Donald Trump Is the Godfather of a Democratic Renaissance

Thomas Edsall regularly writes columns in the New York Times on statistical evaluations of political issues. Sometimes I find him too much on the “both sides do it” fence for my tastes, but he links to a wealth of polls and other data that you don’t always see elsewhere.

Today’s column is on the increasing participation by Democrats in local politics, both running for office and donating money. Balloon Juice readers are not alone in seeing the danger Donald Trump and the Republicans pose to our country and in being willing to do something about it.

The number of Democratic candidates filing for office at all levels of government has surged; the trickle of money into liberal grass-roots programs has become a flood; and turnout in post-2016 Democratic primaries has reached record levels.

This is why we must do something about it:

In 2009, according to the National Council of State Legislatures, there were 4,082 Democrats serving in state legislatures and 3,223 Republicans. By 2016, the numbers had reversed: 3,135 Democrats and 4,177 Republicans.

In 2009, Democrats controlled both the state senate and house in 27 states, the Republicans 14. After the 2016 elections, Republicans controlled both branches of the legislatures in 32 states to 14 for the Democrats.

He links to a number of organizations working on developing candidates. A useful resource.

And open thread.

Update: From valued commenter DeliciousGuac:

The DLCC (Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee) has a newish and easy to use website to highlight local/state races that are coming up.

 






265 replies
  1. 1

    Hooray for Democrats running! I hope almost all of them are actual Democrats and not the vocal we-must-kill-the-party-to-save-it ones who seem to be the bulk of the new candidates out here in the bay area.

    CNN alert says Ron Johnson now thinks he misspoke when he said McCain’s brain cancer made him too dumb to vote right. What an upstanding guy.

    I’m off to work today again, now that my two-day migraine has finished, so, yay.

  2. 2
    Jeffro says:

    I’m good with a Democratic Renaissance.

    I’m also good with a Democratic tsunami…the water version of “fire and fury”, if you will…;)

    Let’s get started! Let’s get people registered! Let’s push back HARD against the obvious vote-suppression that’s going on! Let’s leave the Kochs and Mercers high and dry, with nothing to show for their hundreds of millions spent trying to buy our democracy!!

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    Edsall gets on my nerves.

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Glad that you are feeling better :)

  5. 5

    @Jeffro: they’ll still have their hundreds of millions, but I guess taxing idle wealth into oblivion is too much to ask for.

    @rikyrah: thanks! Me too.

  6. 6

    @rikyrah: He is superficially reasonable sounding but his conclusion is always the same, this is good news for Rs and bad news for Ds, no matter what the issue.

  7. 7
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    The revolution that Susan Sarandon promised IS HERE!!!! /snark

    Honestly this is such a good thing, and a natural reaction in proportion to Trump and the GOP’s wickedness. What a dynamic world we live in.

  8. 8
    different-church-lady says:

    Now all we need is a smarter electorate.

  9. 9
    eric says:

    @Major Major Major Major: well, if there is any one in the senate who knows a thing or two about “too dumb to vote”…

  10. 10
    gene108 says:

    @Jeffro:

    The way to beat voter suppression is to win back state houses and governorships. And then push state level constitutional amendments to ban voter ID.

    I wonder how to get involved in state races? They get far less coverage than other races.

  11. 11
    Yarrow says:

    @gene108: This is absolutely true. Taking back state governments is key.

  12. 12
    DeliciousGuac says:

    @gene108: The DLCC (Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee) has a newish and easy to use website to highlight local/state races that are coming up.

    Would love to see this on BJ front page if it hasn’t been covered yet!
    https://races.dlcc.org/

  13. 13
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Greetings from Munich, where Donald Trump is not President. Don’t burn the place down while I’m gone, okay?

  14. 14
    Joe Falco says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Ron might need to check with his doctor if he has some medical condition that caused him to say that about McCain. It could be a brain tumor. Or just as bad, a chronic case of his head up his ass.

  15. 15

    @Gin & Tonic: I love Munich. Send pictures! Any plans?

  16. 16
    Betty Cracker says:

    @gene108: Join your local Democratic Party organization.

  17. 17
    geg6 says:

    @gene108:

    Contact your local or state level Dem office. They’ll have all kinds of information on where you can help.

    Really happy to see that Mike Turzai, current GOP majority leader in the PA lege and overall asshole, has a challenger and she’s a woman. She has long odds, since Turzai is fully bought and paid for by the extraction industry. But I hope she gives him fits. I donated to her.

  18. 18
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Two days here, then heading to southern Bavaria camping with friends. I may drink some beer.

  19. 19
    Steve in the ATL says:

    If anyone wants to do a Dallas meet up, I’m at gate E14 at DFW for the next 30 minutes!

  20. 20
    Amir Khalid says:

    I wish you Democrats well in your effort to take America back from what the Republican party has become. Sometimes I wish I could join in, but alas, I’m not American myself.

    For some reason, I find myself hankering after a second guitar and a bigger amplifier. I want a Squier Stratocaster this time — something cheap, I guess, like a Bullet or Affinity or California series — and a Fender Champion 100 amp, which is overkill for a beginner. (I have a Champion 20.) It’s not even three weeks since The Girl got here. I thought you weren’t supposed to get the upgrade itch this soon.

  21. 21

    In state and local races, what is the effect of Citizens United? Have there been any studies about that?

  22. 22

    @DeliciousGuac: I’ve added that to the top post.

  23. 23
    Jeffro says:

    @gene108:

    The way to beat voter suppression is to win back state houses and governorships. And then push state level constitutional amendments to ban voter ID.

    I agree about the need to win back state houses and governorships, absolutely. Not sure that I agree banning voter ID is necessary or going to be do-able – asking for ID is not unreasonable, as long as voters have both a) options for what kind of ID they can provide, and b) active state assistance in getting that ID. For options, voter ID doesn’t have to be incredibly difficult or sophisticated – it certainly doesn’t have to rise to the level of a driver’s license, passport, or other super-secure ID. For the ‘active’ part (in terms of assisting people to get their voter ID)…that would likely look different in red/purple states vs blue states. Have to think about feasible solutions there: media campaigns, lawsuits, etc.

    I wonder how to get involved in state races? They get far less coverage than other races.

    Just call up your state-level Dem party: they’ll direct you right to the nearest candidates’ campaigns and/or the state Coordinated Campaign!

  24. 24
    MomSense says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Actually what we need is for some of our smarter electorate to move to the places where the dumber electorate live. We have a demographic advantage but a significant geographic disadvantage. We need to do something like a reverse westward expansion.

