When Donald Trump moves his water bottle, Vice President Mike Pence moves his water bottle. When Trump says the midterms were nearly «a complete victory,» Pence also sees «a great win for our side.» «We were very encouraged by the results. We thought Tuesday's midterm elections were a great win for our side making history in the senate, electing some great governors around the country,» he told NBC News correspondent Vaughn Hillyard in an interview during an overseas trip to Singapore. But the thing that really sets Pence's absurd musings apart is that more than a week of election results have poured in since Trump tried to sell his sham narrative to the nation the day after the election. There's no doubt now that Democrats trounced Republicans in the House while the GOP will be lucky to net even two seats in the Senate. More specifically, the blue-ish Midwestern states that delivered the presidency to Trump swung back hard for Democrats. And at the state level, Democrats flipped at least seven governorships, six state legislative chambers, and 300-plus state legislative seats. Trump's been sulking ever since, retreating from public view as it became crystal clear that voters last week pointedly rejected him and the GOP agenda nationwide. But not sunny Mike Pence. His willful ignorance persists more than a week out. «We didn't really see that blue wave in the House of Representatives come our way,» he told NBC. Good god, some 40 of the GOP's House seats got washed away in the blue wave Pence «didn't really see.» Here's to hoping Republicans are equally as successful in 2020.
Since Donald Trump is still pouting in the White House, it's fallen on toady Mike Pence to attend the international summits that Trump just skipped out on. Part of his job is to convince leaders in Myanmar to respect the rights of the free press, but rest assured he's not taking the job seriously and there's not a damn person on the planet who thinks he is. Foreign-policy analysts say Trump’s persistent attacks on news outlets, combined with his embrace of authoritarian leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, have emboldened repressive governments to ignore U.S. pressure. Just to paint the picture here, Mike Pence is off lecturing human rights abusers about the necessity of the free press while 1.) his administration flagrantly and openly lies about the actions of a member of the U.S. press, using those lies as pretext for barring him from White House reporting and 2.) the Trump administration is caught offering up a trade to Turkey: You agree to play down your concerns about the U.S. resident journalist tortured and murdered by the Saudis, and we'll deliver up a U.S. resident that you have been itching to torture and/or murder yourself. So no, Mike Pence doesn't have a stitch of credibility on the worldwide human rights scene, not when his officemates back home are probing whether they can defuse the crisis caused by the murder of one dissenter by giving the other side a torture-worthy dissenter of their own. Mike Pence is a worldwide laughing stock; Mike Pence will be lucky if he gets through his not-Trump trip without having a shoe store thrown in his general direction. The more central problem, of course, is that Donald Trump is getting people killed. His repeated declarations that the free press is «the enemy of the people» is becoming a rallying cry for other authoritarian shouters peeved at receiving objective scrutiny. His team's plain frustration at the thought of having to hold the Saudi government to account for a murder, and their frantic efforts to avoid doing so, are another clear signal to future assassins that These Things Will Pass, so long as there's something in it for your good friend Donald Trump.
You're either with Trump or against him. That was the main lesson of 2018. The economy—of the much-touted political axiom “it's the economy, stupid”—is humming along at a decent clip. But it did virtually nothing to save Trump and his eager Republican enablers from the many Americans, especially college-educated women, who would have crawled over glass to vote against him. Oh, and about that other axiom, “all politics is local,” that pretty much got washed away in the aftermath of last Tuesday too. First of all, incumbency did not help Senate Democrats much in the red states, where conservative voters pretty definitively ousted Sens. Claire McCaskill, Joe Donnelly, and Heidi Heitkamp in Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota. Also, as CNN's Ron Brownstein notes, the votes of people of similar race, gender, and socio-economic levels tended to trend similarly across the nation. Though some important regional differences remained, voters who shared the same characteristics or resided in similar places largely voted the same way no matter what state they lived in. In virtually every state, Democrats last Tuesday displayed a clear advantage in densely populated, culturally and racially diverse white-collar metropolitan areas, while Republicans relied on elevated margins in the preponderantly white, religiously traditional, smaller places beyond them. In essence, the election largely broke down along the lines of how much certain demographic groups either opposed or supported Trump. The good news for Democrats is that 55 to 60 percent of Americans consistently disapprove of Trump's job performance and even more often disapprove of him personally. The bad news for the nation is that Trump is simply increasing and accelerating political polarization. And the trick for both parties in coming elections will be finding a few but important opportunities to break through the trend and become exceptions to the new rule that “all politics are national.”
