AuthorTopic: Election Errata  (Read 96341 times)

Offline Nearingsfault

  • Waitstaff
  • ***
  • Posts: 793
    • View Profile
Re: The Tragedy Visited Upon Us By Paul Ryan
« Reply #735 on: April 12, 2018, 08:04:56 PM »


The tragedy is that he wasn't stillborn.


The story of his life didn't matter to me until he got to Congress. But I take Paul Ryan as living proof, not only that Ebeneezer Scrooge was based on a real person, but he was reborn in 1970 in Janesville, Wisconsin.

He's in the Koch vest pocket big-time, too. But it's his smiling, tight-lipped austerity that really makes me glad he'll be gone.

But he'll probably go on to something more dangerous, like POTUS. I sure hope not. You can quit the Congress, but I'm not sure you can quit the Koch brothers. He'll do bad things in some new job. As a lobbyist he'd be really dangerous.

Balance the books by either gutting or privatizing conduit scheming social programs. That's obviously where our money going right? Well, not really.


it's even worse then that no? Energy and environment is half nukes, international affairs is half security aid I looked those up. It's quite a pickle..
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 34243
    • View Profile
Re: The Tragedy Visited Upon Us By Paul Ryan
« Reply #736 on: April 13, 2018, 12:04:00 AM »
it's even worse then that no? Energy and environment is half nukes, international affairs is half security aid I looked those up. It's quite a pickle..

Best Pickles in the world are Batampte Half Sours.



RE
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 34243
    • View Profile
🗳️ Republicans express doubts that Ryan can stay on as Speaker
« Reply #737 on: April 14, 2018, 12:32:05 AM »
This should churn up the Repugnants for the pre-election contest.  ::)

RE

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/383051-republicans-express-doubts-that-ryan-can-stay-on-as-speaker

Republicans express doubts that Ryan can stay on as Speaker
By Scott Wong - 04/13/18 01:51 PM EDT


 
Ryan to retire as Speaker in January
TheHill.com
Autoplay: On | Off

Speculation is growing on Capitol Hill that Paul Ryan may need to relinquish his Speaker’s gavel soon, though few Republicans are publicly calling on him to resign.

More rank-and-file Republicans predicted Friday that the Wisconsin Republican probably won’t be able to hang on to the Speaker’s job for the rest of the year, despite Ryan’s insistence a day earlier that he would stick around until January and that no one in the GOP could raise more money ahead of the crucial midterm elections later this year.

“I think there's a lot of goodwill for Paul Ryan, but I don't know if there's so much goodwill that they'll let him stay as Speaker,” said longtime Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), the former Energy and Commerce Committee chairman who is retiring this year. “I think nobody would have a problem if he resigned the speakership and stayed in Congress to fulfill a commitment to his constituents in Wisconsin."

“I just think the pressure is going to build for him to step aside as Speaker and then let the conference pick a new leadership team,” Barton added.

So far, few Republicans have been willing to go on the record and call for Ryan to step down, a move that would trigger new leadership elections now rather than after the Nov. 6 elections.

But conservative Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.), an ally of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), has publicly pushed for a new leadership team to be installed now following Ryan’s announcement this week that he’s not running for reelection this fall.

Graves met with Ryan on Thursday about the matter, The Hill confirmed. “It was a positive conversation. Rep. Graves is confident Speaker Ryan will do what’s best for the conference,” said a Graves aide.

And centrist Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told the Chicago Sun-Times it’d be better to hold those leadership elections “sooner than later.”

“It would be nice to kind of get this stuff done, because what you don’t want is about an eight-month process where people are running for Speaker because it’s very tough,” Kinzinger told the newspaper.

On Friday, a GOP lawmaker closely aligned with leadership told The Hill he, too, would like to see the succession question resolved now.

“There’s a strong sense of wanting to give Paul his breathing room and a chance to talk about his legacy,” said the GOP lawmaker. “But there is a growing sentiment in the conference that the election should be held sooner so that we don’t have a lame-duck Speaker heading into the midterms.”

It’s unclear, however, how many Republicans feel the same way. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Ryan swatted down questions of whether having an internal, seven-month-long race for Speaker would distract from GOP efforts to hold the House majority. And Ryan said that after holding numerous conversations with fellow Republicans, he had overwhelming support to remain Speaker until January.

“It makes no sense to take the biggest fundraiser off the field. And I think almost all of our members see it that way as well,” Ryan said.

Ryan’s office did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Among the many GOP lawmakers who’ve said Ryan should finish out his two-year term as Speaker were Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), Pete King (R-N.Y.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), Bill Flores (R-Texas) and Ryan Costello (R-Pa.).
Sponsored Content
An Incredible $200 Intro Bonus Just For Using This Card
Sponsored By NextAdvisor

“I believe the Speaker is best-positioned to lead our conference for the rest of the session, policy-wise, and as the single best fundraiser in the history of the House Republican Conference,” Costello told The Hill. “A leadership contest in the interim is a distraction and could lead to unnecessary divisions.”

The race to replace Ryan had already been shaping up as a contest between McCarthy, Ryan’s top deputy, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), the No. 3 GOP leader, though neither has publicly declared a bid for Speaker.

Friday added a new wrinkle to the Speaker sweepstakes. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the former chairman of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, said that he was mulling over a bid for the top leadership post.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), a Jordan ally who is not a Freedom Caucus member, said there’s just no way impatient Republicans can wait eight months to figure out who should be the next leader of the 237-member GOP conference.

“This just seems like such an improbable proposition, that we would have a lame-duck Speaker for eight months,” Massie said. “I don’t know if the palace can sustain that much intrigue.”

“It seems improbable that you could have this kind of vacuum.”

Melanie Zanona and Juliegrace Brufke contributed.
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline Surly1

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14385
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: 🗳️ Republicans express doubts that Ryan can stay on as Speaker
« Reply #738 on: April 14, 2018, 04:13:40 AM »
This should churn up the Repugnants for the pre-election contest.  ::)

RE

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/383051-republicans-express-doubts-that-ryan-can-stay-on-as-speaker

Republicans express doubts that Ryan can stay on as Speaker

McCarthy has been circling that job like a green fly buzzing a pile of shit. Cocksuckers all.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 34243
    • View Profile
Re: 🗳️ Republicans express doubts that Ryan can stay on as Speaker
« Reply #739 on: April 14, 2018, 04:44:56 AM »
This should churn up the Repugnants for the pre-election contest.  ::)

RE

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/383051-republicans-express-doubts-that-ryan-can-stay-on-as-speaker

Republicans express doubts that Ryan can stay on as Speaker

McCarthy has been circling that job like a green fly buzzing a pile of shit. Cocksuckers all.

He's back?


RE
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline Surly1

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14385
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: 🗳️ Republicans express doubts that Ryan can stay on as Speaker
« Reply #740 on: April 14, 2018, 04:52:58 AM »
This should churn up the Repugnants for the pre-election contest.  ::)

RE

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/383051-republicans-express-doubts-that-ryan-can-stay-on-as-speaker

Republicans express doubts that Ryan can stay on as Speaker

McCarthy has been circling that job like a green fly buzzing a pile of shit. Cocksuckers all.

