Town Hall Report

I used to have a nice, sane Democrat representing me in Congress, but earlier this year, district lines were redrawn, and we ended up with wingnut knob Vern Buchanan.

He had a town hall today. I was there. So were thousands of others. Buchanan had to switch to a larger venue due to the avalanche of RSVPs.

Here’s the line to get in:

Here’s a truly deranged asshole who was waving a Trump flag and screaming at the crowd about John Podesta being a “Satanic pedophile.”

Trumpcare would eliminate coverage for services that man desperately needs, which is one reason I oppose it!

The town hall was in Sarasota, which is both artsy and thirsty:

We couldn’t bring signs in, a restriction with which liberals complied, but Trumpsters snuck campaign yard signs in (sans sticks), probably rolled up in their moth-eaten skivvies.

I’d say the crowd was 80/20 anti-/pro-Trump. The ratio wasn’t lost on the normally very pro-Trump Buchanan, who distanced and hedged in response to every question. He was booed often, and the loudest and most sustained ovation was in response to a citizen who told Buchanan his duty was to impeach Trump because he’s an unfit, lying nutcase.

But the Trumpenproletariat were represented too. One particularly annoying specimen sat behind me and shrieked “UNBORN BAY-BEEEES!” every time healthcare came up, until even fellow Trumpsters told her to shaddup.

Anyway, kudos to Buchanan for showing up, unlike gutless ‘Lil Marco. Buchanan is a dissembling wingnut jackass, but he’s not a complete coward.

I came away from the town hall heartened by the energy and passion of the anti-Trump forces — in a pretty conservative district. We’re still showing up, even on a beautiful day.

I also came away with even more contempt for Trump fans, who squandered their questions to imply opponents are Soros-funded outside agitators and who are actually still screaming “Benghazi” and “Lock her up” even now. They are angry and demented people, at least the ones who show up to events in MAGA hats. In other words, they are who we thought they were.

And in the parking lot traffic jam that followed the event, I couldn’t help but notice that it was the MAGAts who selfishly refused to allow people to merge, thus slowing the process of egress for all. Which is a pretty good metaphor for their function as citizen-millstones of this benighted republic. The end.

164 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I’ve been down lately and this was good to hear.

  2. 2
    Jim Parene says:

    Thanks for this report, Betty. I was considering attending but I’m still not sure I could remain respectful to 45*’s fans. I have a big mouth, sometimes and I’m sure I would have opened it.
    Hilarity would have ensued.

  3. 3
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Took one look at the top picture and said “That’s gotta be Van Wezel!”

    Can’t miss that purple. Outside and in, IIRC.

    Thanks for the report, Betty. Thanks even more for being there.

  4. 4
    hugely says:

    their function as citizen-millstones of this benighted republic

    nice metaphor

  5. 5
    trollhattan says:

    Kudos for the moon over not-Miami photo, also, too, for plowing into the bizarre world of local politics. This is how it’s supposed to work so just maybe we can get some grownups back into the game.

  6. 6
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    Good on you and all the others for showing up. It’s important for our congress people of every persuasion to know we’re here.

  7. 7
    Corner Stone says:

    I couldn’t help but notice that it was the MAGAts who selfishly refused to allow people to merge,

    In my almost daily commute I see these assholes who refuse to let even *one* car ahead of them in their race to get wherever it is they are going. There are a number of forced merge lanes on my way in and out and I always find myself thinking, “Man, I don’t care if you go ahead of me, everyone’s going to have fit somewhere.”
    It’s not like they don’t know this is coming, they are just assholes thinking they are getting over on someone if they deny them entry to the merged lane for 2 more seconds.

  8. 8
    Citizen_X says:

    the MAGAts

    Heh. Nicely done.

  9. 9
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I couldn’t help but notice that it was the MAGAts who selfishly refused to allow people to merge, thus slowing the process of egress for all.

    “Civility” is just another form of evil “Political Correctness” with the MAGAts.

  10. 10
    Corner Stone says:

    So basically relatively normal people were interested in actual policies and Trumpsters spent their time shouting conspiracy theory bullshit. Seems about right.

  11. 11
    PsiFighter37 says:

    The only good thing about Trump’s policies potentially getting passed is that they will fuck over even his most idiotic supporters. You can only keep telling yourself that the yellow liquid pouring over you is lemonade for so long.

    Except for that asshole who is upset over John Podesta. What a fucktard.

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    Anyone else see the picture or video of the presser with Merkel after she met with the disgusting attempt at pathetic human being?
    Ivanka is sitting beside Angela Merkel at the table. The German Chancellor, an incredibly accomplished individual, has Ivanka Trump seated right beside her at this press meeting. She is either a yoogely more magnanimous and big hearted person than most, or she was numb from her meeting with Trump and may not have noticed Ivanka until too late.
    Because if I were AM, I would have been like, “Why is this fucking unelected welp at this table? Much fucking less sitting right beside me?! Fuck this shit. I am out.”

  13. 13
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    John Scalzi over at his blog Whatever has a link to his essay in the LA Times about the challenge of living amid Trumpsters… it’s a bit tepid for some but worth a read. Someone mentions Balloon Juice in the comments.

  14. 14
    NickM says:

    I too have noticed in Virginia, which has specialty Gadsden rattlesnake plates, that cars with Teahadi plates don’t get alternate merge, by which a small personal temporary sacrifice leads to better results for everyone ultimately. A metaphor for all the things they don’t get about living in society.

  15. 15
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Corner Stone:

    But Ivanka is a feminist and a role model (but, like, how?)

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Citizen_X: took me a minute

    I gather Joni Ernst said yesterday she wanted to see trumpy’s tax returns. That’s become a pretty standard line outside the Beltway bubble.

    Double checking my facts, she apparently hedged on an actual subpoena, which was also Lindsey Graham’s line.

