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Looking forward to 2018

Pro and Con

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Apr 12, 2017, 3:18pm Top

Here's what Nate Silver tweeted about the Kansas House election to fill Pompeo's seat yesterday, which was unusually close:

Estes underperformed Trump's margin by 20.3 points. If every district behaved like that, Dems would gain 122 (!) House seats next November. https://t.co/4H9AjAhF84

— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) April 12, 2017

No, I'm not getting all my hopes up. But this is certainly interesting. And as a reminder, the Democrats spent $0 on this race.

Here's the NY Times story for context: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/11/us/politics/kansas-special-election.html?ref=todayspaper

Apr 12, 2017, 3:34pm Top

Senator Manchin, up for re-election next year, is making a great effort to meet citizens and discuss the issues in West Virginia during the recess.

Today's meeting was well packed with Indivisibles, and the questions were direct and covered a lot of ground. I was impressed by his intelligence, his grasp of the overall picture as well as many of the details, and his obvious respect for his constituency.

A few answers were unsatisfactory; but he admits that he's made mistakes and is willing to learn more.

He seemed more statesman, after the mold of Robert Byrd, than politician.

Apr 12, 2017, 3:45pm Top

Just following one friend in Kansas on facebook I got the idea that this was good old fashioned grass roots work--lots of energy put into the race. It seems a good sign that perhaps the Trump win has made a lot of people very nervous and energized an opposition.

Oct 31, 9:58am Top

So, which races are of most interest to you?

I'm rooting for the Iron Stache, Randy Bryce in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional.

Also hoping Ammar Campa-Najjar wins in California against Duncan Hunter.

The Georgia governor's race is nail-bitingly tense.

Arizona's 4th district race is of interest, because Paul Gosar's siblings all came out against him.

Iowa Congressman, Steve King, is in the newsfeed today, with pressure mounting against him by his own Republican party. He's been reprimanded for his white supremacist connections and is now losing endorsements and corporate money.

Oct 31, 10:37am Top

For Halloween this year I wore all blue clothes including a hat upon which I pinned my "I Voted" sticker. I wave frantically at teachers and students alike but it's sad how few people get it. Including one government teacher.

Edited: Oct 31, 11:40am Top

I really want the Democrats to win back the house but I'm also looking forward to the day that Wasserman-Schultz loses her job. It won't happen this year so forgive me for that bit of heresy. I would also like to see the end of Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer as Democratic party leaders.

I think about my own congressional seat currently held by Tom Reed--the first congressman to endorse Trump. Recent polling has him up by 5 or 6 points which I can imagine is not that comfortable for him. I think he expected much better than that and he's been running some pretty nasty ads the last few weeks. It's a long longshot but if he were to be knocked off by Tracy Mitrano that would please me very much. There are at least two other NYS races that I'm watching--to see if Republican representatives Chris Collins (who is headed for prison) survives against Nate McMurray and Claudia Tenney survives against Anthony Brindisi. Both of the Republicans have hoisted their petards and circled their wagons around Trump--and I'm thinking both of them are going to lose which will be very very good. And very much looking forward to the beginning of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's tenure.

The Bryce in Wisconsin taking the retiring House speaker's Paul Ryan's seat would be great though too. Dana Rohrabacher is another that could lose easily lose to Harley Rouda. And then it looks to me like the Dems are also going to take the retiring Darrell Issa's district too.

Edited: Oct 31, 11:42am Top

I'll be rooting for Katie Porter over Mimi Walters in my own district.

>6 lriley: I'm just half a mile from being able to vote against Issa.

Edited: Oct 31, 11:43am Top

.....and forgot Beto O'Rourke. Just thinking what an improvement the Senate would be with no Ted Cruz. And then there's Steven King--his race all of a sudden is neck and neck with J. D. Scholten.