He's back?

[/center]

RE

 ;D ;D ;D

Wrong dickless tool.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 34243
    • View Profile
🗳️ Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
« Reply #741 on: April 19, 2018, 01:15:45 AM »
http://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/04/18/political-dynamite-poor-peoples-campaign-and-the-movement-for-a-peoples-party/

Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
April 18, 2018 Posted by Addison dePitt

HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.


Basing themselves on the upper middle class, the Democrats have cynically over-exploited identity politics, substituting symbolism in many places for concrete advances of benefit to all.

Reading the political tea leaves is a far different task from making political tea.

As a political analyst whose predominant interest is organizing, I’ll engage here in a bit of both. That is, I’ll indulge in a bit of hopeful political prognostication, while striving, by urging the most relevant current organizers to join forces, to make my optimistic prediction come true.

My prediction is that the forces of political revolt will eventually coalesce, resulting in the real resistance movement an extremist Trump presidency should have awakened; whether they’ll do so in time to ward off nuclear or climate catastrophe is anybody’s guess. But the elements of real, fruitful revolt (not Democrats’ largely symbolic McResistance) are now in place, and my modest task here is simply to raise consciousness about the “dynamite” political potential of fusing those elements.

For convenience, I’ll identify two essential “elements”—sufficient components for making political dynamite—as the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) and the Movement for a People’s Party (MPP). For readers to grasp the urgent current relevance of those two movements, they need to realize that each movement name stands for much more than the words comprising it immediately suggest.

First of all, grasping the full meaning of “Poor People’s Campaign” requires knowing that the name is a conscious reference to the original 1960s Poor People’s Campaign spearheaded by Martin Luther King. Crucially for our purposes, King’s campaign targeted not just poverty alone, but the deeply interwoven “triple evils” of poverty, racism, and militarism. Updating King’s triple evils to include humanity’s newest crisis, the present PPC seeks to combat climate and environmental devastation as well. Seeing how today’s PPC demands action on four of humanity’s most crucial issues—issues perversely exiled from mainstream political discourse by deliberately distracting (and dangerously warmongering) blather over Russiagate—it’s hard to imagine a timelier movement. Nor one of vaster moral authority and rhetorical clout, since it quite credibly revives the deliberately buried real agenda of Dr. King.

So, as regards the PPC, I’m warmly endorsing the movement itself as by far the best organizing vehicle for the real anti-Trump resistance our nation needs. My words “real anti-Trump resistance” mean not just rejection of Trump and his policies, but revolt against the whole corrupt system—including both deeply corrupt major political parties—that inflicted Trump on us. When I endorse the Movement for a People’s Party, I’m not recommending an existing political party (the words “Movement for” imply that the needed party doesn’t yet exist), but a type of strategic thinking—requiring a viable third party—for which the proposed “People’s Party” could be the needed third-party vehicle. In recommending the MPP electoral strategy—though not necessarily the proposed People’s Party—to PPC supporters, I’m suggesting the resurrected King movement grow a muscular electoral “arm” to enforce its urgent demands.
True to their long tradition of being the graveyard of revolutionary movements, the Democrats are busily co-opting every single instance of authentic rebellion against the status quo, while Trump and his unhinged and transparently corrupt administration continue to provide opportunities for fruitful organization. That’s why the new so-called “Resistance”, floated by Democratic party shills, is a joke, not to be taken seriously.

So, what is the MPP strategy? The MPP strategy is an “inside-outside” electoral approach targeting today’s faux-progressive Democratic Party (rightly stigmatized as the Inauthentic Opposition Party). Since the MPP has explained its strategy with laudable clarity, I’ll summarize it by quoting a full paragraph from the MPP link cited earlier:

    A people’s party is an essential yet missing element of our strategy as a movement today. The Democrats have a virtual monopoly over progressives right now. Like a corporate monopoly with its customers, the Democrats feel no need to serve their constituents because they think we have nowhere else to go. Throughout U.S. history, major parties have refused to change until independent parties have threatened to replace them. For the past 150 years, the progressive cornerstones of our society, from abolition to women’s suffrage, from child labor laws to the forty hour work week, from social security to the New Deal, have been achieved by third parties who championed them and forced establishment parties to either adopt them or be replaced.

This paragraph appears on an MPP website page titled “Progressive Democrats for a People’s Party.” But it’s crucial to understand that the intended audience for MPP’s appeal is not just progressive Democrats but all progressives—“progressives” defined for our purposes (and MPP’s) as supporters of the PPC agenda. My authority for that definition is not just wishful thinking. On the one hand, public intellectual Cornel West, editor of a collection of Dr. King’s writings (aimed at preserving his real legacy) titled The Radical King, has supported the MPP almost from its inception. More importantly, MPP supporters have officially voted overwhelmingly to back the PPC.

So, the MPP clearly endorses the aims of the PPC. But why, apart from mere gratitude (not always a reliable guide for choosing political allies), should PPC supporters embrace the MPP political strategy? Quite clearly because, in demanding sweeping progressive policy reforms, the PPC will meet its most formidable obstacle in Democrats. To be sure, today’s Republican leadership (like the Republican leadership of King’s day) is vehemently opposed to anything resembling King’s radical agenda. But, based on numerous polls, Republicans are a hidebound party flatly rejected by younger voters and deeply out of tune with a U.S. electorate favoring economic populism and deeply hostile to plutocratic corruption of government. There’s compelling reason to think a Democratic Party much truer to its New Deal heritage could (just as in its FDR years) repeatedly wipe the floor with Republicans.

What prevents Democrats’ embrace of an updated New Deal (let alone the PPC’s still more radical justice-based agenda) is clearly the party’s warmongering pro-corporate establishment. Finding that establishment willing to sacrifice elections even to extremist Republicans for the sake of serving its Wall Street and “War Street” donors, Naomi Klein insightfully wrote, in the wake of Trump’s shocking victory, “The Democratic Party needs to be either decisively wrested from pro-corporate neoliberals, or it needs to be abandoned.” The MPP’s inside-outside strategy, targeting the warmongering pro-corporate Democrats who impede most social progress (even maliciously abusing their sole, identity-issues virtue), is the most promising electoral approach available for implementing Klein’s sage advice. Stymied chiefly by such establishment Democrats—who refuse even to grant progressives a party forum for challenging Republicans—the PPC has a profound stake in the MPP’s inside-outside electoral strategy.


Even obvious, desperately needed solutions, such as universal healthcare, have been buried and sabotaged by the Democrats for generations. Already in 1974 an article in the Wall Street Journal announced that about 75% of all Americans supported a socialised arrangement as seen in Europe, Canada and other more progressive industrialised nations. Politically there is no risk and a big upside to this idea—then why not? The latest instance of this betrayal triggered the Obamacare debacle.

