Day: December 7, 2017

Franken’s exit hands Dems another 2018 electoral headache

FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2012 file photo, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty looks over the main stage during a sound check at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. U.S. Sen. Al Franken's announcement Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 that he will resign triggers a mad-dash special election in 2018 to finish the Minnesota Democrat's term, with Pawlenty seen as a top possibility for Republicans to cash in an unforeseen pickup chance. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) © The Associated Press FILE – In this Aug. 29, 2012 file photo, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty looks over the main stage during a sound check at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s announcement Thursday… ST. PAUL, Minn. — Sen. Al Franken’s announcement Thursday that he will resign sets off a scramble toward a special election in 2018 to finish the Minnesota Democrat’s term, with former governor and one-time presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty seen as a top possibility for Republicans to cash in an unforeseen pickup chance.

Franken said he would step down “in the coming weeks” after a series of sexual misconduct allegations caused support in his own party to collapse. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton will appoint a replacement to serve until next year’s election.

Franken’s departure is a headache for Democrats, exposing another seat in a midterm election that already had them defending two dozen incumbents.

Republicans are eager to recapture a seat that Franken won in 2008 by a tiny margin and only after a monthslong recount. They’re also hoping the sexual harassment scandal that engulfed Franken will saddle Democrats with enough baggage to help Republicans break through in 2018.

“A lot of the electoral momentum recently has been with Democrats, and I think Franken’s resignation will provide a strong boost for Republicans in Minnesota in 2018,” said Brian McClung, a former aide and longtime adviser to Pawlenty.

Republicans haven’t won statewide in Minnesota since Pawlenty won a second term as governor in 2006. But GOP operatives see a positive sign in President Donald Trump’s narrow loss in 2016 — by just 1.5 percentage points — in a state that hasn’t gone Republican in the presidential race in generations.

“I think this adds one more competitive seat to the mix,” Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, who is running the GOP’s Senate election efforts, said.

Former Sen. Norm Coleman, who served one term before losing to Franken, quickly announced he would not run in 2018, but other candidates could emerge.

Pawlenty had eyed the U.S. Senate the year Coleman won: He was minutes away from announcing a campaign in 2002 when a call from then-Vice President Dick Cheney persuaded him not to challenge Coleman. The former two-term governor has been weighing a return to elected office since a failed presidential bid in 2012, a year after he left the governor’s office.

Pawlenty has been CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable for five years, after not seeking a third term as governor and trying unsuccessfully for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. The position with the leading financial services lobbying group in Washington has kept him close to national tax and monetary policy, including the GOP-controlled Congress’ tax plans this year.

“He’s always had an interest in the Senate, so there’s every reason to believe that conversation will be refreshed,” former Coleman aide Josh Holmes said. Holmes is also a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is largely responsible for candidate recruiting in his drive to retain a majority.

Pawlenty did not return calls seeking comment.

Other Republicans who may consider running include State House Speaker Kurt Daudt, who has been considering seeking the governor’s office, and Rep. Tom Emmer, who represents the state’s most conservative congressional district and narrowly lost to Dayton in 2010 before going on to win a House seat.

On the Democratic side, Franken’s departure adds to the strain for a party trying to cut into the GOP’s two-seat margin in the Senate while having to defend many more seats.

Ten Democratic senators are seeking re-election in states Trump carried last year. Robust Republican primary campaigns are already underway in several, including in Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Democrats are defending 23 seats overall, while the GOP is defending nine. Two independents who caucus with Democrats also face re-election.

Democrats’ hopes in Minnesota could ride on someone shifting out of next year’s race for governor. A handful of top candidates — U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, state Rep. Erin Murphy and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman — have spent months connecting with party activists and their donors would be critical in a costly election.

Dayton’s appointment could give someone a running start for a 2018 campaign, but the governor may also choose to simply make a short-term replacement, tabbing someone who doesn’t plan to face voters.

