2020, contd. (V)

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Sep 28, 2019, 12:00pm

Joanne Freeman @jbf1755 (Yale) | 7:42 AM · Sep 28, 2019:
Yesterday the FEC chair tried to publish their weekly journal & was blocked. She says that’s unprecedented
It has a draft rule re: foreign election interference
So she tweeted the ENTIRE journal.
Just putting that here...

TO: The Commission
FROM: Ellen L. Weintraub, Chair
SUBJECT: Draft Interpretive Rule Concerning Prohibited Activities Involving Foreign Nationals
DATE:September 26, 2019

I request that the attached document be made public and that it be placed on the agenda of the Commission’s next open meeting (Oct 17, 2019).

This is not my ideal statement of the law, but I believe this document fairly reflects the Commission’s interpretation of the foreign-national political-spending prohibition.

Draft Interpretive Rule Concerning Prohibited Activities Involving Foreign Nationals (8 p)...


Sep 28, 2019, 12:00pm

Joanne Freeman @jbf1755 (Yale) | 7:42 AM · Sep 28, 2019:
Yesterday the FEC chair tried to publish their weekly journal & was blocked. She says that’s unprecedented
It has a draft rule re: foreign election interference
So she tweeted the ENTIRE journal.
Just putting that here...

TO: The Commission
FROM: Ellen L. Weintraub, Chair
SUBJECT: Draft Interpretive Rule Concerning Prohibited Activities Involving Foreign Nationals
DATE:September 26, 2019

I request that the attached document be made public and that it be placed on the agenda of the Commission’s next open meeting (Oct 17, 2019).

This is not my ideal statement of the law, but I believe this document fairly reflects the Commission’s interpretation of the foreign-national political-spending prohibition.

Draft Interpretive Rule Concerning Prohibited Activities Involving Foreign Nationals (8 p)...


Oct 1, 2019, 2:45pm

Zuckerburg is afraid of Elizabeth Warren

from Fox News

Zuckerberg says if Warren becomes president, Facebook would sue U.S. gov't: 'You go to the mat and fight'

In March, Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic Senator from Massachusetts, put forth a plan that would break up the largest tech companies in the country, chiefly Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple, saying the power they hold is too great.

"I want a government that makes sure everybody — even the biggest and most powerful companies in America — plays by the rules," Warren wrote in a blog post announcing her plan. "And I want to make sure that the next generation of great American tech companies can flourish. To do that, we need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor."

Oct 1, 2019, 4:38pm

Remember this account?


It's still going strong.

Oct 1, 2019, 6:46pm

The Banks, the tech companies, Wall St. will line up against Warren. I'm not even sure they'd rather have Sanders. Their problem then is do they put their money on Trump because the Donald with impeachment hanging over his head is severely damaged goods. If people started boycotting Facebook or Apple or Chase Manhattan for lining up with the Donald those companies could take a big hit.

Oct 2, 2019, 11:12am

Bernie Sanders hospitalized with chest pain, campaign events canceled
maryalice parks, josh margolin, andkendall karson | Oct 2, 2019, 11:08 AM ET

"During a campaign event yesterday evening, Sen. Sanders experienced some chest discomfort. Following medical evaluation and testing he was found to have a blockage in one artery and two stents were successfully inserted," said Sanders’ senior adviser Jeff Weaver on Wednesday in a statement.

"Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days," Weaver said. "We are canceling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates."...


Oct 2, 2019, 12:23pm

Terrible. Just terrible. What a bummer. I so hoped it would be Sanders.

Edited: Oct 2, 2019, 1:50pm

Folks I know are doing well years after such procedure, so I'll bet he's not going anywhere.
Oval Office perhaps not best place for him or country, though?
(Nor Biden nor Trump, who is way older than his chronological age, looks like.)


Can you imagine having to prepare and serve Bernie's hospital bill? 😅

Alternative NOAA @altNOAA | 12:41 PM · Oct 2, 2019

@BernieSanders is going to be pissed about that medical bill.
Wishing him a speedy recovery.
He makes this primary race a better one and we're going to need his senate vote soon in the upcoming trial of The People vs The Grifter.

Oct 2, 2019, 12:41pm

I'm not concerned that he'll drop dead soon but that this spells the end of his chances with the voters.

Edited: Oct 2, 2019, 1:17pm

Robert Reich just posted a half hour interview with Sanders last night that I was watching on youtube. I had the idea it was from a day or two ago.

Sanders works hard and he gets worked up. In 2016 he was doing 2-3 events regular every day that would last an hour and a half--two hours each--hopping on a plane in the morning and doing it all over again in the afternoon and/or in the evening. The last month or so of Hillary's 2016 run he was out stumping for her every day too. It takes a lot of energy to do that for a 50 something year old let alone someone in his mid-70's. To be honest when he decided to run again I wondered if he'd be able to keep up that kind of pace again.

Hopefully he'll be okay but it makes me wonder whether he should go on.

Oct 2, 2019, 4:33pm

I saw that. It's just horrifying to watch all the chances for something better die. Biden is "not-Trump" and Warren... well she might as well start wearing a Hillary Clinton mask now because the assholes are out in force treating her like that anyway.

Meanwhile the orange turd is gibbering about stopping the Mexicans with snakes and alligators. Job openings for his base I presume.

Oct 2, 2019, 5:08pm

#11--If there is a real health risk with Sanders--one of the worst things that could happen is his dropping dead in October and especially if we don't impeach and remove Donald before then but even if the republican nominee is someone else he (I don't think there's any chance it will be a she) is going to be awful. I think the heat is really on the republicans though one way or the other if only because of their craven and disgusting bowing down to this clown--their only avenue again is the electoral college. They won't win a plurality of votes.

Warren to me is quite different from Hillary though. She is much more populist and significantly further to the left--she's not married to Bill either and she has a pretty clean background. Economics professor turned politician kind of later in life. There aren't many skeletons in the closet. The native American thing is about the only avenue I can think of for republicans to get really personal about her life with. They're going to call her a socialist for sure but she's not really. She's somewhat to the right of Sanders on a number of things but not that significantly. She's smart as a whip and she reads and she prepares and will do the work she needs to do canvassing for votes around the country. Biden is a center-right guy--he'll get the big donor money including from Wall St. and the tech companies but he's nowhere near as prepared on policy or going to work nearly as hard as Warren will.

Snakes, alligators, shooting immigrants in their legs--reminds of a Southern Plantation slave owner before the civil war. Some of his voters would be fine with that analogy I'm sure--others too dumb to make the connection.

Oct 2, 2019, 5:21pm

If Warren is nominated I would hope people would support her but I fear it would be touch and go. Otoh, perhaps the Trumpoidal haemorrhoid did lose some of his fanatics to death and disaffection and perhaps that might offset some of the extracurricular crap a woman's candidacy would inevitably cause. He did lose some of the white bitches who voted for him the first time. Some racist geezers must've kicked the bucket. Mayhap those "coal mine" states won't be such a pushover for him the next time.

But all in all, unless Biden starts feeling chest pangs too, I fear it's Biden's game to lose now.

We'll be hearing yet about Biden having cheated Warren out of candidacy, mark my words.

Edited: Oct 2, 2019, 6:10pm

#13--if Sanders is out I think a lot more of his voters go to Warren than to Biden. From what I understand he is closer to her than pretty much anyone else in the Senate with the possible exception of Jeff Merkley. The other thing is if Biden can't figure out momentum--he's been dropping in the polls for some time now while Warren has continually had the most traction upwards--he's not going to win. If Sanders is out she wins the first two states Iowa and New Hampshire. She also probably wins Nevada and California which have moved up in the schedule and are also very early. Having early momentum is usually a big deal. In 2016 many of the Southern states were among the earliest and those are states more likely to be won by the republicans--that was momentum coming from states that the Democrats were going to lose in the election. They are states that Biden is likeliest to win in the primaries. I prefer a candidate gaining early momentum off the states they're going to win or probably going to win and California being early--that's a huge delegate boost to whoever wins and it might be the most left state in the country. I don't see Biden winning there at all.

Edited: Oct 6, 2019, 8:11am

Never-Trumpers are turning into Trumpers ~ 21st Century
America is turning into 20th Century Germany ~ the downside of
the Internet era is becoming very apparent.

Edited: Oct 6, 2019, 11:31am

>15 Molly3028:

Awwwwwwwww-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w, now.

Maybe you ought to emigrate before it's too late?: before all the concentration-camp construction is completed, hmm?

And take your like-minded friends with you when you go!

Mach schnell! Ein bisschen dalli!


Oct 6, 2019, 2:04pm

I ran into this line by Jose Eduardo Agualusa in his book of chameleons and it reminded me of Donald--'He was evil, and he didn't know it. He didn't know what evil was. That is to say, he was pure evil'.

Edited: Oct 8, 2019, 2:38pm

"We don't want to go back to "Before Trump", "Before Trump" led us to Trump."

Robert Reich: Why 2020 Won't Be Won By Centrists

Oct 8, 2019, 3:12pm

#18--Reich is 100% correct on everything he says here. And the truth is that we are going to have to take wealth away from the rich. There is no other way and I don't really see the controversy. When you have 4 or 5 people who have amassed enough wealth equal to what half of our country's population has (or roughly 160 million people) that's immoral and people worry about these 5 individuals paying more taxes? For us as a nation to go forward they're going to have to give a lot of that back. Our society isn't meant to be about a few--it's meant to be about everybody. So too bad if Bill Gates, or the surviving Koch brother, Ken Langone, George Soros, Jamie Dimon or Jeff Bezos are going to have to pony up some of their wealth. I'm with AOC---we really don't need billionaires. We need medicare for all--we need a clean enviroment--we need to rebuild infrastructure and we need people working jobs that they can survive off of.

I also like Reich's cartoon/caricature abilities. It reminds me a lot of my dad's drawings and doodles.

Edited: Oct 8, 2019, 6:58pm

Let's skip the Impeachment process ~

GOPers want the voters who gave the key to the WH to a life-long
con man and crime-family boss to decide the direction in which
the country should go next. YIKES.

Edited: Oct 9, 2019, 4:42am

Bipartisan Senate report* calls for sweeping effort to prevent Russian interference in 2020 election
Craig Timberg and Tony Romm | Oct. 8, 2019

...The Senate Intelligence Committee, a Republican-led panel that has been investigating foreign electoral interference for more than 2½ years, said in blunt language that Russians worked to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton while bolstering Republican Donald Trump — and made clear that fresh rounds of interference are likely ahead of the 2020 vote.

...Congress...act, including through the potential adoption of new regulations that would the disclosure of ad buyers more transparent

...House and the executive branch...adopt a more forceful, public role, warning Americans about the ways in which dangerous misinformation can spread while creating new teams within the U.S. government to monitor for threats and share intelligence with industry.

...Silicon Valley...more extensively share intelligence among companies, in recognition of the shortage of such sharing in 2016 and also the ways that disinformation from Russia and other countries spreads across numerous platforms — with posts linking back and forth in a tangle of connections.

....extensive Russian manipulation of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Google and other major platforms with the goal of dividing Americans, suppressing African American turnout and helping elect Trump president.

...Iran has joined Russia as a leader in foreign online interference. The list of countries known to have conducted such operations also includes Saudi Arabia, Israel, China, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Venezuela, say researchers. A report by Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project said last month that at least 70 nations have sought to manipulate voters and others online, though most meddle mainly in their own domestic politics.

...Fake accounts operating from Russia started by ingratiating themselves into online conversations using nonpolitical comments, then switched to overtly partisan content.

...paid advertisements on Facebook, Instagram and other platforms were much less important than the free viral context created by teams of Russian disinformation operatives working across multiple platforms....



85 p



Oct 12, 2019, 12:35pm

It’s telling that Trump has to hold his Rolling Nuremberg Rallies in deep red states which he should have no problem holding.

Edited: Oct 12, 2019, 2:53pm

The Republicans haven't won Minnesota in a presidential election since 1972--I don't think that the deeply divisive Trump is going to win it in 2020. They do seem to think they can turn that state but really I don't see them winning states they didn't win last time and I do think they are going to lose some. They got creamed in 2018 and nothing that's happened in the interim points to a better outcome for the Republicans in 2020. Over half the country is fine with Trump's impeachment--that's no endorsement by the public.

To me the bigger question is whether the Democrats can take back the Senate--something like 23 Republican Senate seats up for grabs in 2020 to 12 for the Democrats. Gardner and Collins are two that the Democrats should absolutely win---there will be several others that the Dems have a very good to decent shot at.

Oct 13, 2019, 7:41am

Candidates Grow Bolder on Labor, and Not Just Bernie Sanders
Noam Scheiber | Oct. 11, 2019

...At least half the candidates who will appear in next week’s presidential debate — including Mr. Sanders — have labor platforms that are more ambitious than his 2016 version.

Several candidates have pledged to ban noncompete agreements, which hold down wages for workers, and mandatory-arbitration clauses, which prohibit lawsuits against employers. They would effectively require many companies to treat independent contractors as employees, making the workers eligible for the minimum wage and unemployment insurance. They would enact a number of measures that would help workers unionize and strike, like allowing them to lead boycotts of an employer’s customers, which is currently illegal.

...Perhaps the most ambitious proposal is an idea known as sectoral bargaining, in which workers would bargain with employers on an industrywide basis rather than employer by employer. Sectoral bargaining, which is common in Europe, would make it possible to increase wages and benefits for millions of workers in relatively short order, even for those who aren’t union members. It would also give employers an incentive to create better-paying jobs because doing so would no longer bestow a major cost advantage on competitors...


Edited: Oct 13, 2019, 8:53am

Our Founding Fathers never saw this national disgrace coming.
GOPers are telling the world that they support the lawbreaking
and truth-denouncing occupant of the WH 100%. Our carefully
written founding documents can't protect us from the actions of
millions of Trump-worshipping cult followers.

Oct 14, 2019, 1:10pm

>25 Molly3028:

"Our Founding Fathers never saw this national disgrace coming."


Have you read anything from James Madison's writings?* His notes on the Constitutional convention?

Our Founding Fathers saw foreign-based occupying armies coming. They saw their homes siezed by military troops and forcibly used as troop-quarters; they saw arrests, imprisonment and trial without warrant; they saw censorship of speech and of writing; they saw public gatherings made illegal; they saw unauthorized travel banned or restricted; they saw trials held in secret, without notice of charges, without benefit of legal counsel; they saw power wielded completely arbitrarily with no recourse to appeal, no right to be heard in opposition; they saw the religious persecuted as well as persecution of others, the non-believers, by the religious. They saw majorities trample essential minority-rights--those which ought not be refused or denied--even if to a single individual by an all-but-unanimous majority: i.e. everyone-except-one in favor or opposed. They saw minorities stand in the way of majorities on matters which were not concerned with the defense of essential civil rights but, rather, simple daily policy matters.

Before you assume you know what our founding fathers foresaw or didn't foresee, try reading the writings they left to us, their notes, their diairies, the journals of their public legislatures, etc.

There's practically nothing which we're living through today which they had not both experienced themselves and worried over for their posterity and, so, made provision against these ills and risks as best could be done.

