Wednesday Open Thread

“Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty.”


87 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    Yes the electoral college favors Republicans and the Senate even more so favors Republicans. If we were a parliamentary system we would have a narrow win for us Democrats.

    But put that aside, not just because it’s irrelevant (the system is what it is). After four years to see exactly what Donald Trump is and what the Republican party wants to accomplish. In the midst of an incredibly incompetent response to a pandemic that is killing hundreds of thousands of Americans who could be saved, with additional hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths to come. Knowing that we clearly have a president who is a corrupt and in many ways incompetent. With all that…

    Close to half the country has chosen him. And in many purple states or districts the majority choose the Republican Senator or Congressperson. Even if we were a parliamentary form of government, we would have approximately half choosing Trump & Company. That is our fundamental problem.

    • spaceman65 says:

      We are two, or more, fundamentally different nations.  The blue west, the blue northeast, and a big red swath between.  Perhaps three separate nations makes more sense than this ill-designed 18th century relic

      • Budded says:

        Now, more than ever, I'm all for the secession of the entire west, including Utah -we can convert them from their red hell.

        There is no fixing this divide, especially while rightwing media is left unregulated, radicalizing its listeners more and more each day. Until we go after that in a big way, everything only gets worse, the divide growing.

        Secession is the answer, this 50 state experiment is over.

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          You left out Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska.

          Nothing to keep liberals and progressives from going after the right wing media. There are ways……..  But maybe not the desire.

          How are you defining “right wing media?” Are you including the far right Christian nationalists, who can be found on the Right Wing Watch website?

          • kickshot says:

            "Nothing to keep liberals and progressives from going after the right wing media"

            Those radioactive turds have shit the room up so full that noone can stand to get anywhere near them except for those who have shat.

            Point out to them that the cultural features they rant about are already here and they are big players in it too.

            Continually ask them if fascism (among others things) is what they really want.

      • Genghis says:

        Full or substantial contiguity isn't a sine qua non for nationhood, of course (lookin'@u, Federated States of Micronesia), but Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado (maybe Nevada, MAYBE) would make a tidy if strangely shaped nation-state.

  2. Voyageur says:

    If Biden wins Arizona and Nevada, which he will, he needs only michigan and wisconsin to hit 270.  If he carries Pennsylvania, it's 290.

    Ding dong, the witch is dead!

    Which old witch?

    The stinky witch!

    Donald Trump stinks!

    Trump will lose.

    Dems won't take the Senate, can't pack the court and won't repeal the designated hitter rule.

    But the worst president in American history is history.

    Stinky history, to be sure.

    But history!

    Tee hee!

  3. RepealAndReplace says:

    Regardless of how this ends up, I find it really disturbing that over 48% of the people in this country voted for him. That's an improvement over the 46% he got running in 2016. What the hell does that say!

    In fact, this is much worse. Back then, some people arguably may have decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. But this time, we've had 4 years to see how he's done.


  4. RepealAndReplace says:

    Oh, and then there is this gem…..

    Maybe if Biden didn't have to spend time dissociating himself from socialism, this wouldn't have been such a problem.

    Cue the Ride of the Valkyries.

  5. ParkHill says:

    I was hoping for a blowout, but unfortunately we didn't get that.

    Biden was chosen by Democrats as a white male candidate who could win the blue-wall states, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio and this strategy has obviously been successful. To be fair, this is a relatively small thing, as Trump BARELY won the three rust-belt states in 2016, and Biden barely in 2020.

    Turnout was through the roof for Democrats, but also for Republicans. This was a turnout election based on negative partisanship, not a persuasion election based on changing Republicans back to Dems.

    Looking at the 2020 map, the country really hasn't changed much since 2016:

    White privilege clinging on in the South.
    Rural Republicans and Urban Democrat.

    College Educated suburbs continue to shift away from the extremist right-wing, as in 2018, but Gerrymandering mitigates against Democratic successes in the States.

    The West as a liberal stronghold is solidifying, at least any Western state that actually has cities.

    The Latino vote is not as liberal nor as dependable as you would expect given Trumps white-nationalism, xenophobia and immigration crimes. 

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Calling it the Latino vote is a big mistake. It has NEVER been monolithic. If you are going to do identity politics, you need to breakdown the component identity groups accurately.

      Puerto Ricans have historically been Democratic upwards of 95%. Cubans have traditionally been Republicans. Mexican-Americans would go either way (think George W. Bush, John McCain and Ronald Reagan), but thanks to Trump and the his remarks at the bottom of the escalator, they've swung more to Dems.

