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Jim Oberweis Loses Illinois Senate Race

Tue, 2014-11-04 19:55
Illinois state Sen. Jim Oberweis (R) was defeated by incumbent Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in the race to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

Oberweis defeated Doug Truax in the state's March primary election. His term in the state Senate ends in January of 2017.

Below, more updates on election news:

Dick Durbin Re-Elected To Congress

Tue, 2014-11-04 19:50
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has been re-elected to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate.

Durbin ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, and defeated Republican candidate Jim Oberweis. Durbin, who joined the Senate in 1996, currently serves as the Senate majority whip.

Below, more updates on election news:

Dick Durbin Re-Elected To The Senate Over Republican Jim Oberweis

Tue, 2014-11-04 19:46
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) defeated Republican challenger Jim Oberweis in what was a generally one-sided contest Tuesday evening.

ABC, NBC, and CBS projected Durbin's victory Tuesday based on exit polls. Libertarian innkeeper Sharon Hansen came in last.

Ahead of the election, Oberweis struggled to gain ground on Durbin, who served in the House beginning in 1983, was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and has served as the Senate Democratic Whip since 2005. Durbin led Oberweis in all 15 major polls conducted in the race, with a lead ranging from six percentage points to a whopping 23 percentage points.

Oberweis, a dairy magnate and Illinois state senator who previously ran for U.S. Senate in both 2002 and 2004, had hoped to capitalize on Congress' historically low approval rating in his challenge of the popular Democrat, arguing that the three-term senator is a "career politician" who had spent too much time in Washington, D.C., already.

On the issues, Durbin, a liberal Democrat, and Oberweis, a conservative Republican, offered two distinct options for Illinois voters. The two disagreed sharply on health care reform, immigration, climate change, gun control, abortion rights and marriage equality. Durbin also made it a point to associate Oberweis with the tea party in attack ads.

The two candidates did find one unexpected point to agree on: both agreed the Illinois medical marijuana pilot program, which went into effect this year, was a good idea for the state.

Durbin raised more than $9 million toward his reelection campaign while Oberweis was only able to collect less than $1 million, kicking in an additional $1 million of his own money.

Oberweis previously ran unsuccessfully for Illinois governor in 2006 and for the House in the state's 14th congressional district in 2008.

See more on the elections below:

Bethany McKee Sentenced For Role In Double Murders

Tue, 2014-11-04 18:32
A 22-year-old woman will be spending life in prison for her role in a double murder, an Illinois judge ruled Tuesday.

Bethany McKee, 20, was sentenced sentenced for the 2013 murders of Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins, according to ABC7Chicago.com.

The two men, both 22, were found strangled to death with plastic bags over their heads inside a Joliet home.

McKee was convicted in August of first-degree murder and her defense attorney's motion for a new trial was denied on Monday.

During her sentencing, McKee begged for forgiveness from the parents of her victims.

“I’m so sorry…if there was any way I could go back and return your loved ones…I would,” McKee said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “If I had known this would have happened, I’d have made a better choice.”

McKee wasn't involved in the violence but prosecutors argued she lured the victims to a friend’s house where two accomplices, Joshua Minor and Adam Landerman, strangled and robbed them of $120 to buy booze and cigarettes.

Prosecutors held her responsible for helping plan the crime.

In August, Judge Gerald Kinney said the facts of the case revealed a “stunning lack of respect for human life.”

Besides McKee, Minor was also convicted of murder while Alisa Massaro pleaded guilty to lesser charges of robbery and concealing a homicide in exchange for a 10-year sentence and testimony against her friends. Landerman awaits trial, WGNTV.com reports.

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5 Reasons Chicago Is a Clean Energy Powerhouse

Tue, 2014-11-04 18:06
Recently U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary David Danielson visited Chicago and spoke at the new Chicago Innovation Exchange, a new tech incubator on Chicago's South Side. During Dr. Danielson's remarks, he declared Chicagoland an "emerging regional powerhouse" for clean energy. He has a credible perspective on this. As head of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy, he is responsible for $1.9 billion in federal energy investments. So when Dr. Danielson says something special is going on in Chicagoland, it is based on his deep knowledge of what's happening across the country.

The organization I lead, Clean Energy Trust, has been the proud recipient of three Department of Energy grants over the years - and we're proud of our role leading the development of the clean energy ecosystem in Chicagoland and across the Midwest. Since our founding in 2010, we have provided $2.2 million of funding for clean energy startups, which have gone on to raise $46 million and create nearly 300 jobs. The State of Illinois recently granted CET $2.3 million to support our efforts identifying and funding energy startups. Do we see Chicagoland as an emerging clean energy powerhouse? You bet. Here's how we're doing it:

1. Top Notch Research Institutions

Research institutions throughout Chicagoland help drive innovation from the lab to the market. Argonne National Lab in Chicago's western suburbs, with a budget of nearly $800 million, is the undisputed leader in advanced battery innovation and has deep expertise in transportation, fuels, water and computing science. Institutions like the University of Illinois, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Chicago and Northwestern University have world-class research programs, top ranked business schools and leading entrepreneurship programs. Professor Mike Marasco's NUVention course at Northwestern has produced a consistent string of excellent student energy companies over the years including SiNode Systems, AMPY and MeterGenius.

2. Industrial Strength and Diversity

The industrial strength and diversity of the City of Big Shoulders provides a broad base of energy end users, professional mentors, industrial expertise and other resources for young clean energy companies. Chicagoland is home to more than 30 Fortune 500 corporations and numerous other large and middle market firms. Many of these companies are active in the energy field or have sustainability goals to make their businesses cleaner and more resource efficient. These companies include United Airlines, Wells Fargo, Invenergy, General Electric, Schneider Electric, Boeing and Honeywell, just to name a few.

3. Thriving Entrepreneurial Support Network

Chicagoland has a thriving support network for the brave entrepreneurs who have taken the plunge and are forming new clean energy businesses. In addition to Clean Energy Trust's funding and mentorship programs for clean energy startups, Energy Foundry was launched two years ago as a $22 million fund and accelerator dedicated to funding Illinois smart grid companies. Chicagoland entrepreneurs benefit from having co-working spaces and accelerator services close to home. According to World Business Chicago, there are more than 90 co-working spaces across the region including those at universities as well as bustling independent spaces like 1871, TechNexxus, Catalyst and Coalition: Energy.

