Tuesday, November 13, 2018
When I went to bed around 5AM after Tuesday's elections, the Democrats
had won the House and beat Kris Kobach here in Kansas, but it seemed like
a lot of close elections had broke bad. I heard Wednesday that a couple
elections had flipped: Ned Lamont picked up the CT governorship, and more
importantly, Scott Walker lost in Wisconsin. Tester pulled out his Senate
seat in Montana. Nevada had looked promising on Tuesday, and firmed up,
while Arizona got close, and even started to lean toward Democrat Krysten
Sinema. Florida tightened up.
Still, could (should) have been better. Compared to 2014 and 2018, the
Democrats did much better on several counts: they ran better candidates
and contested more seats; and they did a better job of getting out their
vote. Trump didn't get a popular opinion honeymoon after he took office.
He was deeply offensive to most Democrats from the start, and everything
he did prodded them to resist more fervently. That's what motivated people
to run, to campaign, to organize, and ultimately to vote, and often to
win -- although even some of the losses, like Beto O'Rourke in Texas, or
Stacey Abrams in Georgia, were close enough they seemed like progress.
On the other hand, Trump and the Republicans haven't lost much ground.
They've done a lot of things that in themselves are very unpopular --
the big corporate tax cut, for instance, and they dodged blame for ACA
repeal only by failing to pass it -- but their base has held firm, they
still have a lot of money, a strong captive media, and a very effective
ground game. Of course, it helped that the economy hasn't capsized yet,
that their reckless foreign policy hasn't led to major wars, that their
corporate deregulation hasn't produced major disasters yet, and that
only a few of their corrupt minions have been convicted or indicted.
On the other hand, their global warming denialism is beginning to wear
thin with major hurricanes and an unprecedentedly horrific fire season.
Branch Rickey used to say that luck is the residue of design. Trump's
political designs are so faulty that it's unlikely his luck will hold.
On the other hand, he did something in 2018 that Obama had failed to
do in 2014 and 2010, which is that he campaigned relentlessly for his
party in the months and weeks leading up to the election -- indeed, he
never really stopped campaigning after 2016. He hasn't been all that
effective, mostly because he isn't really very popular, but he did keep
his base enthused, and (unlike in 2006, when everyone was sick and tired
of Bush and Cheney) he got his base out to vote. It's going to take a
lot of hard work to get enough people to realize how harmful Republicans
are to most people's interests. And expect a lot of noise and distraction
from Fox and friends along the way: the "caravan" story was as good an
example of truly fake news as you can imagine. Hard to say whether how
much it helped Republicans, but it sucked a lot of air from broadcast
news during the last few weeks.
Democracy took a step forward last Tuesday. A small one. Hopefully
the first of many.
Quick election results recap:
US Senate: Republicans gained two seats, for a 51-46 edge, with
3 undecided: Mississippi (runoff, R favored), Florida (R +13k), Arizona
(D +33k [since I wrote this called for the Democrat]), so it will probably
wind up 53-47 (counting Sanders and King
with the Democrats). Only one-third of the Senate's seats are up for
election each two years, and this year the Democrats were much more
vulnerable (after exceptionally strong showings in 2006 and 2012). To
put the net losses of 2-4 seats in perspective, Democrats won (counting
AZ but not FL/MS) 24 seats to the Republicans' 10. Democrats won 57.4%
of the Senate vote, vs. 41.0% for Republicans. This split was inflated
because both of California's "top two" primary winners are Democrats.
All four (counting FL) Republican pickups were in states Trump won --
3 by 10+ points, 2 against Democrats who won in 2012 after Republicans
nominated especially controversial "Tea Party" candidates. On the other
hand, Democrats won 7 Senate seats (counting AZ) in states carried by
Trump, plus defeated a Republican incumbent in a state Trump lost (NV).
US House of Representatives: Democrats gained 32 seats, with 10
still undecided, for a current 227-198 advantage. Democrats received
51.4% of the popular vote, vs. 46.7% for Republicans, for a margin of
Governors: Democrats gained 7, giving them 23; Republicans lost
6 (assuming FL and GA go Republican; the difference is that Republicans
picked up previously independent Alaska). Popular vote favored Democrats
49.4-48.2%, as state races were less polarized than Congressional ones
(e.g., Republicans won easily in MA, MD, and VT). Democrats gained: ME,
MI, WI, IL, KS, NM, and NV. Republicans gained AK.
538: What Went Down in the 2018 Midterms: Live blog until they got
tired and signed off.
