More gruel
Special election results since Trump

Special election results since Trump

How about something hopeful for a change?

Tuesday was Election Day in several jurisdictions around the country. Results were consistent with what we’ve seen repeatedly in recent months, though a few of the outcomes were particularly eye-popping. Democrats continued their run of surprise wins in Oklahoma of all places, taking two state legislative seats thought to be safely Republican. Democrats also flipped a legislative seat in New Hampshire.

Harry Enten at the predictive site,, tweeted their analysis of the 2017 results so far, and it is pretty stark. Here are the graphics he shared:





  1. 45 is using re-election campaign funds from the RNC to pay for legal bills surrounding the Russian probe.

    On the one hand, this is pretty much textbook corruption that shatters yet another norm of political accountability and fairness. And I doubt the RNC is the only asset he’s tapping, including some that my tax dollars go directly to.

    But it is nice to take a moment to imagine what it would be like if the RNC lacked the funds for midterms and had to sue 45 to reclaim their ‘loans’.

    One could wish. Reality, being more complicated, probably just results in nothing coming of it while the Trump Organization slowly uncovers other windfalls to tap.

    1. >] “But it is nice to take a moment to imagine what it would be like if the RNC lacked the funds for midterms and had to sue 45 to reclaim their ‘loans’.

      Not entirely out of the realm of possibility, tbh. Seriously. I’m sure most here have heard how Bannon’s going all in for Roy Moore in Alabama. Word of mouth has it that McConnell and a lot of Republicans are increasingly worried that if Moore pulls it out (which, if the polling is to be trusted, is looking damn near guaranteed right about now:, insurgents will try to oust Republicans in primaries all across the country.

      If you will, imagine a scenario in which Republicans spend tens of millions of dollars protecting vulnerable incumbents not from Democrats, but from radicals like Moore in Alabama in Arizona, Wyoming, Nevada, etc. For a party that should be looking at a year that could net them a super majority in the Senate, this is the worst-case scenario.

      That aside, as for Moore himself, he’s looking to be a perfect bull in a china shop for Mitch McConnell.

  2. Due to the seriousness and urgency of this looming piece of legislation, I am posting off topic for your information – a comparison by PBS of the current Graham/Cassidy/Heller/Johnson repeal and replace health care bill with the two other failed GOP health care proposals. The difference this time is that McCain is likely to support it. The GOP has ten days from tomorrow to file and pass this piece of legislation using Reconciliation (no Dem votes/51 Repub votes). They insist they think they have the votes.

    Note the following:
    1) The bill will be introduced and heard in a single committee meeting.
    2) The CBO has not scored the bill and it will be heard and voted out of committee without benefit of knowing cost, numbers of those losing health insurance, and how it will be paid for.
    3) There are NO endorsements of this bill and most of the major health organizations have come out in opposition to it.
    4) Paul Ryan has told McCain “If you pass it in the Senate; we’ll pass it in the House”, and T has promised to sign it into law.

    Here are two links for your edification on this topic:

    1. Thanks for posting the links. The Graham-Cassidy bill is truly a disaster. This bill punishes states that attempt to care for their people and rewards states that do not care for their people.

      I have been following this issue,. This measure is far more draconian than anything before. I have contacted both my Senators and Representative, mainly to say thank you for their opposition. I already know how they’ll vote since they are all D’s. But nevertheless I feel that it is helpful to tell them their efforts are noticed and supported. On the other hand one of my Senators, Patty Murray, is one of the leaders in the effort to stabilize Obamacare. GO PATTY!

      As an aside, McConnell is being even more underhanded in departing from the Senate norms in attempting to pass the bill. He is truly as authoritarian as they come and is becoming close to a senate dictator. The Senate has truly become totally dysfunctional under his leadership. I feel he is probably the worst Majority Leader the Senate has had probably since early in the 20th Century and possibly before.

    2. Poop-for-brains Republican senators shut down a bipartisan effort to stabilize the Obamacare insurance markets to offer — once more — legislation that will harm American citizens.

      Block grants to the states are just another way for state legislatures to favor their favorites and disregard the rest of us.

      Surely the next election will turn out these disgusting human beings? Right?

      1. I have one slight disagreement and that is “Poop-for-brains”. Poop has redeeming social value. After being properly treated and stabilized it makes wonderful fertilizer. Even if it is incinerated, the heat can be used for electricity or for other purposes. The methane can be used to supply energy needs. Most of the current crop of Republican Senators have no discernable social value at all. I believe you are disparaging poop.

  3. I did not watch the Emmys, but from reading about Sean Spicer’s reference to crowd size, I don’t see what’s so offensive. It seems to me that he was making fun of his former boss and his obsession with being number one.

    I remember Al Gore was on Leno or Letterman some years back, and he cheerfully reminded the audience that he had “invented the internet.” He was simply making fun of himself.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of political satire, but I don’t see why Spicer’s comments should be treated any differently.

    1. I don’t watch awards shows but who is complaining about Spicer’s speech? I always felt sorry for him and he looked unhappy and beaten down. From pics, he looks much happier now that he’s away from that orange cretin and the madness of the current WH.

      1. My problem with Spencer is that he is still claiming Trump is doing the right things for our country. That he could have taken the beating and insults he did and be in such close proximity to this man and still make these comments is unfathomable to me. Just say nothing.

