Who wins today in SC and Nevada? Pundits predict – By The Hill staff February 20, 2016, 06:00 am

The Hill asked pundits from both parties to predict the winners in today’s South Carolina primary and Nevada caucus. Here’s what they had to say.

South Carolina Republican primary:

Bradley A. Blakeman

Winner: Donald Trump

Prediction: Donald Trump will win the South Carolina primary, but it is not likely to be a blowout. It will be closer than polls suggest, thanks to rural areas. The results will show that Trump remains a candidate of only minority support within the rank and file of GOP voters. In South Carolina, he will remain under 50 percent and as long as the field remains as large as it is, he can claim victory. In the closing days, we have seen the polls tightening in South Carolina, which suggests that should others drop out after South Carolina, Trump’s winning ways are in danger as we head to Super Tuesday. Interesting to watch are those who come in second and third in South Carolina, because that will tell us who is likely to continue and who is likely — or needs to — bow out.

Blakeman is a professor of Public Policy, Politics and International Affairs at Georgetown University and was formerly a senior adviser to President George W. Bush.

Former Rep. John LeBoutillier (R-N.Y.)

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Democrats Vie for Nevada’s Minorities – By BYRON TAU and ALEXANDRA BERZON Feb. 17, 2016 7:31 p.m. ET

Clinton and Sanders seek to mobilize nonwhite voters as caucuses near

Cynthia Ameli, a Chinese-American, picks up materials to canvass for Hillary Clinton in Las Vegas.ENLARGE

Cynthia Ameli, a Chinese-American, picks up materials to canvass for Hillary Clinton in Las Vegas. Photo: John Locher/Associated Press

LAS VEGAS—Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will face his biggest test so far in his run for the White House this week, when voters in one of the most ethnically and racially diverse states in the country will make their choice in the Democratic presidential contest on Saturday.

Nevada—a sprawling Western state with important blocs of Latino, black and Asian-American voters—is the next stop for Mr. Sanders and Hillary Clinton. For Mr. Sanders, a win in the Silver State would be an opportunity to show he has appeal among the nonwhite voters who make up a significant part of the Democratic electorate. He has long trailed Mrs. Clinton in the polls among black and Hispanic voters. For Mrs. Clinton, a win here would be an important show of force and bolster her argument that she can put together a winning coalition in November against a Republican nominee.

“We’re going to get a good sense of what Latinos, African-Americans, and Asians are thinking. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are working tirelessly to reach out to these communities,” said Ruben Kihuen, a Nevada state senator running for U.S. Congress and a supporter of Mrs. Clinton.

The state is more than a quarter Latino and has a sizable black population. It also has a large Asian-American community, the fastest-growing minority group in the country. Non-Hispanic whites now represent less than half of the population of Las Vegas.

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Nevada’s GOP Stopped Opposing Abortion and Same-Sex Marriage. Here’s What Happened Next. – By Josh Harkinson| Tue May 13, 2014 4:27 PM EDT


Last month, the Nevada GOP voted to strip opposition to abortion and marriage equality out of its official party platform. This really shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone who’d been paying attention: Brian Sandoval, the state’s Republican governor, is pro-choice and doesn’t want the state to defend its same-sex marriage ban in federal court. And even Bob Cashell, the 74-year-old, Texas-born, former truck driver who serves as the mayor of staunchly conservative Reno now backs marriage equality.

Even so, a lot of Republicans in other states are freaking out.

“The Nevada GOP action to remove marriage and life from their platform is a disgrace,” wrote Oklahoma Republican National Committee member Carolyn McLarty in a recent email to some 100 Republican National Committee delegates. “Both are direct attacks on God and family.”

But so far, Nevada’s GOP delegation stands by its decision. “Nevada is home to many diverse people, including a large LGBT population,” Nevada Republican National Committeewoman Diana Orrock wrote in a letter released on Friday at the RNC’s spring meeting in Memphis. “The GOP is by definition a party of inclusion not exclusion.… Excluding an entire group of American citizens based solely on their sexual preference towards the same gender is not only divisive but in the 21st century it is unacceptable.”

Anyway, so much for the idea of hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention in Las Vegas. It sure would have been fun.


Marijuana news: Pot and the teen brain – By Noelle Crombie – January 30, 2014 at 7:40 AMw11


This morning’s marijuana news roundup comes to you from the southern Oregon city of Ashland, where I’ll be covering the first of two marijuana industry conferences this week.

A few headlines caught my eye this morning:

CNN has a story on cannabis and the teen brain. Writer Randye Hoder talks with a couple of Northwestern University medical researchers who say teens are vulnerable to marijuana’s harms. The drug, they say, can impact teens’ ability to solve problems and think critically. It’s a message, Hoder writes, that’s getting lost in “the pro-legalization fervor.”

Hoder writes:

Use of pot among adolescents, which had declined from the late 1990s through the mid-to-late 2000s, is again on the rise, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. One likely reason: “The percentage of high-schoolers who see great risk from being regular marijuana users has dropped,” over time, the agency points out. 

That perception, however, is all wrong. In a study published last month, Smith and his colleagues found that teens who smoked a lot of pot had abnormal changes in their brain structures related to working memory — a predictor of weak academic performance and impaired everyday functioning — and that they did poorly on memory-related tasks.