Here's something else they foresaw: looking ahead, they said, of us, those who'd come after them---

"the people of the future shall be vain, stupid, greedy, naive, selfish, corrupt. easily duped and given to lying to themselves about what is true or best---just as we know and see in our own time."

That people couldn't read was a condition that they knew well. Illiteracy was fairly widespread for a while--though it fell dramatically between 1790 and 1890. What would surprise them is the number of people who can read-- who know how to-- but just wouldn't and didn't bother to read anything which was not strictly necessary.


* Selected writings of James Madison / edited, with introduction, by Ralph Ketcham.

The Writings of James Madison, comprising his public papers and his private correspondence, including numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed. Edited by G. Gaillard Hunt.

The Complete Madison. His basic writings. Edited and with an introduction by Saul K. Padover. (1953)

Oct 15, 2019, 1:06pm

We asked 2020 Democratic candidates 6 key questions on climate change
Here’s what they said.

...here are the questions we put to every candidate:

1. A president has only 100 days or so in which to pass a few key priorities. Where does climate change fall on your list of priorities when you step into office?

2. If Democrats win a narrow majority in the Senate, will you advocate reforming or scrapping the filibuster?

3. If Republicans control one or both houses of Congress and legislation stalls, what executive actions are you prepared to take to reduce carbon emissions?

4. Some communities are more vulnerable to climate change than others. Some communities depend on fossil fuel industries more than others. What will you do to ensure that vulnerable communities are protected during the transition to clean energy?

5. There is a nationwide push to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their contributions to climate change and for their campaigns to mislead the public, via lawsuits, shareholder resolutions, and divestment. Do you support these efforts? What do you see as the government’s role in holding polluters accountable?

6. The Pentagon has called climate change a “threat multiplier” in international conflict. At the same time, climate change stands to have the worst impacts on countries that contributed least to the problem. How should the US brace for global climate chaos? And what will you do to help other countries prepare for the impending disruption?


Oct 16, 2019, 7:12pm

Sanders gets the endorsement of the progressive Democrats, hope revives.

Oct 16, 2019, 10:03pm

#28--it should help Bernie get some more traction but Omar, Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez are walking targets for the right and even for some centrist or right leaning democrats.

Speaking of which Biden last night very loudly attempting to get Warren to say nice things about him. She kept her cool and didn't give him what he wanted. Mayor Pete dissing her for not explaining about how her health care plan will work when really Mayor Pete has no plan of his own to talk about.

Bernie's more up front about health care than she is though. The disingenuity of the centrists who continue to hammer on how taxes will have to go up while ignoring that health care premiums and out of pocket costs will disappear and people will no longer have the worry about being bankrupted over a major health issue or that cost controls will be put on big Pharma.

Beto fretting over a class war against billionaires. WTF! Sanders/Warren are the best two.

Edited: Oct 17, 2019, 6:05am

>28 LolaWalser:

Sanders endorsed and campaigned for that moral-wreckage and perpetual walking bad-hair-day, Hillary Clinton.

Tulsi Gabbard is now the only Democrat in the running for whom I'd be willing to cast a ballot to elect. But, of course, she's not going to be given the nomination.

Go back to the Senate and stay there until retirement, Senator Sanders. You had your shot and, very frankly, you fucking blew it. 'Nough said.

Edited: Oct 17, 2019, 7:52am

#30--this is dopey as it gets. 4 years ago at this time Prox here was extolling the virtues of Mr. Sanders.....like he extolls the virtues of Jeremy Corbyn and then he goes all in for shitbird Trump and all this seemingly because of his obsessive hatred for Hillary Clinton. Sanders actually has a political and for the people background and agenda--Trump's entire agenda is about his sorry ass self. He could give a rat's ass about people. No problem for Prox though he can as easily vote for Trump's wall and be against medicare for all and climate legislation as he can vote for medicare for all and climate legislation. It's all about 'the man' and nothing to do with his work or what he stands for. It also doesn't matter what garbage he posts or where he gets it from--culling the right wing seas for the most bullshit and vile right wing crap because seriously as far as I'm concerned Prox---you have a screw loose.

I might also note that Prox always steers clear of the indefensible shit that Trump does. For instance we've yet to hear word one from him about what's just happened in Syria because of his stupid phone call and dumb ass tweet that gave Mr. Erdogan carte blanche to start his genocidal war while also giving Putin a big foothold in the region. And funny--half of what Mr. Trump does seems to benefit Mr. Putin someway or somehow. As long as Prox can continue with his goofy obsessions though he doesn't care.

Policy means nothing to Proximity. It's all about personality. Elections to him are nothing but popularity contests. He's actually among the dumbed down but too silly to realize it.

Oct 17, 2019, 12:11pm

>31 lriley:

"Ignore" is a gift. Trumpo's ascension ferreted out the fascist bootlickers and fart smellers, gave the pigs a license to roll in the shit for all to see. We'll see how they'll enjoy being reminded of this for the rest of their lives.

Arwa Mahdawi:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez knows: Bernie Sanders is the most progressive choice

I’ll tell you what I find fascinating: the fact that the concept of “identity politics” has become so thoroughly distorted that people seem to think it means voting for the candidate that looks most like you, or shares your sexual preferences, their policies be damned. The idea that “women of colour” would align themselves with a candidate simply because of their sex or skin colour is incredibly condescending. You also can’t ask whether ideology is more important than race and gender, because the three are not separate, stand-alone entities. But as a “woman of colour” I can tell you right now that ideology is far more important than skin-deep representation.

Here’s the thing: if Sanders and Warren were completely interchangeable in their politics then it would make sense to get behind Warren because she is a woman. America is way overdue a female president. But while Warren and Sanders may be far more to the left than the rest of the Democrats, their politics are not identical. Warren has made it clear that she is a capitalist while Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist. That difference isn’t a small question of semantics – it’s reflective of a fundamentally different world view.

Long story short, if the US is to change in the direction of progress, of mitigating the consequences of the environmental and economic catastrophe, the change has to be as serious as possible as soon as possible. Sanders is more likely to effect this than Warren.

Edited: Oct 19, 2019, 6:14am

… “Wolin argued that the focus on economic and technological progress distracted from the regressive trends in society, and that this has led to us 'evolving from a more to a less democratic polity and from a less to a more authoritarian society. These tendencies define the meaning of the present as the moment in our national history when democracy is forced into opposition.'(40) The Trump phenomenon seems like just the sort of thing that signals a shift towards a more authoritarian society. His actions in office have been roundly and persuasively interpreted as broadly authoritarian,(41) but social science research indicates that his voters are not.(42) However, I do not think that the election of Donald Trump represents a turn away from democracy. Quite the contrary, insofar as it represented a rejection of faraway elites and their cultural preferences, it implies just the opposite—that people are so fed up with the status quo’s perceived rules of operation that they are willing to go to extreme lengths to make their unhappiness known. His election has forced a great deal of reflection as to what went wrong, why people are so unhappy, and what to do about it.” ...

—Christopher Jackson, “Politics Beyond the Personal: Reading Wolin In the Age of Trump” Honors Thesis, Spring 2017, Honors Theses at the University of Iowa (https://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1175&context=honors_theses)

(40) Wolin 1981“Why Democracy?”
(41) Heer.
(42) Oliver and Rahn

Heer, Jeet. “Is Trump Authoritarian or Incompetent? Yes.” The New Republic. Hamilton Fish, 3 May 2017. Web. 5 May 2017. .

Oliver, Eric, and Wendy Rahn. “Trump’s Voters Aren’t Authoritarians, New Research Says. So What Are They?” The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company, 9 Mar. 2016. Web. 5 May 2017. .

Wolin, Sheldon. “Why Democracy?”Democracy 1.1 (1981): 3-5

President Trump, it is now clear, represents what is at least the start of, if not a fully-fledged example of, a clean-break with some--perhaps much and, who knows?, perhaps all or nearly all--of what's called "The Washington Consensus (TWC)."* Seriously challenging that consensus has been a long-time dream of many on the political 'Left.' To not only question and challenge TWC but, indeed, to break with parts of it, that much many in this Left did not even dare to dream. Trump now clearly divides political opinion both between and within the “Left-vs.-Right”. It's clear, too, by now that he was not put up for office by some shadowy behind-the-scenes establishment group(s) pursuing a hidden agenda. Nor was he simply role-playing as a political outsider, one nearly as uncomfortable with the establishment's Right-wing as with its so-called “Center” or “Left-wing”. He was and is in certain ways a genuine political outsider—if nothing else at least from the perspective of TWC and those who find their natural political “home” there. These certainly include Barack Obama, Joseph Biden, the Clintons and virtually the entire current Democratic Party's national executive structure as much as it includes the overwhelming majority of the Republican Party's national leadership and all the leading members of the House and Senate Republican caucuses. Naturally, nearly all of the nation's top corporate executives in key industries—banking and investment, energy companies, media, communications and entertainment companies, 'defense' industries, transportation, agriculture, research and higher education, what's called now by a term which has more than a little pejorative character to it, “the mainstream (news/journalism) media”—all these are subscribers to and defenders of TWC.

No member of the “mainstream media's” critics of Trump—whether defined as individual or as institution, none of the national journalist profession opposed to Trump—has, as far as I am aware, ever deviated from the practice of using only the language of mental and emotional illness, disease and defect, as the key to Trump's description and to placement, by definition, outside the respectable norms of any social or political setting. Not once that I am aware of has the professional press ever described or explained Trump as a man whose political behavior and strategy can be recognized as a part of a sane and coherent orientation to the worlds of business and politics made reasonable by a basic questioning and challenging of TWC. This informing thread which runs through much of Trump's speech and acts is not even denied—it is, rather, consistently and completely ignored.

To allow such an informing picture of Trump to appear would be to undermine the wall-to-wall projection of Trump as a deviant, inexplicable under any sane, reasonably sound manner of analysis and interpretation. That the journalist profession should be so thoroughly unified in this way is a testament to the amazing extent of its capture and control by the establishment's orthodox directorship.


* “Challenging the Washington Consensus” The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Winter/Spring 2003, Volume IX, Issue 2. Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University Professor of Economics and Finance, interviewed by Lindsey Schoenfelder. May, 2002

Oct 18, 2019, 10:20pm

New respect for Tulsi Gabbard:

"Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose. It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly."

I wouldn't vote for Tulsi as a Dem, but, as a third party, I'd listen to what she has to say.

Edited: Oct 18, 2019, 10:40pm

#34--Hillary has it in for Tulsi because of 2016. Sometimes people need to let things go. I think a lot of the anti-Hillary people should just get a grip. She's over as a political force. Going on about 4 years ago is stupid. We need to worry about the future--not the past. Hillary should get a grip too. Her accusation doesn't make a lot of sense. I like Tulsi but her chances of becoming a difference maker at a national level are not very high and I think Hillary's accusation is ridiculous--should not be made anyway with no real evidence. Russian seeing an opening here just seems dumb to me. There's a decent chance Tulsi will be primaried and also a possibility she'd lose to a more centrist democrat just on her house seat. Tulsi herself is sometimes an odd mix of left, left center and right center views. I think there's more good (left) than bad (center right) though.

Oct 18, 2019, 10:44pm

One number to remember: 65 million.

That’s the number of Democratic votes for HRC in 2016. Gabbard’s Trumpesque tweet is political death warrant. As a Democrat.

She’d be a great mainstream Republican. I tend to think that’s where she’ll wind up.

Oct 18, 2019, 10:47pm

Great interview between Katie Tur and Michael Moore tonight. Try to link it tomorrow.

Oct 18, 2019, 10:49pm

"Tulsi herself is sometimes an odd mix of left, left center and right center views."

That describes a lot of voters, including me.

"Sometimes people need to let things go."

Agreed. The embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, needs to let her public presence go and just fade away as a bad memory.

Oct 19, 2019, 5:42am

#38--if anyone is corrupt it's Trump. You might not like the direction the democratic party is going in (and that's fair) but they are not breaking laws doing it. The democratic party is generally on the center/right. There are two smaller groups of mostly freshman and 2nd term democrats that have become the bete noires of the republican right---they are those who are in Justice Democrats and Our Revolution--they're the ones with the left agenda and they came into being pretty much off of the Sanders 2016 presidential run. They are the bulk of the left in the party. They include AOC, Tlaib, Omar, Pressley, Jayapal, Khanna and a handful of others and one of the handful is Gabbard who might be the least left of them all. Wanting a green new deal or medicare for all is not corrupt. They advocate for things like that.

But speaking of corruption--the NC9 house seat was voter fraud corruption by the republican Party. Duncan Hunter's misuse of campaign funds is corruption by a republican. Chris Collins FEC crime is corruption by a republican. There are no democrats currently with legal issues such as that....and then there is Trump who has been breaking laws left and right.

Oct 19, 2019, 6:48am

State Dept. Inquiry Into Clinton Emails Finds No Deliberate Mishandling of Classified Information
Catie Edmondson | Oct. 18, 2019

The nine-page unclassified report*, completed last month and shared with Congress (Senator Grassley, Chair, Finance Committee) this week, appears to bookend a controversy that dogged Ms. Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign against Donald J. Trump. Ms. Clinton blamed the F.B.I.’s handling of the inquiry for crippling her campaign after James B. Comey, then the bureau’s director, reopened his investigation into the server days before the general election after initially declining to bring charges.

“While there were some instances of classified information being inappropriately introduced into an unclassified system in furtherance of expedience,” the report said, “by and large, the individuals interviewed were aware of security policies and did their best to implement them in their operations.”
Sign Up for On Politics With Lisa Lerer

A spotlight on the people reshaping our politics. A conversation with voters across the country. And a guiding hand through the endless news cycle, telling you what you really need to know.

The report concluded, “There was no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information.”...


* DS Report on Security Incidents Related to Potentially Classified Emails sent to Former Secretary of State Clinton's Private Email Server (9 p)
DS Office of Information Security, Program Applications Division DS/IS/APD US Department of State
September 13, 2019


Talk about a witch hunt! Rachel Maddow compared Nixon's use of government (IRS, Justice, etc) to go after ~200 enemies, concluding with what little is known of IRS whistleblower re inappropriate pressure from Trump's WH, Trump's attempts to increase rates for Amazon (Bezos also owns Washington Post)...Trumpians certainly can't let go of HRC. (Get over it?) As Comey said, "Lordy, let there be tapes!"

State Dept. Investigating Email Practices of Hillary Clinton’s Former Staff
Edward Wong and Maggie Haberman | Sept. 29, 2019

The State Department is continuing an investigation of email use among employees who worked for Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, asking scores of current and former officials to submit to questioning by the bureau overseeing diplomatic security, former officials said on Sunday.

The investigation is examining whether the employees used secure channels and the proper classification designations for what appeared to be routine emails at the time, the former officials said. The emails were on subjects that were not considered classified at the time, but that have been or are being retroactively marked as classified.

