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Went to a panel with some experts from the Brookings Institute. The Mueller question was raised.

Even if Trump is bold enough to outright can Mueller, the House could still subpoena all of Mueller's findings.

Too little, too late for the orange.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/07/politics/michigan-second-district-jason-lewis-called-women-sluts/index.html

A GOP Congressman who is on the record for whining about being unable to call women "sluts" was thrown out of office by a woman.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/07/health/abortion-ballot-measures-amendments/index.html

With the passage of strong pro-life amendments in West Virginia and Alabama, the table is set for an abortion case in the next year or two. All eyes will be on Chief Justice Roberts to possibly be a swing vote who ends up saving the Roe precedent.

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/280659-bill-nelson-recount-attorney-were-doing-it-to-win

Also, there's a chance that Florida's Senate seat may still end up going to Nelson. Votes are still coming in, and a lot of them are from blue districts. Scott's lead has shrunken to 30-35,000. Provisional ballots still need to be counted, and there are also early vote and overseas ballots that have not been counted.

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9 hours ago, Coyote (Ogilvie) said:

Went to a panel with some experts from the Brookings Institute. The Mueller question was raised.

Even if Trump is bold enough to outright can Mueller, the House could still subpoena all of Mueller's findings.

Or, if Whitaker reduces Mueller's funding to the point where the investigation cannot function...

... could the House Dems fund the investigation? The House holds the government's purse strings, after all. Or could they even, in the event that the investigation is ended (and it looks like Trump/Whitaker will move to end it after a couple of months of almost no funding produces no results), take all its files, evidence etc and keep the investigation going over on Capitol Hill?

Edit: Here we go...

Could spell bad news for Mueller, as it really looks like the GOP are trying to kill the investigation in the window of time between the midterms and the day the House formally flips.

This thread gives me some hope, though...

Meanwhile, the administration has released a doctored video to justify Jim Acosta's WH Press Pass revocation...

 

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Some troubling news from SCOTUS:

While fractured ribs are unlikely to be life threatening, it is an unfortunate reminder of RBG's advanced age. If we lose her before 2020 America will be in for some very dark times.

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If Trump replaces RBG, it'll be with another partisan hack. It will therefore be incumbent upon the next Democratic administration to increase the size of the SCOTUS to dilute the conservative element, and while they're at it, introduce term limits. Not just threaten to increase its size, but actually do it.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/08/politics/2018-elections-lucy-mcbath-karen-handel-concedes-georgia-congress/index.html

Ossoff's revenge! Karen Handel has lost her bid for re-election in the Georgia 6th, after she narrowly defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in what was once the most expensive House race in US history.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/08/politics/religious-makeup-2018/index.html

Democrats have seen disappointment with how the Latino vote has not really turned into a second African-American vote like they had hoped. A lot of Latino voters have moved towards Protestantism and conservatism. But Democrats can get reassurance from another factor: the electorate's religiosity has continued to decline. Even if people are not atheist, they are increasingly agnostic or unaffiliated, demographics that lean Democratic.

Within our lifetimes, it is very possible the religious right will become irrelevant within the GOP, and the GOP will move towards more libertarian positions. The gains they've been making with religious Latinos can only carry them so far. They're sooner or later going to need to rollback the Christianity and focus more on laissez-faire economics, something which would win them a lot of support among younger voters and a growing irreligious population.

18 hours ago, Patticus said:

... could the House Dems fund the investigation? The House holds the government's purse strings, after all. Or could they even, in the event that the investigation is ended (and it looks like Trump/Whitaker will move to end it after a couple of months of almost no funding produces no results), take all its files, evidence etc and keep the investigation going over on Capitol Hill?

Funding the investigation as is would presumably require standard legislation that the Senate and Trump would not be on board with.

But they most likely could acquire all of Mueller's files and do an independent investigation. This is a constitutional power of the House and Trump can't do shit about it.

5 hours ago, Patticus said:

If Trump replaces RBG, it'll be with another partisan hack. It will therefore be incumbent upon the next Democratic administration to increase the size of the SCOTUS to dilute the conservative element, and while they're at it, introduce term limits. Not just threaten to increase its size, but actually do it.