Nov 5, 10:46pm Top

Black and female, Atlanta domestic workers organize then and now ~

When Domestic Workers Rose Up in Atlanta


Edited: Nov 6, 2:17am Top

Sure hope Democratic winners, especially in hot races, will have some security at their celebrations--hopefully not needed--
and that FBI is keeping tabs on potentially dangerous militias, never mind their bleating about the deep state:

Georgia Gun Range, Militia Group Wants Trump to 'Kick the S***' Out of Stacey Abrams
Benjamin Fearnow | 11/5/18

The III% Security Force Intel gun range group urged its more than 22,000 Facebook supporters to defend President Donald Trump and to go on the offensive "if commies win Tuesday." The Three Percenter-affiliated militia group is the latest set of heavily armed citizens demanding a "Declaration of War" should the Democratic Party take a majority in the midterm elections Tuesday.

..."We want President Trump to kick the shit out of deep state / police state. And Stacy Abrams for Governor in Ga, you flag burning, gun grabbing, socialist beeotch. we will defend our state and the second amendment," the III% Security Force Intel group wrote on Facebook Saturday.

"Monday you will see III% Security Force tell the world that We have President Trump's 6," the group added. "If commies win Tuesday and go forward with usurping and impeaching, you gotta come through III%. We will defend our President."

A Danish news outlet recently interviewed members of the group in "a southern Georgia forest," where the militia group is "currently preparing for a fight against the Democratic Party after the mid-term election." Three Percent member Joel Miller said he believes Democrats are "far more dangerous" than Islamic extremists.

The group has particularly targeted Abrams, whose first name they continue to spell incorrectly, saying she is "48 hours away from the dust bin of history."...



Stoking the flames...

Without evidence, Trump and Sessions warn of voter fraud in Tuesday's elections
Amy Gardner WaPo | Nov. 5, 2018

In a tweet early Monday, Trump said that law enforcement has been "strongly notified" to watch for "ILLEGAL VOTING." He promised that anyone caught voting improperly would be subjected to "Maximum Criminal Penalties." (AG Jeff) Sessions, in a statement laying out the Justice Department's plans to monitor ballot access on Election Day, said "fraud in the voting process will not be tolerated. Fraud also corrupts the integrity of the ballot."

In remarks to reporters on his way to a campaign rally in Cleveland, Trump also falsely claimed that voter fraud is commonplace.

"Just take a look," he said. "All you have to do is go around, take a look at what's happened over the years, and you'll see. There are a lot of people - a lot of people - my opinion, and based on proof - that try and get in illegally and actually vote illegally. So we just want to let them know that there will be prosecutions at the highest level."

...In his statement, Sessions said the Justice Department will follow its usual protocol of sending monitors across the country to protect against voter suppression, intimidation and discrimination; this year, staff will travel to 35 jurisdictions in 19 states to monitor compliance with voting laws.

In past years, Justice Department officials have not listed voter fraud as a top concern when announcing the deployment of election monitors, as Sessions did Monday.

...Nowhere has the debate over voting rights been more acrimonious than in Georgia, where Republican Brian Kemp, a champion of voting restrictions, is running for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams, who would be the first-ever black female governor in the nation.

....Kemp also tweeted an article Monday from Breitbart, a conservative news outlet that regularly publishes right-wing conspiracy theories, claiming that "armed Blank Panthers" support Abrams. The racially charged article featured photographs of black men carrying guns and holding Abrams signs.

Accusations and anxiety surfaced in other corners of the nation, too...


Nov 6, 3:35am Top

There's a good piece in Sojourners magazine entitled Why I Vote: Seven contributors share why they show up at the ballot box. Unfortunately most of it is subscription only, but you can get the first two contributions free. They include Richard Rohr:

Since the early days of representative government, it has been believed that democracy would only work if there was a truly free and informed citizenry. We presently seem to lack both in the U.S. This is why voting is a deeply moral act for me—in rebuilding confidence and encouraging an intelligent and hope-filled society. It is also a decisive act of Christian faith that I matter, society matters, justice matters, and others matter.

Nov 6, 7:46am Top

I wonder how this group III% would feel if they came out as they say and the POTUS turned the army on them as is likely would happen......because for one thing he'd lose all legitimacy otherwise. He might not want to but he has to defend the nation from an armed insurrection from within. That is something no President can put up with without looking like a weakling and losing all credibility.

Basically these III%'ers are a bunch of alt-right buffoons.

Just more fear spreading from the right.