    Trump has repeatedly said he is under audit, which prevents him from doing so. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC reported on Trump’s 2005 tax returns earlier this week, which has stoked a new round of demands for the release of Trump’s taxes.
    Her short and direct answer got a standing ovation — but she disappointed the crowd soon after, when someone told her to use her perch in the Senate to force the release of Trump’s tax returns and probe whether his actions are profiting Trump himself at the public’s expense.
    “The president is working for the American people, I believe he is,” Ernst said to a new round of boos. “But when it’s warranted I’m going to stand up and say something.”
    Asked afterward if she would support legislation that would bar Trump from running for reelection if he doesn’t release his tax returns, she said: “I wouldn’t prohibit somebody for running for election if he doesn’t release tax returns.”

    maybe someone should tell her that’s the best way to castrate that particular pig

  17. 17
    Lapassionara says:

    Thanks, Betty, for going and for giving us a lively account of the event.

  18. 18
    SFAW says:

    who squandered their questions to imply opponents are Soros-funded outside agitators and who are actually still screaming “Benghazi” and “Lock her up” even now.

    No mention of Alinksy? Not even one? If not, then they really ARE tools.

    Of course, per Jim Parene’s comment above, I think hilarity would have ensued had someone started talking about Shitgibbon’s traitorous behavior, or asking whether Shitgibbon’s treason* could be considered a “high crime” or “misdemeanor,” thus requiring the House to impeach.

    *I realize that, in legal terms, what he’s done is (probably) not considered actual treason. It’s more “firing for effect.” Or maybe “running it up the flagpole and see who shits in the woods.” Or something.

  19. 19
    WereBear says:

    @Corner Stone: Petty pathetic power grabs.

    Who knew they could weaponize it?

  20. 20
    debbie says:

    I heard a report about Joanie Ernst’s town hall. Pretty rowdy, but she’s still planning on holding a town hall in each of Iowa’a 99 counties. Pretty amazing if she actually does that.

  21. 21
    TFinSF says:

    Trumpcare would eliminate coverage for services that man desperately needs, which is one reason I oppose it!

    I doubt penis enlargement surgery was ever covered by most Obamacare plans.

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    @debbie:

    heard a report about Joanie Ernst’s town hall.

    I don’t care if the candidate running against Ernst is Left Shark. I am going to early max donate to whoever runs against her when her time comes back up.

  23. 23
    germy says:

    Never mind not yielding in traffic. They purposely cause seizures:

    On December 15, Newsweek senior writer and Vanity Fair contributor Kurt Eichenwald appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight where Carlson accused Eichenwald of being partisan in his reporting on Donald Trump during the presidential campaign. Soon after the appearance, Eichenwald, who suffers from epilepsy, received a number of Twitter messages that were designed to induce a seizure, and one of those messages achieved its goal.

    John Rayne Rivello, 29, was arrested by the FBI on Friday morning at his Salisbury, Md., home and charged with cyberstalking, Newsweek reported. Eichenwald claims the message sent by Rivello caused him to have an epileptic seizure. The message, sent by Rivello using the handle @jew_goldstein, read, “You deserve a seizure” and had a strobing image attached.

    Soon after, Eichenwald’s wife tweeted from his account, “This is his wife, you caused a seizure. I have your information and have called the police to report the assault.”

    A few days later, Eichenwald filed a petition requesting expedited discovery to allow him to ask Twitter for help identifying the perpetrator. Three months later, the FBI arrested Rivello, who is a registered Republican.

    What is it Gomer Pyle used to say? “Surprise, surprise, surprise”

  24. 24
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @debbie: I think Joanie just called for Drumpf to release his tax returns…

    Oh yeah… she did… maybe she’s worried about getting re-elected?

    Prolly a good idea to keep the pressure up at this point…

    BTW… it seems as though Politco has decided to try and do some serious reporting and stop being just a conservative cheer leading team… perhaps Drumpf is turning out to be too much for them too… just wondering…

  25. 25
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    Hi from OK. Blog is a lifesaver!

  26. 26
  27. 27
    debbie says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I confess to being one of those assholes from time to time. I’m so sick of someone pulling out right in front of me when there’s no one behind me and then driving 20 miles below the limit; or someone cutting right in front of me, only to immediately hit the brakes to make a turn; or suddenly turn right from the left lane; or any number of stupid things. I’m not proud of myself when I’m yelling or honking, but there it is. Last year was the first time in my life that I’ve had to drive in rush hour, and I have not been able to adjust to it.

  28. 28
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I am going to early max donate to whoever runs against her when her [Ernst’s] time comes back up.

    At this point, Democrats could run someone just short of Hannibal Lecter and still get my vote over any Republican… I just don’t want to win… I want to see the Republican Party destroyed…

  29. 29
    debbie says:

    @germy:

    I’m glad they got him. That was despicable.

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @germy: These people are monsters. I don’t know how this country can continue if they are not forced back under the rocks from beneath they first crawled.

  31. 31
    hitchhiker says:

    Thx for MAGAt, Betty. Also, I would not be able to prevent myself from spitting on the shoes of someone shouting about unborn babies.

  32. 32
    MattF says:

    It appears that you had an encounter with the dregs of the Trumpite party. They sound unhappy.

  33. 33
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    Trumpcare would eliminate coverage for services that man desperately needs, which is one reason I oppose it!

    Ya mean, like prescription drugs for his delusional disorder?

    Actually mebbe an asshat like the clown in the picture serves a purpose… if just ONE voter sees him and decides to run like hell from the Trump camp…

  34. 34
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @debbie:

    Iowa has 99 counties? I think CA only has fifty-something.

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    @debbie: Those are totally different situations. I always keep a wary eye out for the asshole that comes screaming in the “merging” lane well past where it terminates but they demand they should have the right to fit in 15 spots ahead of everyone else orderly mixing in together.
    Yeah, buddy. You’re so special and so much better than everyone who knew this forced merge was coming for the last mile.
    I hate those people and I confess a small feeling of satisfied spite when they meet up with the other asshole who refuses to let anyone ahead of them in line.

  36. 36
    MattF says:

    @debbie: Part of my daily commute is on the DC beltway, but, mercifully, in the direction opposite to most of the rush hour traffic. Every once in a while, I look at the slowly creeping masses of cars on the other side of the median, and wonder how long it would take to go crazy from commuting in that direction.

  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    Iowa has 99 counties? I think CA only has fifty-something.

    Georgia has 159(!) — second only to Texas’ 254.

  38. 38

    I couldn’t help but notice that it was the MAGAts who selfishly refused to allow people to merge, thus slowing the process of egress for all.

