Everything Is Great and Amazing

mlrg
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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby mlrg » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:39 pm

I’ve been following your posts about the midterms and the media in my country has been covering this elections pretty intensenvily but one question I have is who will run for president in the Democratic Party. I don’t have the slightest idea on who can beat Trump in 2020. Who do you guys think is better positioned to run against Trump?

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:39 pm

My wait to vote wasn't much, but 1) I went at an off-time (about 1:30 PM, historically least-crowded time) and 2) it's not as if my district holds a lot of suspense -- not much chance Jerry Nadler or Kristen Gillibrand face serious challenge. I never even saw a TV ad for Gillibrand this cycle; I had to check and be sure she was running.

My hat is off to BJ and Bog for doing active campaign work. I don't think I'd be up to knocking on doors and dealing with potential voter hostility. My little contribution to the effort this year was writing postcards for Phil Bredesen voters. They tell me this has been shown to have impact, so I hope I've done something to make America well again. As someone I know posted on Facebook today, it's like the country is waiting on a biopsy report.

About the Senate: 1) Lisa Murkowski is an actual maverick (unlike Collins, who only plays one on TV), but I still think the prospect of her tipping a 50/50 split are not that strong; 2) I don't think a freshly re-elected Manchin would turn on his party quite so quickly as Bog suggests; six years is a long time, and who knows what the lay of the land will be then; 3) it infuriates me that GOPers have convinced the media to accept their spin that holding the Senate while Dems take the House amounts to a split decision. If all hundred Senate seats were up this year, in this environment, the Pubs would be looking at a loss of up to ten seats; it's their extraordinary good fortune to be dealing with the class of Senators that Dems have won three cycles in a row (picking up five seats in 2000, six seats in 2006, and two more in 2012).

That we're even considering the possibility Dems could pick up 1-3 seats from such a tilted field is evidence of how deep the GOP malaise goes. A year ago, Republicans thought they could easily knock off not just Heitkamp, but also Donnelly/McCaskill/Nelson/Tester/Manchin. They thought they were going to make Bob Casey and Sherrod Brown sweat bullets. In their wildest dreams, they hoped to challenge Amy Klobuchar. Now they're reduced to being worried about holding Ted Cruz's seat, as well as one in Tennessee. It's maddening that it would take the Dems pulling off something of an electoral miracle to get the media to note how well they did.

About Sabin's thoughts on this turnout being the new normal -- as Hemingway would say, isn't it pretty to think so? I'm always dubious about mid-day turnout reports, but it sure seems like we're headed to as strong a mid-term showing as any in memory (there are long lines even in states that have already shattered early-voting turnout) -- a turnout driven by exactly those demographics (young and minority) who've long been blamed for lackluster voting totals. It'd be great if this means people have been shocked awake by the 2016 outcome and will take their voting responsibility seriously from here on.

But it might be just a one-time thing. In a way, this is an atonement election, for all those who presumed from polling and punditry that Hillary had 2016 in the bag and either stayed home or voted Stein/Johnson as their "protest". You could say that the 2016 election was America's Brexit -- a accidental outcome that, through voter inattention, didn't reflect actual citizen sentiment. I've argued to people recently (and received surprisingly little pushback) that, had a corrective election been called ten days after the 2016 debacle, Hillary would have won convincingly, as all those unmotivated or protest voters would have been there for her as they should have been were they not so blase. The vagaries of American elections being what they are, this is the first chance we've had to make that case, and it appears voters are taking advantage. Whether that lasts till 2020 -- and, particularly, through 2022 if a Dem wins the presidency in 2020 -- is an open question for the moment.
Last edited by Mister Tee on Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Sabin » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:05 am

It’s 7:45 am right now. I’m standing in line to vote in the midterms.

...that’s it. That’s all I wanted to say. 7:45. Standing in line. To vote. In the midterms.

There’s a lot I hate about this administration but what if this isn’t a passing phenomenon? The 2016 election and the Trump administration showed the country how the sausage gets made and maybe there’s no going back? My Facebook page and those of my friends have basically become freelance unpaid Politico. If this is the new normal, good.

