Monday, October 31, 2016

Hey You Wanna See Something REALLY SCARY?

Greg Sargent wants to


This is why we need to get the vote out, America, in large consistent impossible-to-ignore numbers that would guarantee a solid Democratic party victory for Hillary and for control of BOTH Houses of Congress.

Where we get a map that looks like this for Hillary:

And we get a map that looks like this for the Senate:

Click the map to create your own at

And then maybe Election Day won't be as horrifying as Halloween.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ode To the Pasco Mosquito Control Board Elections of 2016

I have a good idea that a lot of Pasco residents here in the Sunshine State are trying to find out about the candidates for each of the seats on the 2016 ballots: Right now, my 2016 reckonings is the hottest article on my site for views and all.

Sad thing is, as I've noted on that article, there's little information about the down-ballot candidates. The local news is at best shaky - the Tampa Bay Times does not list any Pasco campaigns on their recommendations - outside of any headline-worthy scandals, so the suggestions I've put out there for voting for the Mosquito Control Board are quite honestly mere suggestions.

WHY I make a big deal out of the Mosquito Control Board elections is because it's a quirky kind of office to see holding open elections for seats - I don't see other counties holding elections for this - yet perfectly Florida in its focus - mosquitoes are a serious health issue down here - that it deserves mention.

It didn't help that in 2010, when I began blogging more current event politics on this site, that there was a serious amount of campaigning for the seats. I'm talking massive: The open seats each had like three or four candidates running, for some measly little part-time office that I was told met maybe three or four times a year. And by massive I'm talking tonnage of yard signs: a plethora of signage that even Presidential campaigns don't generate (was there a sign discount going on with the local printers or something?). There were twenty yard signs - I don't even think I'm exaggerating - for some guy named "Skeeter" compared to one sign for Rick "No Ethics" Scott.

For something happening in the midterms, in the middle of a Great Recession, to see no other yard signs but for Mosquito Control was a bit insane.

This is a photo from back in 2010 in front of the West Pasco Government Center where they host the Early Voting during the last two weeks before the big Election Day. Take a close look. LOOK AT ALL THE YARD SIGNS. I can tell you more than half of those signs - There's Griffin right up front! - were for the Mosquito Control Board.

The driveway ends at a roundabout where cars can drop off riders and stuff. There's a memorial there, and there is always an insane amount of signs there too:

This photo was taken early in the 2010 Early Voting cycle: I remember a day or three later there were so many yard signs there that someone decided to stack them atop each other to form a barricade. It went three signs high. It tipped over in a strong breeze. It was hilarious.

So anyway, in my reminiscing, today I had a reason to drive back into Pasco County for my dad's 80th birthday. I drove by an Early Voting line at the Land O'Lakes Library (shout out to my peeps) where it went out into the parking lot, so yeah it's busy this year. I realized hey, I haven't been back to the West Pasco Center in ages so I might as well swing by and see how crazy the signage is this year. It wasn't too far out of the way for me to drive.

Well, this is what I saw today:

There's the Roundabout for 2016. And... and... there's almost no signage compared to 2010. That driveway up to here had few yard signs lining the path.

What the hell happened?

I circled it, twice. I didn't see ANY signage for the Pasco Mosquito Control Board. I even asked the volunteer sign wavers hanging out in front of the building - at the safe 75 ft. distance from the doorway - why there wasn't any Mosquito Control Board signs, but nobody knew.

I guess Thomas Wolfe was right: You can't go home again.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

What If: The Republicans Still Win the House And Still Lose It All?

It's pretty to think that Hillary will win this November 8th - that she's locked up enough Blue States and securing enough battleground Purple states to get the Electoral College wins - and it's pretty to think that the Democrats can claim the Senate - Nate Silver's 538 crew is giving the Dems a slight edge at the moment - so that we no longer face the Obstructionist nightmare of Senate Republicans shutting out every Hillary nominee for judicial and executive vacancies.

That leaves the House elections. For all the slight odds of a Democratic victory there, the likelihood is that the gerrymandering and dominance of enough states will ensure the Republicans hold onto that half of Congress.

But what if? What if the Republicans win the House but still lose it?

Here's the situation. There is a lot of anger driving the Trump voter base, and enough of that anger is aimed not just at Democrats but at any Establishment figure. Especially the ones among the Republican ranks who HAVEN'T given Trump his demanded absolute fealty.

Yes, I'm looking at you, Paul Ryan.

The House Speaker is facing a shaky election now where even his own party voters may shun him out of sheer spite. There's a slim chance he might lose. It's unlikely, but possible.

If that happens while the Republicans retain control of the House, the fight for the Speakership will turn into a free-for-all. For all the unity of the GOP when it comes to the issues, the party itself is riven by noticeable factions. The so-called Freedom Caucus - the ones with the extremist wingnuts looking to burn ALL of government down - is the most active and most obsessive... just not the largest one. It's still large enough to have driven the previous Speaker Boehner into early retirement, and they're still hungry for more control of both party and Congress.

Given the dynamics of gerrymandered districts, there's every chance most of the Freedom Caucus will survive this election cycle. And remain united enough to force new leadership on the Republicans and the House that would push their agenda - tax-cut everything, deregulate everything, Christianize everything, Impeach all Democrats or drive them from office - at all hazard.

The way the House works, they can block any leadership election with enough nay votes to prevent anyone Establishment from winning outright (they were about to pull this on Boehner when he outmaneuvered them with his retirement). They won't have enough - not at the beginning - to win but they'll at least stop anyone else.

At that point the whole place could go mad. Whatever makeup of the mainstream Republicans among House members would rail against such blocking, and they'd be looking at other options.

If the majority of House Republicans wanted to - and if there's a procedure for it, which I think there is - they could kick the Freedom Caucus members out of the party itself, denying them any effort at control. Problem with this solution: If they kick enough of the rabblerousers out, they run the risk of losing too many members... allowing the Democrats to emerge with a plurality that can control the House instead.

The second option would be for enough mainstream Republicans - at least the ones in safe districts, or the ones looking at retiring soon anyway - to either go Independent or else switch to Democrat to where the Democrats gain a majority or a strong plurality. It would depend a lot on what kind of deals the Democrats would be willing to make with the defectors. This solution is less likely because there might not be enough Republicans in office willing to run this risk. But it's there.

Another option would be for enough Republicans to just not vote on the matter, avoiding any official accountability while dropping the requirement for House control to a level where the Democrats could win anyway. It will force the Democrats to be more "bipartisan" with Republicans to win enough votes on enough bills to pass, although it gives Democrats the power to set the agendas and control of committees. Problem with this solution: the Freedom Caucus will know exactly what's going on, and they won't forgive or forget when 2018 rolls around.