    So much for Jon Stewart’s “you go first, I’ll go next…” thing. Or maybe it’s folk in New York are more meek and courteous than the folk on Floriduh.

  39. 39
    debbie says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    Yep, just confirmed that in Google. Ohio has 88.

  40. 40
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    Diane Feinstein, replying to a question* outside a fundraiser in LA yesterday…

    “I think sending sons to another country to make a financial deal for his company and then have that covered with government expense, I believe those government expenses should not be allowed,” she said, alluding to a recent trip by Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump to Dubai, where they opened a new golf club.

    *link goes to Politico…

    Less than 2 months in office, and Drumpf’s already got a DINO like Feinstein talking like this… apparently she was quite… ashen faced… leaving a briefing w/ Comey about Drumpf’s Russian problems earlier in the week…

  41. 41
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): Some of the California counties a huge, in terms of square miles…

  42. 42
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Apparently, Grassley had a similar disposition. But party over country for the GOP, as it has been since the days of Saint Ronnie…

  43. 43

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): Yeah, Iowa has 99 counties, which probably have some historical reason for existing, but I have no idea what it is.

    Even more incredibly, it has a tourist board, which has been hearing from people canceling their Iowa vacations (???) because of Steve King’s comments.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: They’re all really small things. Oregon, Nevada, and California have counties larger than entire states.

  45. 45
    Corner Stone says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: Honest Q, where would I seek to vacation in Iowa?

  46. 46
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    I am old enough to remember with the Republican party was an actual political movement and not just an excuse for white people to act like jackasses.

  47. 47
    Eljai says:

    That woman shouting about unborn babies really disgusts me. I live in a blue district and at the town hall I attended, there was a 9-year-old boy who endured a slew of invasive procedures to overcome leukemia. When he said, “I am only 9 years old, but I know that health care is complicated,” the audience cheered. Slashing benefits that would push that kid’s family into bankruptcy is not “pro-life” and no republican should ever be allowed to use that term ever again.

  48. 48
    germy says:

    I found this rather alarming:
    http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2.....leaks-cia/

    He has not destroyed the source codes that came to him with Vault 7, the algorithms that run these programs, and he hasn’t categorically ruled out releasing them into the wild, where they would be available to any cyber-criminal, state actor, or random hacker. This means that he is not just a fugitive, he is a fugitive who is armed and dangerous.

  49. 49
    Betty says:

    Glenn Thompson, Central PA Republican Congressman, announces he is a no vote on the AHCA. While he has not held any Town Hall meetings, his office has gotten lots of angry calls from constituents. So important to keep up the resistance.

  50. 50
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @PsiFighter37: Ya know… I don’t think we’ve EVER had a POTUS who so appears to be a Russian agent before… and this situation is going south so fast…

    I’m beginning to think that even Republicans won’t be able to stomach this much longer… Drumpf’s too much of a threat to the entire world… it’d be my guess they’ll try to avoid impeachment over the Russian issues and simply say he’s unfit for office (Article 4 of the 25th Amendment) or it’s because of ethical problems due to the way he’s violating the Emoluments Clause…

    Yeah, the GOP will take a huge hit but they’ll also have a chance at sweeping the whole Russian imbroglio under the rug and avoid having the entire party branded as traitors… and maybe even avoid a nuclear incident on the S Asian mainland…

    Every time Drumpf opens his mouth or tweets, he creates a new problem and none of the old ones ever get resolved or go away… this is rapidly becoming intolerable for everyone…

  51. 51
    trollhattan says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:
    San Berdoo is over 20k mi2. Yuge.

  52. 52
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Corner Stone:

    In the cornfield, of course.

  53. 53
    raven says:

    @trollhattan: We are the smallest county in Ga, 121 sq miles.

  54. 54
    germy says:

    @MattF:

    Every once in a while, I look at the slowly creeping masses of cars on the other side of the median, and wonder how long it would take to go crazy from commuting in that direction.

    We watch antenna TV, so we see a lot of car commercials. A truly realistic car commercial would feature a soul-killing traffic jam. Instead they show people happily zipping along on empty roads.

    The automobile culture is supposed to be all about FREEDOM but I’d rather read a book or magazine on a train.

  55. 55

    @Corner Stone: The one thing the article cites is RAGBRAI (The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa). People come from all over every summer and thousands of them ride from the Missouri on the west to the Mississippi on the east.

    I suppose you could come for U of I’s summer writers work shop, though that’s not really a vacation. The Herbert Hoover Museum? The Amana Colonies? The Field of Dreams? Honestly, those are nice but I can’t see coming here just for them.

  56. 56

    @trollhattan: Riverside County’s not all that much smaller.

  57. 57
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone: I once actually DELIBERATELY visited Iowa for something to see in Iowa…the Field of Dreams outside of Dyersville…which is on the other side of the state from King’s district. When I visited, it was only half there…the diamond and part of right field. Left field and center field were on another farmer’s property, and were covered in corn. Still, a magical place.

  58. 58
    laura says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): 58 counties. Some dinky, some very large.

  59. 59
    skerry says:

    Indiana has 92 counties. We had to memorize all of them in 4th grade.

  60. 60
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: And if some of those counties could have their own way, they’d probably BE states…

  61. 61
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @trollhattan: Just looked at a map… San Berdoo is the largest county in CA…

  62. 62
    max says:

    but earlier this year, district lines were redrawn, and we ended up with wingnut knob Vern Buchanan.

    Condolences. I was in Frank Wolf’s district but they redrew around me so I was in Goodlatte’s district (aka the shittiest district of them all). So I’m in the same district with the head of the America Nazi party. (But he’s at the other end of the state because the district is yyyuuuuggggeeee.)

    Here’s a truly deranged asshole who was waving a Trump flag and screaming at the crowd about John Podesta being a “Satanic pedophile.”

    The nutcases are really into Pizzagate. ‘It’s not about a pizza place,’ is the current slogan, which is a pretty good version of ‘we just made some shit up.’

    I also came away with even more contempt for Trump fans, who squandered their questions to imply opponents are Soros-funded outside agitators and who are actually still screaming “Benghazi” and “Lock her up” even now.

