The Wires

Washington Post: "Cheap Chinese caviar is flooding the U.S. market, causing prices to plummet, and with it, the product’s cachet. Wholesale prices have fallen more than 50 percent since 2012, down 13 percent just in the past year. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the import price has gone from $850,000 per ton in January 2012 to $350,000 per ton in November 2018." Mrs. McC: This makes me very happy. I love caviar (I've only had the cheaper kind), but I seldom buy it because of the expense. I have some in the pantry now, but I'm going to check the price at the grocery store now in hopes it's something I can enjoy more often. Status symbol? I couldn't care less.

New York Times: "Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on Monday [April 15] to news organizations that uncovered instances of malfeasance and outright fraud in President Trump’s financial past, a nod to journalists’ perseverance in the face of the president’s ever-sharper attacks on a free press. The New York Times received the explanatory reporting prize for an 18-month investigation that revealed how the future president and his relatives avoided paying roughly half a billion dollars’ worth of taxes. The Wall Street Journal won the national reporting prize for disclosing clandestine payoffs by the president’s associates to two women who were said to have had affairs with Mr. Trump in the weeks before the 2016 election. The South Florida Sun Sentinel won the prize for public service, considered the most prestigious of the Pulitzers, for documenting the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The paper’s in-depth articles revealed a series of failures by local officials and law enforcement that, the paper wrote, cost children their lives."

Medlar's Sports Report. New York Times: "Tiger Woods’s comeback from personal and professional adversity is complete: He captured his fifth Masters title and his 15th major tournament on Sunday, snapping a championship drought of nearly 11 years. It was a monumental triumph for Woods, a magical, come-from-behind win for a player who had not won a major championship since his personal life began to unravel on Thanksgiving night in 2009, when a marital dispute led to a car accident and a succession of lurid tabloid headlines. On the golf course, he had a series of back and leg injuries that led to an addiction to painkillers and culminated in pain so searing that, before surgery in 2017, he had questioned whether he could play professionally again." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Oh yeah? Trump can beat Tiger any day.

Tom Jones of Poynter picks the top 25 movies ever about journalism.

New York Times: "For 340 days, Scott Kelly circled the Earth aboard the International Space Station, gathering data about himself." His twin brother Mark Kelly, planted on Earth, did the same. "On Thursday..., NASA researchers reported that [Scott Kelly's] body experienced a vast number of changes while in orbit. DNA mutated in some of his cells. His immune system produced a host of new signals. His microbiome gained new species of bacteria. Many of these biological changes seemed harmless, disappearing after he returned to Earth. But others — including genetic mutations and, after his return, declines in cognitive test scores — did not correct themselves, provoking concern among scientists."

Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times: now does his first drafts of columns as well as other traditional writing tasks by speaking into his phone. "I open RecUp, a cloud-connected voice-recording app on my phone.... Every few days, I load the recordings into Descript, an app that bills itself as a “word processor for audio.” Some of my voice memos are more than an hour long, but Descript quickly (and cheaply) transcribes the text, truncates the silences and renders my speech editable and searchable.... New advances — like smarter and more ubiquitous voice assistants; better text-to-speech synthesis; easy-to-use audio and video production apps like Descript and Anchor; and gadgets that burrow the internet into your ears, like Apple’s AirPods and Amazon’s reported forthcoming AirPod clones — point to a profound shift in computing. Soon it might be possible to conduct a large slice of digital life, including work, without being glued to a screen."

New York Times: "In a cave in the Philippines, scientists have discovered a new branch of the human family tree. At least 50,000 years ago, an extinct human species lived on what is now the island of Luzon, researchers reported on Wednesday. It’s possible that Homo luzonensis, as they’re calling the species, stood less than three feet tall. The discovery adds growing complexity to the story of human evolution. It was not a simple march forward, as it once seemed. Instead, our lineage assumed an exuberant burst of strange forms along the way.Our species, Homo sapiens, now inhabits a comparatively lonely world. 'The more fossils that people pull out of the ground, the more we realize that the variation that was present in the past far exceeds what we see in us today,' said Matthew Tocheri, a paleoanthropologist at Lakehead University in Canada, who was not involved in the new discovery."

New York Times: "At 9 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, [April 10,] a group of astronomers who run a globe-girdling network of radio telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope are expected to unveil the first-ever images of a black hole. For some years now, scientific literature, news media and films have featured remarkably sophisticated and academic computer simulations of black holes. If all has gone well, the images today will reveal the real thing, and scientists at last will catch a glimpse of what had seemed unseeable."

      ... Update: "Astronomers announced on Wednesday that at last they had observed the unobserveable: a black hole, a cosmic abyss so deep and dense that not even light can escape it.... To capture the image, astronomers reached across intergalactic space to Messier 87, a giant galaxy in the constellation Virgo. There, a black hole several billion times more massive than the sun is unleashing a violent jet of energy some 5,000 light-years into space."

