Category Archives: Politics

Is White Supremacy and Lynching People Racist?

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Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith got all titillated the other day when she thought about sitting in the front row of a public hanging. In the context of her race to be Senator of Mississippi. Which is the state in which the most recent well known lynchings took place, and that probably had more lynchings per capita than any other state. Her opponent, Mike Epsy, is a black man. Continue reading Is White Supremacy and Lynching People Racist?


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How to keep Trump in power through 2024 and beyond

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The first thing to do to keep Donald Trump in power is to make sure impeachment does not happen. The way to trick Democrats into going along with this is to use basic political Kung Fu, using their own weight and movement to bring them down.

Democrats want impeachment. So, trick them into insisting that the House file impeachment proceedings as soon as possible. At this point, the Senate, with its Republican Majority, will not convict Trump because all of those Republicans are loyal. Once the Democrats make hay out of impeaching Trump, and fail, they will look like losers, and the party that looks like the losing party will eventually lose. The Democrats will have spent a huge amount of time, effort, money, and political capital, on an effort that can not succeed. Continue reading How to keep Trump in power through 2024 and beyond


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Did Voters Vote Climate? Yes And No

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Voters seem to have liked many candidates endorsed by environmental organizations, or who had good climate change related policies. But, they seem to have rejected ballot initiatives, in Colorado, Arizona, and Washington, that would have moved us closer to the necessary energy transition. Continue reading Did Voters Vote Climate? Yes And No


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Trump The tank Engine Goes Off The Rails

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This is how we usher in a new era.

The observant will have noticed that over the last several days, during the closing six weeks of an intense campaign season, I posted as my Facebook banner an image representing each of the United States Presidents, starting with George Washington. There have been several interesting comments and observations made on these images. Special Thanks to Jim Crider, presidential historian, for his added insight on those Facebook posts.

This is the image that follows President Obama: Continue reading Trump The tank Engine Goes Off The Rails


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Keith Ellison for MN AG: Statement from Indivisible Leaders

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I’ll be honest. Indivisible is Imperfect. Owing to some bad press for Congressman Keith Ellison (which in my view largely evaporated) a lot of members of the Indivisible Community forgot the number one rule of elections: Fight in the primary, fall in line for the general. They turned in ballots without a vote for Ellison.

After realizing 1) the alternative to Keith Ellison will cause people to die, and set us back to the middle ages, and b) it turns out that Congressman Ellison will make an excellent Attorney General despite efforts to Al Franken him, sudden rush to un-judgement flooded the community and compelled the construction of the following letter.

It is signed by Indivisible leaders, because we are all in touch with each other, more or less. It would certainly be endorsed by many local indivisible groups, but there is simply no time to turn such a project around so fast, and, frankly, a lot of groups simply don’t endorse. I am absolutely certain that given another 48 hours, the number of signatories on this letter cold be increased from just over 50 to something closer to 1000. For now, you’ll just have to trust that leaders of various groups signed knowing that a good number of members of the various groups we work with also support Ellison.

So, here it is, ignore the typos. We did this fast.

November 1, 2018
Dear Minnesota Voters,

As leaders of local, grassroots, progressive organizations, we care deeply about gender equality, reproductive rights, civil liberties, racial equity, and freedoms and protections for the LGBTQIA communities. We are all strong and vocal advocates of the #MeToo movement and believe that all women must be heard. And we all agree that voting for Keith Ellison is vital to protecting many of the issues that we hold dear.

Please do not leave this race blank on your ballot.

The Attorney General may be the most important office that you will be voting for this election.The Attorney General is the state’s attorney, tasked with protecting the civil rights of all Minnesotans. Here are some things that State Attorneys General have done in the past two years:
Filed suits opposing the initial Muslim Ban.
Filed suits about families being separated at the border.
Fought for environmental protections.
Fought against possible financial corruption in the current administration.
In some states, they’ve supported lawsuits that would allow for pre-existing conditions to NO LONGER BE COVERED as they say that when the individual mandate was removed, the rest of the law should be invalidated.