The inquiry potentially pushes back into the spotlight a deeply political issue that President Trump used as a weapon in his 2016 presidential campaign, and has repeatedly returned to during his time in office, despite the F.B.I. closing a previous investigation without finding wrongdoing by Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Trump’s insistence on raising the issue reflects a pattern in which the president pushes his own narrative even if an investigation or an analysis by an agency in his own administration has concluded otherwise...


Edited: Oct 19, 2019, 9:55am

>36 theoria:

"One number to remember: 65 million. That’s the number of Democratic votes for HRC in 2016."

So? You toss that number out, stripped of all context and interpretation, as though you suppose it is bound to impress us. In particular, your comment's logic somehow has it that we should find Clinton's 65.853 million votes quite impressive but, I suppose, never mind looking at Trump/Pence's 62.984 million votes as also quite impressive.

So it would seem that, for you, roughly, some 2 869 000 votes are apparently what separates, figuratively speaking, "impressive" from "never mind". Interesting. How you arrive at that distinction is another thing you don't bother to tell us.

You also conveniently skip over explaining to us the details of the how-and-why reasoning behind your assumption that this supposedly large figure, apparently in and of itself, places Gabbard in a hopeless situation.

You allege that Gabbard's "tweeted" comments are "Trumpesque" but you don't bother to support that assertion, either, by more than what is, I guess, your self-assessed astute political judgment.

Gabbard's comments strike me as clear-sighted and factually rather hard to dispute—you don't bother to dispute them, you merely try to smear her by claiming that her comments resemble Trump's twitter-style and by alleging, again without visible means of reasoned support, that Gabbard should feel more at home as a Republican than as a Democrat and that, you tell us, she'll eventually wind up in that party.

As I see it, her qualities and talents make her a worthy and admirable candidate for public elective office—which she holds as a Democrat—under any U.S. political party's banner; but she's very much like what I'd prefer to see the U.S. Democrats become (once more) as a national political party, replacing the likes of the Obamas, the Clintons, the Rahm Emanuelses, the Pelosis, the Charles Schumers, the Maxine Waterses and the Elijah Cummmi— oh!, wait.

I'm not impressed. Read on to see why that is.

You like numbers? Alright, let's look at some. I'll supply the context which your post leaves out.

Almost exactly the same voter-turnouts occurred in both the 1972 and the 2016 presidential elections:

1972 : 55.2 %
2016 : 55.7 %

Suppose, then, we "translate" 2016's results to 1972.

Consider adjusting the 1972 election figures to our much larger national population of 2016.

By that reckoning, what should Nixon and Agnew's results have produced had they been running in a world with a 2016-U.S. population?

Well, translated into today's population picture, they'd have garnered 82 662 551 votes; that is, they'd have won 16 809 037 more votes than the measly 65.85251 million votes that Clinton and Tim Kaine (remember him?) received for all their effort (and scheming and scamming).

Nixon, later impeached, convicted removed from office, and his running-mate, Spiro Agnew, * (Maryland's governor at the time he was elected vice-president with Nixon's successful 1968 presidential race) swept the nation in their re-election campaign, carrying 49 of 50 states--as opposed to Clinton and Kaine's 20 (+ the District of Columbia) states in 2016. Nixon/Agnew garnered 520 Electoral College votes as opposed to the measly 227 won by the Clinton/Kaine campaign.

So, had there been the population we have today back in 1972, the same electoral results should have seen more than 82.5 million people cast ballots in one or another form and manner for the presidential ticket which remains the United States' greatest legal and moral debâcle in living memory when judged by the extent of the reversal of fortune which occurred.


* who, in October of 1973, faced the threat of a felony indictment for tax evasion and, on the 9th of that month, resigned from the office of vice-president of the United States and, the following day, entered a bargain with the U.S. Attorney for the district of Maryland by which Agnew, in return for entering a plea of "no contest" to the charge, received a conviction and sentence of three years' unsupervised probation and a fine of ten thousand dollars. A year later, the Maryland Court of Appeals disbarred Agnew.

2016 Election :

65 853 514 (48.2 %) Clinton popular vote
Electoral college : 227 (of a possible 538)
states carried : 20 (+ District of Columbia)

62 984 828 (46.1 %) Trump popular vote
Electoral college : 304 (of a possible 538)
states carried : 30

= 128 838 342 (94.3 %) combined Clinton / Trump popular votes ( & as % of total votes cast)

136 182 127. (100 %) total popular votes cast


1972 Election :

47 168 710 (60.7 %) Richard Nixon & Spiro Agnew popular vote
(Electoral College: 520 votes (of a possible 538 EC votes))
states carried : 49

29 173 222 (37.5 %) George McGovern & Sargent Shriver popular vote
( 17 votes (of a possible 538 EC votes))
states carried : 1 (+ District of Columbia)

76 341 932 (98.2 %) combined Nixon / McGovern popular votes
(as % of total popular votes cast)

1.012 x 76 341 932 = 77 258 035 (100 %) popular votes cast

Source : electoral data and the details of the two presidential elections, 1972 & 2016, as well as the details of the legal problems of Vice-president Spiro Agnew all drawn from Wikipedia's pages:


Oct 19, 2019, 10:42am

>36 theoria:

"Unhinged" is the new black.

And, some day soon, orange.

Edited: Oct 19, 2019, 1:56pm

I believe that Trump will be impeached AND re-elected. The
power of a cult personality is unstoppable in this Internet era.
Resentment-filled, low-info people are wired to believe their cult
leader cares about them and their lives.

I shutter to think what a Hitler-type could accomplish if the
Internet existed during his era.

Edited: Oct 19, 2019, 2:11pm

>26 proximity1:

I believe you must be a Mark Levin cult follower. He and his ilk
have spent decades on their wealth-building radio spiels. Their
bank account balances are their one-and-only concern.

Edited: Oct 20, 2019, 8:24am

>44 Molly3028:

LOL! I?!, a follower of, a fan or listener in the audience of Mark Levin, former chief of staff for then Attorney General Edwin Meese!?

This is typical of the way you cannot see straight and come up with the most absurd stuff. Despite the abundant data available to you, you don't have the first clue about what I believe or who or what I do or don't admire.

Your capacity to wildly misinterpret people and things is nothing short of amazing.

Edited: Oct 21, 2019, 8:23am

On Buttigieg---in February he was calling himself as someone on the left and for a medicare for all health care system and telling democrats not to take cues from Republican talking points. Between then and now he's figured out that there was no lane for him on the left and has transitioned over to a centrist position and attacks Warren and Sanders over medicare for all positions. Anyway I think he realized early on he wasn't going to beat Bernie or Elizabeth on the left tack no matter what he did and decided the better path was to siphon the voters away from Biden and Harris. Personally I don't trust him and I don't think he cares very much where his campaign cash comes from (or what his policy positions are for that matter) which is another reason the centrist lane is better for him--because if or when Biden falters--those Wall St. and banker donors who are terrified of Sanders and Warren will look to him. Just saying.

The positive I can say about him is he'll be better than Trump but if he were to win we are not going to take the steps forward that we are going to need to take and certainly not on health care.

He's also lived a charmed life so far--he attacks other and rarely is he attacked back.

Oct 21, 2019, 3:39pm

#47--Democracy Now is one of if not the best new sources out there. I expected AOC to endorse Bernie--she is a democratic socialist herself who ran as a democrat. The world does need to turn over to younger people. It is their future that's most at stake. They are going to have to live with the consequences of the world we're going to leave them and right now it's a dog eat dog economic turdpile mix of neo-liberal nonsense and billionaire happy wealth disparity--a looming climate catastrophe and a lifetime's worth of college indebtedness. So we need more AOC's--more Ilhan Omar's and more Rashida Tlaib's.

Edited: Oct 21, 2019, 5:35pm

Man in MAGA hat sprays Trump protesters with bear repellent
Morning Express with Robin Meade | Oct 21/2019 (0:34)

A man wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat blasted anti-Trump protesters on Santa Monica Pier with bear repellent.


Oct 22, 2019, 3:55am

Facebook takedowns show new Russian activity targeted Biden, praised Trump
Tony Romm and Isaac Stanley-Becker | Oct. 21, 2019

Facebook on Monday said it removed a network of Russian-backed accounts that posed as locals weighing in on political issues in swing states, praising President Trump and attacking former vice president Joe Biden — illustrating that the familiar threat of Russian interference looms over the next U.S. presidential race.

Facebook said the network bears the hallmark of the same Kremlin-backed group that interfered in the 2016 election by sowing social discord, seeking to boost Trump and attacking Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. The new disinformation campaign appears to follow the same playbook.

This time, a coordinated group of Russian accounts that appears to show some links to the Internet Research Agency largely took to Facebook’s photo-sharing app, Instagram, to post content this year about U.S. politics and memes targeting Democratic presidential contenders...


Edited: Oct 22, 2019, 5:35am

>47 LolaWalser:

Bernie's back? The election is a year away. He could keel over from a fatal heart-attack before November 2020 comes around. I'd guess those odds are better than those of Trump's conviction and removal by a senate impeachment trial.

Edited: Oct 22, 2019, 7:18am

#51--when it comes to health the morbidly obese Trump stuffs himself everyday with Big Macs and pizza and overcooked steaks swimming in gravy and everyday he knocks off a dozen diet cokes like clockwork. Then there is the ice cream and cookies and if he bothers to eat a salad it's swimming in dressing. There is some chance that one of these days he's going to bite off more than he can chew and it's going to get caught in his windpipe and if someone isn't around to give him the Heimlich maneuver he'll be toast. There's also a pretty good chance his arteries will clog or he'll develop a nice case of cancer. We are what we eat and Donald is a moron in everything he does and bad food choices can come with real consequences. You would think that someone who owns restaurants might have an idea about good food or a healthy diet but I've always heard his restaurants are shit. When the owner is an idiot though that's to be expected. The silver lining for him is if his eating habits kill him before he can be prosecuted it might spare us from throwing him in prison which is really what I'm hoping for. Prisons are notorious for bad tasting food but he will eat healthier. If he ever gets there he might live longer. Wouldn't that be a good thing?

Edited: Oct 22, 2019, 11:43am

Mark Zuckerberg helping Pete Buttigieg with his campaign:


Not what I would call a good thing.

Edited: Oct 22, 2019, 11:58am

People in the country and the world have to suffer because low
information voters who barely graduated from high school dig a
charismatic con man.

Edited: Oct 22, 2019, 2:13pm

>54 Molly3028:

"People in the country and the world have to suffer because low
information voters who barely graduated from high school dig a
charismatic con man."


I'm so pleased you make that comment.

Between now and the end of November 2020, be sure to drum upon that theme. Don't forget to make unsparing use of Hilliary's phrase, "basket of deplorables" because that did so much for your camp in 2016.

You see, for me, you qualify in spades* as what I am quite confident you mean by the phrase "low information"—and I mean that not only as in "voter," but I do mean that, too, since it's your central point here—but also, more generally, just plain "low information" person, period.

We could open a whole discussion entirely devoted to this matter. I think such a thread should prove useful and interesting.

I (and certainly not I alone, of course) suffer every single day in the most practical sense possible because of the fact that so many people share so many of your firmly-held convictions (as I observe you express them here in this site's discussions), some gained directly from your advanced studies and others gained in other ways earlier or later than those studies.

We all suffer because people live in bubbles and, in our time, that tendency has reached heights perhaps never known before in human history. But I don't think you have any idea or have ever even bothered to stop to think about how much so many of us suffer because the privileged have so often come through and come from such thoroughly "siloed" existences—existences in which they've clearly had no direct experience at all of the key aspects of large parts of society's "alien" classes (by that I mean alien to their own personal and family life-experiences.)

Class inequalities—amazingly grotesque at this time—can and do produce people who are your comment's (mere) high-school graduates, or even high-school drop-outs, who have a knowledge of a whole range of things about which you apparently just have no idea. Some of those you dismiss as "low-information" people are somehow blessed with a degree of personal humility when it comes to what they seem to think they know that you seem to have missed out on knowing.

Trump can and does make vast numbers of the very people your comment has insulted feel more worthy, more listened-to, and more relatively important even if that is only in a variety of what you'd describe as superficial ways.

That these people would embrace Trump as a champion of their interests and at the same time regard people like you as thoroughly repulsive is eminently reasonable.

For me, in your exquisite "Woke-ness", you're far beyond "low-information": you're virtually "brain-dead" and it is more than a little ironic that so much of that concerns matters which are, above all else, moral in character.

* "in spades": "in large amounts or to a very great degree: 'My dog has personality in spades.' "

Oct 22, 2019, 10:36pm

This is so great. Did I ever expect to hear actual elected American politicians talk publicly about putting the needs of the working people ahead of those of the billionaires? No, no I didn't.

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Talk Politics and 2020 with The Intercept’s Ryan Grim

Oct 23, 2019, 9:50am

The Intercept and Democracy Now are both great news sources.

Oct 23, 2019, 12:53pm

#57--I agree.

Edited: Oct 23, 2019, 2:05pm

Judge Judy just publicly endorsed someone for president . . . .


I agree with Judge Judy ~ Bloomberg should enter the presidential race ~ he has gravitas!

Oct 23, 2019, 2:56pm

#59--he's also a center/right multi-billionaire and by multi---he's around $50 billion. The best thing I can say for him is he seems at least somewhat serious about climate change. Apart from that he doesn't appeal to me at all.

I'm on the left and that's where the Democratic Party IMO should be---though it's really not. It's amazing though to me why so many who call themselves liberal or progressive are always trying to hedge their bets. It shouldn't be just about a person's popularity--it should be the things they stand for, what they want to do, the fight that's in them to accomplish what they're after. Yeah--sometimes there may need to be some compromise but never to cave in. The middle path is not going to be good enough on Climate--it shouldn't be good enough on health care.....and we need to make billionaires like Bloomberg pay loads more in taxes. We don't need more billionaires--we need less---we need to share the wealth among our population a lot more and not sanctify the wealthy.

Oct 23, 2019, 4:49pm

#60 Gun control, too, I think?

Oct 23, 2019, 7:12pm

#61--yeah there's that too.

Oct 24, 2019, 9:12am

Amy Klobuchar @amyklobuchar | 2:30 PM · Oct 23, 2019:
News of the weird: On Senate floor Sen. Blackburn objected to passage of my election security bills saying they have to go through Rules committee.
Here’s the weird (sad) part: A committee mark-up was scheduled on the bipartisan bill & the White House made calls to stop it.

Edited: Oct 24, 2019, 1:25pm

The Oath of Office Trump took on his very first day as president
was the first of his 13k+ lies. The GOP is dead ~ Cult 45 has
taken its place.

Edited: Oct 27, 2019, 11:42am

Could Trump Serve a Second Term if Ousted? It’s Up to the Senate
Carl Hulse | Oct. 26, 2019

Everyone knows the Senate can remove a president, but a second, lesser-known vote could disqualify someone from future office altogether.

...The Constitution famously grants senators the sole power to convict and remove a president — something that has never been done. What is seldom discussed is a more obscure clause* of the Constitution that allows the Senate discretion to take a second, even more punitive step, to disqualify the person it convicts from holding “any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.”