"A commemorative print from 2008 of Mr. Robbins’s original paint-by-numbers creation in 1950, an abstract still-life. His boss then asked him to make something more representational, and an industry was born." CLICK ON PICTURE TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.New York Times: "Dan Robbins was no Leonardo da Vinci. But he copied one of the master’s basic techniques and thereby enabled children to grow up believing that they, too, could paint 'The Last Supper.' Mr. Robbins, a package designer who died on Monday at 93, helped to conceive what became known as paint by numbers. He copied the idea from Leonardo, who numbered the objects in the background of his paintings and had his apprentices paint them with designated colors. With paint-by-numbers kits, young baby boomers in the 1950s followed the same mechanics as those Renaissance artisans, coloring inside the outlines of images of everything from seascapes and the Matterhorn to kittens and Queen Elizabeth II. The process opened up art to the masses — another notch on the continuum of a limitless democratic American ethos that promised “a chicken in every pot” and 'every man a king.'”

Guardian: "In the 50s, the American art world took itself extremely seriously. Abstract painters such as Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko painted sublime slabs that were praised in hushed voices. Painting-by-numbers may not have been intended as a parody of this modernist reverence – but it sure looked that way. Robbins designed quaint scenes of farmhouses and mountain valleys that anyone could complete – they were good, solid pictures for good, solid middle-American homes. Yet the relationship between painting-by-numbers and modern art is more complicated than it looks. The earliest kit Robbins devised was a cubist still life in the style of Picasso, for the sharp planes of colour were, he said, easy to adapt. He called it Abstract No 1. It was his boss at the Palmer paint company in Detroit, where he worked as a package designer, who insisted he create homely American scenes instead. Robbins was thrilled when, as he remembered: 'Someone entered a completed Abstract No 1 in an art show and won. The judges were quite embarrassed, but the prize resulted in lots of debate about the concept of art …'”

NBC News: “Researchers who used DNA to identify ... the bones [of] Casimir Pulaski, hero of the Revolutionary War and the pride of the Polish-American community..., are convinced the gallant Pole who died fighting for America’s freedom was either a biological woman who lived as a man, or potentially was intersex, meaning a person whose body doesn’t fit the standard definitions of male or female. That’s the eye-opening takeaway from a new Smithsonian Channel documentary titled 'The General Was Female?,' which premieres Monday and is part of the 'America’s Hidden Stories' series.”

Tuesday
Nov062018

The Commentariat -- November 7, 2018

Late Morning/Afternoon Update:

Trump Has Kelly Fire Sessions; Replaces Him with Collusion Apologist, Mueller Critic. Peter Baker & Katie Benner of the New York Times: "President Trump forced out Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday and replaced him with a loyalist who will now take charge of the special counsel investigation into Russia's election interference, a defiant move just a day after a midterm election loss. Mr. Sessions delivered his resignation letter to the White House at the request of the president and Mr. Trump tapped Matthew Whitaker, Mr. Sessions's chief of staff, as acting attorney general. In that capacity, Mr. Whitaker assumes control of the Russia investigation, raising questions about the future of the inquiry led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. In a column for CNN last year, Mr. Whitaker wrote that Mr. Mueller would be going too far if he examined the Trump family's finances.... John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, called Mr. Sessions before his postelection news conference on Wednesday to tell the attorney general that Mr. Trump wanted him to step down, the administration official said. Mr. Trump, who did not speak with Mr. Sessions himself, then ducked questions about Mr. Sessions's fate at the news conference. Mr. Sessions then had his letter, which was undated, delivered to the White House. Mr. Whitaker has previously questioned the scope of the investigation." ...

... Aaron Blake of the Washington Post: "Appearing on CNN in July 2017 -- before he became Sessions's chief of staff, the position he occupied before Wednesday -- Whitaker mused about a scenario in which Trump might fire Sessions and replace him with a temporary attorney general. Whitaker noted that federal regulations still gave the attorney general power over the budget for a special counsel. That temporary replacement, he then said, could move to choke off Mueller's funding.... 'The President is absolutely correct,' Whitaker said after Trump suggested that Mueller investigating his finances would cross a red line. 'Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing.' He has also downplayed the idea that anything illegal was done at the Trump Tower meeting, saying, 'You would always take the meeting.' Whether any of this will come to pass, we don't know. But comments like these could now be hugely consequential. Update: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says Whitaker should recuse himself from the Russia investigation, in light of the above commentary."