4. Philanthropic Capital

While the Midwest trails the coasts in venture capital dollars, we have a secret weapon: philanthropic capital. Chicago is home to dozens of family offices and foundations that are funding cleantech companies. Chicagoans have tremendous civic pride and feel a responsibility to work together to improve the city and give back once they have achieved success. In fact, Clean Energy Trust got its start when civic and business leaders came together united around a vision of clean energy jobs, a healthier and more sustainable environment and a higher quality of life. Today, as a 501c3 organization, Clean Energy Trust channels philanthropic capital into the marketplace through investments in clean energy companies. But our investment returns don't pay back investors; instead, they get paid forward to the next generation of clean energy startups. This spirit of shared commitment is an undervalued asset that can be found in Chicago and in cities throughout the Midwest from Detroit to Des Moines and from Minneapolis to Indianapolis.

5. High Growth Businesses Creating New Jobs


Illinois' clean energy industry employs more than 97,000 workers - more than the accounting and real estate industries combined - and employment growth is about nine percent annually. Clean energy startups drive job growth as nearly all net new job creation in America over the past 30 years has come from companies less than five years old. Our economy is moving quickly towards less carbon-intensive energy sources as renewables become cost competitive with traditional sources and natural gas takes market share from coal. States like Illinois can further speed this transition and support the creation of good paying jobs and training programs by prioritizing renewable energy and energy efficiency as they craft state energy plans.

If you want to see a cleantech powerhouse up close, come to Chicago. My city. You will be blown away by the passion, new ideas and commitment to building a better world.

It's 2014, But It's Still Difficult For People With Disabilities To Vote

Tue, 2014-11-04 17:28
For many American voters with disabilities, simply getting to their polling place on Tuesday is only the beginning of their struggle. As a result, voter participation has consistently been lower among citizens with disabilities, resulting in less-representative elections.

“I talk to people who have disabilities who just don’t vote anymore," Martin Odian, a longtime elections officer in Menlo Park, California, told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. "It’s too frustrating and too hard to get in.”

A 2013 report authored by Rutgers professor Lisa Schur for The Presidential Commission on Election Administration said that among people with disabilities who had registered to vote in 2012, only 82.1 percent of those actually voted; by contrast, 87.5 percent of registered voters without disabilities had voted. The report went on to say there could be as many as 3 million more voters with disabilities if they voted at the same rate as "otherwise-similar people without disabilities."

"The trouble with voting is, today is it. There’s no do-over tomorrow," Curtis Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network told The Huffington Post. "If people are denied their right to vote today, they’ve been disenfranchised.”

Odian, who identifies as having a learning disability himself, said that in the 12 years since the passing of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which ushered in sweeping reforms aimed at improving voting systems and voter access, improvements have been negligible in the voting experience for people with disabilities.

"Just a few years ago, we had to take the [voting unit for people with disabilities] from our site out to the parking lot so someone could vote at the car,” Odian said.

Even though there's more awareness about voting challenges for people with disabilities, attorney Melissa Picciola with the Chicago-based group Equip for Equality said voters with disabilities "continue to report the same issues year after year."

Despite national election laws like HAVA in place, Decker said the problem trickles down to the local level, where elections are governed by hyperlocal elections boards. Decker said accessibility can be especially difficult in smaller towns and rural areas where polling stations are often located in church basements, clubs and private homes.

Beyond a lack of physical accessibility to a polling place, electronic voting machines can also pose a problem. HAVA-mandated machines used for federal elections and meant to assist people with visual impairments or other disabilities can sometimes malfunction, but small towns in particular may not have backup machines to dispatch. In other cases, Picciola said, "voters with disabilities commonly report that the machines aren’t set up, or that the election officers don’t know how to operate them."

For voters with obvious developmental disabilities, Decker said discrimination by election judges who don't think they're eligible is another common issue that can discourage people at the polls.

Even voting laws that purport to curb voter fraud can have the unintended consequence of further disenfranchising voters with disabilities. Decker cited Texas, with its strict voter ID laws, as just one example.

"Voter suppression is a big deal," Decker said. "The biggest population of people without drivers licenses are people with disabilities.”

And though voters with disabilities are a minority, Abilities United Associate Director Sheraden Nicholau notes they're a significant one. "And," Nicholau added, "it’s the only group that any one of us can become a member of at any moment in our lifetime."

Nicholau went on to say that at least 16 percent of the population is considered to have a physical, developmental or learning disability, while the 2010 U.S. Census puts the figure as high as 19 percent, or one in five Americans.

When it comes to changing the voting experience for Americans with disabilities, Decker said relying on absentee voting is not the answer -- visibility is.

"With absentee voting, we lose the PR function of the fact that the disabled community is a powerful voting block," Decker said. "We’re losing that ability to say to the candidates, 'Hey, you need to pay attention to this disability vote.' It’s very, very powerful. We spend billions and billions on disability programs, yet you never hear candidates talk about them in their debates."

ReWork: Rethinking Work and Well-being

Tue, 2014-11-04 16:20
To be "a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit." That's not something we normally associate with the business world, but that's the purpose of a group called The B Team, a nonprofit founded in 2012 by Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz, with the mission "to catalyse a better way of doing business for the well-being of people and the planet." Normally, being assigned to the "B" team isn't something to be happy about, but I'm thrilled to be a part of this one, along with business leaders, healthcare experts, academics, NGO leaders and entrepreneurs. As part of the effort, I formed a Well-Being Committee, and on Tuesday several members, along with a host of others, met as part of Virgin Unite's People Innovation Gathering. The purpose was to share stories about what's working, learn from each other and come up with ideas on how to move forward, scale up successes and broaden the effort. I came away truly inspired, amazed by how much remarkable work is being done by companies and research institutions.

The day made me more convinced than ever that the global shift in the way we work is gaining momentum. All over the world, more and more businesses are realizing how deeply connected the health of their long-term bottom line is with the long-term health and well-being of their employees. In the United States, the portion of large and midsized employers that now offer their employees access to stress-reduction programs of some kind stands at 35 percent and growing. Well-being is no longer some new-agey concept we hear about only from lifestyle outlets. It's now a daily presence both in sports pages and in business magazines. Well-being has migrated from marginal to mainstream, finally coming to be seen for what it is: the best way, indeed the only way, to maximize not just happiness and fulfillment but productivity, creativity and, yes, profit. It's the only sustainable way forward, not just for individuals but for companies, communities and the planet.