  25. 25
    LAO says:

    @Amir Khalid: Who knew guitar ownership was similar to tattoos or lays potato chips. You really do learn something new everyday!

  26. 26
    MomSense says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    For some reason, I find myself hankering after a second guitar and a bigger amplifier.

    I was wondering when this would happen. That first guitar is the gateway drug.

  27. 27

    @Formerly disgruntled in Oregon:
    I will give the Leftier-Than-Thou this, highlighting the contradictions finally seems to have worked. Trump and the current congress are SO bad, liberals are pissed and motivated like no one has seen in living memory. Let’s hope that becomes permanent!

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Jeffro says:

    @Knight of Nothing: here’s three quick links to news articles about it:

    The Atlantic

    Georgetown U

    US News & World Report

    Also highly recommended: “Dark Money” by Jane Mayer. Carpet-bombing state and local races with relatively large (for these races) amounts of money is all part of the Koch’s plan.

  30. 30
    clay says:

    I just saw a CNN headline flash on my phone: “Insurers Unsure about GOP Health Plan Will Boost Obamacare Premiums and Offer Fewer Options.”

    This is nothing new, of course — we’ve known for months that insurers will bake uncertainty into their prices. (Thanks David!)

    But it struck me as an incorrect premise. Obamacare premiums aren’t being raised because there is no Obamacare. Obama has no control over it. Trump is in charge of it, and until a new law is passed and signed, he has a legal and ethical obligation to make sure that this law is fulfilled to the best of his ability.

    Call it what it is. Obamacare is dead. This is now Trumpcare.

  31. 31
    Jeffro says:

    @MomSense: Or to get rid of the Electoral College and go to a popular vote system. Or effectively get rid of it by helping the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact become reality in a few more key states.

  32. 32
    eric says:

    @Amir Khalid: one word: “pedals.” if you play with gain: Xotic pedals are awesome. I have the BB and AC Comp, and the RC. The Xotic EP is my favorite pedal for compression without loss of real tone. I put it at the end of my signal chain. Allen Hinds demos the EP

    Also Mike Hermans is PoptheChemist and demos many pedals.

    You can thank me and hate me later.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @DeliciousGuac: disappointed to see absolutely no PA races listed. It’s only the state where Democrats take it hardest on the chin through gerrymandering.

  35. 35
    randy khan says:

    @Jeffro:

    asking for ID is not unreasonable, as long as voters have both a) options for what kind of ID they can provide, and b) active state assistance in getting that ID.

    Actually, it is unreasonable.

    The premise of voter ID laws is that there’s a risk of voter impersonation fraud that needs to be addressed. In fact, though, voter impersonation fraud is essentially nonexistent – most actual voting fraud consists of people voting in the wrong places or voting twice, and even that is extremely rare. Adopting a new requirement to vote based on the maybe 10 cases of voter impersonation fraud that occur across the country every four years is irrational. Even the most voter-friendly ID requirement would result in many more voters (as in multiple orders of magnitude more voters) being denied the right to vote than illegal voters getting caught before they voted. And that doesn’t even account for the cost of putting an ID system into place.

    (By the way, you can contrast this with other laws that require ID, like buying liquor. In nearly all of those cases, there are significant, easy-to-identify risks that the law addresses. Also, as it turns out, a lot of the situations in which we get asked for photo ID are not actually required by law; you even can get on a plane without photo ID, although it is a huge pain in the neck to do so.)

  36. 36
    frosty says:

    @Amir Khalid: OMG, who knew G.A.S.* would hit so soon?

    Guitar Acquisition Syndrome

    PS i had a better comment but FYWP eated it. Oh well.

  37. 37

    @Major Major Major Major:

    CNN alert says Ron Johnson now thinks he misspoke when he said McCain’s brain cancer made him too dumb to vote right.

    I like the way he only started to think about McCain’s mental state after the vote. Because they didn’t care if he was crazy as a loon as long as he voted the way they wanted.

  38. 38
    Amir Khalid says:

    @rikyrah:
    My beautiful butterscotch-blond Squier Affinity Telecaster is named The Girl.

  39. 39
    Brachiator says:

    The number of Democratic candidates filing for office at all levels of government has surged; the trickle of money into liberal grass-roots programs has become a flood; and turnout in post-2016 Democratic primaries has reached record levels.

    This is good to see. I’m in California, where we have a more or less permanent Democratic majority, so it’s good to see what is happening elsewhere.

  40. 40
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @randy khan:
    Exactly this. Voter ID laws are ripe for abuse and represent restrictions to voter franchise. Also, it’s a solution in search of a problem. There no serious cases of voter impersonation. In short, it’s all bullshit.

    But don’t, in the meantime, stop getting IDs for as many registered voters as possible.

  41. 41
    LAO says:

    @Roger Moore: And why is “misspoke” the new “I was wrong to say.” I hate the new “weaselly” speak we let our elected officials get away with. It’s almost as infuriating as the non-apology apology, “I’m sorry if you were offended…”

    Damn, I’m cranky this am.

  42. 42
    maurinsky says:

    I have four friends who are running for office right now (all Democrats). Action Together CT is kicking-off a “blue wave” for municipal elections this fall, we are targeting campaigns across the state where we want to protect the existing candidate or get rid of a vulnerable Republican.

  43. 43
    rikyrah says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    is named The Girl.

    AWE :)

  44. 44
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Jeffro: Vote by mail – solves the BS voter ID crap. Unfortunately does not address voter registration purges.

  45. 45
    randy khan says:

    @ Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) :

    But don’t, in the meantime, stop getting IDs for as many registered voters as possible.

    Absolutely.

  46. 46
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Right – it’s just so irresponsible and reckless to intentionally “heighten the contradictions”, it makes me want to scream!

  47. 47

    @clay:
    I like that they lay the blame squarely on the GOP in that headline.

  48. 48
    WaterGirl says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I like the way he only started to think about McCain’s mental state after the vote. Because they didn’t care if he was crazy as a loon as long as he voted the way they wanted.

    Exactly!

  49. 49
    frosty says:

    @Bobby Thomson: None in PA? Does that mean it’s so well gerrymandered that none are vulnerable? Discouraging if so.

  50. 50

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    I will give the Leftier-Than-Thou this, highlighting the contradictions finally seems to have worked.

    I will not accept that conclusion until after massive election victories.

  51. 51
    rikyrah says:

    Trump’s favorite tabloid takes aim at Manafort at a key moment
    08/10/17 10:09 AM
    By Steve Benen

    The more federal investigators turn their attention to Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, the more Team Trump would love to put some distance between the president and his former top aide. In the spring, for example, then-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer twice tried to downplay the significance of Manafort’s role in Trump’s political operation.