There couldn’t be anyone better suited to serve as the attorney for the people of Minnesota than Keith Ellison, whose congressional campaign slogan has been “Everybody Counts, Everybody Matters.” Keith will make sure we have patient protections for preexisting conditions. He will work to lower drug prices for Minnesotans. He will protect the LGBTQIA communities, uphold a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body, protect everyone’s right to vote, and fight corporate corruption – all of which underscores the high quality of life we enjoy in this state.

Keith’s opponent, Doug Wardlow, will not just neglect Minnesotans’ civil rights, he will actively work to undermine them. The issues that matter so much to us have been the number one target of Doug Wardlow his entire career – and now he is on the precipice of succeeding. He has tried to weaponize the constitution against same sex marriage, against transgender kids’ safety, against voter rights, and against a woman’s right to chose. His first priority once elected? Politicizing the AG’s office by firing attorneys whom he suspects are democrats and filling the attorney general staff with extremists from the Alliance to Defend Freedom. He describes himself as “100% pro-life” and has spread false claims of fetal body part sales at the U of MN Medical Center. (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6raHdz8unOg&feature=youtu.be&t=30m23s)

His extreme views are no secret. After failing to be re-elected to the MN House in 2014, Wardlow took a position as a legal activist at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a group that has been working to recriminalize homosexuality, opposes hate crime laws, and has proposed the sterilization of transgender individuals. The ADF is considered by the Southern Poverty Law Center to be a hate group.
https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/alliance-defending-freedom

Doug Wardlow’s views are alarming and far from any mainstream position.

We’ve thought a lot about the allegations made against Keith Ellison and have read many summations. Our overall take, as non-experts, is that there was a full investigation and her claims are unsubstantiated. She has hired the former boss of Keith’s opponent, Doug Wardlow, as her attorney and has recently been prominently featured on many right wing conspiracy minded shows and has herself retweeted right-wing propaganda, such as the #walkaway hashtag known to be started by Russian bots. Furthermore, Keith’s now-public divorce proceedings revealed no history of abuse in his marriage of 25 years and Keith has the full support of his ex-wife.

Our groups comprise thousands of Minnesotans, all of whom are working very hard in the struggle for a more just, equitable and caring society. We will continue to work hard in that space and hold whoever wins the AG race accountable to our values. But right now, the choice is clear to us. If we want to protect the values of equality and justice for ALL people under the law, than we must elect Keith Ellison as the MN Attorney General. This is why each of us are voting for Keith Ellison and we urge you to do the same.

Sincerely,

Jena Martin & Laurie Wolfe
Co-Chairs, IndivisibleMN03

Scott Ickes
Chair, Minnesota Indivisible Alliance and Co-Chair Indivisible Minnesota Local

Taylor Winkel
Co-Chair, Indivisible Minnesota Local

Alicia Donahue, Su Reaney
Women’s March Minnesota Executive Board

Jordan Orzoff, Laura Eash, Curtis Johnson, Timmie Harriday
Stand Up Minnesota Steering Committee

Lyn Dockter-Pinnick
Chair, Menahga/Park Rapids Indivisible

Sara Chapman, Mark Frascone, Connie Sierras
Co-Chairs, Indivisible Resistance of Eagan Burnsville (IREB)

Kayli Schaaf
Executive Director, Indivisible North Metro

Aimee Engebretson
Co-Chair, Indivisible St. Paul

Pamela Dowell
Co-Chair, Itasca County Indivisible of Minnesota

Judy Dunbar
Chair, MN Indivisible Chaska

Caren Fine Gallagher
Administrator, CD2 Action
Board Member, Minnesota Indivisible Alliance

Kris Miner, Kati Simons
Co-Chairs, Indivisible Eden Prairie

Greg Laden, Clara McIver, Barbara Boldenow
Co-Chairs, Indivisible Plymouth

Chris Evans
Co-Chair, Indivisible NW Metro

Jennifer O’Brien, Lynn Speckhals Duane, Joseph Rapacki Jr.
Co-Chairs, Edina Indivisible