Campaign Action In a committee hearing Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman essentially honored departing Republican Sen. Jeff Flake's vow to vote against any judicial nominee until legislation to protect Robert Mueller's investigation is brought to the floor. Grassley is holding over judicial nominees in the committee, at least temporarily, and basically backed Flake. «It's legitimate that the bill be brought up,» he said after delaying the votes on nominees. «It would satisfy me if it became law because I voted for it.» However, that doesn't mean he's going to pressure Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the legislation. «I'm not going to be in forefront with Flake advocating that the leader do so and so, but I wouldn't do anything to stop it,» he said. «Usually, a chairman of a committee if he doesn't want a bill brought up can … object to unanimous consent.» For his part, Flake says that if it's brought to the floor, «it will pass,» and suggested that McConnell doesn't want to anger Trump, so he's refusing to bring it to the floor. The legislation would codify the existing Justice Department regulations that say a special counsel can only be fired for good cause, and can only be fired by a Justice Department official who has been confirmed by the Senate. That would prevent Trump's lackey and acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker from firing Mueller. It would create judicial review for any firing, giving a federal judge ten days after a termination of a special counsel to decide if it was for good cause and the ability to stop the firing. There are still 30 nominees that have been passed out of Judiciary and are awaiting a floor vote. According to one Republican senator, the odious Tom Cotton from Arkansas, McConnell «made a commitment» to keep the Senate in even up to New Year's Day to get these judges through. So it's kind of a game of chicken now between Flake and McConnell. Grassley, for one, is taking Flake seriously.
On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that Georgia’s election results cannot be certified unless each of the state’s 159 counties confirms that their vote tallies include absentee ballots for which the voter’s birth date is missing or incorrect. This follows a ruling made the day before by another federal judge who ruled that election officials in Gwinnett County, Georgia’s second most populous county, could not reject absentee ballots just because the voter’s birth year is missing or wrong. This is excellent news for gubernatorial candidate Democrat Stacey Abrams who continues to close the gap in votes and move toward a runoff with Republican Brian Kemp. According to Abrams’s campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, Abrams needs less than 18,000 votes for a runoff and even less for a recount. xCounties still counting thru Fri. Morning numbers update: Total votes cast: 3,938,592Abrams: 1,923,194Kemp: 1,978,171Metz: 37,227Abrams votes to make runoff: 17,751Abrams votes to force recount: 15,437#gapol #CountEveryVote #TeamAbrams— Lauren Groh-Wargo (@gwlauren) November 15, 2018 Meanwhile, Brian Kemp continues to believe that he’s won the race and his campaign is suggesting Democrats are engaging in fraud to steal the election. According to NBC News, Kemp claims that he maintains an insurmountable lead in the race and called for Abrams to concede again on Wednesday.