    Just how far would Trump World go to throw Manafort under the bus? The question took a curious turn yesterday.

    The National Enquirer, the president’s favorite supermarket tabloid, announced its latest scoop yesterday, insisting that Manafort has been caught up in some kind of sex scandal – a story that ran just hours after we learned the FBI raided the former campaign chairman’s home last month. The National Enquirer’s piece went on to quote a “White House adviser” who said Manafort was guilty of “betraying … his country.”

    This comes about a month after the president publicly suggested he has some influence over the tabloid’s editorial decisions.

    Slate summarized the larger context nicely:

    So, six weeks after Trump seemingly admitted that he can use National Enquirer stories as leverage in personal disputes, the Enquirer has published a sensational attack on an individual who may (may!) possess incriminating information about Trump-Russia collusion.

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    @LAO:
    The verb “misspeak” has been around has been around for a while. Nixon’s press sec Ron Ziegler used it quite a lot. (Ziegler also had a curious way to acknowledge that a lie been found out. He’d say, “That statement is inoperative”, as though the statement’s battery were dead.)

  53. 53
    dww44 says:

    @rikyrah: Agree with your take and with Cheryl’s take. I almost never read the guy.

  54. 54

    @Formerly disgruntled in Oregon:
    If they hadn’t heightened, the heightening wouldn’t be necessary. Democrats would already be in charge.

  55. 55
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Amir Khalid: Douglas Hofstadter once wrote an article about the liar paradox of Epimenides, in which he credited a novel version to “Nixonides the Cretin”: “This statement is inoperative”.

  56. 56
    LAO says:

    @Amir Khalid: Well, now (in all seriousness) I have learned something new today. Thank you.

  57. 57

    @rikyrah:
    Don’t read anything into this. The Enquirer is always in the checkout line at my grocery store. They’ve attacked pretty much everyone working for Trump at one point or another. That Trump’s failures are because his own team betrayed him is their favorite meme. It has actually replaced ‘Hillary is dying horribly, like she deserves.’

  58. 58
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Heightening the contradictions usually works to some extent. The question is just whether the gains exceed the losses in value. They usually don’t. And even when they do, you can’t predict this reliably enough for it to be useful.

  59. 59
    rikyrah says:

    Guilt By Omission: Why the Mainstream Media Continues to Ignore Hillary Clinton Supporters

    Trevor LaFauci
    August 7, 2017

    We were right.

    In the time leading up to the 2016 presidential election, 65,844,610 Americans saw through the bullshit. We saw through a man running on a supposed business acumen who accrued a total of 6 bankruptcies. We saw through an Islamophobe who purchased property from Middle Eastern sheiks. We saw through a xenophobe who benefitted from the labor of undocumented immigrants at his properties. We saw through a man who openly discriminated against African-Americans and claimed to be their savior. And we saw through a man whose open misogyny, sexism, and sexual assaults were simply brushed off as “locker room talk.”
    ……………………….

    Since the media clearly had a role in helping to elect Donald Trump, they now must attempt to absolve themselves from any and all culpability. In order to do this, they have to continue to book guests who instill a sense of doubt as to how and why the election unfolded the way that it did. It’s why the media continues to interview Trump supporters in deep-red areas, as if the fact that these people still support him is somehow an unsolved mystery. It’s why the media continues to interview former Trump supporters, as if the fact that these people regret their vote would have somehow changed the outcome of the 2016 election. And it’s why the media continues to interview members of the White working class, as if the fact that these people bought into fake news and false accusations would somehow excuse their vote against their own self-interests.

    But one group the media won’t talk to is Hillary Clinton supporters. Because we know that part of the mystery as to how and why Donald Trump was elected is the media itself. In their twenty-five year quest to bring down a strong, independent woman, the media has continuously done whatever it could to make life difficult for her. Within the media exists a world of Andrea Mitchells who simply love to see the Clinton family fail. A world of Robert Reichs who still hold grudges to this day. A world of HA Goodmans who hate Hillary Clinton because they can’t think for themselves. A world of Cenk Uygurs who would love to destroy the Democratic Party from within. And a world of Susan Sarandons who would love to watch the world burn from the comfort of their very own mansions.

    We Clinton supporters know all this and we would not let the media off the hook. For they are as complicit as anyone in what has happened to our country. Our media sold out our democracy in order to make a quick buck. They intentionally shirked their responsibilities and distorted the presentation of the news in order to manifest a closer-than-it-should-have-been election. They refused to vet Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump. They provided false equivalencies to make Hillary Clinton appear corrupt where she was, in fact, trustworthy. And they insisted on pursuing a non-existent email scandal while simultaneously ignoring the dozens of real scandals that they knowingly had access to via Donald Trump.

    We were right while our media was wrong. And our media was wrong because they intentionally deceived the American public for personal gain. That is more than just bad business; that is an affront to everything a free press can and should stand for. While 65 million of us stood up to tyranny, our mainstream media openly cowered and gave rise to a candidate who embodies 21st-century fascism. The warning signs were there and our media intentionally chose to discard them to protect their own personal interests. They were complicit in the election of Donald Trump and they will continue to deny their role in his ascension because they know it is true.

  60. 60
    Jeffro says:

    @randy khan: Totally on your side about how rare in-person voter fraud is. And yet – showing some form of simple ID is not unreasonable. Good luck selling “no ID required at all” to voters and/or legislators. I’d much rather the ID be simple, and the state make an effort to ensure each person is registered (automatic voter registration when people turn 18 would be great) and has a form of ID. It takes away even the dumbest winger arguments.

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    Trump’s political antics push consumers’ health care costs higher
    08/10/17 11:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    At a press briefing a few weeks ago, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said there’s all kinds of evidence that the Affordable Care Act is facing a “collapse.” To prove her point, Donald Trump’s principal spokesperson told reporters, “Premiums continue to skyrocket.”

    And while it’s true that many consumers are having to pay more for coverage, what Team Trump doesn’t like to talk about is its role in creating the problem the president and his aides like to complain about. The Associated Press reported this morning:

    The Trump administration’s own actions are triggering double-digit premium increases on individual health insurance policies purchased by many consumers, a nonpartisan study has found.

    The analysis released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that mixed signals from President Donald Trump have created uncertainty “far outside the norm,” leading insurers to seek higher premium increases for 2018 than would otherwise have been the case.

  62. 62
    germy says:

    organizations working on developing candidates. A useful resource.

    Not according to Ted Rall

  63. 63
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @rikyrah:

    A world of HA Goodmans who hate Hillary Clinton because they can’t think for themselves. A world of Cenk Uygurs who would love to destroy the Democratic Party from within. And a world of Susan Sarandons who would love to watch the world burn from the comfort of their very own mansions.