Lynn Rankinen
CD2 Action-Faith In MN Liaison

Barbara Prindle
Founder, Progressive We Stand – Golden Valley

Krista Peterson, Deirdre Mulcahy, Ryan Hankins
Co-Chairs, The Power of Many – MN

Ambre Quinn
Administrator, Postcards for America – MN

Katie McMahon
Chair, Swing Blue MN

Jaime McGeathy
Executive Director, Watch Your Reps MN

Tom Edwards
Board Member, St. Paul Regional Labor Federation Political Action Committee

Sonja Hendrickson
Team Lead, Action Together Twin Cities

Yurie Hong
Lead Coordinator, Indivisible St. Peter/Greater Mankato

Mary Messall,
Administrator, Indivisibile Allies of Minnesota

Carol Hanson
Founder, Indivisible/Undaunted

Cindy Mundahl, Rachel Mundahl
Co-Chairs, Indivisible Minnetonka

Suzanne Laing, Becky Lauderdale Nelson, Carol Zazubek
Co-Chairs, Indivisible Bloomington

Vicky Johnson, Elise Radtke-Rosen, Heather Tidd
Co-Chairs, Stand Up Dakota Country

Pernell Meier,
Indivisible Rochester

Susan Moses-Zirkes
Chair, Indivisible MN02 and Co-founder, CD2 Action


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Mueller and his Grand Jury are likely to drop a shoe or two next week

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About two fortnights ago, almost all evidence of the Mueller investigation’s progress stopped. This was expected, as it is a Justice Department rule to not do things, like issuing indictments, from several weeks prior to an election, until after the election.

Coincidentally (?), yesterday, a document was released to the public that dates back to the days of Watergate. This document is, in essence, an indictment issued by the Watergate grand jury, bring charges against Nixon. However, since the policy was to not actually indict a sitting president, this special indictment was given, not to a federal prosecutor, but to the US House judiciary.

So, there are two things floating around in my head that I’m wondering about.

First, and most obvious, is this: Will next Wednesday, or at least, the latter half of next week and perhaps a day or two into the next work week, see a series of actions from Mueller? And if so, what?

Second, and less obvious, is this: The document that was released yesterday isn’t just a grand jury document, but also, the decision by a federal judge that this grand jury indictment-thingie should properly be passed to the house, secretly, just as a normal indictment would be passed to a federal prosecutor, secretly. The secrecy part is just because all grand jury proceedings are secret. It is then up to the prosecuting body to make things public by carrying out actual indictments and prosecutions, or in the case of the house, impeachment.

The point is, it is now federal case law that a Grand Jury investigating a president can hand over what would normally be an indictment to pass on to a federal prosecutor to the House Judiciary Committee, for their consideration. It is secret when that happens, and if the committee decides, it can remain secret.

So, is it possible that the Mueller grand jury has already written one of these embryonic indictments, and is planning to hand it over after the election? Or after the new House is sworn in? Depending on how the election goes????

Is it possible, in fact, that such a document has already been handed over, and is being ignored by the Republican leadership in the House? If so, will it be resubmitted to the new Congress later?

I suggested several weeks ago that there would not be any action until after the election. Now, I’m noting that the election is about to happen, so we can expect … something.

A little background:


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The House Democrats and the Big Blue Wave

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I’ve been doing analyses of house races in which I fairly conservatively evaluated each of the close races. Here, I use a slightly different approach. I use only the most recent non partisan poll to estimate the chance of a Democrat vs. Republican winning the race.

When I do this, I get just enough Democrats winning to remain a minority but by only one seat. However, that puts seven seats NOT in the Democratic column because they are estimated to be at exactly 50-50.

These seats, clearly key, are FL26, KY06, MI11, NM02, NY19, OH12, and UT04.

If those are really 50-50, then a conservative two or three seats among them will be Democratic at the end of election night, and the Democrats will have a slim majority in the House.

If we insert a magical blue wave, raising all the chances of Democrats winning by one percentage point, then the Democratic majority is much larger, to the tune of about 27 seats. A two percent blue wave gives the Democrats, interestingly, just a few more, to reach 35 seats.

However, that is unlikely, if the Blue Wave is already factored into the polls.