Thing is, even if Ryan wins his district, all this can still happen: the Far Right among the Republicans will want Ryan's scalp, especially if Trump loses. They will blame the Speaker for failing to "unite" the party behind Trump (no matter how Trump was likely to lose), and still force a leadership crisis to try and get a more "aggressive" Republican to destroy Hillary at all costs. If Trump wins, he will do so despite Ryan's weak non-support... and Trump and his Congressional allies will be vindictive about it.

This is, of course, a What If thought exercise. If Hillary wins the White House and the Republicans keep at least the House, the Republicans may well set aside their internal differences to focus on their shared enemy, and may well keep Ryan in the Speakership position because, quite honestly, they're out of other (relatively sane) options. Ryan would still be willing to let some of the more rabid Congresscritters - Chaffetz in particular - pursue eternal investigations into Hillary's administration while forcing government shutdowns to pressure the Democrats into accepting his evil budget plans.

But the Republicans right now are not a bunch of sane or competent fellows. They're of a mindset desperate for power and control - even considering the power they currently have - and can well lash out in the worst ways if they don't get their way. Taking it out on the Establishment leadership that never crosses the lines that the wingnuts hope to cross is usually how they cause most of their damage.

It just depends on how obsessed the Far Right is with winning at all costs that they mistakenly throw it all all away even if they win just enough... all because they might not win it all.

The Unforced Errors of a Political Witch-Hunt

As far as "October Surprises" go, this was one that kind of exploded in the face of the ones throwing it onto the political landscape. To wit via the New Yorker:

On Friday morning, James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, sent a letter to the heads of several committees on Capitol Hill, in which he said he wished to “supplement” the testimony he gave in July about the Bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server. During that testimony, Comey had defended his decision not to bring any charges in the case, even though his agents had found evidence that Clinton and her aides were, in his words, “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

Back in July, the Republicans in Congress berated Comey for his lack of communication with their committees that were witch-hunting, uh investigating Hillary. As such, Comey promised to keep them better in the loop. Hence this letter:

In his letter on Friday, Comey wrote, “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.” Comey added that the agency couldn’t yet determine “whether or not this material may be significant or not,” or “how long it will take us to complete this additional work.”
Comey’s letter was brief and, evidently, carefully stated. Remarkably, though, its release wasn’t accompanied by any contextual information or background briefing to either lawmakers or the press...

That meant Comey's letter could be twisted into a hundred different ways. For the Hillary-Haters in Congress, that meant they could use it as a weapon:

...It made its way to much of the media in the form of a tweet posted shortly before 1 p.m. by Jason Chaffetz, the Republican Congressman from Utah who chairs the House Committee on Oversight, and who is a longtime Clinton tormentor. “FBI Dir just informed me, ‘The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,’ ” Chaffetz’s tweet said. “Case reopened.”

So for about three hours this past Friday afternoon, the entire political world was caught up in another maelstorm of WTF ZOMG HILLARY DOOMED NOW ranting. Republicans both high and low crowed. Trump started talking like the election wasn't rigged anymore.

And then people started asking just WHAT was in these new emails to begin with, and how they could tie into the questionably overblown scandal of Hillary's Secret Sec of State Server. Reporters like Pete Williams at NBC started digging - and started hearing from sources in the FBI and Department of Justice - and found out the "new and shocking" emails were in fact tied into the ongoing investigation into disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner's habit of sexting (including the recent allegations he went after a 14-year-old girl online), and that it had more to do with Hillary's personal advisor Huma Abedin - Weiner's rightly angry ex - than with Hillary herself. There's no evidence Hillary has anything to do with these new emails.

In other words, this is just another goddamn Nothing-burger the Far Right are twisting into another anti-Hillary conspiracy.

The story quickly turned on the fact that Comey overstated the value of the new revelations as they related to Hillary, and that he misrepresented which investigation was actually being pursued. He also - according to former FBI personnel - violated various departmental protocols with the FBI and DOJ. The one who's really in trouble now is Comey.

The one who OUGHT TO BE IN TROUBLE is Chaffetz. He's the one who took Comey's vague letter and turned into a source of fake outrage for the Republicans on the Far Right to tout as the final blow to Hillary's Presidential hopes. But elected officials apparently never answer for their sins, and Chaffetz is likely going to get re-elected in his safe Deep Red district back in Utah.

So we can look forward to at least two more years of Chaffetz tossing these types of bombs onto America with fake investigation after fake probe after fake outrage towards Hillary. He's already promised to do this.

It shouldn't be the Republicans getting angry here: It should be the Democrats. And you Dems BETTER USE THAT ANGER TO GET THE DAMN VOTE OUT AND KICK THESE REPUBLICAN BASTARDS OUT OF OFFICE.


Friday, October 28, 2016

And 2016 Continues Its Campaign for Most Insane Year Ever: White Boy Militia Update

Remember how this year opened with a crazy Republican primary and then pretty much escalated with those Bundy Boys throwing a Militia Hangover Roundup in a federal park? You know, the one where they didn't even plan ahead to have enough socks in the middle of Oregon IN WINTER? And then ended up arrested after a brief shootout?

Well, the trial came up right real quick, which itself is a bit odd because usually these things pad out for months if not a full year with court fights and delays and stuff. I figured the prosecutors must have had enough of a case with the evidence on hand - these Bundy Boys videotaped themselves doing this! The whole world saw this... - that they just wanted it done-and-done.

Annnnnnnnnd... The jury in Oregon just acquitted them on all charges.

The verdicts finding Ammon Bundy, older brother Ryan Bundy and five others not guilty of a federal conspiracy drew elation from defense attorneys who spent five weeks arguing that the armed takeover amounted to a time-honored tradition of First Amendment protest and civil disobedience.

Despite overwhelming evidence these clowns occupied a federal building on federal land... with guns... with the intent to disrupt federal employees... essentially an open attempt at insurrection...

And this jury in Oregon looked at all that and said "Huh. Guess they were just showing off their camping skills."

The jury apparently bought the defense's argument that this was an honorable protest, a legitimate uprising against unlawful authority. The jury must have ignored the vandalism that took place at the wildlife preserve. The jury must have thought... well, crap, I can't comprehend what the hell this jury was thinking.

The jury must have figured this trial wasn't all that big of a deal.

This trial - and there's been a lot of them over the years - brings up the biggest vulnerability of any jury system: The jurors themselves.

We're talking about a group of people who may not necessarily be "peers" of those on trial. We get jurors who are, despite all the court instructions and seriousness of the matters at hand, are going to bring their own personal biases and perspectives. This Oregon jury had to be made up of people who at some level sympathize with the Bundy movement's arguments against federal land use laws.

White juries freeing violent White radicals. Gee, who'd a thunk it.

Worst of all: These juries are made up of people who are not experts on law, being asked for that trial to become experts. And many of them are just not up for it.