It does make me ponder if we'd get another "switch in time" moment. Chief Justice Roberts (who, funnily enough, shares the same last name as the justice who switched sides and kept FDR's plan from coming to fruition) can be a swingy vote due to his consideration of the Court's legitimacy, while Clarence Thomas, who swings liberal when it comes to African American issues, might make a surprise retirement under the next Democratic President.

That said, constitutional reform really should be spearheaded. And as much as I hate to say it, Trump actually probably has the best position to do so, and has called for term limits (albeit for Congress) in the past. He is in a weird position where he can force Senate Republicans to go along with a plan, while House Democrats would also want the limits because it would avoid the conservative court issue.

As for Trump, he'd go down in history as a President who oversaw a huge reform of American law, so he wins by merit of his ego getting stroked. Also, this would be the best way to get revenge on Mitch McConnell for not doing everything he wants.

With how Trump has had his fascist agenda crippled by the rise of the Democratic House, he may very well pivot towards things a lot of people voted for him for in the first place: serious institutional reform and infrastructure spending. He is in a great position to reform the Supreme Court and campaign finance, if he cares to do so.

Which of course, probably means he gets a second term. I can only hope 2020 Trump voters in the Rust Belt and Florida would be savvy enough to at least send him back to Washington with another Democratic House to keep his insanity in check.

My greatest anxiety about Trump pursuing constitutional reform is attempting to eliminate birthright citizenship as part of a package that would also reform Congress and the Supreme Court.

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If I may say this:

FUCK. NO.

I don’t care what good he can do, I want Trump and his cronies to be ruthlessly punished for their fascistic desires, not given a way out of the mess they’ve made in the first place! I can’t believe you’d seriously think that anything short of the GOP being tossed into the clink would be a good thing!

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11 minutes ago, SenEDDtor Missile said:

If I may say this:

FUCK. NO.

I don’t care what good he can do, I want Trump and his cronies to be ruthlessly punished for their fascistic desires, not given a way out of the mess they’ve made in the first place! I can’t believe you’d seriously think that anything short of the GOP being tossed into the clink would be a good thing!

 

320px-United_States_Senate_elections,_20

Keep wanting. Even if a Democrat takes the Presidency in 2020, he/she will be powerless. The GOP will maintain its Senate majority until 2022 at the earliest. And they will expand it in 2022 if a Democrat is President. Of the 4 most competitive seats in 2020 - Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Iowa - only Colorado is a likely pickup. And the Democrats will lose Alabama.

You may say it'd be better to have a Democratic President than nothing, but I'd rather take a Republican President with Democrats controlling everything else but the Senate. If the federal government must be dysfunctional, I'd rather the states be run by Democrats.

Now, this may change if Democrats pull off surprise wins in this year's Florida and Arizona races (they're still being counted/recounted), but that's unlikely.

We are in for the long haul with the GOP Senate. And only some ludicrous 50-state strategy will change that.

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19 minutes ago, SenEDDtor Missile said:

Small comfort to the people in prison camps or the people who died because of the Orange Lunatic’s egging on racist and xenophobic terrorist cults.

There's really no winning here. You have to pick your poison. State offices matter. On a day to day basis, those are the offices that will affect you. The Obama years were great! ...except, not really, since the GOP controlled just about everything else and made countless people's lives Hell. Obama's policies were a small comfort to everyone who did not benefit from those (of which there were many, because the GOP controlled everything else). I can do this too. In the age of a conservative court, state government is especially relevant, because we're unlikely to see court interventions to help people like we saw under Obama.

Institutional reform is the best way forward because it resolves the issue of the Supreme Court and the fact the Democratic Party is led by a bunch of dinosaurs simultaneously.

320px-2022_US_Senate_map.png

2022 race has some slight promise. If a Democrat wins in 2020, they will likely carry the Rust Belt, Iowa and Florida. That gives them a chance of numerous Senate pickups in the midterm... if we see a repeat of the consolidation we saw this year, where the GOP took Democratic seats in states Trump won. But those voters are still so swingy it's entirely possible the GOP will hold those seats and the 2020 Democrat will remain powerless for 8 years in a way even Obama did not have so badly.

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32 minutes ago, Dragoon said:

Jesus Christ. Florida election officials "accidentally" ignored mail-in ballots... Which usually break for Democrats.

The GOP is fucking irredeemable.

Was that during the ongoing recount, or beforehand? Either way I'm pretty sure that's illegal - they have to count them, or they're committing electoral fraud.