We might think of there being two Blue Waves. Or, a Blue Wave and a Blue Tide added together. Or a Blue High Tide with a Blue Storm Surge on top of it. Whatever. Point is, there is the general, expected, electorate, which I assume the polls cover, and that may be enough. But added to this is the added votes from the ever mythical “they never vote but they might come out this one time,as if” vote. That is where the one or two percent extra could come from. I suspect the effects of that extra spring tide may be seen in only some districts.

Here is my raw data, ranked from highest proportion to Democrats to lowest. Feel free to argue.

PA05 0.60
PA06 0.60
MN02 0.57
VA10 0.57
CA49 0.57
PA07 0.56
PA17 0.56
AZ02 0.56
KA03 0.56
CO06 0.55
NJ07 0.55
FL27 0.54
IO01 0.54
MN03 0.53
KA02 0.53
IO03 0.51
IL06 0.51
CA10 0.51
MN01 0.51
CA45 0.51
NJ11 0.51
NY22 0.51
CA39 0.51
ME02 0.51
FL26 0.50
KY06 0.50
MI11 0.50
NM02 0.50
NY19 0.50
OH12 0.50
UT04 0.50
CA25 0.50
TX32 0.49
IL14 0.49
PA01 0.49
TX07 0.49
NJ03 0.49
NC09 0.49
CA48 0.49
FL15 0.49
MI08 0.48
VA02 0.48
VA07 0.47
NC13 0.47
MN08 0.41
PA14 0.40


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Victims That Survive Rise Up

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Richard Avedon sat with a beer at the horseshoe shaped bar of the Black Forest Inn, on what is now known as Eat Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Avedon was a relatively well known and ascending photographer, producing work for Vogue, Life, and Harper’s Bazaar. He was an unusual photographer, or at least, his photographs were unusual. Or maybe better put, the expressions and emotions, or lack thereof, of the subjects of his photographs, combined with his particular art and a certain kind of color scheme, or lack thereof, were in combination unusual.

The year was 1970, and his decades long career was well underway, but something was wrong. Not with his career, or with the photographs he had been finalizing and hanging for an exhibit at the nearby Minneapolis Museum of Art. What was wrong was the wall he was staring at, across this horseshoe shaped bar, in the Black Forest Inn. Over the weeks, working on his exhibit, he had become a regular, befriending the owner, settling in. But that wall… something was missing from that wall.

Back at the museum, Avedon came to a minor realization. A mural portrait he had prepared for the exhibit, titled “Generals of the Daughters of the American Revolution,” was the wrong size for the exhibit. So, he made plans to re-print the life size image. It then occurred to him that the first print, while wrong for the Museum exhibition, would be perfect for that wall back at the Black Forest Inn.

Generals of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1963, Richard Avedon
And so it came to pass that a major mural of the ascending but not nearly apexed photographer, who would ultimately redefine the very nature of photography as his talent became something other than unusual, and eventually, a sort of gold standard, ended up hanging in a very pedestrian German restaurant on Eat Street, Minneapolis.

Fifteen years after the installation of the Daughters on the wall, about the time this book by Avedon was published, a gentleman who at that time frequented the Black Forest and still frequents the neighborhood pulled a .357 magnum pistol out of his pistol-hiding place and put one bullet into the forehead of one of the ladies and another bullet into another lady’s chest. Bam. Bam. He double tapped the Avedon. The owners got really mad at that dude, and he is no longer allowed in the restaurant. I hear tell Avedon was not too happy about this either. The bullet holes are still quite visible, no repairs having been effected.

Total deaths in US mass shootings from 1982 to 2017. Original research in Mother Jones.
If you look at a chart of mass shootings in America, you’ll see that while they’ve always happened, they are a thing of the 21st century, taking off around 2005 and peaking recently. The dude with the .357 shot the Avedon mural in about 1985 (no one I’ve spoken to remembers the exact year). In those days, there were few mass shootings. Taking out a pistol in South Minneapolis and plugging a wall mural was not a common event, but it would not have been translated as a frightening act of terrorism. That sort of attitude about firing off guns in public places would not really mature until after the first major post office shooting, Columbine, the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Virginia Tech, and so on. Also, the guy wasn’t actually shooting at anyone.