Michael Grynbaum of the New York Times: "President Trump lashed out at journalists during a surly and contentious news conference at the White House on Wednesday, renewing his attacks on the news media as 'the enemy of the people' just moments after pledging an end to partisan politics in the wake of a grueling midterm election. In tense exchanges on live television, Mr. Trump denounced [CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta] as 'very rude,' sternly told several reporters to 'sit down,' and at one point stepped away from his lectern, suggesting that he was prepared to cut off the session -- a rare formal East Room news conference -- because of queries he disliked.... 'CNN should be ashamed of itself, having you working for them,' the president said. 'You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN.' He added, in a reference to the White House press secretary: 'The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible. You shouldn't treat people that way.' Jabbing a finger in the reporter's direction, he said, 'When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people.'" Trump also excoriated two black female correspondents, April Ryan & Yamiche Alcindor. ...

** Watch Trump dismiss Yamiche Alcindor of NPR & accuse her of asking a "racist" question:

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: This is a guy who dares to call reporters "rude." I know we have come to expect Trump's insane behavior, but it still shocks the conscience. ...

... ** Greg Sargent on both Sessions' firing & Trump's "startlingly unhinged performance at a news conference.... There is a tendency after big electoral victories such as the one last night to grow a bit complacent, to imagine that a semblance of normalcy has been restored. In multiple ways, Trump reminded us today that we can't relax even for a second."

Peter Baker & Eileen Sullivan of the New York Times: "George W. Bush saw a 'thumpin'.' Barack Obama saw a 'shellacking.' Donald J. Trump sees a 'Big Victory.' Never one to admit defeat..., President Trump wasted little time on Wednesday morning trying to frame his party's election losses.... 'Received so many Congratulations from so many on our Big Victory last night, including from foreign nations (friends) that were waiting me out, and hoping, on Trade Deals. Now we can all get back to work and get things done!' [-- Trump, in a tweet.] But ... he quickly went on offense against the newly elected Democratic House, threatening to retaliate if the opposition uses its new subpoena power to investigate him for corruption and obstruction of justice.... 'If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level,' he wrote. 'Two can play that game!' Then, in a head-spinning pivot, Mr. Trump shortly afterward endorsed Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, for House speaker and even volunteered Republican votes if she cannot muster enough in her own caucus."

Dan Spinelli of Mother Jones: "Four years ago, Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) dethroned House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as part of the Tea Party revolution that would eventually topple Speaker of the House John Boehner and pave the way for Donald Trump's presidential bid. Now former CIA agent Abigail Spanberger has defeated Brat and will be the first Democratic representative from Virginia's 7th District in more than four decades, NBC News and the Cook Political Report confirmed Tuesday night. Brat, once the darling of Breitbart and the insurgent conservative movement, aligns with the far-right House Freedom Caucus." Thanks to Akhilleus for the lead.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) is up by a teensy bit with 88 percent reporting, according to the NYT. He's been losing in most of the earlier returns. Update: The AP has projected Tester as the winner.

*****

Jonathan Martin & Alexander Burns of the New York Times: "Democrats harnessed voter fury toward President Trump to win control of the House and capture pivotal governorships Tuesday night as liberals and moderates banded together to deliver a forceful rebuke of Mr. Trump, even as Republicans added to their Senate majority by claiming a handful of conservative-leaning seats. The two parties each had some big successes in the states. Republican governors were elected in Ohio and Florida, two important battlegrounds in Mr. Trump's 2020 campaign calculations. Democrats beat Gov. Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Republican and a top target, and captured the governor's office in Michigan -- two states that Mr. Trump carried in 2016 and where the left was looking to rebound. Propelled by an unusually high turnout that illustrated the intensity of the backlash against Mr. Trump, Democrats claimed at least 26 House seats on the strength of their support in suburban and metropolitan districts that were once bulwarks of Republican power but where voters have recoiled from the president's demagoguery on race. Early Wednesday morning Democrats clinched the 218 House seats needed to take control. There were at least 15 additional tossup seats that had yet to be called." ...

... New York Times reporters list the results of key races here.

House of Representatives

The New York Times' live House results are here. ...

... As of 6:20 am ET:

NBC News at 10 pm ET is giving Democrats a 95 percent chance of regaining control of the House. Before results starting coming in, the odds were 65 percent. Update: NBC News is now predicting (at 10:25 pm ET) that Democrats will control the House. at 11:23, NBC News says that Democrats have gained the requisite 23 seats to win the House.

Elana Schor of Politico: "Female candidates for Congress made history on Tuesday night, with more than 100 women sweeping into office on the strength of a Democratic House takeover powered in large part by college-educated female voters. The women winning House seats also marked several milestones for diverse representation beyond the gender divide, including the first Native American women in Congress and the first Muslim women in Congress. Their victories mark an undeniable leap forward toward representation on Capitol Hill that more closely resembles the divide among the U.S. population, although women still have a long way to go before reaching parity in both the House and Senate."

Catherine Boudreau of Politico: "California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff vowed Tuesday to ensure that the House Intelligence Committee reclaims its duty to conduct oversight of the Trump administration -- a job he said the GOP 'completely abdicated.'"