  6. harrydoby says:

    Not sure in the slightest what the market is thinking (other than make more money, regardless)

    DOW 28115.51 +635.48 (+2.31%)

    NASDAQ 11612.81 +452.23 (+4.05%)

    S&P 3469.73 +100.57 (+2.99%)

    10 YR. T-NOTE 0.76 -1.19 (-13.49%)

    ORCL +1.01 +1.78%

    AMZN +170.78 +5.60%

    TSLA +1.98 +0.47%

    GOOG +104.29 +6.32%

    AAPL +4.92 +4.45%

  7. harrydoby says:

    I just told an old friend of mine it is disappointing that so many still choose chaotic, hateful, malicious incompetence over honesty, fairness and reliability.

    As the saying goes, you get the government you deserve.  Has our country descended into such pessimism, that nearly half the nation doesn’t believe we deserve better?

  8. Gilpin Guy says:

    We're going to be OK folks.  Record numbers of people voted this cycle which is good.  Biden still has the better hand and the Senate will be in play until the January runoffs in Georgia which is a legitimate battleground at this point.  Lots of skullduggery afoot but good people are also on watch.  Intriguing to be an American right now for sure.

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      GG: “we’re going to be OK folks…….”

      I’ll agree. It appears we will have President Biden albeit not by a big margin in the Electoral College. Biden’s popular vote margin will continue to grow as more votes are counted, especially in CA.

      Dems underperformed in the Senate. Ds picked up seats in CO and AZ. Lost a seat in AL and may be on the way to losing a seat in MI. I expect both GA seats to stay R and likely also ME. However, with Trump somewhat marginalized, and he WILL be busy dealing with all sorts of legal entanglements, I expect Moscow Mitch’s influence will wane. I see growth of a somewhat fluid grouping of centrist R senators having much more influence; like Murkowski, Romney, Collins, Sasse, maybe Daines.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        I don’t know if “under performed” is a totally accurate perspective Banger.  To paraphrase Matt Damon in True Grit, “That Sue Collins is a wily one.”.  Dems were asked to take on Senators with multiple terms under their belt.  The places Dems didn’t win were in states where the Republican was the incumbent.  Dems defended all their seats except Alabama.  Kudo’s to Amy McGrath and Jamie Harrison to take on entrenched senators knowing that the odds weren’t in their favor.  By that token, Dems did a great job speaking about the issues in every hamlet in America.  The Trumpers might be able stop buses but they can’t keep ideas whose time has come out.  Dems played by the rules and sought the high ground whenever they could.  That’s not under performing.

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          My thought about "under-performing" is strictly related to seats taken. There were hopes for IA and NC. NC might have happened if that idiot Dem hadn't gotten himself into his sexting scandal. 

          Yes, high ground is nice. And so are moral victories. But eventually one desires the real thing.

          • Gilpin Guy says:

            The only victory worth earning is always moral at it’s base.  Mark Kelly ran in Arizona against an incumbent and won.  He won even though he supported gun regulation.  He won even though he was a scientist by training who thinks we need to do something about Climate Change.  He is a worthy successor to John McCain and a possible presidential candidate in 2024.  The victory in Arizona portends future shifts in what was once a solid red state like Colorado.  Hickenlooper beat the incumbent Gardner by double digits.  Colorado has trended blue ever since he was elected Governor.  Change happens when you have folks like Mike Espy who are willing to speak truth to power.  The great thing about being a Dem is you never stop trying to make things better.  Beating Trump in the long game is going to be a game changer.

            • kwtree says:

              I agree that the only victory worth earning is always moral at its base.

              I disagree that it was Hick being elected that trended Colorado blue, or at least, that wasn't the deciding factor, in my opinion.

              It was mail-in ballots, and other election reforms, put in place by the much-maligned and recalled Angela Giron, with Reps. Hullinghorst and Pabon, which created the conditions for Blue-violet Colorado in 2013.

              Hick was elected in 2010, and re-elected in 2014, with the help of Colorado's pioneering safe and accessible elections.

                • RepealAndReplace says:

                  It helped that the Colorado GOP became more and more extreme and bizarre in its policy positions as well as exotic in some of its candidates (e.g., John Andrews, "Beastiality Rant" Rowland, Dan Maes, and Q-bert).

                  Meanwhile, the Dems were serving up boring candidates like Ken Salazar, Bill Ritter, John Hickenlooper,  and Thurston Howell Bennet. Jared Polis is the closest thing to a non-boring Dem were have run at the top of the ticket.

                • kwtree says:

                  The Blueprint, which I read years ago, documented how the political  and financial infrastructure was put in place in 2004 to make the State legislature more Democratic.

                  This new base of funding did help Democratic candidates to compete with the Coors and Koch and Anschutz donors to Republican candidates and ballot issues.