      1. I was generally aware of the role that Gore played in the development of the Internet, though not the details. I will grant that Gore’s use of the word “created” was poor phraseology. However, that is easy to do when speaking extemporaneously. Nevertheless, this is a primary example of political operatives taking statements out of context and then the media letting them get away with those misstatements (really lies). It is a perfect example of the low quality of journalism prevalent in the US.

        Perhaps being an engineer I am extremely aware of how technological advances move forward. Rarely does one individual invent something. Most major concepts are developed by a team effort. As such all members of the team should get the credit. That is the ethical approach.

        Also, I suspect that many journalists are functionally ignorant of technological development, though they use high technology daily. Accordingly, they will find it only too easy to misinterpret a statement such as Gore’s, that he took the initiative in “creating” the Internet. As the article points out, no one felt that Eisenhower did not take the initiative in “creating” the Interstate Highway system.

      2. Possibly a better choice of words would have been “worked to expand the internet”. It’s really kind of odd, isn’t it, that we should not take T literally but we do take Gore literally. Guess it depends upon who’s spinning the excuses…

    1. That is indeed a problem. For some reason our high school curricula do not cover civics and the other basic provisions of the Government very well. That being said, I have to admit that even though I consider myself relatively well versed in the Constitution, i might have had problems with some of the questions. For example, naming the specific rights guaranteed by the 1st Amendment. And I have a copy of the Constitution on my desk, which I refer to reasonably often.

      But then again, the public is frequently not well informed. I ascribe a lot of that to the emphasis of the media on scandal, he said, she said reporting and sensationalism. There seems to be a limited amount of substantive reporting. Even if there were, many Americans would ignore it.

  4. Sigh, I read this crap and realize that some Dem’s just don’t get it, and are destined to keep on losing. This is the last line from a CNN article discussing Clinton possibly contesting the election results. Not going to discuss that incredibly remote idea, but this line, oh man:

    “even though it’s not clear what that would even entail — is yet another reminder that the 2016 election was unlike any we’ve ever seen before (or likely will ever see again). “.

    Really, REALLY?
    Not planning on fighting something even worse in 2 years?

      1. EJ…the 2020 election WILL be worse, far worse, assuming there is one.

        Here are a few of the areas that will be worse:

        1. The e-war on truth that we witnessed (and witnessing) on the Internet was just a trial run by Russia. The repub party will most definitely set up a parallel shop, which will be far more sophisticated than what is out there so far, and the Russians will certainly ramp up given how successful the first effort was.

        2. Fascism, nationalism, populism, racism, all are gaining strength around the planet (I give you Poland, Hungary, Philippines, U.S., Venezuela, U.K. as a few examples). Even if the puppet tyrant does not run in 2020, the religious fanatic might. Or worse, someone will rise from the muck that is more eloquent, more circumspect, and even more evil than the current leaders. That person could easily win the election against a democrat if they spoke of jobs for the people, lower taxes, a stronger military, all the same stuff as the current madman, but if that person’s behavior was not so reprehensible and if that person had a vocabulary beyond 1000 words. Then, when they get in to power, they can show their true colors.

        3. Voter suppression is gaining steam, not lessening. The latest SC decision on Texas was a signal to all the states under fascist rule that they have carte blanche to wipe as many non-repubs from the voting rosters as they can manage.

        4. And if the above items are not enough, the Diebold machines turn out to be hackable. You think the russians/repubs are not planning on hacking machines in key electoral areas?

        5. Sinclair will almost certainly have completed their takeover of Tribune Media. That is the death knell for local broadcasters controlling content. Sinclair, which is more right-wing than Fox, dictates all op-ed to its local affiliates, and you will see the exact same statements being read from Miami to San Diego to Fairbanks to Boston, all extolling the virtues of the local right-wing candidate.

  5. Whoever said it was too early to start talking about 2020? California says you can take that talk and shove it! Our Golden State fellows just voted to move their primary up a whopping three months, just behind Nevada and S. Carolina.

    Well, I’m sure they were just tired of being ignored as a primary state. It’s not like Cali has a slate of likely presidential contenders waiting in the wings or anything…

    1. Not only is CA tired of being ignored as a primary state; they are also tired of being ignored at the Presidential level and the national level as well. CA is becoming a lot more aggressive politically. That will have some significant ramifications. They do have the sixth largest economy in the world.

      Assuming the primary is moved, there will be serious discussion in WA and OR to move our primaries as well. We could end up going with the same date. WA and OR are not big states, but we do have 19 electoral votes between us. If AZ was to also move the primaries, that would add another 11 EVs. According to preliminary projections using 2016 data, both OR and AZ are expected to add EVs in 2020. CA and WA are expected to stay at the 2010 levels. But considering the amount of growth that is occurring, those projections could change.

      Regardless, the West coast has a lot more power than the national political system tends to realize and a significant bloc of EVs resides in those states and by extension nominating votes for both parties. The West coast is tired of being ignored.

      1. It was a thought in the back of my mind when I saw the original article, but now I have to wonder if this could potentially set off a flurry of states looking to rearrange the primary calendar ahead of ’20. Is only limited to the West coast or will other sections of the country be looking to make similar moves? We shall see.