California. Daily Beast: "Rep. Dana Rohrabacher -- the pro-Russia Republican who once boasted about a drunken arm-wrestling contest with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the 1990s -- has lost his seat to Democrat Harley Rouda. Rohrabacher has been a staunch supporter of Donald Trump and his deeply Republican 48th House District in California re-elected him for three decades running. He was dubbed 'Putin's favorite congressman.'..."

California. Sadly, Devin Nunes (R-Trumpy) is projected to win.

California. Indicted Republican Wins Re-election. Juliegrace Brufke of the Hill: "Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) on Tuesday edged out Democratic challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar in the race for his California House seat despite charges against Hunter involving the misuse of campaign funds. The race in the Golden State's 50th Congressional District -- traditionally a Republican stronghold -- was put into play after Hunter and his wife being were indicted in August. The couple is accused of illegally spending campaign contributions on personal items, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and falsification of records."

Florida. NBC News also is predicting Donna Shalala (D) has won a formerly GOP-held 27th district in Florida.

Iowa. The horrible Steve King (R) has won re-election in Iowa's 4th District.

Kansas. NBC News projects that Sharice Davids (D) will defeat the GOP incumbent in Kansas District 3.

     ... Bryan Lowry & Katie Bergen of the Kansas City Star: "Kansas voters made history Tuesday when they selected Sharice Davids to be their next congresswoman. Davids, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, will be the first Native American woman to serve in Congress -- a distinction she shared with New Mexico's Deb Haaland, who also won Tuesday -- and the first openly LGBT person to represent the state of Kansas. The political newcomer defeated four-term incumbent Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder to capture Kansas' 3rd Congressional District. It's the first time a Democrat has won the suburban Kansas City seat in a decade."

Michigan & Minnesota. Hannah Allam of BuzzFeed News: "A Muslim woman was elected to Congress for the first time. Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib, 42, won her election after running unopposed by a Republican. And 36-year-old Ilhan Omar of Minnesota won her race later in the evening. The Midwestern Democrats previously served as state lawmakers."

New York. NBC News is predicting Max Rose (D) has beat Rep. Dan Donovan (R) in the Staten Island district.

Oklahoma. NBC News is predicting that Kendra Horn (D) has defeated the GOP incumbent in District 5, becoming the first Democrat in more than 40 years to represent the district.

Virginia. NBC News has called Virginia's District 10 for the Democrat Jennifer Wexton, making Barbara Comstock the first Republican Rep. to lose her re-election bid.

Virginia. Opheli Lawler of New York: "Republican Denver Riggleman -- a man who once wrote a book titled Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him [and who campaigned with a white supremacist] -- just beat out Democratic challenger Leslie Cockburn (Olivia Wilde's mom) for the U.S. House of Representatives in Virginia's Fifth Congressional District seat. The district has historically voted Republican. In what has to be the strangest race in the midterms, Riggelman beat Cockburn by seven points, according to the New York Times."

Senate

The New York Times' Senate results are here.

The AP has not yet called Arizona, Florida* & Montana, but Republicans are ahead in the vote count in all three states. Those would be GOP flips for Florida & Montana. In case you're unaware the Senate is not representative of the people's will, it's worth noting that as of the 7:00 am ET tally, Democratic Senate candidates had received almost 12 million more votes than Republican candidates.

State Results Listed in Alpha Order:

California: NBC News projects that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) has retained her seat.

Connecticut: Sen. Chris Murphy (D) is predicted to win re-election.

Delaware: Sen. Tom Carper (D) is predicted to win re-election.

* Florida: The Miami Herald has called the race for Rick Scott. This is a flip from Sen. Bill Nelson, whom Scott defeated. The Herald has links to this & other election stories on its front page.

Hawaii: Sen. Mazie Hirono (D) will retain her seat.

Indiana: Mike Braun (R) is predicted to unseat Sen. Joe Donnelly (D).

Maine: Sen. Angus King (I) is projected to retain his seat.

Maryland: Sen. Ben Cardin (D) is predicted to win re-election.

Massachusetts: The AP has called the election for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D).

Michigan: NBC News predicts that Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) will win re-election.

Minnesota: NBC News predicts Sen. Amy Kolbuchar (D) will retain her seat.

Minnesota Special Election: NBC New predicts Sen. Tina Smith (D) will return to the Senate.

Mississippi: Sen. Roger Wicker (R) is predicted to win re-election.

Mississippi will hold a run-off between Mike Espy (D) & incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith (R).

Missouri: NBC News projects Josh Hawley (who is a real creep) (R) has defeated Sen. Claire McCaskell (D).

Nebraska: Sen. Deb Fischer (R) is expected to win re-election.

Nevada: Jackie Rosen (D) is projected to defeat Sen. Dean Heller (R).

New Jersey: NBC News is projecting that Sen. Bob Menendez (D) will be re-elected.

New Mexico: Sen. Martin Heinrich (D) is expected to win re-election.

