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November 16, 2018

Comments

If someone could explain what the U.S. could plausibly prosecute Julian Assange for I'd be willing to listen.

maybe they think he conspired with whoever hacked the DNC emails?

So, via the AP:

Judge: White House must immediately return press credentials of CNN's Jim Acosta .

I suppose that could be it. I guess I'm thinking the Pentagon is still mad at him for releasing the unflattering Chelsea Manning videos.

The triumph of American exceptionalism:
https://xkcd.com/2073/

In a related item, I note that the long-standing metric for automobiles of the time to go from 0 to 60 mph has morphed into 0 to 62 -- essentially 0 to 100 kph. ;-)

As with liter bottles of drinks, the metric system is gradually creeping into everyday American life. And the culture wars folks either aren't noticing or have given up the fight.

Judge: White House must immediately return press credentials of CNN's Jim Acosta .

Note that the judge is . . . a Trump appointee. (Do you suppose this will make Trump decide to abandon the Federalist Society vetted list for something else?)

We should just redefine a pound as an American Kilogram. Heck. We did it with football.

Not content with praising lynching previously, the GOP candidate in the Senate run-off in Mississippi offers up this:

they remind me that there’s a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who maybe we don’t want to vote. Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. And I think that’s a great idea.
Got that? It should be made more difficult for her opponents to vote.

The definition of a gaffe: saying outloud something that pretty much everyone knows is true, but you are supposed to be denying.

lock her up

In other news, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, commenting on Acosta:

There must be decorum at the White House.

Quite possibly the funniest thing said by anyone in the administration since Trump's inauguration.

hopefully whoever gets the WH in 2020 will have functioning shame receptors

"We should just redefine a pound as an American Kilogram"

If someone gave Trump a bathroom scale marked in kilograms, he'd be all over it.

For certain interpretations of "all over it".

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a25170298/mike-lee-civil-war-federal-highways-education-funding/

Bring it on, Lee and the vermin federalist society.

Killing millions of republicans in the full scale civil war they long for in every state and street in this country is how I want to spend the rest of my life on this Earth.

Damn, Count, you're scaring me. And I'm a partition-is-likely guy.

You mean Lee is scaring you, right?

I am finding it hard to distinguish some comments on this board from what I read about GAB or whatever the Pittsburgh guy posted on.

I'm in Pittsburgh at the moment.

A United States Senator predicts and threatens violent Civil War if he and the Federalist Society, which is now staffing all of the courts in the land, don't have their way, including getting rid of the interstate highway system, social security and Medicare, and a nothing like me is the dangerous one?

Elections stolen and I'm the fucking crazy one?

A lot of video will need to be doctored to make me the bad guy.

Nearly all republicans, including the crazy murderers they send out to murder their enemies, own weapons.

Grover Norquist, among the many filth, have made the point numerous times over the past three decades that they will use their weapons to kill government.

I don't.

I'm as dangerous as the Jews the republican gunman murdered in the synagogue in my hometown.

Poisonous rhetoric not only infects others, but also makes anyone who is ever connected with this board 'responsible' for what you way.

I am out.

To rant or not to rant: that is the question.
Whether tis nobler in the blogosphere to suffer the tweets and gabs of right-wing fascist gobshites, or to take keyboard to a gang of actual criminals and by imitating denounce them.

Alas, poor Count: RWNJs have a copyright on threats and instigations of violence. The only moderate thing to do is respect their intellectual property.

We have to wait until they learn to make proper bombs before we even mention that maybe, possibly, after obtaining their consent, we should take the liberty of tut-tutting at them and threatening a strongly worded letter to follow.

--TP

Tony P.

'Killing millions of republicans in the full scale civil war they long for in every state and street in this country is how I want to spend the rest of my life on this Earth.'

This is not a rant, this is a threat.

Hell, jrudkis, you are a valued contributor here.

You could issue an ultimatum that either I'm banned or you are out of here.

I would happily give way to keep you here.

You stay. I'll go.

Count,

Thanks.

To be honest, I have generally avoided reading your posts for as long as I have been here. Your posts are often, impossible to ignore, but long so I can scroll.

I will not be a constant presence here, so in no way can I replace you. I do not think you should leave so I can stay.

I think you are wrong to give conservatives ammunition with your rhetoric. No one here intends to use violence. If any one here happens to be in a position to make change, they may be poisoned by the words posted here.

How can we condemn racist violent posts, and condone yours?

I've been around, but been a bit busy, but the latest kerfluffle has me doing my version of the Top Gun's I feel a need for speed, which is I have it up my arse, the need to parse...

At any rate, the Count wrote:
Killing millions of republicans in the full scale civil war they long for in every state and street in this country is how I want to spend the rest of my life on this Earth.