His lieutenant governor, Tina Smith, has been most frequently mentioned for the temporary appointment. She’s known largely for behind-the-scenes work, including as Dayton’s former chief of staff. She ran former Vice President Walter Mondale’s brief Senate campaign in 2002 after Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash. She also served as a top executive at Planned Parenthood in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

But Smith previously announced she wouldn’t run for governor next year, suggesting that if she gets the appointment she would be no more than a caretaker.

Dayton could also look to a pair of fellow Democratic statewide elected officials: Attorney General Lori Swanson or State Auditor Rebecca Otto.

Or he might choose to send a loud signal against sexual harassment by picking Rep. Erin Maye Quade, a Democratic state lawmaker who, along with other women, accused two fellow state lawmakers of sexual harassment, resulting in their resignation last month.

Dayton said he would make his appointment “in a couple of days.”

Associated Press writers Tom Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa and Kevin Freking in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2015, file photo, Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith speaks in St. Paul, Minn. Smith is a possible replacement to fill U.S. Sen. Al Franken's seat after he announced his resignation amid multiple sexual misconduct allegations Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, on the Senate floor in Washington. His resignation means Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, a fellow Democrat, will name a temporary replacement. The winner of a special election in November would serve through the end of Franken's term in January of 2021. (Aaron Lavinsky /Star Tribune via AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE – In this Jan. 10, 2015, file photo, Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith speaks in St. Paul, Minn. Smith is a possible replacement to fill U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s seat after he announced his resignation amid multiple sexual misconduct… FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2017, file photo, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., listens during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Franken, facing fresh allegations of sexual misconduct and vanishing support from fellow Democrats, appears on the brink of resigning from the Senate. Franken's office said he will make an announcement Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in a speech on the Senate floor. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) © The Associated Press FILE – In this Sept. 20, 2017, file photo, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., listens during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Franken, facing fresh allegations of sexual misconduct and vanishing support from fellow Democrats…

A Quick Guide on How to Clean Up Blood Spills Properly

Blood is one of those substances that are tricky to clean up. It can seep through porous materials, bind to anything it comes in contact with and stain fabrics and surfaces. Apart from those things, you also have to worry about the things you can’t really see.

Blood can carry disease-causing microorganisms that can put everyone in danger. Because of this, it’s only essential that you know exactly how to clean up blood.

Blood Spill on a Non-Carpeted Floor

blood spill on non carpet
Via brooksremediation

The most common place for a blood spill to occur is on a non-carpeted, hard surface. The list includes cement, wood, metal, linoleum, vinyl, ceramic, and tile. It can also happen to any type of non-absorbent flooring, like a pool deck.

It is easier to clean up blood as well as other types of body fluids from those surfaces compared to absorbent surfaces. However, there are still some important steps that you need to take into consideration.

A spill on a hard surface will frequently spread over a larger area, so the spill needs to be contained right away. The following are the procedures that should be taken for cleaning spills up on those surfaces:

  • Block the area off until the disinfection and cleanup process have been completed. No one should be allowed to access the area, particularly unprotected staff members or visitors.
  • Put disposable gloves on.
  • Wipe the spill as much as you can with an absorbent material, such as a paper towel.
  • Pour a bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach) to all contaminated areas.
  • Allow the bleach solution to soak those areas for around 20 minutes before wiping off any remaining bleach solution.
  • All non-disposable cleaning materials, like rags, brushes, and mops, should be disinfected by saturating them with a bleach solution and then letting them air dry.
  • Take your gloves off and put them and any other dirty cleaning materials into a garbage bag.
  • Double bag and tie the garbage bags securely.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap.

Blood Spill on a Carpeted Floor

blood spill on carpet
Via aftermath

Due to its absorbent nature, a blood spill on a carpeted floor is one of the hardest to clean up. Most buildings have at least some carpeting which is why it’s essential to know how to clean up blood on such surface.

Since there is no way for you to completely disinfect your carpet, you need to know how you can thoroughly sanitize it as much as you can. Here’s how you can do that:

Work Fast: Blood and other body fluids can quickly set or harden on carpeting and that can make them harder to clean. So, respond fast and make sure that all safety precautions are followed.