New York: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) is predicted to retain her seat.

North Dakota: NBC News predicts Kevin Cramer (R) will defeat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D).

Ohio: NBC News is predicting Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) will be re-elected.

Pennsylvania: Sen. Bob Casey (D) is predicted to have won re-election.

Rhode Island: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D) is predicted to win re-election.

Tennessee:  NBC News predicts Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) has won the race.

Texas: NBC News is predicting Sen. Ted Cruz (R) will be re-elected.

Utah: NBC News predicts Mitt Romney (R) will win the race.

Vermont: NBC News is predicting Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) will be re-elected.

Virginia: NBC News is predicting Sen. Tim Kaine (D) will be re-elected.

West Virginia: Sen. Joe Manchin (D) is projected to win re-election.

Washington: NBC News predicts Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) will retain her Senate seat.

Wisconsin: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) is expected to win re-election.


Results in Governors' Races are in the right-hand column.

Ballot Measures & Other Races

Kurtis Lee of the Los Angeles Times: "While the focus of Tuesday’s midterm election centered on control of Congress, voters nationwide weighed in on an array of ballot proposals. In total, voters in 37 states faced 155 ballot questions. Here's a look at some that passed."

Florida. Elizabeth Koh & Samantha Gross of the Miami Herald: "Faced with the longest list of proposed constitutional changes in two decades, Floridians voted Tuesday to approve 11 of 12 constitutional amendments on the midterm ballot, clearing the 60 percent threshold required to pass.... Among those that passed were Amendments 4, 3 and 13 which restore felons rights, give voters authority to expand casino gambling and end greyhound racing in the state, respectively."

Idaho, Utah & Nebraska. Jacob Pramuk of CNBC: "Three red states approved Medicaid expansion in Tuesday's midterm elections, changes that will potentially cover hundreds of thousands more low-income Americans, NBC News projected Voters in Utah, Nebraska and Idaho were all expected to pass ballot measures to broaden the federal and state health insurance program, according to NBC. The support for Medicaid expansion, an Affordable Care Act provision, came over the objections of many officials who had so far declined to adopt it, citing budgetary constraints. In Utah, the change could extend coverage to 150,000 low-income people, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Another 90,000 people could get insurance in Nebraska, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. About 62,000 could receive coverage in Idaho, according to the Associated Press."

Kentucky. Will Wright of the Lexington Herald-Leader: "Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk made famous by her refusal to sign marriage licenses for gay couples, lost Tuesday in her reelection bid for the Rowan County clerkship. Davis, a Republican, lost to Democratic challenger Elwood Caudill Jr. by about 700 votes.... This was Caudill's second time running for the office. In 2014, he lost to Davis by just 23 votes in the primary -- Davis changed parties in 2015. Much of the attention to Caudill's campaign focused around his primary opponent David Ermold, a gay man who was denied a marriage license by Kim Davis in 2015. Ermold's bid for county clerk gained national attention and landed him more than $200,000 in campaign donations from supporters across the country. Despite the financial advantage -- Caudill raised shy of $6,000 for his primary bid -- Ermold lost the primary by more than 1,000 votes." Thanks to forrest m. for the lead.

Michigan: AP: "Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved all three statewide ballot proposals that will have sweeping effects. The Associated Press projected all three would pass with nearly 60 percent or larger margins after more than half of the precincts in the state reported. Proposal 1, which will legalize recreational marijuana, was the closest of the three races but still led with 58 percent of the vote. The approval makes Michigan the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana.... Proposal 2, which will set up a nonpartisan redistricting committee to draw new legislative districts every 10 years, won 61 percent of the vote. The ballot measure could alter the balance of power in a state Republicans have controlled since 2010.... Proposal 3, which would change voter registration and election laws, passed with the widest margin at 68 percent in favor. The wide-ranging constitutional amendment will allow people to register and vote on the day on an election, request absentee ballots without having to give a reason and cast straight-ticket ballots." Thanks to forrest m. for the lead.

Nevada: Dead Brothel Owner Wins. AP: "A Nevada brothel owner and reality TV star who died last month after fashioning himself as a Donald Trump-style Republican candidate has won a heavily GOP state legislative district. Dennis Hof defeated Democratic educator Lesia Romanov on Tuesday in the race for Nevada's 36th Assembly District, which includes rural communities and large stretches of desert in the southern part of the state. County officials will appoint a Republican to take his place in the seat." Mrs. McC: Funny how Republican voters prefer dead guys & crooks to real-life, honest Democrats.

In Other News:

Simon Denyer of the Washington Post: "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned meeting with his North Korean counterpart in New York has been called off at the last minute, the State Department announced Wednesday, without giving any explanation or new date."