Though change is afoot, we are still paying a heavy price for conducting business as usual. According to a study by the Milken Institute, the cost, in terms of lost productivity, to the U.S. economy due to chronic, stress-related conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes comes in at a staggering $1.1 trillion. On the flip side, a study out of Harvard found that for every dollar a company spends on wellness programs, it makes back $3.27 in the form of lower health costs, and the equivalent of $2.73 in reduced absenteeism.

So we know what the problem is, and we know the solution. The goal now is to accelerate the journey from awareness to action, from knowing to doing. And that's what Tuesday was all about. In addition to sessions on well-being, there were sessions on making the business case for change, increasing diversity, changing the language of business and new approaches to work, like how to bring more joy into the workplace.

Making the business case was based on the fact -- increasingly supported by study after study -- that when companies invest in their employees' well-being, everybody, including the company, wins. And there is no limit to the ways companies can do this; to paraphrase Tolstoy, every happy company is happy in its own way. For instance, Rich Sheridan, CEO of the software company Menlo Innovations, told us how Menlo employees are encouraged to communicate with each other not via Gchat but via "high-speed voice technology ... hardware pre-installed at birth": the human voice. And Virgin Hotels spends as much time and money on its employee app, where employees can be seen and heard, as it does on its consumer app.

"Most researchers study negative, deviant behavior," said Sheridan, but "let's not try to figure out what's broken and how to fix it; let's see what's working and replicate."

Part of preparing the way to change how we do business is changing the way we talk about doing business. The session on this topic, led by Jim Carroll, the chairman of the advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, questioned why our business language is dominated by war metaphors. This is no trivial matter. Language, of course, allows us to express ourselves, but it can also limit us in subtle ways, and the menu from which we choose the language to talk about an issue can guide how we act and how we interact with others. So why do so many business leaders choose from a menu of violent military and war metaphors, the prime example being, as Jim pointed out, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, who famously wrote that "all warfare is based on deception"? Writing on The Huffington Post, Carroll took issue with how useful that is in the modern business world. "[I]n the era of transparency is it helpful to characterize commerce as deceit?" he asked. "Surely army analogies are somewhat anachronistic in the age of fluid partnerships and constant collaborations; at a time when we are seeking to demonstrate the social value of business; in a culture that yearns for sustainability, that wants to leave the planet better than it found it."

And he also pointed out in the session that for millennials, this language is particularly dated. They want "creative, collaborative, innovative, inclusive, joyful, diverse ... thoughtful" work environments, he said, and they want to work at companies that value "teamwork, diversity ... ethics and responsibility."

So this is a way we can all change business in our own individual way: by changing the way we talk about it. For example, how about we stop congratulating colleagues by exclaiming, "You're killing it!"?

I moderated the well-being session, and it was inspiring to hear about the many ways that companies around the world are investing in their futures by investing in their employees.

Lori Hiltz, the North American CEO of the Paris-based advertising firm Havas and a member of the Well-Being Committee, described how Havas employees can have lunch anywhere except at their desks.

Jenn Mann, Vice President of HR at the software company SAS, talked about how committed SAS is to helping their employees experience meaning and happiness at work. "When employees leave the office," she said, "we expect them to be with their families. We don't expect them to be on email." The result is a turnover rate of under 4 percent, well below the industry standard of around 15 or 20 percent.

Chad Dickerson, the CEO of Etsy and another member of the Well-Being Committee, said he took inspiration from the nation of Bhutan and their famous "gross national happiness" index. Working with researchers from the University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology Center, Etsy administered a happiness survey to all its employees. As Dickerson put it, "once you start measuring, it's easier to improve." The results were included in Etsy's Values & Impact Annual Report, which has been cited by numerous employees with competing job offers as the reason they chose Etsy. I also love how Etsy is reimagining work and helping people turn their hobbies into careers. And as Dickerson said, "reimagining commerce means reimagining the way companies work." Etsy employees have access to a "breathing room" and can attend "Etsy School" or teach a course on one of their passions. Classes have included juggling, meditation, screen printing and -- my favorite -- "therapeutic doodling." And they're even given a stipend to spend on Etsy to personalize their workspaces!

Felix Stellmaszek, Managing Director at the the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), talked about the temptation in his industry for people to work very long hours -- especially for women, who don't see enough role models of sustainable worklife at the top. But BCG could see the direct connection between this kind of burnout and suboptimal results for clients, so the firm launched the "Red Zone Report," which gets issued to an employee's manager when the employee puts in more than 60 hours a week for five straight weeks. The manager can then make the necessary adjustments. At the beginning of new cases, project teams discuss their goals -- in terms of client impact, personal growth and sustainability. Employees are given predictable time off, and those employees on their way in can delay their start date by six months and volunteer at a nonprofit, for which they'll receive $10,000. The firm invested $14 million in worklife initiatives in 2013. And BCG consultants can be assigned to social-impact projects; there's actually an associate working with The B Team. Now BCG is often ranked as one of the top companies to work for. "It helps both with recruiting and retention," said Stellmaszek.

There are also more and more initiatives, often housed in universities, devoted to encouraging changes in the workplace and shining a light on what's working. Eileen McNeely, who was at our gathering, is the co-founder and director of the Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise (or SHINE) at the Harvard School of Public Health. The group helps businesses measure the ways they contribute to personal sustainability. She told us about the well-being index SHINE is working on and hoping to pilot in some companies this fall just as ways have been developed to measure a company's environmental sustainability. And Caitlin Weaver, who just launched the NYU Mindfulness in Business Initiative -- a collaboration between NYU's Stern School of Business and Global Spiritual Life at NYU -- shared how 130 students came to the launch event, and how there's been an outpouring of interest for a faculty mindfulness program as well.

To capture all this work being done, we've launched a dedicated section on The Huffington Post, ReWork: Rethinking Work and Well-being. Here you'll find success stories, news about what's working, innovative programs, case studies and the latest data about the many positive business effects of well-being and sustainable work practices. And we hope you will share your stories with us. Does your workplace enhance or hinder your well-being? How could it be better? If you're an employer, what steps have you put in place to make your own workplace more sustainable for your employees?

Since our workplace culture is driving so much of the epidemic of stress we all feel overwhelmed by, it's going to be our workplaces that will accelerate the changes already underway. More and more people are realizing that they don't have to put their humanity on hold when they leave for work, that they're more than their résumés and that a sense of well-being and success doesn't have to come at the cost of burnout. And more and more companies are realizing that investing in their employees' well-being is also good for business.