    Isn’t it fascinating how Mittens was still squealing about the Iran hostage crisis 30 years later, and now they’re screaming about 4 guys in Libya, and at no point are they particularly concerned with all those guys with PTSD who lost care from the VA from budget cuts? It’s like its some kind of purely political bullshit and they don’t care about dead soldiers at all.

    max
    [‘Glad you went!’]

  63. 63
    raven says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    WADENA, IA — “It had all the elements, people, drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll, lawsuits, tripped-out hippies and parents looking for their runaways,” wrote a Gazette reporter who covered the Wadena Rock Festival in 1970.

    It was a gas!

    ome of the rock groups that played in the continuous program were Johnny Winter, The Fuse, Illinois Speed Press, Rotary Connection, the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Chicken Shack, Mason Profit, Buffie St. Marie and Little Richard. Wine, beer and drugs were easily available along with sno-cones in the searing heat.

  64. 64
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    I was last in Iowa in 1980. My folks had read a schlock book called We Are the Earthquake generation that posited CA would fall into the ocean. I applied to ISU in Ames. A tornado touched down nearby and my parents decided they preferred earthquakes.

    I can’t imagine going there on vacation other than to see old Auntie Mabel.

    Of course, parts of CA are utterly dreadful. I imagine IA must have its charms.

  65. 65
    efgoldman says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Except for that asshole who is upset over John Podesta

    Maybe he really, really hates risotto.

  66. 66
    Lyrebird says:

    @Betty: WooT!!! Thanks for the news… GT Thompson makes a lot more effort to come across as actually _representing_ people than Toomey ever has, even long-haired hippie professor people with whom he disagrees.

  67. 67
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: It’s the single largest county in the entire United States. Alaska doesn’t have counties, it has boroughs, and they’re HUGE too.

  68. 68
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: I believe Bob Novak used to brag about vacationing on a lake in Iowa, because he wan’t one of those coastal elites like the Clintons* going to… the Cape or the Vineyard, I forget which. Maybe it was the one mentioned in your linked article? Lake Okoboji.

    * yes, this is a memory I have of something utterly meaningless and that I have carried around for twenty years or so. SMDH at myself.

  69. 69
    trollhattan says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:
    Spirit Lake and Okaboji region up in the northwest is a legitimately nice destination for outdoorsy and fishing types. Surrounded by a crapton of corn and soy.

    I do know a few folks who did RAGBRAI, really enjoyed it.

  70. 70
    laura says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Feinstein had that same stricken look before. It was when she announced that San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk had been gunned down in City Hall by Supervisor Dan White.

  71. 71
    jeffreyw says:

    I swear they must be teaching folks that the merge sign means “proceed after everyone goes by then enter at the end, but slowly”. Don’t get me started.

  72. 72
    Jay S says:

    What is up with that flag? I don’t see on sale anywhere. Is this some custom job? Is there a create a flag company out there for one off flags?

  73. 73

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): I’ve come to appreciate how easy it is to live here–low crime, no traffic, low cost of living. Places in the state are pretty, but it’s flat and treeless where I live. Most of all, it’s homogeneous and boring, though the presence of the University of Northern Iowa helps some here.

    We moved here for work. It would not have been my first choice.

  74. 74
    Betty says:

    @Lyrebird: Yes, Toomey has been really pathetic, hiding from everyone. So much for his promise not to be a rubber stamp for Trump. Nevertheless, constituents are continuing to contact his office. Resist.

  75. 75
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @laura: So in DifFi’s mind, Drumpf is now on par w/ Dan White?

    Again, this situation is rapidly becoming intolerable for everyone… except maybe Putin…

  76. 76
    efgoldman says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You’re so special and so much better than everyone who knew this forced merge was coming for the last mile.

    Every once in a while, when there’s a construction merger closing a lane, a state cop puts his/her cruiser in the merging lane and just stops the assholes and makes them wait. It gives me great joy.

  77. 77
    efgoldman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    folk in New York are more meek and courteous than the folk on Floriduh.

    Their insurance rates are much, much higher.

  78. 78

    At least you got a town hall. My rep, Stefanik, is doing the tele-town hall cop-out. That will be remembered in 2018. Every Dem running for prez since Reagan, with the exception of Trumpski, has won the district. I believe being tied to him in a year and a half won’t be so much the good thing.

  79. 79
    trollhattan says:

    @laura:
    I don’t want to read too much into all this but members of Congress keep implying, through things said and non-verbal responses that they know things not just troublesome to the administration but to the country. Right now nobody is actually running the place and we’re relying on inertia and luck.

  80. 80
    A Ghost to Most says:

    While stationed in Omaha, we often went to a nice lake SE of there. Other than that, all I remember is rolling hills, corn, and pork.

  81. 81
    gene108 says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    So much for Jon Stewart’s “you go first, I’ll go next…” thing. Or maybe it’s folk in New York are more meek and courteous than the folk on Floriduh.

    Driving into NYC* several times a year, to visit my brother, I find big city drivers to be very accommodating in regards to merges, lane closures, etc.

    I live in the NJ side of the greater Philadelphia area and folks here are pretty mellow in that regards, too.

    There are just a lot of people, by American standards, in not a huge amount of space, so you get used to having to share the road.

    * What makes driving in NYC so hard are the pedestrians. They are at every intersection, just waiting, for the light to change, so they can cross the street. And here you are all ready to zip through, or turn, and have to wait for them to get across to safety because running one of them over is a big no, no.

  82. 82
    Jay S says:

    @Jay S: And I Google custom flag printing and find that of course there are custom flag outfits. Even Staples does it. I remember now actually looking at these in researching something else. I never would have thought of putting someone’s face on one. It looks so third world.

  83. 83
    Brendan says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Yes, and it’s important for some of us to run against these wingers. We should be running for every office, everywhere–congress, city councils, library boards, school boards. We’ve got to turn the enthusiasm we see here in this long line into political power. Let’s learn from the Tea Party. Take power wherever and whenever possible. If only to get the megaphone for ideas that a campaign (and of course, a public office) provides.

  84. 84
    Achrachno says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Larger than entire countries even.