      2. The West Coast states are leading our nation in many ways. The center of power in elections has always been the East Coast. I’m quite happy letting CA, OR, WA drive the bus for a while. Their economies will benefit and it will shake things up…GOP will need to make some big decisions about spending campaign dollars early in blue states – for a change.!

      3. Ryan, your comment regarding other states changing their primaries is a distinct possibility. I believe CA did try to change their primary a number of years ago and other states moved theirs earlier as well. As you say we will have to wait and see.

        The Politico article was an interesting read.

        Also, I watched the litigation against the DACA repeal unfold. I believe it was carefully coordinated among the Democratic state Attorneys General. First New York and a consortium of other states filed. That consortium included WA. After a few days CA filed in conjunction with a one or two other states. In the meantime several private suits have been filed. The official statement was CA wanted to file independently because they have the largest number of DREAMERS. However, I suspect that CA wanted to use a slightly different legal approach, but also that gets the suits into two of the most important US Circuit Courts, the 2nd and the 9th. Furthermore, it gets the two states with the greatest legal resources both independently pursuing DACA litigation. I am almost certain this approach was carefully coordinated and choreographed to bring maximum pressure on the DOJ. The Democratic Attorneys General have been doing this since the beginning of the Trump administration.

    1. We’ve had a great deal of discussion on this point in Montgomery County, TX. Our sheriff was the first in the state to commit to work with ICE. T awarded (without bid) $110 M for an immigration detention center in the county which will add about 1200 beds in addition to the existing adjacent facility with 1500 beds(Joe Corley Center.) When asked, Congressman Brady said he didn’t know anything about it. nor did the Mayor of the City of Conroe where it was to be built….It’s really upset a lot of people here.

      But, T’s gambit is not working out everywhere, as the WaPo points out.

      One thing is likely certain – it will be litigated. It will likely go to the S.C. and we know what the balance on that court is like. Kennedy being the swing vote is the only wild card.

  6. We all hoped ACA repeal and replace was dead. We hoped the bipartisan efforts of Senators Lamar Alexander (R) and Patty Murray (D) for their HELP plan to gain support to stabilize current health care markets would be successful – offering more time and a better, fairer, more open process to develop a health care proposal that had bi-partisan input and support under regular order. Well, Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy are forging ahead with a full repeal and replace, and their bill is even worse. What’s more, they are close to garnering the 50 votes they need to use Reconciliation in the very narrow 15 day window they have to work with. Here is a link to an executive summary culled by Andy Slavitt, former ACA Director under Obama, from research collected by the Centers for Budget and Policy. It has not yet been scored by CBO. I ask that you read it and share it widely as you think appropriate. Then, please consider making some calls on this to your members of Congress. This is their last ditch effort. Let them know what you think of it. Make the calls, post on their FB pages, websites, send emails, resistbot, whatever, but act. Thank you.

    1. Ignoring rising sea levels, subsidence, and strangling permeable land will not stop it from happening. What will stop it is when the federal government says “NO” to more aid to flooded areas, and when the big re-insurers pull the plug on property coverage they deem too risky. That’s when those who have ignored the problem will begin to listen. Of course, by that time, these low-lying areas will be part of whatever body of water or river that impacts them.

      Already, there are auto insurers in TX who are refusing to write policies for people who live in areas that have historically flooded. Homes will be next. FEMA is running on fumes in paying claims submitted by people who HAVE purchased flood insurance. There is going to have to be some tough love demonstrated and I’ll bet it’s going to come from the big boys who re-insure. Congress has become so inept at governing that I don’t see how they can lead on this or any other issue, but maybe when their homes or second homes flood, maybe, just maybe……..a light will go on.

      1. when the federal government says “NO”

        Judging by the comments to flood stories in the NYT, many tax payers want this to happen.

        Me, I’m about to renew my home insurance for my never-flooded house.

        I guess I’ll find out what the insurance companies are thinking in short order.

      2. It’s already happening, Bobo. The Guardian article below describes what the “big” boys in this market are thinking and doing. FWIW – When I renewed my flood insurance, the agent told me that my property is in zone “X” – which is what all residential properties fall under who are: (1) NOT already determined to be located in a flood zone; or, (2) have recently flooded even if they have been in category “X” until this storm, and flooded “for whatever reason” (There is class action litigation for homes that flooded as a result of the release of water from reservoirs, as opposed to flooding from other waterways, rainfall, etc. That will be an interesting case to follow. As Fly stated, flood insurance is an investment in people’s largest fixed property. It’s smart.

        I did learn some interesting info (which you should confirm with your own agent). If one wishes to add to their flood coverage limits, it can be done by a rider to their regular homeowner’s insurance policy – for both dwelling and contents. If you have “scheduled items”, i.e., art, antiques, equipment, etc, under your regular homeowner’s policy, they would be covered even under a flood situation subject to the amounts set in one’s policy. People need to understand that flood coverage is two-part – home and contents – and that they can be bought/sold separately. Also, renters can get flood insurance and those who wish to can access private flood insurance, although this market is limited.