So how exactly does that strategy work? As a policy-enforcing measure, it depends on having many voter-activists—both inside and outside the Democratic Party—willing to fight for progressive policies. Presumably, as activists, those working within the party will seek to gain offices in their state party organizations; they will also attempt to persuade as many party progressives as possible to join them in a disciplined progressive voting bloc. As voters, they will vote in primaries only for candidates who support a predetermined progressive agenda (in our case, the PPC agenda); they may even withhold their votes in general elections from Democrats who fail to support progressive aims. Meanwhile, those working outside the party will attempt to build a party supporting such aims, or to back an established party (say, the Green Party) already backing them.

The threat to Democrats, of course, is that if they fail to support progressives within the party, those progressives do have somewhere to go with their votes and activism: a viable progressive third party. The key element now arguably lacking to make this strategy work—and the MPP does stress its lack in calling for a People’s Party—is a viable third party capable of attracting large numbers of progressives. Without threatening its support for such a progressive third party (or the most viable candidates from several third parties), I have a hard time seeing how the PPC expects to win policy concessions from Democrats unwilling even to mention its policies. Vilifying Trump without having even to mention progressive policies is, after all, largely what Democrats’ Russiagate obsession is about.

For thoroughness sake, I should mention two points obviously pertinent to the MPP’s inside-outside strategy. The first is that those working inside and outside the Democratic Party can be the exact same people. Indeed, as applied to only one office—U.S. president—this was the strategy of the Bernie or Bust movement. The idea was to “draw a line in the sand” in America’s most visible electoral race: to warn Democrats that Bernie Sanders was the minimum standard for what progressives would accept in a presidential candidate. If Democrats refused to nominate him, we would either write Sanders in or vote for Jill Stein. Obviously, this “line in the sand” approach can be generalized to many political offices; while Bernie or Bust didn’t officially stress it, many movement members undoubtedly did confine their votes to supporters of Sanders and his agenda.

Obviously, the MPP’s inside-outside strategy does generalize the Bernie or Bust approach to many offices—with the proviso that those “busting” to progressive third parties aren’t necessarily the same people insisting on nominating real progressives in Democratic Party primaries. However, the MPP strategy doesn’t rule out their being the same people. In states with open primaries, this is probably even the best approach, since progressives can vote in primaries for real progressive Democrats (likely to be the most electable real progressives), while diverting little of their time and effort from the crucial objective of building a viable progressive third party.

My second pertinent point, as regards the inside-outside strategy, is whether we actually need a new “People’s Party” to fulfill the strategy’s requirement for a viable progressive third party. Supporters of the Green Party, or of the Working Families Party, will argue that their parties already fill the bill. The whole idea of building a new People’s Party is of course based on skepticism about their claim. For now, I’ll simply defer treatment of this large, important—and very contentious—issue. Perhaps the MPP’s inside-outside strategy is workable without a single viable third party in place. For the PPC to benefit from that strategy, its supporters may simply need to declare their readiness, if predictably snubbed by Democrats, to vote for third-party progressives who will push their policies. But ideally, the PPC would exert policy pressure best by placing its “outside” electoral eggs in the basket of a single, rapidly growing third party.

In any case—in view of the huge obstacles our undemocratic system places in the way of third parties—the PPC could do for progressive third parties something they’re utterly unable to do for themselves: overthrow U.S. voters’ hesitation to think of them as viable options. Our uninformative news media—really a corporate-militarist propaganda system—of course do everything possible to keep third parties out of the news. But a powerful mass movement makes its own news, as Occupy did in broadcasting worldwide the establishment-unfriendly message of “the 99% vs. the 1%.” Given the support it richly merits in reanimating Dr. King’s radical legacy for our perilous times, the PPC could easily be bigger—and far more politically effective—than Occupy. What could be more relevantly radical for the PPC than peacefully “dynamiting”—for the sake of its priceless aims—our worthless two-party system? That dynamiting must begin with Democrats, and the PPC’s embrace of the MPP strategy seems exactly the dynamite needed.

About the Author
 Distinguished Collaborator Patrick Walker is co-founder of Revolt Against Plutocracy (RAP) and the Bernie or Bust movement it spawned. Before that, he cut his activist teeth with the anti-fracking and Occupy Scranton PA movements.  No longer with RAP, he actively seeks collaborators to build a Bernie or Bust successor movement–one dedicated to fighting neoliberals of both parties (but especially neoliberal Democrats) under Trump.  A happily if belatedly married man, Patrick resides with his wife, stepdaughter, and three beloved Sheltie dogs in Williamsville, NY. Patrick can be reached at: pjwalkerzorro@yahoo.com.
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 34243
    • View Profile
🗳️ Why the Democrats Just Lost the Senate
« Reply #742 on: May 10, 2018, 03:50:19 AM »
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/05/10/can-the-democrats-win-the-2018-senate-midterms-218330

Why the Democrats Just Lost the Senate

While Nancy Pelosi is shopping for speaker’s gavels, Chuck Schumer should be preparing for another term as minority leader.

By CHARLIE MAHTESIAN

May 10, 2018


The Friday Cover
TFC-05-04-18-FINAL.jpg


For Democrats, the Don Blankenship dream is over. The coal-mining baron and ex-con was a pleasant diversion—the prospect of yet another train-wreck Republican candidate was exactly the kind of opponent that Sen. Joe Manchin needed in his dicey reelection campaign in West Virginia—but now it’s back to the reality of a merciless map that offers little hope for Chuck Schumer’s dream of becoming majority leader.

It may be the cruelest irony of the Trump era. During an election season when the House seems to be a lost cause for Republicans and nearly every indicator suggests massive Democratic gains in November, the outlook for wresting the Senate away from the GOP remains grim.

The long list of flipped state legislative seats since Donald Trump’s election (40 at last count), the supercharged Democratic turnout in recent special congressional elections, the avalanche of small-donor cash, the geyser of grass-roots energy — none of it changes a Senate landscape where Democrats are defending more seats, in more hostile places, than at any other time in memory.

It’s hard to overstate the degree of difficulty in flipping the Senate this year. As Nate Silver has noted, it’s possible that Democrats are confronting the worst Senate map ever—as in, since direct Senate elections began in 1914.

Roughly one-third of the Senate is up for election every two years, but this time the Democrats are defending almost three times as many seats as the Republicans are: 26 to 9. While Democrats simply need to net a measly two seats to win back the majority, they must do it by running a gantlet through Appalachia and some of the whitest, most rural, least Democratic and pro-gun terrain in the nation.

First, the party must cull those two Republicans from a very small herd. Because the bulk of Republican incumbents up for reelection this year are in states that are nearly impregnable—think Nebraska, Utah, Wyoming—Democrats will almost certainly have to defeat Nevada’s Dean Heller and pick up the Arizona seat left open by Jeff Flake’s retirement.
Read More

    A man at a vigil is pictured. | Getty Images

    Culture Club
    How ‘Incel’ Got Hijacked

    By Ben Zimmer
    Seth-Meyers_1160.jpg

    Off Message
    Meyers: Trump Wanted Me To Apologize On-Air for Making Fun of Him

    By Edward-Isaac Dovere
    GettyImages-956116366.jpg

    Washington And The World
    Trump Pulled Out of the Iran Deal. What Now?