Imposing that penalty would effectively bar the president from reclaiming his old job. In an added twist, tacking on the extra punishment requires only a majority vote in the Senate, not the two-thirds — or 67 senators — required to convict.

...applied unevenly in the cases of federal judges removed from office...



* Article I, section 3, Clauses 6 and 7. Trial and Judgment On Impeachment

Clause 6. The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
Clause 7

Clause 7. Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States; but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.


Edited: Oct 27, 2019, 9:34am

>65 margd:


look, we--because we inherited the Constitution and the duty to interpret its present-day meanings and purposes, (unless, of course, you'd really like to go back to counting each Black person (for census purposes) as "three-fifths" of a person)--have to work out what these things mean.

The constitution also empowers a president to grant pardons. There is only one restriction on this authority: the president may not pardon himself. But he not only may pardon a former president, this has, as you ought to know, already been done. Nixon's vice-president, Gerald Ford, upon succeeding Nixon to the presidency, then pardoned Nixon even for the potential criminal liabilities facing him.

Since Democrats have made it abundantly clear that the impeachment and removal they seek against President Trump is a political matter, I can see no reason why newly-inaugurated President Pence should hesitate to pardon Trump. Though that would not annul Trump's removal from office, it would, it seems to me, reverse the effect of a Senate vote to bar Trump's “any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States” --that is, even if we suppose that this as-yet-undefined phrase means (or ought to be interpreted ) to include an an elective office.

Ultimately, it is for voters to determine who is and who is not fit to hold elective office. Indeed, it is the ugly and bloodly-minded refusal of many anti-democratic so-called "liberals" to refuse to credit and respect this principle which has brought us to this sorry pass. And it is pure partisan pique which motivates their ambition to see Trump, elected according to law and the rules of the Electoral College ssystem, removed and barred from running again--barred by U.S. senators because they so intensely dislike him and they fear, probably for good cause, that voters might well determine to re-elect him unless they try and forestall that possibility.

The presumption that either the Constitution's spirit or its letter were ever intended to work such mischief upon the electors of the president is insulting especially when we return to the details of how, originally, the Constitution had provided for the election of the president of the United States. U.S. Senators themselves were originally elected by state legislatures' members' majority votes.

And the president?

These were the terms by which the president was chosen:

(Wikipedia pages) (emphasis in the following as in the original article unless otherwise noted)

(Article II, Section 1's ) Clause 2: Method of choosing electors

'State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.'

“Under the U.S. Constitution the president and vice president are chosen by electors, under a constitutional grant of authority delegated to the legislatures of the several states. The Constitution reserves the choice of the precise manner for creating electors to the will of the state legislatures. It does not define or delimit what process a state legislature may use to create its state college of electors. In practice, the state legislatures have generally chosen to create electors through an indirect popular vote, since the 1820s. Most states have a "winner-take-all" system in which the candidate with the most votes in the state gets all the electoral votes.(5) Maine and Nebraska allow individual congressional districts to elect one elector.

“In an indirect popular vote, it is the names of the candidates who are on the ballot to be elected. Most states do not put the names of the electors on the ballot.(5) It is generally understood by the voters and the electors themselves that they are the representative "stand-ins" for the candidates and are expected to cast their electoral college ballots for the president and vice president who appeared on the ballot. The actual electors being voted for are usually selected by the candidate's party. There are a few cases where some electors have refused to vote for the designated candidate. (See "Faithless Elector".) Many states have mandated in law that electors shall cast their electoral college ballot for the designated presidential candidate.(5) The constitutionality of such mandates is uncertain.(6) (citation needed)

“Each state chooses as many electors as it has representatives and senators representing it in Congress. Under the 23rd Amendment, the District of Columbia may choose no more electors than the state with the lowest number of electoral votes (in effect, three electors), although since that amendment's ratification the District's population has never reached the threshold that would otherwise entitle it to choose four or more electors. While senators, representatives and federal officers are barred from becoming electors, in practice the two major federal parties frequently select senior officials at the state level (up to and including governors) to serve as electors.

(Article II, Section 1's) Clause 3: Electors

'The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.'

(Note: This procedure was changed by the 12th Amendment in 1804.) (Wikipedia)

Edited: Oct 27, 2019, 1:42pm

Pence has turned into a Trump clone. He has been drinking a keg
of the Trump Kool-Aid every one of the 1000+ days of his VP gig.
Resentment-filled people decided these two scramble-brained
guys were the answer to their prayers. The people around the
world are wondering, watching and waiting for the other shoe to
drop in 2020.

In Trumpland our founding documents are meaningless antiquities.

Oct 28, 2019, 6:54am

>67 Molly3028:

"In Trumpland our founding documents are meaningless antiquities."


There we have a candid disavowal of the Constitution--from an example of a bunch of people who deplore Trump for what they see as his lack of faddish "political-correctness" or his "crude" language.

But "Trumpland" is your own mental delusion; so your assertion that "our founding documents are meaningless antiquities" means, in effect that you're really merely asserting what amounts to:

"Because of my delusional view of Trump and his presidency, I declare myself free of any obligation to respect the Constitution and the traditional principles which underpin it and our other founding documents."

Such people have no just claim on the respect of others who, unlike them, haven't dispensed with the Constitution.

Edited: Oct 31, 2019, 8:44am

Laura Ingraham unintentionally admitted something on her FOXite
show last night ~ no Trump = no party. She, and her ilk, are Cult
45 members.


Edited: Nov 2, 2019, 2:07pm

Every time I think we've reached the bottom...

Kurt Eichenwald @kurteichenwald | 11/1/2019

1. For those who don’t understand the fragility of American democracy in the hands of an unscrupulous autocrat - a scenario never imagined possible by the Founders under our Constituion - the cancellation of elections is quite simple and arguably legal. Which is why...

2...I fear for 2020. It all comes down to presidential emergency powers. They are poorly defined in the Constitution and under law. They are enormous and Trump clearly has been told that - remember how trump keeps saying he can do *anything* under the Constitution. Back when....

3...there was Japanese internment, Justice Robert Jackson wrote of this power in his dissent that it “lies about like a loaded weapon, ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need.” We have already seen Trump do this without...

4...consequence to override congress to pay for his wall. Nothing can stop him because he said “emergency” and there is nothing to stop him.

So, it’s October 25, 2020. Polls show that trump is going to lose in a landslide. He announces a national emergency - we have evidence...

5...”that millions of illegal aliens are conspiring to vote and undermine our democracy. Therefore, I am declaring a national emergency, suspending elections until this corruption is weeded out.” And that’s it. People can sue, but his powers are broad enough and his corrupt...

6...judiciary would have to knock it down. And even if it did, there is nothing in the Constitution that says he has to abide by the ruling. Just the courts own interpretations. He can argue that Marbury v Madison does not apply in emergencies, and who can stop him? Ok, now...

7....suppose the people take up arms or Does anything but acquiesce. Trump can declare this an insurrection and suspend habeas corpus, meaning they can lock up anyone they want. Lincoln did this and while it stretches the Constitution - the section on habeas corpus appears under..

8...article one, but never says who has the power to suspend and Trump can simply say, as Lincoln did, I have that power. He also has the authority to shut down the internet or all communications. While technically the electors are supposed to cast ballots, they can’t without...

9...an election victor. And without an electoral vote, The president cannot be removed.

This is all legal. And does ANYONE believe, given he know this, that Trump won’t CONSIDER doing it? A man who publicly stated in 2016 that he might not accept the outcome of the election...

10...who, with the approval of the GOP, declared his opponents as traitors, demanded the imprisonments of political adversaries, declared the press to be the enemy of the people, has spoken longingly of never leaving office, who is besties with every autocrat and hates every...

11...democracy. Yes, as Justice Jackson said, the president - in this case Trump - has a loaded gun and we have to simply trust that he won’t use it or that the Republicans will join Democrats to stop him. And I do not believe for one second that...

12...they will say whatever rationale for the “emergency” that Trump cooks up is bogus. Just like they talked about evil hordes who didn’t exist coming into the United States, they have been saying those same hordes are voting. And they’ll say it when Trump suspends elections...

13...so FOR GODS SAKE stop the nonsense of raging over whether there is a public option or Medicare for all as a primary voting issue, or whether someone is a “corporate Democrat” or a “socialist”. None of that matters this time. We are IN this position because idiots...

14...did not recognize what was at stake in 2016, played silly games about “both sides are equally bad.” This is the same game that was played in the German federal elections in 1932, where people voting for the “can’t win” candidate gave enormous power to Hitler...

15...just three years later, Hitler declared a national emergency, dissolved the legislature and called for new elections. And soon after that, the “protest candidate and his supporters were locked up.

Can’t happen here? I never thought it could. Then again, I never thought...

16...that any political party would ever support an imperial executive and usurpation of power by a president declaring he is above the law.

The GOP has shown that, if they can make an argument, no matter how irrational or false, they will justify anything....

17...the bottom line: bad stuff could be coming. It is not outside the realm of possibility. It would not even be illegal or unconstitutional. And it will end the great American experiment in democracy. But rich people will do very very well.

Nov 2, 2019, 3:52pm

#70---that's also where you have 30 million people descend on DC. Won't be hard to organize either.

Nov 2, 2019, 4:37pm

>71 lriley:

Uh... maybe? But what about the cca 400 million civillian-owned guns.

There is just no way any part of this scenario works out well.

Nov 3, 2019, 8:12am

>70 margd:

interesting and persuasive, but i wish it hadn't descended into a vote for Hillary or Biden or whoever you hate most besides Trump argument.
And there is nothing new about Republicans working for an imperial presidency. They have seen the effect of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which is to get what you want in the short term and have a name for manipulative warmongering in the long run. So Nixon/Kissinger, Reagan, Bush 1 and 2, Obama all have done whatever they have desired without much restraint.

I find this extremely insulting:

"so FOR GODS SAKE stop the nonsense of raging over whether there is a public option or Medicare for all as a primary voting issue, or whether someone is a “corporate Democrat” or a “socialist”. None of that matters this time. We are IN this position because idiots...

14...did not recognize what was at stake in 2016, played silly games about “both sides are equally bad.” This is the same game that was played in the German federal elections in 1932, where people voting for the “can’t win” candidate gave enormous power to Hitler..."

In effect, the suggestion is that to save the democracy one has no democratic choice. If you choose to vote on the basis of proper health care you have betrayed history. What nonsense.

Nov 3, 2019, 9:31am

#73--Those center democrats often fight harder against their own left than they do republicans. Ocasio-Cortez for instance has set out a blueprint for the future that runs counter to the likes of what Biden or Buttigieg would give us. They want to take us back to the Obama years which were basically failed but gives a lot of people a feel good sensibility. The future is not really for old fuckers like me. What we're looking at are the problems that young people are going to be faced with--climate catastrophes of our making and saddled with debt throughout their lives. There is real point to medicare for all and relieving college debt and the minimum wage battles and taking real steps towards fixing the climate because it will give those 30's an under something of a fighting chance to battle those issues later on instead of getting overwhelmed and drowned by them like the more complacent of democratic politicians are willing to let happen.

It's amazing---a health insurance provider is simply an unnecessary middleman---and our health care is controlled by parasitical entities. And yet here's this crap 'Oh I like my health insurance company!' Really? We have no cost controls---the cost of insulin can go up at a whim for instance. A major medical issue can lead a family into financial ruin---other people cannot afford to be sick or get hurt and avoid doctors when they do letting their problems persist and we have people like Biden and Buttigieg who don't really give a fuck and whose hands will be out for campaign cash from health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists. Yeah--there's a problem with Trump--there's also a problem with McConnell and there's a problem with the American electorate who are easily gulled into false choices. The idea of medicare for all is to cover everyone--to not bankrupt anyone. Yeah there will have to be a way to pay for it but you won't be paying anything to Blue Cross Blue Shield anymore which is fucking expensive too. You won't have them making medical decisions for you either of what they'll pay for and what they won't. You'll have the govt. leveraging hospitals and pharmaceuticals to keep their costs down instead of trying to screw you over.

Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 10:46am

The most important challenge is to get our hands around climate change. All else should be subservient to that, I think. So-o fighting over how to get to M4A is very frustrating to watch. Especially while you-know-who steals the silver and the copper piping while the house burns. Eichenwald (#70) reminds us that we may not have seen the end of this grifter's evil.

Too bad US didn't move to universal healthcare when Canada did (Saskatchewan in 1947, Canada in 1966 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_medicine_in_Canada ). Coming out of WW2, Canada had a surprisingly formidable military machine that it dismantled thereby freeing up $ for healthcare. There was less private health insurance to lobby against a government program. Moreover, conservative parties (conservative-populist Social Credit party in Alberta, Progressive Conservatives) were on board--it was the era of Nixon and the Clean Water Act....

It will be harder for US to now transition to M4A: we're heavily invested in industrial military complex, crawling with well-heeled vested interests and their lobbyists, and burdened with partisan positions that beggar the mind, e.g., repeal and replace ACA, challenging existing conditions protections... We should transition to M4A, but it won't be a wave-the-wand moment, that's for sure. Political capital should first be spent on climate change, IMHO...

Nov 3, 2019, 2:42pm

>75 margd: Generally seeing no hope at all on any horizon throughout my life post 1980, I had a faint hope by 2000 that maybe Europe would be the continent on which sanity would prevail and to which power would gravitate through sane trade (or some bullshit like that)...I found that Europe is corrupt, confused, and the EU whenver it is well-meaning, feckless; and otherwise, just a body controlled for trade advantages operating on the same model as the US.

Now I see another faint hope. I think the only thing that will save this globe is environmental panic. Anything that can be done toward educating young people about the combination of history's perpetual abuses of power, the insidious institutions of anthropocentrism and patriarchy and the destruction of the environment is the best positive approach I can imagine anyone could take.

Nov 3, 2019, 5:46pm

#76--I think on climate younger people have actually been educating older people for quite a while. They are leading also on other things like gay rights and wealth disparity. We could teach them a few things for sure about being more self centered and corrupt though we don't have to really do much more than point to Trump to get that point across.

Nov 5, 2019, 10:56pm

Virginia democrats won both the state house and senate tonight. Two things--that republicans have lost the entire state. Democrats will be doing the drawing the districts for the next 10 years if any drawing needs doing. The second thing is that with democrats in the house, senate and governor one should expect that they'll ratify the ERA amendment which would make Virginia the 38th state to do so which puts ERA past the threshold for making it into federal law. It will have to be ratified in the US Senate but it puts all the onus for it on Mitch McConnell's head to bring it to the floor. With what looks like Matt Bevins losing the Kentucky governorship tonight and McConnell being at least as unpopular in Kentucky as Bevins (if not more so) I don't think McConnell would be smart to risk blocking ratification. He's probably gone through a whole bottle of alka seltzer tonight.

Nov 6, 2019, 7:34am

Happy to see that people in Kentucky and Virginia are slowly but
surely joining us in the 21st Century.

Nov 6, 2019, 7:41am

NBC Politics @NBCPolitics | 6:46 PM · Nov 5, 2019:

NEW: Joint statement from DOJ, DOD, DHS, DNI, FBI, NSA, and CISA on 2020 election security:
"Russia, China, Iran, and other foreign malicious actors all will seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions."