538: The 2018 Midterms, in 4 Charts.
Some scattered links this week:
Matthew Yglesias: Trump voters stood by Trump in the midterms -- but there
just aren't enough of them: Trump was elected president in 2016 with
just 46% of the vote. Republicans got about the same 46% of the vote in
the 2018 congressional elections, so a cursory analysis suggests that they
held their own, while everyone else (including independent voters for Jill
Stein and Gary Johnson) joined the Democrats. Probably not that simple:
Republicans did better than 46% in 2016 congressional races, so they lost
that edge this year. In particular, they lost ground in the Rust Belt and
in the Latino Belt from Texas through Arizona and Nevada to California,
while they hung on more effectively in a swath from Florida up to Idaho.
Other Yglesias pieces:
The 2018 electorate was older, whiter, and better educated than in
2016: "Democrats hit some of their GOTV targets but missed others."
OK, but isn't the relevant comparison 2014 to 2018? Turnout was up
for a midterm (2018 and 2014), but down from the presidential election
(2016). From 2016 to 2018, 18-39 turnout was -7,but from 2014 to 2018,
it was +4. White was +2 vs. 2016, but -3 vs. 2014.
Matthew Whitaker's appointment is the latest Trump Tax the GOP is paying:
"A nominee whose only qualification is his unfitness."
Matthew Whitaker is, by any standard, a wildly unsuitable choice to serve
as Attorney General of the United States.
He's a small time crook who finished fourth in the Iowa GOP Senate
primary back in 2014. He apparently got his job as Chief of Staff in the
Justice Department because Trump liked his TV hits, experience that would
at best qualify him to one the DOJ's chief spokesperson not to be chief
of staff and certainly not to run the Justice Department. Meanwhile,
Kellyanne Conway's husband, a prominent Washington attorney, says
Whitaker's appointment is illegal.
The point, however, is that in a normal administration the question
of legality would simply never arise here. The Justice Department is full
of competent, professional, Senate-confirmed officials who would be more
suitable than Whitaker on both substance and procedural grounds. It's
commonplace in liberal circles to see Whitaker as an inappropriate
selection in light of his previous comments about Robert Mueller's
investigation, but the truth is the Mueller issue is his only conceivable
qualification for the job. Trump's problem with the senior staff at the
Justice Department is he has no way of knowing whether or not they share
with Jeff Sessions and Ron Rosenstein a reluctance to fatally compromise
the rule of law in pursuit of Trump's personal self-interest.
House Democrats must resist Trump's infrastructure trap.
House Democrats must resist Trump's infrastructure trap.
The tragedy of Amazon's HQ2 selections, explained: After announcing
they'd like to auction off the location of a second headquarters site,
they've evidently settled on two winners: one in Virginia's DC suburbs,
the other in Long Island City, Queens, New York. Lots of problems.
Matt Whitaker suggested the attorney general might keep Robert Mueller's
conclusions secret forever.
Debbie Stabenow reelected to the Senate.
Ned Lamont elected governor of Connecticut.
Trump's bizarre post-election press conference, explained.
But shocking as it was in its way, it confirmed what we know about Trump.
He is shameless, relentlessly dishonest, poorly informed about policy,
disrespectful of the norms and principles of constitutional government,
and fundamentally dangerous. He also continues to benefit from a benign
economic situation and from a lack of crises abroad that make a serious
impact on the typical American. For all of our sakes, we'd better hope
that holds up because he does not appear to have the capacity to respond
in a remotely appropriate way to any kind of adversity. . . .
The price of this sort of conduct has already been high. An island
destroyed, a wave of Trump-inspired bombings, a needless destabilization
of relations with key allies, and a growing diminution of the standards
of conduct that we accept for public officials. But for most Americans,
day-to-day life has proceeded apace and that's put a floor under Trump's
approval ratings that's been good enough to keep the whole Republican
Party afloat given gerrymandering and a skewed Senate map. Losing the
House would be a wake-up call for a normal president, but there is no
waking up Trump -- only the hope that nothing goes too badly wrong while
he lasts in office.
Tammy Baldwin reelected to US Senate: a progressive champion wins in
Sherrod Brown reelected to US Senate: old-time labor liberalism triumphs
over Ohio's rightward drift.
Why Stacey Abrams isn't conceding yet.
4 winners and 2 losers from the 2018 midterm elections: Winners:
"the favored quarter backlash"; Donald Trump; "the blue wall"; gerrymandering.
