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.
Midterm years are all about two things: Referendum on the president (negative or positive) and voter enthusiasm. These two things are not unconnected.
There is a direct relationship between the president’s approval rating, which is normally low in the midterm year, and how badly the president’s party is shellacked at the voting booth.
There is a direct relationship between how enthusiastic voters are by party and how well a party does in the congressional races.
Right now, President Trump’s approval rating is rising. Going up. Improving. That means that his party’s candidates will not do too badly.
More importantly, though, is the enthusiasm numbers for voters. In a year in which there is a “wave” of one party’s or the others, that party’s voters have a relatively higher enthusiasm measure in polling. The absolute amount of enthusiasm is not the problem. The problem is the relative enthusiasm rate.
Right now, both parties have a high enthusiasm rate, and more importantly, they are the same. There is not statistical difference between how enthusiastic Republicans are vs. Democrats. They are both a) very enthusiastic and b) the same.
This pretty much cancels out any hope of an actual “blue wave.”
Consider earlier years. According to NBC/Wall Street Journal polling, voter enthusiasm for earlier years, and the outcome in congressional house races, break down as follows.
The larger difference in enthusiasm levels seem to have had an effect, and the absolute amount of enthusiasm of the winning party seems to have had an effect. Larger turnovers happened when both effects were strong.
This year, both parties have high enthusiasm, but the level of enthusiasm in both parties is high.
The only way that there could possibly be a blue wave this year, the only way for Democrats to take control of either house in Congress, or to produce any sort of anti-Trump mandate, is to have a large number of people who normally don’t vote show up and vote, or for a large percentage of people who normally vote for Republicans somehow change their minds. Young voters, suburban white women, somebody. Martians. Anybody.
And since those things never actually happen, people who normally don’t vote never actually vote, and people who normally vote one way only vote the other way in support of conservatives or Republicans and never progressives or Democrats, this election will be a disappointment.
We will have a midterm election during the first term of the demonstrably worse president in the 20th or 21st century in which Republicans gain seats in the Senate and Democrats pick up a few seats in the house, but not enough to matter.
Unless Democratic turnout rises to levels that have not been seen since the mid to late 19th century, when turnout was generally high in this country, this is what will happen: The Republicans will add between 1 and 3 seats to their majority in the Senate, and the Democrats will close the gap with the republicans by up to but not more than 20 seats, with the Republicans retaining the majority. And Trump and McConnell will be handed a mandate.
Then we are going to have to start asking ourselves what we are doing wrong.
In the early days of the 1972 election, President Richard Nixon, seeking re-election, faced a number of potentially tough challengers, and the strongest one may have been Senator Edmund Muskie. Among all the possible Democratic candidates emerging at the time, Nixon wanted to run against the one he saw as the weakest, George McGovern.
So he arranged that.
The Nixon dirty tricks team (which included at least one person active in recent years on the Trump dirty tricks team) fabricated a letter supposedly written by Muskie that served to discredit him as a candidate. That was one of several different fraudulent moves made against Muskie and other candidates.
The Democrats dutifully tossed Muskie and all the other candidates under the bus and ran George McGovern against Richard Nixon.
The following presidential election was won by outsider Democrat Jimmy Carter. It is generally recognized that Carter’s win was in large part due to the country being tired of cheating Republicans, following the Watergate affair. The hit job on Muskie and other candidates was not forgotten, but had been absorbed into the larger array of illegal and unethical activities by the Republicans.
Owing largely to the Iran Hostage crisis, the country lost faith in Carter, and elected Ronald Reagan in 1980. Another significant factor was a third party candidate, Anderson, who took away mainly Carter votes.
Reagan was re-elected in 1984.
The 1988 election required that the Democrats get a strong candidate to run against Reagan’s vice president, George Bush. They did. The up and coming, popular, and highly qualified Gary Hart was the obvious candidate, and from early on was assumed to be the nominated one, and a likely next president.
But then something bad happened. Gary Hart was taken out of the running. The National Enquirer ran a story placing Hart in the company of a loose woman on a suspicious boat called “Monkey Business” in the Caribbean. There was even a photo of the woman, Donna Rice, siting on Hart’s lap.
The Democrats quickly tossed Hart under the bus, and put forward Mike Dukakis as their candidate. Let me note that Dukakis was a very good governor of Massachusetts, and would have made a good president.