13 Painfully Obvious Election Day Headlines That Tell You Nothing About Anything

Tue, 2014-11-04 15:56
It's Election Day in America, and media outlets everywhere are pumping out a steady stream of stories to keep readers up to speed on the day's biggest events. But with many of the election cycle's key narratives already firmly cemented or contingent upon the actual results of races, the nation's insatiable appetite for news sometimes ends up being fed by headlines that are less than helpful.

Garance Franke-Ruta of Yahoo News tweeted out some evidence of this trend on Tuesday afternoon.

Indeed. pic.twitter.com/Obstk5iZQY

— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) November 4, 2014


The headline initially appeared on Yahoo's homepage and was later changed. It linked to an updating Associated Press story on the moods of voters across the nation, which got us thinking about some of the most painfully obvious ways these stories are popping up around the internet:

1.



[Herald & Review (Indiana)]

2.



[The New York Times via Google]

3.



[The Washington Post]

4.



[The Daily Times (Maryland)]

5.



[Boston Herald]

6.



[WRAL]

7.



[The Huffington Post]

8.



[CBS Chicago]

9.



[AP]

10.



[Reuters]

11.



[Merrimack Valley Eagle-Tribune]

12.



[AP via WTSP]

13.



[AP via Petoskey News]


Below, more updates on election news:

#DudesGreetingDudes Hilariously Proves Catcalling Isn't 'Just A Compliment'

Tue, 2014-11-04 13:08
If you know a man trying to argue that catcalling is a harmless way to greet someone on the street, we have a hashtag for you to share.

Blogger and comedian Elon James White brilliantly asked over the weekend why, if catcalling is as non-sexual, unthreatening or even complimentary as some have claimed, why don't men do it to other men?

"I'm just saying. I'm a nice guy. I just want to say HI. And you're going to accept this greeting whether you fucking like it or not."

— Elon James White (@elonjames) November 2, 2014


Dudes. If you feel society has lost it's decency, let's bring it back. Let's start the #DudesGreetingDudes movement! Say hi to each other!

— Elon James White (@elonjames) November 2, 2014


These women don't get it. Y'all just want to say hi. What's wrong with hi?!?! So let's just leave them out completely. #DudesGreetingDudes

— Elon James White (@elonjames) November 2, 2014


#DudesGreetingDudes builds on the work done by other hashtags like #YouOKSis, #NotJustHello and #ThatsWhatHeSaid. These humorous tweets further the conversation on street harassment by showing just how strange it would be if men said these things to other men walking by.

You see a dude in a nice suit, just roll up on him like "Damn. You wearing that suit. Hmm Hmm!" #DudesGreetingDudes

— Elon James White (@elonjames) November 2, 2014


You see a dude looking all hard & shit. Roll up on him like "Aye yo, smile, son. Damn." BRING SUNSHINE TO HIS DAY. #dudesgreetingdudes

— Elon James White (@elonjames) November 2, 2014


#DudesGreetingDudes does not appear to be about the stigma of men publicly hitting on other men -- simply a response to that special breed of guys who think catcalling is a harmless "compliment" that women should accept without resistance. If that's the case, why shouldn't catcallers extend their compliments to men, too? Other Twitter users quickly caught on to the hashtag, sharing their own examples.

Damn dude, your guns are on point. Why wear that shirt if you didn't want the attention. #dudesgreetingdudes

— Ryan Byrne (@ryanbyrneman) November 2, 2014


(sees dude reading a book) "Whatcha reading bro? You like books? I love smart dudes. Get that brain on, bud. Aw yeah." #dudesgreetingdudes

— Kat Letwin (@letwinka) November 2, 2014


Hey bruh! You like football? Wanna watch football? You look like you played football! Where'd you play? What position? #DudesGreetingDudes

— Ready Bridgewater (@TheCoolTeacher_) November 2, 2014


"You can't even take a compliment bro? Fine, you look fat anyway!" #DudesGreetingDudes

— Tyrone M. (@tyronem) November 2, 2014


"Aye homie...you mixed with something? Them waves looking silky and luxurious"

#DudesGreetingDudes
@elonjames

— Future Super-Villain (@IntergalacticQ) November 2, 2014


Check out more awesome #DudesGreetingDudes tweets here.

7 reasons to vote today

Tue, 2014-11-04 12:56
Polls are now open for the 2014 Illinois Election, and soon all the nasty attack ads that have hijacked your TV will be over. But the difficult obstacles we must face together as Illinoisans are just beginning.

Illinois' statewide races are held in midterm election years, opposed to presidential election cycles which see higher turnout percentages. On average, roughly half of the 7.5 million registered voters in Illinois won't even bother to vote.

Those who are disinterested in politics, whether it's at the local, state or federal level, fail to realize they are not immune to the decisions and policies of our elected officials. Everyone is impacted by politics one way or another, though the extent to which might vary depending on your age, gender or net worth.

There are plenty of reasons why citizens should vote, but here are seven that make it especially important to do so today.



But before you head to the polls, make sure you've got everything you need:

  • Are you eligible and/or registered to vote?

  • Do you have proper identification?

  • Do you know your polling location?

  • What times are the polls open in your area?

  • Have you researched which judges you plan to vote for?

  • Have you researched every candidate and made an informed decision?


See more info at Reboot Illinois.

Safely Living With Pets: Don't Let Your Pet Lick Your Face and Other Helpful Tips

Tue, 2014-11-04 12:33
In 2012, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimated that 56 percent of all United States households own a pet. There are over 69 million dogs and 36 million cats in American households. Our pets are family members; we love, play, share our food, and celebrate holidays with them. In fact, a recent survey by a mattress company discovered that 71 percent of pet owners sleep with their pet. Of those pet owners who share their bed with their furry family member, 52 percent let their pet lie at their feet. Twenty-three percent snuggle with them, 11 percent share a pillow and 14 percent let them sleep underneath their covers. I admit my dog and two cats sleep on our bed.

Am I concerned that I may catch a disease from my pet? Yes, as a practicing veterinarian I am acutely aware of bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans, called zoonotic diseases.

Giardia, a protozoa found in contaminated soil and water, is a zoonotic disease that causes diarrhea in pets and humans. I see this disease at least twice daily in my Chicago practice. A recent study found Giardia in the feces of 8 percent dogs and 4 percent cats in United States. Another zoonotic disease, called Leptospirosis, is transmitted by drinking water contaminated by urine of infected wildlife-like rats, mice, raccoons, opossums and skunks. It causes life-threatening kidney and liver disease. It is a rising cause of illness in my practice.

