Wednesday Open Thread

Things are different now.

100 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Wow – Wednesday (Open Thread) came early! But Trump still stinks.

    Congratulations to state Democrats – you pretty much ran the table!

  2. davebarnes says:

    Where is the Big Line for 2020?

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    What if last night was not a blue wave but instead was a realignment? The GOP has become the party of Trump and the Democrats have in turn gained the suburbs?

    If so, we didn't get a bunch of House seats that are endangered, we now are the favored party for the suburban seats. It's a tribal shift.

    And statewide the results will mirror that. So Florida remains 50/50. And Colorado is now leans Democratic and with the demographic changes here, will become more and more Dem over time.

    • mamajama55 says:

      It was a blue wave, but not a blue tsunami, and it was more like the subtler  tidal encroachment that comes with a warming ocean and rising sea levels. In my county, we had heartbreaking down-ballot losses;  the best candidates (McCall, McCormick),  did not win their races, and conservative white men like Sonnenberg will continue to "represent" us, although they will no longer be able to grab females or ignore harassment without consequences.

      Nationwide, people are aware that the planet is in crisis, and that Republicans intend to do absolutely nothing about that if it means any profit loss for energy companies.

      Here in Colorado, with a real chance to put a check on unlimited drilling at the expense of human and environmental health, voters bought the lies of the “Oily Boyz” as Duke calls them. But that fight, too, if far from over.

      The rising blue tide is also comprised of the salt of tears of millions of women worldwide, demeaned and ignored and "protected" by silence – choosing not to be silent about our realities anymore.

      And the tide is blue, but brings a spectrum change in power – from pasty white to golden brown , ebony, and all of the shades in between. We are well on our way to becoming an oxymoronic "majority minority" country, which is another way of saying that white supremacy is running out fast, and our politics continues to mirror the diversity of the electorate.

      And finally, like the biggest turd in the bowl, the rampant corruption and raw sewage of the Republican leadership floats on top of the tide and washes up on the shores we'd like to pretend are immaculate. The filth is on full display, and there are no good photo ops with that as a background.

      It was a limited victory. We worked hard. We gained ground. We'll continue to fight.

    • At the House level this is mostly a blue wave effect. I don't know the final numbers, but projections were that this was a D+9% election -the biggest wave since 2008, and bigger than any recent R wave. That we'll hold only perhaps a 10-seat margin in the House come January should be a non-partisan national embarassment. Gerrymandering has to end, nationally, and voting procedures need some serious work in a number of states.

      Where you see some re-alignment is in the Senate races. Missouri is trending redder while Nevada trends bluer. Florida is starting to look like the flip side of Colorado – close for the losing team, but increasingly out of reach. Arizona and Texas continue to march left, and some states like Utah and Kansas have found their right boundary line and are recoiling from it.

      We were dreamers to have thought the Senate was in reach. We beat the odds, but that was a brutal map.

      • JohnInDenver says:

        Florida will be substantially impacted by the addition of 1.7 million eligible voters — the one-time felons who no longer have to wait for a cumbersome, eccentric, apparently racist process to have the Governor sign off on restoring voting rights. If even half of them participate and the Democratic margin is only a 65/35 split, that would be a 250,000 vote margin: enough to make quite a difference in a race like this year's Senate race:

        Rick Scott …. Republican …. 4,081,871..50.2%

        Bill Nelson*..Democrat ……..4,051,607..49.8%

    • Voyageur says:

      Florida may now be blue.  Last night it passed Proposition four, restoring voting rights to about a million former felons who had previously faced lifetime disenfranchisement.  This bloc in other states votes heavily Democratic.  If we register 600,000 of them and two-thirds vote blue, that adds 200,000 ndt Democratic votes!  Trump won Fla by 112,000.  The Koch bros criminal justice reform project helped pass this vital reform.

      Florida has about 1.5 million disenfranchised felons.  Murderers and felony sex offenders will still not be able to vote.  But a million who committed crimes as small as marijuana possession can now rebuild their civic lives.

      thank you, Koch brothers.  

      • Duke Cox says:

        Hard for me to say, but credit where credit is due. If Chuck and Dave helped, my hat's off to the insidious bastards. They did a good thing.😉

        • notaskinnycook says:

          Fully restoring citizenship to ex-cons has been shown to decrease recidivism. That saves tax money and the Kochs like that a lot. See? We just have to explain why "conservative" policies are expensive and we win the anti-tax voters. The Kochs are also four-square behind ending the war on recreational drug users, for the same reason.