On the same subject, though...

XsnA6c0.png

Arizona Republicans Are Suing to Limit Mail-In Ballot Counting During a Tight Senate Race

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The fact Florida and Arizona could still end up going blue, ohohoho, that's a thing.

4 hours ago, Jiren (Metro) said:

I'm confused @Coyote (Ogilvie) How would Democrats having only control of Congress for the next 5 years be a positive in the long run if Republicens control the Senete, SCOTUS, and presidency.

States matter. The Senate, President and SCOTUS can say whatever they want, but it means nothing if the states go "nah."

Look at pot. Look at sanctuary cities. The consent of the governed is twofold in a federal system like ours, and it means Democrats would be in a prime position to seize power at the state level while also keeping control of the House to cripple any federal agenda.

It's also recognizing circumstances. It is very plausible the next Democratic President would come into power with little agenda setting power. They would be a pen and phone President from day one. Obama at least got to pass a healthcare bill before he became kind of useless. In addition, without the Senate, the SCOTUS stays red anyway. The Presidency is honestly fools' gold with current projections. The Dems get a prominent office and lose everything else.

Now, should the Florida and Arizona races resolve in Dems' favor, the math changes dramatically. Dems would be in a position to lock in power after 2020 with major overhauls. They could expand the House (which would shift the power balance towards blue states in the House and Presidency), pass a new preclearance formula, and even pack the Court. But here's the clincher: they need to nuke the legislative filibuster to do these, which will have serious effects if they do not make sure to lock out the GOP as it currently is. Midterm politics being what they are, the Democrats would be at risk with losing the Senate in 2022, albeit only because their majority would be so small.

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https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/08/politics/pelosi-trump-phone-call-cnntv/index.html

Pelosi and Trump have had an interesting phone call. Trump wants to find common ground, but also threatened to get aggressive if any investigations were made into him.

Pelosi's rebuttal was House investigations are standard procedure, and he's going to just have to accept that.

Trump would be a moron if he really lets some investigations get in the way of passing a giant infrastructure bill that would help him win re-election, unless he's really hiding something.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/08/politics/pelosi-detractors-make-their-first-move/index.html

The attacks on Pelosi from within the Democratic Party has begun, as rules changes are considered to make it so the Democratic nominee for speaker will require 218 votes.

While there are enough no votes to sink a speakership, Pelosi allies are convinced it will not translate into her losing the Speakership; every Democrat who backed Pelosi's in-party rival Tim Ryan came behind her in the formal floor vote.

53 minutes ago, RedFox99 said:

So, I wanted to ask: do you guys believe people have a right to own guns to protect themselves?

It's a tough sell, because there's a mountain of evidence indicating having a gun in the home increases the risk to oneself. However, most of those studies include increased suicide rates, which would make the risk boil down to mental health issues rather than firearm ownership per se. I acknowledge the increased suicide risk but do not think gun owners for whom that risk does not apply should be denied ownership because of it.

I also don't think I like all these white, cishetero liberals telling nonwhites and queer people they're not allowed to have guns to defend themselves if they want them. It's rather eyebrow raising the same people who insist the police are corrupt and abusive tend to be the ones who say you should depend on them in all emergencies. Given the response time for police anyway, I can't fault a black man for deciding owning a gun is worth the risks. And I think that should be his decision.

Now, collective defense on the other hand, that's different. I fully support the efforts of groups like Redneck Revolt in bringing communities together in armed defense. We don't really have data to support the idea of individual self-defense, but collective defense is another matter. States and corporations will tread carefully if they understand communities are packing.

This is where liberals will go "haha there's no way a militia would defeat the Army," and that's true. It's also a gigantic strawman. Gun ownership as a deterrent rests on the concept of how much it complicates state overreach. The increased likelihood of an armed confrontation could threaten the state's legitimacy. If push comes to shove, even a powerful military will struggle against a well-armed insurgency. On a day to day basis, employers will think twice about abusing their workers when they calculate there's a lot more of them and a lot of them have weapons.

I do think a lot of the problems we associate with guns - crime, increased suicide rate - etc. could actually be resolved through other measures. And there are possible allies in red states who would be on board with these measures.

That requires the Democrats not be neoliberal garbage, however.