The outrage is going to spill over into this day and week. I'm sure the political landscape will get affected, because a lot of the "Alt-Right" crowd are going to be crowing about this victory over the hated Feds while everybody is going to go WTF.

Meanwhile, there's a protest going on in North Dakota over a pipeline going through a tribe's water source. I guarantee you a lot of those peaceful and unarmed protesters - most of them Natives - are going to see jail time, 'cause you know, Not White. Meanwhile, there's been protests in a lot of cities across America over this Black Lives Matter thing, with a lot of peaceful and unarmed residents - most of them Black - getting jailed half the time simply because that was their neighborhood they lived in. I figure most of them are going to see jail time, 'cause you know, Not White.

I'd argue for more protests in the streets about the inequalities of the jury system, but I figure only White Boys like me should show up for it. And not a lot of White Boys will, will we, since this is a system that benefits us, right?

This year can't end fast enough.

I hope to God this ends well.

(Update) just to add this from

The verdict is completely absurd.
Eight months after the nation watched an armed militia take over a wildlife refuge in Oregon to protest federal land ownership, a jury has come back and said that the militia members are “not guilty.” This includes not guilty of a charge that describes what everyone knows these militants did, considering that they live-streamed themselves doing it: conspiracy to prevent Bureau of Land Management and US Fish and Wildlife employees from doing their jobs at the wildlife refuge.
Again, this is literally what they did. They armed themselves and took over a wildlife refuge, preventing federal workers from going into the facility and doing their jobs. Ammon Bundy, the militants’ leader, even participated in interviews in which he called for more people to join him in his cause...
...The defense argued there was no intent to keep federal employees off the refuge. But come on. An armed group occupied a federal building. Your imagination doesn’t have to stretch very far to realize what was happening.
Yet a jury found them not guilty.
It is impossible to ignore race here. This was a group of armed white people, mostly men, taking over a facility. Just imagine: What would happen if a group of armed black men, protesting police brutality, tried to take over a police facility and hold it hostage for more than a month? Would they even come out alive and get to trial? Would a jury find them and their cause relatable, making it easier to send them back home with no prison time?...

At some point, the reality that juries are going to be habitually biased is going to sink in.

At some point, the Angry White Guy movement is going to cross a line nobody can excuse or defend, even the damned NRA (who sells White Fear to make profits off of guns). And of course, when that happens a whole lot of innocent people are going to pay for it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Big Event Today: Hillary In Tampa

It's one of those things you gotta do in your life if you're into history and politics.

You got to go see a Presidential rally at least once. Cross it off the bucket list, as it were.

So this Monday I get an email from Hillary's campaign saying "hey, RSVP for her rally in Tampa on Wednesday" and I'm all "wow I just happen to have that day off from work (gotta cover for Saturday) and this would be an awesome thing to do!"

So I went.

Eh, you know my leanings. If you've been reading this blog since 2007 you know I've leaned Democrat - even as I stand proudly as a Moderate ex-Republican - and this would be a chance to go stand around with 5,000 people or so.

I'm seeing, by the by, a bunch of pro-Trump people crowing about "poor turnout" at this event because Trump was here in Tampa a few days ago with "20,000" announced attendance and Hillary "oh boo hoo" was smaller at an announced 4,500. Let me make this clear: Turnout at the rallies does NOT equal turnout at the election places, and hilariously enough the early reports are that Hillary is WINNING turnout there.

So anyway, here's a slew of photos of me going to the rally.

I stopped off at the downtown library for Tampa-Hillsborough to make sure my tablet charged up, and because as a librarian I always make a visit to any library just to feel the ambiance.

This is where the line got to from the park, with the library in the distance, I'd say about four blocks away. The line would eventually snake all the way around this parking garage towards the Performing Arts center I believe.

While standing in line I bumped into a platoon - eight or nine women - who where in Tampa for a professional college administration association's conference. They were in from New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and they had gotten last-minute emails like I did. They were thrilled they were getting a chance down here to see Hillary.

 I asked one to get a photo of me. Selfies only do so much.

 Vendors out selling gear. The conference ladies were upset nobody was selling "Nasty Women" t-shirts.

A break in the line. It's called a traffic stop.

You can see where the rally is set up in the Curtis Hixon park. Nice water fountain.

I dunno if I'm in any trouble posting pics of the Secret Service sniper teams on the rooftops.

 As with any rally, the opposing candidate's fanbase will have their hecklers in force. I have to admit this one had put some effort into it. The others were uninspiring and in some ways more vulgar than this. One woman went around with a sign saying "My DOG Has a Vagina Does That Qualify Her For President?" I was sorely tempted to shout back "Your dog is more qualified than Trump" but I didn't want to start a ruckus on a good day.

Here's all the camera crews setting up for the day. To my knowledge nobody at the Hillary rally shouted insults or threats at them. Unlike what happens at a Trump rally...

This is where I ended up facing the stage. A good number of families circled this part, a lot of mothers showing up with daughters - and a few sons - in tow.

This is a historic thing. People talk about seeing Presidents or candidates when they were younger. My dad talked a few times about growing up in DC and being in one of the inaugural parades for Eisenhower.

Tampa's Congresswoman Kathy Castor, doing warm-ups for the crowd while Hillary's stuck in traffic (she was in Lake Worth earlier this day).

I'm swinging around to get pictures of the crowd, and pictures of downtown Tampa. You notice anything about those buildings? Trump did not build a single one of them (the one he failed I think got knocked down to make way for someone else's tower).

 I think that's Mayor Bob Buckhorn. Hugely popular in Tampa.

Hillary at the podium!!!

And yes, this is a problem nowadays at political rallies and historic events. I'm getting phone-blocked trying to use my tablet to do exactly the same thing. I know I was blocking people who were behind me (I tried apologizing...).

There we go, clearer view. Had to wait a few minutes.

 And here's the security phalanx to escort Hillary and the other VIPs back to the airport to wherever Hillary needed to go to next. I asked the cops "Smile please" but I think only a couple of them did. Ah well.

And that's just the photos. Here's the video clips!

Good Lord. I'M ON FILM. How did that happen? Anyways, for all those eight regular readers of this blog, now you have a face and a voice to go with these rants.

I know I'm in shadow: the sun was just starting to get behind me. If I ever get a video editor program that can clean things up, I might try to brighten this enough to make me more FABULOUS... ahem,

Here's me walking into the fenced-off part of the event. Ooh, water! Yes, this is an outdoor event in Tampa even in late October, this was a hot day. Thank God for the cool breeze coming off the nearby river. When I say Oops at the end it's because I almost lost the bottled water cradled in my other arm.

Showing you the early crowd - this was about an hour before the event actually started - and to show you downtown Tampa in the distance.