    Brutal. But awesome!

  64. 64
    The Moar You Know says:

    For some reason, I find myself hankering after a second guitar and a bigger amplifier. I want a Squier Stratocaster this time — something cheap, I guess, like a Bullet or Affinity or California series — and a Fender Champion 100 amp, which is overkill for a beginner. (I have a Champion 20.) It’s not even three weeks since The Girl got here. I thought you weren’t supposed to get the upgrade itch this soon.

    @Amir Khalid: It happens, but I suspect it’s largely because it’s a lot easier to buy a new guitar than to get better on the one that you have.

    This is coming from a guy who literally has enough gear to open a small music store (seven fretless basses, two fretted, six electric guitars, three acoustics, two bass rigs, one Marshall guitar amp, mandolin, violin, full drum kit and a DAW workstation to record all this stuff). But I played for a living for a number of years and still play out every couple of weeks, so I kinda have an excuse AND I AM NOT AN ADDICT

    lol. Strats are great. You should have one. The Champion 100 may have a volume issue. Try it first. It’s immediate predecessor had a problem in that the designer put a linear taper pot in the master volume instead of an audio pot, with the result that the amp was either silent or very loud, no in-between. It sounded great, though, so if they’ve fixed that issue the 100 would be way more than loud enough to gig with.

  65. 65
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Jeffro:
    Before Voter ID, and after the VRA, did voters need identification?

  66. 66
    germy says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Cenk Uygurs who would love to destroy the Democratic Party from within

    I’m not sure how within he is.

    Look who he takes money from.

  67. 67

    “Heightening the contradictions” is supposed to make you a communist, though, not a mealy mouthed neoliberal whore. I mean, jeez, you’re not supposed to like Democratic policies, you’re supposed to tolerate them with undisguised contempt. You guys are Revolutioning wrong!

  68. 68
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @rikyrah: Truth

  69. 69
    LAO says:

    @Jeffro: If the ID is not free, than it is a bar to those that can’t afford it. So unless States are willing to provide a form of identification that cost nothing, than Voter ID will prevent people from voting. Also, there the related problem of how one verifies their identity. Not everyone has a copy of their birth certificate or a document that would suffice. So how does a poor person, with no identification or birth certificate establish their identity? Can it be done in a cost free way?

  70. 70
    LAO says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: No. And in my state (New York) still no voter ID required.

  71. 71
    Spider-Dan says:

    I find this analysis extremely scary.

    What I take from this is that in 2008, Democrats were activated by the extreme incompetence of the GWB Administration and turned out everywhere in force. Great! Then they immediately disappeared and allowed Republicans to take over. And so even if we win in 2018 and 2020, what reason is there to believe that the same thing won’t happen again in 2022? Are we pinning all our hopes on re-gerrymandering after 2020?

  72. 72
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @eric:

    one word: “pedals.”

    Aw yeah. I may have to go buy another one now….

  73. 73
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @germy:
    I’m sure you already know this, but Ted Rall is a borderline MRA asshole, judging by that comic. I don’t understand his point. Does “resisting” a fascist have to mean political violence? I mean, I know I run my mouth, but I know better than that. The system we operate in, while flawed, is still salvageable. You don’t need to resort to violence yet.

    His comic is just one big idiotic strawman.

  74. 74
    eric says:

    @The Moar You Know: I have the Blackstar 5 Watt. I cannot praise it enough for a low volume tube amp. i use the clean channel only and drive it with pedals. It can get loud for practicing as needed,

  75. 75
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Some people only understand “hard power”, i.e. violence and domination.

  76. 76
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    It happens, but I suspect it’s largely because it’s a lot easier to buy a new guitar than to get better on the one that you have.

    Also applies to golf clubs. Ping has a new set out? BRB!

  77. 77
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @germy:
    Full confession: I used to watch TYT. They really hate Hillary.

  78. 78

    @dww44: I don’t give up entirely on Edsall because he does seek out information I’m unlikely to see otherwise. Even sometimes, when I don’t like what he’s saying because it shows Democrats at a disadvantage, I have to take it seriously because he has the numbers to back it up.

    So it’s significant that in this article, he shows something positive for Democrats.

  79. 79
    germy says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: I used to listen to Chris Hedges. Heard him a few days ago. I wanted to throw something at the radio. “The future is NOT putting your faith in the democratic party” he said.

  80. 80
    eric says:

    @Steve in the ATL: This is the one i want and it shows the Mike Hermans videos

  81. 81
  82. 82

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: yeah, that comic made me want to smack somebody, why would you link to that, germy? Booo

    ETA: @germy: uggggh stop that!

  83. 83
    LAO says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Speaking of, I tried this driver , last weekend before asking the price. Needless to say, despite loving it, it will never be in my bag.

  84. 84
    Jeffro says:

    @LAO: sounds good – let’s make it free!

  85. 85
    Jeffro says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: they sure did in every state and county I’ve ever lived in

  86. 86
    Spider-Dan says:

    @Jeffro:

    I’d much rather the ID be simple, and the state make an effort to ensure each person is registered (automatic voter registration when people turn 18 would be great) and has a form of ID. It takes away even the dumbest winger arguments.

    No, it doesn’t. Their arguments are not based on facts, as the facts say that voting fraud is not even remotely a problem. The goalposts will just continue to move.

    For example, voter ID does nothing in states that allow vote-by-mail. So what then?

  87. 87

    @Cheryl Rofer: His data is fine, his conclusions and analysis need to be taken with a grain of salt.

  88. 88

    @Jeffro: I’ve lived in California and Colorado and never had to show any.

  89. 89

    @rikyrah:
    I agree with everything in that quotation except the part that this is why the media is ignoring Clinton voters. I don’t think they’re doing it to hide their guilt. I think most of them are incapable of grasping their guilt. The ones who dwelt constantly on Hillary’s emails thought then and still think that it was an important story, that they were doing their journalistic duty by prolonging and combing through every grain of every made-up scandal to find what they knew had to be there, that HIllary was a corrupt, power-abusing bitch. The public needed that proof! And they honestly reported their impressions of her campaign, that she was cold, uninspiring, mannish, weak, overprepared, too wonky, too emotional, and didn’t talk about policy enough. That they could be wrong did not and has not entered their minds. Also, Both Sides proves their journalistic integrity! They talked about Trump a lot, too! Oh, what a playful rogue he was!

    EDIT – They’re ignoring Clinton voters because they don’t see us as a legitimate constituency, only a tiny fringe. Our numbers are irrelevant. They know who the important voting block is.