  4. MichaelBowman says:

    QOTD: what’s the over/under on the day/time Moddy emerges from his fetal position?  As protracted as that exercise was with the taller Coffman’s loss he could be in for a long-winter’s nap. 

    • mamajama55 says:

      I heard that there was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in the local Republican election watch parties. That kind of thing takes a toll on a body.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        Blown out at the state level is an understatement.  Only state race still in doubt is AG but it feels like Weiser has the inside track to win.  Colorado Republicans are going to have to turn to California Republicans for counseling in how to handle one brutal defeat after another.

        • Duke Cox says:

          Great news on the state-wide front, but western slopers were unable to break the strangle hold of the "Fuck Demoncrats" Trumplicans©, formerly the "Fuck Democrats Republicans".

          Democrats took a thumping in Mesa county and environs, even with a field of pretty good candidates and good enthusiasm. 

          Scott Tipton ( R-O&G ) ran nothing but a saturation bombing campaign of awful screaming about Diane being a socialist.

          That's all it takes around here. Chris Kennedy, Tanya Travis, Thea Chase, among others, braved campaigns where the better angels of humanity have oft balked at the prospect of Mt. Doom.

          What can you say when a man as competent as Chris Kennedy is defeated by a man with the mental and ethical challenges of Ray Scott. Scott and his ilk are routinely chosen by this ignorant and tribal community. I have seen this before…Dan Ogden (D- Ft. Collins)  vs. Jim Johnson (R-BLM)…and that was in 1976…

          My hat is off to those who choose to run. 

          • gertie97 says:

            The Mesa County Republicans are not only dominant, but increasingly batshit crazy wingnuts. No moderate business Republican need apply. Look that happened to Dan Thurlow in the primary against Ray Scott. The candidates are selected at the Republican county assembly, where Thurlow barely squeaked by. The only answer I see is to vastly increase the number of Democrats, but I have no idea how to do it.

            • Voyageur says:

              Well, the best plan for increasing the number of Democrats involves sitting down with one those smart, savvy, Democratic wom en, a bottle of wine, and soft music.  It worked for me.  It does take about 19 years to fulfill, however.


        • notaskinnycook says:

          Broccoli conceded at around noon. Weiser's the new A.G.  Sweep!

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      It is will be a few days before Moddy or Negev show up. I expect Cornholio and Roger to be in here sooner, crowing about the results in the Senate races.

    • Genghis says:

      It'll take a full 30 days for him to escape the fetal position and extricate his thumb from his mouth. At that point the 5 stages of basement dweller grief kick in: (1) 30 days of denial Big Mac binging; (2) 30 days of anger masturbation; (3) 30 days of bargaining with his upstairs-dwelling mom; (4) 30 days of animal porn depression; and (5) 30 days of acceptance masturbation to Taller Coffman posters.

      On Day 181 he'll return to Colorado Pols and boast about how he was right all along.

  5. Individual celebrations this morning: Tim Neville lost, Kris Kobach lost, Scott Walker lost.

    Team celebrations: North Carolina ended it's GOP reign of terror, breaking super-majorities, rejecting anti-democratic ballot measures, and electing another Dem to the State Supreme Court to ensure Republicans couldn't stack the court. Colorado awoke to sky blue, with only a few reddish clouds. Fair voting won this year in at least Missouri, Michigan, Colorado, Ohio (kinda), and Pennsylvania (by court decree).

  6. unnamed says:

    Anybody kniw the status of HD-50?   Dave Young's seat.  The Dem looked like she was behind.  Has it been called?

  7. The realist says:

    So, how many more days will Baumgardner be a State Senator? . . .

  8. RepealAndReplace says:

    It looks like the short, strange political career of Alexander "Skinny" Winkler came to its ignominious end last night. Hope he enjoyed his 15 minutes or Warholian fame.

    And Cole the Mole bit the dust paving the way for Tom Sullivan to take his place. Thanks, Dudley!

  9. DENependent says:

    The preliminary numbers from the Secretary of State's Office show more unaffiliated voters returning ballots than Democrats or Republicans. Not by a wide margin, but that is a real change. Plus Democratic voters exceeding the Republican numbers in a midterm.

