Florida GOP Primary Open Thread (UPDATED: ROMNEY WINS)

The polls close in most places in Florida now – in the panhandle they’ll close at 8 Eastern.

Political pundits are predicting a “big” Romney win in FL.  I haven’t been following the polling numbers  closely, but apparently there’s been a double digit shift to Romney in the last week.   Here’s Drudge’s headline:

 

SOURCES: NETS TO CALL ROMNEY WINNER AT 8 PM ET; NEARING MAJORITY OF VOTES

This perhaps will be the most interesting primary yet, considering Florida’s primaries – unlike the previous three this year – are “closed” which means that only Republicans can vote in the Republican primary (same same for Dems, obviously).

Please use this thread to post your thoughts on tonight’s primary results, and on the overall state of the GOP race.

Let me just state for the record that a year ago I did not imagine – couldn’t imagine – that we’d be sitting here with Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney being the frontrunners for the nomination. How on earth did we get to this point??

You can watch the results as they come in here.

Update – 8:10 PM: As predicted, Romney has won the Florida primary – pretty handily, in fact (results are still coming in – the gap may narrow a bit).  Will be interesting to see how many pundits keep saying that a Mitt win means it’s “over” for Newt when just a week or more ago they were talking about how Romney had suffered a “huge setback” in SC …

Some #OccupyCLT ecofascists used storm drain as a pottie / #DNC2012

The tents may be gone but there are other things that are still, er, lingering.  Via Charlotte TV station WCNC:

CHARLOTTE, N.C.– A haz-mat crew with the Charlotte Fire Department was called to 600 East Trade Street, the site of the Occupy Charlotte movement, on Tuesday morning.

City workers who had been cleaning the area noticed toilet paper on top of a storm water grate that drains into a nearby creek. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and city officials believe some protesters have been using the drain as a toilet.

“We’re looking at the environmental impact on the stream down there with the wildlife, and things like that,” said Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Dulin.

“Plus the water goes downstream for other people to drink further down. But again, we’re just trying to cover all our bases, and make sure that if there is any type of environment impact, that we’re able to identify that and then correct that and make sure there is no further environmental impact downstream,” he added.

About four protesters watched as haz-mat crews scooped debris into five containers for testing. Eric Dow, who has been on the site since October 2011, says he never saw anyone using the drain as a toilet.  He says new protesters are told where the closest public restrooms are.

Why was this (photo of the storm drain http://www.wfae.org/wfae/images/OccupyDrain3.jpg” target=”_blank”>here)  not discovered before now?

Tuesday morning, firefighters used pry bars to open a storm drain so a HazMat team could collect samples. Police said when they were removing tents Monday, they suspected some of the Occupy protesters had been using the drain as a toilet.

The protesters have been occupying the park since October and firefighters said the problem could have been one that passed beneath the purview of city officials for months because the area was covered by tents.

Gee, hmm. That sounds like, hmm. I dunno – a public health issue? I know I wasn’t the only one warning about that very possibility months ago.  Occupiers, of course, will partially blame the city for refusing to grant them special permission to keep a portapottie at the camp, but in the end (pun intended) it’s a reflection of both the sorry state of the camp as well as the not-so-surprising inaction from the Democrat-controlled Charlotte City Council back in November when their first opportunity to tackle this situation came up for discussion.  Oh well. At least it wasn’t police cruisers that were being used as pooping facilities.

I also  wasn’t the only one concerned about the public safety issue, and one Occupy Charlotte member inadvertently confirmed that issue today when he talked about the types of people who would frequent the campsite (emphasis added by me):

Occupy Charlotte has always struggled with that dynamic. Differences of opinion split the protesters into factions early on. More recently the group tried to distance itself from a few campers who burned an American flag at the protest site.

[Occupier Eric] Dow says people who were not invested in the political message of the Occupy Wall Street movement routinely joined the camp

“We had some that would literally be walking out of jail and would stop and not know anything about us and just stay here,” says Dow. 

Hmm. I certainly can’t imagine any situation where public safety issues might arise with people like that joining “the movement”, can you? 8-|  Hate to say  “Toldjah So” but …

Oh, and to top it all off – Occupy Charlotte prided itself on its supposed “commitment” to “green living.”  Some members were so “devoted” to green causes that they were arrested in mid-November after joining up with the radical environmentalist group Rainforest Action Network to protest Bank of America’s coal-related activities/investments. Apparently that “green living” message was not always practiced at the camp  – considering not just the storm drain incidents but also the lawn at Old City Hall, which was crushed and crunched by the constant foot traffic, 3 dozen tents, and make-shift kitchen they had on site … not to mention there were reports some Occupiers trashed donated items like an on-site medical tent generously donated by a supporter.