But this event does serve to vaguely link the Avedon Name to somebody shooting off a gun in a public place where they should not have been doing that, or at least it did in my mind when I watched the interview taped last night of Michael Avedon, grandson of Richard, on Lawrence O’Donnel’s “The Last Word.”

There is a connection between O’Donnell and Michael Avedon. It happens that Lawrence knew Richard, but also, Lawrence O’Donnell worked for Danial Patrick Moynihan, Senator from New York (and my Senator for a while). Michael Avedon’s middle name is Patrick, and he takes that name from his maternal Grandfather, the Senator. Small world.

The interview was about a very interesting project by Michael, done for New York Magazine. The cover story is called “The Class of 1946-2018: Twenty-seven school-shooting survivors bear their scars, and bear witness,” by Jared Soule, Amellia Schonbek, and Michael Avedon. Journalism, interviews, photographs, combine powerfully in this compelling piece that you can see on line. It reminds us of the fact that for every mass shooting, in-school or otherwise, there are usually multiple individuals who survived, but were physically wounded and who may bear for a lifetime those scars, mutilations or permanent damage. I recently did a quick study of mass shootings since and including Red Lake, Minnesota, in 2005. Those events, more than 50 of them, led to 515 dead and 948 physically injured as part of the shooting. In some cases, there are dozens of other injuries due to panic or other factors. And this says absolutely nothing about those injured psychologically. There are probably well over 1,000 people walking around today (or wheelchair bound in some case) in the United States who survived, but with injury, a mass shooting in a school, workplace, or public event. There are probably tens of thousands who were present and terrorized, and a couple of hundred thousand who are their immediate families and friends. Small world with a lot of damaged people in it.

We live in a small world, in a small space, and too many of us are armed with deadly weapons. We live in a world that has no room for systematic government sponsored hate. The most dangerous professions in America include fishing, logging, roofing, and flight crews on airplanes. A high death rate for those in that range may be close to 140 per 100,000, or about one or two tenths of a percent. But those are professions widely participated in. Not counted on lists of most dangerous jobs is the job of POTUS. The chance of a President of the United States being killed in office is, over the entire time this job has existed, close to 10%. This rate is probably suppressed recently, even as the danger goes up because of better weapons and more hate, because of herculean efforts by the Secret Service.

But over the last two years, some other ways of life have become increasingly dangerous, because of POTUS. Being a journalist is more likely to get you beat up or even killed than ever before in the US. Being a refugee seeking asylum seems to have suddenly become very dangerous, what with the US Army closing in on the southern border. Being a student has been more and more dangerous every year, even as we teach our first and second graders to serpentine in the event they are being shot at.

It has always been dangerous to be a Jew in a world where antisemitism always lurks, even if for large areas of geography and for long stretches of time complacency is allowed. But suddenly, active violent antisemitism is ramped up because of the Republican conspiracy theory mill, and even being a Democrat or a critic of Donald Trump can get you bombed.

The most significant emerging source of mortality or morbidity in the US right now is not some novel disease or unexpected feature of a widely distributed toy or model of motor vehicle. It is the president of the United States and his loosely affiliated gang of Republican thugs and faux news commentators. When 11 were killed and six injured in Pittsburgh, that was an explicit attempt to address a non existent problem cooked up by the lying right wing, and for his part Donald Trump first ignored the event, then decried it as a distraction from his winning big, then blamed the victims, then offended the community by arriving unwelcome to pay lip service. At the same time, over a dozen individuals, legally and justifiably publicly critical of Trump and his administration, were sent pipe bombs in an explicit effort to suppress that criticism and support Donald Trump.

Donald Trump and the Republicans have become a danger to the citizens of the United States. Our solution must be to vote them out of office. We must vote Republican members of Congress out of office next Tuesday so there can be checks and oversight. We must turn state legislatures and governorships over to Democrats so there will be the necessary number of Democratic states to pass Constitutional changes such as ridding us of the Electoral College and Citizens United. We must have a Democratic Senate for at least a dozen years to right the wrongs that have been done to our federal judiciary. We must never again allow a Republican to be in charge of elections. In two states right now, Republican Secretaries of State (that’s the person in charge of a state’s electoral process) are running for governor and using their job as SOS to cheat. We must increase the number of Democratic Attorneys General, in order to protect citizens from oppression by the federal government.

