in the past two years, 16,000 buildings have been flooded, and $1 billion in damage was caused by the so-called “Tax Day” and “Memorial Day” floods. In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison killed almost two dozen people and caused $5 billion in damage in Harris County, which includes Houston.

The next problem is Houston’s road system. Those giant highways are impervious surfaces which cause rapid rainfall runoff. In the case of the major superhighways in Houston, that runoff is along the road filling underpasses – making evacuation nearly impossible.

After Hurricane Sandy 36 Republican Senators refused to vote in favor of funding relief, including the two Senators from Texas. The political ramifications of that are floating around in the political miasma.

Maybe we need to take a different view of how to pay for this. The State, which is responsible for the laws leaving citizens defenseless – should bear a greater responsibility for its actions. Second – maybe we should put relocation on the table. Those buildings that have repeatedly flooded should be torn down, the owners should be provided FEMA Insurance money – but only to build elsewhere or to build with significant mitigation strategies. Ergo – the State, County, and City has to put a plan of mitigation on the table before a dime is spent for rebuilding.

 

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2017 in American Greed, Disaster Prep, News

 

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FBI Investigation Now Includes Manafort…Looking Hard at Including Sessions

All the Chumph’s Rats…

Special counsel investigation includes Manafort, may expand to Sessions: report

Jeff Sessions, next up for that criminal investigation

Special counsel investigation includes Manafort, may expand to Sessions: report

Robert Mueller, the newly appointed special counsel in the investigation into Russian election interference, has assumed a separate criminal investigation of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and may soon expand the investigation to include Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, The Associated Press reportedFriday.

Rosenstein announced the appointment of Mueller last month. Mueller is a former prosecutor who served 12 years at the helm of the FBI and is respected on both sides of the aisle.

The investigation has been underway at the FBI for months and appears to be focused heavily on several figures who were prominent in the Trump campaign, including former National Security adviser Michael Flynn and Manafort.

The Justice Department’s own investigation of Manafort and his past business dealings with the Ukraine began ahead of the 2016 election. The FBI only announced its investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in March.

Rosenstein, in a separate interview with AP Friday, acknowledged that Mueller could expand the investigation to include himself and Sessions, adding that if that were to happen he would recuse himself from any oversight of the special counsel.

“I’ve talked with Director Mueller about this,” Rosenstein told AP. “He’s going to make the appropriate decisions, and if anything that I did winds up being relevant to his investigation then, as Director Mueller and I discussed, if there’s a need from me to recuse I will.”

Rosenstein was under pressure to appoint a special prosecutor last month following the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Rosenstein appointed Mueller shortly after the firing, and Mueller has since taken over the investigation.

 

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