That part in bold is the key for me. If the repubs don't want this, the count's 'threat' disappears. (I put threat in scare quotes because I sure as hell don't think what he writes is the same as what Jeffrey Clark wrote.)

jrudkis equates the count with what he read about GAB or whatever the Pittsburgh guy posted on. Perhaps he hasn't been attending the discussion, but I believe that the Count knows not only Pittsburgh, but the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, which was where the shootings took place. In fact, I'm not positive, but it seems like the count is within a few degrees of separation of some of the victims. So, reading between the lines, I'd say that comment hit a nerve. So he lets loose with his reply.

If I'm reading this right, I'm not really willing to ban the count because jrudkis didn't like his reply. On the other hand, I'm really hoping that jrudkis doesn't follow thru on his ultimatum because he is a valued member here.

At any rate, that's my attempt to try and answer the last question

How can we condemn racist violent posts, and condone yours?

Count's post while violent, wasn't racist. And if my reading is correct, the Count isn't starting anything, he's simply saying he's going to finish it. That might not make a difference to some, but it does to me.

Furthermore, if there is a conservative who wants to use the words of the Count (or the words of some other figure, such as Eric Holder) without reference to the words that constantly spill out from Republicans high and low, it is, it seems to me, a prima facie case of bad intentions. This is not to accuse jrudkis of bad intentions, but I tend to agree with what Hillary said, which is

"you cannot be civil with" the Republican Party because it "wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about."

I don't think anybody wants the count banned. I feel comfortable saying that nobody at all wants jrudkis to leave.

the count has been here longer than almost anybody. longer than me, for sure. that's a long time, more than ten years. maybe 15? yikes.

If anyone other than the count posted the kind of stuff he posts, that person would be out of here in about a second and a half. That doesn't happen to the count because of his history here, and basically because of the affection we all hold for him.

But the violent language of his posts of the last few years put all of us in a difficult position.

Why does the count get to do this? Nobody else would.

How can we condemn the violent rhetoric of the Gab and Breitbart crowd, but tolerate similar language from the count?

we know the count, so we know he's unlikely to actually kill anybody. but it's a quandary.

net/net, it would be really really really helpful if the count would lay off the bloodthirsty language. to all of us.

WRS

I skip much of what count writes, mostly the takeoffs on links I know I wont read.

I do read his longest stuff, prose designed to express an emotional POV. It is often a powerful affirmation of the collective fear and anger on the left. It oddly comforts me that they are as afraid of my leaders as I am of theirs.

The most violent stuff makes it hard to read, I had the same reaction to Bobby Seale and Malcolm X as I recall.

My only complaint is that the more individually specific the threat, the less meaningful it is.

I think the Count operates under the reasonable expectation that the very small collection of mild-mannered, at least semi-nerdy people here aren’t going to act on his performance art, which is based on factual grievances, rather than looney conspiracy theories. Not that I’m opposed to his toning it down a bit, but the context here isn’t one of self-reinforcing nuttery among a bunch of socially isolated, gun-hoarding kooks. I don’t buy the equivalency one little bit.

who you callin "semi"?

At least!!!

But the violent language of his posts of the last few years put all of us in a difficult position.

I respectfully demur. Furthermore, he is a damned good writer.

You have to remember, they will not lose gracefully.

Well the GOP losers have been much more gracious than the Dems from what I've seen.


I have been dismayed by the number of instances this time where a candidate -- some winning, some losing -- sued, and the relief sought was effectively "stop counting ballots that were properly cast." In Utah, Mia Love's case was dismissed with prejudice, with the judge writing, "...the Love Parties failed to point the Court to a single statute, rule or case that would entitle them to any of the relief sought in the Petition." The relief sought was to stop counting ballots in the populous county where Ms. Love's opponent drew most of his support.

I can understand a certain amount of frustration in some states. Lookin' at you, California. You've apparently got considerably more revenue than anticipated, and are very largely a vote-by-mail state already. Why not take the last step and buy the hardware and software to automate most of the counting and speed things up?

I respectfully demur.

I should probably qualify that.

I, personally, have no particular problem with the count's posts.

As a 'front-pager', I have some nominal responsibility for what gets posted here. Although honored more in the breach then otherwise, we actually do have posting rules, and the count's posts consistently violate them.

So, it places me, personally, in what I find to be a difficult position. I.e., we afford the count special treatment, due to his position of long-standing here on ObWi, and because we like him. But that's not a privilege we extend to basically anybody else, and that seems unfair.

In general, folks don't seem overly disturbed by it, so we just let it be. But sometimes, folks object, for any of a variety of perfectly valid reasons.

I'd appreciate it if the count would tone it down, not because his posts offend me personally, but because nobody else gets to color outside the lines to quite the same degree, and it is sometimes awkward to look the other way.

And, it sometimes prompts contributors like a jrudkis to say "Maybe I should get out of here".