      3. Interesting contrast of two different viewpoints. Historically, humanity has frequently ignored natural events and that has led to the collapse of several societies. Climate change and the associated rising sea levels could be an example of such. On the other hand, some societies have adapted or are in the process of adapting to increased sea level. The Dutch are an example of adaptation. As Mary points out maybe the costs of sea level rise will provide enough negative feedback, that there will be a significant effort to make the necessary adaptations. I am hopeful that in time there will be enough negative feedback so that corrective action will be taken. Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen at the federal government level in the near term. Nevertheless, many more enlightened state and local governments are taking action.

        Generally, in our system nothing significant takes place until the requirement to do something is so obvious that the inertia of the governmental bodies is overwhelmed. That is particularly true of the federal government. We may be approaching the crisis point on several issues. Healthcare and climate change are among those.

        To me the climate change signals are increasing in urgency. It is becoming obvious in many areas. Sea level rise is one of those. I believe that the oceans have absorbed so much carbon dioxide that they are approaching practical saturation. Likewise the ice packs have slowly been thinning and now they have reached the point where they are beginning to collapse. The Greenland, Arctic, Antarctic and alpine glaciers are all showing signs of rapid disintegration. With the thawing of the permafrost, even more carbon dioxide and methane will be released. This will result in a positive feedback loop.

        Let us hope that there will be enough negative feedback to prompt us to take effective action before there is a catastrophe. I do know that our present administration and several state governments are deep in denial, largely driven by the commercial interests as discussed in the article linked by Dinsdale. hopefully, politically the early signs of an anti-Trump wave in 2018 are predictive.

      4. What I am really suggesting is that those who insure American property insurers are reading the tea leaves on this problem because they don’t want the risk to their bottom line. It won’t matter what government does or doesn’t do, think of owning an expensive property without access to insurance coverage? How many people can assume that risk?

        Obama tried to take some policy steps to impact planning that address flooding, but T rescinded them. Congress (Repubs) have done zip proactively. My money is on the big boys who will finally say, “Game over – you buy it? You self-insure. We’re outta here!”

      5. Flood insurance and the resulting risks are part of the negative feedback loop, which we need. I wanted to keep my comment at a very high level, because we have different situations here in the PNW.

        But make no mistake the PNW is also being impacted by climate change. Our winters have been warmer and wetter and the summers hotter and dryer. Our floods which typically occur in November and December have become more numerous and severe, due to increased intensity of warm rain falling on an early season snowpack and of course logging and development. Our major flooding events result from the remnants of tropical cyclones moving up from Hawaii and the Pacific. Hence, the nickname “pineapple express”. People living in the floodplains are having problems with flood insurance as well. Fortunately, there is a major effort in some areas to restore wetlands and to control unwise development.

  7. We in this group are self-anointed political orphans. The real orphans at this moment are the elected Republicans in the Congress. Where can they go? The “leader” of their party has abandoned them altogether! It was, of course, predictable, but they were blind to this as they basked in their newfound glory, but now they should realize they’ve been euchred, completely.

    But also orphaned, in all likelihood, are those who formed Trump’s “base.” They’ve been had by the Great Charlatan, who will never build a Great Wall, will let those terrible job-stealing immigrants in by the droves, and will never drain the dismal swamp. Politics as usual!!! A plague on all your houses!!!

    The winners in this game? Shumer and Pelosi. The essential swamp rats, who stand to clean house (and senate, too) if they get their folks organized. They’ve got a year to do it. My guess is they’ll put it together and force Trump’s hand. He’ll resign (having achieved a couple of “victories”) and then we’ll see how Pence does with a decidedly minority administration…..and go down to dismal defeat in 2020.

    1. Anyone who tells you they know what’s going to happen to the Republican Party or politics in general is a damn dirty liar, but needless to say they’re in a less than enviable position right now. Being an anti-Obama party for eight years let them attain near unprecedented political power across America and in Congress, and they’ve gotten comparatively nothing for it. Ideologically barren with nothing to offer but tax cuts (and, really, they probably can’t even deliver on that), and having Democrats surging in special elections thus far does not bode well for them in ’18 and beyond.

      Hypothetically, let’s say Dems go into Nov ’18 with anywhere from a 12 to 16 pt advantage. If that happens (and that’s a YUGE “if”), that’s game over. Forget just taking back the House, Democrats will win upwards of 300 seats in such a scenario. Once you get past a certain threshold, gerrymandering’s backlash effect really does put THAT many seats into play. Dems would romp to victory all across the country like that.

      That said, never underestimate Democrats’ ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It’s just about as likely, if not more so, that they fail to take back the House at all.

    2. Chuck and Nancy will be thrown under the bus as well. It’s astounding watching people think that they have this situation under any better control than the Republicans.

      45 has been absolutely consistent on one thing: fucking everything up for everyone else. He’ll fuck up the Democrats that work with him too.

      1. I’ll hope that Chuck and Nancy are savvy enough not to turn their backs on Trump for even a nanosecond. Make no mistake- Trump is in it for Trump. He wants his ego stroked and he wants to take advantage of his position to rake in $. He’ll throw pretty much anybody, Sessions, Pelosi, Ryan, McConnell, Schumer, his base, the dreamers, veterans, coal miners, etc. under the bus if he decides that’s the best way to get a “win”. Maybe even a son or son-in-law if Mueller gets the goods on them.