I have to apologize on this one: We were about five or six other speakers getting onto the stage and we were all getting pumped up that the next speaker was Hillary! They asked us to sing "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" for her and everything! And then... Instead it was someone else coming onto the stage so I paused the recorder just as they were saying "Academy Award nominee..." so I'm going oh great another celeb but then they finished saying "Angela Bassett." And this is actually good because Ms. Bassett is from the area - grew up in St. Pete - so I switched the camera back on. This explains the interruption. Sorry.

I can get a better clip of Ms. Angela Bassett getting the crowd fired up. Give me a second, here we go:


Oh. That's Ms. Bassett firing up Trump's car. Anyway.

So after a few more guest speakers, including a great speech from US Citizen/Chef Jose Andres - one of the chefs who famously quit working for Trump because of Trump's anti-immigrant rants - here is Hillary walking out to the crowd!!!

I didn't include the whole speech or anything. You ought to get that from any of the news feeds out here. Lemme link one of them here.

Anyway. That's been my day. Long drive back on I-4, bleh. Got home and spent a lot of it getting these videos uploaded to share. After this, there's work to be done. Well, AT work, doing my job as a librarian. And also getting some volunteer hours in with the local GOTV efforts with Hillary's campaign people in Polk County.

It's more than just showing up at rallies, people. It's showing up TO VOTE. Everybody's got to do that, especially everybody voting for Hillary and for sanity.

Let's do it.

Just one last thing, though. Hillary, seriously, when you're campaigning for re-election in 2020, do everyone a favor in Florida and do these rallies INDOORS. It's called AIR CONDITIONING AND IT EXISTS FOR A REASON.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Just a Heads Up

Just saying, if tomorrow pans out, if I have the time and resources to do it...

I might have something fun to post tomorrow evening.

Ladies, Time to Represent

I've been saying for some time that women's votes are pretty important to win as a demographic.

I'm not the only one now.

From The Daily Beast:

The post-debate explosion of nasty proves that that Trump still doesn’t understand that this election isn’t a golf outing with a group of guffawing yes-men, and that women are finally facing the full extent of their electoral power.
Voting is one of the few arenas where the approval of men like Donald Trump doesn’t matter a lick. A voting machine cannot tell the gender of the voter and count it for only 77 percent as much as the vote of a man. A voting machine can’t pass over a female vote in favor of a younger male vote that reminds it of itself at that age. A voting machine can’t throw out the vote of a woman if she refuses its sexual advances. It won’t tell a female voter that she’s a New York City 6 but a Chicago 8. A voting machine doesn’t grope.
Women make up over 50 percent of the voting population in the U.S., and on November 8, any of them can imagine canceling out the vote of any man they’d like as they fill out their ballots. Donald Trump can’t insult them into submission.

From The Week:

It was inevitable that Chris Wallace would bring up the fact that in the last couple of weeks around a dozen women have charged that Donald Trump kissed them, groped them, or watched them undress (the latter in the case of pageant contestants, including at the Miss Teen USA pageant) against their will. So you might have thought that even an operation as obviously incompetent as the Trump campaign would have managed to prepare him for the question with a good response, one that didn't just discredit those charges but also made an attempt to reassure women voters with something more persuasive than his oft-repeated "Nobody has more respect for women than I do."
But he didn't have anything better prepared. Instead, he claimed that their stories have been "debunked" (not remotely true), and said, "I didn't even apologize to my wife, who's sitting right here, because I didn't do anything." It was enough to make you think that he has no idea how that sounds to women voters, like a man who tells them that what he did wrong is actually their fault.
What's most remarkable is that Trump either has no idea that he's bleeding women voters and can't win without them, or he thinks that what he's doing will actually win them back. How else to explain how he acted in Wednesday's debate?

From ABC News:

An ABC News poll released Sunday, and conducted in the days following Wednesday's debate, gave Clinton a 55 percent-35 percent lead over Trump among women. Among college-educated white women, the gap was 62 percent to 30 percent. Likely voters, by a margin of 69 percent to 24 percent, disapproved of Trump's response to questions about his treatment of women. In a Quinnipiac University poll conducted before that debate, Clinton led Trump among women by 52 percent to 37 percent.
Also, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released a few days before the debate showed women favoring Clinton over Trump by 55 percent to 35 percent.

The punditry early on talked a lot about the minority votes that the Republicans were kicking away by boosting an openly racist campaign that Trump ran from his first speech in 2015. While making it so that the Republicans could never regain the Black voting bloc they lost by 2008-2012, and while making it so that the Latino and Asian voting blocs turned away from the GOP in nearly the same percentages as the Black vote, nobody really commented on how sexist Trump was in a way that showed his greatest weakness. I think Nate Silver and his crew at 538 were the only ones who paid serious attention to it.

But I've said it before: Women during most election cycles are the largest voting bloc out there when you set them up as a singular demographic.

And Republicans as a party seem to keep going out of their way to drive women voters away, which gets to be a short-sighted gameplan if you're trying to win popular votes:

The Republicans have been campaigning since 2000 on a short-term agenda of pandering to White voters in general, and they're still going full-storm following that track despite calls from within that they really need to start attracting more diverse groups.  But how far are the Republicans going to get if their platform becomes so anti-woman that the treasured White Vote base gets splintered by gender and White women flee in droves to a more open-minded Democratic candidate?  Are there going to be enough Men voters willing to shift to the Republicans on such a harsh anti-abortion platform?  It's unlikely, because not enough men really think that way.
What Trump is saying about women in general is sexist and tends towards abuse and sheer cluelessness.  But he's not doing this in a vacuum: given the Republican Party's recent history of dismissing women's issues - and given the current attacks against birth control, women's health, and access to abortion - the GOP seems convinced they can win without women as much as they can win without Hispanics or Blacks or college students or lower-income families or pretty much anybody who are not Angry White Males over 50...

There's one other thing to note about alienating women voters: Those vaunted Republican gerrymanders aren't safe from gender votes. They only designed those "safe" Congressional districts based mostly on ethnicity and division of large (urban) population centers. They can't gerrymander against women because they don't live in segregated neighborhoods: Women live everywhere.

And women have experiences. And women have long memories.

And women vote.

I really hope this blows up every Republican safe district and Senate-held seat, that every conceivable competitive spot on the ballot flips to Democrat due to women voters.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Early Voting in Florida 2016 Elections

Monday October 24th is the start of Early Voting for the 2016 General Election.

So yeah, I've made my positions on the candidates well-known. (I'm not kidding. That post is blowing up the charts...)

I've made my positions on the state amendments well-known.

Now here's the thing I need from you. Vote.

Preferably I'd like you to vote with a modicum of sobriety and massive dose of sanity: that is, DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN (unless the Democratic option is an honest-to-God disaster, I will grant you that). But you've got your vote and your voice and it's your responsibility to contribute to the civic discourse, and I figure a lot of you have already made up your minds. Still, I need to ask for the sanity bit.