Yeah, some of these people didn’t respect personal nor public property, were sometimes hypocritical when it came to “green living”, and frequently wanted something for nothing.  Go figure.

In any event, this is just a postscript on the former campsite uptown at Old City Hall.  Even though a court hearing this afternoon on the issue of allowing the tents onsite was postponed for at least a week, I suspect the city will win in its defense of both the new ordinances – which were designed in the interest of the public’s health and safety (shock) and for the safety of political figures who will be attending the Democrat National Convention here in Charlotte in September, and the Occupiers will have keep drifting around to find somewhere else to park it – but on private property, not public.

Which sort of takes the “sting” out of attempts by OWS types who deliberately defied city governments nationwide by using public property for things in which the property wasn’t intended on “free speech” grounds, and who many times intentionally stirred up and instigated confrontations with law enforcement (not to mention pushed women, children, and the handicapped to the front lines) in order to fan the flames of discontent as a way to keep the movement going.

The movement here, I should note, was relatively tame by comparison but had gotten more radicalized as the months went on.  And while the camp itself is no longer in existence, make no mistake about it: In a few months, career radical liberals and anarchists will descend on this beautiful city and attempt to unleash hell during the DNC in ways that will make even the most radicalized of the Occupy movements (like Oakland) seem like child’s play.  Occupy Charlotte has been a training session of sorts for the Char-Meck Police Department, who by most accounts handled yesterday’s camp “eviction” admirably.  I just hope that carries over to the convention, where battle-hardened officers will be confronted by far leftists who are so high on their own ego that they don’t care if they get hurt, arrested, or  hurt others in the process.  The CMPD needs to be firm but measured with this crew, because goodness knows these militant professional agitators don’t need to be given anymore excuses to whine about than they already (claim to) have.

Hard times in the Church of Global Warming

**Posted by Phineas

Today’s a busy day, but I wanted to share three stories that, taken together, almost make one feel sorry for those who cling bitterly to their faith in the fraud that is anthropogenic global warming …er… dangerous man-caused climate change …no, wait… extreme weather events that are really our fault whatever they want to call it, this week.

First, yet another prediction of DOOM falls flat. Among the various disasters sure to befall us as we pump CO2 (aka, “plant food”) into the atmosphere and Earth takes her revenge in the best Hollywood manner was supposed to be an increase in violent hurricanes.

There’s a small problem: it ain’t happening.

What was learned
The four researchers’ reconstructed record of intense hurricanes revealed that the frequency of these “high-magnitude” events “peaked near 6 storms per century between 2800 and 2300 years ago.” Thereafter, it suggests that they were “relatively rare” with “about 0-3 storms per century occurring between 1900 and 1600 years ago,” after which they state that these super-storms exhibited a marked decline, which “began around 600 years ago” and has persisted through the present with “below average frequency over the last 150 years when compared to the preceding five millennia.”

What it means
It is instructive to note that over the past century and a half of ever-increasing fossil fuel utilization and atmospheric CO2 buildup, the frequency of the most intense category of hurricanes in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico has been lower than it was over the prior five millennia, which speaks volumes about the climate-alarmist claim that continued anthropogenic CO2 emissions will lead to more frequent super cyclones and hurricanes.

Dontcha just hate it when empirical evidence gets in the way of perfectly good religious dogma scientific theory? Granted, this study was only in Florida, but, also in fairness, Florida is one of the places alarmists claimed would be worst-hit by AGW-caused super-storms. Certainly, this is worth testing elsewhere to see if the results hold up.

But wait, there’s more!

Far from the Earth becoming a steam bath thanks to Man’s folly, we may well be headed toward another Little Ice Age, such as that which plagued us from the mid-17th to the mid-19th centuries, when the Hudson and the Thames would freeze-over in winter. Apparently, the sun just won’t cooperate:

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

Meanwhile, leading climate scientists yesterday told The Mail on Sunday that, after emitting unusually high levels of energy throughout the 20th Century, the sun is now heading towards a ‘grand minimum’ in its output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of the season available for growing food.

Solar output goes through 11-year cycles, with high numbers of sunspots seen at their peak.

We are now at what should be the peak of what scientists call ‘Cycle 24’ – which is why last week’s solar storm resulted in sightings of the aurora borealis further south than usual. But sunspot numbers are running at less than half those seen during cycle peaks in the 20th Century.

Analysis by experts at NASA and the University of Arizona – derived from magnetic-field measurements 120,000 miles beneath the sun’s surface – suggest that Cycle 25, whose peak is due in 2022, will be a great deal weaker still.

According to a paper issued last week by the Met Office, there is a 92 per cent chance that both Cycle 25 and those taking place in the following decades will be as weak as, or weaker than, the ‘Dalton minimum’ of 1790 to 1830. In this period, named after the meteorologist John Dalton, average temperatures in parts of Europe fell by 2C.