Today’s comic by Ruben Bolling is A Calvinesque and Hobbesian look at the midterms: • Spain is second nation after New Zealand to announce a goal of switching to 100 percent renewable energy sources. The deadline? 2050. So far, 99 U.S. cities, 11 counties, and two states, have announced a switch to 100 percent clean energy. Both Hawaii and California have set a goal of 2045 for getting 100 percent of their electricity from non-carbon sources, not necessarily all renewable in the case of California. If the Golden State were a nation, its gross domestic product would rank it as the world’s fifth largest economy, more than twice the size of Spain’s, currently ranked as the 14th largest economy: Christiana Figueres, a former executive secretary of the UN’s framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC), hailed the draft Spanish law as “an excellent example of the Paris agreement”. She added: “It sets a long-term goal, provides incentives on scaling up emissions technologies and cares about a good transition for the workforce.” Under the plan, “just transition” contracts will be drawn up, similar to the £220m package announced in October, that will shut most Spanish coal mines in return for a suite of early retirement schemes, re-skilling in clean energy jobs, and environmental restoration. These deals will be partly financed by auction returns from the sale of emissions rights. • Ebola outbreak in the Congo spreads to city of 1.2 million: This 10th outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the worst-ever. More than 300 people have been infected and the government reported that 211 have died. Many of those have occurred in and around Beni, a city of 300,000. But now it’s struck Butembo, a city of 1.2 million in the heart of one of the Congo’s most volatile regions, where 28 have died. The outbreak in a densely populated area makes it more serious than in the past when ebola affected only rural areas, and it is expected that the count of infected and dead will rise sharply. Health workers have the added problem of the city being in a war-torn region “where a blend of insecurity, suspicion of aid workers and a large, mobile population have created an ideal landscape for the rapid spread of the disease.” • Hostile workplace: A 57-year-old man has gone on trial in Germany charged with attempted murder for allegedly poisoning co-workers’ sandwiches since 2015. Using acetate and mercury, he is said to have put two people in the hospital, one with kidney damage and the other with brain damage that has left him in a coma. The motive, say authorities, was to watch them deteriorate. MIDDAY TWEET xGOP vote suppression of Native Americans backfires in local race https://t.co/OqHoPNWwSN— Jacqueline Keeler (@jfkeeler) November 15, 2018 (Ruth Buffalo, of Chiricahua Apache and Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara descent, has a couple of other names too, one of which is especially on target this election year: Woman Appears —MB) • What Would Happen if the President of the United States Went Stark-Raving Mad? That’s the name of the re-released 1965 novel Night of Camp David, written in 1965 by Fletcher Knebel, the author of Seven Days in May: Senator Jim MacVeagh is proud to serve his country—and his president, Mark Hollenbach, who has a near-spotless reputation as the vibrant, charismatic leader of MacVeagh’s party and the nation. When Hollenbach begins taking MacVeagh into his confidence, the young senator knows that his star is on the rise. But then Hollenbach starts summoning MacVeagh in the middle of the night to Camp David. There, the president sits in the dark and rants about his enemies, unfurling insane theories about all the people he says are conspiring against him. • Man at performance of “Fiddler on the Roof” in Baltimore shouts “Heil Hitler, Heil Trump”: The shout during an intermission sent some members of the audience fleeing from the Hippodrome Theatre for fear this might be a prelude to a mass shooting. Police were called and they escorted the man out. He was not arrested. A member of the audience said it was hard to focus on the play after that. “My heart was just racing. I didn’t even really pay attention to the second act.” “Fiddler” is the story story of a Jewish family persecuted in czarist Russia. Based on “Tevye the Dairyman,” a fictional story originally written in Yiddish, the play opened Tuesday and runs through Sunday in Baltimore. • County in Utah that was forcibly redistricted by federal court appeals move after Navajos win two commission seats. The three county commission districts in San Juan County had been designed in 2011 to load all Navajo voters into one district so that Republicans could maintain their decades-long majority control of the sprawling county of 15,356 residents, 49 percent of whom are of Navajo descent, 47 percent of whom are Latino or white. Willie Grayeyes and Kenneth Maryboy, both Democrats, won two of the county commission seats, giving American Indians a 2-1 advantage on the local governing body for the first time ever in San Juan County. On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Facebook! Yikes! Trump! Yikes! OK, that's all bad. But it's the House leadership fight that occupies our time today. There’s lots going on and lots to say, about the «contestants,» the media coverage, and ourselves. It’s complex. It’s contradictory. Because Dems. x Embedded Content RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!) LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE
The Boring Company watchtower needs a guard who can taunt people a second time.
Can't wait for Nov. 23? Here's a look at what you can get today!
Or, buy a Pixel 3 at full price and pick up a $200 gift card.