Early voting is a good option to make sure you have a chance to get that vote in. The Election Day - Tuesday - is a rough day to get in to your precinct before or after you head off to work or deal with getting kids to school and all that. Precincts are sometimes difficult or out of the way for you to get to: Mostly close to home but nowhere near the route you take back and forth to work/school/places to go.

Granted, some states make it hard to use Early Voting: either by setting short number of days or hours you have a chance to go, or by keeping the number of locations to a minimum to force long lines of people willing to go early.

(This is also why more people are starting to go to Absentee/Ballot-by-Mail as an alternative)

Personally, I'm a traditionalist. I like the idea of voting on the day itself, and I plan ahead to make sure I can (lacking family responsibilities, I can get in early before heading to work). I was lucky most of my life I've been unusually close to my precincts (in New Port Richey it was a block across the street!). I think I voted early once - 2012 - on the General Election, mostly because I worried I would be busy that day. Did I blog about it...? Lemme check. Okay. I voted early on some Primaries... AHA! I voted early because of a Jury summons. It was the same jury summons that stuck me in a room with 150 people watching Pawn Stars for six straight hours (and they recycled the same episodes every two! I will NEVER watch that show again...).

This year is no different. Part of me wants the energy of the importance of my vote - getting up and putting my vote in to dump Trump for all time - to power me through the whole work day of "yeah yeah YEAH."

But I encourage people to get to vote when they can. I know how busy everybody else can get.

Just a reminder for people in my county, here are the locations for Early Voting. Most of Polk's major cities are hosting. Today's over with but there's Tuesday onward to Sunday November 6th. The polling places are open during the weekends, including TWO Sundays, so there's every reasonable time available to get this done. Otherwise, be like me and get the voting done on Tuesday November 8th.

Just to note I got my Sample Ballot in the mail. I need the reminder. We all do.

Your vote is your voice, and your vote is your power.

Get to it.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Rigging

As a distant ironic echo, having Trump speak at Gettysburg seems a kind of blaspheme towards President Lincoln's sacred Address. Especially because where Lincoln spoke of a "new birth of freedom" for the nation united to the proposition that ALL men (and let's throw in women too) are created equal, Trump went Full Divider. Per the Washington Post:

But instead of laying out his vision for uniting the country, as President Abraham Lincoln once did here, Trump declared that the system is rigged against him, that election results cannot be trusted, that Hillary Clinton should have been barred from running for president, that the media is “corrupt” and that he will sue all of the women who have accused him of sexual assault.

It's not "that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain" type of motivational, I tell you what.

This is Trump during the final days of his campaign: Struggling in the polls, hammered in public for his sexual assaults and failed businesses, feeling alienated from a Republican leadership that never fully accepted him, and getting beat out in news coverage by the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians (OMG the two most jinxed teams in baseball playing for the World Series?! End Times, people, it's the Seventh Seal breaking...).

And Trump - unable to fault himself and oh so eager to fault everybody else - is taking a flawed and dangerous argument that "the whole thing is rigged." He can't consider the real possibility that he's not that well-liked or successful in the first place.

We've had talk, rumors, accusations of "rigged" elections before... but never this public, never BEFORE the actual election, and never by any of the major candidates themselves.

One of the things that keeps our nation going - politically, financially, socially - is our citizenry's faith in the nation itself. That we and our neighbors at some basic level respect the institutions we rely on - despite all our bitching and wailing - to do right by our rules and to perform fair and just between all sides of any problem.

Which is why it hurts our nation a lot when scandals and revelations show any level of corruption or ineptitude in any of our foundational systems. Granted, there are breakdowns and we should rail against them and seek reforms to fix those failures, but more often than not the system works... until enough people don't believe in that system anymore.

Trump is intentionally destroying that belief, specifically in the political and electoral systems that establish our nation's leadership (which affects our laws, our economic priorities, our national defense, our children's futures). He'd rather replace that faith with the idea that I, Trump Can Never Lose.

To that, Trump is claiming - will keep claiming - that the polls are skewed even after he'd openly crowed at rallies how he's led every one of them. Trump is claiming that the mainstream media - which just weeks ago gave him free unstoppable and in some cases fawning coverage - has always been "against him." Trump is claiming that Hillary shouldn't even be allowed to campaign: He's taking the wingnut claims of her "criminal behavior" to the logical - and uninformed/lying - conclusions.

On Trump's argument about voter fraud, he's taking the long-held argument of the Republican Party itself about such "fraud" being widespread. But when you look at the GOP's stance on such "fraud" you'll notice it always involves groups - Blacks, Latinos, poor, young, women - that habitually vote Liberal/Democratic. The GOP's been saying for years basically that "those" voters don't vote Republican, ergo "those" voters can't be trusted.

Those Republican claims of mass voter fraud, by the by, never hold up in courts of law, as they can't prove with any evidence of widespread or organized efforts to cheat at the ballot box: A clear sign that what the Republicans - and now Trump - are clearly trying to do is suppress the votes of those American citizens that they can't control.

And yet here's Trump rallying his followers over such false claims, guaranteeing that a sizable portion of that voting base - the Far Right - will never accept any result other than a Trump win as "legitimate."

"If *I* win." Trump straight out said that.

And so here's how Trump - and pretty much every Voter Fraud conspiracy nut - is getting it wrong (dear Lord, I'm linking to the National Review again):

As a factual matter, this is, of course, bunk. The electoral process, from bottom to top, is managed by citizens and governed by a dense body of election law. Vote-counting is heavily scrutinized by party officials and independent monitors, and irregularities are subject to legal challenge. The voting equipment used is tested prior to Election Day and carefully monitored before, during, and after. None of this is to say that voter fraud does not exist, or that errors don’t occasionally affect vote totals. But to “rig” an election at the national scale would require logistical know-how seen only in Hollywood capers. To think that the same Clinton campaign that had trouble putting away Bernie Sanders has now arranged to steal an election on a continental scale defies logic - to put it mildly.

For all the fear-mongering about machines, fake IDs, the dead rising to vote in select counties... that's all worthless rending of shirts and pulling of hair. It just doesn't happen on that scale.

I speak from personal experience. I lived in Broward County during the 2000 fiasco, and in 2002 our county was upgrading from the punchcards to the touchscreens. The Elections office asked for county employee volunteers to help out, so I did. I was assigned as a (paid) precinct supervisor to a corner of Coral Springs and trained on the new equipment.

The county had it so that the staff at these precincts had some balance between party affiliations: I was still Republican at the time so they had a Democrat among the (unpaid) volunteers. The precinct itself as I recall was mostly Republican anyway. I'm pretty sure I brought donuts for the staff.

