Horrific news out of Orlando today. Hate crime, domestic terrorism, whatever you want to call it, at least 50 people are dead today who should be alive and well:
An American-born man who’d pledged allegiance to ISIS gunned down 49 people early Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the deadliest mass shooting in the United States and the nation’s worst terror attack since 9/11, authorities said.
- Saying that it has nothing to do with the victims being gay is to erase a hate crime by trying to cover it up or mask it. It’s disrespectful to the victims, who died simply because someone hated them for who they were. It’s erasure in retrospect, even if it’s well intentioned.
- Yes, it is about gun control. Sadly, I don’t expect this to have any more impact on the debate than the zillion mass shootings before this. At some point, America decided it was okay with the consequences of the “right to bear arms” and this sort of thing will keep happening. And happening. And happening.
- Trump is going to make this all about hatred of Muslims and hysterical fear of immigrants — even though the shooter was a domestic terrorist who lived in Florida. He’ll probably succeed, too.
- Don’t expect people to refer to a “cycle of violence”, at least, which is what the media would be doing if this were a nightclub shot up in Tel Aviv instead of in Orlando.
- There’s really nothing good to say. It’s all horrific and awful. My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims.
Months and years of campaigning, more than$2.2 billion in election spending, over 100 million votes cast… and Americans in their wisdom decided to essentially maintain the status quo. President Obama returns to the White House for a second mandate. The Senate stays blue; the House stays red. But lest anyone was thinking that this whole thing was a giant waste of time, remember that it beats the hell out of the alternative.
I was on a plane for most of the evening, and while I was able to watch the results come in on satellite TV (thanks, WestJet!), I didn’t have internet access so no liveblogging of results. It was like a throwback to the pre-Web 2.0 years when you actually had to rely on traditional media sources for information. Well, unless you’re Barack Obama, author of the Tweet heard around the world.
The big vote
The race was close all night, but the nail-biter didn’t materialize. While both candidates were neck-and-neck in the popular vote for much of the evening, most of the highly contested swing states went one by one to Obama: New Hampshire, Iowa, Wisconsin, Virginia were called one by one for Team Obama. You could see the wind go out of the sails in the Romney camp as each one was declared, but Ohio finally solidified things shortly after 11pm ET. At that point, it was all over but the fat lady, whose singing will be heard in Florida just as soon as all those folks standing in line have a chance to vote.
Latest US election results 2012, as of 2:30AM ET on Nov 7th. Source: CNN.
So what happened to give the Obama team such a wide margin of victory, despite a 7.9% unemployment rate and widespread anger and disillusionment with the status quo?
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