    • ParkHill says:

      Being beat by the unaffiliated? WTF?!

      That is the biggest loss of this election cycle. What a commentary on Democratic Party that people would rather be UNF than DEM.

      Are any Explanations forthcoming from the Democratic Party?

      • ParkHill says:

        I think we also got creamed by the non-voters. Another commentary on our lack of messaging and engagement.

        • DENependent says:

          Yes, the number of non-voters is high. The Census estimated 4,109,494 voting age people in Colorado in 2016. So if that has not gone up more than ~490,000 in the last two years then voting turnout by people eligible did manage to get above 50% in this midterm. The natural converse of that is somewhere north of 44% non-voting.

          Though I will note that unless a nation is newly liberated people tend not to vote. It is probably impossible to get high voluntary turn out in a relatively prosperous nation with American style free speech. Too many distractions and too many people giving people reasons not to vote.

          The Democratic win this time was in part powered by Republicans who did not vote because their options depressed them.

      • Voyageur says:

        We weren't beaten by the unaffiliated, we were empowered by them.  Now we need to show we deserve their trust.

      • Wong21fr says:

        People don't want to be associated with the shit-stain of the political parties- they'd rather vote the candidate and the issues.  

        Out strong unaffiliated pool of voters is good for Colorado.  It forces moderation and reduces the amount of overreach by both parties (which the Dems will undoubtedly do over the next two years) and keeps the political pendulum squarely in the middle. 

        • Pseudonymous says:

          What makes you think that voters who choose to be unaffiliated seek moderation?  Personally, I think that's the fantasy that Third Wayers send themselves to sleep at night dreaming of, but there's no evidence I've ever seen to back up that claim.

        • ParkHill says:


          People vote Identities, not Issues. 

          On issue after issue, Americans are quite liberal, you might even say socialistic (Social Security, health care, schools, regulating big business, environment, etc.) However they consistently vote for politicians who directly oppose their values.

          To persuade people to vote for your issues, you have to attach the issues to their identity, not just talk about the issues.

          • ParkHill says:

            Examples would be:

            Attach Social Security to people's identity of retirees.
            Attach Obamacare to identity of small business owners or independent contractors.
            Attach DACA protection to identity of immigrant
            Attach student debt relief to identity of student
            Attach environmentalism to identity of being a hunter.

            My point is that so many of us are over-educated, analytical personalities that we forget the power of emotion and identity, so we try to make a "feature argument" instead of a "benefit arguement."

  10. ParkHill says:

    Losing the US Senate is a huge letdown. In a true blue wave we would have got Ohio and Florida Senate & Gov, and would have been thrilled with Beto O'Rourke. It will be difficult to retake the Senate in 2020.

    Democrats are winning Youth, Urban areas, diverse ethnic groups, college educated, and Women. Republicans are winning Rural, White Men, Older Demographics, and places where those groups are the great majority. 

    My takeaways:

    White Identity Politics of Racism and Nationalism. The Republican Party knows how to activate racial identities to distract from the Democratic message of inclusivity and Social Insurance programs.

    National Identities over Pocket-book Issues. This election showed strong correlation with the presidential politics of 2016, which is a comment on Trump's dominance of the Republican Party and the news cycle. The Democratic Party is stronger on economic issues, but their message is being swamped by White identity anxiety. 

    Rural – Urban Cultural Divide due to Demographic Sorting. Fox News has a monopoly presence across rural America. The idyllic White, 1950s small-town still exists in memory and reality for a lot of Rural America. The South is the South, but the Midwest is not California.

    Educated vs Uneducated. That's a good proxy for the Rural-Urban Cultural Divide. Iowa kids go to college and get jobs in Denver where they become hipsters and meet people of diverse ethnicities. Mom and Dad retire on the Farm and are afraid they'll be mugged if they walk down the Denver Mall.

    Perception that the Democratic Party is not Different from Republicans. We see low voting turnout on the part of poor people, Midwest workers voting Republican, disaffected millennials, very low Black and Hispanic voting rates.  Why should they vote Democrats? It's not just a perception or communication problem. Wages have stagnated, there are jobs, but not good ones, "driving while black" is a real thing, DACA kids are being arrested and deported when they turn 18…


    Republicans are successfully activating White identities through fear of the other and an appeal to 1950s White mythologies and they have communication dominance into rural America. 