Edited: Nov 7, 1:35pm Top

Rep Adam Schiff (D-CA) replaces Republican chair of House Intelligence Committee--most notoriously Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), most recently Mike Conaway (R-Texas). What a relief!

Beto’s Loss Was a Blessing in Disguise for Democrats
And other lessons of the 2018 midterm elections
David Frum |

...This was not a night of cleansing righteous fire. It was, instead, an election that accomplished three necessary things.

First, the 2018 vote delivered enough Democratic success to introduce some oversight and accountability into the federal government after two years of executive impunity. ...

Second, the vote administered enough Democratic disappointment to check the party’s most self-destructive tendencies...

Third, the vote reminded all concerned Americans how very, very difficult will be the struggle to preserve and restore liberal democracy after Trumpocracy...



Fourth, enough happened in states* to begin to level 2020 playing field.

Fifth, Trump's nails-on-blackboard press conference enough to rouse us from post-election morning mope...

*ETA--While our Koch-supported rep hung in there, I have hope that in two more years, Michigan's more rationally designed districts and voting reforms will have the desired cleansing effect!

ACLU @ACLU | 8:43 PM - 6 Nov 2018:
BREAKING: Michigan just voted for sweeping election reforms. The state now has:

📝 automatic voter registration
📝 same-day registration
📝 post-election audits
📝 no-excuse absentee voting
📝 straight-ticket voting
📝 protections for military and overseas voters

This is big.

Edited: Nov 7, 3:26pm Top

Whew! I'm expecting all kinds of deviltry to be attempted in these two lame duck months.

Nov 7, 5:18pm Top

The Democrats had to protect a lot of Senate seats this time around. The next two election cycles (2020 and 2022) it will be the Republican party that will have to defend more seats. In 2020 right now it is 12 Democratic seats and 20 Republican seats with one still to be determined in Mississippi. Beto O'Rourke can go right straight back at John Cornyn in Texas in 2020. Susan Collins better hope that Judge Kavanaugh doesn't put his thumb down on the anti abortion side of the scale. She's also vulnerable. Iowa went from 3 republican districts to only 1--so Joni Ernst could be another target. Cory Gardner (Colo) and Jon Kyl (Ariz) could be other targets in 2020. Conversely Doug Jones in Alabama is someone the Republicans will target as well as Gary Peters in Michigan. Still when you have 20/21 to protect as the republicans will instead of 12/13 as the Democrats will it's a lot harder.

Edited: Nov 8, 1:44pm Top

Lucy McBath Wins Georgia Congressional Race Against Karen Handel

Lucy McBath, the gun control and racial justice activist whose son was killed in a 2012 shooting, is now headed to Congress, after winning a razor-thin election decided Thursday morning.


Edited: Nov 13, 9:55pm Top

These are the House Seats that flipped in this election.

Democratic wins:

1. Arizona 2 Ann Kirkpatrick (that was Martha McSally's seat)
2. California 25 Katie Hill
3. California 48 Harley Rouda (so much for putrid Dana Rohrabacher)
4. California 49 Mike Levin (retiring Darrell Issa's seat)
5. Colorado 6 Jason Crow
6. Florida 26 Debbie Mucarsel Powell (that was held by Carlos Cubelo one of those whom Trump threw under the bus at his press conference)
7. Florida 27 Donna Shalala (pretty sure she worked in the Obama administration)
8. Georgia 6 Lucy McBath (as mentioned above)
9. Illinois 6 Sean Casten (held by Peter Roskam--another Trump threw under the bus at his press conference)
10. Illinois 14 Lauren Underwood
11. Iowa 1 Abby Finkenauer
12. Iowa 3 Cindy Axne
13. Kansas 3 Sharice Davids
14. Michigan 8 Elissa Slotkin
15. Michigan 15 Haley Stevens
16. Minnesota 2 Angie Craig
17. Minnesota 3 Dean Phillips
18. New Jersey 2 Jeff Van Drew
19. New Jersey 7 Tom Malinowski
20. New Jersey 11 Mikey Sherrill
21. New Mexico 2 Xochitl Torres Small
22. New York 11 Max Rose
23. New York 19 Anthony Delgado
24. Oklahoma 5 Kendra Horn (turning an Oklahoma seat surprised me)
25. Pennsylvania 5 Mary Gay Scanlon
26. Pennsylvania 6 Chrissy Houlahan (retiring Republican Ryan Costello who held the seat berated Trump on Twitter--then on MSNBC and then on CNN this morning)
27. Pennsylvania 7 Susan Ellis Wild
28. Pennsylvania 17 Conor Lamb
29. South Carolina 1 Joe Cunningham (another one that really surprised me)
30. Texas 7 Lizzie Pannill Fletcher
31. Texas 32 Colin Allred (so much for long time congressman Pete Sessions)
32. Virginia 2 Elaine G. Luria
33. Virginia 7 Abigail Spanberger
34. Virginia 10 Jennifer Wexton
35. California 10 Josh Harder