My goal today is not to frighten you on the hazards of pet ownership and your enjoyment of wildlife, but to educate you on how to safely live with them in your home and from afar.

Reduce you and your pet's risk of acquiring a zoonotic disease by:

*At least TWICE yearly have your pet's stool sample evaluated for parasites by your veterinarian. Most worms are not visable to the naked eye and are discovered only with the aid of a microscope.

*Give your dog a monthly heartworm preventative that contains a prophylactic dewormer for gastrointestinal parasites, like hookworms and roundworms.

*Discourage your pet from licking your face. Pets can harbor many bacterial organisms in their mouth that may NOT be problematic to them but can be to elderly or immunocompromised people. Capnocytophaga canimorsus and Pasteurella multocida are two bacterial infections that can cause severe disease in these two high-risk groups. In addition, pets frequently lick their anus and can possibly transmit fecal pathogens to you when they lick your mouth.

*Discourage cats from roaming and hunting outdoors for these cats are more likely to shed Salmonella and Toxoplasmosis in their feces.

*Wash any bite or scratch wound immediately with soapy water. Contact your doctor if the wound is deep or within days notice redness, purulent discharge or swelling at site.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 40 percent of all cats carry Bartonella hensale at some time in their life. This bacterium is found in the saliva of infected cats and causes Cat Scratch Fever in people. It is transmitted to people by cat bites or scratches. This bacterium causes fever, swelling and enlarged lymph nodes in people and requires immediate medical attention by your physician. To reduce the spread of this disease, please keep cat's nails trimmed short

*Practicing safe food preparation hygiene: wash hands before handling food, wash vegetables and fruit well before eating, and do not use the same utensils when handling raw meat and vegetables.

According to the CDC, one out of every 6 persons in United States will suffer a food borne illness every year.


*Cooking food to safe internal temperatures. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends the internal temperature of steak and fish to be 145 degrees and held for 15 seconds to kill harmful bacteria. The safe internal temperature of pork, beef, eggs, chicken and casserole dishes is 160 to165 degrees and held for 15 seconds.

*Not feeding your pet raw meat - which may be contaminated with Salmonella, Escherichia coli and Clostridium. In a recent study, 14 percent of feces from pets fed raw meat contain salmonella.

*Picking up your pet's waste and disposing properly. Please do not flush feces down the toilet because it can lead to contamination of our water system.

*Spraying elimination sites with dilute bleach (1 part bleach to 10 parts water mixed in a spray bottle) when your pet has diarrhea. This practice will kill and prevent spread of infectious agents to other living beings.

*Vaccinating your pet against zoonotic diseases like Rabies and Leptospirosis.

*Not letting your pet drink out of potentially contaminated water sources: like rainwater puddles, ponds, rivers fountains, and communal water dishes outside storefronts.

*Not touching or accessorizing your life with wildlife.
Although fascinating to watch in the wild, raccoons should not be pets. Raccoons may carry the following zoonotic diseases: rabies, leptospirosis and raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris).

*Eliminating or reducing the population of rodents in your neighborhood by keeping garbage in closed containers. I am not proud of the fact that Chicago is frequently listed among the top 10 cities in United States with the greatest rat population.

*Washing your hands after touching your pet.

*Wiping your pet's feet after walking outside and its anal area after eliminating with hypoallergenic diaper wipes.

*Please contact your veterinarian to discuss your concerns for zoonotic diseases especially if young children or an immune compromised adult is living in your home.

*If your pet is sick, seek veterinary care.

To the 67 million households that own at least one pet, enjoy safely living with your pet by following these recommendations. To those who do not yet have a pet, I strongly urge you to consider fostering a homeless pet to see if you might enjoy their amazing companionship!

Dr. Donna Solomon is a veterinarian at Animal Medical Center of Chicago and invites you to email her your questions or future topic ideas to doctors@animalmedicalcenterofchicago.com.

Bright Green Fireball Spotted Streaking Across Eastern U.S.

Tue, 2014-11-04 12:20
A fantastically bright fireball put on quite a show across the eastern U.S. on Monday evening.

The fireball, which some witnesses say had a vivid green color, was seen in the sky from Georgia northward to Chicago and eastward to Washington, D.C. Just check out a video of the fireball above, which was uploaded to YouTube by Chicago resident Harlan Cohen.

(Story continues below map.)

A heat map showing where witnesses reported seeing a fireball on Monday evening.

The American Meteor Society said it received more than 300 eyewitness reports of the fireball. Of course, the fireball's brilliance also fired up the Twitterverse.

Crappy screen grab of meteor or burning space junk or whatever I just saw over Chicago. pic.twitter.com/EVoRPRZZDZ

— steveWSOP (@stevewsop) November 4, 2014


I'm getting reports of the bright meteor i saw in Roanoke, VA....from Virginia to Ohio. It was incredibly bright.....#METEOR #SWVA

— LeoHirsbrunner (@LeoHirsbrunner) November 3, 2014


Meteor was straight overhead in Lexington KY heading due east. Burning green. Size of a bottle rocket here #meteor #whatdoesitmean

— DrewCurtis (@DrewCurtis) November 3, 2014


What exactly was this fireball? A meteor? A bit of space debris?

Mike Hankey, the society's operations manager, told the Chicago Tribune that no formal determination had yet been made. Stay tuned for more details.

Top 10 NFL Wide Receivers 2014: Megatron Slips And Antonio Brown Ascends

Tue, 2014-11-04 12:19
NFL fans could fairly argue that 2014 is the heyday of the wide receiver. Whether you credit the influx of talent at the position or the assortment of rule changes that favor offenses, wideouts are putting up some incredible numbers. And the beautiful part is how many different types of guys are doing it: We have the smaller, shiftier players under 6 feet (think Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton and Emmanuel Sanders), along with the massive likes of Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Julio Jones. There is such an abundance of good WRs that we had to omit stellar talents like Marshall and even A.J. Green from our list. With half the season in the books, let's take a look at the league's top 10 receivers right now.



Email me at jordan.schultz@huffingtonpost.com or ask me questions about anything sports-related at @Schultz_Report, and follow me on Instagram @Schultz_Report. Also, be sure to catch my NBC Sports Radio show "Kup and Schultz," which airs Sunday mornings from 9 to 12 EST and 12-1 for fantasy football, right here.