    By Ray Takeyh

Beyond that pair, everything else is a stretch. Rep. Marsha Blackburn appears capable of blowing a lay-up open seat in Tennessee for the Republicans, and there are signs that Sen. Ted Cruz could be ripe for a takedown from cash-flush Democrat Beto O’Rourke in Texas, but both of those races are mostly progressive wishcasting at this point.

In any case, picking up two seats is the easy part. The Democrats must also protect incumbents in 10 states that Trump won in 2016. Five of those senators (Indiana’s Joe Donnelly; Missouri’s Claire McCaskill; Montana’s Jon Tester; North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp; and Manchin) represent states where Hillary Clinton failed to muster even 40 percent of the vote.

The Democratic brand is no asset in many of these places. Equally important, the president known for his historically weak approval ratings at the national level remains popular locally in states like Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia.

That local strength explains why Trump was so quick to retaliate when Tester bucked the president on the nomination of Ronny Jackson for Veterans Administration secretary. After the Montana senator played a pivotal role in sinking Jackson’s nomination, Trump and the White House went into feral campaign mode, with the president characterizing Tester in a tweet as “very dishonest and sick.” In a state that Trump carried by more than 20 percentage points, the president called for Montanans to vote Tester out of office. A White House aide phoned a Montana radio station to say the president might travel there to campaign against the senator.

Tester isn’t without his own showman’s instincts: Days after the president attacked him, the farmer-turned-senator appeared above-the-fold on newspaper front pages across his home state, photographed in a tractor cab as he prepared to put seed in the ground.

Those red-state survival skills have helped Tester win two terms, but he’s also been lucky enough to run in two of the best Democratic election years of the past half-century—2006, a wave year when Democrats captured the House and Senate, and 2012, when Barack Obama’s reelection machine propelled an eight-seat gain for Democrats in the House and a two-seat gain in the Senate.

Now that 2018 shows signs of being the next Democratic wave year, it’s possible that once again Tester’s boat—and McCaskill’s, and Manchin’s, and all the rest—will be lifted. After all, in four of the five instances when the House changed control since World War II, the Senate has flipped along with it.

But there are crucial differences this year. Perhaps the biggest is that Trump has signaled his intent to leverage his popularity against Democratic Senate incumbents in the states where his approval ratings are strongest. His presidential travel schedule has closely overlapped the roster of states he carried in 2016. Trump could decide to try to zero in on Tester or another red-state Democrat with a disparaging nickname and a barrage of October tweets.

Then there’s the end of Blankenship. Democrats have feasted on Republican freak-show candidates in recent Senate elections. Donnelly and McCaskill both skated to victory in 2012 after their challengers made controversial remarks about rape, pregnancy and abortion.

With Blankenship’s defeat in West Virginia this week, Manchin has been denied that opportunity. Without the coal baron to kick around this fall, his reelection campaign—and Schumer’s quest to become majority leader—just got infinitely, if not insurmountably, harder.
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 34243
    • View Profile
🗳️ Democrats surging on eve of pivotal special election
« Reply #743 on: August 06, 2018, 01:55:47 AM »
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/05/ohio-special-election-democrats-764337

Democrats surging on eve of pivotal special election

Republicans have deployed the full machinery of the party to avoid defeat in the final special election before the midterms.

By ALEX ISENSTADT

08/05/2018 05:22 PM EDT

Updated 08/05/2018 10:36 PM EDT


Danny O'Connor is pictured. | Getty Images
Ohio Democratic congressional candidate Danny O'Connor greets worshipers during a campaign stop at Oasis Church on Aug. 5 in Mansfield. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

    Facebook
    Twitter
    Google +

    Email
    Comment
    Print

    Most Read

    Democrats surging on eve of pivotal special election
    Trump says Don Jr. wanted dirt on Clinton from Russian lawyer
    ‘They Were All Lawyered Up and Rudy Giuliani’d Up’
    Democrats’ 2020 presidential fight gets an early dress rehearsal
    The real lesson Trump learned from Charlottesville
    Trump: I’m not worried about Don Jr.’s role in Trump Tower meeting
    Sekulow vows fight over subpoena, defends 2016 meeting with Russians
    Rubio signals changes to election meddling bill
    Corporate America hikes contributions to key Democrats
    Dayne Walling Flipped the Switch That Set Off the Flint Water Crisis. Now, He’s Trying to Make a Comeback.

Politico Magazine

    U.S. Attorney John Brownlee speaks at a news conference in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, May 10, 2007. | AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Stephanie Klein-Davis
    ‘They Were All Lawyered Up and Rudy Giuliani’d Up’

    By Beth Macy
    Dayne Walling, in navy blue dress pants and a light blue shirt, walks past an empty lot in Flint, Michigan. | AP
    Dayne Walling Flipped the Switch That Set Off the Flint Water Crisis. Now, He’s Trying to Make a Comeback.

    By Edward McClelland
    Paul Manafort is pictured. | Getty Images
    Week 63: With Trump’s Crowd, the Common Thread is Russian Money

    By Jack Shafer
    Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters in a Senate hallway. | AP
    How a Pair of Kentucky Pols Are About to Legalize Hemp

    By James Higdon

WESTERVILLE, OHIO — The entire Republican Party machinery has converged on this suburban Columbus district for a furious eleventh-hour campaign aimed at saving a conservative House seat and averting another special election disaster.

But in the final days ahead of Tuesday's election, signs were everywhere that Democrats are surging — from recent polling to the private and public statements of many Republicans, including the GOP candidate himself. The district has been reliably red for more than three decades, but the sheer size of the Republican cavalry made clear how worried the party is about losing it.

At a Saturday evening rally, President Donald Trump tried to juice conservative excitement for mild-mannered Republican candidate Troy Balderson while foisting a Trumpian nickname upon 31-year-old Democratic hopeful Danny O’Connor: “Danny boy.” Earlier in the week, Vice President Mike Pence made the trek, while Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. recorded a robocall, and Gov. John Kasich endorsed Balderson in a TV ad.

The Republican National Committee has opened two offices in the district, launched a $500,000-plus get-out-the-vote effort, and dispatched one of its top officials, Bob Paduchik, who ran Trump’s 2016 Ohio campaign. And outside conservative groups, led by a super PAC aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan, have dumped more than $3.5 million onto the TV airwaves, far outpacing Democrats.

The all-out push underscores the GOP’s trepidation about the final special election before the midterms. A loss, following startling Republican defeats in Pennsylvania and Alabama, would offer more evidence that a blue wave is on the horizon. And it would further fuel fears of what’s becoming evident: that Democrats are simply more amped up, even in areas that have long been safely Republican.
Morning Score newsletter

Your guide to the permanent campaign — weekday mornings, in your inbox.
Email

By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or alerts from POLITICO. You can unsubscribe at any time.

As he addressed volunteers gathered in a campaign office on Friday afternoon, Balderson, a 56-year-old state legislator, hinted at the enthusiasm deficit that was plaguing his party. A Monmouth University poll last week had him ahead of O'Connor by a single percentage point, 44 to 43.