The election itself - the Governor race, Congressional midterms - wasn't a large turnout one so we weren't too busy. Most people needed help walking through the new tech but we had few complaints. We ended up with a good turnout (it was over 50 percent of residents) and we had only one touchscreen not work for us (we still got people to vote on the others). We tallied the results, printed the receipts, posted one at the precinct door by law so the residents could confirm in general that the numbers weren't faked, and drove the equipment and sealed bags of the provisional ballots to the regional elections office near Deerfield Beach, waited in line for two hours to get that stuff secured with the official counters, and that was that.

There are few ways to cheat the system on a grand scale. We had signature proofing. We were a state that I think always required photo ID - at least when I started voting - so there was that. Hacking the electronic machines would have to happen on a large scale - and in the Elections office - which runs the risk of too many people knowing and blabbing. The one real problem - machines breaking down - is more a fault of state governments that refuses to adequately fund their own elections process (or intentionally refuses to allow more voting days/hours as a voter suppression tactic).

At worst, I could have had a fake voter show up to stuff a ballot at my precinct but he'd only do it one time: If he came back in we'd have known and got the security guard to detain him. So it'd have to take an army to do that kind of ballot stuffing, but that would well have tripped up by any of the safeguards - photo ID, signatures, address confirmation - we had in place. And again, something on that scale requires such coordination that too many people would know and too many would blab. The type of voter "fraud" you get is one where some poor soul isn't properly registered to the correct precinct or where some jerk tries to create voter IDs for other people (there was a case of this guy in the Midwest - Illinois? Indiana? - doing that. And he still got caught).

And yet Trump - and too many among the Far Right - would deny all of those safeguards exist or work. Trump - much like a Far Right consumed by fears of racial and religious takeover - would rather wallow in the safety of his own delusion that he's a victim of outside forces. And eager to blame the Others he's so easily vilified.

As such, Trump is intentionally keeping our nation divided through a process that requires us to unite through concession or acceptance of the results.

The last time that happened was with Lincoln, when the South refused to accept his winning the Presidency in 1860.

That's where Trump is leading us back to when he railed in anger and delusion at Gettysburg. Mocking everything Lincoln represents of the United States to this day.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Honest Bumper Stickers: The Final Countdown

Cue the music:


Unless, of course, Trump says something incredibly obnoxious, stupid and wrong.

Line up!

And for the other side:

And because I'm a huge honking fan of anime:

Will things ever be the same again?
It's the final countdown... - Europe

Brief: My One Big Hope for 2016 Election Day

Is that if Hillary wins and the Democrats make major gains in Congress to where stability is assured, I have got to cut back on blogging. It's driving me crazy...

Friday, October 21, 2016

Asking to Help a Blogger Out

Okay, I've mentioned before that I've been struggling with taking care of the bills and balancing out my income. The long years between 2009 to 2013 while unemployed and looking for work, tied in with a job now that's great but low on pay, has pretty much got me living paycheck to paycheck with few other means of additional income.

So woe on me when there's a week where I get caught with an additional cost on something - even a co-pay on a doctor's visit - that throws me into the red with additional costs on the way. Like this one. :(

I've got family that helps keep the checkbook balance, but like I've mentioned before my parents are both retired and both helping another brother with HIS unemployment situation - he's apparently found a part-time job now, but yeah it's part-time - so I really shouldn't be relying on them to bail me out (which they kinda have to do this weekend, but it sucks all around).

So here I am, asking for some help from the audience to leave a little bit in the donation box.

Please take a moment to help out. I know we're all coping with balancing our own personal finances, and hoping the day would come when our wages finally rose high enough to cover our needs. If you do, thank you. I'll do what I can here with the blogging and the anti-Trump ranting to earn your continuing readership.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Things We Learned From the Final Presidential Debate of 2016

1) Trump thinks he should have won an Emmy.

2) Trump still can't stop himself from interrupting people. Not just Hillary - which he clearly does out of spite - but also the moderator Chris Wallace, which Trump did out of narcissism.

3) The turnaround time on making t-shirts, buttons, posters, and other marketing materials is close to magic today. Within HOURS, Hillary's fanbase was selling tees of "Nasty Women" to crow against Trump's tin-eared attempt to insult her.

4) Thank God for the baseball postseason.

4a) Cleveland Indians are in the World Series. Chicago Cubs tied up with the Dodgers and may be back on track to win the NL title. We may be facing a World Series in which one sad-sack team FINALLY WINS.

This is, of course, the Seventh Seal harkening the End Times.

5) Trump kept lying last night like an unrepentant muthafu.......

6) Saturday Night Live is kinda at the point where they don't have to write a script, they just have to read the original transcripts of the debate and react accordingly. For example, there's a specific moment last night where Kate McKinnon should just break out the celebratory wine bottle during the inevitable cold open skit.

7) Trump is still an idiot.

8) Trump is still incredibly scary on foreign policy issues, especially Putin and other dictators he admires.

9) The biggest fallout from that debate has been Trump's refusal to accept the results of the November 8th election night if it goes against him. This ties into the last week or so of Trump yelling that the election "is rigged" in a direct attempt to undermine the entire process. When asked about if he will concede if he loses during the debate, Trump's vague answer was "I will look at it at the time. What I’ve seen, what I’ve seen is so bad."

And during today's rallies post-debate, Trump added with a horrifying condition: "I will totally accept the election results... if I win."

He's essentially saying the only legit result of the election should be HIM winning, even if he loses by 7 percent of the popular vote and with Hillary trouncing him in the Electoral College 342-196. And he's encouraging his voter base to think the same way.

This is insane. Trump is taking a flamethrower to the entire integrity of the electoral process, which he can't prove is that corrupt and broken - rigging a Presidential election is actually so large-scale and complex that it's next to impossible - but he still tries to sell as such.

10) Hillary essentially won all three debates by presenting herself as informed, composed, confident, and prepared. They weren't the best debate performances of all time - Hillary still tries to talk to people like a college professor and can't really be as relaxed in her presentation - but compared to the sniffling, bloated, rude, ill-informed mockery of a candidate next to her, she hit home runs all three nights.

Get the damn vote out, America. Early voting is already starting in some states and should be going on everywhere by next week (Florida's starts on the 24th).

Vote Hillary for President. Don't vote Republican for ANY office if you can help it.

This election matters.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Things To Do For Tonight's Final Presidential Debate for 2016

Tonight is the last televised debate between Hillary and "Screw You Guys I'm Going Home" Trump.

Here are your options for tonight's viewing:

1) Find a writers' group meeting to attend tonight and get prepped for your upcoming NaNoWriMo writing effort for November.

2) There's playoff baseball on tonight, I think.

3) Are hairstyle salons open at 9:00 PM EST?