there is a pretty decent chance that Jared Golden will take Bruce Poliquin's Maine 1. A very good chance that Andy Kim will flip Tom McArthur's New Jersey 3. An almost certainty that Anthony Brindisi will flip Claudia Tenney's (who Trump went out of his way to campaign for) New York 22. A possibility that Dan McCready will flip Mark Harris's North Carolina 9. A very good chance that Ben McAdams will flip Mia Love's (another whom Trump threw under the bus in his press conference and she hadn't actually lost) Utah 4 and an excellent chance that Kim Schrier will flip Dino Rossi's Washington 8. I expect the Democrats are going to get 4 out of the 6 and possibly all of them.

So before all is said and done they will have flipped between 38 and 40 House seats.

They flipped two Senate seats:

Nevada Jacky Rosen defeated Dean Heller.
Arizona Kyrsten Sinema defeated Martha McSally for John McCain's Senate seat.

I'd be surprised but there is the potential that Mike Espy flips a Mississippi Senate seat--the runoff for that is Nov. 27.

They also flipped governorships in:

Illinois--JB Pritzker defeated incumbent Bruce Rauner
Kansas--Laura Kelly defeated Kris Kobach (that's got to be a hard loss for Trumpian Republicans)
Maine--Janet Mills defeated Shawn Moody
Michigan--Gretchen Whitmer defeated Bill Schuette (another hard loss for Trumpians)
Nevada--Steve Sisolak defeated Adam Laxalt
New Mexico--Michelle Lujan Grisham defeated Steve Pearce
Wisconsin--Tony Evers defeated Scott Walker

As an addendum as a NYS resident Democrats took over full control of the State Senate in a rout and across the country the Republicans in aggregate lost well over 300 State legislative positions.

On the other side:

Republican House flips:

1. Minnesota 1 Jim Hagedorn
2. Minnesota 8 Pete Stauber

Republican Senate flips:

Indiana Mike Braun defeated Joe Donnelly
Missouri Josh Hawley defeated Claire McCaskill
North Dakota--Kevin Cramer defeated Heidi Heitkamp

They did not flip any governorships. The Republicans won those 4 Senate seats at the expense of 1 with 1 still pending but the Senate map was very rough on the Democrats this time around as they had to defend a lot more than the Republicans. The next two times it will be the Republicans defending more. Apart from those Senate wins the Republicans lost pretty much on everything else. To suggest that the Republicans won this election is just flat out wrong. They kind of got hammered.


Two senate seats still to be decided:

Florida--Bill Nelson--Dem (inc.) vs. Rick Scott-Rep in a recount.
Mississippi Cindy Hyde-Smith-Rep (inc.) vs. Mike Espy-Dem in a runoff.

Nov 9, 9:34am Top

In my state of North Carolina, one of the most gerrymandered states in the country, the Republicans lost their supermajority so our Democrat governor can actually govern. I think districts will have to be redrawn for 2020, so things might get even better.

Nov 9, 11:00am Top

California's 45th is still too close to call and it's trending towards the Democrat as more ballots are counted.