“You all know, it’s a tight race. And everybody wants to know, why is it tight? Why is it tight?” he said. “Because this race is all about turnout.”

With Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Paduchik at his side, Balderson told the volunteers that “there’s been some talk about us not really getting out there and not working,” though he assured them their efforts were not being overlooked.

“We know what you’re doing, we know the doors you’re hitting, we know the phone calls you’re making,” he said.

Republicans contend that their mobilization headaches are being compounded by the unusual timing of the race. Many voters are on vacation or going about their summers and unaware of the special election.

With that in mind, White House officials, who have been watching the contest with growing worry, dispatched Trump to the district in the hope he can fire up conservatives who might stay home on Tuesday. The president, who advisers said was eager to jump into the special election, lavished praise on Balderson while also offering up a greatest-hits like collection of attacks on the media, political rivals and the Russia investigation.

“I think what it does, perhaps most importantly, is it raises the profile of the race,” said Portman, who bemoaned the timing of the August election. “If you were to walk over to the Kroger here and ask people, ‘Is there a race? You know, is there a congressional race going on?’ Ninety percent of them would say, ‘What are you talking about?’”

The event was also designed to unify Republicans around Balderson, who narrowly survived a bruising primary fight against Melanie Leneghan, a Trump-aligned local official. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a conservative House Freedom Caucus member and Leneghan backer, was in attendance, and the rally was held in Delaware County, where Leneghan is from.
Donald Trump and Troy Balderson are pictured. | AP Photo

At Ohio rally, Trump seeks to head off blue wave

By ALEX ISENSTADT

Yet the president's fly-in carried considerable risk. Like dozens of other suburban districts around the country, Ohio’s 12th is filled with higher-income and upper-educated voters who have soured on the president, and some party officials are worried that the boisterous rally could turn those voters away from Balderson. The Monmouth poll showed Trump's approval rating in the district at just 46 percent. Trump received 52 percent of the vote in the district in 2016.

Those worries intensified on Saturday morning when, just hours before the rally, Trump took to Twitter to attack NBA legend LeBron James, an Ohio favorite son who recently opened a public school in Akron for at-risk youth.

Fearful of losing critical suburban voters turned off by the president’s rhetoric, Balderson has worked to cultivate the support of Kasich, a moderate figure and fierce Trump critic seen as a potential 2020 primary challenger to the president. During a recent phone call aimed at securing Kasich’s endorsement, Balderson assured the governor that he shared his opposition to Trump’s tariffs and family separations at the border, and told him that he’d be willing to buck leadership, said a person familiar with the conversation.

Unlike many other Republicans running this year, Balderson has avoided mentioning the president in general election TV ads; he has, however, highlighted work he’s done with Kasich. The governor, who formerly held the House seat, did not attend the Trump rally.

Jay Hottinger, a friend of Balderson's who serves alongside him in the state Senate, described Trump as “one of the most divisive presidents and political figures we’ve ever had” but said his visit was crucial for generating conservative interest in the contest.

“What we are seeing in polling, both nationally and in the 12th Congressional District, is that Democrats are more motivated to go out and vote,” he added.
Donald Trump is pictured. | Getty Images

Elections
Trump, Pelosi dominate Ohio special election

By ELENA SCHNEIDER

In the minds of many Republicans, Tuesday’s contest has emerged as a critical test of whether they can win over Trump supporters while keeping moderates in the fold — and whether Democrats can succeed in the type of suburban districts they need to win the House.

“Up until now, these special elections have been highly overhyped. This special [election] is different, it’s truly an accurate reflection of where both parties’ bases are, as we leave the calm and head into the general election storm,” said Nick Everhart, an Ohio-based GOP strategist who is working on races across the country but is not involved in this one. “This election outcome is not overhyped, and it matters maybe more than the hype.”

O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder, is casting himself as an above-the-fray, middle-of-the-road figure. He has mostly avoided going after the president and instead focused on issues like entitlements, warning that Balderson wants to scale back Social Security benefits.

Campaigning with his parents at a Delaware street festival on Friday, O’Connor was asked by a supporter about Trump's alleged extramarital affair with porn star Stormy Daniels. The candidate changed the subject.

“It’s not a big deal to folks,” O'Connor said, when asked how voters in the district feel about the president. “People care more about the bread-and-butter stuff that keeps them up.”

But as the commander in chief prepared to venture to central Ohio, O’Connor couldn’t help but revel in his newfound momentum. At one point, he was stopped by a friend who congratulated him and told him that Republicans were “nervous.”

The fact that Trump was coming, O’Connor said, was proof that “Troy Balderson needs D.C. to bail him out.”
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Online Eddie

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16126
    • View Profile
Re: 🗳️ Democrats surging on eve of pivotal special election
« Reply #744 on: August 06, 2018, 08:21:30 AM »
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/05/ohio-special-election-democrats-764337

Democrats surging on eve of pivotal special election

Republicans have deployed the full machinery of the party to avoid defeat in the final special election before the midterms.

By ALEX ISENSTADT

08/05/2018 05:22 PM EDT

Updated 08/05/2018 10:36 PM EDT


Danny O'Connor is pictured. | Getty Images
Ohio Democratic congressional candidate Danny O'Connor greets worshipers during a campaign stop at Oasis Church on Aug. 5 in Mansfield. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

    Facebook
    Twitter
    Google +

    Email
    Comment
    Print

    Most Read

    Democrats surging on eve of pivotal special election
    Trump says Don Jr. wanted dirt on Clinton from Russian lawyer
    ‘They Were All Lawyered Up and Rudy Giuliani’d Up’
    Democrats’ 2020 presidential fight gets an early dress rehearsal
    The real lesson Trump learned from Charlottesville
    Trump: I’m not worried about Don Jr.’s role in Trump Tower meeting
    Sekulow vows fight over subpoena, defends 2016 meeting with Russians
    Rubio signals changes to election meddling bill
    Corporate America hikes contributions to key Democrats
    Dayne Walling Flipped the Switch That Set Off the Flint Water Crisis. Now, He’s Trying to Make a Comeback.

Politico Magazine

    U.S. Attorney John Brownlee speaks at a news conference in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, May 10, 2007. | AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Stephanie Klein-Davis
    ‘They Were All Lawyered Up and Rudy Giuliani’d Up’

    By Beth Macy
    Dayne Walling, in navy blue dress pants and a light blue shirt, walks past an empty lot in Flint, Michigan. | AP
    Dayne Walling Flipped the Switch That Set Off the Flint Water Crisis. Now, He’s Trying to Make a Comeback.

    By Edward McClelland
    Paul Manafort is pictured. | Getty Images
    Week 63: With Trump’s Crowd, the Common Thread is Russian Money

    By Jack Shafer
    Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters in a Senate hallway. | AP
    How a Pair of Kentucky Pols Are About to Legalize Hemp

    By James Higdon

WESTERVILLE, OHIO — The entire Republican Party machinery has converged on this suburban Columbus district for a furious eleventh-hour campaign aimed at saving a conservative House seat and averting another special election disaster.