4) Find a pro-Hillary debate watch party in your area and bring enough booze to endure the Trump-shitshow but not enough to prevent you from safely driving home. Either that or make sure there's a designated driver to come by after the debate to pick you up. I doubt anybody at the party is going to want to stay sober watching that draft-dodging tax-dodging tiny-fingered Cheeto-faced ferret-wearing shitgibbon.

5) You might wanna start shopping at the local CostCo for your winter survival supplies and tonight might as well be the time to do it.

6) Read a book. I've got some lovely books you can purchase and download to your Kindle... (ow stop hitting me)

7) Watch sober, and then get on your knees and pray. BEG FORGIVENESS FROM THE ALMIGHTY that we as a nation were fools to let Trump anywhere near the Presidency and BEG BEG BEG a thousand times for the Good Lord to show Mercy upon us by gifting enough voters with the wisdom to NOT VOTE TRUMP when their time in the ballot booth comes.

7a) And for the Love of God don't vote Republican, period.

Keep your head down and survive, America. We're going to get hit by the eye of this Trumpstorm...

Monday, October 17, 2016

Republicans Don't Give a Rat's Ass About the Constitution Anymore

(Update: Thank you Batocchio for the link on Crooks & Liars' Mike's Blog Round-Up! To everyone visiting, hello again. Please stay and check out my other rants about Gods help us everything about this election cycle. And please, sign up for NaNoWriMo and write your damn novels next November!)

You lost me, McCain, a long time ago, but this just really hurts:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) suggested Monday that the Republican party’s months-long refusal to fill a vacant seat on the Supreme Court could extend into the next administration if Hillary Clinton is elected president.
"I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up," McCain said on WPHT Philadelphia radio in an interview first flagged by CNN. "I promise you. This is where we need the majority.”

McCain essentially promised that the Republicans in the Senate will not uphold their oath of office to the Constitution.

He promised to put party partisanship ahead of the needs of the United States to have judicial offices filled in order to ensure our legal system is working.

He promised to ignore the constitutional powers of the President to nominate people to fill vacancies in the court system. He promised to ignore the reality that a President Clinton would win election with a sizable number of American voters.

He promised that if Hillary Clinton wins with lets say 60 million votes to lets say 50 million Trump votes, he and his fellow Republicans will tell those 60 million voters that their vote did not ever count, that their choice wasn't legitimate, that they will never listen to or respect those voters.

He promised to continue the obstruction that this current Republican-controlled Senate has been carrying on for almost a year now, refusing to even LISTEN to Supreme Court nominee Garland, operating on a laughable and possibly illegal argument that the Senate should "hold off" on allowing a lame-duck President during his last year in office from filling any vacancies: That the Senate should "respect the wishes of the voters during an election year." Yet if those voters go with Clinton, well they'll just ignore THIS YEAR'S promise and move on to this new promise of NEVER advising and consenting to a Democratic nominee ever again.

That's what this promise is about: McCain is laying out in public the truth that the Republican Party will never accept any Democratic President as legitimate, no matter how many people vote for that Democrat, no matter how the Constitution requires them to at least respect the Office of the Presidency.

This is absolute partisanship. McCain and his fellow Republican Senators are kicking their Constitution duties into the dumpster. It won't matter if Hillary wins by three percent or double-digits. The Republicans in Congress will obstruct her for as long as they possibly can.

THIS is why I've been screaming for the last 8-10 years to never vote Republican. Doesn't matter the office, if it's Dog Catcher or State legislator or US Congress or the Senate or President. This is the attitude of the entire GOP: THEY must rule or else everything will be in ruins.

THIS is why it's just as important for people to get out the vote to kick every Republican out of every elected office. It's not just the Presidency at stake, America: EVERY office needs purging of obstructionist Republicans who WILL NOT DO THEIR JOBS.

Every Republican Senator up for election this cycle needs to lose. Every Republican Congresscritter up for election this 2016 needs to lose, to hell with their gerrymandered safe zones. If the GOP retains majority control of the Senate, we will never see ANY vacancy - not on the Courts, not in the Cabinet - filled as required by the Constitution. If the GOP retains majority control of the House, we will never see ANY sane federal budget and will likely see series of government shutdowns by a Far Right Congress insisting on their godless tax cuts for the super-rich.

You wanna know why government's not working? JUST LISTEN TO THE REPUBLICANS. They will tell you: THEY DON'T WANT IT TO WORK. They would rather let it rust away, block every fix, block every qualified candidate. They would rather let the nation suffer for their self-serving needs than compromise or do their jobs.

For the LOVE OF GOD, stop voting Republican. They sure as hell have not earned your vote.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

But That Was Another Country, and Besides That Party Is Dead

Me: Friends, Bloggers, Countrymen, lend me your ears.

Pinku-Sensei: What happened to the ears we lent you last week?

Me: Well I stuck them to my chariot.

Dinthebeast: But why?

Me: 'Cause they're chariot ears.

(much pummeling commences)

Fine, fine, I'll get serious here.

I come to bury the Republican Party, if to praise its worth before the madness struck in 1992 um 1980 okay 1968. It's at the point in our history now that with Trump sinking in the polls with no sign of recovery, and with growing likelihood that the Democrats regain the Senate and may even regain the House, we need to start wondering just what the hell the remnants of the GOP is going to do post-Election Day.

If I can hedge my bets, if Trump does indeed pull of an upset now - unlikely, not enough states will vote for him - the Party is still screwed because the twisted mindset Trump brings to the table would honestly bankrupt the party (and the nation).

If Hillary wins with a solid Republican Congress, the Party is still doomed because their ongoing obstructionist habits can't last (the demographics are finally turning against them).

And a big reason the Republicans are doomed happens because - for what I see of the party today - there is no sound or diverse leadership that can lead the party out of their blind obsessions. Whatever you think of Paul Ryan as Speaker, he's doomed. The same wingnut faction within his own House that ousted Boehner is going to want his scalp for "lack of fealty" to Trump and his failure to bring Obama (or Hillary) before them in handcuffs. And then things get nasty: Who can you picture among the elected leadership in the GOP taking control of this rampaging beast? Trey Gowdy?!

Don't take my word for it. Let's ask Bruce Bartlett at the Washington Post:

I was wrong. I now see that Trump’s candidacy has exacerbated the Republican Party’s weaknesses, alienating minorities, fracturing the base and stunting smart policy development. The party’s structural problems are so severe that reform is impossible. Even if Trump loses and the GOP races to forget him, the party is doomed. And very few of our leaders seem to care.
In the short run, it will be easy for Republicans to convince themselves that nothing needs to change. The establishment believes that Trump is an anomaly, an aberration. GOP leaders think the party’s next nominee will be a more typical politician who knows the issues, has well-developed debating skills and who will appeal to the elite and the Trumpkins. Someone like John Kasich or Marco Rubio...