Edited: Nov 9, 1:17pm Top

As well Krysten Sinema has taken the lead over Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race. That was John McCain's. If Sinema flips that seat the Democrats get one of those Senate seats back. Further Florida and Georgia continued to be contentious in respect to the Governor and Senator seats in Florida and the Governor's race in Georgia. If Miller were to prevail and Sinema wins Trumps net Senate take would be 1 seat with the Mississippi election still to be decided.

I don't see how anyone could look at the mid-terms objectively and say the Republicans did well. They may win a couple Senate seats when all is said and done but they were crushed at the national and state levels. They also lost a chamber of congress which gives the Democratic party some very serious clout back. One of the criticism's of the Obama presidency was the loss of legislative positions at both the federal and state levels--over his 8 years it added up to about a 1000. Trump after two years has lost about 350. If he were to continue at the rate over 8 years he'd lose 1400. But he thought they'd won. I watch some clowns over at Fox--they dug into the more emotional races--Cruz/O'Rourke, Gillum/DeSantis for instance--added in the Senate wins and decided big Trump victory too. It's a extremely narrow spin of what happened on Tuesday.

Trump's actions also don't speak to a person who thinks he won. The tantrum against GOP congresspersons who lost on tuesday and against the press the next day--was childish but he clearly didn't act very happy at his press conference. He was seriously pissed. I wonder why some people can't see what a fucking maniac he is. He certainly isn't qualified for the position he holds. He is incoherent--rambles on idiotically---has almost no self composure--makes off the cuff decisions without seeking advice from anyone. Congratulates himself over and over for all kinds of nonsense---continually threatens and demeans others. He's not mentally healthy. He lacks the intellect to do his job. He's absolutely over his head and winging it and it's going to get a lot worse for him. A message was sent by the electorate. He doesn't appear to have gotten it at all. What it comes down to is he is a loser.

Nov 9, 10:38pm Top

The votes aren’t all counted yet in Arizona, but Trump has inserted himself, claiming electoral corruption and calling for a do-over.


Nov 10, 7:57am Top

#23--Nones not nuns. I'm a none.

Nov 12, 10:02pm Top

Kyrsten Sinema takes the Arizona Senate spot for the Democrats. That leaves Nelson/Scott in Florida--which could go either way and the Hyde-Smith-Espy runoff in Mississippi on Nov. 27. If the Democrats win both they'll even out the Republican pickups. That one edge the republicans gained in the 2018 mid-terms would disappear though they would still control the Senate by the slimmest of margins.

Edited: Nov 13, 7:46am Top

>25 lriley: Slim margin might be enough to indict, if a handful of 'righteous Republicans' and a Dem minority in Senate are convinced by a House case for impeachment? Although McConnell would still control what comes up for consideration?


Republicans fan unfounded worries about voter fraud in Florida and other close contests
Beth Reinhard, Sean Sullivan and Amy Gardner | November 12 at 8:52 PM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Republicans are sowing skepticism about the electoral process in states with votes that are too close to call, echoing President Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud and suggesting that election officials should jettison the common practice of completing vote counts after Election Day.

...in Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott is tapping the powers of his administration to defend his slender lead in the U.S. Senate race and accusing Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of “trying to steal an election.” Without evidence, Trump on Twitter claimed ballots were “massively infected” in Florida and said the recount should halt — though it is mandated by state law and overseas military ballots aren’t due until Friday.

...Combined with accusations of voter suppression in the Georgia governor’s race, public faith in the electoral system is being put to the test.

...in recent years as a number of states have passed laws that Republicans say weed out illegal voters and Democrats say disenfranchise eligible ones. Before his election, Trump claimed that the 2016 vote would be “rigged,” but as president he has dismissed evidence that Russians tried to influence the outcome...new level of vitriol over the results in certain closely fought races — particularly where late ballot counts have shrunk the lead of the Republican..

...“I think the takeaway, fairly or not, from Florida to Georgia to Arizona, is Republicans continue to try to suppress the vote and Democrats continue to try to turn it out,” said former Florida congressman David Jolly, who recently left the GOP to become an independent. “Current political leaders making these false allegations in itself is a failure of leadership. . . . They’ve already undermined the legitimacy of the election, in some ways.”...