  85. 85
    JoJo says:

    The Jim Sensenbrenner town hall today got pretty loud. About 80/20 our way, just like Betty’s. Americans for Prosperity tried to get people there, but we outnumbered them by a whole lot. He plans to vote for RyanTrumpKare.

  86. 86
    Betty Cracker says:

    Y’all would have cheered the town hall questions from the non-Trumpites, which included the following (paraphrasing, obvs):

    1. Aren’t you embarrassed and/or alarmed by Trump’s bizarre behavior, such as the baseless accusations against President Obama and the made-up crap about our ally spying on Trump at PBO’s behest?

    2. Why can’t we cut expenses on shuttling Trump back and forth to FL, move Melania to the White House to reduce security expenses in NYC and use the savings to fund Meals on Wheels?

    3. Why is Trumpcare shoveling money to rich people and screwing so many seniors in FL?

    4. How can so-called Christians promote such a cruel budget?

    5. Why is Trump proposing to gut the EPA and State Dept. when climate change is such a pressing issue and the world is in such turmoil, making diplomacy more important than ever?

    6. Do we really need a huge build-up in arms when we already spend more on the military than the next seven countries combined?

    And on like that. I should also note this was a decidedly older crowd, and probably 90% white, but the vast majority aren’t buying what Trump is selling, which is good to know.

    Buchanan sure was singing a different tune today. When the Trumpcare bill was released, he praised it. Today, he said it had all sorts of huge problems that had to be addressed before he’d support it. More than once, he said it was like “the third inning in a nine-inning game” and asked people not to judge the bill as it is right now.

    Buchanan also noted at least twice that Trump had only been in office a couple of months and that we should “give him a chance,” for which he received long and sustained booing. He sought to distance himself from Trump at every opportunity. I find that encouraging.

  87. 87
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @JoJo:

    He plans to vote for RyanTrumpKare.

    Just make sure you hang that vote around his neck like an albatross…

  88. 88
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Betty Cracker: Well clearly, THOSE questions were asked by UNPATRIOTIC PAID AGITATORS trying undermine Drumpf’s agenda!

  89. 89
    Nan says:

    @debbie: While I live in rural Maine, I used to live in Boston, and I still drive in the greater Boston area occasionally. I completely believe in share and share alike, EXCEPT when someone has zoomed up a lane known to be closed, or the breakdown lane, and then wants to get in front of me. Then I completely ug the bumper of the car in front of me.

  90. 90
  91. 91
    JanieM says:

    @gene108:

    Driving into NYC* several times a year, to visit my brother, I find big city drivers to be very accommodating in regards to merges, lane closures, etc.

    You clearly haven’t been to Boston lately. ;-)

    Then again, not everyone considers Boston to be a big city, so there’s that.

  92. 92
    smintheus says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m one of those @ssh0les. I commute on a 2 lane highway that is clogged with big rigs. Local developers decided to turn farmland next to our highways into trans-shipping warehouses, and the typically overweight trucks flood even our local, hilly roads. I am so sick of them creating daily traffic snarls that I force my way around them any way I can, including merging at the last minute.

    I try to be courteous to car drivers, but they are so angry at the traffic hell that they almost always take advantage of the slightest courtesy. For ex., if I signal that I’m going to enter the passing lane then a car will almost invariably zoom up from behind to try to squeeze me out. Often I’ll just drive the entire 35 miles in the left lane, no matter my speed, to prevent some jerk from playing chicken with me.

  93. 93
    Captain C says:

    @max:

    and now they’re screaming about 4 guys in Libya, and at no point are they particularly concerned with all those guys with PTSD who lost care from the VA from budget cuts

    Judging by their budgets, they don’t even care about the security of diplomats, such as the 4 guys in Libya.

  94. 94
    JanieM says:

    @Nan: This is me to a T, rural Maine and all. But I rarely have to drive in Boston these days, thank goodness. I might be dead of a road rage incident if I did.

  95. 95
    trollhattan says:

    @A Ghost to Most:
    Whoa. Nice work combining dollar sign and swastika.

  96. 96
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @A Ghost to Most: That is brilliant.

  97. 97
    frosty says:

    @Betty: I’m leaving a voicemail for Toomey every week or so. Same with Casey, who has also gone straight to voicemail every time. My Freedom Caucus rep, however, has a nice staff taking calls at the local office.

  98. 98
    Captain C says:

    @max:

    and now they’re screaming about 4 guys in Libya, and at no point are they particularly concerned with all those guys with PTSD who lost care from the VA from budget cuts

    Judging by their budgets, they don’t even care about the security of diplomats, such as the 4 guys in Libya.

  99. 99
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JanieM: I think Boston drivers consider it to be a blood sport.

    Still, while driving in Boston is an experience, driving in Paris or Rome is so much more of one. Then there’s Napoli, which is even more so.

  100. 100
    Captain C says:

    @gene108: Most New Yorkers (at least the ones from NYC) are very good about respecting the zipper, that is, each lane takes turns merging one car at a time. Pushing your way in is very frowned upon.

  101. 101
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    even in deep red Texas

    J.D. Miles‏Verified account @ jdmiles11 1h1 hour ago
    “I understand why you’re so frustrated, you don’t know how to listen” @ PeteSessions during town hall meeting to crowd shouting him down

  102. 102
    gene108 says:

    @max:

    Or he’s all-in on the John Podesta “Pool Party” conspiracy:

    With enormous gratitude to Advance Man Extraordinaire Haber, I am popping up again to share our excitement about the Reprise of Our Gang’s visit to the farm in Lovettsville. And I thought I’d share a couple more notes: We plan to heat the pool, so a swim is a possibility. Bonnie will be Uber Service to transport Ruby, Emerson, and Maeve Luzzatto (11, 9, and almost 7) so you’ll have some further entertainment, and they will be in that pool for sure. And with the forecast showing prospects of some sun, and a cooler temp of lower 60s, I suggest you bring sweaters of whatever attire will enable us to use our outdoor table with a pergola overhead so we dine al fresco (and ideally not al-CHILLo).

    (The email was posted via Wikileaks and reposted on a bunch of conspiracy theory blogs, which I am not linking to because I do not want them to get more clicks)

    The bolded portion is definitive proof, for many, Podesta is a pedophile, because why else would you find kids entertaining, if you were not planning to molest them in a hot tub?