  90. 90
    tobie says:

    @rikyrah: Thanks for the reference. If it weren’t for this site and articles like the one you linked, I would think those of us who supported Hillary didn’t exist.

  91. 91
    Amir Khalid says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    I chose a Tele over a Strat partly because I’d learned from guitar people on YouTube that, without the Strat whammy-bar thing, they stay in tune more easily and are thus better for the beginner. So I know that getting a Strat is very premature. My rational side insists I should stay with the Girl until I’m halfway decent with her before I start thinking about other women guitars.

  92. 92
    sylvania says:

    I will give the Leftier-Than-Thou this, highlighting the contradictions finally seems to have worked.

    @Frankensteinbeck: ??? What makes you think we need the far-left to tell us this???

  93. 93
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @LAO: that looks awesome, but I have like six lightweight drivers all ready and I have to save some political capital with my wife to buy more Cleveland wedges, or a couple of effects pedals…or maybe even a new guitar….

  94. 94

    @rikyrah: I have been commenting on Balloon Juice since 2009 and only since November have I been called too emotional, an asshole and other epithets. Not just MSM but even not everyone on BJ wants to hear our POV and the truth as we see it.

  95. 95
    randy khan says:

    @Jeffro:

    No, it’s not reasonable at all. We should not concede that it is because saying so is a lie – there is no problem to solve. Having a person register, show up, and state his or her name and address is all you need. I feel very strongly about this, both because I see voting as an essential element of citizenship and because adopting laws for no good reason is a terrible idea. So much Republican lawmaking is done this way – transgender bathroom laws are the latest example – that it’s important to take a stand.

    And here’s the other thing: Once you concede it’s an okay idea, then you’re into fighting about the specific IDs and how people can get them. Even in the best case scenario, you’re going to disenfranchise a bunch of people who can’t meet the standard because it’s hard for them to get the ID (and most of those people vote for Democrats when they vote). In the real world, you’re going to end up with ID requirements that are designed in part to disenfranchise Democratic voters and make it easy for Republican voters to meet the requirements.

  96. 96

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    They’re ignoring Clinton voters because they don’t see us as a legitimate constituency, only a tiny fringe. Our numbers are irrelevant. They know who the important voting block is.

    Exactly. Buncha POC and women and queers.

  97. 97
    tobie says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    The ones who dwelt constantly on Hillary’s emails thought then and still think that it was an important story, that they were doing their journalistic duty…They talked about Trump a lot, too!

    I think I’ve heard Glenn Thrush say this exact thing. He’s such an insufferable ass.

  98. 98

    @sylvania:
    I am referring to a frequent far-left argument that they would rather a RWNJ win than a moderate liberal, because ‘heightening the contradictions’ will eventually push the population to the far left.

  99. 99
    Spider-Dan says:

    @germy: I read that comic completely differently than you did. I saw it as saying, if the manifesto bro is so unconcerned with empathy, then we don’t need to worry about his feelings when he gets fired.

    i.e. anti-manifesto

  100. 100
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:
    And when it comes to Bernie’s faults, they’re like … well, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

  101. 101
    eric says:

    @Amir Khalid: I have my issues with Govan’s playing, but this is about my favorite video showing the variety of sounds you can get out of your guitar. Yes, it is a strat style Suhr, but the three videos can give you ideas how to get more sounds out of The Girl.

  102. 102
    randy khan says:

    @Spider-Dan:

    Step one is to deal with today and make things better. We deal with 2022 a bit closer to 2022.

  103. 103

    @Frankensteinbeck: When has this happened IRL? I can’t think of one example. I am fairly well aware of politics in the United States and India. Whenever leftie purists try this, the right wing succeeds and the left gets decimated. I have seen this movie before and it never ends well for the left.

  104. 104
    different-church-lady says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: The moment we take back congress, it becomes exactly like the City Council scene at the end of Lawrence of Arabia.

  105. 105
    bluehill says:

    There’s a wapo poll out saying that 52% of repubs are in favor of postponing the 2020 election until voter fraud issues are corrected. Another example of what a real slippery slope looks. It is stunning how easily and quickly these freedom-loving, constitutionalists are willing to roll over for a pseudo-banana-republic dictator. The increase in dem candidates is encouraging, but the party still seems to be a bit of a mess at the national level.

  106. 106
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Jeffro:

    It takes away even the dumbest winger arguments.

    That’s when they pivot to “registering to vote should be a little bit difficult–it cheapens democracy to have lazy and dumb people voting”.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    different-church-lady says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: What they’re missing is that TRUMP. VOTERS. WANT. THE. COUNTRY. TO. BE. THIS. WAY. They are never going to shrink away in horror. Even a few nukes wiping out Guam will be spun as a victory. It’s a pre-built cult of personality that was just waiting for the right personality to come along. Failure will not change that.

  109. 109
    frosty says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Golf and guitars?? You poor, poor addict. And your all-suffering wife!

  110. 110

    @schrodingers_cat:
    It has never happened before. It appears to be happening now. The protests and vote swings in the special elections so far are as not normal as the GOP’s behavior, but in a good way. Whether these people will stay activated, there’s no way to say, because there’s no precedent.

  111. 111
    gene108 says:

    @Knight of Nothing:

    In state and local races, what is the effect of Citizens United? Have there been any studies about that?

    Devastating for Democrats. The CU decision basically paved the way for the take over of state houses in 2010.

    New Yorker article from 2011 on N.C. races

  112. 112
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @schrodingers_cat: They may not want to, but they need to!

  113. 113

    @Spider-Dan: no, it’s about “oh jeez isn’t it ironic that the people who value diversity and empathy want to fire this well meaning ideologically diverse nerd for expressing himself haha take that libfemtard”

  114. 114
    Amir Khalid says:

    @bluehill:
    As I understand, nowhere in your Constitution is there authorisation to postpone any election, whatever the grounds.

  115. 115
    The Moar You Know says:

    I chose a Tele over a Strat partly because I’d learned from guitar people on YouTube that, without the Strat whammy-bar thing, they stay in tune more easily and are thus better for the beginner. So I know that getting a Strat is very premature. My rational side insists I should stay with the Girl until I’m halfway decent with her before I start thinking about other women guitars.

    @Amir Khalid: Hey, you’ll get more practice tuning!

    I can rationalize anything. The point is true. Strats don’t stay in tune well, unless they are set up by somebody who REALLY knows what they are doing, and I haven’t found many of those people out there. When my night job was playing gigs, my day job was fixing guitars in music stores, or building them (long story there). I used to get a lot of clients very quickly because I do know how to set up a traditional Strat trem so that it will go out of tune less often. Not never (not really possible) but a lot less.