Some will split hairs. The Tree of Life killer is said to have not liked Trump. Doesn’t matter. Conspiracy theorists, supported by and supportive of Trump, laid out the problem. Jews of means were funding a caravan of killer migrants who would swarm over the Mexican border at any time. That killer went after a special group of Jews, those most closely involved with helping immigrants. That was a call for active hate by Trump converted to a hail of bullets from an assault rifle available due to the incessant activities of the Republican NRA.

Some will spit hairs. The bombs never exploded, these men were crazy, the white supremacist who helped orchestrate the deadly Charlottesville protest just arrested was an odd ball.

To the hairsplitters, I say this: You are part of the problem, time for you to step aside.

Any American who can vote who chooses for any reason not to is carrying out an immoral act, and there is no excuse for it. I’ve seen young people claim that we should not ask young voters to come to the polls, because this country was ruined by baby boomers. That is absurd. Yes, of course, this country was ruined by baby boomers, as well as the generation before them, and the Xers haven’t helped. But if the so called Millennials can recognize the ruin and its cause, that is even more reason for them to show up in numbers greater than the usual 50% and do something about it. Jewish Americans tend to vote about 3:1 Democratic. That seems like a large percentage for the Democratic party, but it is pitiful. Why does any jew vote for a Republican? I hope that changes this year. The gender gap is pitifully small. No woman should vote for any Republican, yet many will. But maybe that will shift as well next Tuesday.

My own analysis suggests that Congress will remain in Republican hands for the next two years. A large part of the potential electorate will likely spend the next two years blaming the losers for their loss. We will then likely see Trump re-elected. It is quite possible that we will are now two years into an 8 to 12 year reign of hate, and dismantling democracy. It is quite likely that the levels of Trump-ed up violence we see today is small compared to what will be happening as our first graders, serpentine trained, the ones that survive school, grow to voting age. If voting is still a thing, maybe they will save us. Or maybe they will be indoctrinated to love the new regime and its senior officers, in the name of their founder Trump.

Do you think my pessimism is wrong? Prove it.


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US House Race: strong blue wave might result in a 50-50 split plus or minus 1

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I estimate that there are about a dozen highly likely turnovers from Democrat to Republican control of house seats, net. These are what I regard as, roughly, sure things. There are enough other districts that are close that I’m comfortable saying that in a strong Blue Wave, we will have 25 turnovers.

If I’m right, the electorate acting as it usually does will move the Democrats about half way to a majority. The Putin-Trump-Republican axis will continue to control the United States. If I’m right, but there is also a strong blue wave, the control of the House will be as close to 50-50 as it can be, and given the closeness of several of the races, there will be recounts.

Since there is an uneven number of members in the house, and there are a lot of them, and many of them are old or indictable, expect the control of the house to switch back and forth a time or two over the next two years, should there be a blue wave.

Details:

Arkansas: There will be no turnovers in Arkansas. If anything, the one close seat (Arkansas’ 2nd) is more Republican now than it was two weeks ago. We won’t be returning to Arkansas this year.

Arizona second will be a turnover from R to D.

Nothing else will be happening in Arizona’s house districts.

For California’s 39th,I’m adding a new category to supplement “probably yes” and “no way.” I’ll call it “If only.” If only there is a stronger than expected blue wave, California’s 39th district will result in an R to D takeaway.

California’s 45th is a turnover.

California’s 49th is a turnover.

California’s 48th is an If Only, heading for a likely turnover, but it is not there yet.

California’s 25th is an If Only, heading for a likely turnover, but it is not there yet.

California’s 10th is an If Only, heading for a likely turnover, but it is not there yet.

Colorado’s 6th district is a very likely turnover.

I previously opined about Florida, but no more. Nothing will change there.

Iowa’s 1st district is a turnover.

Iowa’s 3rd district is an If Only.

Fogettabout Illinois.

Kansas’ 3rd district is a turnover.

Kansas’ 2nd district is probably a turnover, but the data are erratic. I’ll keep it in the If Only column for now.

Kentucky’s 6th district is an If Only.