But in the final days ahead of Tuesday's election, signs were everywhere that Democrats are surging — from recent polling to the private and public statements of many Republicans, including the GOP candidate himself. The district has been reliably red for more than three decades, but the sheer size of the Republican cavalry made clear how worried the party is about losing it.

At a Saturday evening rally, President Donald Trump tried to juice conservative excitement for mild-mannered Republican candidate Troy Balderson while foisting a Trumpian nickname upon 31-year-old Democratic hopeful Danny O’Connor: “Danny boy.” Earlier in the week, Vice President Mike Pence made the trek, while Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. recorded a robocall, and Gov. John Kasich endorsed Balderson in a TV ad.

The Republican National Committee has opened two offices in the district, launched a $500,000-plus get-out-the-vote effort, and dispatched one of its top officials, Bob Paduchik, who ran Trump’s 2016 Ohio campaign. And outside conservative groups, led by a super PAC aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan, have dumped more than $3.5 million onto the TV airwaves, far outpacing Democrats.

The all-out push underscores the GOP’s trepidation about the final special election before the midterms. A loss, following startling Republican defeats in Pennsylvania and Alabama, would offer more evidence that a blue wave is on the horizon. And it would further fuel fears of what’s becoming evident: that Democrats are simply more amped up, even in areas that have long been safely Republican.
Morning Score newsletter

Your guide to the permanent campaign — weekday mornings, in your inbox.
Email

By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or alerts from POLITICO. You can unsubscribe at any time.

As he addressed volunteers gathered in a campaign office on Friday afternoon, Balderson, a 56-year-old state legislator, hinted at the enthusiasm deficit that was plaguing his party. A Monmouth University poll last week had him ahead of O'Connor by a single percentage point, 44 to 43.

“You all know, it’s a tight race. And everybody wants to know, why is it tight? Why is it tight?” he said. “Because this race is all about turnout.”

With Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Paduchik at his side, Balderson told the volunteers that “there’s been some talk about us not really getting out there and not working,” though he assured them their efforts were not being overlooked.

“We know what you’re doing, we know the doors you’re hitting, we know the phone calls you’re making,” he said.

Republicans contend that their mobilization headaches are being compounded by the unusual timing of the race. Many voters are on vacation or going about their summers and unaware of the special election.

With that in mind, White House officials, who have been watching the contest with growing worry, dispatched Trump to the district in the hope he can fire up conservatives who might stay home on Tuesday. The president, who advisers said was eager to jump into the special election, lavished praise on Balderson while also offering up a greatest-hits like collection of attacks on the media, political rivals and the Russia investigation.

“I think what it does, perhaps most importantly, is it raises the profile of the race,” said Portman, who bemoaned the timing of the August election. “If you were to walk over to the Kroger here and ask people, ‘Is there a race? You know, is there a congressional race going on?’ Ninety percent of them would say, ‘What are you talking about?’”

The event was also designed to unify Republicans around Balderson, who narrowly survived a bruising primary fight against Melanie Leneghan, a Trump-aligned local official. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a conservative House Freedom Caucus member and Leneghan backer, was in attendance, and the rally was held in Delaware County, where Leneghan is from.
Donald Trump and Troy Balderson are pictured. | AP Photo

At Ohio rally, Trump seeks to head off blue wave

By ALEX ISENSTADT

Yet the president's fly-in carried considerable risk. Like dozens of other suburban districts around the country, Ohio’s 12th is filled with higher-income and upper-educated voters who have soured on the president, and some party officials are worried that the boisterous rally could turn those voters away from Balderson. The Monmouth poll showed Trump's approval rating in the district at just 46 percent. Trump received 52 percent of the vote in the district in 2016.

Those worries intensified on Saturday morning when, just hours before the rally, Trump took to Twitter to attack NBA legend LeBron James, an Ohio favorite son who recently opened a public school in Akron for at-risk youth.

Fearful of losing critical suburban voters turned off by the president’s rhetoric, Balderson has worked to cultivate the support of Kasich, a moderate figure and fierce Trump critic seen as a potential 2020 primary challenger to the president. During a recent phone call aimed at securing Kasich’s endorsement, Balderson assured the governor that he shared his opposition to Trump’s tariffs and family separations at the border, and told him that he’d be willing to buck leadership, said a person familiar with the conversation.

Unlike many other Republicans running this year, Balderson has avoided mentioning the president in general election TV ads; he has, however, highlighted work he’s done with Kasich. The governor, who formerly held the House seat, did not attend the Trump rally.

Jay Hottinger, a friend of Balderson's who serves alongside him in the state Senate, described Trump as “one of the most divisive presidents and political figures we’ve ever had” but said his visit was crucial for generating conservative interest in the contest.

“What we are seeing in polling, both nationally and in the 12th Congressional District, is that Democrats are more motivated to go out and vote,” he added.
Donald Trump is pictured. | Getty Images

Elections
Trump, Pelosi dominate Ohio special election

By ELENA SCHNEIDER

In the minds of many Republicans, Tuesday’s contest has emerged as a critical test of whether they can win over Trump supporters while keeping moderates in the fold — and whether Democrats can succeed in the type of suburban districts they need to win the House.

“Up until now, these special elections have been highly overhyped. This special [election] is different, it’s truly an accurate reflection of where both parties’ bases are, as we leave the calm and head into the general election storm,” said Nick Everhart, an Ohio-based GOP strategist who is working on races across the country but is not involved in this one. “This election outcome is not overhyped, and it matters maybe more than the hype.”

O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder, is casting himself as an above-the-fray, middle-of-the-road figure. He has mostly avoided going after the president and instead focused on issues like entitlements, warning that Balderson wants to scale back Social Security benefits.

Campaigning with his parents at a Delaware street festival on Friday, O’Connor was asked by a supporter about Trump's alleged extramarital affair with porn star Stormy Daniels. The candidate changed the subject.

“It’s not a big deal to folks,” O'Connor said, when asked how voters in the district feel about the president. “People care more about the bread-and-butter stuff that keeps them up.”

But as the commander in chief prepared to venture to central Ohio, O’Connor couldn’t help but revel in his newfound momentum. At one point, he was stopped by a friend who congratulated him and told him that Republicans were “nervous.”

The fact that Trump was coming, O’Connor said, was proof that “Troy Balderson needs D.C. to bail him out.”

My guess is that the day has not yet come for the Dems to make substantial gains in congressional seats. The timing just isn't right, and the pendulum has a little further to swing the other way. Maybe one or two of these challengers will get lucky, but the idea that some major balance of power is going to shift  with the mid-terms is just wishful thinking.

And when the swing does come, it will come for the wrong reasons and the new power bloc won't make the right decisions either. Politics is bound to disappoint me, no matter what happens.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 34243
    • View Profile
Re: 🗳️ Democrats surging on eve of pivotal special election
« Reply #745 on: August 06, 2018, 09:50:29 AM »
My guess is that the day has not yet come for the Dems to make substantial gains in congressional seats. The timing just isn't right, and the pendulum has a little further to swing the other way. Maybe one or two of these challengers will get lucky, but the idea that some major balance of power is going to shift  with the mid-terms is just wishful thinking.