    That being said, save for the two vintage Strats I have, my electric collection has all the trems blocked and locked down, so that I don’t have to deal with it. I really don’t use them.

    I always used to tell beginners that you can gig (and I have) with a fifty-dollar guitar, but not a fifty dollar amp. Put your dollars towards a good amp first.

  116. 116
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: @Major Major Major Major:

    I wonder how much of a monoculture the newsrooms of these media companies are? I bet they come from pretty much the same backgrounds: white, rich, privileged.

  117. 117
    frosty says:

    @randy khan:

    Having a person register, show up, and state his or her name and address is all you need

    I agree with you but what about the argument that non-citizens are voting? That’s part of the ID issue too.

  118. 118

    @Jeffro: thanks! I’ll check those out.

    ETA: whenever I see thinkpieces that purport to tell Democrats everything they’ve done wrong since 2009 and why they’ve lost control of state & local governments, but fail to mention any effects of Citizens United, I am skeptical of the writer’s motives.

  119. 119
    dww44 says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Well, I just got a blue card in the mail from the State DMV reminding me that my drivers license is up for renewal next month and that I have to come in and produce a birth certificate, a marriage certificate, SS Card or Medicare Card, and proof of residence. Never mind that I’ve always lived in the state and have had a driver’s license since the mid 60’s. Never mind that the card comes addressed using my legal given name, including my maiden name. This is a law enacted a number of years ago, thanks to Republican control of the legislature with input from Hans Von Spavosky to create these onerous document requirements to protect “MY” personal security and protect “me” from identity theft. How this law made it successfully through legal challenges I do not know because it’s real aim was to throw people off the voter rolls and/or preventing them from getting on in the first place. And it does. For example, many folks of my parents’ generation were born at home in rural areas and never had a birth certificate. My Mother didn’t.

    Given my age, I have to show up in person and get an eye test, but presumably one, if younger, can provide the documentation via mail and renew online. Not sure how one satisfies the requirements that way. It’s just wrong, truly.

  120. 120
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I gotta admit, that take was mine at first too. Ted just sucks at getting his point across in comic dialogue.

    It’s the equivalent of “That Hitler had some good ideas, aside from the whole Holocaust thing”. Of course, even without the genocidal anti-Semitism, Nazism was still pretty bad.

  121. 121
    different-church-lady says:

    @Spider-Dan: @Major Major Major Major: You’re both right. It can cut either way. In that sense this is probably one of the extremely few successful cartoons Rall has ever done.

  122. 122
    bemused says:

    @germy:

    I could never read Hedges. I doubt many liberals are putting all their hopes on faith in Dem party. I think/hope we’re more realistic than that. We work with what we’ve got and we work to get better candidates and a better party.

  123. 123
    gene108 says:

    @Jeffro:

    I’d much rather the ID be simple, and the state make an effort to ensure each person is registered (automatic voter registration when people turn 18 would be great) and has a form of ID. It takes away even the dumbest winger arguments.

    It wouldn’t make a difference. The right-wing consensus is: 1. you should’ve thought of voter suppression first to make sure your side wins, 2. too bad, so sad and 3. suck it losers.

    This was the attitude of Republicans, when it was revealed thousands of eligible voters were denied the right to vote in the 2000 election in Florida and it hasn’t changed one bit.

  124. 124
    tobie says:

    This just in: a federal judge has ordered the State Department to once again scour its server for any Clinton emails related to Benghazi. Here’s the link. This shit never gets old.

  125. 125

    @gene108: thanks. that’s what I suspected, of course. And as I mention above, any analysis of Democrats’ electoral woes since CU that doesn’t discuss its effects seems incomplete at best, and probably suspect.

  126. 126

    @Knight of Nothing:

    Have there been any studies about that?

    No, and it would be very hard to study in any meaningful way. All the articles you have been linked to are speculation about how the writer feels there must be a cause-effect chain. The problem is, 2010 was going to be a wave election no matter what. The election patterners were specific and clear about it, and I am sorry I ignored them. Backlash to Obama was already baked in, activating the GOP gigantically. There’s no way to know how much the patterns that were already expected were increased by CU.

  127. 127

    @different-church-lady: I’ve been steeped in the arguments about this thing for days now and i can think of no way to give that comic a charitable interpretation.

  128. 128
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @bluehill: 46.4% * 52% = 24%

    Not quite 27%, but close enough.

  129. 129
    ruemara says:

    The issue isn’t Voter ID. It’s part of suppression tactics, but it’s like people pick up on a term and think that’s the sole issue. It’s voter purges via Crosscheck. It’s county clerks who limit voting sites and, imho, outright destroy ballots. It’s reduction of early voting days and methods. All of that is voter suppression. That’s why regaining local power is important. If you want voter ID, great. Provide free services to allow access to ID – for all. But ID won’t change reducing early voting from 14 days down to 3, or 4 machines in a populous district that’s Dem while the Repub districts get 10. That’s the problem and you can’t focus on just one aspect of it.

  130. 130
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @dww44:
    For me in Ohio, it’s as simple as flashing my driver’s license at the poll.

  131. 131
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @ruemara:

    It’s county clerks who limit voting sites and, imho, outright destroy ballots.

    You’d have to prove that, but it wouldn’t surprise me

  132. 132
    randy khan says:

    @frosty:

    Lots of non-citizens have licenses and other forms of photo ID that meet the voter ID standards, so voter ID does not solve for that problem. You can, for instance, get a driver’s license with a green card.

    Also, the studies that Republicans use to say that non-citizens are voting actually don’t support that claim.

  133. 133
    bluehill says:

    @Amir Khalid: I think you’re right although I don’t think it’s explicitly stated. Unsurprisingly, repubs are originalists until it goes against something they want.

  134. 134
    james parente says:

    @Amir Khalid: Amir, I am thrilled at your love affair with the guitar!
    However, be aware that you are in the early stages of G.A.S. (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome) . Symptoms are desire to explore and acquire other instruments and a noticeable drain from your bank account.
    Have fun!

  135. 135
    grandpa john says:

    @rikyrah: Amen . telling it like it is. that is why I have as much contempt for CNN and NYT as I do FOX

  136. 136
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @dww44: I just got a new passport–the first valid one I’ve had in a while, since I was lazy and let my old one lapse a long time ago. In some ways passports are pretty much the gold standard of ID, since they establish both identity and citizenship, though I guess they don’t function as proof of address like a driver’s license does. But they’re useful for a lot of things besides international travel–if you have one, for instance, it establishes I-9 employment eligibility all by itself, without the need for any other documents.