      2. Politico reports that Chuck and Nancy have their own problems from within their Hispanic caucus who were blindsided by the announcement of an agreement to an agreement on DACA. Of course, I don’t believe for a second that Chuck and Nancy went into that meeting with any idea of coming out of it with T’s offer, but the issue is complex and deserves thoughtful, careful deliberation on a bi-partisan basis. Patches are just more trouble even though I do think that this issue should be able to be split off from comprehensive immigration reform.

        When the democratic political process breaks down, this is what happens – “patch” legislating. Sometimes I guess it’s all you can get but it’s not how it should be done. My hope is that this immigration genie is out of the bottle and won’t be able to be stuffed back again. However, that is no guarantee that we’ll like what happens to her.

      3. Good reference , “Trump Says Jump …..”.

        I hate to say it, but that type of behavior is very consistent with the Authoritarian Personality type. Eric Hoffer came to similar conclusions in his work during the early 1950’s describing “The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements”. He was a fascinating person and was a stevedore on the San Francisco Docks during the 1940’s. For a long period he actually was homeless unless you can call the railroad yards a home. Just a simple ordinary person, who nevertheless was very intelligent and basically educated himself. I somehow found out about him and read most of his books. Google him sometimes and read about him.

  8. I think the Politico article is a really good summary of the DACA situation in particular and more generally the entire immigration situation. As the article states much depends on where Trum ultimately decides to land. A further complication, is that I believe he is really personally conflicted regarding DACA. On the one hand what there is of his good side acknowledges the unfairness of ending DACA. On the other hand the evil Trump with his inherent tendency towards white supremacy tilts towards ending DACA and immediately deporting the DREAMERS. Its like a good angel is whispering in one ear and Satan is whispering in the other ear. I suspect that however much influence he has will prove to be very important. Ultimately, I feel that whichever side finally convinces that DONALD will profit most will win.

    Vanity Fair has had some good coverage of Steve Miller recently. He is without doubt a confirmed white supremacist and racist. The links are below:

      1. Ivanka has shown very little in the way of influencing her Father’s position. Her support for killing the Equal Pay Act and her desire to help wealthy families with childcare demonstrate she is not a person to rely upon for positive influence tones.

      2. Evidently Ivanka hasn’t seen T’s tax returns either (-: Her hubby, Kush, reputedly is more wealthy than T….Who knows? I don’t really care about these people as the lives they lead is unfathomable for me as an ordinary middle class person. It’s surreal.

    1. Trump is not nearly in the moral quagmire that you seem to think he is. Whatever conflicted feelings he has about DACA are completely overshadowed by his desire for a win amidst a hapless Republican majority getting virtually nothing done for him.

      Dr. Strangelove is the most incompetent president in all of American history, but even he must sense the chance for a real, substantive victory here. He will take it, and he likely already has. That it’s about immigration matters less than nothing to him. If he feels his base will come along with him (and by all rights, they already are:, he’s going full steam ahead on this.

      1. Yes – saw that poll…T’s base still want the wall and deportation of the undocumented “except” the kids who had no choice in coming here. Nice that they’re compassionate about something in the immigration issue.

        As for T’s Repub colleagues – they’ve been flummoxed for so long by T that they have become purely reactionary. We have Repub after Repub intoning that they’d like to help the Dreamers and then others who are staunch “get ’em all outta here” types. T has been consistent in his concern for the Dreamers and I’ll bet once he reads this poll (it only takes one, right? I mean the man only has so much time to read….), it’s game over for the Repubs on this issue. They can either get in line or not but what the GOP has effectively done is allow T to take all the credit and tarnish whatever “good” intentions they may have have for DACA.

        Works for me. Dreamers should be naturalized and the GOP can go pout in the corner. Republicans refused to respond to Obama’s pleas to address this issue for his entire term. Well, no more hiding. T wins, they lose, and the Dreamers are “here to stay”. Dems – well, Schumer and Pelosi got out in front on this issue and it will be all over the mid-term campaign ads.

        The best thing (other than the DACA issue finally being resolved) would be if this pushes the GOP to finally address comprehensive immigration. I suspect that if they don’t, T will cut a deal with the Dems who have nothing to lose.

      2. For the Dreamers, my thought is that we are most likely to get legislation through that provides permanent protection for them, but will also include significant boosts in security at the Southern border, but without the wall. The legislation very likely will not include a path to naturalization. I dislike that but as long as the Dreamers have permanent protection, most of them will eventually become citizens. It may take a number of years. Many will marry Americans or will become naturalized by other means. Eventually, there will be other legislation. The important issue is that they will get permanent status. Naturalization seems to to be a red line issue for the GOP, because of the politics.

        Insofar as massive increases in border security, I believe for the most part it will be a waste of money. The Customs and Border Patrol and ICE will get massive increases in staffing, with the real risks of aggravating the roque nature of those agencies. The large defense and government contractors will get huge contracts for electronic security measures and drones. Much of that will be a boondoggle. Nevertheless, these are redletter issues for the GOP. A half a loaf, is better than no bread, not even a slice.

        I am just being practical. I hope I am wrong and there will be a full immigration reform package, with a rapid process towards naturalization for Dreamers and perhaps amnesty for people, including the parents of Dreamers and natural born children, who have been here for many years and have sunk roots into America.