    #Pizzagate is so far into the weeds people, who believe in it and all associated conspiracy theories will never give up their beliefs.

  103. 103
    cain says:

    Off topic – This blew me away. To think that a American woman could lose her citizenship because she married a foreigner but not the other way around.. wow.. just wow…

  104. 104
    philpm says:

    @Corner Stone: Here is one I definitely recommend: <a href="http://www.nationalballoonclassic.com/&quot; rel="National Balloon Classic"

  105. 105
    Aleta says:

    @Corner Stone: That was typical Trump staged propaganda, exploiting Merkyl as their prop.

    They lassoed Merkyl into a meeting (on job training at IBM, BMW, etc.–which
    1. is not a German priority for this trip; and
    2. the Trumps don’t give a real fuck about– seeing as they have just cut funding for good existing programs. (If IvT had any influence or a heart, she would have done some actual work to prevent that.)

    They sit IT down next to Merkyl for the photo and send out a fake story to go with it. Oh, IvT is the good fairy who counteracts her father the ogre! They have no scruples about using up Merkyl’s time for this.

    Along with Beauty and the Beast, they offered this second fairytale to media outlets (which each printed it straight, no fact checking, no questions asked):

    A White House official said Merkel’s staff reached out to Ivanka Trump about setting up the meeting. During the session, Trump and Merkel talked with American and German executives and discussed how companies can better train workers. Ivanka Trump, who recruited the American executives in attendance, guided the discussion. This was the second international workforce meeting coordinated with Ivanka Trump. During Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit last month, she helped organize a meeting on economic development opportunities for women. That came together at the suggestion of Trudeau’s office. She praised her father’s “commitment to creating millions of jobs” and stressed the need for private investment, noting that “ingenuity, creativity often comes from the determination of the private sector.”

    –(CNN and ABC)

  106. 106
    trollhattan says:

    @A Ghost to Most:
    Wonder if the Tea Party misses the good old days?

  107. 107
    EriktheRed says:

    And again, my non-wingnut (but very weaselly) Congresscritter, Adam Kinzinger, has not had a townhall yet and the way things are looking, never will.

  108. 108
    Captain C says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I think Boston drivers consider it to be a blood sport.

    A blood sport with Calvinball rules.

    Tbilisi, Georgia, though, may have the most insane drivers. I was there on exchange in January of 1991, and I recall a driver who, on a wide avenue with three lanes going each way, pull a U-turn, in traffic, from the rightmost lane going one way to the opposite rightmost lane going the other way. Amazingly, no cars collided. I was informed by one of our hosts that the only traffic accidents involved Russians or other Georgians.

  109. 109
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Captain C: I experienced something similar south of Seoul. We’re sitting in a two left turn lanes part of the street, with three lanes to the right. Woman passes us on the left, against the light, and makes a right turn across five lanes of traffic.

  110. 110
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    That’s great.

  111. 111
    Eric S. says:

    Help! Please define MAGA. id your response is for my lazy ass to click on the Lexicon I can accept that too.

  112. 112
    BCHS Class of 1980 says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): You get that in the West. The largest county in area in the US is San Bernardino, CA which is the size of 55-county WV.

  113. 113
    scav says:

    @cain: The ability of married female foreigners could get citizenship in their own right was rather unclear and dicey too. Nat Archives

  114. 114
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Eric S.: MAGA:

    M.ake
    A.merica
    G.reat
    A.gain

  115. 115
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Eric S.: MAGA = Make America Great Again, Donald’s perpetual campaign slogan, stolen from the shitty grade Z movie star.

  116. 116
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Eric S.:

    Bless your heart, you’ve managed to make it this far without knowing what MAGA is! I wish I were you!

  117. 117
    Aleta says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Oh I thought it was Make America Groan in Agony

  118. 118
    trollhattan says:

    @zhena gogolia:
    I thought it was a type of Japanese animation.

  119. 119
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Aleta: I won’t disagree w/ you…

  120. 120
    JoJo says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Such is our plan. He’s in a rich, really gerrymandered district, so he’ll be tough to beat in 2018, but a federal court recently decided Wisconsin’s districts were too gerrymandered and that there needs to be a non-partisan redistricting. State Republicans are fighting it (using taxpayer money! Woohoo!), so we’ll see.

  121. 121
    gene108 says:

    @JanieM:

    It’s been awhile, since I had to drive in Boston. I get your point. 😋👊🏽

  122. 122
    japa21 says:

    @Aleta: Actually , you are all wrong. It Is Make America Grate (on everybody’s’ nerves) Again. And Trump has been very successful with that.

  123. 123
    Suzanne says:

    @Corner Stone:

    In my almost daily commute I see these assholes who refuse to let even *one* car ahead of them in their race to get wherever it is they are going. There are a number of forced merge lanes on my way in and out and I always find myself thinking, “Man, I don’t care if you go ahead of me, everyone’s going to have fit somewhere.”

    A couple of months ago, I encountered one of these people. About a quarter-mile before a freeway onramp, a car had broken down in the right lane and so we all had to move over into the middle lane, then move back into the right if we wanted to get on the freeway. This woman would NOT let me back in. So I rolled my window down and yelled at her. She replied that she “had waited in line”, and I yelled back, “IT’S NOT A LINE!” I was so annoyed that day that I kind of lost my shit. Like, who cares if someone goes ahead of you? I think I was suffering from Post-election stress. #socialcontractenforcer

  124. 124
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @japa21: Make Americans Grovel Again?

  125. 125
  126. 126
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @JoJo:

    but a federal court recently decided Wisconsin’s districts were too gerrymandered and that there needs to be a non-partisan redistricting.

    Geez… this seems to be happening all over the country…

    What’s that phrase… Herrenvolk democracy?

  127. 127
    J. says:

    Proud to know you, Betty. Keep up the great work. You make me feel even more fortunate to have two good Dems as my Senators and a good guy Democrat as my Rep.