Image https://twitter.com/NBCPolitics/status/1191864423637508100/photo/1

Nov 6, 2019, 9:11am

Daughter in Kentucky got her husband up out of bed last night to happy dance with her. The Democrats in KY have been waging a door to door campaign. She says Bashear knocked on her door this year.

Nov 6, 2019, 12:00pm

Juli Briskman lost her job with a government contractor in 2017 after she flipped off Trump's car as it took him to the golf course. Last night she defeated a republican incumbent for a county supervisor job. Some karma there.

Nov 7, 2019, 11:03am

Will Sen Graham support his former colleague or his new BFF?

Jeff Sessions Will Run to Reclaim Alabama Senate Seat
Jeremy W. Peters and Maggie Haberman | Nov. 6, 2019

...Mr. Trump...last weekend...repeatedly denounced Mr. Sessions, saying he was a “jerk” and making it clear Mr. Sessions would not have his support, according to a person briefed on the discussions.

Publicly, however, Mr. Trump has remained silent, although some of his allies have begun expressing their disapproval. Minutes after the news of Mr. Sessions’s decision broke on Wednesday evening, Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida declared on Twitter, “Jeff Sessions returning to the Senate is a terrible idea.”...


Nov 7, 2019, 12:42pm

There are a couple of local boys in West Virginia who think a failed state run prepares them for president.
There must be something in the water.

Former coal exec Don Blankenship files for third-party presidential bid

After finishing third in the 2018 West Virginia Senate primary, Blankenship sought to run against Sen. Joe Manchin on the Constitution Party ticket. However, his bid was blocked by the West Virginia secretary of State over the state’s “sore loser” law barring major-party primary candidates who lose from switching to a minor party.
Blankenship also spent a year in federal prison for willfully conspiring to violate mine safety standards while he was at the helm of Massey Energy, which owned a West Virginia mine where 29 workers were killed in a 2010 explosion.
Ah, I see that Richard Ojeda, a WV state senator, launched his presidential campaign Nov. 2018, abandoning it in January 2019. He had unsuccessfully run for a US Congressional seat in 2018.

Richard Ojeda ends short-lived 2020 campaign

Nov 7, 2019, 5:53pm

>81 2wonderY:

The Democrats in KY have been waging a door to door campaign.

Now that takes guts. Congrats to KY and VA, with special ovation for Danica Roehm, the first transgender woman elected and RE-elected in the US.

Edited: Nov 8, 2019, 4:50pm

Michael Bloomberg's "broken windows" policing wouldn't endear him to African Americans. Not sure what working class voters would see in a billionaire, although some did vote for Trump. I like Bloomberg's emphasis on climate and guns--what about healthcare?--but he's 77, so would turn 80 in his first term with all the health risks that entails... He'd probably have lots of support from Wall Street donors, apparently frightened by Elizabeth Warren? Thing is, unless he wins, he might be spoiler, handing D win to Warren/Sanders.

What Michael Bloomberg means for the 2020 Democratic field
Chris Cillizza | November 8, 2019

...the former New York City mayor's reported preparations to make a late entrance into the 2020 Democratic primary race

...Iowa and New Hampshire...in polling...Biden has fallen behind Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and is in danger of dropping behind Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, too.

...Biden's...inability to stay financially competitive with Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg.

...Buttigieg...has positioned himself in that same pragmatic lane as the former Vice President...signs -- particularly in Iowa -- that Buttigieg is starting to move upward...doubts about whether or not the establishment wing of the Democratic Party wants to latch itself to a 37-year-old whose biggest job to date has been as mayor of his hometown. Those doubts are centered on the idea that Buttigieg simply cannot beat Warren for the nomination, leaving the party with its most liberal nominee in decades and risking the very real possibility of a 2nd term for President Donald Trump.

...Bloomberg! An establishment darling with a long record of centrist policy-making -- and he just happens to be a billionaire many times over!

...(not to say) Biden and Bloomberg are interchangeable...In fact, at least on paper, Biden is stronger -- largely because he has a demonstrated constituency among working class and minority voters. It's hard to see how Bloomberg would, at least initially, have any obvious appeal to either of those groups. (Honestly, it's not at all clear to me what Bloomberg's "natural" constituency is beyond people who watch "Morning Joe" and ride Amtrak's Acela between New York and DC.)

Bloomberg's candidacy is born of the perceived weakness of Biden's run -- and the fear of what a rising Warren would mean for Democratic chances next November. That, Bloomberg believes, has created a realistic opportunity for him to wind up as the nominee -- or at least to have a very real chance at winning.
Of course, opportunities may be less than they initially appear -- or disappear before you can seize on them. The question for Bloomberg is whether he's got enough time to turn that window of opportunity into something much larger.


Edited: Nov 8, 2019, 7:22pm

#86--Bloomberg without a doubt hates Trump but what bothers Bloomberg about the democrats is the fear that a Sanders or a Warren will rewrite tax law and come after his billions. That's the real reason why he's considering getting in this race.

Edited: Nov 10, 2019, 2:29pm

Graham and Haley ~

What is in the drinking water in South Carolina????????
America is broken and it will not be fixed anytime soon with
officials like these pandering to a cult leader. Trump knew
exactly what he was doing when he brought Haley into his
administration. Apparently, she is a cult-follower type.

Edited: Nov 10, 2019, 5:05pm

I think Haley is more Trumpian now than ever--maybe protective strategy? Could Haley be "anonymous"?
No evidence but she's seemed low for a while. Now pretty visible.
She could stay 'anonymous' or not depending on how time with Trump plays should she some day run for Prez or VP?

ETA. Never mind! Apparently she WAS writing a book, not Anonymous's Warning, but one in which she throws her lot in with aTrumpian Republican future(?).

Nikki Haley’s Audacious Bet
David Frum | 11/10/2019

The former South Carolina governor’s new book is a gamble that the future of the Republican Party looks a lot like Trump...


Nov 10, 2019, 4:56pm

>89 margd:

I believe that Haley is starting to collect Trump's cult followers as a base for her future run.

Nov 10, 2019, 5:06pm

Sounds like you're correct...

Nov 10, 2019, 7:09pm

#88 and #89--Haley and Graham are party loyalists and I'm afraid no one in the republican party is going to shake free unless and until the polls start to really tank for them and Trump on impeachment. That might move at least some of them (probably not Graham but maybe Haley but maybe not--she's not really holding an elected position--she's got nothing to lose). It's almost as if 60% of the public are going to have to be for removal and trending higher--and to a point where it starts eating into Trump's own voter base.

Until then they are going to do everything they can to obstruct. They are going to monotonously spin talking points over minutiae arguments.

Edited: Nov 18, 2019, 5:31pm

Trump may when the Electoral College twice, but he will never,
never, ever be able to honestly claim he won the popular vote in
any election. The majority of Americans are not that gullible.

Edited: Nov 21, 2019, 2:07am

How Deval Patrick and Michael Bloomberg Could Alter the 2020 Race
Alexander Burns | Nov. 15, 2019

...The sudden entry of two experienced candidates, Deval Patrick and Michael R. Bloomberg, could pose risks to the Democrats who have been running for months, affecting underdogs like (Cory) Booker and front-runners like Joseph R. Biden Jr., the former vice president.

Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire, is poised to swamp the field with television and digital advertising, expanding the map of contested primaries and making it even harder for all but the highest-profile candidates to break through. And Mr. Patrick has made clear that he aims to compete fiercely on several vital fronts: In New Hampshire, where Mr. Biden is locked in a tight race with Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont; in South Carolina, where Mr. Biden is relying on the overwhelming support of black voters; and in the board rooms and salons where Mr. Biden is battling for financial donations with Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

Mr. Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts, and Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, are both determined to displace Mr. Biden as the favorite candidate among voters closer to the political center, and ultimately to overcome populist champions like Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders. It is a wildly ambitious mission, given the stature of the top candidates and the resilience of their political support so far...


The left smells a rat in Bloomberg, Patrick bids

...The Bloomberg trial balloon and last-minute Patrick campaign have come after Biden, once the hope of many moderate Democrats, has slumped in early-state polls and disclosed that he only has $9 million cash on hand.

...To many on the left,...Bloomberg and Patrick are agents of a moneyed, ruling class determined to protect its interests against a rising progressive populist revolt...

...Party donors and moderates...(argue) that they are simply keeping the long game in mind — winning, followed by governance. They say that even if they personally like some of the left-wing policies, Warren and Sanders will become irreparably tarnished in a general election.



There’s Only One Way the Patrick and Bloomberg Campaigns Make Sense
Democratic Party elders are making plans.
Alex Pareene | November 20, 2019

...brokered conventions...simply do not happen anymore...

But this is the only way these two late entrants make any sense.They are calculated bets on a brokered convention. These are well-connected people at the highest levels of Democratic Party politics (despite his independent status, Bloomberg has always surrounded himself with Democratic campaign veterans and aides), making it clear that they think there is a real chance that the nomination will be completely up for grabs next July.

...Elections are unpredictable. But plans are in motion, because nothing is going according to plan. Be prepared.



When Obama Lectures the Left
Jamil Smith | Nov 20, 2019

Some of the hope and change that Barack Obama inspired is evident in the candidates Democrats are choosing from. Seeing him question it is to see him chip away at his own legacy

...At a private dinner with liberal voters last Friday in Washington, he said, “Even as we push the envelope and we are bold in our vision, we also have to be rooted in reality and the fact that voters — including Democratic voters and certainly persuadable independents or even moderate Republicans — are not driven by the same views that are reflected on certain, you know, left-leaning Twitter feeds or the activist wing of our party.” He added that “the average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it.”...



If they’re not true to their history, Democrats risk squandering a rare opportunity
Rahm Emanuel | November 18, 2019

Credit where credit is due: Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have done a masterful job baiting the rest of the field into fighting this campaign on their turf. Many voters inevitably presume today that redistribution of wealth is the Democratic Party’s animating creed.

...Amid all the talk about programs designed to redistribute America’s wealth, the phrase most glaringly absent from the 2020 campaign to this point is “inclusive growth.” With former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick entering the race last week and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg emerging as another late entrant, we can begin to have an ideas primary in earnest. We’re stronger as a party when we debate substantive proposals for how to expand prosperity and opportunity. But to meet the far left’s big ideas, traditional liberals need to show up with bold ideas of their own...


Nov 21, 2019, 7:33am

A Warning by Anonymous (4+stars)

General observations

It is hard to imagine a more dysfunctional workplace than the Trump West Wing. It is a three-ring circus most days thanks to the extremely flawed executive who is in charge. Remembering that this particular workplace is command central for the leader of the free world is very alarming. I am grateful that people like Anonymous continue to inform the public about this malfunctioning administration. Placing country over party should be a no-brainer during a cautionary-tale era like this one.

Edited: Nov 23, 2019, 4:29am

Edited: Nov 23, 2019, 11:01am

The parties in a nutshell ~ actions speak louder than words

Dems show concern for the 99%

Repubs show concern for the 1%

Nov 25, 2019, 11:18am


How Russian intelligence officers interfered in the 2016 election

Twelve Russian military officers have been indicted for breaking into the Democratic Party's computers, stealing compromising information and selectively releasing it to undermine candidates. Bill Whitaker reports on the case against them

Bill Whitaker | 2019 Nov 24

...The Russian agents stole material about candidates running for Congress in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Ohio, Illinois, Nebraska, New Mexico and North Carolina. But one swing state seemed to be the Kremlin's primary target: Florida.

...Marc Caputo: This is a state where elections are decided by a percentage point or so. A coin toss. Add the Russians onto that and you're looking at a real problem.

Marc Caputo has covered Florida politics for 20 years. The senior writer for Politico was one of the reporters who received and wrote about the hacked documents.

...Former FBI spy-hunter Robert Anderson says Russia's goals today are the same as in the Soviet era: to sow discord in the U.S. and doubt about our democracy around the world.

Robert Anderson: The thing that you need to worry about with Russia and every one of their intelligence services is they will learn from these operations. They'll learn how easy it is to gain access to government and private accounts. They'll learn how quickly the information that they put in front of somebody will be disseminated. They will analyze everything they did right or wrong. And when they attack again, they will not come at you the same way.


Nov 26, 2019, 3:29am

Citizens for Ethics @CREWcrew | 8:30 PM · Nov 24, 2019
So why did Ivanka get Chinese trademarks for voting machines last year?

Ivanka Trump’s Business Wins Approval for 16 New Chinese Trademarks Despite Shutting Down
Caroline Zhang | November 5, 2018

Nov 27, 2019, 7:48am

Christopher Zullo | @ChrisJZullo | 8:28 PM · Nov 26, 2019

Looking at jobs created, budget deficits

15M jobs
$79B to $159B

2M jobs
$153B to $255B

23M jobs
$255B to $128B surplus

1.5M jobs
$128B+ to $1T debt

12M jobs
$1.T to $585B

5M jobs
$585B to $1.1T

Clear Trend
Vote Democrat


Edited: Nov 27, 2019, 9:16am

#100--It's not just jobs created it's what kinds of jobs. Politicians love to take credit for job creation but if the majority of your creations are substandard poverty level or lower subsistence work (like most retail jobs and part time work) IMO it's not something that you should be bragging about. If they're really on the right side of things then they're fighting for raising the minimum wage and they're fighting for medicare for all. They're also working with trade unions and on worker's rights and they're also keeping a real eye on environmental and safety standards.

Trump of course has made all kinds of promises he's never kept and lies about how wonderful the economy is. It's all about the Dow Jones for him because he's a myoptic idiot. That said I am fairly skeptical about job numbers no matter what administration we're talking about. If you're a young person and you're looking at 10-15-20 years just to pay off your college debts (let alone buy a home and/or get married and raise a family if that's what you want to do) because the best you can do is not really working for you then the economy is shit and there are millions of young people looking at exactly that or what should be the best part of their lives is actually pretty much to be lived in a state of indentured servitude. It's about making the economy work for everyone and not just a couple hundred billionaires and a lot of smoke and mirror b.s. that things are better than they really are.

Nov 27, 2019, 3:15pm

Immigrant communities AND Chamber of Commerce should like this:

Bloomberg calls for 'more immigrants rather than less' in campaign speech
Owen Daugherty - 11/27/19

Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday said he believes the country needs “an awful lot more immigrants rather than less...“We need immigrants to take all the different kinds of jobs that the country needs — improve our culture, our cuisine, our religion, our dialogue and certainly improve our economy,” Bloomberg said while speaking at a Mexican restaurant in Phoenix...Ripping kids away from their parents is a disgrace”...

During the campaign stop, Bloomberg also repeated his previous apology for the stop-and-frisk strategy the New York Police Department implemented while he was mayor...



Buttigieg has a serious Latino problem, too

It's not just African American voters he's failing to connect with.

LAS VEGAS — As Iowa and New Hampshire voters boost Pete Buttigieg’s presidential hopes, Latinos in Nevada and California are asking: Pete who?