Bookmarking this prediction from Nostradamus Eddie.  ;D

RE
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Online Eddie

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16126
    • View Profile
Re: 🗳️ Democrats surging on eve of pivotal special election
« Reply #746 on: August 06, 2018, 11:30:06 AM »
My guess is that the day has not yet come for the Dems to make substantial gains in congressional seats. The timing just isn't right, and the pendulum has a little further to swing the other way. Maybe one or two of these challengers will get lucky, but the idea that some major balance of power is going to shift  with the mid-terms is just wishful thinking.

Bookmarking this prediction from Nostradamus Eddie.  ;D

RE

Nostradamus was a soothsayer. Not me. I'm using my patented Bullshit Detectortm.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 34243
    • View Profile
This may make it a little tougher for Repugnants to stroll into CONgress in NC in 2018.

RE

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/federal-judges-again-rule-north-carolina-congressional-map-unconstitutional-n904326

Federal judges again rule North Carolina Congressional map unconstitutional
The court raised the possibility of directing the GOP-dominated legislature to redraw the maps by mid-September so they could be in effect for the fall elections
Aug.27.2018 / 7:53 PM ET / Source: Associated Press


Image: North Carolina Redistricting
North Carolina state Sens. Dan Soucek, left, and Brent Jackson review historical maps during a Senate Redistricting Committee meeting in Raleigh on Feb. 16, 2016.Corey Lowenstein / The News & Observer via AP file

RALEIGH, N.C. — Federal judges on Monday affirmed their earlier decision striking North Carolina's congressional districts as unconstitutional because Republicans drew them with excessive partisanship.

Acting under an order of the U.S. Supreme Court to re-examine the case, the three-judge panel ruled again in favor of election advocacy groups and Democrats who had sued to challenge the boundaries drawn in 2016.

The Greensboro-based court also raised the possibility of directing the GOP-dominated legislature to redraw the maps by mid-September so they could be in effect for the fall elections, or getting an outside expert to do so. The printing of ballots has been delayed while other fall election matters are in court.

"In such circumstances, we decline to rule out the possibility that the state should be enjoined from conducting any further congressional elections using the 2016 plan," U.S. Circuit Judge Jim Wynn wrote in the majority opinion. He asked lawyers in the case to weigh in by Friday about what should happen next.

Any decision demanding new maps for this cycle likely would risk confusion among voters and be appealed by the Republican legislative leaders being sued.
Related
Politics
They're Still Drawing Crazy-Looking Districts. Can't it Be Stopped?

May primaries were held, and general election candidates are raising money and campaigning in the current districts while approaching a mid-term election in which control of the House is at stake. Even the plaintiffs, in their news releases praising the ruling, said they anticipated the Supreme Court would hear appeals during its session starting in October, meaning any new maps probably wouldn't be used until the 2020 cycle.

The groups and individuals that sued alleged GOP mapmakers manipulated the lines of the state's 13 districts in 2016 using political data to ensure Republicans retained a 10-3 majority within the delegation.

The same judges in January deemed the map an illegal partisan gerrymander that violated constitutional protections of Democratic voters. But the Supreme Court, which had ruled against plaintiffs in a redistricting case in Wisconsin, asked them to take a second look in June.
Judges demand N.C. rectify gerrymandering as election draws near
Aug.27.201802:49

The sides in the case then filed briefs and provided new evidence. In Monday's order covering almost 300 pages, Wynn wrote that at least one plaintiff registered to vote in each of the 13 districts has legal standing to challenge their district — meeting a key element of the justices' ruling in the Wisconsin case. In each case, the opinion reads, the voter offered evidence showing the district had been twisted so that the person's vote carried less weight compared to another hypothetical district that hadn't been packed or split for partisan results.

The U.S. Constitution "does not allow elected officials to enact laws that distort the marketplace of political ideas so as to intentionally favor certain political beliefs, parties, or candidates and disfavor others," Wynn wrote.
Recommended
Verizon couldn't have restricted Santa Clara County's internet service during the fires under net neutrality
Trump retreated when the American Legion stood up for McCain

Wynn, District Judge Earl Britt and District Judge William Osteen agreed again that the 2016 redistricting plan violated the U.S. Constitution's equal-protection provision. They also ruled that it violated provisions requiring states to be in charge of congressional elections because it dictated electoral outcomes. Osteen, in a separate opinion, disagreed with decisions by Wynn and Britt that the map also violated the First Amendment rights of Democrats to freedom of speech and of association.

Spokespeople for Republican legislative leaders didn't immediately respond to emails Monday evening seeking comment on the panel's ruling. Their attorneys had argued the three-judge panel should dismiss the lawsuits because the plaintiffs' evidence was statewide in nature, not district by district.

Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina, called the ruling a historic win for voters, and a significant step towards finally ending gerrymandering."

The map was redrawn in 2016 because other federal courts determined two districts originally drawn in 2011 were illegal because of excessive racial bias.

Wynn noted the decadelong challenges.

"We continue to lament that North Carolina voters now have been deprived of a constitutional congressional districting plan — and, therefore, constitutional representation in Congress — for six years and three election cycles," he wrote.
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 34243
    • View Profile
🗳️ Elections and the Illusion of Political Control
« Reply #748 on: September 11, 2018, 12:17:46 AM »
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/10/elections-and-the-illusion-of-political-control/

September 10, 2018
Elections and the Illusion of Political Control
by Rob Urie

Photo Source Paul Sableman | CC BY 2.0

As if on special at Metaphors-R-Us, and just in time for the primary elections, CNN published an article on fake buttons that are provided to give people the illusion of control. It seems psychologists determined that fake buttons at crosswalks, in elevators and in other public and quasi-public places convey a sense of control without the power of control. In the space between upcoming elections and the creeping realization that connected capitalists still control the country, the question is of what reform candidates can really accomplish?

Staying with the metaphor for a minute, of relevance is that these buttons are engineered illusions— they are intended to deceive. The modes of existing they are designed to facilitate— office dwelling, high-rise living and urban traffic, preceded the psychologists’ additions. The fake controls are a response to adverse reactions to these modes of living. The question left unasked is: why are people having adverse reactions to the absence of control? The follow-on question is: what are the human consequences of the distance between the illusion and real control?

The progressives running in upcoming elections seem to be decent enough people. And reflexive cynicism— say about the plausibility of reform politics, only passes for knowledge in some particularly deplorable circle of hell. With apologies, welcome to hell. National Democrat Nancy Pelosi is promising to preclude all of the irresponsible social spending on progressive programs with ‘pay-go,’ the national Democrats’ austerity-in-a-can. And the New York Times is endorsing Andrew Cuomo over Cynthia Nixon because (corrupt machine politician) Cuomo can better ‘stop Trump.’

Graph: Given the relationship of economic distribution to political power, it is a good proxy for the distribution of political power. Since the 1980s a rising proportion of national product has been shifted from working class workers to the very rich. This is the result of specific policies designed to accomplish this outcome, not nature. When national Democrats proclaim themselves to be capitalists, this is the economic distribution they support. Source: LA Times / World Inequality Database.