  128. 128
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    I’m beginning to think that even Republicans won’t be able to stomach this much longer… Drumpf’s too much of a threat to the entire world… it’d be my guess they’ll try to avoid impeachment over the Russian issues and simply say he’s unfit for office (Article 4 of the 25th Amendment) or it’s because of ethical problems due to the way he’s violating the Emoluments Clause…

    What’s soon means is the question. My dad’s bet is around the new years is when it will come to head, but I am more personally incline to think this summer because the budget will be such a mess and an actual functioning president will be needed to resolve it and the GOP won’t let a crises linger into the House Primaries were even the safe Republican seats are vulnerable.

  129. 129
    Betty Cracker says:

    @JoJo: We got put in Buchanan’s district after extreme GOP gerrymandering was disallowed by the courts. I’m sad to lose my sane Dem rep, but I’m in favor of the remedy, and hey, now I get to be a pain in Buchanan’s ass! I’m still trying to figure out how much of an effect redistricting will have on Buchanan’s reelection chances. I think he won his last election by a 20+ margin, but that was under the old district lines. Still a pretty solidly conservative district, I think.

  130. 130
    Yarrow says:

    @Betty Cracker: Thanks for the update, Betty! Those questions are awesome. Good for your fellow constituents and good for you for going!

  131. 131
    SenyorDave says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: maybe someone should tell her that’s the best way to castrate that particular pig

    Its a little late, but if the Secret Service could hold shitgibbon down maybe Joni could use her expertise. It would certainly be a benefit to humanity if we knew for a fact that orange blob couldn’t reproduce.

  132. 132
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Brendan:

    Yes, and it’s important for some of us to run against these wingers.

    I’m exploring running for County Commissioner in 2018. The incumbent is terming out and is planning to run his ex-wife in his stead. They view the position as a family sinecure. I guess even ex-spouses are better than letting non-kinfolk do the job.

    ETA: They’re not wingers, but they are old-school hacks and in the pocket of the oil and gas interests and anyone else with skid-greasing inclinations.

  133. 133
    Gretchen says:

    I keep telling you guys to watch the special election for Mike Pompeo’s seat in Kansas. The dem candidate, James Thompson, is out knocking on doors with lots of volunteers every weekend and talking to any group who’ll have him. He’s held 4 debates with the Libertarian and an empty seat labeled Ron Estes. Estes is a Brownback ally and Brownback is less popular than pond scum here. Thompson hammers home the point that if Estes can’t be bothered to listen to you now, he sure won’t once he’s in Washington. 50 people showed up at my rep, Yoder’s office yesterday to demand a town hall and protest the health care law. This is not the election to avoid voters.

  134. 134
    Yarrow says:

    @A Ghost to Most:
    From your link about the billboard:

    But look closely at the mushroom clouds and you’ll see clown faces.

    Clowns!

    Suzanne, the billboard is in Phoenix. Have you seen it or discussion of it?

  135. 135
    Suzanne says:

    @Yarrow: Yep. It’s close to my office. I think it’s funny. I also saw the MAGA billboard that had swastikas sprayed on it. It was quickly covered up.

  136. 136
    Baud says:

    @Gretchen: That would be fantastic. Especially in Kansas.

  137. 137
    trollhattan says:

    @Gretchen:
    Sounds good. Know hope.

  138. 138
    randy khan says:

    Kudos for going, Betty, and thanks for the report. If we can get 80-20 in this kind of district (admittedly in the city part of it), that’s a great sign.

  139. 139

    @max: @gene108:

    The nutcases are really into Pizzagate. ‘It’s not about a pizza place,’ is the current slogan, which is a pretty good version of ‘we just made some shit up.’

    I thought it was about ethics in email servers.

  140. 140
    Jim Parene says:

    @Corner Stone: Good question.

  141. 141
    efgoldman says:

    @JanieM:

    I rarely have to drive in Boston these days

    I grew up, lived for most of my first 55 years, and learned to drive around Boston, Now that we live in RI, when our kids fly up from DC, I pay the difference for them to fly into Providence instead of Logan, to avoid that fucking “Expressway” (I-93)

  142. 142
    JoJo says:

    @Betty Cracker: We’re cautiously optimistic about our chances in Wisconsin. The Western Wisconsin District Court found in our favor, even with a Reagan appointee. They used the “efficiency gap” for their argument, and it worked. A local state rep filled a gathering of progressive groups in my town in about the case, and said that there was a good chance we would win at the Supreme Court level as well. This would really change the face of Wisconsin’s government, Scott Walker aside. Getting rid of Sensenbrenner will be a bigger challenge. He is attached to his congressional seat like a barnacle.

  143. 143
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @Corner Stone: ok@Gretchen: l@Corner Stone: As a delivery driver, I as a rule will let tractor trailers in, I get ugly looks from other drivers but f*** em.

  144. 144
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    but I am more personally incline to think this summer

    I agree… sooner than later… Drumpf hasn’t even made it thru two months, or just two, and look at how many nearly intractable problems he’s causing nearly everybody he comes in contact w/…

    The wall is just flat out a bad idea and even if it gets started, I doubt if it ever gets finished because it’ll turn out to be far, far, far more expensive than first imagined…

    His budget proposal is a disaster for everyone… wait until GOP reps & senators start fighting about whose district has to absorb which loss…

    Healthcare makeover is as bad as his combover and just as ridiculous…

    About the only foreign leader he hasn’t alienated yet is Putin and even Vlad’s probably worried about what he’s done…

    Already come way too close to starting a nuclear war in NE Asia…

    Jeeeeesus Keeeerist… Drumpf himself is one of the deadest WsMD I’ve ever seen… a one man wrecking crew, before you even get to thinking about Bannon, Sessions, Pruitt, Perry, DeVos…

    And we haven’t even started discussing his Russian problems…

    He’s gone, and sooner than later…

    ETA: And we also didn’t get into the ethics issues and the Emoluments clause problems, or the fact that even the MSM and members of his own party are beginning to question of he’s ‘reality challenged’…

    The GOP will dump him when it becomes unpossible to ignore the threat he poses to THEIR survival…

  145. 145
    J R in WV says:

    @Corner Stone:

    …where would I seek to vacation in Iowa?

    I haven’t been through Iowa, ever, it’s one of those upper midwest places we haven’t visited yet.