However, it is also possible that the new solar energy slump could be as deep as the ‘Maunder minimum’ (after astronomer Edward Maunder), between 1645 and 1715 in the coldest part of the ‘Little Ice Age’ when, as well as the Thames frost fairs, the canals of Holland froze solid.

(h/t the ever-readable Delingpole)

The Met Office and the Climatic Research Unit (1), as you may know, have been two of the chief centers for climate alarmism, constantly pushing a message of impending DOOM!!, unless we all submit now to a transnational bureaucracy that will tax and control us all the way to Salvation. Naturally, since the report came from the Met, they feel obliged to explain that it really means nothing and that the power of CO2-induced warming will overwhelm the influence of the sun (2).

So, does this mean AGW is now good, since it will keep us from freezing our tootsies off? I’m so confused…

Finally, a group of 16 (real) scientists co-authored an essay in the Wall Street Journal arguing that while there is no need to panic over global warming, we should decry the corruption of science in the name of “consensus” and, yes, profit:

The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas, exhaled at high concentrations by each of us, and a key component of the biosphere’s life cycle. Plants do so much better with more CO2 that greenhouse operators often increase the CO2 concentrations by factors of three or four to get better growth. This is no surprise since plants and animals evolved when CO2 concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today. Better plant varieties, chemical fertilizers and agricultural management contributed to the great increase in agricultural yields of the past century, but part of the increase almost certainly came from additional CO2 in the atmosphere.

Although the number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, many young scientists furtively say that while they also have serious doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up for fear of not being promoted—or worse. They have good reason to worry. In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over the past thousand years. The international warming establishment quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed from his editorial job and fired from his university position. Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job.

(…)

Why is there so much passion about global warming, and why has the issue become so vexing that the American Physical Society, from which Dr. Giaever resigned a few months ago, refused the seemingly reasonable request by many of its members to remove the word “incontrovertible” from its description of a scientific issue? There are several reasons, but a good place to start is the old question “cui bono?” Or the modern update, “Follow the money.”

Be sure to read the whole thing.

And the next time you find yourself pitying a disconsolate global-warming cultist, forget it. Laugh and point, instead; it’s much more fun.

Footnotes:
(1) The CRU was also at the center of the Climategate and Climategate II scandals. How anyone can take them seriously after that is beyond me.
(2) Of course, this is the same crowd that claimed our children and grandchildren would not know what snow is, only to see Europe soon thereafter blanketed with record snowfalls. So we know what their predictions are worth.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

FAIL: Va. state senator (D) proposes adding “mandatory rectal exams for men” to ultrasound bill

Just when you think pro-aborts couldn’t get anymore clueless:

The state Senate this afternoon gave preliminary approval for legislation that would require pregnant women to undergo ultrasound imaging before an abortion, but not before rejecting a Democratic senator’s attempt to add what she described as “ a little gender equity” to the bill.

Democrat Janet Howell of Fairfax County proposed requiring men to undergo a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before getting prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra.

“This is a matter of basic fairness,” Howell said.

Senate Bill 484 would require a pregnant woman to undergo ultrasound imaging to determine the gestational age of the fetus, and be given an opportunity to view the ultrasound image, before having an abortion. The proposed law also requires the abortion provider to keep a printed copy of the ultrasound image in the patient’s file.

[…]

Howell said she left last week’s committee meeting feeling “quite distressed and angry” about the bill.

“It’s requiring them to have unnecessary medical procedures, it’s adding to the cost and it’s opening them up for emotional blackmail,” she said on the Senate floor today. “And I was upset because it’s disrespectful of doctors. It’s forcing them to perform procedures they don’t think is necessary.”

She said she was watching television in her hotel room that evening and saw an ad for an erectile dysfunction drug that included a recitation of “all the serious things that could happen to a man who was going to take this medication.”

“So, I said, it’s only fair, that if we’re going to subject women to unnecessary procedures, and we’re going to subject doctors to having to do things that they don’t think is medically advisory, well, Mr. President, I think we should just have a little gender equity here,” Howell said, explaining her amendment.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Fauquier County, disagreed.

“I do believe that erectile dysfunction in this context is different from pregnancy,” Vogel said.

Darned right it is! But leave it to a far left “feminist” to skip – deliberately – over the fact that pregnancy ultrasounds have a little bit of something to do with an unborn baby, whereas ED has nothing to do with a developing fetus.  Oh no, let’s not talk about that little inconvenient fact! Too confusing and all that.

Not only that, but men with ED issues who don’t seek that treatment are far less likely to impregnate a woman than a man who is healthy “down there” (ahem!), which is sorta kinda like birth control, which the senator should support.  Or somethin’ … :p ;;)