Edited: Nov 13, 8:32am Top

Greg Bluestein @bluestein | 7:40 PM - 12 Nov 2018

A federal judge just issued a 56 page order* that could affect thousands of provisional ballots in Georgia's race for governor. #gapol

The order by Judge Amy Totenberg blocks the Secretary of State from certifying the election until Friday and directs state and local officials to conduct a review of many of the provisional ballots.

The state also has to provide new, rolling updates of why provisional ballots were rejected and to set up a hotline for voters so they can determine whether their provisional ballots were counted

* https://cmgwsbradiojamiedupree.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/georgia-vote.pdf


The Latest: New guidelines issued for Georgia mail ballots
Nov 12, 2018

...Georgia’s secretary of state has ordered county election officials to count absentee ballots even if voters have not included their year of birth if there is enough other information to verify their identity.

...Unofficial returns show Kemp with about 50.3 percent of the vote. Abrams hopes to pick up enough provisional votes and other uncounted ballots to push Kemp’s margin below the 50 percent threshold he needs to avoid a runoff...


Nov 13, 12:59pm Top

#26--it wouldn't surprise me at all if Trump is impeached. That is the prerogative of the House--not the Senate. The Senate's thing is to convict or not and I believe that's a 2/3rds vote to convict. There's 0 chance of even 60 and for all practical purposes even turning one republican might be a reach for a conviction which would force him out. What would have to happen is job approval numbers absolutely tank and he's dragging the republican brand's numbers along with it. That would mean that a significant % of the 30-35% Trump can do no wrong crowd would need to bail on him. The multi-front investigations by Mueller's FBI and the Southern District of NY's investigations might be able to coordinate enough to do that or pick off a number of those who are very close to him.

One of the things I find interesting with the Sinema win over McSally and Rosen's win over Heller is that region of the country which has lots of Hispanics seems to be turning away from the republicans and more and more towards the Democrats.

Colorado--Democrats flip a House seat--hold on to the Governor.
Nevada--Democrats flip the governor's seat and a Senate seat.
Arizona--Democrats flip a Senate seat and a House seat.
New Mexico--Democrats flip the Governor, hold on to the Senate seat up for grabs and flip the only Republican House seat. Basically they have it all in New Mexico.
California--Democrats hold on to the Senate seat as would be expected but also flip at least 3 and probably 4 House seats with the possibility of two others. Of the 53 House seats in that state republicans will probably have only 10 and maybe as few as 8. I'm wondering what would have happened if those fires had happened a week or two before they did and Trump had tweeted about forest mismanagement. The Republicans would have lost even more.

But anyway these are all states with a very strong Hispanic component and IMO Trump's immigration idiocies are making it extremely hard for his party to compete in these states and they even lost House seats in Texas where Beto made a strong run at Cruz's Senate spot. Trump is damaging his party a lot in this region. He's turning it blue and the overt racism I suspect is going to play against republicans for a long time. This politics of race baiting white nationalism is an absolute loser and is going to wipe them out and this might be the one of the first regions to go and maybe as soon as 2020. Cory Gardner (Colorado) and Jon Kyl's (Arizona) republican Senate seats are in the 2020 cycle. IMO Gardner would be very smart to separate himself from Trump as often as possible. Both of them will have their work cut out for them in 2020.

Edited: Nov 13, 10:08pm Top

Josh Harder Democrat flips California 10th congressional district.

Katie Porter Democrat is now ahead of Republican incumbent Mimi Walters in California 45--it's a razor thin margin of 261.

In California 39 Republican incumbent Young Kim's lead has shrunk to 711 over Gil Cisneros.

So at least one more has flipped--one looks like it will and another looks like it might.

In Utah 4 Democrat Ben McAdams lead has shrunk to 1229 over Republican incumbent Mia Love who Donald Trump threw under the bus the day after the election.

Nov 15, 3:13pm Top

Looks like the Democrats who are at 230 now in the House according to C-Span will win at least 2 more and possibly 6 more of the undecided House races. That means that they'll at least flip 39 House seats and a possible 43 to the Republicans 2. The Dems will have a majority of at least 27.