    What strikes me is how expensive the process was. It’s over $100 just for the passport itself, and it may cost you more money to get hold of the documents you need in the first place, like a birth certificate (if it’s your first one), and a photo in the specific format that they’ll accept. It’s precisely the sort of thing that is no problem for an affluent professional but just a deal-breaker if you’re living paycheck to paycheck.

  137. 137
    randy khan says:

    @ruemara:

    It’s all of that. We need to attack all of the pieces.

  138. 138
    rikyrah says:

    KAY,

    Did you see this?

    Republicans limiting early voting in Marion County, letting it bloom in suburbs
    Fatima Hussein, fatima.hussein@indystar.com
    Published 6:00 a.m. ET Aug. 10, 2017

    State and local Republicans have expanded early voting in GOP-dominated areas and restricted it in Democratic areas, an IndyStar investigation has found, prompting a significant change in Central Indiana voting patterns.

    From 2008 to 2016, GOP officials expanded early voting stations in Republican dominated Hamilton County, IndyStar’s analysis found, and decreased them in the state’s biggest Democratic hotbed, Marion County.

    That made voting more convenient in GOP areas for people with transportation issues or busy schedules. And the results were immediate.

    Most telling, Hamilton County saw a 63 percent increase in absentee voting from 2008 to 2016, while Marion County saw a 26 percent decline. Absentee ballots are used at early voting stations.

    Population growth and other factors may have played a role, but Hamilton County Clerk Kathy Richardson, a Republican, told IndyStar the rise in absentee voting in Hamilton County was largely a result of the addition of two early voting stations, which brought the total to three.

    “It was a great concept to open those (voting stations),” Richardson said, adding that the turnout might have increased with the addition of even more voting machines.

    Other Central Indiana Republican strongholds, including Boone, Johnson and Hendricks counties, also have added early voting sites — and enjoyed corresponding increases in absentee voter turnout.

    But not Marion County, which tends to vote Democratic, and has a large African-American population.

    During that same 2008-16 period, the number of early voting stations declined from three to one in Marion County, as Republican officials blocked expansion.

    Some Republicans blame the dearth of early voting in Marion County on a lack of local funding. “I have never received any type of message that the individuals in charge of Marion County have any interest in spending the money (to expand satellite locations),” said Jim Merritt, chairman of the Marion County Republican Party.

    But Indianapolis Mayor Joseph Hogsett, a Democrat, told IndyStar he is in favor of adding additional early voting stations to the county’s 2018 budget. And four attempts to expand early voting in Marion County have been approved by Democrats, but blocked by the county’s lone GOP representative on the elections board.

  139. 139
    realbtl says:

    @Amir Khalid: Amir, I’d go with your rational side for a bit. You might want to augment the Tele with a PRS/Gibson sound.

  140. 140

    @Frankensteinbeck: good counterpoint, and sort of what I thought – that it’s a difficult question to answer. Still, it’s not just about 2010, and when I look around and see Gov. Bruce Rauner funding the campaigns of the entire Illinois State Republican Caucus, or look at the outside money that went into my local school board race, or read articles like the ones people linked to above, it makes me wonder.

  141. 141
    SatanicPanic says:

    @bluehill: Let’s be real though, if Obama had, in January, said “you know what, peaceful transfer of power is overrated” I might have been willing to look the other way.

  142. 142
    JPL says:

    @dww44: It was surprising how efficient the dmv was, and I didn’t need an eye test. Matt @ 136 mentioned a passport, and it’s time for me to get one, because the darn birth certificate cost me more. Also if I have one, maybe it would be an incentive to travel. I’ve been to Canada and Mexico, but that was before passports were required.

  143. 143

    @Knight of Nothing:
    The thing there is, 2010 was when redistricting happened. The wave put the GOP in a position to gerrymander and voter suppress the shit out of states they should be losing, warping results for every election after. So it’s still hard to know how much of what we see is CU.

  144. 144
    different-church-lady says:

    @ruemara: And one’s perspective on this is highly dependent on race, as evidenced by rikyrah’s post a few numbers up. I can tell you personally that as a white suburban dweller I have NEVER met the kind of voting problems described in other places. And that’s very likely because I have never lived in a neighborhood that’s been targeted for voter suppression.

    If I were dumb, I would just dismiss the latter because it’s not part of my personal experience. But I ain’t dumb.

    The rest of the electorate, on the other hand, will have to speak for themselves.

  145. 145
    gene108 says:

    @Knight of Nothing:

    thanks. that’s what I suspected, of course. And as I mention above, any analysis of Democrats’ electoral woes since CU that doesn’t discuss its effects seems incomplete at best, and probably suspect.

    Republicans fight so hard over the courts because their recent success is predicated on friendly SCOTUS decisions.

  146. 146
    MattF says:

    OT. I have to admit that Idea 3 immediately made me think of John Cole.

  147. 147
    les says:

    @LAO:

    So how does a poor person, with no identification or birth certificate establish their identity?

    Way too true. Anecdote from Kobach land: my daughter went to get her first driver’s license in KS; to the same joint that issues voter ID’s through the same process. She presented: birth certificate, valid US passport, current KS school picture ID, social security card. She didn’t get the license; an unexplained “problem” with the computer comparing argle bargle. Second time, no problem. How many poor folks have anything like that handy, much less the freedom for multiple trips? In a state where Kobach has tried unsuccessfully for years to find in person voter fraud. No mandated solution until they prove a problem.

  148. 148

    @gene108:
    Certainly true. A liberal SCOTUS would annihilate gerrymandering and voter suppression, and the GOP would be fucked.

  149. 149
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @rikyrah:
    See, if this is held up as constitutional in courts and is allowed, then, Mr. Rall, insurgency is acceptable. Because the old rules no longer apply and to play by them when the other side won’t is foolish. Democracy would be a sham and tyranny enshrined. Break out the AR-15s at that point.

  150. 150
    LAO says:

    @les: Agreed. We do not compromise on this issue, especially since all Republicans do, is move the goalposts once Democrats cave.

  151. 151
    Spider-Dan says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I don’t see how that follows. The left person is saying the manifesto calls to “de-emphasize empathy,” and the right person agrees with that argument, with the unintended result of it’s author being fired.

    I mean, if the “I agree” line didn’t exist, then sure, I could see your point. But with it not only there, but separated for emphasis, I can’t read it in any way other than a setup for poetic irony. I guess we all have our own interpretation.

  152. 152
    bluehill says:

    @SatanicPanic: I hear you, especially since even some repubs knew what was coming. But this gets to something that irks me about the what-aboutism that repubs often, many times inappropriately, offer as a justification for something they are doing. It’s not that they object to it because it goes against some deeply-held principle, they object to it because it was a dem that got to do it and not them.