Black Friday is the best time to buy a new gaming console, and this year deals start Sunday, November 18.
The Chinese-built hybrid won't be returning after the CT6's midcycle refresh next year.
Most of the recent rise in RBI reserves has happened due to appreciation of the dollar
As large organizations grapple with adopting modern work practices without throwing out all of their legacy software, a company that works with them is making an acquisition that it hopes will help with that process. Citrix today is announcing that it has acquired Sapho, a startup that develops “micro apps” for legacy software so that workers […]
Today in call with reporters preceded by a frantic if fairly uneventful distraction-pushing media blitz, Facebook responded to a damning New York Times story published yesterday that cited interviews with more than 50 sources privy to Facebook’s decision making. The call kicked off with the operator’s suggestion that Facebook is “happy to take a couple […]
Facebook has changed its News Feed algorithm to demote content that comes close to violating its policies prohibiting misinformation, hate speech, violence, bullying, clickbait so it’s seen by fewer people even it’s highly engaging. In a 5000-word letter by Mark Zuckerberg published today, he explained how a “basic incentive problem” that “when left unchecked, people […]
SpaceX's application to add thousands of satellites to its proposed Starlink communications constellation has been approved by the FCC, though it will be some time before the company actually puts those birds in the air.
It’s been 14 years since Mark Shuttleworth first founded and funded Canonical and the Ubuntu project. At the time, it was mostly a Linux distribution. Today, it’s a major enterprise player that offers a variety of products and services. Throughout the years, Shuttleworth self-funded the project and never showed much interest in taking outside money. […]
MINIMALS is a new short film by Helsinki-based animator and director Lucas Zanotto (previously) composed of fictionalized kinetic sculptures based on real animals. The series of short animations catch each simplified creature in a repetitive loop that imitates the extension of an elephant’s trunk, a crab’s sideways walk, or the incessant pecking of chickens. The animals appear to be formed from children’s blocks with colors that hint at their actual breed. More
A super-Earth-like exoplanet has been discovered orbiting the “nearby” Barnard’s Star (only six light-years away!). Spotted using data from a global array of telescopes—including the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern […] The post Scientists Discover Potential Super-Earth Orbiting ‘Nearby’ Star appeared first on Geek.com.
Often spotted foraging for food among nut-bearing trees, along roadsides, or in backyards, wild turkeys are some of the most easily identifiable birds that are native only to Canada, the United States, and […] The post Why Do Turkeys Have a Flap of Skin Hanging From Their Face? appeared first on Geek.com.
Want to snag a NES or SNES Classic on the cheap? Right now, Walmart is offering up a nice $10 discount to new accounts. Enter code “ELLEN10” during checkout, and you can start […] The post Geek Deals: $10 Off NES, SNES Classic at Walmart for New Users appeared first on Geek.com.
Just two days before Jude Law makes his debut as young Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Niantic confirmed the 2019 release of its AR Harry Potter game. “Get ready […] The post Niantic Teases 2019 Launch of AR Game ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ appeared first on Geek.com.
The MIT Media Lab is putting food-safety detection directly in the hands of consumers. Researchers developed a wireless system leveraging the RFID tags already on many products to sense potential contamination. Inspired by […] The post Wireless System Uses RFID Tags to Sense Food Contamination appeared first on Geek.com.
MIAMI, FL (Thursday, November 15, 2018) – The fastest growing motorsports website in the world, Miami-based technology and multimedia company Motorsport.com, has joined forces with Lamborghini for the 2018 Super Trofeo World Final at Vallelunga, Italy from November 15 to 18. The highlight event of the season returns to Vallelunga after the inaugural edition was held in 2013. Other events ... Keep reading
Truex has four wins in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this season – half his final total for the 2017 season – and has advanced once again to the Championship 4 to contend for the series title. But the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team has not been the dominant force on intermediate tracks like a year ago, winning only once on a 1.5-mile track – July 14 at Kentucky Speedway. The ... Keep reading
University head warned of backlash if Maryland coach stayed