                  Barack Obama came along in 2008 and changed the game of how campaigns connect with voters. OFA ( now called organizing for America) also helped elect Bennet and Hickenlooper with combined campaigns out of the field offices in 2010.

                  So 04-08 Polis et al built infrastructure to flip the State Legislature. 08, Obama came along and OFA created a cadre of organizers in Colorado, who stayed together and helped elect other Democrats, including Hickenlooper. I and others on here got our introduction to organizing through OFA in its various incarnations.

                  Then Giron et al came along in 2013 and put the Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act into place, making Colorado's vote tamper-proof. So it's a continuum of action that has led to Blue Colorado, and we can all be proud of the parts we played.


              • Gilpin Guy says:

                Ms. kw.  I never said our Senator elect was the cause for Colorado changing it's outlook on government and accountability.  There are such things as fortuitous circumstances.  Obviously a whole lot of folks of varying political persuasions voted for him over the years.  Nobody trusted Gardner at the end.  His word meant nothing.  Either way the last decade has seen some phenomenal influence by progressive Dems in Colorado state policies.  I'd say that's a win/win for our side.

                • Duke Cox says:

                  Hick carries an enormous load of baggage with him. A not insignicant number of Coloradans do not trust our Jeckyll and Hyde senator, delivering their votes because the loathsomeness of his opponent exceeded his own.

                  Who among our readers believes Senator Hickenlooper will still be a senator three years from now? Hick would much prefer a post like Energy Secretary. I believe it is why, at the urging of his corporate funders, he ran in the first place.

                  And…I think cabinet secretaries get to fly around in small jets more than do senators. 😆

                • kwtree says:

                  IF Biden wins the Presidency, and IF we manage to break the McConnell blockade in the Senate, then we have a fair chance of enacting national election reform to guarantee every American citizen a fair vote.

                  Automatic voter registration, national popular vote compact, mail-in ballot elections, same-day registration, pre-registration for 17 year olds (we lost that in Colorado when 76 passed, per the perspicacious cook)  are just some of the election reforms that need to happen.

                  If we manage it, states like TX and FLA as well as the bloody gerrymandered wannabe confederate South will turn more purple.

      • gertie97 says:

        CHB: Daines is no centrist.

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          Depends on how one defines "centrist." My Montana connections have long told me that their state is pretty independent in its thinking. They have a Dem senator and an outgoing Dem governor.

          • gertie97 says:

            I grew up there, CHB, and my husband and I have relatives all over the state. I'm deeply disappointed the outgoing guv lost to Daines and outright pissed that the body-slamming trump wannabe won the governor's race.

            I hold hate radio responsible. Montanans spend a lot of time on the road.



            • Conserv. Head Banger says:

              I have family in Havre and Conrad; and a long time friend in Clancy. One of my north central cousins commutes for part of their work, a couple times a month, to a town south of Missoula. I've driven to Havre several times from Lakewood. Long drive, but the scenery is worth it.

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        I don't know how bipartisan Collins is going to be now. If she has decided this is her last term, and seeing how hard the Dems came after her, she may become a more Team Mitch player.

        Romney and Murkowski are the only two I would reach out to if I were Biden.

      • ParkHill says:

        On what planet are “Murkowski, Romney, Collins, Sasse, maybe Daines” moderates? They are extremely conservative. Look at their actions, not their marketing.

        I guess we are back to what you call “conservative”.

        In my mind conservative means: anti-abortion (check), anti-Obamacare (check), tax breaks for the wealthy (check), anti-gay marriage (check). Those are all anti-mainstream, anti-moderate policy positions, extraordinarily unpopular with a large majority of US voters.

        Expressing a sternly worded letter is not moderate.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          Murkowski is pro-choice and pro-marriage equality.

          She also voted with Collins and McCain to keep ACA.

          Mittens was once in favor of the Massachusetts version of the ACA when he signed the legislation. Then, of course, he became “severely conservative” circa 2008. Perhaps he will revert back to moderate Mittens. Hope springs eternal.

          I agree that neither Sasse nor Daines is moderate.

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            @ParkHill: my word was “centrist,” not “moderate.” 

            I will humbly and politely suggest that you need more study as I expect changes, with Trump on the sidelines.

            To add to R & R’s thoughts, the attempt to repeal the Obama BLM methane flaring rule in 2017, under the Congressional Review Act, failed in the Senate due to NO votes from Collins, McCain, Graham. Of course, Graham was more “sedate” when he was still influenced by McCain.

            • ParkHill says:

              There is a large number of people who are liberal in both social and economic values. A large number conservative in both. In fact there are a lot who are socially conservative and economically liberal.