Losers: Taylor Swift; "the live models." The explanation on Trump:
And while losing the House is the death knell for the Republican Party's
legislative agenda, Trump himself has rarely seemed to care that much
about the GOP legislative agenda. Indeed, the death of the GOP legislative
agenda could even be good news for Trump politically since much of that
agenda was toxically unpopular. An expanded majority in the Senate,
meanwhile, will let Trump do things he actually cares about, like replace
Cabinet members and other executive branch officials who've displeased
him, while continuing to keep the judicial confirmation conveyor belt
that's so important to his base moving.
The lesson of the midterms: resistance works.
Radley Balko: Jeff Sessions, the doughty bigot:
Jeff Sessions's final act as attorney general was perfectly on-brand.
On the way out of office, he signed an order making it more difficult
for the Justice Department to investigate and implement reform at police
departments with patterns of abuse, questionable shootings, racism, and
other constitutional violations. Sessions once called such investigations --
like those that turned up jaw-dropping abuses in places such as Ferguson,
Mo., Baltimore and Chicago -- "one of the most dangerous, and rarely
discussed, exercises of raw power." He has had only cursory criticism of
the horrific abuses actually described in those reports (which he later
conceded he sometimes didn't bother to read), which disproportionately
affect blacks and Latinos. For Sessions, it is the federal government's
investigation of such abuses that amounts to not just an unjustified
"exercise of raw power," but a "most dangerous" one.
Bob Bauer: An Open-and-Shut Violation of Campaign-Finance Law.
Jonathan Blitzer: Jeff Sessions Is Out, but His Dark Vision for Immigration
Policy Lives On.
James Carroll: Entering the Second Nuclear Age?: With his withdrawal
from the INF treaty with Russia, and with big plans to renovate and rebuild
America's nuclear arsenal, "Donald Trump welcomes the age of "usable" nuclear
weapons." Also at
Michael Klare: On the Road to World War III?.
William Hartung: The pentagon's Plan to Dominate the Economy:
Industrial policy should not be a dirty word. The problem is: the
Pentagon shouldn't be in charge of it. The goal of an effective
industrial policy should be to create well-paying jobs, especially
in sectors that meet pressing national needs like rebuilding America's
crumbling infrastructure and developing alternative energy technologies
that can help address the urgent dangers posed by climate change.
Tom Engelhardt: Autocrats, Incorporation: Thoughts on Election Day 2018.
Arnold Isaacs: Misremembering Vietnam: Alt title: "Making America's
Wars Great Again: The Pentagon Whitewashes a Troubling Past."
The cliché that our armed forces are the best and mightiest in the world --
even if the U.S. military hasn't won any of its significant wars in the
last 50 years -- resonates in President Trump's promise to make America
great again. Many Americans, clearly including him, associate that slogan
with military power. And we don't just want to be greater again in the
future; we also want to have been greater in the past than we really were.
To that end, we regularly forget some facts and invent others that will
make our history more comfortable to remember.
Rory Fanning: Will the War Stories Ever End? Author of a book of his
own war stories, Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger's Journey Out of
the Military and Across America (2014, Haymarket Books).
Maureen Dowd: Who's the Real American Psycho? A look back at Dick
Cheney, occasioned by the screening of a new movie called Vice.
As for the "psycho" question, such things take time and perspective.
If you got sick eight years ago and got sick again now, you won't be
able to make meaningful comparisons until (and if) you survive and
recover. Between Trump ("a frothing maniac with a meat cleaver") and
Cheney ("a professional assassin") the latter may still in theory be
the more menacing, but the threat right now is so immediate and so
open-ended that it's the one you have to deal with right now. Dowd,
by the way, also recently wrote this clever piece on Saudi Arabia:
Step Away From the Orb:
Our Faustian deal was this: As long as the Saudis kept our oil prices
low, bought our fighter jets, housed our fleets and drones and gave us
cover in the region, they could keep their country proudly medieval.
It was accepted wisdom that it was futile to press the Saudis on the
feudal, the degradation of women and human rights atrocities, because it
would just make them dig in their heels. Even Hillary Clinton, as secretary
of state, never made an impassioned Beijing-style speech about women in
Saudi Arabia being obliterated under a black tarp.