There are countless incredible candidates to root for, but I find my hopes resting on three races: Texas, Georgia, and Florida. Cruz, Kemp, and De Santis represent the three most loathesome facets of the Republican Party. A defeat for De Santis is a rebuke of Trumpism. A defeat of Cruz is a loss for Tea Partyism. And a defeat for Kemp is all about Republicanism. Voter suppression. Lying. Corruption. Business-as-usual threats to democracy. In my heart, I know Stacey Abrams victory will feel the best. That said, I will need at least two of these tonight to feel good. I feel the surest of Gillum’s victory although that is largely due to the fact that De Santis is so visibly a clown.
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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Bog » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:50 am

I've never seen such fervor from literally every outlet around to get out and vote! Google even has "Go Vote" on the search box. I'm nervous and hopeful and will be running around and knocking and persuading and seeing if we can flip the 12th here in Ohio!

HAPPY VOTING DAY UAADB!

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Bog » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:16 am

Unless Manchin is ok with this being his retirement tour election he would just do the reverse, no?

Susan Collins gave a speech on the Senate floor last month knowing full well (I assume) she was also basically announcing her retirement and that's what a lot of this craziness is coming to nowadays. Manchin's next campaign will be on the heels of whatever Democrat just resided as president...creating a West Virginia as irate as we are with this president. Mitch and Joe would have a heart to heart if they even got a whiff of Chuck and Lisa concocting such a plan...negating the whole thing.

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:49 pm

The Original BJ wrote:There's also another question that doesn't seem to be on most folks' radar, but I've been seriously pondering -- if we end up with a 50-50 Senate (or 50-49 on election night, with the Mississippi runoff basically a de facto Republican pickup), what's the likelihood of Chuck Schumer offering Lisa Murkowski the universe to become an independent and caucus with the Democrats?


I hadn't thought of that, but it would be it would be quite a feat if she accepted.
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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby The Original BJ » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:55 pm

Well, I've been knocking on doors since March for Katie Hill, who is running for the congressional seat in California's 25th district -- she advanced in the primary by an eyelash (by just over two percent) and is hoping to unseat incumbent Steve Knight (who as of late has been embroiled in controversy over an ad he released featuring an endorsement from a white supremacist, go figure.) Today was my last day of canvassing, and it's been hard work -- it's not easy to have people look you in the eye and tell you smugly (and it's always smugly) that they're voting for more of the Trump agenda, and even HARDER to hear from people who don't plan to vote because they don't see how it matters. Polls show a very tight race, but at this point I just have to be content I did everything I possibly could to get people to turnout, and convince them that, yes, voting actually does matter to their lives. I myself can't even vote for Katie Hill -- I live in Adam Schiff's district -- but one advantage of living in Los Angeles is that even though we're a deep-blue city, there are FIVE swing districts within an hour's drive, and I can see simply from photographs that there's been a huge push from canvassers knocking on doors in all of those areas.

In some ways, I wonder how much of the post-election narrative will hinge on the Senate. If Republicans hold on there -- as most expect them to -- you can easily imagine the "split decision" takes from pundits. (Some are already publishing this take.) And given that the Republicans as of late don't actually seem to care much about governing by legislation, a scenario where they lose the House but can continue to stack the courts with far-right judges through the Senate wouldn't exactly be the most horrific outcome for them (especially given that they could easily gain a few seats in the Senate even with overwhelming Dem success elsewhere). But an election night where Democrats take both chambers -- which certainly would require A LOT to go right for Dems, but which isn't totally out of reach -- would put a complete halt to the entire Trump agenda, and be a total nightmare outcome for the GOP. (And even more of a nightmare given Trump as president -- you could, for instance, imagine a scenario where a President Marco Rubio was still able to work with a Democratic Congress to pass some portion of his agenda, and even confirm right-leaning/not-Kavanaugh-type judges with enough Democratic votes. Trump, of course, is not that person, and there's certainly no reason in this moment for the Dems to do anything other than obstruct with whatever power they have.)

There's also another question that doesn't seem to be on most folks' radar, but I've been seriously pondering -- if we end up with a 50-50 Senate (or 50-49 on election night, with the Mississippi runoff basically a de facto Republican pickup), what's the likelihood of Chuck Schumer offering Lisa Murkowski the universe to become an independent and caucus with the Democrats?

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:48 pm

I'm cautiously optimistic - hoping for the Dems to take all the close races with even Heidi Heitkamp winning from behind again, but given the many disappointing outcomes I've seen since Nixon in '68, I'm prepared to suffer through two more years until 2020 when things will have gotten so bad no will be able to hold their nose and vote Republican.
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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:31 pm

A few last thoughts about Tuesday's midterms, not all that different from what I noted last week:

Republicans are facing one of three scenarios.

The first is, "Considering what could have happened, we'll take it" -- this would entail holding onto the House by any margin, adding a seat or two in the Senate, and winning at least 2-3 of the still-competitive governors' races (Ohio, Georgia, Wisconsin, Florida).