Which I think we all agree would be highly regrettable.

That's pretty much where it's at. From my point of view, anyway.

In any case, nobody's getting banned today as far as I can tell, and hopefully jrudkis is still here, because we appreciate pretty much everything he has to say.

As you were. Carry on.

It oddly comforts me that they are as afraid of my leaders as I am of theirs.

Except for two things. First, I don't think for a minute that right wing advocates of violence (including Senator Lee) qualify as "your leaders", Marty. You may end up defending them, but I don't see you actually following them. Too sane by half.

Second, and similarly, I don't see the likes of Bobby Seale or Malcolm X as leading the liberals here. Again, some of them defend some of their positions. But follow were they lead? No.

I don't think either Bobby Seale or Malcolm X would see (or would have seen) themselves as liberal leaders either.

Analogies can be tricky.

I was comparing them to the count....in most positive way.

Lookin' at you, California. You've apparently got considerably more revenue than anticipated, and are very largely a vote-by-mail state already. Why not take the last step and buy the hardware and software to automate most of the counting and speed things up?

It is automated. Ballots are scanned at the polling place. The chip from the scanner (and the ballots) gets transported to the county seat by sneakernet -- because none of the voting machines is Internet enabled. Avoids issues with hacking. ;-) Getting the polling places closed up, and the results on their way takes (took, last week) about 45 minutes. Driving the chips in takes up to an hour, depending on traffic.

What holds up the final count in California is 1) checking that the name (and address) on the vote-by-mail envelope is for a registered voter, and confirming that the envelope got signed, as required by law.** And then opening the envelope without damaging the ballot so much that the automated scanners can't process it.

2) Again by law, ballots in California get counted if they are postmarked by Election Day. Which means we have to wait until Saturday after Election Day before we know that we even have all the ballots in hand.

The delays with absentee/vote-by-mail ballots aren't about lack of automation at all.

Provisional ballots are a different story. A few of those are people who showed up at the wrong polling place. Their ballots get checked against the register from their correct polling place, to be sure that they didn't vote twice, then counted just as if they voted in the right place. (We even swap the handful who managed to show up in the wrong county -- amazingly, it does happen -- so at least their votes on statewide contests can be counted.)

But the vast majority of provisionals are people who signed up to vote by mail, and who didn't bring their vote-by-mail ballot along to the polling place to turn in (which a lot of people do). Those, for obvious reasons, can't be counted until the deadline for mail-in ballots to be received rolls around. Again, to check against voting twice. (To be clear, what very few examples of that we see are almost entirely people who simply forgot that they mailed in their ballot already. Sigh.)

** For the benefit of those living elsewhere, while it is required that the envelope be signed, we don't resort to the nonsense of having a bunch of laymen "verify" the signatures.

Two separate and distinct points being made in one comment, if I’m reading Marty correctly. But easy enough to mistakenly mush together.

I'd appreciate it if the count would tone it down, not because his posts offend me personally, but because nobody else gets to color outside the lines to quite the same degree, and it is sometimes awkward to look the other way.

And, it sometimes prompts contributors like a jrudkis to say "Maybe I should get out of here".

Which I think we all agree would be highly regrettable.

I agree with all of this. Like hsh I too reject any equivalence between the Count's pieces and those of GAB etc. But FWIW, I think that although he is a brilliant, witty and impassioned writer, his violent rants are the least successful and (please forgive me Count) the most self-indulgent of his pieces. Almost all of us here are in basic agreement with his general viewpoint (and in huge sympathy with his despair at current developments), and his surreal flights can be awe-inspiring, but in my opinion the sometimes endless violent rants evoke what otherwise he is utterly incapable of producing: boredom. I understand that this will be an extremely unpopular view with many I respect, especially the Count, but so be it.

It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.

@wj, are signatures checked manually or by machine? Here, the bar code on the return envelope sent to me is used to access the copy of my signature in the database, and the machine compares them. IIRC, manual checks only happen (a) when the computer declares a mismatch, (b) on a random subset of accepted signatures as an ongoing audit of the machines, and (c) people casting an in-person ballot. Because registered voters have to opt out annually in order to vote in person, relatively few do. By a few hours after the polls close, everything's been counted except the last-minute odd cases.

AZ, which I know isn't you, admits that it takes them a long time to count their ballots because 75% or so of their ballots are handled by an 80s-era absentee ballot system that was designed to handle a few tens of thousands of ballots, not the millions that they have today.

The Count has a sense of humor, which is the basic ingredient of sanity. I do not worry that he will start imitating the grimly humorless fascists, Nazis, and Confederates who mail pipe bombs, gun down worshipers, and howl "Lock her up!" at their mob rallies.