Amy Gardner & Beth Reinhard of the Washington Post: "Civil rights groups and election officials fielded thousands of reports of voting irregularities as voting began across the country Tuesday, with voters and advocates complaining of broken machines, rejected ballots and untrained poll workers improperly challenging Americans' right to vote. A coalition of voting-rights organizations reported more than 10,000 calls by 11:30 a.m. -- a higher call volume than in any recent midterm election -- and referred many of them to state and local election officials, the groups said in a news conference in Washington. Together, the organizations have deployed about 6,500 lawyers and monitors across 30 states to protect ballot access -- more than in any previous election."

Robert Barnes of the Washington Post: "The Supreme Court spent a gruesome hour Tuesday debating a constitutional way to execute a Missouri man who has a rare medical condition, with the likely decider, new Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, joining the court's liberals with tough questions for the state."

Reader Comments (25)

Anti-gerrymandering proposal passed in Michigan. Hooray, Hooray!
Now my votes may count someday, someday!

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris

Remember Kim Davis, the same sex marriage license denier?
She lost her county clerk position to Elwood Caudill Jr., one of the
men who was denied a license to marry.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris

Following yesterdays election results Florida now has zero Democrats elected to statewide office. Senator Bill Nelson was the last man standing.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBobby Lee

WE ARE BACK IN THE HOUSE \\\\\\ walk on by all you losers and watch what will happen when representatives do their job. There are going to be certain big, stinking footsies held to the fire.

My boy Beto lost by a thread and I grieve BUT he gave the most stirring and up-lifting concession speech I have ever heard––the kind that we desperately need in a president and president he will be one of these years.

and @Forest–-the Kim Davis bit is delicious irony at its best.

People actually voted for Steve King-–-again????? Who the hell lives in his district? The sand must be such an irritant in their eyes.

to lose Claire McCaskell is a real shame–-the "show me" state motto needs to be changed to "screw me."

The rain has finally stopped, skies are cloudless and buttery blue and we commence once again toward a slight hope that we can take the bull by the horn, sound the alarms and move forward. What we saw during these last months were great numbers of people getting involved in their government–-some for the first time–-women, especially––-young people canvassing tirelessly–-this is democracy at its best –– we applaud it––we are grateful or as Beto said last night––"I fucking love youi guys!"

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Computer still in shop, but the other news junkie here this AM is reading the paper so stole her computer for a few minutes.

My take on last night's results. A mixed bag but overall more hopeful than not. The pretender (who didn't earn a cap with his silly campaigning) pretty roundly rejected except where, based on the history of recent years, one could expect R's to do well anyway, Florida being my major disappointment.

In North Dakota, Heitkamp's win six years ago was a squeaker, and her thumbs down on Kavanugh sealed the deal. Brave woman!

Among other bright spots (any so bright as Kobach's defeat?), in Nevada Dems are projected to win both the senate and governor seats. The purpling continues.

Locally, our state legislature will have more Dems, where they already had a slim majority, we tightened rules on purchase and ownership of automatic weapons, but defeated the carbon tax and prohibited local governments from taxing (horrors!) soda.

The latter two measures suggested that big money can still sway elections. The oil and food industries spent nearly forty million fighting the carbon and beverage measures.

Farther afield, when I went to bed last night we had three states determining that independent commissions, not legislatures, should designate their voting districts, measures I see as a defeat for big money.

Most locally of all, I won my election as a freeholder, but since the home rule measure in our county failed, I won't have year's worth of meetings ahead of me.

The best of two worlds. An ego boost but no work.

Does that make me a Pretender?

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

@The Hon. Ken Winkes: Double congratulations to you, Ken. The "glory" (as it were) without the work! That's a win-win.

November 7, 2018 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

The fact that Iowa has returned a reprehensible racist snake to congress is proof positive that that state should be plunged way down the list for presidential primaries. The quadrennial farce that is the Iowa caucus system is a disgrace. If you can't trust these people to boot a white supremacist, how can they be trusted with the first test of presidential candidates? This is why shitheads get national attention and get to change the conversation for months.

Neither Iowa nor New Hampshire (the first primary state) should maintain such a grasp on national politics. Too white, too stupid (the King vote?), too wingnutty. Iowa warps the entire contest. And why? Because that's the way we've always done it (since 1972, anyway)? Isn't that one of those reasons that guarantees the prohibition of progress, efficiency, and innovation?

Enough of this bullshit. California should go first. A state that at least more closely resembles the country at large. White Americans are rapidly moving into minority status. Why then should lily white farmers in Iowa play such an enormous role in electing a president?

Just think if candidates' initial contests required them to actually talk to black and Hispanic voters besides just white wingers.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

I have ten words for the Democratic majority in the House:

Tax returns, Tax returns, Tax returns, Tax returns, Tax returns.

Make Fatty sweat. I'm sure he'll try to fob off a single page 1040EZ document "proving" that there's no problems with his returns, but the Democrats need a bulldog to bite him in the ass until he complies.

Oh, and two more words for Fatty:

Bob. Mueller.