Buttigieg’s struggles to connect with voters of color, even as he’s vaulted into the top-tier of the Democratic presidential race, doesn’t end with black voters. The South Bend mayor polls in the low single digits among Latinos, too. And Nevada — the third state to cast ballots and where Latinos make up about a third of the population — threatens to deliver a blow to the 37-year-old’s campaign before South Carolina even votes...


Dec 4, 2019, 10:46am

David Leonhardt posted a thoughtful opinion piece about Kamala Harris' campaign strategy:

Where Kamala Harris Went Wrong

After I wrote a column a couple of months ago about the promise and disappointment of Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign, one Times reader from Boston left a comment that I thought was particularly smart. “Prosecutors rarely translate well when it comes to governing at the executive level,” the reader wrote. “Their default mode is neither policy nor the long view.”

Harris came up through California politics as a prosecutor. And she never seemed to develop a clear theory of how to use government to improve people’s lives. Barack Obama, who worked as a state legislator, did develop such a theory. So did Bill Clinton, who started as a prosecutor but then spent years as a governor. So has Elizabeth Warren, who came from academia.

An especially interesting contrast this year is Pete Buttigieg, whose résumé is less impressive than Harris’s and who, in my view, isn’t as charismatic as she is. But when I listen to Buttigieg describe his vision, I understand it. His time as a mayor of a small city shaped that vision, much as it did for Bernie Sanders decades earlier. With Harris, I was never quite sure what her vision was. Her vaguely titled memoir (“The Truths We Hold”) and oddly flat campaign slogans (like “Justice Is on the Ballot”) captured the problem.

This isn’t simply a matter of political marketing. Her lack of an abiding theory of government meant that her campaign couldn’t decide where it fit in the 2020 presidential campaign.

Edited: Dec 5, 2019, 4:44am

Meh. I'd briefly met the woman years ago. I'm not sure she ever stood a chance.

Dec 5, 2019, 5:42am

#103--I think Buttigieg has a real issue with race. That doesn't hurt him so much in Iowa or New Hampshire--the first two primary states but I suspect it's going to catch up with him. The other thing he was speaking eloquently on medicare for all several months ago and then there is this abrupt change to a center lane approach and now medicare for all is some weird ass hippie-ish idea. I find that jarring and I don't trust him. At the debates he's been a sniper. When there are less people the sniper has to come out of hiding.

Compared to Buttigieg Harris never really hid that much. She had skeletons but they all do. She wasn't a favorite of mine but generally I think she comes off well. She could have as California's attorney general and should have prosecuted Steve Mnuchin--Trump's Treasury secretary post banking collapse when he was the head of one of the largest west coast banks. There was a lot of compelling evidence that he had committed felonies. He certainly fucked over a lot of people. He got a free pass. FWIW--that was one of the issues with Obama's presidency--all these guys who wrecked the economy walking away scot free.

Dec 5, 2019, 2:36pm

Dirty is as the Repugnants do. Their victory relies on the smallest of numbers--never forget that.

Republicans win in effort to limit student vote ahead of key 2020 races

‘They are kids voting liberal,’ a New Hampshire Republican said in 2011 as legal battle over student voting in the state continues

...Michael Herron, a Dartmouth professor retained as an expert by the ACLU in the court case, found that the law would affect the young and transient population the most. While 1% of the total number people who cast a ballot in New Hampshire in the 2016 general election used an out-of-state ID, at least 36% of the college students who voted used one. ...

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 6:22am

New Hampshire Voter Identification Law



" II. (a) A valid photo identification shall show the name of the individual to whom the identification was issued, and the name shall substantially conform to the name in the individual's voter registration record; it also shall show a photograph of the individual to whom the identification was issued. The photo identification shall also have an expiration date that has not been exceeded by a period of more than 5 years , except that a voter 65 years of age or older may use an otherwise qualified form of identification without regard to expiration date, and except that student identification cards shall comply with the date requirements in subparagraph (5). The following forms of identification bearing a photograph of the voter shall satisfy the identification requirements of paragraph I:

(1) A driver's license issued by any state or the federal government.

(2) An identification card issued under RSA 260:21, RSA 260:21-a, or RSA 260:21-b or a nondriver's identification card issued by the motor vehicles division, department, agency, or office of any other state.

(3) A United States armed services identification card.

(4) A United States passport or passcard.

(5) A valid student identification card if:

(A) The card is issued by:

(i) A college, university, or career school in New Hampshire and approved to operate or licensed to operate in New Hampshire.

(ii) A public high school in New Hampshire.
(iii) A nonpublic high school in New Hampshire accredited by a private school accrediting agency that is
recognized by the department of education.
(iv) Dartmouth College.
(v) A college or university operated by the university system of New Hampshire or the community college system of New Hampshire.

(B) The card has either an expiration date or an issuance date that has not been exceeded by a period of more than 5 years, except that, at all elections prior to September 1, 2018, student identification cards without a date of expiration or issuance shall be accepted.
(6) A challenged voter affidavit in accordance with subparagraph I(c).

(7) A photo identification not authorized by subparagraphs (1) through (6) but determined to be legitimate by the supervisors of the checklist, the moderator, or the clerk of a town, ward, or city
, provided that if any person authorized to challenge a voter under RSA 659:27 objects to the use of such photo identification, identifies the reason for the objection in writing, and states the specific source of the information or personal knowledge upon which the challenge of the photo identification is based, the voter shall be required to execute a challenged voter affidavit as if no identification was presented.

(b) In addition to the forms of photo identification authorized in subparagraph (a), the identification requirements of paragraph I may be satisfied by verification of the person's identity by a moderator or supervisor of the checklist or the clerk of a town, ward, or city, provided that if any person authorized to challenge a voter under RSA 659:27 objects to such verification, identifies the reason for the objection in writing, and states the specific source of the information or personal knowledge upon which the challenge of the photo identification is based, the voter shall be required to execute a challenged voter affidavit as if no verification was made.

(c) The secretary of state shall post the lists of educational institutions provided by the commissioner of the department of education under RSA 21-N:4, VII on the department of state's website, and otherwise shall make such lists available to local election officials.

III. If a voter on the nonpublic checklist executes an affidavit in accordance with subparagraph I(c), the affidavit shall not be subject to RSA 91-A.

IV. (a) The secretary of state shall cause a letter of identity verification to be mailed by first class mail to each voter who executed a challenged voter affidavit or affidavit of religious exemption in accordance with paragraph I, unless the same person is sent letter of identity verification pursuant to RSA 654:12, V(b). The letter shall be mailed by January 10 in every odd-numbered year in the case of persons executing challenged voter affidavits or affidavits of religious exemption at a state primary or general election, or within 90 days after any other election. The secretary of state shall mark the envelope with instructions to the United States Post Office not to forward the letter and to provide address correction information. The letter shall notify the person that a person who did not present valid photo identification voted using his or her name and address and instruct the person to return the letter within 30 days with a written confirmation that the person voted or to contact the attorney general immediately if he or she did not vote. The letter shall also inform the person of the procedure for obtaining a free nondriver's picture identification card for voting purposes.

See also: State of New Hampshire: Driver Licensing > Non-Driver Identification

" get . a . life . "

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 6:23am

Ah, good old Proximity. Did you miss me, babe? I missed you. It's been fun to watch your progression from staunch Sanders supporter to Trump supporter to... Gabbard?

Whatever. Whatever pays I suppose.

How's the weather?

Dec 6, 2019, 6:24am

Though if I recall correctly, didn't you have a brief fling/flirt with Stein and the Green party at one point.?

Dec 6, 2019, 10:29am

There is an either/or-ness to American politics. The either you're with me or against me. Trump certainly plays that card all the time. But even on the democratic side--there is a center lane and there is a left lane and the two don't always get along. Trump has shown to pose such an existential threat to pretty much everything decent though that I could even contemplate voting for Joe Biden but......to be clear Joe Biden despite John Kerry's and Barack Obama's bullshit is not interested in doing anything all that is constructive about climate change, student debt, wealth disparity--his interest is to take you back into the past to the so-called better times when no politician worried about things like that. He wants to make sure his biggest donors are happy and if shit don't make them happy it ain't going to get done. Hillary Clinton was in that center lane too. Sanders in the left lane. To me he's not really the future (he's too old to be the future for one thing) but some of those who are following in his footsteps like Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Omar could be. I guess a lot depends also on how any particular voter perceives candidates and issues. I see crisis coming along in climate. I see wealth disparity, the unaffordability of medical help, student debt as factors that are undermining and dividing our society to the benefit of a few while increasing the numbers of those without.

On another topic there is this idea that 'my vote counts for something. It could be the deciding factor'. I think of that as a possibility on a local or a state level but not really on a national level where we have this undemocratic institution called the electoral college. Any super close election is going to be decided there and not always for the person with the most votes. On a national level your vote is more symbolic than anything else. If an election is decided in the electoral college it makes everything subject to the whims of states that do suppress voting and that do invite all kinds of election fraud. We need to get rid of the electoral college and we need to streamline how our voting works and then we need to incorporate protections for the streamlined system we replaced everything with. What we have right now really is a fucking mess.....and fairly easy for inside and outside actors to game.

Dec 6, 2019, 12:04pm

I keep hearing interviews with voters on NPR where they support Joe Biden because their priority is to beat Trump. It's really starting to piss me off. To my mind Biden, Clinton (both), and Obama and their unwillingness to do anything about income disparity and the dominance of pay to play in the Washington culture is why Trump won last time and going with a Washington establishment candidate again is the best way to ensure that Trump will win again.

If Biden is the candidate, I'm seriously considering going Green again next year (not that it matters since I live in California) and if Trump wins maybe the Democrats will figure out that they need to change.

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 10:20pm

Superb conversation with Cornel West about the election, candidates, voting:

Cornel West: There is 'a neo-fascist in the White House' | UpFront

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 10:30pm

#111--probably most people have forgotten this but after the very divisive 2016 Democratic convention Jill Stein made an offer to Sanders--she would step aside as Green Party presidential nominee and run as his vice presidential candidate. Sanders turned her down and in the last month or so before the election was pretty much out on the stump for Hillary every single day. If Sanders had taken up Stein on her offer I have little doubt that the Green Party would have vaulted past the 5% threshold that would have guaranteed the party Federal campaign cash in the 2020 election cycle. That would have been a big deal for them. It very well also could have meant that Trump got more votes than Hillary by splitting off and dividing a bigger chunk of the left. In retrospect Sanders whose instincts have always been very good made the right choice and I say that because I think he realized (like maybe some of the rest of us didn't at the time--myself included) just how big a scumbag the Donald was and which he continues to be. I've never liked Hillary but there is no equivalence between how bad she might have been and how bad Trump actually is. Donald is light years ahead as far as bad. He is stupid and a clown and a narcissist and he has a dictator's mentality and has no moral sense.

So Sanders sticking with the Democrats IMO was the right choice. It's also produced a silver lining in that he is a key figure behind both the Our Revolution and Justice Democrat movements and both Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib were and still are members of the Democratic Socialists of America and I'm hoping to see both those movements continue to grow and branch off the current Democratic party--do what it can to change it from within. They will be running more candidates in 2020 and hopefully it pushes that party more and more to the left.

All that said we should be reforming and streamlining our elections and it would be nice also to see a form of rank choice voting. As for the Green Party and California I agree that voting for them isn't controversial. There is 0 chance that Trump or any other Republican POTUS nominee is going to win that state's electoral votes anytime within the next 20 years. The Republicans have dropped to 6 out of California's 50+ congressional districts. They are pretty much at the point of being non-competitive in California statewide.

Dec 6, 2019, 10:33pm

#112--Cornel West is irrepressible and he's a national treasure.

Dec 6, 2019, 10:35pm

>114 lriley:

Yes! I won't deny I tremble at the thought of another four years of Trumpism--where could it lead?--but I respect West's position 100%.

Dec 7, 2019, 8:14am

>111 jjwilson61:


God, I love this shit!

Go, Biden, the already-politically-doomed! LOL! Biden for-failed-challenge to Trump in 2020! Yeah!, baby!

Our own little slow-motion train-wreck to (continue to) watch for the next 12 months!

Rarely have I seen such an idiotic or carefully-prepared political debâcle as the "Schiff-Pelosi-Nadler Shit-show" we have going here.

Oh, and by the way, don't look now, but, your heroine, Pelosi, who one might have characterized as merely an ugly old bitch has now become an ugly old senile bitch.

Stayed tuned as CNN, NBC, MS-NBC and ABC bring you continuous coverage of the Democratic party self-imolating.


Dec 7, 2019, 8:20am

#116--what I find funny and also pitiable is your absolute delusion.

Edited: Dec 7, 2019, 1:58pm

To say one more thing about Biden--every once in a while he starts spouting out nonsense such as that he knows all these Republican Senators and that they're really good people and that once Trump is safely out of the way they'll go back to being who they use to be.......like they were always normal human beings and which is ridiculous horseshit. Maybe you could give a pass to Romney and if hard pressed to Murkoski. The others have shown themselves to be absolute lackeys or cheerleaders to whatever whim this wingnut comes out with. What Biden is saying here is also the disease of the center lane democrats who want a world just as it was 10 years ago where they could ignore their own base in favor of their Wall St. donors--feed out of the same corporate big money troughs as their so-called Republican pals. From the left I look at not just Graham and Cruz but also the more moderates Snowe, Burr and Porter who've also been enabling the Trump administration all as enemies. All need to go. There is nothing politically redeemable there.

Dec 8, 2019, 5:03am

We could have guessed that Trump had eye on Jewish support, but--yikes--his language and extremist sympathies!

Trump tells pro-Israel conference that some Jews don’t love Israel enough
Eric Cortellessa | Dec 8, 2019

At Florida speech, US president says those in the audience will vote for him to protect their wealth...

...the president criticized American Jews who, he said, were not sufficiently supportive of the Jewish state...comments were reminiscent of remarks he made in August when he said that Jews who vote for Democrats were disloyal, drawing a vociferous backlash.

...Jews make up only a small portion of the national electorate but in Florida they represent a crucial piece of the swing state electoral puzzle. Historically, American Jews have voted heavily Democratic.

...Speaking about finding a location for the US Embassy in Israel, he told the audience, “A lot of you are in the real estate business.”

“I know you very well, you’re brutal realtors.”

...The Democratic Majority for Israel on Twitter slammed Trump for peddling anti-Semitic tropes and ignoring the threat from the far right.

...This is not the first time Trump has been accused of anti-Semitism for linking Jews to money.

...Throughout his speech, Trump boasted about his Israel policies — with a special emphasis on moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, cutting aid to the Palestinians, and withdrawing the United States from the Iran nuclear deal...


Dec 8, 2019, 6:09am

#119--The America first guy playing the dual loyalty card. He plays to the violently Anti-Semitic alt-right white supremacist crowd too. Our master juxtaposer. 'A lot of you are in the real estate business. I know you very well, you're brutal realtors'---as if that's a good thing but also it's a slur whether he realizes it or not. Probably doesn't care. I don't know how anyone can sit and listen to that kind of shit. Whoever didn't walk out in the middle of that is a fuckhead.