If I thought there was any chance that some RWNJ somewhere would be frightened by the Count's "threats" I might feel a twinge of sympathy for that poor, race-baiting, vote-suppressing, press-bashing lil' ole RWNJ.

As it is, I think the Count's blood-curdling proclamations that amount to "Go ahead, punk, make my day" serve to remind us that there are actual punks out there.

--TP

Michael, I believe the comparison of the information on the ballots to the polling place registry is done manually. Signatures are not checked in the sense of being compared to anything; what is checked it the existence of a signature on the envelope.

Why are the polling place registries kept manually? Because every hour or so a copy, including who has voted, is posted outside the polling place. So that those working GOTV efforts can see which of their voters have voted and which have not.

Plus there's the detail that in-person voters are required to sign in when picking up their ballots. I don't know about you, but my experience has been that the various electronic signature pads in use are extremely difficult to use. At least in the sense of writing anything that even slightly resembles by signature.

I don't know the exact date of the counting machines we use (most in use for this past election are Dominion ImageCast Central v. 5.2.0.707, but each county can select their own from a list of those approved by the Secretary of State). However I believe they are circa 2017.

We seem to be getting along, so I'm a bit hesitant to post this, but if Marty is referring to Rich Lowry's tweet, here's a rejoinder to that

https://www.thenation.com/article/stacey-abrams-georgia-voting-rights/

via LGM

I'm feeling a bit better since the election. Particularly this.

I hate these people (yes, the h word), but I'm hoping that working hard, nonviolently, for democracy is still the best way out of this mess. For now, I believe that. I sure hope that Democrats can find a way to avoid the circular firing squad for a change. I'm trying to ignore the anti-Pelosi freakout.

That link is rather cheering, sapient. Thank you!

I am once again amused that lj thinks I must have read my opinion somewhere.

I listened to Abrams speech and Gillum refusing to concede even though all the countings over. Plus a few others, not sure I know who Rich Lowry is.

Hi Marty, given that you didn’t list any names, it’s pretty rich to complain but I’m assuming. And apparently you do you have the same opinion as rich Lowry, regardless of whether you know who he is or not, so the link basically puts paid to your notion The fact that you never give any names or links leads me to assume that you just don’t have the courage to post the actual names. You’re welcome to prove me wrong anytime you’d like.

But don’t worry, I’m sure Abrams and Gilliam are just being uppity…

I wasnt complaining lj, I was amused. I had no issue so I named some names.

There is nothing gracious about how either accepted the results.

Marty would be gracious as all hell to someone who picked his pocket. He would concede that his money was stolen fair and square. He would wish the pickpocket well and assure the Very Serious People that he will "work with" the pickpocket to "get things done". At least, that's the impression I get from reading Marty's words, for I cannot read his mind. I'm not psychic.

Alternatively, Marty would shout bloody murder if he were in Stacy Abrams's shoes. But I'd hate to think Marty is that hypocritical.

--TP

Marty, what's amusing to me that you choose Abrams and Gillum (and earlier namechecks Bobby Seale and Malcolm X). I'm sure it's just a coinkidink and has nothing to do with "a powerful affirmation of the collective fear and anger..."

I wonder what percentage of the Kemp or DeSantis votes were simply because those voters didn't like black folks. Given the margin of the vote, if you took that percentage, you then have to say that Abrams or Gillium would have to win 50% + x% + 1 to win the election. So anything that is done to reduce the number of base voters for Abrams or Gillum has a larger effect than simply taking those people out of play, I would think.

I thought Abrams’s comments measured, and exceptionally restrained in the circumstances.

She is quite impressive, and I would not be surprised if she is one day President.

Emotionally I am with the count but, as I have stated here repeatedly, my fantasies are more about creative cruelty to the main instigators along the line of 'let them live in the very hell they created for other people as long as possible (death being too good for them)'
Let them walk the streets with a new face, cut/altered vocal cords, stripped of all assets and followed by the spread of nasty rumors about their alleged past and see how they like it.

A news article for wj

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/17/rip-california-gop-republicans-lash-out-after-midterm-election-debacle-1000481

LOS ANGELES — In the wake of a near-political annihilation in California that has left even longtime conservative stronghold Orange County bereft of a single Republican in the House of Representatives, a growing chorus of GOP loyalists here say there’s only one hope for reviving the flatlining party: Blow it up and start again from scratch.

This also is interesting:
https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-crucial-significance-of-lucy-mcbaths-win-in-georgias-sixth-congressional-district
The 2017 race became the most expensive House contest ever, costing some fifty-five million dollars. McBath’s campaign spent $1.2 million, but she improved on Ossoff’s margin by more than two points...

There is nothing gracious about how either accepted the results.

Nothing particularly gracious about any aspect of those specific races.

At this point, Gillum has conceded not once, but twice.

I did see that this morning hsh. Fine concession.