(Please, please, please, Bob, have something on this treasonous crook. I won't be able to stand it if, after 18 months or so, you issue a few warnings for jaywalking and that's it.)

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Ken, congrats on your election as freeholder. If you tell people you're really a Republican will graft money start rolling in? Maybe you can open a hotel down the street and start raking in the emoluments from foreign potentates and international mucky-mucks who stay there. A golf course would be nice too, and a couple of Winkes Towers, maybe in Islamabad or Istanbul.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

@Akhilleus: I think Illinois would be a good representative state to hold the first primaries. Iowa & New Hampshire are both non-industrial states with tiny populations of ethnic & religious minorities. They don't look at all like the country as a whole. Moreover, New Hampshire election law allows cross-over votes, so voters from the "other" party can seriously skew results. And Iowa doesn't even have elections at all -- it has caucuses, where you have to be a super-patriot, an activist and/or a masochist to go out in the dead of winter & stand around for 5 hours while shouting partisans try to manipulate you. I don't mind if these states have their little dog-and-pony shows, but it's the media who hype them. They should be considered sideshows & get minimal attention until more populous, representative states vote.

November 7, 2018 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

@Akhilleus. Bob. Mueller. Is. a. Republican.

November 7, 2018 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

Just wondering how yesterday would have turned out without the GOP vote suppression operations, gerrymandered districts, forced long lines, "broken" voting machines, and voting roll purges.

Kris Kobach would have lost by about a million votes. The governor's race in Georgia would have been called as soon as the polls closed.

And a huge high-five to Kentucky voters who booted St. Kim of Redneckia. I'm with Forrest on the supreme irony of her having her bigoted ass kicked by one of the guys whose civil rights she decided were not as important as her hatred.

Will Huckster Huckabee show up to hold her hand and pray with her in her time of woe? Oh, wait. No TV cameras? Never mind. He's got some sugary cinnamon buns to sell to diabetics.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Marie,

I'd be perfectly fine with Illinois. Anything but Iowa and New Hampshire (wait...or Kansas).

I agree that the media should bypass these first two sideshows but you know that ain't gonna happen. They couldn't resist the idea of the first votes cast or the first caucus caucused. Candidates could refuse to engage in these dog and ponies but then they'd be castigated for "refusing to talk to salt O the earth real 'mericans".

But this is why idiots like Michele Bachmann are able to grab the spotlight and lie and spin for months and change the grounds of the conversation. She won the Ames straw poll in 2012 and even though she lost the caucus, she still gained far more attention than a kook like her deserves. All because of freakin' Iowa.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

@Ken: Congrats on your FREE-Holding status––I'm with Marie––the glory without the work––way to go!

@AK: Bobby 3 sticks asks you to be patient and assures you that you will be pleased with his outcome or his coming outings or whatever the hell he means to dump on us. If, as you fear, jaywalking may be the only slap on the wrist, then heaven help us––we might as well throw in the towel, smoke a lot of pot and spend a goodly amount of time in the rocky mountains communicating with nature while it lasts.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Marie,

Are you saying you don't expect much from Mueller because he's a Republican? I hadn't thought that that would be an issue, but who knows? He seems like a straight shooter, but seems is just that: seems.

My sense is that the whole megillah is so complicated, with so many strings leading to underhanded, criminal activity, and such a large cast of shady, snaky characters that it will be too difficult to process for many Americans who, in lieu of a smoking gun with Fatty's tiny fingerprints on it, will leave the theater unimpressed with the ending of the play.

Shows or movies whose endings have later to be explained to the average viewer typically don't do well at the Oscars, and even those obscure Oscars for technical achievement don't impress anyone outside the industry. "Oh, Oscar for best audio narration editing in a foreign documentary shot for under a hundred thousand dollars in Greenland. I'm sure your mother is very happy."

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

@Akhilleus

Yeah, there's no limit to what I might do with my new-found power.
It is to dream....might get a new roof on the doghouse...if our poor dog had a doghouse.

BTW, a good measure of the nation's long love affair with democracy is this number: Nearly sixty percent of the votes cast for Senators were cast for Democrats...and they lost seats, which reminds me that the Dems strong showing in the House races was even more impressive, considering how gerrymandered so many districts are in favor of the R's.

Did like the overall governor results, too.

And aside from the good news about redistricting commission proposals that passed in three states, tho' it was trailing last night, I still have faint hope that LA will pass the public banking enabling act that was on its ballot.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

I think my ticket for 2020 is Klobuchar-O'Rourke. Both are Minnesota-nice & unlike Elizabeth Warren, Klobuchar is not at all grating -- yet she has pretty much the same "values." And Trump would have a very hard time getting under Amy's or Beto's skin. They just don't bite, & they end up making their opponents look as small as they are. And they're both vote-getters. Klobuchar won handily yesterday & Beto nearly took Texas.