This may or may not be a side story: When Dukakis was running, there was a famous photograph taken of him in a tank wearing a too-large helmet, looking goofy. This appeared to disqualify him as president to a lot of voters.
Also during the primary, came the “Willie Horton” affair, a racist ploy to make Dukakis look like he was weak on crime.
This led to further weakening of Dukakis’s campaign.
We now know that the Hart Monkey Business monkey business business was a setup by Lee Atwater, a Republican dirty tricks guy. We also now know that the racist and inaccurate Horton attack ads were Atwater work as well. (See Was Gary Hart Set Up?)
The 2016 election was probably won by Republican Trump in part because of the discrediting of the Democratic candidate, Clinton, using lies and misdirection. There are also some who would argue that Sanders should have been the candidate, but efforts to keep him out of the race caused Clinton to win the primaries. I’m pretty sure that is not true, but if you happen to think it is true, do check on the possibility that Sanders’ campaign was damaged at least in part by outside nefarious forces of Republican or Puto-Russian origin. Just in case.
Anyway, you can imagine how different the world would be today if Muskie had been elected president. Or Hart. Or Dukakis.
Today, we are seeing this happening again, I think.
Elizabeth Warren, the most viable current candidate to represent the Democratic Party in 2020, according to many, had made a reference in the past to her own heritage. Her heritage, her right.
The Racist Republican Don the Con Trump used that opportunity to attack “Pocahontas” Warren. Democrats thought this was despicable.
Much more recently, just now, Warren happens to have done a DNA test of her heritage, and found out the interesting, quaint, and largely unimportant fact that what her family had been telling her all along, that many generations back she had a Native American ancestor, is likely true given the genetic markers in her DNA. As is her right, she made this public.
What Senator Warren did is this: She challenged a made up, racist, insulting accusation made by Don the Con Trump, with a fact.
The result? Repeated outcries BY DEMOCRATS that this was not a good communications move, and therefore ELIZABETH WARREN IS NO LONGER QUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT.
Excuse me, fellow Democrats, but I have something for you:
To the people who are jumping on this Never Warren She Did DNA OMG!!!!! bandwagon, many of whom are friends or colleagues whom I truly respect: Please think about the damage you are doing, and fucking stop doing it.
If the use of the term “Full Disclosure” sounds familiar to you, it could be because you are a West Wing fan. I wonder if Stormy is a West Wing Fan?
She was already well-known in some circles before March 6, 2018, but that’s probably the first time you heard the name Stormy Daniels. That’s the day she filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump over a nondisclosure agreement negotiated before the election but never signed.
How did Stormy Daniels become the woman willing to take on a president? What is it like to be reviled by some, held up as a beacon of hope by others, and to be an object of fascination to all?
In this book, Stormy Daniels tells her whole story for the first time: about how she came to be a leading actress and director in the aderlt film business, the full truth about her journey from a rough childhood in Louisiana onto the national stage, and everything about the events that led to the nondisclosure agreement and the behind-the-scenes attempts to intimidate her.
Stormy is funny, sharp, warm, and impassioned by turns. Her story is a thoroughly American one, of a girl who loved reading and horses and who understood from a very young age what she wanted—and who also knew she’d have to get every step of the way there on her own.
People can’t stop talking about Stormy Daniels. And they won’t be able to stop talking about her fresh, surprising, completely candid, nothing-held-back book.
Yesterday we learned that Trump campaign manager and Russian stooge Paul Manafort had decided to plead guilty to charges for which he was about to be tried. This morning, we learn that Manafort has agreed to cooperate and possibly be a witness for Robert Mueller’s special investigation of Russian government involvement in US elections and related things.
I’m not sure how much Manafort’s cooperation will actually help the special council’s investigation. I would guess that there isn’t much he can add to what must be a huge iceberg of evidence already gathered.
But there is a more important outcome here, and it is social and political. The absurd position held by Trump supporters, both in the Trump inner cantos and in the deplorable swamps, that there is nothing to see here has lost yet another crutch. Not only is Manafort guilty, but he has something to say to Mueller. About something.