My point, hopefully, doesn't get lost that in these elections there is no evidence that Republicans are less likely to accept the results.

There is nothing gracious about these races applies to a lot of them. But there is no evidence that Republicans wont accept an election loss.

I pointed to those two races as evidence that Democrats have issues and can be acrimonious also. We could just point to Bill Nelson and Rick Scott to see both sides can be asshats.

"But there is no evidence that Republicans wont accept an election loss."

So you don't recall the MN Senate outcome (Coleman vs Franken) in 2008?

SURE, GOPers are ever so gracious in concession. Except when they aren't.

Selective vision/memory is a hell of a drug.

Both sides CAN be "asshats". Only one "side" makes a habit of it.

There is NO equivalence between the un-graciousness of refereeing your own race and calling foul on the "winner" for refereeing his own race. There is NO equivalence between cozying up to racists and being called out for cozying up to racists.

When russell says "Nothing particularly gracious about any aspect of those specific races" he is being generous to a fault.

--TP

But there is no evidence that Republicans wont accept an election loss.

does inventing millions of fraudulent voters to explain a loss counts as not accepting?

cleek, no. And as far as I can tell Dems never lose an election. There is always a reason they really won, an excuse or an accusation of cheating. Up to and including that the election system itself should be scrapped.

Marty: as far as I can tell Dems never lose an election.

President Obama: "It was a shellacking."

He, Trump:

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you very much. Please, thank you.

It was a big day yesterday. An incredible day. And last night, the Republican Party defied history to expand our Senate Majority while significantly beating expectations in the House for the midtown and midterm year. We did this in spite of a very dramatic fundraising disadvantage driven by Democrats’ wealthy donors and special interests, and very hostile media coverage, to put it mildly. The media coverage set a new record and a new standard.

We also had a staggering number of House retirements. So it’s a little tough. These are seats that could’ve been held pretty easily, and we had newcomers going in, and a lot of them worked very hard. But it’s very difficult when you have that many retirements.

We held a large number of campaign rallies with large, large numbers of people going to every one — and to the best of my knowledge, we didn’t have a vacant or an empty seat; I’m sure you would have reported it if you spotted one — including 30 rallies in the last 60 days. And we saw the candidates that I supported achieve great success last night.

As an example, of the 11 candidates we campaigned with during the last week, 9 won last night. This vigorous campaigning stopped the blue wave that they talked about. I don’t know if there ever was such a thing, but could’ve been. If we didn’t do the campaign, probably there could’ve been. And the history really will see what a good job we did in the final couple of weeks in terms of getting some tremendous people over the finish line. They really are tremendous people, but many of them were not known. But they will be known.

When you live on a planet where water flows uphill, it's Democrats who "never lose elections".

--TP

Thanks, lj. That article pretty much echoes what I've been saying (here and elsewhere) about the California GOP for years.

“It is completely unfathomable ... for a Republican nominee to run on building a wall,’’ said Madrid**, a nationally recognized expert on Latino voting trends who noted that the party has spent 20 years trying to extricate itself from the damage done by Prop. 187, the anti-illegal immigration ballot measure that eviscerated Latino support in the state. “And everyone acts like it’s normal ... Cox was running on that, in California. Are you out of your mind?”
As the article also notes, we're "talking about a party where 77 percent of Republican likely voters in California are white. And the population that’s white here is 39 percent."

Unfortunately, as the article also notes, the folks currently in charge have no apparent desire to change. Sigh.

** Incase you missed it, this is a long-time GOP political consultant . . . who last year was advising a Democratic candidate for Governor. Due, I suspect, do the total lack of viable Republican candidates.

See also https://calmatters.org/articles/commentary/my-turn-gop-is-dead-in-california-a-new-way-must-rise/

Republican principles used to be about helping other people. We believed in lifting people up out of poverty by giving them robust and free economic opportunities and by providing a world-class education. We stood for giving people the freedom to run their own lives and businesses without undue government interference.

We welcomed people from all over the world who sought to live the American Dream and contribute to the economy and society. They could be secure in knowing that they would not be persecuted for who they are and that they could build strong families and vibrant neighborhoods.

Unfortunately, tragically, that is not the Republican Party promoted by President Donald Trump and his brand of national politics today.

This from a woman who has spent her whole adult life in Republican politics.

Re the Republican retirements... A contributing factor, at least for the House, is the changes the Republicans made back in the 1990s regarding committee chairmanships. When the Republicans hold the majority and assign chairs, those positions are term-limited. The main purpose was to create opportunities for younger members. Eg, Paul Ryan at age 48 has chaired Budget, Ways and Means, and then backed into the Speakership. Chairs get a lot of perks: better offices, more staff, the responsibility for writing any major legislation on that subject, more attention from the media. Certainly for some, the prospect of a pension and a part-time pundit gig is going to look quite attractive compared to returning to back-bencher status.