A lot of people are looking at Maine’s 2nd district as a possible takeaway>. To me, it is only barely an If Only.

Michigan’s 11th is a turnover, while Michigan’s 8th is an If Only.

Minnesota’s 1st district is a likely loss of one for the Democrats, but the Democratic candidate is showing recent good numbers, so maybe not. But I have to be conservative and put this district in the negative column.

Minnesota’s 2nd district is a turnover.

Minnesota’s 3rd district is a turnover!

Minnesota’s 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th districts are stable.

Minnesota’s 8th district is strong Republican. However, there is an October Surprise happening there right now that could help. But it won’t. This will be a negative number.

So, Minnesota is the only state that will lose democrats in the house, but it will also gain, for a net zero.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and put New Jersey’s 2nd, 3rd, and 7th districts all in the If Only category.

New York’s 19th district is an If Only, verging on a takeaway.

I’m going to stick with my original wild assertion that Pennsylvania’s 1st district is a turnover, even though everyone else thinks it is not.

Pennsylvania’s 5th, 6th, and 7th are turnovers.


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The Entire Leadership of the US Senate Shuns Trump

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This is an interesting development.

Nobody wants Trump to visit Pittsburgh, where multiple funerals are being held today for those slaughtered in the trump-hate-fueled antisemitic massacre that happened over the weekend. And, now, the top two leaders in each party in Congress have said that they will not accompany Trump.

This is all happening this afternoon, when Trump and his immigrant-wife-who-doesn’t-care plan to arrive, unwanted and despised, in Pennsylvania.

One of the main reasons people in this community, and their supporters, don’t want Trump to show up is that he blamed the victims, saying that they should have had armed guards at their synagogue. According to the Washington Post, Stephen Halle, nephew of one of the victims, said of these remarks, “Everybody feels that they were inappropriate. He was blaming the community. A church, a synagogue, should not be a fortress. It should be an open welcoming place to feel safe.”

What will people do if he tries to hone in on a funeral? There are protests planned. Will there be counter-protesters? Keep an eye on the news for this one.


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Birthright Citizenship: Is it constitutional?

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The United States Constitution states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Period.

The particular subset of this obvious provision that is sometimes questioned is jus soli, literally meaning, right of the soil.

This is and was a part of English Common Law, which is a good point of reference for any ambiguity, as though there were any ambiguity. It means that if you are born here you get to be a citizen here. A fairly common exception made to jus soli birthright citizenship is for diplomats or similar, people who are also treated to some degree as though they are not actually here at all. So, if a diplomat can commit a felony but not be prosecuted, then they can’t drop a baby and have it be granted citizenship. But otherwise, the interpretation, though fought many times in the courts by nationalists and other asshats, is straightforward.

The reason this is even a thing right now is because the Republicans, under Russian-owned and controlled Donald Trump, are against it, and Trump plans to produce an executive order reversing jus soli for brown people. What’s next? Removing citizenship from anyone who’s home land is not an actual state? (Like Puerto Rico?)


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We are not on edge. We are not afraid, of the dildo bomber

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News outlets breathlessly report that “America is on edge” that mailed bombs “cause fear” or that we are experiencing the “politics of the apocalypse” (not sure what that means exactly).

I have yet to see an expression of fear or edginess on the part of any of the recipients of these bombs, or their surrogates. Democrats are concerned about civilization, the future, our children, our planet, education, the environment. Attacks on these key elements of society cause concern, and Democrats fight those attacks. Democratic values don’t include being afraid. Nobody is afraid.

To be clear, over the last three years, Donald Trump has publicly compiled an enemies list, that includes President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Vice President Obama, George Soros, Maxine Waters, Director Brennan, AG Holden, and several others. This enemies list has been converted into a hit list, and a fake bomber, or an utterly incompetent bomber (not sure which is better), has taken on the obvious task of attempting to terrorize those individuals. For now, I’ll assume that the lack of a bomb in Elizabeth Warren’s mailbox is the slowness of the postal system around Boston this time of year.

There is an attack going on, but not one that will do anything but elevate paragraphs about Trump’s hatred and his enemies list to an earlier position in the eventual Wikipedia page on his regime.


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