      3. Any immigration deal is going to include heavy new security at the border and tougher employment checks. Both of the previous bills (in 2006 and 2013 IIRC) which had majority support in both houses but got stopped with the pederast (Hastert) rule had it.

      4. Tougher employment rules? They aren’t enforcing the ones they have…..and that’s not accidental. E-verify is selectively utilized except in those industries such as construction, roads, agriculture, heavy labor….Then all the employers who make so much noise to their social circle look the other way. When it’s their bottom line being impacted, it doesn’t seem to be such a big deal…I can see them wanting a stronger wall and related enforcement…jobs, you know…

      5. That may happen again. Ryan is forming a committee that will develop a bill, that can pass the House and conform to the requirements of the Hastert rule. Requiring the E-Verify system without some provision for giving legal status to long term residents and provisions for seasonal labor would kill the bill again. If nothing else the agricultural industry would rise up against the bill.

        We are talking a major immigration overhaul with this approach. A simple bill that just addresses the DACA requirements is the better approach given the partisanship at this time.

        To get a bill through the House might require breaking the Hastert rule. The political situation may be such that the GOP would be committing political suicide if they let DACA expire and began deporting the DREAMERS.

    1. I don’t know what to think. I note the WH is trying to walk back the story. We also know the Trump has a tendency to change his mind depending on his mood and whoever has talked to him last. Also we have to be aware of Steve Miller, who is about as white supremacist as they come. Nevertheless, I give a great deal of credence to Schumer and Pelosi.

      1. I believe T shoots from the hip without any thought to consequences. I further believe that he is more locked into his base than they may be to him. Their main issue IS immigration. Pelosi and Schumer could be smarter about grandstanding even though I understand they’re trying to demonstrate they’re working and trying to get things done for the Dem base, but, T’s ego and intelligence quotient is so riddled with compromise that they should know T has the loyalty of a gnat.

        538 has a good handle on this issue, T, and his base.

      2. It’s ok for him to shoot someone on Fifth Avenue but it’s not ok to help the Dreamers.

        I once joked here that he could give blanket amnesty to illegals and still not alienate his base, they are that loyal, but maybe not. This may be the one thing that costs him his base.

      3. >] “I believe T shoots from the hip without any thought to consequences. I further believe that he is more locked into his base than they may be to him. Their main issue IS immigration. Pelosi and Schumer could be smarter about grandstanding even though I understand they’re trying to demonstrate they’re working and trying to get things done for the Dem base, but, T’s ego and intelligence quotient is so riddled with compromise that they should know T has the loyalty of a gnat.

        538 has a good handle on this issue, T, and his base.

        Actually, I think 538 is looking at this from the wrong angle. Take a look at this:

        78-20 of Trump voters say that if Trump decided to continue DACA, they’d go along with it. How could that possibly be? This is a cult of personality and self-satisfaction. In order to understand it, you have to look at things in tiers of importance. These people are so emotionally invested in the Donnie the Menace that whatever honest antipathy they have towards immigration is nigh completely overshadowed by how good he makes them feel about themselves, however ill conceived that is.

        Will these voters politically scorch any nameless Republican who dares try to be a leader on immigration? Yes. Would they do the same to Trump? They’ll shrug it off and say he’s being the great deal maker they voted for.

      4. I don’t think 538 gets it wrong – it just depends upon who one perceives as T’s “real” base – the one he truly cares about…The poll you linked makes it clear that the Dreamer issue is low hanging fruit on immigration…Repubs – the majority, per the poll, can accept DACA without giving up their hard-line position on illegal immigration. I don’t think we disagree on that. 538 is looking more broadly at the immigration debate, which is what Congress (and T) should also be doing…should have done decades ago (remember “W’s Pathway to Citizenship”? That went nowhere – zip – nada). The problem, however, continued to grow, unabated. If T picks the low hanging fruit – showing compassion for kids who didn’t knowingly immigrate here, he will be forgiven by the majority of Repubs ultimately. The hard core – well, those people turned to blocks of salt a long time ago.

      1. That’s been Longman’s point all along – the nutcase Republican caucus is larger (in both houses) than their majority, so Republicans alone can’t pass anything substantive, even without dealing with the filibuster. This Congress can only pass emergency or bipartisan legislation. Longman has long predicted the Republican leadership will start making deals with the Democrats but I don’t see that happening. There are just too many nuts, especially in the House, and Ryan’s position is too tenuous. My personal conclusion is that the Congress will pass nothing except emergency legislation. We might see a DACA-plus-border-security measure, but that’s emergency legislation now that Trump has established a time limit. Had Trump not canceled the executive order nothing would have happened.

      2. The critical contributions of our appellate courts by issuing stays and rulings that have amended or rejected T’s Ex orders offer a thin wall of protection for our country’s democratic process. Vigilant organizations and individuals have used the tools at hand to try to retain some balance in our system of laws and policies. Here’s the latest:

        Your observation about emergency legislation is apt. E.O. are no substitute for regular order legislating, as Pres. Obama found out and Trump is finding out. Appellate courts are applying a judicial scalpel to current orders that go too far – which is most of them. Still, there is a 5/4 conservative majority on SCOTUS and cases that are accepted on appeal may find a much better chance at that level given the addition of Gorsuch to the bench. This is why it is so critical to have balance in the judiciary. It’s how the framers intended to protect balance of power between the branches of government. The final defense, as it were. With one hundred judicial nominations pending for T to make – and Repubs ready to confirm them – that tenuous balance is imperiled. Many are positions for which Obama made nominations which went nowhere due to GOP obstruction. Our courts are supposed to offer balance between partisan appointments. Mitch McConnell’s blockage of Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland is a tawdry smear on our Constitutional history and a breech of the democratic process. I don’t know if the system will ever be able to function as it was intended nor as it used to. There’s not much to admire in how our nation’s government is operating these days, and deep concerns for the lasting wounds to our democratic institutions and processes. I do pay tribute to those courts which are trying mightily to provide what little protection they can to democracy.