Anyone else see the reports that the Cleveland Browns want to interview Condoleeza Rice for head coach?

"Anyone else see the reports that the Cleveland Browns want to interview Condoleeza Rice for head coach?"

I'm sure that she's preparing a pep talk, to be delivered to the players just before the beginning of the season, on how they need to keep a careful watch on the looming threat from The Boston Red Sox.

The lady's got a track record, y'know?

There is always a reason they really won, an excuse or an accusation of cheating.

you do realize your entire party, top to bottom, is dedicated to the fantasy that elections are routinely stolen from them by the votes of invisible hordes of illegal aliens, right?

and, here is, not an accusation of cheating, but a description.

Rep. David Lewis, a Harnett County Republican and House redistricting leader, said at a meeting that he wanted the maps drawn “to give a partisan advantage to 10 Republicans and three Democrats because I do not believe it’s possible to draw a map with 11 Republicans and two Democrats.”

in this last election, the Dems got 48.4% of the vote, but won only those three seats Mr Lewis allowed them to win. mind you, that's 48.4% despite not even running a candidate in one of those 13 districts.

these districts have been deemed illegal by courts, twice, but couldn't be changed in time for the election.

you think this is the way things should be? you wouldn't complain?

bullshit.

does inventing millions of fraudulent voters to explain a loss counts as not accepting?

cleek, no.

all-righty then!

The most significant difference between the parties on this topic, IMO, is that (D)'s don't try to keep people from voting. (R)'s do.

I'm not sure that "graciousness" is the correct response to that.

And that uses up all of my "let's talk about both sides!" tickets for today.

They could be secure in knowing that they would not be persecuted for who they are and that they could build strong families and vibrant neighborhoods.

doesn't sound like any GOP i've ever known.

Trump channels Chili Palmer.

Also, we need to rake our forests. Like the Finns do.

80% of the trees in Finland are conifers. Just saying.

The truest thing ever said about Donald J Trump was Marco Rubio's comment that, had he not been born to wealthy parents, he'd be selling wristwatches on the street in Manhattan.

Except it'd probably be Jackson Heights or Flushing, not Manhattan.

A lot of water under that bridge. I just wanted to go back a bit and answer Marty's accusation that I don't think he has an original thought. That is one way of looking at it, but in a glass is half full, I was really hoping that he had glommed on to the 'dems aren't gracious' argument because he had heard it somewhere else. I really don't believe that he sought out Abrams and Gillum's speeches, out of the set of Democrats who lost close elections, and juxtaposed it with McSally (who probably will be appointed to fill McCain's seat, so pissing off half of Arizona by telling them the candidate they voted for would not really be a good strategy) all by his lonesome. To believe that, I'd have to think that Marty was a stone cold racist rather than someone who has been influenced by the constant stream of racism that flows underneath political discourse in the US. Still, if he feels like he needs to cite Bobby Seale (82 years old according to Wikipedia) and Malcolm X (45th anniversary of his assassination coming up in 2020), maybe he did. HIIK.

I suppose it is a bit strange, I'm one who always wants people to own their words and realize that the ramifications of the arguments they make, yet here, I'm saying I don't really believe that Marty came up with this by himself. But honestly, I don't think that you thought of this by yourself, and I think you read too many facebook posts where someone was quoting Kemp, who said Abrams is a “disgrace to democracy”.

I may be wrong, but I don't think you live in Georgia, though I thought you were in the South. But it is important to realize that Kemp's rhetoric has a strategic goal.

https://politics.myajc.com/blog/politics/the-jolt-behind-brian-kemp-push-for-stacey-abrams-concede/ZqFizPsI6vQ59ZCauelI6O/

So let’s get back to the Kemp name-calling: I.e., referring to Abrams as a “disgrace to democracy” and some sort of electoral burglar. That’s not the patient language of a campaign that’s comfortable in its victory. Confidence does not shine through in that kind of phrasing.

We can rule out some motives. As the Florida governor’s contest has reminded us, concessions are not binding. They are political statements, not legal ones.

Nor, we hope, is this about Kemp wanting to be addressed as “governor-elect” in the media for the next eight weeks. If he’s due the title, that will come soon enough.

We can also rule out that the Kemp campaign is actually trying to pressure Abrams to do something she’s not inclined to do. A campaign that implies that a female African-American opponent is consorting with an armed “Black Panther Party” only 24 hours before Election Day can’t seriously believe it has increased its persuasive hold on her a week later.

But Kemp’s hostility does have much to do with Stacey Abrams and whether she continues as a cause celebre among Democrats.

There is the longer-term threat she might pose to U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., who is up for re-election in 2020.