    But we did drive through Kansas a while back, mostly on non-freeway roads. It was a beautiful drive, rolling hills in places, flat productive farms in other places. A neighbor and old friend has family in Dakota, and once disked a quarter-section of land, 1/4 of a square mile, before lunch one day. He just did it to say he had done it, I think. Or maybe he was bored?

    Flat plowed ground, and a huge machine being driven by a careful guy. Still amazing to me. You couldn’t unload that equipment on my “farm” there isn’t a flat place big enough to hold it, let alone turn it around.

    But just because it isn’t huge canyons and mountains, white water falling, etc, doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful, especially in the places where you can’t plow, where elevation changes, where streams have changed the flat into shallow valleys.

    In Kansas there were little museums in the small towns, with amazing artifacts both of recent pioneer days history, and ancient fossils from creek banks. We met a man with a dinosaur named for him, that he found in chalk beds by a creek and that wound up in the Field Museum, which asked him to visit Chicago to help them put his find together properly, and paid his way to do it. He was 87.

    Mostly everyone in Kansas was nice, even the cop who pulled me over for not having a license plate – TL;DR. I won’t even type it. No tickets, nice chat, he was a farmer working as a Deputy to have cash flow and health insurance. We both had F-350s, needed them to work.

    ETA: We haven’t been to the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, or Nebraska. I think I’ve been to every other state but Alaska. Haven’t been to the Michigan UP either…

  146. 146
    JoJo says:

    A picture from today’s Jim Sensenbrenner town hall in West Allis, WI.

    https://twitter.com/Lps1968/status/843196130104098816

  147. 147
    Tim C. says:

    @debbie: ooh ooh! It’s all about transortation tech at the time the lines were drawn, faster transport and communication means bigger counties.

  148. 148
    J R in WV says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    …Just looked at a map… San Berdoo is the largest county in CA.”

    Largest county in the USA, if you mean San Bernardino. I would like to visit San Benito county, down around San Diego, there are old gemstone mines in those mountains. I’m kinda geologically interested in rocks…

  149. 149
    Fair Economist says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    Iowa has 99 counties? I think CA only has fifty-something.

    California has very big counties – which results in it having both the most populous (LA) and the physically biggest outside of Alaska (San Bernardino). Iowa’s are a fairly ordinary size for the eastern half of the country.

  150. 150
    Yarrow says:

    @Suzanne: That’s awesome.

  151. 151
    pluky says:

    @trollhattan: Pedant alert — Manga is Japanese comic art. Sophistication level covers stuff little better than Archie, all the way up to the best graphic novels, with some skeevy digressions into what we would consider soft-core porn. Anime, is the cartoon (i.e. animated cinema) equivalent.

  152. 152
    J R in WV says:

    @J R in WV:

    Oops, San Benito is not near San Diego at all, way up north just east of Monteray and Big Sur. My mistake… been wrong about that for years! How’d I get that thought?

  153. 153
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    I think the fourth word from the end was misspelled. Didn’t you mean “blighted”?

  154. 154
    Misswhatsis says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: q I had the same thought! It was finished when I was in high school.

  155. 155
    MuckJagger says:

    Here’s a truly deranged asshole who was waving a Trump flag and screaming at the crowd about John Podesta being a “Satanic pedophile.”

    Just from looking at hit I’d bet he’d give his left nut to be a Nazi.

  156. 156
    J R in WV says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    In the distant past I drove as part of my job…

    I have been known to pull over into the empty lane where people have merged to pass a construction site, and drive the speed of the merged traffic, even with the back of a tractor trailer, to prevent A-holes from zooming past everyone. I have had maniacs behind me cursing and turning red.

    Then the Tractor driver lets me in front of him, and we leave the a-holes stuck until they threaten their way in front of someone too nice for the real world. I have driven miles like that in the past. I’m kind of over that phase of my life now.

  157. 157
    catclub says:

    @J R in WV:

    It was a beautiful drive, rolling hills in places, flat productive farms in other places.

    But I started to think of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.

  158. 158
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @MuckJagger:

    Just from looking at him I’d bet he’d give his left nut to be a Nazi.

    If they’d have him… even Nazis have standards…

    As far as giving his left nut, I’d reckon he’s outta luck on that count too… I doubt if he has either of ’em any more…

  159. 159
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gretchen: Hope y’all can flip it. That would be HUGE!

  160. 160
    No One You Know says:

    @germy: And this Rivello fellow is a director at a health insurance company that processes disability benefits? What does Unum have to say about that? How does this man still have a job?

  161. 161
    Thadeu says:

    U.S. House, Florida District 16 General Election, 2016
    Party Candidate Vote % Votes
    Republican Vern Buchanan Incumbent 59.8% 230,654
    Democratic Jan Schneider 40.2% 155,262

    This guy is primed to lose his seat if the Democrats get their act together.

  162. 162
    boatboy_srq says:

    Buchanan is a dissembling wingnut jackass, but he’s not a complete coward.

    I dare you to check out his finances, and the pressure he put on employees in his (various) enterprises to vote the way he wanted.

  163. 163
    PaulW says:

    glad you survived Betty.

    I’m sorry your district got nuked in the redrawing. Maybe now the residents there understand the costs of having a Republican in office and will vote him out.

  164. 164
    PaulW says:

    @Fair Economist:

    California has very big counties – which results in it having both the most populous (LA) and the physically biggest outside of Alaska (San Bernardino). Iowa’s are a fairly ordinary size for the eastern half of the country.

    A lot of San Bernardino is mostly desert out towards the Nevada border, isn’t it?

    County sizes were usually drawn up when the states originally formed back in the 18th-19th Centuries, for the Great Lakes and Midwest states usually in nice, grid patterns. So Iowa would have compact rectangular counties (mostly).

    Where I am – Florida – the counties were drawn more to geographic locations – rivers, lakes, bays – and disproportionate. When the population increased in the 20th century, they carved out larger counties into parts which created more disproportionate shapes. The three most populated counties (Dade, Broward, Palm Beach) are still half-filled because the western half are all Everglades/sawgrass. The smallest county – Pinellas, carved out from Hillsborough – is one of the most densely packed. Yet every other small county – especially up in the Panhandle and Georgia border region – are so lightly populated that they shouldn’t really be counties anymore (Lafayette and Liberty both below 10,000).

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