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1 hour ago, Coyote (Ogilvie) said:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/08/politics/pelosi-detractors-make-their-first-move/index.html

The attacks on Pelosi from within the Democratic Party has begun, as rules changes are considered to make it so the Democratic nominee for speaker will require 218 votes.

While there are enough no votes to sink a speakership, Pelosi allies are convinced it will not translate into her losing the Speakership; every Democrat who backed Pelosi's in-party rival Tim Ryan came behind her in the formal floor vote.

With everything you've been saying about Democrats using congress reshape politics over the next 5 years, do you see this happening under Pelosi's leadership?

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34 minutes ago, Jiren (Metro) said:

With everything you've been saying about Democrats using congress reshape politics over the next 5 years, do you see this happening under Pelosi's leadership?

Possibly. Now that she's in power, she will have to actually govern.

While the Democrats need to use their House majority to pass symbolic bills they can present to voters as reason to give them the Senate and Presidency in 2020, they should also pass more concrete reforms like the bipartisan automatic consideration idea, while also trying to work on issues like infrastructure and immigration.

With how polarized American politics has gotten, the fate of the federal government as a meaningful entity is questionable if the Problem Solvers Caucus' rules changes are not taken up. They provide a means for the moderates in each party (and yes, moderates do still exist in each party, they just get drowned out by the hyperpartisan ways of doing business) to muscle policies through that could then go to the Senate. Without those rules changes, we are liable to see more of the problem of one House passing a bill and the other refusing.

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Tim Ryan is a right-wing democrat who really should be a republican. Fuck that guy, I'd certainly much rather have Pelosi as speaker than him.

The problem is that even a lot of Dems have worryingly bought into the GOP's propoganda over Pelosi. She's not perfect, but I'll say this again, she's a fantastic whip who kept the Dems united over the last two years in minority and even forced the GOP to make numerous budget concessions.

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Quote

Settlement reached in Arizona Senate vote count

Arizona Republicans and Democrats have agreed to give rural voters an extra chance to fix problems with their ballots in the count of the state’s tight Senate race.

That’s a compromise after Republicans filed a lawsuit seeking to stop urban voters from using those procedures. The settlement was announced in a Phoenix courtroom Friday afternoon.

The counties have until Nov. 14 to address the issue.

The Republican lawsuit alleged that the state’s county recorders don’t follow a uniform standard for allowing voters to address problems with their mail-in ballots, and that Maricopa and Pima counties improperly allow the fixes for up to five days after Election Day.

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has jumped into a slight lead over Republican Martha McSally in the midst of the slow vote count.

https://apnews.com/41a1a6f79af548ddbdeedf3e1b6d1c80?utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_medium=AP

As of last night, the Democratic lead had increased to 21k:

Meanwhile, in Florida, more good news...

 

The worst part about these midterms are the fact that McConnell's quest (carrying on at a break-neck pace by all accounts) to pack the courts with conservative judges will continue at least until 2020, if not beyond, which will have far-reaching ramifications for future Democratic presidencies and matters ranging from civil rights and immigration to gun ownership to abortion. I don't know how this process really works, so I don't know if near future Democratic presidents and senates will be able to similarly pack the courts, or if there'll even be any vacancies left to fill, but it's depressing AF.

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So I had a minor revelation: this newish “Liberals are NPCs” angle you see the alt right doing is an astoundingly worse argument than I thought it was: it’s an ad hominem attack against the opposition’s argument. Proofreading that sentenace made cringe because wow, that’s really the level they’re at. 

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49 minutes ago, Phos said:

So I had a minor revelation: this newish “Liberals are NPCs” angle you see the alt right doing is an astoundingly worse argument than I thought it was: it’s an ad hominem attack against the opposition’s argument. Proofreading that sentenace made cringe because wow, that’s really the level they’re at. 

What’s this about?

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On 11/10/2018 at 7:02 AM, Patticus said:

The worst part about these midterms are the fact that McConnell's quest (carrying on at a break-neck pace by all accounts) to pack the courts with conservative judges will continue at least until 2020, if not beyond, which will have far-reaching ramifications for future Democratic presidencies and matters ranging from civil rights and immigration to gun ownership to abortion. I don't know how this process really works, so I don't know if near future Democratic presidents and senates will be able to similarly pack the courts, or if there'll even be any vacancies left to fill, but it's depressing AF.

Do you have any insight on this? @Coyote (Ogilvie)

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