Atul Gawande: Why Doctors Hate Their Computers: Fairly long piece on
computerized medical records, which should be great to have but are a lot
of work to maintain, and the slacker and sloppier you get about that, the
less great they are. First point I take from this is that there is a lot
of real work to be done to make the health care system work better beyond
the obvious advantages of single-payer insurance -- something that tends
to be forgotten in that argument. Gawande identifies several problems with
the software, ranging from its impact on focus and communication to the
increasing brittleness of sprawing code systems. One thing worth exploring
is how open source might help, but you also have to look at how to finance
development and support. Another dimension is the increasing use of AI. I
believe that the only way to build trust in complex software is through
open source, but what's needed can't be developed as a free hacker hobby.
Masha Gessen: After the White House Banned Jim Acosta, Should Other Journalists
Boycott Its Press Briefings? Also:
Margaret Sullivan: Words and walkouts aren't enough> CNN should sue Trump
over revoking Acosta's press pass.
Adam Hochschild: A Hundred Years After the Armistice: Due to the world's
fascination with round numbers, I'm reminded that our Nov. 11 Veterans Day
originally started as Armistice Day, marking the end of what was then called
the Great War but was soon eclipsed, now better known as World War I. A date
that should remind all how precious peace is has since become a celebration
of American militarism, as we thank the hapless soldiers and gloss over the
politicians who put them in harm's way. One could write reams about that war,
and indeed its centennary has brought dozens of new books out. Hochschild
wrote one I read back in 2011: To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and
Rebellion, 1914-1918, which focused on anti-war resisters in Britain
(like Bertrand Russell -- as close to a hero as I ever had). The tag line
on this piece is: "If you think the First World War began senselessly,
consider how it ended." He recounts several stories of how allied generals
(especially Americans, notably including white commanders of negro troops)
continued to launch offensives after the armistice was agreed to up to
the moment (11AM) it was to take effect, resulting in thousands of
avoidable casualties. He also notes, in less depth, the insistence of
French general Foch on making the armistice as punitive as possible,
leaving a "toxic legacy" that lead to a second world war. Many more
books have been written about the post-armistice Versailles Treaty,
like Arno Mayer's massive Politics and Diplomacy of Peacemaking,
but the best title to date is David Fromkin's A Peace to End All
Peace. The excessively punitive Versailles Treaty is now widely
acknowledge as a cause of WWII. (Arno Mayer has referred to the two
World Wars as 30 Years War of the Twentieth Century.) More important
in my mind is that Versailles failed to repudiate imperialism. In fact,
Britain, France, Italy, and Japan extended their empires through war,
especially whetting the appetites of the latter, while leaving Germany
and others convinced that they needed to enlarge themselves to compete
with the rich nations. By the way,
Josh Marshall recommends The Vanquished: Why the First World
War Failed to End.
Another interesting piece on the war:
Patrick Chovanec: World War I Relived Day by Day.
Fred Kaplan: Could House Democrats Cancel the Pentagon's Blank Check?
Perhaps, but it would take uncommon discipline, given that more than a
few Democrats are deficit hawks and/or Pentagon Keynesians. Given narrow
margins (and the absence of anything like the "Hastert Rule" for Democrats),
Republicans could try to forge opportunistic alliances with either group.
One thing for sure is that House Democrats won't be able to raise taxes,
so there's very little they can do about deficits. On the other hand,
spending bills originate in the House, so with a little discipline they
can keep important programs funded and cut useless and even damaging
ones. But, as I said, that's not something they've ever been much good
Kaplan also wrote:
Trump Retreats From the West: "The president's performance in Paris
was a stunning abdication of global leadership." That sounds like good
news to me -- not to deny that Trump did it pretty ugly. Maybe Trump
was peeved at this:
Macron denounces nationalism as a 'betrayal of patriotism' in rebuke
to Trump at WWI remembrance. Then,
Trump skipped a US cemetery visit abroad. The French army trolled him for
avoiding the rain. But the fact is, Trump's "America First" fetish
doesn't leave him much to offer the rest of the world -- where, as in
everyday life, generosity is appreciated and peevishness scorned. On the
other hand, for many years now US administrations have done little that
actually helps either people abroad or at home that we'd all be better
off if the US (especially its military) would back away. For more on
Trump's Paris trip, see
Jen Kirby: The controversies of Trump's Paris trip, explained.
Paul Krugman: What the Hell Happened to Brazil? (Wonkish): "How did
an up-and-coming economy suffer such a severe slump?"
Robert Kuttner: The Crash That Failed: Review of the latest big book
on the 2008 financial collapse, the "great recession" that followed, and
various government efforts to clean up the mess: Adam Tooze's Crashed:
How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World. Interesting
sidelight of an illustration:
William Powhida: Griftopia, based on Matt Taibbi's book.