Here Is Your First $100 Million Senate Race

Tue, 2014-11-04 11:33
WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) on the election trail Oct. 25 to rally Democrats ahead of Tuesday's crucial midterm elections. The two Democrats had more in common than just a stage: Hagan's re-election race, like Clinton's 2000 bid, was in the process of becoming one of the most expensive Senate races in modern U.S. history.

In 2000, while her husband former President Bill Clinton still occupied the White House, Hillary Clinton squared off against then-Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.). The two candidates spent a combined $70.4 million on their campaigns. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $94.2 million in 2013 dollars. (Clinton was also boosted by at least $6 million in soft money from Democratic Party committees, but at the time it was not necessary to report this spending publicly.)

In the neck-and-neck campaign between Hagan and Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis, a combined $111 million has been spent thus far, crushing Clinton and Lazio's inflation-adjusted total -- with even more to be reported in final campaign finance filings after the election. It is the first general election Senate race to pass the $100 million mark.

However, in terms of how money has been raised and spent, the 2000 New York and 2014 North Carolina races couldn't be more different. Where Clinton and Lazio spent a combined $70.5 million raised in strictly limited amounts from their own campaign coffers, the Hagan and Tillis campaigns had spent just $30 million through October 15.

The rest of the money spent in North Carolina -- indeed, the vast majority of it -- has come from political party committees ($19 million) and from independent groups like super PACs and nonprofits that can raise unlimited sums from nearly any source ($62 million).

This dynamic is not unique to the North Carolina Senate race. There are 35 other congressional races where the general election candidates had been outspent by independent money through October 15, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In some of these races the candidates may ultimately surpass the expenditures of outside spenders, but for the most part those actually running for office will likely have to make way for a flood of other interests.

Control of the Senate will be decided in races where outside money surpasses candidate spending. In addition to North Carolina, the Senate races in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and New Hampshire have all seen candidates outspent by independent sources.

The shift from a 2000 race dominated by candidate spending to a 2014 campaign flooded with outside money is indicative of the altered campaign finance landscape fashioned by the Supreme Court in its controversial 2010 Citizens United decision (and by subsequent lower court rulings derived from it). That decision opened the door for corporations, unions and individuals to spend unlimited sums on elections so long as they remain independent from the campaigns run by candidates.

These nominally independent groups, however, are anything but. Take, for example, Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic Party-aligned super PAC that is the top spender among independent groups in the 2014 election. This super PAC is run by former aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Reid has met with big money donors to Senate Majority PAC, while President Barack Obama has attended two fundraising events for the group. Other Democratic lawmakers have given millions to the group through campaign committees, leadership PACs and their own wallets.

Candidates are technically forbidden from communicating strategy in private with independent groups, but they have found numerous ways to maneuver around the rules. One way is simply to communicate publicly over the Internet. Campaigns post raw material like video b-roll, high-resolution photographs and advertising scripts to their websites, all of which can be repurposed for ads by outside groups. Some candidates have even gone so far as to post entire campaign strategy and messaging memos to help their unlimited-money friends.

Family members and friends of candidates have funded groups working to elect them. In a number of cases, the candidates and outside groups share consultants or use the same advertising firms, which have supposedly created firewalls to protect against illegal coordination.

In June, Republicans running for Senate in Arkansas, Iowa and Colorado -- another state where the Senate contest is approaching $100 million -- all appeared at a donor conference organized by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Attendees included other wealthy donors looking for horses to back in their pursuit of a Republican Senate majority.

In a leaked recording of a panel where all three candidates spoke, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) can be heard telling potential donors that they had already "played a critical role in turning our state from a one-party Democratic state." Cotton currently appears poised to defeat Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) in Tuesday's election.

Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), currently leading Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) in polls, made his pitch to these potential donors by stating that "third-party" groups would decide whether he would win or lose his election. There were other panels taking place at the June conference where donors could learn which of these third-party groups they could give money to.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) directly credited her rise to this wealthy audience, telling those present that "the exposure to this group and to this network and the opportunity to meet so many of you, that really started my trajectory." Ernst is currently leading Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) in the open-seat race to replace the retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D).

Since the June conference, Koch-linked groups have contributed millions in support of these candidates' campaigns.

All of this amounts to a situation where lawmakers and political parties are decidedly connected to both the fundraising and the strategy of outside groups. This contradicts the central premise of the Citizens United decision -- the idea that outside spending, due to its supposed independence from political candidates, cannot cause corruption.

In essence, what has happened is a return to the era of soft money, when political parties and lawmakers raised unlimited sums for electoral activities outside of the contribution limits imposed by campaign finance laws. In its 2003 decision to uphold the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law banning soft-money fundraising, the Supreme Court found sufficient reason to believe that the raising and spending of unlimited soft money was indeed a corrupting force in governance.

Unlike in 2000, much of the cash now flowing through the soft-money system of independent groups remains undisclosed. Spending by dark money nonprofits has surged past $200 million in the 2014 election, when one considers undisclosed issue advertising together with electoral spending reported to the Federal Election Commission.

Only one of the Koch-linked groups backing Cotton, Ernst, Gardner and numerous other Republican office-seekers has disclosed its donors.

Another difference between 2000 and 2014 is the landscape for potential reform.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who spearheaded campaign finance reform in the 1990s and early 2000s, has called Citizens United the "worst decision ever" and stated unequivocally that it will result in "huge scandals," since so much money will be flowing to campaigns from unknown sources and "there is too much corruption associated with that kind of money." Nevertheless, McCain has voted against every single proposal to fix disclosure rules, as well as efforts to reverse the court's ruling.

Where there were once numerous Republicans open to reform, now only one Republican in all of Congress -- Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), known for breaking with party orthodoxy -- has signed on to any legislation to address the rising tide of independent soft money in elections.

September Unemployment in Illinois By the Numbers

Tue, 2014-11-04 10:10
Illinois unemployment fell in each of the state's metropolitan statistical areas for the sixth month in a row, and in each of the state's 102 counties for the fourth month in a row in September, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The data is not seasonally adjusted, which means the unemployment rate of the current month is compared to the same month of last year -- i.e. September 2014 to September 2013, which removes any seasonal or regular patterns that otherwise affect the unemployment rate. Additionally, people who have dropped out of the workforce are not reflected in these statistics.

