Monday, October 5, 2015

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Post-Weekend Update 5

There is some movement in Republican presidential polls,
with previous leaders, Donald Trump and Ben Carson still
ahead, but losing ground. Businesswoman Carly Fiorina and
Florida Senator Marco Rubio have made the most recent
gains, as has, to a lesser extent, New Jersey Governor Chris
Christie and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, but the race remains
volatile and quite undecided with four months before the
first voting.

The 2015 Nobel Prize in medicine has been shared by a Chinese
researcher whose discovery and contribution was founded in
ancient herbal folk medicine. Chinese medicine, which employs
acupuncture as well as other traditional and ancient remedies,
has some different bases and methodologies than most Western
medicine, and this might be the first time that this preeminent
global award has acknowledged an Eastern medicine discovery.
Researcher To You-you turned to the plant artemisia annua for
her breakthrough treatment for malaria after conventional
medicines failed to halt the worldwide scourge of malaria which
kills 450,000 persons every year, and places half the world’s
population or 3.5 billion persons at risk. Her discovery, in fact,
might in terms of its impact on numbers of persons be one of
the most important in modern history.

It appears that Vice President Joe Biden is close to a decision
about whether he will run for president next year, but the 73
year-old Delaware figure and his close advisers have been quite
successful in disguising what that decision will be. Most Biden
family members are believed to be supportive, but several
close Biden friends are known to have discouraged him.
Recent polls show Mr. Biden competitive with the fading
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and her major opponent
so far, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Meanwhile,
Mrs. Clinton’s poll numbers and public support continue to
wane as she faces persistent allegations about her conduct while
U.S. secretary of state.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has scheduled the election of
his successor for October 29, the day before his resignation as
speaker (and his seat in Congress) is to take place. There are
now three announced candidates for the post which is just behind
the vice president in the order of presidential succession. The
GOP frontrunner for speaker, California Congressman Kevin
McCarthy seems to have the votes to win in the caucus, but
might lack enough votes in whole body, especially after he made
a recent gaffe about the house committee investigating the
Benghazi affair.

The annual October baseball postseason is now underway with
the conclusion of the 2015 regular season. Most of the match-ups
and home field advantages were determined prior to the final
games, but a loss by the Houston Astros, following the virtual
collapse of the New York Yankees in the Bronx team’s final six
games, gave the Yankees home field advantage, in spite of
themselves, on the last day for the "wild card" game on Tuesday.
The Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers
won their American League division pennants, and will now face
the winner of the wild card playoff and each other to determine the
American League championship.
Control of the U.S. senate in January, 2017 remains in doubt, but
Democrats are still having difficulties in recruiting strong
challengers to potentially vulnerable Republican incumbents up
for re-election. The GOP is similarly not yet finding a strong
opponent for Colorado Senator Michael Bennett who is
considered one of the weakest Democrats running next year.

Copyright (c) 2015 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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