If Bill Nelson wins the recount against Rick Scott for Florida Senate the Republicans net gain in Senate seats will be 1 with a Mississippi seat still pending. Considering the Dems had 25 senate seats to defend to 9 for the Republicans in this election cycle and that several were in states Trump won handily in 2016 even coming out with a net 2 picks is a mediocre gain for the Republican party. They will have to defend a lot more in the next two election cycles.

Nov 15, 4:18pm Top

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Already Breaking the Rules

On Monday, after reports emerged that Amazon was opening up a new headquarters in Queens right next to her district, Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo celebrated the announcement, as did Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. But Ocasio-Cortez did not—instead she wrote up a viral series of tweets that said there was “outrage” in her community over fears of residents being priced out of their neighborhoods, and threw cold water on the claim that Amazon was going to add new life to the local economy.

“Has the company promised to hire in the existing community?” she tweeted. “What’s the quality of jobs and how many are promised? Are these jobs low-wage or high wage? Are there benefits? Can people collectively bargain?” Ocasio Cortez’s skepticism of Amazon—a view shared by some progressive local politicians—showed a willingness to buck mainstream Democratic policy thinking about how cities should grow their economies.

But perhaps the most important thing Ocasio-Cortez did in the past week was deciding to join a group of over 150 green activists organized by the Sunrise Movement during a sit-in at Pelosi’s office. The climate justice group was seeking to apply pressure to Pelosi—who is very likely to become the Speaker of the House—to adopt an aggressive green agenda and create rules banning Democratic leadership from taking money from the fossil fuel industry.

It was a remarkable gesture—Ocasio-Cortez’s first visit to the office of the most powerful member of her party in the House was as part of a protest. By showing up at the sit-in, Ocasio-Cortez ensured that a demonstration that might have otherwise gone unnoticed garnered national attention. And as she stood surrounded by energetic young activists, she signaled that she intends to stay embedded in the social movements that helped her rise to power.

Ocasio-Cortez attempted to present the protest as a symbol of good-faith pressure rather than adversarial criticism, telling the protesters that if Pelosi is elected speaker that “we need to tell her that we’ve got her back in showing and pursuing the most progressive energy agenda that this country has ever seen.” And Pelosi later reciprocated that tone: “Deeply inspired by the young activists & advocates leading the way on confronting climate change,” she tweeted. “The climate crisis threatens the futures of communities nationwide, and I strongly support reinstating the select committee to address the crisis.”

It’s still early days, but Ocasio-Cortez is clearly demonstrating tremendous ambition. She’s not only game to challenge the traditions and the power structure of her party—she’s trying to do it on her own terms. As she said about the protest at Pelosi’s office: “The way things are done has not been getting results. We have to try new methods.”

Edited: Nov 15, 4:59pm Top

>32 2wonderY: fears of residents being priced out of their neighborhoods
I don't blame her for being concerned. The median price of homes in Queens - $640,000 according to Zillow.
Palo Alto is $3,217,900.
And I bet they'll start to climb up speculatively now that the news is out.

Edited: Nov 15, 10:56pm Top

>30 2wonderY: freshmen

The headline writer seems not to have noticed that a large proportion of those in the photo are not men, whether fresh or otherwise. Ironic that an article presumably intended to highlight diversity also reinforces gender exclusive language.

Edited: Nov 16, 11:07am Top

One of the issues with Nancy Pelosi is she doesn't reflect the new dynamism of her party very well. Neither does Steny Hoyer who's been riding shotgun for her for her at least a couple decades. OTOH though certain democratic representatives say they won't vote for her nobody has stepped up to challenge her. So...............

In any case she's 78 and Hoyer is 79. IMO they're time in leadership is running out. Probably not this time but by 2020/2022 I suspect they are going to be challenged very seriously. They come from a different era---pretty much out of the Bill Clinton years and a lot of the new democrats coming in in the last two/three election cycles are well to the left of the Clinton's--Ocasio-Cortez may be even left of Sanders. There's a younger and activist vibe to many of them and I expect they're going to continue to push on a number of things that more established democrats have hedged on in the past.

In some respects it's kind of like a sports team. You need new blood all the time---a political party needs to understand/keep up with what's happening in society and societies are always in flux. Without that new blood everything will go stale. That the democratic party--particularly in this election reflects all segments of society makes it much more palatable for me. Their leadership in both the House and Senate is going to have to change though.