But more immediately, there’s the question of whether Abrams and her turnout machine can dispense with a Democratic jinx and help John Barrow win his statewide Dec. 4 runoff against Republican Brad Raffensperger.

Clearly, Abrams recognizes the importance of controlling the office of secretary of state. And Republicans are very worried about their misfire last Tuesday in the populous northern suburbs of metro Atlanta. One of your Insiders has more details here.

Kemp’s not trying to persuade Abrams to concede. He’s trying to make sure that his own people don’t stand down -- and that hers do.

speaking of graciousness, there is also this.
https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/gop-seeks-last-ditch-laws-in-states-where-its-power-slipped

I do wonder, how large a Democratic majority is required, to overturn Cleek's Law?

GOP keeps vetoing that, at every opportunity.

cleek: doesn't sound like any GOP i've ever known.

Ah, youth!

Actually, the California GOP used to be quite like that. Not just when Earl Warren was Governor, but even when Ronald Reagan was Governor -- which, admittedly, was before Nixon's "Southern Strategy" came along. And even then the GOP here (can't speak for the rest of the country) didn't really get serious about bigotry-based suicide until the early 1990s.

wj: ... the GOP here ... didn't really get serious about bigotry-based suicide until the early 1990s.

So WHY did the CA GOP "get serious" about that? What drove them to it?

Maybe the Dems had fucked things up? But even if so, why did the GOP feel compelled to go big on bigotry? Did Republicans worry that they needed just that extra little dash of racism to beat the Democrats who supposedly fucked things up?

What made bigotry the New Idea (TM) that the GOP brought to the table?

--TP

Did Republicans worry that they needed just that extra little dash of racism to beat the Democrats who supposedly fucked things up?

In a word, yes. Although perhaps not so much the last 4 words.

Governor Wilson, running for re-election in 1994, embraced a harsh anti (illegal) immigrant proposition (Prop 187). The Democrats hadn't been messing things up . . . for the simple reason that they hadn't been in charge.

He did win. But the Republicans haven't won since, either the Governorship** or the Presidential Electoral votes. This after having been solidly Republican for half a century or more.

** From 1943 thru the end of Wilson's term, if you were Governor of California and not named Edmund G Brown, you were a Republican. Since? Nope.

Well, 1994 was the Gingrich revolution, so I'd argue that Wilson's push was part and parcel of a larger Republican effort. 1994 was also the year the The Bell Curve came out so there was something in the water, methinks.

Googling found this article
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/how-the-clinton-gingrich-years-became-the-good-old-days-republicans-revisit-1994/2018/01/02/a98ed2ae-dc2b-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.84d63d29c9a0

which had this anecdote

Wamp: I told you the real corrupt way they defeated my son [in a Republican primary] for Congress with a Photoshopped picture of him burning the U.S. passport because he said in the debate we should not deport 11 million people. [The incumbent] sent it to every Republican voter in the district. This is Weston Wamp's position on immigration. He barely lost. But that's the kind of rancid politics that we see today in America.

A little more googling pulled up this
https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/opinion/freepress/story/2014/jul/29/congressman-is-this-the-best-youve-got/262966/

What this has me thinking is that if this the sort of thing Republicans use against each other, is it any wonder that the stuff they pull out about people on the other side?

While I am also outraged at Kemp’s behaviour, there is some merit in this argument:
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/11/georgia-stacey-abrams-brian-kemp-election-not-stolen.html

Raking America great again...
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46256296


Funnily enough, they don't rake the Canadian forests, either.

and now those California conservatives...


https://www.vox.com/2018/11/19/17841946/trump-conservatism-california-gop-shapiro-midterms-2018

Conservative podcast host Michael Knowles — a trained actor and native New Yorker who got his start in politics working on a Republican campaign his sophomore year at Yale, and who wrote a best-selling book called Reasons to Vote for Democrats: A Comprehensive Guide (the pages inside the book are largely blank) — told me that California conservatism was more of an “anti-ideology,” one largely based on kulturkampf, not policy.

yes, i know.

On kulturkampf, see Scalia's dissent in Romer v. Evans.

Cleek, I think the critical bit if that article may be this:

To understand this apocalyptic approach to politics, you need to understand the recent history of California conservatives. As Kesler told me, “The experience of seeing California go from a solidly Republican, Reaganite state to a very solidly Democratic state — so solid that the Republicans are virtually an endangered species in statewide offices — that experience has been very sobering for a whole generation of California conservatives, and that has helped, I think, to create a separate consciousness.”
It bears noting that California in 2018 isn't drastically different in its overall ideological views from California in 1970 (when Reagan was being reelected Governor). Some evolution, of course, but not notably more than anywhere else in the country.

What changed was actually the Republican Party. As its candidates went more xenophobic and further right, voters went away. All those moderately conservative folks, including me, are still here. We just don't see a lot of people like us on the GOP ticket. The moderate conservative candidates on offer are, like my state senator, mostly running as Democrats. It's become something of a death spiral.