Dara Lind: The asylum ban -- Trump's boldest immigration power grab yet --
Mark Mazzetti/Ronen Bergman/David D Kirkpatrick: Saudis Close to Crown
Prince Discussed Killing Other Enemies a Year Before Khashoggi's Death.
Bill McKibben: A Very Grim Forecast: On Global Warming of 1.5°C: An
IPCC Special Report.
Yascha Mounk: Is More Democracy Always Better Democracy? Noted for
future reference, no agreement implied. Author of a recent centrist
manifesto: The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger &
How to Save It. Reviews Frances McCall Rosenbluth: Responsible
Parties: Saving Democracy From Itself (2018) -- arguing: "the
most important ingredient of a functioning democracy . . . is strong
political parties that can keep their rank-and-file members in check" --
and looks back to Marty Cohen/David Karol/Hans Noel/John Zaller: The
Party Decides: Presidential Nominations Before and After Reform
(2008). Mounk's prime example of "too much democracy" was the 1972
nomination and loss of George McGovern, although for a token example
Republican he cites Mark Sanford's primary loss to a Trump zealot (who
last week lost Sanford's SC district). The main problem with Mounk's
thesis is that organizations which lack effective democratic oversight
almost inevitably wind up putting their leaders' elite interests ahead
of their voters. At least with McGovern's Democratic Party reforms,
the party was able to nominate a presidential candidate who reflected
the majority view among rank-and-file Democrats to quit the Vietnam
War. That sounds more to me like an example of democracy working --
especially more than 2016, when the party elites prevailed in picking
a candidate who was even more unpopular. (Sure, Hillary Clinton polled
better than McGovern, but consider her opponent.) As for the Republicans,
you can fault their rank-and-file for favoring someone as odious as
Donald Trump, but at least the limited democracy Republicans practice
saved them from the party elites nominating Jeb Bush.
Rachel Withers: Trump responds to worst fires in California's history
by threatening to withhold federal aid. Also on the fires:
Robinson Meyer: The Worst Is Yet to Come for California's Wildfires; also
Umair Irfan: California's wildfires are hardly "natural" -- humans made
them worse at every step.
Benjamin Wittes: It's Probably Too Late to Stop Mueller: The
morning after the election, Trump fired Attorney General Jeff
Sessions and installed Matthew Whitaker as acting AG, making it
easier for Trump to terminate Robert Mueller's prosecution of
Trump-Russia issues. Wittes takes stock:
Eighteen months ago, I said, President Donald Trump had an opportunity
to disrupt the Russia investigation: He had fired the FBI director and
had rocked the Justice Department back on its heels. But Trump had
dithered. He had broadcast his intentions too many times. And in the
meantime, Mueller had moved decisively, securing important indictments
and convictions, and making whatever preparations were necessary for
hostile fire. And now Democrats were poised to take the House of
Representatives. The window of opportunity was gone.
In the 48 hours since Trump fired Jeff Sessions and installed Matthew
Whitaker as acting attorney general, I have had occasion to wonder whether
I was being overly optimistic a week ago. Whitaker is the kind of bad
dream from which career Justice Department officials wake up at night in
cold sweats. He's openly political. The president is confident in his
loyalty and that he won't recuse himself from the investigation --
notwithstanding his public statements about it and his having chaired the
campaign of one of the grand-jury witnesses. There are legal questions
about his installation at the department's helm. And he's known as the
White House's eyes and ears at Justice.
By the way:
Jerome Corsi says Mueller will soon indict him for perjury.
Finally, some more election-related links:
Alleen Brown: Pipeline Opponents Make Gains in Midterms as Federal Judge
Halts Keystone XL Pipeline.
John Cassidy: Weekend Reading: From the Midterms to Matthew Whitaker
and Stormy Daniels; he also wrote:
Make No Mistake, the Midterm Elections Were a Democratic Victory and a
Rebuke of Trump..
Rachel M Cohen: Progressives Win on Medicaid Expansion, Public Education,
and Voting Rights Through Ballot Initiatives.
David Dayen: Democrats Who Voted to Deregulate Wall Street Got Wiped Out
in a Setback for Bank Lobbyists.
Andrew Gelman: Why the 2018 Midterms May Have Been Bluer Than You
David A Graham: Why Trump Is the Favorite in 2020.
Shaun King: Why It's a Big Deal That Four Black Candidates Won Their
State Attorney General Races: In Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, and
Paul Krugman: Real America Versus Senate America: "Some of us are more
equal than others, and they like Trump."