The second would be "That's bad, but normal-range bad" -- limiting Dem House seats to the 220's, holding steady in the Senate, and taking one of those competitive governorships plus not losing any sleepers.

Last would be "Oh, my god: Trump has destroyed us" -- Dems take 50-70 House seats, take control of the Senate, win every close governorship plus some outer-edge possibilities (like Kansas or Oklahoma), and crush at the state legislature level.

Given the numbers coming out of early voting -- turnout WAY up over 2014, approaching presidential-level, and big spikes in young-plus-minority vote -- the first scenario would appeared diminished if not vanished. The mid-level scenario has a Goldilocks appeal to it, so it's no surprise many pundits are rolling with it. The third outcome is, basically, projecting what happened in Virginia last Fall (when Ralph Northam over-performed polls by over 6 points and Dems did so well in House of Delegates races that control of the chamber, which hadn't been on anyone's radar, was reduced to a coin-flip) and making it into a nationwide phenomenon.

Analyst Tom Bonier notes that the average polling error in that Northam/Gillespie race was far greater than the average polling error in Hillary/Trump, yet, because it didn't change the expected winner, it's not used as a club to beat pollsters with that way 2016 is. He also notes that the reason for the error -- a huge upswing in the voting universe, especially among young voters -- is precisely what appears to be happening in early voting. So, while you don't want to count on this extraordinary-for-Dems outcome, it's counter-factual to rule it out entirely.

Especially because polling is showing signs that such a result is possible. Republicans are having to rush emergency funds to unexpectedly vulnerable House members -- Steve King and, most recently, Don Young in Alaska. If people at the fringes like that are in play, the easy-picking seats should fall by solid margins, and far more will be in play. In the Senate, no Dem-held seat outside Heidi Heitkamp seems a clear loser (given her come-from-behind history, some pols think even she can't be ruled out 100%). Bredesen and O'Rourke, viewed as 5-8 points behind a fortnight ago, are now showing up tied in polling. (Both have the advantage of outsized personal popularity and particularly odious opponents...and both are in states reporting especially huge jumps in youth turnout.) I've feared all year that O'Rourke is the Jason Kander of this cycle -- a great candidate who makes a race much tighter than it should be but ultimately loses because he's running in the wrong state. I would be DELIGHTED to be wrong. (And I think, were he to win, you could about feel the earth tremble from the coast-to-coast cheer that would arise.) Anyway, adding these seats as possible Dem flips, along with the Dem-favored Nevada/Arizona races, makes flipping the Senate a possibility even with a Heitkamp loss.

A sleeper element that won't be clear until sometime Wednesday: are a significant chunk of GOP-registered voters going to pull the Dem lever this year? This goes beyond Never-Trumpers: Sully Sullenberger, lifelong Republican, has urged people to vote blue down the line, to save the country, and there's a Twitter hashtag #GOPVotingBlue that's attracting huge activity. (I know: it's easy to lie on the Internet. But a lot of these folks are registered with full names and seem legit ordinary people.) If this demographic shifts races even 1-3%, that could make a normal swing election into a tsunami.

So, those are my thoughts. It's all in the hands of voters, who will either make a course correction (and announce clearly that the narrow 2016 outcome was a mistake), or further enable Trump and his henchmen. Two days and trembling.

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Heksagon » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:33 am

Precious Doll wrote:
mlrg wrote:This Sunday Brasil votes for a new president. Heavy favorite to win is Jair Bolsonaro, a far right candidate with a speech 10x worse than Trump. Interesting times...


And so it has come to pass: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... l-election

Jair Bolsonaro's win reflects how badly the moderate parties messed up when they were in power. The Workers' Party entered government during the start of an economic boom and ended with major depression, and their President was impeached for trying to hide the poor shape of the economy with the Greek method, by forging economic indicators.

They were also massively corrupt, and so unashamed of it, that for longest time they tried to get their other ex-President, who was convicted for corruption, to run as their candidate in this election, but the courts eventually held firm and didn't allow that. And I have the impression that Brazil may have some trouble with high levels of crime also.

The bottom line is that when the ideologically moderate parties fail to deliver so badly, people will start looking at extremists for alternatives. It's not enough to directly oppose the extremists, you also have to make sure that the moderate parties will govern responsibly and competently.