    Democrats failed to activate (sufficiently) modern identities of diversity and inclusion. Democrats have also failed to convince people that they truly have their back when it comes to economic issues, Health Care, Social Insurance, protection from ICE and protection from police harassment.

     (1) Guarantee Voting rights.
     (2) Economic issues: Expanding health insurance, protecting social security, increased minimum wages, cost of college.
     (3) Activate identities of inclusiveness and diversity.
     (4) Better communication in the face of Trump's ability to dominate the news cycle.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      It was always a long shot. I am concerned about 2020.

      Yes, perhaps Gardner and Collins will be forced into retirement (Cory really has to be looking at the results in CO and thinking of other career options) but we are almost certain to lose AL (unless, of course, the GOP nominates Roy Moore again). While there are many more Republican seats that are up in 2020, they are in places place Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Iowa, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia.

      On Senator I will not miss is Dean Heller and that contorted, fake smile he always has on his face.

      • Mike W. says:

        The Senate map does indeed look rough (Gardner's toast though, can't wait for the challenger announcements), but we should be encouraged by the Presidential map. Democrats won in MI, WI, and PA. Those are the only three states we need to win over to take back the White House. We also made up ground in State legislatures, and got a desperately needed independent redistricting commission through in Michigan. Additionally, we made Georgia and Texas competitive. 

    • MichaelBowman says:

      I don’t have the graph available but the Tea Party came to life in 2010 with a +6 national advantage; we lived in a +7 world yesterday and picked up only half-as-many seats. Gerrymandering will continue to plague us. 

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        The wave wasn't half empty Mike.  Wait until 2022 to see the full effect of this cycle.  The next election is a census year and redistricting.  What a chance to strike a blow to gerrymandering while showing tiny fingers the door.  It will be a huge opportunity to change how we are governed in the 20's.  Size of the wave doesn't matter.  Running the House just before a redistricting election does.  We're in good shape heading into 2019. 

    • ParkHill says:

      Regarding the correlation of house seats results to previous elections.

      Five Thirty Eight notes about 70% of the Obama – Trump districts flipped to Democrat. Only about 24% of the Romney – Clinton districts flipped back to Republican.

  11. Gilpin Guy says:

    It's now official.  Cory Gardner is on the clock.  Looking forward to doing as much GOTV as possible in the next two years to show Mr Moderate the door.  He has to be shitting in his pants when he looks at Colorado statewide results.

    • ParkHill says:

      Only if the Democrats show leadership, now that we have the Trifecta. We'll need some high-visibility successes on issues that really matter to people, given that Trump and the Republican Senate have a lot of power to screw things up.

      • Pseudonymous says:

        While that would be great, I don't think it's what matters.  Have a candidate who has something to say about her/his plan to improve people's lives, and I think that person can win statewide.  Don't, and don't.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        Will it be Ed?  Will it be John?  About the only thing we do know is that Dems will be lining up and taking tickets to take on "Moderate" Cory and licking their chops at the prospect of tying him to the Trumpster.  State Dems are in a good position because of the defeats of 74 and 112 so things are stable at the moment.  A good time to get stalled policy on climate mitigation and watershed protection moved forward.

  12. deathpigeon says:

    With a Democratic trifecta, I hope that Polis follows through with his "Healthcare is a right" rhetoric, not that I expect it from him, especially given how he opposed ColoradoCare back in 2016 and is generally pretty damn neoliberal. I wonder what his excuse will be when he doesn't follow through given that they've got a trifecta…

  13. ParkHill says:

    Bright Spots from TPM: "Dems Best Midterm Results"

    The 2018 midterm results revealed that the deep polarization tearing at the nation has only deepened since President Trump’s 2016 victory. But Democrats’ biggest statewide wins came in exactly the places that put him over the top and handed him the White House.

    Democrats won both the governors’ races and the Senate contests in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Those three states made up the so-called “blue wall” that crumbled so dramatically to make Trump president. But it looks at least for now like those walls are starting to get rebuilt.

    Trump won those states by a combined 80,000 votes in 2016. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), Michigan Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer (D) and Wisconsin Gov.-elect Tony Evers (D) win margins combined came to just under 1 million combined votes on Tuesday, while Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) won their races by roughly 1.1 million combined votes.