      3. I completely agree with Fair’s comments about emergency legislation. Since DACA relief has now become emergency legislation, i believe it will likely pass. But it will be a huge struggle. The far-right nutjobs in both Houses will likely attempt to insert poison pill clauses in the legislation. Strong leadership will be required to muscle that legislation through. Neither Ryan nor McConnell are strong enough to accomplish that. If they are willing to work with Pelosi and Schumer, respectively, maybe DACA relief legislation can pass. Whether Ryan and McConnell are willing to do that, remains to be seen. I am dubious that Ryan is willing to violate the Hastert Rule to accomplish that. But the optics of letting DREAMERS be deported would be really bad for the GOP, nationally.

        Regarding the judicial branch, it is really sad that the GOP has politicized it and that it has reached its current state.

      4. The Freedom Caucus has been rigid in their immigration stance. The few members of that caucus who have spoken out have not shown any mercy for DACA. Since this caucus has 36 members, and since Ryan promised his colleagues he would only pass legislation using the Hastert Rule (meaning – no Dem votes could be used), I fail to see how DACA reform can be done in the House – even if T cuts a deal with Dems in the Senate. They simply don’t have the votes in the House to pass anything without some defection from Repubs. Guess it could happen…but, lots of sword rattling on this one.

  9. On the theme of good news, the House just said “not so fast!” to greedy lil’ Jeffy Sessions:

    It’s not a law yet, but this is a good start. But I’m still filing it under “blind squirrel finds a nut” until and unless I see more similar beneficial things come out of Congress.

    1. In this case, one has to assume that the blind squirrel is the “nut” ! But, I understand where you’re headed, Fly. T has signaled that he won’t insist on funding the wall in the budget possibly in exchange for DACA…We’ll see where that goes…I think he’s grasping/preparing for the fact that that is not a funding priority for Congress. Greasing the skids, as the old slang phrase goes…

      In a discussion today on NPR, a couple of pundits were discussing tax reform. One observed: The two storms – Harvey and Irma – by themselves, will likely cost half a trillion dollars both to remedy and in lost revenue from business losses, jobs, etc. One of the speakers estimated the cost will comprise one- quarter of the entire federal budget – on its own. And, of course, in the face of a $20 T federal deficit, no “federal Rainy Day Fund” in reserve (not that TX is using its $10B RDF, but, I digress while I gnash my teeth – I mean, Really, Texas?
      You expect Joe Blow in Wasula to pony up $$ for your flood when you’re sitting on $10B in a “RAINY DAY” uh hum Fund?!) The speakers felt that any attempt at tax reform, or tax cuts in the face of these two natural disasters and their huge anticipated cost is going to be a very hard sell to the American people – from both sides of the aisle. These storms may be more difficult for the poor to navigate, but they impacted class and privilege across the board. In sheer numbers, millions have been flooded out, and inconvenienced if not lost significant equity in their principle residential property and business(s). Sure this is isolated (for now) to the southern coastal states, and a couple on the eastern seaboard, but everyone saw this tragedy unfold and knows people who were impacted. It’s not an ideal “tax cut” environment unless everyone is being asked to sacrifice, not a few, benefit.

      Try passing a tax cut for the rich with this backdrop. Now, the GOP lesser gods may prevail and they may say, “screw it, we promised tax cuts and by gosh we’re gonna do it”…and, given their base, they may actually get away with it. After all, millions of southerners are going to be just a tad busy for the foreseeable future so they might not be paying attention – OR – they may be all over this as many finally get a taste of what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck.

      It will be interesting to see what the blind squirrels do and then what the voters do in 2018 in turn.

      1. Harvey caused a lot of damage to homes, outside of traditional flood plains, which are generally going to be owned by the middle class and frequently not covered for flood damage. Likely most of them were following the traditional middle America “path to wealth” – put it all in your house – meaning they are financially ruined. Yeah, there’s going to be some big political repercussions, although it’s not yet clear what.

      1. I don’t mind the law seizing assests connected to criminal activity AFTER they play by the rules and get a conviction, especially when we’re talk km about organized crime. It’s that pesky little “due process” thing the Consittution mentions. Merely carrying around a lot if cash isn’t enough proof of wrongdoing.

        I’d also love to see some major tightening of real estate law concerning $ laundering, but I’m not holding my breath.

      2. That’s the abuse and appropriate use of real estate forfeiture law; however, as I stated, it has gone way afield of due process and fairness.