Flashback. August 19, 2016. Newt Gingrich: "Nobody should underestimate how much Paul Manafort did to really help get this campaign to where it is right now." pic.twitter.com/OlTOpC1B1l
I have been South Africa many times, and have essentially lived there in a variety of circumstances for quite a bit of time. South Africa is a large, complex, and diverse country with an incredibly complicated history, so I won’t pretend to fully understand the place. But I’m sure I get South Africa far more, and with more nuance and detail, than the vast majority of Americans. So, allow me to tell you something about that beautiful country.
I don’t know how many times I’ve found myself at the listening end of roughly the same sequence of stories, more or less, from always white, usually but not always male, generally older, always Afrikaner (that is one of the cultures) there. There are several stories you hear again and again. The way this white South African lady killed a black with a rigged right side mirror on her backie. The way some blacks hid under the leaves to hijack a white driver but got run over several times instead. And so on and so on.
Make no mistake, South Africa, at the time I was there, before, and since, has had more than its share of brutal crime. The place is a real mess. Large swaths of the society have a huge percentage of fetal alcohol syndrome because wineries paid employees in “tots” (drinks) rather than money. Poverty is deep. The rich and the poor tend to be very far apart. International outrage about apartheid was significantly larger in magnitude than international help after apartheid. And so on.
But the story that Donald Trump is trying to sell, about the violent attacks on white land owners and the taking of their land, is nothing other than yet another steaming pile of shit dished out but post Apartheid angry white supremacists, and picked up and amplified by Fox News.
Now is our chance to chime in on how the Space Force should be organized and what it should do.
I have the following suggestions.
First, make no mistake, the Space Force is to fight off new alien invasions, and to find, root out, and kill any and all aliens from previous alien invasions. I know, I know, most people believe there are no aliens, or if they are out there somewhere in the Universe, they are not going to invade us. But those unbelievers tend to be Democrats, and the Space Force is a Republican idea. So, my first suggestion is to put aside any equivocation. USSF is our first line of defense against aliens. Own it.
Second, do incorporate a scientist high up in the chain of command. Time and time again, we have seen either aliens or home-grown monsters (usually as a result of nuclear radiation in the sea or someplace) get way ahead of the US Military because military commanders are bad at listening to scientists.
The senior scientist, and his attractive 20-something daughters, and the other more junior scientist or perhaps journalist on whom the daughter is sweet, should not be ignored! We should know this by now!
Third, the USSF should be in the business of separating children from their parents. None of this liberal namby pamby nice guy shit. When you get an alien child away from its parents, you do NOT reunite them. That is just asking for trouble.
Fifth, even though the USSF will diligently search for, find, and kill all existing aliens from previous invasions, it is ESSENTIAL that their technology be preserved and studies. As sure as The Doctor’s favorite expression is “Sorry” and his second favorite expression is “Run!!!” we will need that technology to fight future aliens.
Fourth, do not eschew or fail to respect the space forces that exist already in other countries. Just as American intelligence services have a “special relationship” with British intelligence, the USSF should develop and nurture a special relationship with Torchwood.
And speaking of special relationships, the USSF should have liaison with the secret service. It is not uncommon for aliens to masquerade as high level politicians, or to seduce them in other ways.
The creation of the United States Space Force is a great idea, an idea whose time is come. But I think it is very important to not pretend it is something other than it is. It is an idea to win the hearts and minds of the 21% of the United States population who believe in aliens, and were abducted by them one or more times. I worry a little about the 2% of Americans who believe they are aliens. But in any law enforcement or military operation, there are always a few who just won’t go along with the rest.
The Marines have “Semper Fidelis.” The Army has “This We’ll Defend. The US Air Force says “Aim high, Fly-Fight-Win.” And the Navy’s motto, and they just got this motto last year, is “Forged by the Sea.” (I’ll bet you thought it was “not just a job, but an adventure,” but no, you were wrong if you thought that.)
The motto of the United States Space Force? I’ll go ahead and suggest “Klaatu barada nikto,” but you should feel free to suggest your ideas below.
And finally, this shall be the United States Space Force uniform:
Few have been a member of Donald Trump’s inner orbit longer than Omarosa Manigault Newman. Their relationship has spanned fifteen years—through four television shows, a presidential campaign, and a year by his side in the most chaotic, outrageous White House in history. But that relationship has come to a decisive and definitive end, and Omarosa is finally ready to share her side of the story in this explosive, jaw-dropping account.
A stunning tell-all and takedown from a strong, intelligent woman who took every name and number, Unhinged is a must-read for any concerned citizen.