Aaron Mak: A Black Security Guard Caught a Shooting Suspect. Police Arrived --
and Killed the Guard.
Jane Mayer: Is Kris Kobach's Defeat in Kansas a Model for How to Beat
Trumpism? Not really. First point is that Kobach was a really awful
candidate, to the point that he was a public embarrassment, and quite
a few Republicans realized that he would continue to hurt the party as
long as he held office. (The list of Republicans who endorsed Kelly ran
over 100.) Second point is that Kelly campaigned almost exclusively
against the Brownback legacy in the state, whereas Kobach hung his
campaign almost exclusively on Trump's coattails. Personally, I thought
Kelly missed an opportunity there as Kobach is objectively worse than
Brownback ever was, but she clearly didn't want to campaign against
Trump in Kansas, and in the end she didn't have to. The downside of
not lumping all of the Republicans together is that she had almost no
coattails: the Democrats picked up one House seat, but they won no
other state offices (despite having a strong Secretary of State
candidate running for Kobach's old office). The state house is still
solid Republican, and Kelly won't be able to legislate anything that
the R's don't go for (she'll even have trouble sustaining vetoes).
Not that we aren't happy with her win (and his loss, but he'll still
be around, winding up with a Trump Admin job somewhere, and then go
on do bad movement law work, even after he gets debarred.) Democrats
can't depend on R's nominating candidates as inept and obscene as
Kobach (although Trump is in that league). And Democrats have a lot
of work to do to become a majority party here.
Cas Mudde: Don't be fooled. The midterms were not a bad night for
Trump. Key line: "Trump's biggest victory, however, was within
the Republican party. . . . Trump has shaped the Republican party
in his image instead."
Alex Pareene: Political power never lasts. Democrats need to use theirs
while they have it.
Steve Phillips: Do the Math. Moderate Democrats Will Not Win in 2020.
Author of a book, Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution
Has Created a New American Majority -- somewhat premature, as shown
by his focus on candidates who came close but (evidently) lost: Andrew
Gillum, Stacey Abrams, Beto O'Rourke.
Andrew Romano: Want to Beat Trump in 2020? Look at Sherrod Brown's
Big Win in Ohio.
Jennifer Rubin: What Democrats' big win in Arizona means. Rubin
Trump is cracking. I do take exception to Rubin's complaint about
Trump's "great North Korea diplomacy . . . (He was snookered.)" I don't
have time to track down the many things wrong with the NY Times piece
that claims North Korea has reneged on their promises to Trump, but
the real problem there is that Trump's has allowed people like John
Bolton to set requirements and expectations meant to sabotage any sort
Amy Davidson Sorkin: The Post-Midterms Dangers of Donald Trump. She
Donald Trump's Final, Bitter Rallies.
Jon Schwarz: Democrats Should Remember Al Gore Won Florida in 2000 -- but
Lost the Presidency With a Preemptive Surrender.
Nate Silver: The 2018 Map Looked a Lot Like 2012 . . . and That Got Me
Thinking About 2020.
Kay Steiger, et al.: The Arizona, Florida, and Georgia election recounts,
explained: Two Senate races: in Arizona, the Democrat is ahead by
21,000 votes (according to this article, but the
NY Times is now reporting a Democratic lead of almost 33,000); in
Florida, the Republican by 13,000.
Two Governors races: in Florida, the Republican leads by 34,000, and in
Georgia the Republican by 63,000, but a runoff election could be mandated
if the recount drops the Republican to under 50%.
Matt Taibbi: Forget 'Conventional Wisdom': There Are No More Moderates:
I share his reluctance to cater to self-appointed centrists who insist
that Democrats have to show their moderation by adopting positions that
can only be described as "Republican-lite," but the fact is that even
the "democratic wing of the Democratic Party" are pretty damn moderate
in their wildest dreams (universal health care, free public education,
world peace, civil rights, voting rights, labor unions, basically things
that most of the economically advanced world take for granted). Also by
Bernie Sanders Opens Up About New Democrats in Congress, Taking on
Far Too Many House Seats Have Been Uncontested for Too Long.
Ruy Teixeira: The midterms gave Democrats clear marching orders for
Matthew Zeitlin: Trump Has Something New to Blame for a Sluggish Stock
Market: "Presidential Harassment": There's always an explanation
that doesn't involve reality.
Li Zhou: Kyrsten Sinema is the first Democrat to win an Arizona Senate
seat in 30 years.