              What there are very few of, is people who are economically liberal and socially conservative. I’m not sure why that is so…

              But, again what does centrist mean when virtually the entire Republican Party (elected and electorate) support Donald Trump. Or remove Trump… support Mitch McConnell?

          • ParkHill says:

            "Centrist", sort of like Hickenlooper & Bennet?

            Or "Centrist" like voting not to impeach Trump?

      • JohnInDenver says:

        re: "Growth of a somewhat fluid grouping of centrist R senators"?

        You are much MUCH more positive than I am.  Daines is a mystery, but I expect he will be a consistent vote for the Right & his conservative state (and his even more conservative donors). Murkowski, Romney and Collins will have occasional pangs of conscience or a hall pass from McConnell and show some "moderation." Sasse will continue to be an oddity, with consistent Republican friendly votes explained in a philosopher or public intellectual's manner.  Alabama's new Senator will initially follow the advice of McConnell and Shelby. 

        NO ONE will do anything about the confirmation process for judges, making it less political and more professional.  If McConnell is still Majority Leader, I'd bet fewer than 10% of the appellate court nominees will be confirmed, leaving holes which he hopes will be filled by the next R President.

        The only split I see is between the hardline spending conservatives and the coalition willing to be only conservative in spending. 

  9. Early Worm says:

    A quick question to take your mind off the numbers. Is there anyone that Trump won't pardon. Most of his kids will get one for Christmas (sorry Tiffany). Barr and Giuliani will accept them along with the medals of honor. All of Trump's campaign managers, and chiefs of staff. But who might he leave out? 

  10. kickshot says:

    Reid Epstein, in Madison, Wis. 4m ago

    There are only about 300 votes left to count in Wisconsin, officials say. They’re in the town of Willow in Richland County. Biden leads by more than 20,000 votes. See Wisconsin results ›

    Astead Herndon, in Milwaukee 5m ago

    A new batch of votes reported this hour in Georgia has cut Trump’s lead there to just under 90,000 votes. See Georgia results ›

    Lisa Lerer, in Orlando, Fla. 52m ago

    Biden has expanded his lead to more than 30,000 votes in Michigan, with a new batch coming in from Wayne County (Detroit). His current margin is bigger than Trump’s in 2016. 

    • Early Worm says:

      By my back of the napkin calculations, the remaining uncounted in GA would need to break approximately 63% for Biden for him to overtake Trump. It all depends on where the votes are coming from, but it seems within the realm of possibilities.

      • kickshot says:

        When Biden is awarded AZ (leading), NV (leading) WI (leading) MI (leading) he hits 270 and he wins.

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          Yep, and PA, which looks to be leaning heavily towards Biden, will be icing on the cake, so to speak.

          As of last evening on MSNBC, around 11:15 our time when I turned in, the big majority of the outstanding GA votes were from Fulton County and the surrounding counties of the Atlanta metroplex, all heavily Dem areas.

        • Early Worm says:

          Understood. GA most likely would just run up the score. But it would be a nice win nonetheless, and give some hope for the Senate run-off(s). 

  11. Early Worm says:

    I think the real nail biter is in Maine, for Senate. Collins is at 49.8% with 75% of the vote reported. If she finishes at less than 50%, they go to second choices for the also-rans. Seems like more of the third party voters are going to list Gideon as their second choice, but I think Gideon will need to be closer than 6 points back (which she is now) for it to be competitive.  

    If the Dems can pick this one up, they still have a path to 50/50 and control with VP Harris voting. 

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Depends on how the Wayne County (Detroit) votes are coming in for Gary Peters. He was trailing. If Peters loses, Dems remain at 47, picking up two seats and losing two. I don’t expect either GA seat to flip, as of right now.

      Update: just saw on kickshot’s link for WI (see above) that Sara Gideon has conceded in the ME senate race. Also, Trump campaign will ask for a recount in WI.

      • Early Worm says:

        I guess the calculus for Gideon was that she was had no hope of making up 5-6 points on the ranked voting. 

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          Early Worm: perhaps so. I haven't studied Maine's ranked voting system to know how it actually works.

          • JohnInDenver says:

            System is … if all candidates are short of 50%, the lowest ranking candidate is stripped of votes, and the second choice is applied. 

            Repeat until someone gets to 50%+1 vote or more.

            I think in actual practice, it will be … look at the results, consider information on where the 2nd choice votes will go, and probably concede.

    • kwtree says:

      Does anyone know if VP Pence still gets a tie breaker vote if he is a lame duck Veep?

  12. RepealAndReplace says:

    CNN just called WI for Biden.

  13. RepealAndReplace says:

    Anyone know the breakdown in House delegations? You know, in case the coin lands on its side and we end up with 269-269 tie.

  14. JeffcoBlue says:

    T-shirt on the right.

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