So while the author may think that California conservatives have found the experience of becoming an electoral irrelevance sobering, the evidence shows otherwise. They are still drinking the KoolAid that the state has changed, not them. Routinely I hear complaints that it's all about "white flight" from California due to rampant socialism. Even though the actual policies of the state government aren't particularly different from what they were in the 1980s.

The closest thing we have to a big government / socialist folly is Governor Brown's determination to build a high speed rail line thru the Central Valley. Which, since it doesn't go anywhere near any of the major destinations here at the northern end (not sure how well it does near LA), means it will never acquire the ridership needed to put it on a par with such trains elsewhere in the world. But other than that? Not much.

Also this

While the number of registered Democratic voters in California hasn’t changed much in recent years, the number of registered Republicans has dropped by 10 percent, and might be surpassed by the number of registered independents by the November midterms. Currently, Democrats hold a 19 percent advantage over Republicans in California.
Tells you everything you need to know about what's really changed.

Because we all need some occasional amusement
https://mobile.twitter.com/markzbarabak/status/1063252097418723329

I was going to critique the Salon article that Nigel linked to at 1:15 AM, but my man Charlie Pierce beat me to it.

Mark Twain had it right: "Let us call a spade a spade, instead of coldly symbolizing it as a snow shovel."

--TP

Maybe we won't be hearing "Lock her up!" so much anymore.

A high-speed LA to SF rail line is in the "really kewl!" category, but IMO doesn't make a lot of sense.

Better to rebuild the Acela corridor, where there's an existing ridership base and the distances are less. The NYC to BOS link in particular could use some faster connection.

Even better to follow the example of France and Japan, and build the high-speed rail lines starting 30 years ago.

"Quick! To the Time Machine!"

Better to rebuild the Acela corridor...

As the LA to SF line is being built with California's dollars, they are probably reluctant to spend the money in the Boston to DC stretch. OTOH, spending the $70B+ on local light rail would let them connect a lot more places that people want to go, and would likely put a lot more butts in train seats than the high-speed line would.

As the LA to SF line is being built with California's dollars, they are probably reluctant to spend the money in the Boston to DC stretch.

Selfish...

endless violent rants evoke ... boredom

GFTNC speaks for me in this.

When the Count is at his angriest, I go read other things for a week or two.

A high-speed LA to SF rail line is in the "really kewl!" category, but IMO doesn't make a lot of sense.

A high speed line that actually went to SF (or San Jose, aka Silicon Valley) might make good sense. The big problem is that this one ends 75 miles east of San Francisco. Which makes no sense at all.

As the LA to SF line is being built with California's dollars, they are probably reluctant to spend the money in the Boston to DC stretch.

Well if those were red states between DC and Boston, it would be a routine case of Federal dollars from blue states going to red states. But since they aren't....

On the other hand, a little fast action might get a high speed DC to Atlanta line done. If it gets funded before too many people notice that Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia are in the process of turning blue.

Acela, take me to the place i love. take me all the way.

Passenger rail, highspeed or otherwise, occupies a nitch between automobiles and airplanes. If autonomous vehicles become a thing, that nitch may come close to vanishing. And light rail and subways aren't exempt. Uber and Lyft are already cutting into their ridership. Autonomous vehicles would have a much greater impact.

A high-speed LA to SF rail line is in the "really kewl!" category, but IMO doesn't make a lot of sense.

That seems weird.

I agree that the NE corridor could use some major upgrades, but hopefully it's not an either/or proposition.

And unless you think that the NE corridor is literally the *only* place in the US where HSR makes sense - which is silly - then CA is near the top of any list you could make of other places that could really use one.

The CA regional air market is actually several times larger than the DC-NY-BOS corridor - probably in large part because the air infrastructure in CA is bearing a lot of the extra load created by the missing rail system. The potential ridership base is certainly there.

I suppose it's not "existing", as in the NE, but that's sort of begging the question isn't it? At some point, maybe it should be given a chance to start existing.

From the Economist:


A federal judge in America temporarily overturned an order from Donald Trump that migrants entering illegally from Mexico could not claim asylum. Mr Trump signed the order earlier this month, in response to the “caravan” wending its way from Honduras. Separately, it was reported that troops sent to the border would begin withdrawing this week, before many migrants reach it.
Of course, since both were purely electioneering, the administration may not even bother to push back.

right-of-way issues seem to be causing problems in CA

https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-judge-201801120-story.html

They'd have had far fewer problems if they'd come up the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, along I-5. It's mostly ranch land there, not orchards and farms. Instead, they decided to go up the east side. Not sure why; that does allow service to a bunch of intermediate towns, but how much traffic would involve them is not obvious to me.

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