Use The Right Products: Bleach and other types of decontamination products may destroy or damage carpets. Using manufacturer-approved carpet cleaners and shampoos is the best way to get the contaminated areas clean.

Steam Clean: Depending on the size and nature of the spill, it is recommended to steam clean the carpet. A steam cleaner can clean, sanitize, and remove debris from carpets more thoroughly than conventional washing can. Although there are added expenses with steam cleaning, it’s the best way of preventing blood-borne pathogens.

Now that we got those things out of the way, here’s how you can clean blood from carpets.

  • Put Disposable Gloves On: No matter what kind of surface you are cleaning, you should first put on gloves.
  • Contain the Spill: Following a spill, it is critical to keep the affected area as contained as possible to prevent it from spreading further.
  • Initial Disinfect: After the area has been contained, spray it with the proper carpet detergent to help kill pathogens.
  • Blot Excess Fluids Up: Use disposable rags or towels to blot as much excess fluids as possible. Then, secure your soiled rags by placing them in a sealed bag.
  • Extract Any Absorbed Fluids: Carpet does absorb some fluid so the next step is to remove it. Use a wet-dry vacuum and wet the carpet thoroughly before applying suction. Repeat the process as necessary.
  • Re-disinfect: After you have vacuumed, re-saturate the area thoroughly using the right disinfectant. Repeat this step twice.
  • Let Sit: Let the disinfectant sit and work for around 20 minutes.
  • Rinse: After completing the final disinfecting round, rinse the area a final time so that any remaining disinfecting solution or detergent is removed.
  • Dry: Thoroughly dry the area with rags so that any remaining moisture is drawn out.
  • Wrap: Once the area is clean, secure all your PPE and rags in a bag.

Blood Spill on Furniture

The material of your furniture will determine the method you can use to clean up a blood spill.

For example, if you have an upholstered furniture, you need to treat the affected spots like you would treat a blood spill on a carpet. You have to disinfect it, allow the disinfectant to sit for a couple of minutes, and then wipe everything off.

However, if you have a piece of fabric covering your furniture, the best thing to do is take the fabric off and wash it on a warm wash cycle using the right detergent. Check your furniture for any stains that may also need to be cleaned.

Outdoor Blood Spills

Cleaning blood spills from grass or dirt is much more difficult than cleaning stains from your furniture at home. One good reason is its accessibility. Anyone can get into the contaminated area, so you have to work fast and be strategic in cleaning up.

You can begin by blocking the affected area off. Make sure that no children can get near the contaminated area until you are done cleaning and disinfecting it. If there are children playing nearby, find another spot for them.

In disinfecting the area, make sure to disinfect as thoroughly as possible. You can use a bleach and rinse it thoroughly with water after. Remember to wear the right PPE when cleaning up.

See Also: How To Clean A Blood Spill: Safe and Proper Blood Cleanup from Workplace Accidents

The post A Quick Guide on How to Clean Up Blood Spills Properly appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

LAPD warns that navigation apps are steering people to neighborhoods on fire

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There are currently multiple fires raging across Southern California, one of which forced the notoriously clogged 405 Freeway in Los Angeles to shut down

Big fires force people to find new routes — including people using apps like Waze and Google Maps. 

The problem? Those apps look for roads without many cars on them, and try to route you there. Which is great when you’re trying to avoid run-of-the-mill traffic. But not when the roads are clear because of nearby fires.  

“The Los Angeles Police Department asked drivers to avoid navigation apps, which are steering users onto more open routes — in this case, streets in the neighborhoods that are on fire,” the Los Angeles Times reportedRead more…

More about Los Angeles, Google Maps, Wildfire, Wildfires, and Waze

WorldRemit nabs $40M at a $670M valuation to boost its money transfer business

 WorldRemit, a London-based startup with some 2 million users that offers a quick way for people to send money to each other with a focus on developing markets, has raised more funds to help it take on the likes of Western Union in the remittances market, estimated by the World Bank to be worth some $596 million globally this year. The company has picked up $40 million — a Series C… Read More