        With the images and reality of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma before us, I would like to remind all that President Obama in 2015 tried to actually do something about building in flood plains. The very same group that helped bring about The Great Recession in ’08, weighed in this July in the public comment period. They wanted these new housing and infrastructure flood rules to “go away”. T agreed and quietly rescinded Obama’s rule. When business thinks only of profit and resists/obstructs reasonable controls, they need to pay the price. Will they this time?

        I have explored what Texas offers for those homeowners who cannot obtain property insurance through normal channels (for a variety of reasons). The Texas Fair Plan was set up for this purpose. It does not cover flood damage, just regular homeowner’s insurance perils. It is not structured to compete with private property insurance. I have been informed that if claims ever exceed income and reserves, The TFP , like Florida (See WaPo article on FL above) has legal authority to impose a surcharge on all state insurers and access reinsurance. I don’t know what exclusions (wind/hail) might exist such as they do in counties excluded by all insurers. They may offer special riders or not, I didn’t inquire.

        Here’s where I’m headed with this. Mayor Turner has requested a short term tax increase to pay for the huge costs of Harvey – debris removal, infrastructure repair/replacement, etc. He is running into a buzz-saw. Congress has made a down-payment for Harvey relief but has not even dealt with Irma’s initial outreach. We all know the costs will be far greater. How much can or should we expect Congress to appropriate out of federal tax revenue? They have yet to fully fund FEMA! Have proposed major cuts (16% of budget) to NOAA which forecasts hurricanes, and other services, and so forth?

        Natural disasters resulting from climate change or whatever major event (9/11?) have huge costs. How will they be paid for and who will pay for them? And, what bearing should these decisions have upon tax reform, health care, and our basic budget needs? Where is the money going to come from? How should it be shared?

  10. I’m registered Republican. Went to vote in the primary yesterday.

    No Republican had enough signatures to get on the ballot in my city district. The GOP candidate for mayor doesn’t even have enough signatures and campaign financing to qualify for the debates. Right now local news are publishing op-ed articles about whether they should change the rules of the debates just to ensure there is one, as not having a debate doesn’t help democracy.

    One Reform Party candidate might manage to hit the debate threshold by the time they’re scheduled. Would love to see that happen just to see if whoever is in charge of the debates try to change the rules just to make sure a GOP representative is in — or if having just two people is enough and the GOP is out like any other third party.

    I’ve already decided to use this against the GOP candidate if I get called by one of their GOTV initiatives. When they ask, “Will you be voting for [candidate] on Tuesday?” I will respond, “Only if [candidate] releases a public statement to major media outlets denouncing President Donald J. Trump, saying he doesn’t represent the Republican Party and that [candidate] refuses to support his agenda. Otherwise I’m voting for the Reform Party candidate.”

    I really hope they call. See them take that bite and chew it.

    1. Libertarians have complained about debate rules shutting them out forever. Frankly, I think we have too many debates for our national elections on national TV, but it is more useful at the local and state level where you have a shot at seeing the real candidate in action in person.

      Not many people read position papers, as Hillary found out. Even the media (who likely read them) didn’t report on them and they covered T who never bothered. Seeing a person up close and personal is valuable to me and I make an effort where it’s logistically possible to meet the candidates. Other than that, I just read a lot and hope to winnow out a sense of a person that way.

      I have voted in Republican primaries in the area in which I live for a long time. I then vote Democrat or Republican, depending upon the candidate, in the general. If I don’t know either? I vote Democrat.

  11. Sorry, but don’t think it enough, not nearly enough.

    Given that the SC has now signaled to all states to gerry-mander to your heart’s content, the next Congressional election will be a farce.

    One the state legislature level, how many do the fascists control, right now?
    While it is true that the only way to stop or reverse these states from gerry-mandering is to win the state seats you documented above, by the time enough of these seats can be won, more legislation skewing the results will be in place for the 2020 Congressional election, possibly the 2018 election.

    There will be a race to win back democratic control at a state level against the same state governments installing anti-democratic legislation, and the states in the hands of the fascist legislatures right now will win that race.

    Couple that with the voter suppression laws that are surely coming down the pipe in the next 12 months, that will most certainly be ratified by the SC, the word “democracy” will be a sad joke in the U.S. within 2 years. And I have not even got into the fake news machine or hacking of the Diebold voting machines in coming “elections”.

    Remember, in the vast majority of dictatorships, or whatever form of non-democratic rule you wish to describe, the minority controls the majority.

  12. This is good news. As the recent conversations at your last blog “When climate change ruins your living room” indicate the special election results look promising for 2018.

    Regarding Oklahoma, we were there for ten days in May for the Prairie Chicken Festival. We were generally in Northern Oklahoma including the panhandle. Of course, the people we associated with were of a similar outlook to ours, i.e. birders and people who care about the environment. But for the the most part I sensed a great deal of disgust for the way the educational system has been treated and with the teachers being so underpaid that they are leaving. This dissatisfaction included a general disgust with the way the state and local governments have been functioning. So with that experience, I’m not too surprised with the swing in Oklahoma.

    1. While true, that doesn’t automatically account for this apparent swing towards the Democrats. Running a teacher for the Oklahoma House seat may sound like a no-brainer (and it is), but it took a requisite level of coordination and operations for local Democrats that, at least in recent years, they’ve been despairingly lacking.

      It would’ve sounded ludicrous just a few months ago, but Oklahoma may well be worth keep an eye on in next year’s midterms.

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