You can already see the problem of leadership: Kasich and Rubio are NOT sound options for future leadership. Kasich doesn't appeal to the base (which is crazy because Kasich is a solid Right Winger) and Rubio's an empty-suit no-show at the job. And Trump is not an anomaly: He fit exactly what the Republican voting base wanted. You can't ignore that fact, not ever...

Back to Bartlett:

Many leaders also assume that Hillary Clinton is an automatic One-Termer. They think she’s incompetent, scandal-ridden and hell-bent on destroying the economy. They know, too, that neither party has held the White House for more than three terms in the post-World War II era.

Incompetent, no. Scandal-ridden, only because the GOP leadership made her so. And despite their differences in ideology, nothing Hillary promises will crash the economy the way the Republicans' Supply Side obsessions have done.

Let's take a serious look at history for a moment: the possibility of Hillary as a One-Termer. That is likely: Historically speaking there's been few back-to-back Two-Termers. However, those back-to-backs happened at a time - Jefferson, Madison, Monroe - when the two-party system died as the Federalists slid from power. And the Federalists died because - as the Republicans are finding out now - they failed to adapt and alienated a majority of voters outside of their regional power-base.

The Republicans came into this election cycle thinking that it was normal for parties to switch control of the White House like clockwork. It's not. Historically, parties retain control of the Presidency due to two things: 1) solid economic growth/stability or 2) terrible opposing parties. The Democrats stayed in control from Jefferson to Jackson thanks to the fall of the Federalists. The Whigs beat Van Buren because of the first major economic Panic caused by Jackson's bank-breaking. Republicans held onto the White House from 1860 to 1884 thanks to the Democrats being associated with treason (except for a stolen 1876 election, which still spoke to a weak Democratic Party unable to fight it out). Republicans retained the White House after Grover Cleveland's interruptions from McKinley to Taft due to the Yukon Gold Rush, Teddy's Progressive movement, and Taft's judicial sensibilities. The Democrats held on through an unheard-of four terms of FDR because the Great Depression was that huge an economic crisis and because of the Second World War, with Truman continuing that control on his own terms only getting kicked out because of a mismanaged Korean War and major recession at the time.

Basically, there's no predictable cycle of party control of the White House. For the Republicans to buy into that myth highlights part of their myopia.

Okay, enough side-track. Back to Bartlett:

But Clinton’s chances of being reelected in 2020 are better than Republicans think. Already, Democrats have a virtual lock on 18 states, giving them an almost automatic 242 electoral votes. States such as Virginia, Colorado and Florida routinely vote Democratic, too.

The Republicans wanted to fight their electoral battles using Demographics and Geography instead of the Issues. Well, now that's killing them. They've done such a wonderful job trying to sell their Southern Strategy to states that can't condone that kind of mindset that the Southern states are the only ones they might have left (and they're losing Georgia either this cycle or the next).

I've pointed out earlier that when it comes to guaranteed, lock-down states the Democratic Party (California, New York, Illinois with 104 EV) has a massive advantage over Republicans (Texas at 38 EV) that by the time you throw in the mid-sized states - Massachusetts (11), Pennsylvania (20), Maryland (10), Washington (12), Virginia (13) and Michigan (16) guaranteed for 72 additional EV to Democrats - that the next guaranteed state for the GOP with Tennessee (11 EV) doesn't help one bit.

There is currently no way for Republicans to break the strangleholds that the Democrats have on those Solid Blue states. The only way to do that is to change their messaging and ideology: The platform the GOP is selling now - anti-Immigrant, anti-women - gets them NOWHERE in California at all. (edit) Conversely, the Democrats can break the stranglehold Republicans have on Texas - their last main Electoral College anchor - simply by waiting for enough Latinos and women voters to ragequit the GOP over the Republicans' terrible ideology. And that can happen now or 2020. It's already just a matter of time...

Okay, just one more visit to Bartlett:

Eventually, of course, Democrats will become corrupt, will overreach or will bear the blame for things beyond their control, like a recession. They may foolishly nominate someone too far Left for the country, giving a Republican another shot at the White House. A strong leader could change the GOP’s trajectory, like Dwight Eisenhower did after five straight Republican presidential losses from 1932 to 1948. He put the party, as Conservative then as it is today (just read the 1952 platform) on a more Moderate, technocratic path that continued for a quarter-century through Richard Nixon (note: snerk) and Gerald Ford. A leader like Eisenhower might help right the GOP, attracting moderate voters and enhancing the party’s crossover appeal.

Wouldn't it be pretty to think so? That the Republicans could eventually lose their Far Right mindset and find another Eisenhower? If there is a GOP Savior to be had among the pandering Tax-Cut Slashers leading the party today (hint: there isn't)?

It's just not any time soon. Here's blogger PM Carpenter looking at how deluded the "rational" conservative leadership among the bloggers are going to be:

...What, then, is next for the GOP? Fortunate it is that Erick Erickson, formerly of, troubles to offer a template. Most unfortunate, however, is that his articulated vision as a fresh model is damn near incomprehensible.
Erickson's vision for his erstwhile party? It's the old Get-Washington-out-of-our-lives trope. "Voters are being held hostage by hollow promises … [that] Washington power will make their lives better," he writes. Washington was never meant "to be the center of all solutions. Republicans need to focus less on Washington and more on fostering local community..."

There's a slight problem with that: The Republicans have been shilling this "End Washington Control" snake-oil for 40 years. There is nothing new here. It's the same bland marketing ploy without even a fresh coat of paint on it.

Okay, back to PM trout-slapping Erickson:

One point he's inarguably missing is that, prior to the federal government's being what it is today, neighbors and churches and communities found themselves abjectly incapable of providing needed help in tough times. Prior to minimum wages, prior to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the entire panoply of federal safety nets, local communities and state governments were far too strapped and overburdened to be of service to the acutely burdened themselves...
All this, Erickson dismisses, probably more from - I'll be charitable - willful blindness than innate fatuity...
Our former RedStater goes on to propose that a new Republicanism be "the party of religious liberty," as though religious Democrats and confirmed atheists aren't all for that...
And of course Erickson throws in the old Republican bugaboo of yet "lower taxes," which would of course would further gut the inarguable effectiveness of all the federal government does, which of course Erickson chooses not to see.
In short, little to none of what Erickson proposes is realistic. It's the same, old, unworkable model of reactionary smallness - the very refusal to cope with modern civilization that has plagued Republicanism for decades...

If Erickson's model for recovery is the only thing the Republicans have to work with, it's going to be the same damn mess that will fall apart again in 2020. No lessons learned, the same mistakes played over and over again expecting better outcomes. And most likely another con artist candidate trying to sell it all.

This is why I've called the Republican Party mad for years. And incompetent to boot.

Infidel753: Well, that wasn't much of a spectacle!

Batocchio: That wasn't even a monocle! Ho-ho-ho-ho!