Edited: Nov 17, 1:48pm Top

Good time for Mrs Pelosi to identify and begin training promising successors.
She is remarkable, though--bred to vote-counting, strategy, and steely discipline, IMO.

Downsides are that she's a woman and an old one at that, both characteristics which Republicans love to have in a foil. (Clinton, RBG, Pelosi, Waters)
Young Dems with long knives should be careful that they aren't doing the Republicans' dirty work...

Pro (Donna Edwards)

Con (Alexandra Petri)

With friends like that...

Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes
Rachel Withers Nov 17, 2018

Nancy Pelosi has an unexpected (and unwelcome) ally in her bid to lead the incoming Democratic majority...


Yesterday, 6:47am Top

Yesterday, 6:54am Top

However this turns out, hope Dems can avoid fissures like that on other side:

Fight for House speaker explodes into national political campaign
Elise Viebeck, Mike DeBonis and Erica Werner | November 17, 2018

...tennis champ Martina Navratilova wondered aloud why Pelosi’s job was at risk but her Senate counterpart’s position was in no such trouble.

“Go figure,” Navratilova tweeted. “A man loses and keeps his place, a woman wins and gets booted?!?”

...The 78-year-old California congresswoman has rejected calls for a new generation of leaders after her furious campaigning, more than $130 million in fundraising and focused message of protecting the health-care law that she helped pass in 2010 delivered a Democratic majority.

...the contest seemed to deepen divisions within the party’s ranks that threatened to split Democrats after their resounding win.

...Her Democratic critics say it’s time to choose a new leader after 16 years with Pelosi, citing the need for fresh faces and her unpopularity in more-conservative districts that Democrats must win to keep their majority.

But the anti-Pelosi faction has drawn criticism for not yet identifying all its members, failing to produce an alternative and even suggesting many women could do the extraordinarily difficult job.

...Supporters have cited the need for a speaker who can immediately stand up to Trump, spell out the Democrats’ agenda and score legislative wins for the party before the next campaign.

...But opponents dismissed the notion that Pelosi is the only House Democrat who has the strength and experience to take on Trump.

But this opposition to the leading candidate is already generating talk of primary challenges in 2020. Amy Siskind, a liberal activist and author who promotes candidates to her 326,000 Twitter followers, vowed to raise money and recruit women to oppose anti-Pelosi agitators.

...Advisers to Pelosi and Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), who is running for majority leader, privately voiced greater concern earlier in the week...But by late Thursday, they felt much more confident, saying they had identified the field of potential dissidents — about 20 or so Democrats — and were drawing up a battle plan to sway each one, the people said.

...When Pelosi convened a meeting of her whips Thursday, 43 Democrats were on hand to get marching orders about which votes needed to be flipped. The House minority leader carries a detailed whip list in her pocket and is constantly updating it, said one Democratic aide.


Today, 3:03pm Top

A long shot Senate seat upset in Mississippi? Could Alabama happen again?

Democrats seek to turn Hyde-Smith's comments into a surge in black turnout in Mississippi Senate runoff

… a progressive blogger posted videos in which Espy's opponent in the late-November runoff, Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, said she'd attend a "public hanging" if invited by a supporter, and that suppressing the votes of college students might be a "good thing."

Hyde-Smith's campaign, meanwhile, sought to defuse the controversy over the newer video, in which she calls it a "good idea" to make it harder for college students to vote, with a tweet in which she is seen at the same event where the video was recorded laughing with two students -- one of whom is black.

"It's ok to still have a sense of humor in America isn't it?" the tweet posted to Hyde-Smith's account said. "These students enjoyed a laugh with Cindy despite out of state social media posts trying to mislead Mississippians."

On Friday evening, the black student in the picture, J.R. Coleman, took to Twitter with scathing criticism of Hyde-Smith's campaign over its use of the photo.

"As a Political Science major I want to understand and inform myself about every candidate. But I do not, however, support Cindy Hyde Smith. I am disgusted. The sole purpose of this picture being posted is because I am black," he said.

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