‘New’ Democrat Cuomo, who has governed as a Republican, would seem an odd choice to stop Trump if that were the goal. With Wall Street downstate from the governor’s mansion and Manhattan real estate serving as a money-laundering mechanism for the global looting class, Mr. Cuomo is Donald Trump’s ex-bootlick / errand person running New York’s patronage system. It is this intersection of real estate and global money laundering that made Donald Trump the titan of inheritance capitalism he is. Alas, promoting otherwise unelectable Democrats has long seemed the subtext of the ‘stop Trump’ campaign.

Economic austerity, the mantra and clarified butter of the national Democrats, is the claim that the only legitimate expenditures by the Federal government are for unnecessary wars, Wall Street bailouts and prisons. Other expenditures— for housing, education, health care, food and retirement, are burdens on our children and grandchildren. If this reads like the program of the radical right, you might be on to something. And if you don’t understand the implications for bottom-up political reform, please read on.

The institutional backdrop is that the Federal government (‘public’) and banks (‘private’) create money. State and local governments can borrow, but they are otherwise constrained by the revenues they collect. Why then would Ms. Pelosi suggest that Federal spending is constrained by revenues (via the Federal budget) when it isn’t? More broadly, why has this been Democratic Party dogma since Bill Clinton assumed office? Don’t they want for their constituents to be fed, housed, educated, healthy and retired in security? Phrased more plainly, why do they hate their constituents?

Graph: When Bill Clinton entered office as president in 1993 he immediately reneged on his campaign promise to increase social spending citing the budget deficit as the reason. Shortly thereafter (non-financial) private debt (as a percent of GDP) began to rise rapidly as government spending was replaced with bank loans. This increased profits for Wall Street until excessive private debt killed the economy in 2007.  National Democrats favor economic austerity because it increases profits for Wall Street. Source: Worldbank.

Money creation is politically important because it is a control device for social spending. How far is democratic socialism likely to get if the Federal purse strings are controlled by committed capitalists in the Federal government? Is it incidental that Ms. Pelosi is restating the national Democrats’ commitment to fiscal probity while single-payer healthcare, federally funded college education and a Federal job guarantee are being put forward as components of the progressives’ program? Lest this remain unclear, the national Democrats are telling progressives to take a hike.

Missing from progressive consciousness appears to be a plausible explanation for the national Democrats’ fiscal obsession. In olden times banks earned profits by making loans. Government spending funds public investment that could otherwise be financed through bank loans. Additionally, inflation— the alleged result of ‘excess’ public investment and / or household income, reduces the purchasing power of bank loans when they are repaid. Wall Street hates public investment almost as much as it hates inflation. National Democrats are the Party of Wall Street. Ergo, national Democrats hate public investment almost as much as they hate inflation.

Is it incidental then that the first modern President of Wall Street, Bill Clinton, introduced economic austerity to the national Democrats’ canon? It was ex-Goldman Sachs Co-Chair Robert Rubin who, as Mr. Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, explained the ‘tyranny of the bond market’ to Mr. Clinton. At the time economist John Kenneth Galbraith explained that the New Democrats’ patrons-to-be thrived on human misery. To close the circle. Wall Street thrives on human misery, national Democrats are the Party of Wall Street, ergo national Democrats thrive on human misery.

A weltanschauung was demonstrated when Barack Obama bailed out Wall Street and quickly followed up with calls for economic austerity. His quest to ‘get the banks lending again’ in the face of excessive private debt was to favor bank loans over public expenditures. The ‘lesson’ of the Great Depression was that the public expenditures of the New Deal revivified American capitalism. But why piss-off Wall Street patrons and counter IMF prognostications for ‘lesser’ countries when Wall Street can make debt-slaves of the entire populace? There is an economic logic to manufacturing human misery.

The predictable result, that a few already rich people were made richer to the outer bounds of human avarice while everyone else was stuck in a public-private partnership of engineered downward mobility, is the program that Ms. Pelosi and the national Democrats intend to move forward. The apparent calculation is that Donald Trump is so widely loathed that they can run on an austerity program and counter the reformers and democratic socialists through control of the public purse. Republicans certainly aren’t going to come to their aid by advocating public spending on social programs.

As has been commented on quite effectively elsewhere, the irony of the Democratic establishment’s support for largely white, largely male establishment candidates— see Andrew Cuomo above, against their identity-politics dream-team challengers— Ms. Nixon is female and lesbian, exposes the tactic as a fraud. The prevalent explanation— that the political stakes are too high, begs the question of why they are so high? This isn’t to claim they aren’t, but rather to ask why austerity economics is still central to the Democrats’ program given the electoral losses that have followed its implementation?

With not much implied beyond what is written, a difference between Occupy Wall Street and the #Resistance is the choice of targets. As the center of American finance capitalism, Wall Street controls American political economy. Bringing Wall Street to heel would solve a lot of social iniquities. The #Resistance poses one person, Donald Trump, as ‘the problem’ implying that getting him out of office would solve everything that needs to be solved. In fact, Wall Street and the American ruling class would still control most of what matters.

The question regarding elections is: do they change the distribution of power? Again, the Federal government and banks can create financing giving them fundamentally different levers of social control than state and local governments possess. This is a problem for bottom-up electoral strategies— the purse strings are controlled by people and groups with contrary interests and the economic power to get their way. Running on platforms that suggest otherwise is a recipe for one-term ‘insurgencies.’

It is ironic, and perhaps wholly coincidental, that insurgent groups as diverse as Occupy Wall Street and the Black Panthers were shut down when they began demonstrating that they could build (small scale, ultimately utopian) alternative institutions. Elections are intended to change the cast of characters without challenging existing institutions. This is what Nancy Pelosi is making clear through her re-statement of the Democrat’s commitment to economic austerity. And it would seem to imply that the greatest impediment to progressive programs comes from establishment Democrats.

Without changing the distribution of power, elections are the fake buttons of politics— they provide the illusion of political control without its fact. This is a central reason why I have resisted the #Resistance assertion that Donald Trump is ‘the problem’— underlying political economy is little changed between administrations. Current problems were set in motion with the ascendance of finance capitalism beginning in the 1970s. I plan to vote for the ‘insurgents’ and hope they are successful with their stated programs. Otherwise, building alternative institutions seems the more promising path.
Join the debate on Facebook
More articles by:Rob Urie

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Online Eddie

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 16126
    • View Profile
Re: Election Errata
« Reply #749 on: September 11, 2018, 05:33:32 AM »
It'll be interesting to see if Cynthia Nixon can come close in the NY race with Cuomo, who is the Corporatista Democrat. She was speaking some really plain truth on NPR yesterday. You would have approved.

The Lefty TV stars might get elected, if they start running. America loves a freakin' TV star more than anything.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
Errata

Started by Guest The Kitchen Sink

0 Replies
291 Views
Last post October 13, 2016, 02:05:21 AM
by Guest
3 Replies
991 Views
Last post November 08, 2016, 02:26:52 PM
by monsta666
24 Replies
3196 Views
Last post February 28, 2017, 06:54:54 AM
by RE