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Up in the Air: Florida and Georgia Heading for a Recount

Up in the Air: Florida and Georgia Heading for a Recount
Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Dr. Sekou Franklin, associate professor of political science at Middle Tennessee University; Caleb Maupin, journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism; and Carmine Sabia, journalist and writer for Citizen Truth.

The 2018 midterms are trying to wind down. In Georgia, with a narrow lead in unofficial returns, Brian Kemp on Thursday stepped down as secretary of state and declared victory in the gubernatorial race while there are votes left to count.

Democratic Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema has taken a narrow lead over Republican opponent Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race as officials continue to tally mail-in ballots — a change in fortunes that could narrow the size of the GOP majority next year. Sinema now leads McSally 49.1 percent to 48.6 percent, according to results provided by election officials at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday. The two congresswomen were separated by just 9,610 ballots cast statewide, with a Green Party candidate lagging far behind.

The Florida Senate race is still too close to call. According to unofficial results on the Florida Department of State website at 11:45 a.m. EST on Friday, Nov. 9, Republican Gov. Rick Scott led Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by 15,046 votes — or 0.18 percentage points. We're watching that margin closely, because if it stays about that small, it will trigger a recount. It's already narrowed since election night, when Scott initially declared victory with a 56,000-vote lead. Broward County's undervote rate is way out of line with every other county in Florida, which exhibited, at most, a 0.8 percent difference.

President Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, replacing him for the time being with loyalist Matthew G. Whitaker, who has echoed the president's complaints about the special counsel investigation into Russia's alleged election interference and will now take charge of the inquiry. Whitaker has courted the anti-abortion, evangelical Christian vote, saying at one candidate's forum that he would scrutinize nominees for federal judge seats to ensure they had a "biblical view of justice." In August 2017, Mr. Whitaker wrote a piece called "Mueller's investigation of Trump is going too far," in which he said, "I would start with the idea of Marbury v. Madison. That's probably a good place to start and the way it's looked at the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of constitutional issues. We'll move forward from there. All New Deal cases that were expansive of the federal government. Those would be bad. Then all the way up to the Affordable Care Act and the individual mandate."

He was asked in 2014, during an ill-fated run in the Republican senatorial primary in Iowa, about the worst decisions in the Supreme Court's history. Is Whitaker using his faith inappropriately?

The Thousand Oaks gunman went from Marine vet to mass shooter. Marine Corps veteran Ian Long, 28, stormed into the Borderline Bar & Grill country music dance hall in Thousand Oaks, California, firing a Glock.45-caliber handgun without a word as patrons line-danced late Wednesday night; he killed 12 people. This mass shooting has put gun control back in the spotlight, but will the country every reach a consensus on how we deal with this issue?

Michelle Obama rips Trump in a new memoir. She expressed disbelief over how so many women would choose a "misogynist" over Hillary Clinton, "an exceptionally qualified female candidate." She also slammed Trump's "birther" campaign questioning her husband's citizenship, calling it bigoted and dangerous, and saying it put her family at risk of being harmed. "What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that person went looking for our girls?" she wrote, according to ABC News. "Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family's safety at risk. And for this, I'd never forgive him." Trump responded in a news conference by saying, "I'll give you a little controversy back, I'll never forgive [President Barack Obama] for what he did to our US military. It was depleted, and I had to fix it," Trump said. "What he did to our military made this country very unsafe for you and you and you."


Carmine Sabia — Journalist and writer for Citizen Truth.

Dr. Sekou Franklin — Associate professor of political science at Middle Tennessee University.

Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.

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