Could Nevada be among the next states to legalize marijuana? Legalization advocates in that state are laying the groundwork for legalizing recreational cannabis, reports The Las Vegas Sun.
Staff writer Andrew Doughman reports:

Touting the benefits of regulating and taxing what is now an underground industry in Nevada, advocates say they’re confident they’ll have the money and votes required to pass an initiative similar to the one that Colorado voters approved in 2012.

“Based on the dynamics we’re seeing in Colorado with full adult use being legal, it seems a natural fit for Nevada,” said Joe Brezny, executive director of the Nevada Cannabis Industry Association and officer with the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana, the Nevada political action committee organized to get the legalization initiative on the 2016 ballot.

Two months after federal raids on marijuana businesses, The Denver Post reports that many of the operators who were apparently targeted by investigators are back in business.

Several stores raided by armed federal agents have reopened. Some cultivation warehouses that were swept clean are again filled with marijuana plants. Nobody named in the search warrants has been arrested or even publicly accused of wrongdoing. At least three of those targets say they are baffled why the feds showed up at their doors.

A couple more headlines from The Oregonian before you go:

Marijuana opponents pay for anti-pot billboards near Super Bowl
Follow me on Twitter for updates from today’s marijuana business conference. (@NoelleCrombie)

— Noelle Crombie


Big gamble: Is the U.S. ready to go all in on internet gambling? On Wednesday, January 8 at 7:30pm ET:

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at Jan 8, 2014 3.34


On Wednesday, January 8 at 7:30pm ET:

Is the U.S. ready to go all in on internet gambling? Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey currently allow online wagering and other states are looking to do the same. Analysts predict internet betting could bring in $9.3 billion by 2020. Some say it’s time to double down and lift the ban at the federal level for consistency. Critics warn the social costs of turning smartphones, tablets & laptops into virtual casinos could be too high.

Watch the show:


US announces six drone test sites – BBC News 30 December 2013 Last updated at 15:20 ET

DIY drones: Enthusiasts making their own aircraft

The US aviation regulator has announced the six states that will host sites for testing commercial use of drones.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) picked Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia.

The sites are part of a programme to develop safety and operational rules for drones by the end of 2015.

Hitherto mainly used by the military, the potential of drones is now being explored by everyone from real estate agents to farmers or delivery services.

The head of the FAA, Michael Huerta, said safety would be the priority as it considers approval for unleashing the unmanned aircraft into US skies.

Pilots will be notified through routine announcements about where drones are being flown.

The FAA said in a statement that its decision followed a 10-month process involving proposals from 24 states.

The agency said it had considered geography, climate, location of ground infrastructure, research needs, airspace use, aviation experience and risk.

The sites chosen are:

  • A set of locations proposed by the University of Alaska in seven zones with varying climates, from Hawaii to Oregon
  • Griffiss International Airport in central New York state will test how to integrate drones into the congested north-east airspace
  • North Dakota Department of Commerce will test the human impact of drones and also how the aircraft cope in temperate climates
  • The state of Nevada will concentrate on standards for air traffic and drone operators
  • Texas A&M University plans to develop safety requirements for drones and testing for airworthiness
  • Virginia Tech university will research operational and technical areas of risk for drones

The biggest chunk of the growth in the commercial drone industry is currently expected to be for agriculture and law enforcement.

The EVIL that is ALEC

Image:  alec.org

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is, in my opinion, a subversive organization whose primary role is to convert this once-proud democracy into a plutocracy. In short, in my opinion, ALEC exists solely to cause laws to be written and passed that permit large corporations and wealthy individuals to loot the federal treasury through legislation; to cause laws to be written and passed that eliminate labor rights; to cause laws to be written and passed that eliminate the economic middle class; to cause laws to be written and passed that return the poor of America to a state of serfdom and semi-slavery; and to cause laws to be written and passed that subvert the legitimate government by electing men and women to the federal congress and state legislatures who have the stated goal of creating a dysfunctional system of governments at the federal and state levels.

Among their many significant legislative accomplishments is the passing of “Stand Your Ground” and “Self Defense” legislation in many states, including Florida and the state in which I currently reside, Nevada.

You can choose to agree or disagree with my characterization of who/what ALEC is, but before you do either, please avail yourself of the public information about who ALEC is. Then decide for yourself.

This link explains who/what ALEC is: http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

This link specifically lists the members of the United States Senate who are members and benefactors of ALEC and supporters of legislation written by ALEC: http://www.alec.org/initiatives/federal-relations/senate/

This link specifically lists the members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are members and benefactors of ALEC and supporters of legislation written by ALEC:


This link lists the members of state legislatures and the employees of major corporations who are the policy makers and governmental supporters of ALEC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_American_Legislative_Exchange_Council

This link lists the corporations, corporate trade groups, special interest groups, law firms, and lobbying firms who are members of ALEC, major donors and contributors to ALEC and supporters of ALEC activities: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/ALEC_Corporations

This link lists the major corporations who once were donor, contributors, and sponsors of ALEC programs and activities but who have recently withdrawn their support :http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Corporations_Who_Have_Cut_Ties_to_ALEC