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:08 pm

Nobody invited him, Nobody wanted him. No one of any importance, not the governor of Pennsylvania, not the mayor of Pittsburgh, neither of the state's two senators, one of whom is a Republican, neither the Republican nor Democratic leaders of Congress, and none of the families of the four victims being buried today wanted to see him.
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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Greg » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:49 pm

Thousands protest Trump's motorcade in Pittsburgh:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBlfBekhZYs
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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:53 am

Facebook post by documentarian Eugene Jarecki:

We cannot afford to mince words.

Donald Trump is directly responsible for yesterday’s mass murder in Pittsburgh. He is also responsible for the attempted murders by the MAGAbomber across the country. We already know that Donald Trump is a rapacious, violent abuser with no regard for democracy or human dignity. If he is not stopped, either electorally or by a popular uprising, this country will continue its tragic and perilous slide into authoritarian-capitalist fascism, and these horrors will be just a prelude to far greater evils to come.

The masses of Americans who oppose Trump know that we are in the majority, and that his power is only being sustained by fellow evil-doers from within his minority, to subvert American democracy in order to cling to power at all cost. The problem is that the nation was founded by white men who designed this system to do exactly what it is doing, to ensure minority rule and ward against the danger of real, direct democracy. This reality has been expanded in the modern era by corrupt actors who have found ways to distort the system further. They have rigged elections and districts and obstructed Americans who might oppose them from voting at all.

We know that this is what a losing minority does when it fears being cast onto the ash heap of history. But we also know that the mainstream Democratic Party has historically failed to protect millions of Americans from these monstrous actions. So we know that only we the people will fix this, by demanding its repair.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Precious Doll » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:02 am

mlrg wrote:This Sunday Brasil votes for a new president. Heavy favorite to win is Jair Bolsonaro, a far right candidate with a speech 10x worse than Trump. Interesting times...


And so it has come to pass: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... l-election
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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:04 pm

Good god, what a hideous week. So full of horrific events that a race-based shooting in Kentucky barely crossed the radar.

As Sabin's six-degrees anecdote makes clear, these are real tragedies involving real people. (And we can only imagine what a horror it would have been if any of the Cesar-bombs had detonated.) But there's also a political effect, and, crass as it might be to go there while bodies are still warm, it's hard not to feel that Trump is having his chickens come home to roost at -- for his party -- the most inopportune time.

Because Trump, aligned with Fox et al., had been having some success in making the mainstream press focus on the utterly phony "caravan" story (the NY Times had featured above the fold pictures for two straight days; ABC World News Tonight had been leading with the story every night). It's a non-issue -- a bunch of largely women and children walking on foot are hardly a national security threat -- but the right-wing was elevating it much the same way they bullied the press into worrying Ebola would kill us all in the days leading up to the 2014 midterm. (You may remember: coverage disappeared literally the day after voting.)

The bomber story knocked the caravan completely off the networks, and now the synagogue tragedy will do it to an even greater degree -- in part because this Bowers guy essentially says he did the shooting to stop "rich Jews" from bringing refugees into the country, which happens to be the Fox News canard about why the caravan is happening (George Soros of course prominently cited).

I think horror over these two events not only hurts Republican election efforts by blocking out their preferred (bogus) narratives, but because both of them reinforce a perception already very much out there among Dems, independents and disillusioned Republicans: that Trump is a uniquely awful individual who is doing ugly things to the country and needs to be at least checked, ideally stopped completely.

What will that mean 9 days from now? I presume, after the 2016 experience, everyone is gun shy, and I'm not immune to that. But lots of signs are strong for, at worst, solid Dem gains, with the possibility of a staggeringly positive result very much alive (certainly far more likely than a big GOP comeback). Turnout in early voting is exceptional -- in many places, at presidential-year levels -- and there's at least anecdotal evidence that some long-time Republicans are voting Dem the way they did in the Roy Moore race, for preservation of basic values. All this could be undone by anemic Election Day voting -- it's always possible the early vote is just cannibalizing people who normally wait till Election Day -- but a decent percentage of that early vote seems to be people who didn't vote in 2014 or who are new to voting in general. So, hope springs.

As Magilla suggests, in the early morning hours of November 7th, we'll find ourselves in either a considerably better or considerably worse place. If Dems win big, a statement will have been made that Americans are not okay with the many awful things this minority-president has initiated (and to which his party has consented). If Republicans hold on better than expected (meaning, keep the House, gain in the Senate, minimize gubernatorial losses), a different statement will have been made to the world: that we are either okay with Trumpism, or rendered (via gerrymandering/voter suppression etc.) impotent to do anything about it.

The primary question is, how much Jameson's will I need to consume between now and then to get through?


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