Of course the DNC is probably plotting a losers ticket as I write.

November 7, 2018 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

Ken,

Have your dog call my dog. He's asleep on the couch back at home right about now. I've been telling him to look for some affordable housing, but R's have outlawed that. Guess he'll stay on the couch.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Oh yeah, David Brat is another Tea Party fraud who can eat shit and die. Good going, Abigail Spanberger. Citizens in the Virginia 7th can now rest easy that they don't have a lying, Kool-Aid hawking weasel as their representative in congress any longer.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Well shit. Considering all of the rocky rapids slowing the wave last night, I suppose we gotta be content with at least the House. Especially given the brutal winger math we were staring down. Still hard to take, but we probably dodged a huge bullet last night for future electoral cycles.

Every newly arrived Democrat, at every level of government, needs to start from day one to push for policies dismantling gerrymandering attempts and need to start messaging a massive campaign on improving the right to vote. Only the most dickless, evil assholes whine against expanding the franchise. Stomp these shitstains into the ground at every turn. Publicly. No longer can we allow a Georgia-suppression redux. It's 2018 and watching Kemp's stone cold stare I could've sworn I was watching a history channel doc on the Jim Crow era. Start hollering yesterday about these attempts nationwide, and shame their promoters, mercilessly. Until they provide proof or voter fraud (they can't) we need to scream to high heaven about what's going on. Maybe it won't change the laws, but once the public catches on that the GOP is practicing electoral THIEVERY, the pendulum will swing against them.

And the House had better wipe the floor with snot-nosed limp dick Wilbur Ross and his LIES about the census ratfuking. We can't let the R's get away with this shit. The Democratic party has a huge stake in this fight, and needs to shove their own stake through the heart of this shameful partisan power grab.

We need to choose our fights very carefully, but bring them with fire and ice.

And fuck Scott Walker.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commentersafari

The Democrats may have gained control of the House of Reps, and
voted in lots of women and minorities, but there are still a lot of
things the Republicans are better at:
The number of indictments.
The number of liars.
The number of crooks.
Best at gerrymandering.
Best at voter suppression.
The most racists per capita.
The most homophobes.
The most misogynists.
The most obstructionists.

Did I overlook anything?
And here's hoping that the Democrats never catch up with them on
any of their bests.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris

Jeff Sessions resigns, at the president's* request.
https://www.yahoo.com/gma/attorney-jeff-sessions-resigns-trumps-
request-195503170.html

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris

Trump held, this afternoon, the most outlandish press conference ever. You will see this all over the news tonight and if you have the stomach for it see it in total on Cspan. Finally some gutsy reporters took to questioning Trump's tumescence on all things "out of the ordinary" and in turn got a nasty retort. For one glorious moment I thought I'd witness a fierce confrontation but it was not to be––BUT––there was that moment and it was so satisfying. Obviously Trump knew very well that Sessions was bye,bye but when asked he denied anyone leaving "at this time."

I'm waiting––and have been waiting––for SOMEONE to finally ask him, sweetly, of course, when he tells us how the media/press lies about him–-"all the time–-very unfair-=-very unfair.." WHAT LIES IS HE TALKING ABOUT!!! \ No one ever asks.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Confederate Colonel Jefferson Beauregard Sessions has departed (fired by Fatty).

Mueller is next.

Yes, yes, many advisers have cautioned Fat Führer Donald against firing Mueller but has he ever listened to anyone?

Today in his harangue (er, news conference), he said he had nothing to worry about with the Russia-Collusion-Treason investigation because it never happened, it's all a hoax.

Of course, if it was all a hoax, he wouldn't be president* now.

I'm thinking that Fatty will jury-rig a situation whereby some rubber stamp doofus of his will fire Rosenstein and then Mueller's investigation will be declared DOA, nothing to see here, all a hoax.

You may be forgiven for thinking that the imminent arrival of a Democratically controlled House might temper the Orange Monster's ire and arrogance.

Fuggedaboutit.

Wait and see all the lame duck bullshit he and Ryan try to pull prior to Democrats taking over.

Sessions, meanwhile, will find a cushy landing spot as Grand Dragon of some KKK outfit, or as Obergruppenführer of some white nationalist Confederate-Nazi hate group. He's been one of their heroes for a long time.

All the best people.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

If I were Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer, or any Democratic of note, or American concerned with law and order and justice (automatically excludes anyone with an R after their name), I would announce in no uncertain terms that the dismissal of Robert Mueller just as he is about to reveal (I hope) the perfidy (and treason) of Trump & Co., would be cause for bringing Mueller before a nationally televised audience in a congressional hearing room and ordering him to spill the Trumpy beans.

Fatty can only Nazi it up so far. He needs to know that he is not the fucking emperor he thinks he is.

November 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus
Comments for this entry have been disabled. Additional comments may not be added to this entry at this time.