Dec 10, 2019, 1:49pm

Good point that to the average American "left" and "right" says nothing--Americans parse politics only in terms of business, money, taxation. (There's nowhere else to go when your starting point is that politically you have achieved unique perfection on the planet--and that in the 18th century.)

"Presidential elections depend on turnout"

Why Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Will Win the Presidency with Robert Reich

Dec 10, 2019, 6:58pm

Don’t Think Sanders Can Win? You Don’t Understand His Campaign

Mr. Sanders has not diluted his message since {2016}, but has instead recommitted to his promises of “big government” socialist reforms — all the while pulling other candidates to his side. Although Mr. Sanders grows in popularity {my emphasis}, neither the Democratic Party establishment nor the mainstream media really understand his campaign. ...

Much of the media, though, has been stuck in 2016 and has missed the ways that the Sanders campaign has transformed into a tribune of the oppressed and marginalized. ...

Instead, Mr. Sanders has reached the typically invisible, downwardly mobile working class with his language of “class warfare.” He has tapped into the anger and bitterness coursing through the lives of regular people who have found it increasingly impossible to make ends meet in this grossly unequal society. Without cynicism or the typical racist explanations that blame African-Americans and Latino immigrants for their own financial hardship, Mr. Sanders blames capitalism. His demands for a redistribution of wealth from the top to the rest of society and universal, government-backed programs have resonated with the forgotten residents of the country. ...

Under normal circumstances, the multiracial working class is invisible. This has meant its support for Mr. Sanders’s candidacy has been hard to register in the mainstream coverage of the Democratic race. But these voters are crucial to understanding the resilience of the Sanders campaign, which has been fueled by small dollar donations from more than one million people, a feat none of his opponents has matched. Remarkably, he also has at least 130,000 recurring donors, some of whom make monthly contributions.

Adding to that, Mr. Sanders is the top recipient for donations by teachers, farmers, servers, social workers, retail workers, construction workers, truckers, nurses and drivers as of September. ...

The ants are coming for the elephants.

Dec 10, 2019, 8:13pm

#122--there's a war to be fought on a lot of levels. And yes the ants have to go after the elephants (though real elephants in the zoo or their natural habitats are fine animals). But I also just posted a new thread--an opinion piece in the NY Times by Amy Pritchard who worked on Ayanna Pressley's campaign in 2018 and she laments how establishment democrats are trying to make it impossible for new AOC's or Pressley's to primary conservative house democrats. This is a wrong way to go. New blood is a vital thing and having representatives that actually represent political constituencies in terms of gender and race is important as well as representing people who are young.

Dec 10, 2019, 8:34pm

>123 lriley:

Well, it seems clear that the reshuffling in the American two-party system isn't over--the centrist/right wing of the Democratic party won't countenance progressives and that's that. For them it's not "the wrong way to go" to reject the latter--they are not WITH them. They simply can't recover from having the rug pulled out from under their cosy two-step with the "righteous" Republicans. Still too bashful to just cross over already.

Dec 10, 2019, 11:36pm

#124--they did not appreciate Pressley primarying Michael Capuano but they really didn't like AOC doing the same to Joe Crowley. Crowley was a favorite and on their leadership team and considered a possible to be Speaker some day. McKayla Wilkes is after Hoyer's seat this time around. Another of their favorites Eliot Engel is chairman of the Foreign Affairs--he's an Israeli hawk and a conservative Dem. Jamaal Bowman is trying to primary him. Two other targets of the Justice Democrats are pro life Cong. Cuellar from Texas and pro gun Cong. Lipinski from Illinois. To me these are people that fuck things up and the democratic party should support (or at least stay out of the way of) those trying to replace them.

Dec 11, 2019, 8:27am

Speaking of Buttigieg--working for McKinsey should not be a problem if you were a republican candidate. It is a corporate friendly anti-worker/labor investment consulting firm with a history of scandal and supporting right wing or dictatorial regimes. I've noted some of the projects that Buttigieg was engaged in one of which was the United States Postal Service where I spent pretty nearly 30 years mostly working graveyard shifts in a processing center. Apparently Buttigieg's work there involved 'finding new sources of revenue' which on its face seems benign (if that's all it was) but the Postal Service has been the target of ongoing privatizing projects from all kinds of neo-liberal/conservative entities going on at least the last 25 years and McKinsey would seem to me to be one kind of such entity. In any case this 'finding of new sources of revenue' is kind of bullshitty.

Edited: Dec 12, 2019, 12:34am

Scary senario ~ Election night 2020

Putin orchestrates an attack on our electric grid which destroys
the election results in large sections of the U.S. Trump uses this
opportunity to claim he is the winner of a second term. Trump's
cult followers agree.

Edited: Dec 12, 2019, 7:59am

Scary scenario:

1) Hillary Clinton, so sure of herself and of having the impending election "in the bag", tweets,

"!Donald Trump refused to say that he’d respect the results of this election. That’s a direct threat to our democracy."

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 24, 2016

2) When it all goes "wrong"—that is, when Americans across the country go to the polls and cast their ballots for the "wrong" candidate, i.e. namely, Donald Trump—

Clinton and her cult-following demand, variously, vote recounts, calls for the Electoral College electors to be free to refuse to vote according to their states' popular vote—when that vote favored Trump, or to simply have the Electoral College system dispensed with henceforth by a reform of the law.

from the National Public Radio program, "Fresh Air" Host Terri Gross interviewed Hillary Clinton, September 18, 2017:


T.G. : "You told Susan Page at USA Today that you believe that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. What leads you to believe that?"

H. C. : "I was careful with that. I said we know they communicated. We know they tried to hide all of the communications — both phone calls and meetings. We know that they took advantage of very well-timed Russian activities. We know that they had a very clear line of communication that was set up, that, in fact, after the election, the Trump people wanted to continue — and not in the sight of our intelligence providers."

"We know that the intelligence community of our country — people who I've worked with, people who I have every bit of confidence in — have concluded that this came from the top of the Kremlin and was intended to help Trump."

"We know there were all these financial entanglements. We're learning more all the time. There's just communication, there's financial, there's a lot of breadcrumbs and trails that are now being investigated. It's up to the special counsel, the Congress to determine what the facts are, but there's just a lot of smoke there."

T. G. : "You've basically said that you thought the Comey comments about the e-mail investigation is what tipped the election.

H. C. : "Yeah."

T. G. : "And ultimately caused you to lose. But you've also said the Russian bots and Facebook pages and affinity groups and the hacking all contributed to your loss."

H. C. : "Yes. I believe that."

T. G. : "Democrats have said that they think there was Russian interference in the election, but that they're not challenging the results of the election. As more and more information comes out about the depth of Russia's interference in the election, do you think, at some point, that it would be legitimate to challenge the legitimacy of the election?"

H. C. : "I don't know if there's any legal constitutional way to do that. I think you can raise questions. In fact, I think part of the reason Trump behaves the way he behaves is that he is a walking example of projection. Whatever he's doing and whatever he thinks is happening he will accuse somebody else of. And there are examples during the campaign when he did just that, like when he called publicly on Russia to hack my personal e-mails."

"He knew they were trying to do whatever they could to discredit me with e-mails, so there's obviously a trail there, but I don't know that in our system we have any means of doing that, but I just wanted to add to the point you made. There's no doubt they influenced the election: We now know more about how they did that."

"Let me just put it this way, if I had lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College and in my first day as president the intelligence community came to me and said, 'The Russians influenced the election,' I would've never stood for it. Even though it might've advantaged me, I would've said, 'We've got to get to the bottom of this.' I would've set up an independent commission with subpoena power and everything else." * (emphasis added)

T. G. : "I want to get back to the question, would you completely rule out questioning the legitimacy of this election if we learn that the Russian interference in the election is even deeper than we know now?"

H. C. : "No. I would not. I would say —"

T. G. : "You're not going to rule it out."

H. C. : "No, I wouldn't rule it out."

T. G. : "So what are the means, like, this is totally unprecedented in every way —"

H. C. : "It is."

T. G. : "What would be the means to challenge it, if you thought it should be challenged?"

H. C. : "Basically I don't believe there are. There are scholars, academics, who have arguments that it would be, but I don't think they're on strong ground. But people are making those arguments. I just don't think we have a mechanism. You know, the Kenya election was just overturned and really what's interesting about that — and I hope somebody writes about it, Terry — the Kenyan election was also a project of Cambridge Analytica, the data company owned by the Mercer family that was instrumental in the Brexit vote."

“There's now an investigation going on in the U.K., because of the use of data and the weaponization of information. They were involved in the Trump campaign after he got the nomination, and I think that part of what happened is Mercer said to Trump, 'We'll help you, but you have to take Bannon as your campaign chief.' You've got to take Kellyanne Conway and these other people who are basically Mercer protégés."

“And so we know that there was this connection. So what happened in Kenya, which I'm only beginning to delve into, is that the Supreme Court there said there are so many really unanswered and problematic questions, we're going to throw the election out and redo it. We have no such provision in our country. And usually we don't need it.”

“Now, I do believe we should abolish the Electoral College, because I was sitting listening to a report on the French election and the French political analyst said, 'You know in our country the person with the most votes wins, unlike in yours.' And I think that's an anachronism. I've said that since 2000.” (Emphasis added)



(Excerpt from Politico (By CAITLIN OPRYSKO |
05/03/2019 09:49 AM EDT | Updated 05/03/2019 03:22 PM EDT )

… ...
“In the wake of Mueller concluding his investigation earlier this year without finding a conspiracy to collude with Russians, Trump and his allies have clamored for an investigation into the origins of the Russia probe, calls Attorney General William Barr has said he supports.

“Barr came under fire last month when he told lawmakers it was possible there was “spying” on the Trump campaign that should be looked into. He has since defended his use of the term 'spying,' arguing that there was likely more involved in the probe's genesis than what is publicly known.

“Pence agreed with Barr’s phrasing in an interview with Fox News on Friday.

“ 'We've got to get to the bottom of how all this started. The American people have a right to know how this investigation even began. And as the attorney general said when he testified before Congress, there was spying. We need to understand why there was, whether there was a sufficient predicate. We really need to get to the bottom of how this all began and if there was a violation of the rules, if the law was broken, the people that were responsible need to be held accountable,' he said.

“ 'It’s very troubling,' he said of the (New York) Times report, adding later that 'the American people are not going to tolerate this.'

“In a statement Thursday, Trump’s re-election campaign manager ripped into the revelations.

“ 'There is a word for this in the English language: Spying,' Brad Parscale said. 'Democrats and their media friends have expressed horror at the term, but there is no other way to describe it: the FBI spied on the Trump campaign in 2016.'

“Parscale accused Democrats and the press of ignoring the 'real scandal,' the 'Obama Administration using the Justice Department to spy on a political adversary’s campaign.'

“He added: 'As President Trump has said, it is high time to investigate the investigators.' ”

(Emphasis added in the above excerpt)

Dec 13, 2019, 4:33am

Nicolle Wallace @NicolleDWallace (MSNBC) | 4:35 PM · Dec 12, 2019:

“I was on the fence but I went with Trumps GOP
because I love listening to all of the Republican men screaming and yelling,”
said no female swing voter in the suburbs ever.

Dec 13, 2019, 7:03am

Bloomberg's campaign chair, Patti Harris

The hidden hand behind Bloomberg’s campaign

...(Patti) Harris, a 64-year-old Manhattan native who stepped aside from her job running Bloomberg Philanthropies to chair his campaign, occupies a central role in his effort to turn himself from a proudly nonpartisan businessman into an appealing option for a Democratic Party that is increasingly splintered between moderates and progressives.

Campaign manager Kevin Sheekey, whom Harris hired at Bloomberg LP in 1997, called her “the quiet force in everything that Mike has done.”

...Harris took a job at Bloomberg’s financial news company in 1994, worked on his first New York City mayoral campaign and oversaw much of his administration for 12 years as deputy mayor. Now, the inextricable role she plays in all facets of his life — politics, business, and philanthropy — will play out on a national stage as campaign chair for his free-spending run for the Democratic nomination...


Dec 13, 2019, 9:55am

Trump considering skipping general election debates in 2020: report
Marty Johnson - 12/12/19

President Trump has been discussing with his campaign advisers whether or not to participate in the general election debates in 2020, two people close to the situation told The New York Times.

...“Not doing any would not be strategically smart,” Philippe Reines, a longtime Clinton adviser, told the paper. Reines also told the Times that he thinks Trump will "bluff that he won’t do any with the goal of only having to do one.”...


Dec 14, 2019, 7:46pm

New Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew--one of the two current Democrats not to back impeachment apparently is going to change his party affiliation to Republican next week. It's kind of a scumbag thing to do to the people in his district but not necessarily unheard of (Billy Tauzin, Richard Shelby). FWIW though this is going to happen now and again when democrats run conservatives in iffy congressional districts.

Edited: Dec 15, 2019, 12:15pm


Trump always says love him or hate him, you have to vote for
him. He, therefore, views our nation (a country of over 329
million people) to be his hostage.

Edited: Dec 15, 2019, 12:49pm

>128 proximity1:

The kegs of Kool-Aid continue to dissolve brain matter.

HRC is NOT joining the race. That is just red-meat crap GOPers
are feeding Trump's cult followers to keep them on edge.

Dec 16, 2019, 9:58am

There Are Economic Warning Signs for Trump in the Midwest
Ben Casselman and Karl Russell | Dec. 16, 2019

...job growth has slowed sharply this year in Michigan, Pennsylvania and other states that were critical to Mr. Trump’s victory in 2016, as well as in states like Minnesota that he narrowly lost. Hiring in the region has remained sluggish even as it has picked up this fall in much of the rest of the country. Other economic measures show similar weakness.

...The states are struggling in part because they depend heavily on manufacturing and agriculture, two sectors that have been hit especially hard by Mr. Trump’s trade war. Tariffs have driven up prices for imported parts and materials, and pushed down demand for American goods abroad.

... The United States and China on Friday announced they had reached an agreement to reduce tariffs in what Mr. Trump described as a “phase one deal” between the countries...even if the deal holds, it will take time for the economic damage done by the tariffs to reverse. Michael Hicks, an economist at Ball State University in Indiana, said that job losses were likely to worsen in the coming months and that it was unlikely that the Midwest could fully recover before the height of the election season next fall.

“By September or October of next year, if you’re campaigning in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, western Pennsylvania or Indiana, you can point clearly to the trade war as a cause of growing economic malaise in those states,” Mr. Hicks said.


Edited: Dec 16, 2019, 10:55am

The Electoral College favors the votes of citizens in flyover country
and swing states who are infatuated with a cult personality/life-
long con man. The cult-leader/president keeps pushing the I'm-
an-elected-king envelope. His party's reps in Congress keep
shirking their sworn allegiance to the country. A dictator on the
other side of the globe believes he has a puppet in the WH. This is
not a movie screenplay, a TV series plot or a bestselling book tale.
This is the on-the-ground, pre-election situation in America!