The metro and local jobless figures, on top of the 0.1 percentage point drop in the statewide unemployment rate to 6.6 percent, is welcome news to Gov. Pat Quinn who has consistently said Illinois is making a comeback.

Illinois metropolitan statistical areas with the highest job gains from Septemeber 2013 to September 2014:

1 .Champaign-Urbana: +2.2 percent / 2,400

2 .Springfield: +1.9 percent / 2,100

3. Danville: +1.4 percent / 400

4. Kankakee-Bradley: +1.4 percent / 600

5. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville: +1.1 percent / +40,100


Check out the Illinois metropolitan areas with the biggest job losses in the last year at Reboot Illinois.

Sign up for our daily email to stay up to date on all the latest Illinois political news.

NEXT ARTICLE: Rauner edges back out ahead of Quinn in new Chicago Tribune poll
Watch: Pat Quinn's behind in one poll and ahead in another. What's it mean?
Enough with over-the-top, negative advertising already
Bergman: Illinois debt increased 13-fold from 1981 to 2013
Catchin' some Zzz's: When do Illinoisans go to sleep?

Timon Kyle Durrett Talks Love, Sex and Marriage

Tue, 2014-11-04 08:44


Actor Timon Kyle Durrett -- a Chicago native -- has enjoyed guest starring and recurring roles on television shows such as Girlfriends, The Young & The Restless, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Heroes, Samantha Who?, The Ghost Whisperer, and Castle. Durrett's breakout role was that of Quinn Davis on VH1's first-ever scripted series Single Ladies.

Now fans can see Durrett as a leading man in Christopher Nolen's 72 Hours playing for a limited engagement at the Studio Movie Grill in Chatham on Thursday, November 6 and Friday, November 7.

In 72 Hours, ex-playboy Von (played by Durrett) suffers a heart attack and finds himself face-to-face with God, (portrayed by The Blacklist's Harry J. Lennix).
God gives Von 72 hours to atone to the women he's hurt in the past, or he'll die.

Here, Timon Kyle Durrett shares his views about love, sex and marriage. (Thank goodness he doesn't have that 72 hours ultimatum to worry about.)

What is the first thing you notice about a woman?

Durrett: I first pay attention to the way she's dressed. To me, the way a woman presents herself in public is an expression of how she values herself. That's vital. Then, I pay close attention to her behavior; the way she speaks, interacts, etc. If you watch long enough, most people will reveal themselves without you asking a single question.

How soon is too soon for sex (if a woman desires a relationship)?

Durrett: Too soon? It's hard to say.
I believe it depends on the people involved and the circumstance. If two adults are in agreement and clear about what they want--as well as when, where, why, and how they want it--then who else [outside of their agreement] can put a timeline or deadline on their desires?
If it's not hurting anybody, to each his/her own.

Is marriage appealing to you?

Durrett: That's a tough one. It's not appealing to me...not right now. I've never been married, so I can't say definitively if it's the thing for me or not at this point in my life.

What is the one thing you wish women understood about men and love?

Durrett: That most men are simplistic by nature. I'm very straightforward and communicative. I don't mince words, hint, beat around the bush, etc. I say what I mean and I mean what I say, all the time. Truth without compassion can, at times, come across as brutality. So, I know how to soften things up, but it will still be a softened truth.

TImon Kyle Durrett is on Twitter @TimonKDurrett, and Facebook: TimonKyleDurrett.
Photo: Ctsy. of Timon Kyle Durrett.

5 Common Illnesses College Students Should Know About

Tue, 2014-11-04 08:18
While you really shouldn't be worrying about catching Ebola on your college campus, there is a higher probability you'll get a certain sexually transmitted infection if you don't get vaccinated.

In case you zoned out when your mom bugged you about staying healthy when you went off to college, or you totally didn't pay attention during orientation about some of the things you'd be at risk for on campus, we've rounded up some common illnesses you may encounter.

Here's a quick guide to five common illnesses college students should be especially aware of:

Go Get Vaccinated For Meningitis
Meningitis occurs when membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord become swollen, which can lead to headache, fever and neck stiffness, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Most cases are due to infection from a virus, but infection via the meningococcal bacteria is the most dangerous: It can lead to hearing loss, brain damage or even the loss of a limb, ABC News reported. Freshmen seem to be at a higher risk for meningitis, possibly because of the close contact typical of dorm life, NPR reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that preteens first get vaccinated around age 11 or 12, with a booster shot at age 16. Freshmen who received the vaccine before their 16th birthday should get a booster before going to college. And students who have never before been vaccinated can get the shot for the first time: The vaccine is recommended for anyone ages 19 to 24 and is even required by some colleges.

Athlete's Foot, OR Why You Need To Bring Flip Flops For The Dorm Shower

There’s a reason why “shower shoes” are a dorm room must. Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is the name for an itchy fungal infection that’s caused by the same fungus responsible for jock itch — and yes, that fungus can live in dark, damp environments like the dorm room shower. Athlete’s foot usually occurs when your sweaty feet are confined in tight shoes, and it leads to a rash that typically starts between the toes (though there can also be ulcers or blisters).

So what’s the best way to prevent an infection with athlete’s foot? Air out your feet and avoid keeping your feet enclosed in sweaty socks and shoes. And wear shower shoes or sandals when you use communal showers, public pools and the like. It’s also a good idea to avoid sharing shoes with others. And if you’ve already been plagued by athlete’s foot, go to see your doctor, who may direct you to an over-the-counter product you can use to combat it. Severe infections may require treatment with antifungal pills.

Get A Simple Shot To Prevent The Flu, It's Easy To Spread On Campus

The seasonal flu spreads from one person to another by coughing, sneezing, or just talking. According to the CDC, a person with the flu can spread it to another person up to six feet away from them. In a college lecture hall, that six-foot radius includes a lot of classmates. People also spread it before symptoms develop -- i.e., before they realize they should stay home. College students are physically around each other in classrooms, dining halls, libraries, dorms, and parties, allowing for viruses to spread quickly and widely.

Although college-age people aren't the most at-risk group for serious flu complications, they can still easily get the illness. And it's not just a bad cold, it can seriously decrease a person's productivity and actions for up to two weeks. In the course of a semester, being slowed down like that -- or missing all those parties -- has a major effect.

The good news? You can protect yourself with an easy, and often on-campus, flu shot.