  14. unnamed says:

    Cory Gardner this morning:

  15. davebarnes says:

    I want to see ads against Cory, starting in January.

    Show him in a good light with his pretty smile and ask: Why is Senator Cory Gardner smiling?

    Because he plans to cut your: Medicare, Social Security, etc.

  16. itlduso says:

    Apparently, the third rail of politics -Social Security – has been unplugged.  GOP leaders actually argued that Social Security and Medicare will need to be cut after passing a two Trillion dollar tax cut benefiting the richest Americans.  The country’s farmers are also being devastated by Trump’s tariff wars.  And, yet, the Dems still lost Senate seats in Florida and in rural states.  Talk about bad messaging.  

    Will any national Democrat be able to cut through the right wing media empire and convince rural America and retirees that the Dems are on their side??

    • Voyageur says:

      But, itlduso, the Caravan!  The Caravan!  How can you complain that the super rich are robbing you blind when 800 barefoot and starving Honduran mothe rs and kids are knocking on the doors of Arapahoe County eager to take your guns away and impose Sharia law?


    • DaftPunk says:

      Strong headwinds.

      My brother just got trounced in a rural Georgia Senate race as a pro-2nd amendment Dem, campaigning on foster care, legal MMJ, and ending the opioid crisis. Despite the incumbent having ZERO small donor funding (that's right, 100% PAC money) and being in the pocket of big Pharma, the invective aimed at my working-class farm truck driver brother simply for having D after his name was literally insane.  A generation has had its mind poisoned, and the Democratic brand is toxic in huge parts of the country.  As Trump has made politics even less about policy and more about tribalism, I think our only strategy is running out the clock and waiting for demographics to kick in.

  17. lilyflower says:

    Just saw John Tester, Montana, has won in the Senate.  

    • gertie97 says:

      To Montanans voting for senators, being a real Montanan matters. Tester's opponent was a carpetbagging developer from Maryland who pretended to be a rancher. He was exposed as having no cattle and no brand, although he did own a hat. Not even four rallies by the trumpety prez could save him.



    • mamajama55 says:

      People were evacuated from a one mile radius from the fire. A one mile radius.

      Why, that's…..more than twice the setback distance 112 advocated. What kind of crazy environmentalist public safety manager dreamed that up?

      And my goodness, how many associated jobs were stimulated just from this one incident? There were the extra firefighter and EMT and police hours, the public safety manager hours, the hours lost from farming or other work, the school kids that didn't make it to school, the medical costs from treating smoke inhalation, the livestock  that inhaled the smoke anyway, and those precious hours of  the Noble publicity flack declaring that it was all a very minor incident and the smoke was mostly due to someone's burning  autumn leaves or underbrush.

      Those are all negative numbers, those “social cost” hours taking away from other productive work, but hey, they are really big numbers!

      Wow! Oil and gas drilling really is a jobs multiplier!


      • Voyageur says:

        You are going to be crying and  bawling about Stalinist 112's loss until the next ice age, aren't you?

        • notaskinnycook says:

          I am, too, V. It was a reasonable rule and the only reason it didn't pass was the MILLIONS of dollars the O&G lobby poured into defeating it by lying to people about how unreasonable it was and how many jobs it would cost. I can't figure out why the oily boys even need a lobby when you'll shill for them for free. And make no mistake, people who value their health above your profits will be back for another try. A few more "accidents" like this will help us win next time.

          • Voyageur says:

            Nothing reasonable about an extremist plan to ban drilling on 85 percent of private land in Colorado.  And you'reshocked, shocked, that the people you wanted to throw out of work fought back?

            So, it's kinda cold tonight.  I assume your house is well stocke d with buffalo chips to burn for warmth?  Wouldn't want to do anything hypocritical like heat with natural gas, would we?

            No, didn't think s o.

            No, the good folks won this one and won big.  The Stalinists lost.  I don't think you got even one of the leading Democrats — and emphatically not Polis, to back this POS.

      • kickshot says:

        Starting about 7 PM tonite the wind shifted to be from the NW.

        Air quality in Louisville took a severe nosedive from 0-50 (good) to 152 (unhealthy).

        This Louisville air quality station is well outside the 1-mile evacuation zone and still being severely impacted.

        Luckily the wind will comtinue to shift overnight and AQI will be back to good by morning.

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