Dec 20, 2019, 6:21am

We could see Medicare for All sooner rather than later, if Dems win and shortly thereafter the Supreme Court invalidates ACA:

Court voids Obamacare mandate — but not the whole law
PAUL DEMKO | 12/18/2019

A federal appeals court on Wednesday struck down Obamacare’s individual mandate in a decision that immediately thrusts the health care law to the forefront of the 2020 elections.

However, the appeals court ruling largely ducked the central question of whether the rest of the Affordable Care Act remained valid after Congress removed the penalty for not having health insurance. The three-judge panel instead sent the case back to a Texas federal judge, WHO PREVIOUSLY THREW OUT THE ENTIRE LAW (margd's caps), to reconsider how much of Obamacare could survive.

The high-stakes ruling keeps the legal threat to Obamacare alive while reducing the likelihood the Supreme Court could render a final verdict on the law before the next elections. Still, the appeals court’s decision could renew pressure on President Donald Trump and Republicans to explain how they will preserve insurance protections for preexisting conditions after failing to agree on an Obamacare replacement for years...


Edited: Dec 22, 2019, 8:55am

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s family benefited from U.S. program for minorities based on disputed ancestry
Paul Pringle, Adam Elmahrek | Oct. 14, 2018

A company owned by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s in-laws won more than $7 million in no-bid and other federal contracts at U.S. military installations and other government properties in California based on a dubious claim of Native American identity by McCarthy’s brother-in-law...

The prime contracts, awarded through a federal program designed to help disadvantaged minorities, were mostly for construction projects at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in McCarthy’s Bakersfield-based district, and the Naval Air Station Lemoore in nearby Kings County.

Vortex Construction, whose principal owner is William Wages, the brother of McCarthy’s wife, Judy, received a total of $7.6 million in no-bid and other prime federal contracts since 2000, The Times found.

The Bakersfield company is co-owned by McCarthy’s mother-in-law and employs his father-in-law and sister-in-law, Wages said. McCarthy’s wife was a partner in Vortex in the early 1990s.

Vortex faced no competitive bids for most of the contracts because the Small Business Administration accepted Wages’ claim in 1998 that he is a Cherokee Indian. Under the SBA program, his company became eligible for federal contracts set aside for economically and socially disadvantaged members of minority groups, a boon to its business.

Wages says he is one-eighth Cherokee. An examination of government and tribal records by The Times and a leading Cherokee genealogist casts doubt on that claim, however. He is a member of a group called the Northern Cherokee Nation, which has no federal or state recognition as a legitimate tribe. It is considered a fraud by leaders of tribes that have federal recognition....


Edited: Dec 22, 2019, 4:26pm

Many Americans appear to prefer the color green over Old Glory's
red, white and blue combo!

Dec 25, 2019, 6:02am

Preparing for Cyberattacks and Technical Failures: A Guide for Election Officials
Elizabeth Howard and Lawrence Norden | December 19, 2019

Summary: Effective resiliency plans will help safeguard against Election Day disruptions.

(e.g., )

Prevent and Recover from Electronic Pollbook Failures and Outages
Limit or eliminate connectivity to wireless networks whenever possible.
Implement proper security protocols when wireless connectivity is required.
Ensure that systems are properly patched as part of Election Day preparations.
Keep appropriate backup of e-pollbooks in polling places.
Provide sufficient provisional ballots and materials for two to three hours of peak voting.
Train poll workers to implement pollbook contingencies.

Prevent and Recover from Voting Equipment Failures
If using paper ballots, print enough ballots for all registered voters.
If using voting systems that do not require preprinted ballots, print enough emergency paper ballots for two to three hours of peak voting activity.
Develop procedures to manage and track malfunctioning equipment or equipment failure.
Communicate with voters to build trust in the election process.
Take steps to prevent late polling place openings due to equipment failures.
Plan to assist voters with disabilities if voting machines fail.

3 p Checklist: https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/2019-12/2019_12_ContingencyPla...
13 p Report: https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/2019-12/2019_12_ContingencyPla...

Dec 28, 2019, 11:30pm

MSNBC finally discovers Sanders exists?

Dec 29, 2019, 2:26am

‘Nothing Less Than a Civil War’: These White Voters on the Far Right See Doom Without Trump
Astead W. Herndon | Dec. 28, 2019

Deeply conservative, they organize online and outside the Republican Party apparatus, engaging in more explicit versions of the chest-beating seen at the president’s rallies.

...they refuse to acknowledge the possibility of a Trump loss in 2020.

Mark Villalta said he had been stockpiling firearms, in case Mr. Trump’s re-election is not successful.

“Nothing less than a civil war would happen,” Mr. Villalta said, his right hand reaching for a holstered handgun. “I don’t believe in violence, but I’ll do what I got to do.”


Edited: Jan 4, 2020, 7:43am

House retirements:

1. Jose Serrano-NY15
2. David Loebsack-IA 2
3. Susan Davis-CA23
4. Nita Lowey-NY17
5. Peter Visclosky-IN1
6. Denny Heck-WA10
7. Tulsi Gabbard-HI2*
8. Katie Hill-CA25*

Note *---Gabbard is not seeking re-election to her congressional seat and is running for President and has almost no chance--so more than less a retirement. Hill resigned.

9. Ben Ray Lujan-NM3--is running for the vacate US Senate seat of retiring Democrat Tom Udall.
10. Joe Kennedy-MA4--is more or less primarying US Senate seat of Democrat Ed Markey.

Senate retirement
1. Tom Udall-NM

Most vulnerable seats from the above that could be flipped---Loebsack's IA2, Hill's CA25.

1. Rob Bishop-UT1
2. Rob Woodall-GA7
3. Susan Brooks-IN5
4. Paul Mitchell-MI10
5. Pete Olson-TX22
6. Martha Roby-AL2
7. Mike Conaway-TX11
8. Will Hurd-TX23
9. Kenny Marchant-TX24
10. John Shimkus-IL15
11. Bill Flores-TX17
12. Jim Sensenbrenner-WI5
13. Mac Thornberry-TX13
14. Francis Rooney-FL19
15. Greg Walden-OR2
16. Peter King-NY2
17. Tom Graves-GA14
18. George Holding-NC2
19. Ted Yoho-FL3
20. Mark Walker-NC6
21. Mark Meadows-NC11
22. Phil Roe-TN1
23. Paul Cook-CA8
24. Chris Collins-NY27*
25. Duncan Hunter Jr-CA50*
26. Sean Duffy-WI7*

Note*---both Collins (insider trading) and Hunter (campaign finance) have pled guilty to felonies and are heading off to prison. Duffy resigned.

28. Bradley Byrne-AL1--is running for US Senate against Democrat Doug Jones. As might be former Trump atty. general Jeff Sessions as may be Roy Moore aka Trump's favorite child molester.
29. Roger Marshall-KS1 is running for the US Senate seat of retiring republican Pat Roberts. This is also the same Senate seat being eyed potentially by State Dept. head Mike Pompeo.
30. Greg Gianforte-Montana (at large) running for Montana Governor.

Senate retirements
1. Pat Roberts-KS
2. Lamar Alexander-TN
3. Mike Enzi-WY
4. Johnny Isakson-GA

Most vulnerable to be flipped--IN5, TX22, TX23, NY2, NC2, NC6, CA50--also the Georgia Senate seat.

There are targets of course of the retiring on both sides--the Democratic held Senate seat of Doug Jones of Alabama would be one as would be Susan Collins Maine Senate seat.

What I'd point out however regarding the House retirements is that the Republicans are already the minority and they have a lot more retirements than the Democrats. Incumbents running for re-election are a lot harder to unseat. The number of retirements by Republican lawmakers make the odds that the Republicans are going to take back the House of Representatives in 2020 pretty much nil. Many of them are jumping off a sinking ship--the main reason is there are those who do not like being in the minority and don't see their party winning the House back in 2020. There are a lot as well leaving because of age but their seats are safe republican holds. There are several however who were seriously worried about winning re-election. Texas has become much more competitive. Will Hurd won by less than 1000 votes in 2018. Pete Olson's margins were very narrow. As well the heavily gerrymandered North Carolina districts have been redrawn and some of them are vulnerable.

So when Trump gets up on stage talking about winning back the House he's blowing smoke out of his ass.

As far as the Senate goes--there are something like 22/23 Republican seats up for election in 2020 compared to 12 Democrats. They have 4 retirements to 1. The 2022 election is going to be pretty close to the same picture. Republicans probably will knock off Doug Jones in Alabama at least if they stay away from Roy Moore aka the child molester guy. Collins, Gardner, Ernst and Tillis are going to be Democratic targets. I also expect the Democrats to go hard at least one of if not both of the Georgia Senate seats held by Perdue and the retiring for health reasons Isakson......and Mitch McConnell too. The Republicans have the majority but their voters are going to have to get their checkbooks out because they have many more seats to defend. My guess is that the Republicans will hold on to the Senate this cycle but only by a seat maybe. I see them winning one or two and losing 3 or 4. If Jones somehow manages to hang on the Republicans will lose the Senate.

Jan 5, 2020, 4:29pm

Will there be an election if you go to war with Iran?

Jan 5, 2020, 5:31pm

#144---there better be. I detect almost no enthusiasm for this. So many people back in the day stoked about Afghanistan and Iraq. I remember at work--and this was a union place--about 80% of the building thought Shock and Awe was great. I think most people have realized now--even a lot of Trump supporters--that these things aren't a joke.

Really there isn't a lot of difference between the murder of Suleimani and that of Khashoggi--at least to me. The same kind of mindset of the one responsible.

Edited: Jan 7, 2020, 7:32am

How Lindsey Graham Lost His Way
Mark Binelli | Jan 6, 2020

The senator once enjoyed respect on both sides of the aisle. Why has he become a blind loyalist to Trump?


ETA: text comparing Graham to pilot fish on sharks McCain and Trump

Edited: Jan 6, 2020, 9:13am

>144 LolaWalser:

Of course there'll be regular elections--as usual--in the U.S. in 2020, war or no war with Iran.

Tell us: would there be an election in Iran?


Edited: Jan 6, 2020, 9:29am

The more I read and listen to the daily ramblings of pro-Trumpers,
the more I believe the Stockholm Syndrome has become a fixture
in Trump-era America. And, a once-in-a-century election is
coming to America in November.

Edited: Jan 6, 2020, 11:14am

Try to imagine Iranian General Qassem Suleymani saying either of the following:

(Jamal) Khashoggi wrote in response to 11 September attacks: "The most pressing issue now is to ensure that our children can never be influenced by extremist ideas like those 15 Saudis who were misled into hijacking four planes that fine September day, piloting them, and us, straight into the jaws of hell."(62) (Wikipedia)

The New York Times describes that after American commandos killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, Khashoggi mourned his old acquaintance and what he had become. He wrote on Twitter: "I collapsed crying a while ago, heartbroken for you Abu Abdullah", using bin Laden's nickname, and continued: "You were beautiful and brave in those beautiful days in Afghanistan, before you surrendered to hatred and passion."(58)


2020 boost as Trump job approval reaches three-year high after Soleimani hit |
by Spencer Neale | January 04, 2020 12:44 PM

"Only 38 percent of Democrats in Iowa and 36 percent in New Hampshire told CBS News they believed that Biden would probably beat Trump. The former vice president is seen as having performed unevenly in key debates. And, at age 77, he acts much older than the 73-year-old Trump. (emphasis added)

"As for Sanders, at age 78 and only three months past a heart attack, he also doesn’t present the most vigorous profile. More important, as the only candidate to openly declare himself a “democratic socialist,” his detractors are convinced he would have trouble winning over independent voters in November.

"Pete Buttigieg, who served as an intelligence officer in Afghanistan before entering politics, has no trouble convincing people he is vigorous. But he has no governing experience beyond being mayor of Indiana’s fourth-largest city (population 102,000). In addition, nervous Democratic consultants worry that religious black and Hispanic voters might not support a gay candidate.

"Democratic-primary voters are apparently rejecting the siren call of politically correct activists, which is urging them to nominate someone in line with its new demographics. But these voters also don’t appear convinced that they have someone who can beat Donald Trump."
... ...

by John FUND, The National Review, 5 January, 2020


Jan 6, 2020, 10:38am

Russia’s Media Mentions of 2020 Democratic Candidates
RT and Sputnik News (1 Jan to 10 Nov)
Post by: Clint Watts

... Russian outlets clearly do not like former Vice President Biden

...Senator Bernie Sanders received mixed coverage from Russian outlets

...Senator Elizabeth Warren has recently moved into the Kremlin’s crosshairse substance of Kremlin-sponsored content.

...Russia is not a fan of Senator Kamala Harris

...Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke received consistent negative coverage from Russia

...Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is the overwhelming favorite of Kremlin news outlets

...Mayor Pete Buttigieg, despite a recent surge in the polls, hasn’t garnered much attention from the Kremlin...



Jorie graham @jorie_graham
3 hours ago, 9 tweets, 2 min read

Letter from a friend: “ I like aspects of Bernie’s policies apart from his demagogue delivery. He is seen by young Americans including many intellectuals as the only hope. This I fully understand and accept. Now read on....1/

“Was horrified to hear from “sources” last week how much micro-targeting the Russians are doing to support Bernie, (not coming from Bernie by design just the GRU micro-targeting machine.) “2/

“ Worse - this micro-targeting has effectively become part of the zeitgeist of Bernie supporters. Part of that micro targeting has become demonising of Pete Buttegeig. (A three strand attack now quoted as gospel by Bernie supporters) & to a lesser extent to Elizabeth Warren” 3/

“The Young Turks? Seems it’s the equivalent of Trump TV for Bernie supporters - and it’s busy putting a hit on Pete Buttegeig at the moment as he is coming up (prisoner of corporates, 2 years at McKinzie, drip, drip.) “4/

“ Saw Buttegeig take on Pompeo yesterday in Meet the Press - he’d persuade anyone on a jury and without bombast. It’s worth an eyes wide open watch to see for oneself without the zeitgeist spin”5/

“there are far more insidious manoeuvres happening than most of us,the hyper informed, know. We need to know & when we do, we must expose. If the Dem vote is suppressed again via splintering - if the youth vote is suppressed again by diehard Bernie supporters, we will get Trump. “

“Once GRU is fully engaged as it was in 2016 - we get Trump and Brexit.They ultimately harmonise w/Parscale’s messaging for Trump when the primaries are over. Suppressing youth vote (Bernie supporters) was a third of the strategy which defeated Hillary brought us Trump.)”7/

“ Currently, GRU are fully engaged in demonising candidates who can beat Trump and in supporting those candidates who despite good policies and sincerity, can’t persuade swing voters in essential battle-ground states not to vote again for Trump. ”8/

“ That should tell us something if we can keep our eyes wide open as well as our minds. It’s not about one’s favourite candidate. It’s about the candidate who can defeat Trump. That’s any candidate GRU is NOT supporting and is conversely demonising. “9/


Edited: Jan 8, 2020, 10:05am

this post was moved ahead to the new continuation --

so that "margd" can't just run away from it.

See :
This topic was continued by 2020, contd. (VI).