Keep Your Strep Throat Away From Lecture Class

There is no vaccine for strep throat, yet. Strep is a bacterial throat infection that anyone can get, usually through person-to-person contact through saliva, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It mostly results in severe pain when swallowing, but sometimes includes a fever, nausea or body aches. You can treat it with warm liquids, hot tea with honey, gargling, sucking on throat lozenges and taking over-the-counter medications, not to mention antibiotics from your doctor. It can also spread through coughing or sneezing so that's why this is one sickness where if you get it, you should skip class. Seriously, just stay home and watch some Netflix while you drink away your strep with some tea.

There's A Good Chance You'll Get HPV, Unless You Get Vaccinated

Human papillomavirus (HPV) predominantly gets transmitted between sexually-active people under the age of 24. According to the CDC, it's most commonly transmitted during vaginal or anal sex, and can be passed "even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms." Most of the time it goes away without much issue, but sometimes can cause genital warts or even cancer. (However, the type of HPV that causes genital warts is not the same as the kind that causes cancer.) Up to four in five adults will have HPV at some point.

The good news though is there is a vaccine available, and the Harvard Global Health Review notes that "research on the HPV vaccine has proven that no serious side-effects could be attributed to the vaccine." Women up to the age of 26 can get the vaccine, same with men up to the age of 21 or men ages 22 to 26 who have sex with men.

Election Day 2014: Follow Along As Results Come In From Around The U.S.

Tue, 2014-11-04 08:15
The 2014 midterm elections are taking place around the U.S. on Tuesday.

In addition to gubernatorial and congressional races, HuffPost will be following the results on ballot measures around the nation dealing with the minimum wage, marijuana legalization and more.

See below for the latest updates:

How An Election Night Loss Can Be Your First Victory

Tue, 2014-11-04 07:41
To all the candidates across the United States: tonight's the night, good luck. After a long day of pep talks and get out the vote efforts you're going to get the only set of poll numbers that matter. The people will speak and the verdict will be final.

Some of you may outperform your models and expectations; some may underperform.

But many of you will lose.

Losing is not fun. I've been there; standing center stage at the most depressing "election night celebration" you'll ever attend. However, just as there's a wrong way to win, there's also a right way to lose. As I said in my 2006 concession speech, "Even though the results are not what we wanted, there is no shame in defeat."

Knowing what to say and how to act in your campaign's lowest moment can be the spark that helps you kick-start your next successful run for office. It's an audition for the role you didn't know you were up for. In short, people are watching. Make it good.

In those first moments after the check mark appears on the television screen next to the other person's name, a candidate should take steps to show that they are a viable choice for the next election, which for some offices is just two years away.

That starts with a thank you to all of the voters, a bit of grace and an appropriate level of humility. You hear the electorate and you accept their judgment.

What a candidate should not do is follow in the footsteps of Mississippi Senate candidate Chris McDaniel and deride the voters who participated in the election and attempt to win in a courtroom rather than at a ballot box. McDaniel's unprofessional behavior has probably disqualified him from another chance at the seat when Senator Thad Cochran retires or any other elective office in Mississippi that might be available in the next six years.

In the following weeks and months, motivated losing candidates will seize the opportunity to reflect on what went right, what went wrong, and why he or she decided to get into politics in the first place. These reflections are what enable political losers to become "the inventors" of electoral politics according to political scientist Kenneth Shepsle. "(I)t is losers who provide a political dynamic in public life -- innovating and strategizing to become winners on the one hand, and energizing the incumbent winners to anticipate and try to deflect the losers' maneuvers on the other," Shepsle proposes.

Finding the right lessons from defeat will give today's losers a better shot at becoming next cycle's victors.

Our last three presidents lost U.S. House races early in their careers. Those failures allowed each man to determine what kind of candidate he was going to be, and showed him how a loss could turn out to be a better outcome in the long run.

After losing to Democrat Kent Hance in 1978, George W Bush learned the value of authenticity, after being caricatured on the trail as a privileged product of Yale University and Harvard Business School. According to Hance, after losing Bush decided, "He wasn't going to be out-Christianed or out-good-old-boyed again." After that initial defeat, Bush never lost another run for office.

President Clinton, in his autobiography My Life, noted that he spent the first days after his 1974 loss "in a funk," but eventually saw a silver lining. "(I)t would be a good while before I realized that the congressman had done me a favor by beating me," he wrote. "If I had won and gone to Washington, I'm sure I never would have been elected President."

It will be a while before we know which of tonight's losers will be able to turn the tables in the next campaign.

Until then those that come up short should remember some of the most useful words on failure from Theodore Roosevelt's "The Man in the Arena" speech. "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly... and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

In time, it is possible for today's losers, through careful contemplation, to begin to see the path to future greatness through tonight's wounds.

__________________
Hon. Mark R. Kennedy (@HonMarkKennedy) leads George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management and is Chairman of the Economic Club of Minnesota. He previously served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and was Senior Vice President and Treasurer of Federated Department Stores (now Macy's).

What Time Do The Polls Close?

Mon, 2014-11-03 19:55
Tuesday is Election Day in America, so here's a roundup of when the polls close in each state.

If you still haven't figured out where you have to go to cast your vote, use this tool to find your polling place.

Colorado and Washington voters are participating in a mail-in election -- while Colorado voters are still able to submit their votes at ballot drop off locations on Election Day, Washington state voters will not have the opportunity to do so, and are thus excluded from the below list.

NOTE: All times are listed in Eastern Time. States designated by * have multiple closing times, as they span more than one time zone.

6 p.m.
Indiana*
Kentucky*

7 p.m.
Florida*
Georgia
Indiana*
Kentucky*
New Hampshire
South Carolina
Vermont
Virginia

7:30 p.m.
North Carolina
Ohio
West Virginia

8 p.m.
Alabama
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida*
Illinois
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan*
Mississippi
Missouri
New Jersey
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Dakota*
Tennessee
Texas*
Washington, D.C.

8:30 p.m.
Arkansas

9 p.m.
Arizona
Colorado
Kansas*
Louisiana
Michigan*
Minnesota
Nebraska
New Mexico
New York
North Dakota*
South Dakota*
Texas*
Wisconsin
Wyoming

10 p.m.
Idaho*
Iowa
Kansas*
Montana
Nevada
North Dakota*
Oregon*
Utah

11 p.m.
California
Hawaii
Idaho*
North Dakota*
Oregon*

12 a.m. & 1 a.m.
Alaska*

For the latest from our polling team, check out HuffPost Pollster's Senate forecast. For live updates on the election, follow our live blog.

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