  153. 153
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Amir Khalid: Sounds like you have a full-fledged case of GAS*, Amir.

    *Which stands, of course, for Guitar Acquisition Syndrome. : )

    ETA:

    Which I see Frosty got there before me. Great minds, etc. etc. ..then, there’s us.

  154. 154
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @JPL: I confess, part of our motivation for making sure we have valid ones was the fear that it might actually become preferable/necessary to bug out of this country; the utility of a US passport in that situation is open to question, but it probably wouldn’t hurt. Though the main thing was the desire to take an international vacation at some point, if only to Canada (which is less than a day’s drive from here).

    I had to renew my driver’s license recently too; needed an eye test but it was easier than I expected. That cost some $$$ as well.

  155. 155
    les says:

    @frosty:

    I agree with you but what about the argument that non-citizens are voting? That’s part of the ID issue too.

    No it’s part of the unending bullshit pouring from the puke funnel. Prove the problem before demanding the solution.

  156. 156
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Spider-Dan:

    That’s how I read it.

  157. 157
    Jeffro says:

    @gene108: Yeah, but it’s not all up to them, right? And even some Republicans – not many, but some, maybe as many as half – still believe in democracy, voting, the Constitution, and so on. To say nothing of independents and Dems. I think it’s a winner.

  158. 158
    Dave says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Agreed it doesn’t usually work and is not an experiment I wanted to run but here we are and where the “heighten the contradiction” types are wrong is it won’t be some great leftward correction but a correction to the sort of liberalism they deride as weak-tea corporatist which hey I’m fine with. And it only worked, if it does we don’t know yet, because the population really is significantly more liberal than we would assume by it’s voting habits. Trump was the revanchist backlash and while it was the most extreme it was also in many ways the weakest of those we’ve seen in modern times. Nixon didn’t prevent a GOP resurgence in 1980 because the country was moving to the right and his resignation was only a speed bump in that movement. Whereas if 2018 and 2020 are strong Democratic years it may really signal a sea change. And that’s assuming that the worst doesn’t happen and that I’m not being pollyanish here.

  159. 159
    Jeffro says:

    @Knight of Nothing: You’re right to be skeptical. It is the issue hiding in plain sight!

  160. 160
    LAO says:

    @Jeffro: Yeah, it’s a real winner:

    Must-read analysis of how Indiana GOP is making it harder for Dems to vote—will be major factor in 2018 Senate race. https://t.co/44Dfs8ENNx pic.twitter.com/gP0He77Wbs— Taniel (@Taniel) August 10, 2017

  161. 161
    Kay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    My youngest has fallen in love with the guitar so it’s fun to read your questions and the responses. We go to the same Lake Michigan town for summer vacation(s) every year- it’s like his other home. I was sitting on the back porch at night and I can hear the bar bands and the people outside. They play in outdoor areas so people can smoke. I heard his name and “let’s give a round of applause to..” and I thought “oh. God, he’s at the bar and he talked them into letting him play”

    He’s 14 but he’s tall. They might think he’s older than he is. He was ULTRA cool about it. “Yeah, I played a little”. It’s nice they’re letting him hang around. Generous.

  162. 162
    jl says:

    Thanks for interesting post and links. I’ll read them later today. I hope Edsall has some good news that is convincing.
    I am concerned because, from polling that I have tracked, the ongoing Trump disaster doesn’t seem to be prompting people to re-evaluate the Democratic Party. Party identification and approval has dropped for both Dems and GOP since Trump inauguration. I also saw polling results that most people still see the Dems as not standing for anything, but rather interested in merely capitalizing on Trump’s unpopularity.

    My impression is that we are still in a situation where a lot of people, certainly enough to make a difference in our 10 percent plus one vote system , think that both major political parties have failed the country, and are not worthy of support. So, that has to change. I’m not sure what can do that.

    i supported S*****s in the primary, largely out of concern that HRC did not have a winning message. Since there is a lot of BS in BS (at least as much as in HRC) I don’t have a lot of confidence that he can repeat. He is big on outrage and but very short on feasible proposals. I think we need a meld of the HRC and S*****s approach (which Is why I kept bleating about the need for a Bernally Clinters in 2016). I’m not sure who can deliver that.

  163. 163
    ruemara says:

    @rikyrah: Or, what I just said, exhibit 100. Wasn’t there a county clerk who’s been problematic in several elections? Haven’t there been enough “found” uncounted ballots that were disposed of? Meanwhile, the loudest “progressive” voices think that HRC wasn’t progressive enough and that meant folks didn’t turn out. No, you twats, people who could vote were not allowed to because the suppression that has been steadily going on finally hit enough people with the help of Russian media manipulation to affect the right states. It’s both complicated and simple.

  164. 164
    different-church-lady says:

    @ruemara:

    No, you twats

    Add to rotating taglines, please.

  165. 165

    @Frankensteinbeck: I don’t think revulsion with T has anything to do with the far left’s efforts. Their repeated attacks on Ds are not helpful either.

  166. 166
    JAFD says:

    1 – I’ve written a couple of posts here on the rules, ID and otherwise, here in New Jersey, will dig them up from ClipMate and repost tonight if anyone asks…

    2 – If you ask the local Board of Elections (or whatever agency does it in your area) if they need people to work at the polling places on Election Day – set things up, check signatures, count up the results – will bet dollars to donuts they’ll respond ‘YES’ with barely concealed glee. Sign up and show up real early on November 7th’s morning. You won’t regret it. (Bring roll of blue masking tape – we had 32 pieces of paper to stick up on walls.)

  167. 167
    Kay says:

    Fox News‏Verified account
    @FoxNews
    Follow
    More
    Trump lawyer slams special counsel for ‘gross abuse’ in Manafort raid, challenges warrant

    Why does Trump’s lawyer bother to talk? He’s lied so much he’s credible to about 4 people and all of them work for Fox.

    Lately I have this impatience with them. Their speeches are just pointless. Listen, don’t listen, doesn’t matter, probably a lie anyway. I love that they think they’re credible on meetings with Russians. The top Trumpsters crafted a completely made-up statement on the meeting with Russians that we know about then they all endorsed it and then had to unendorse it like 15 minutes later. They have no credibility. They burned thru every bit of it in 6 months. Used it up. None left.

  168. 168

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I don’t think revulsion with T has anything to do with the far left’s efforts.

    It doesn’t, except that if they weren’t ratfucking us we wouldn’t need a revolution. My point is only that their idea that if a bad enough Republican is elected, liberal voters will finally become activated may actually be happening. It’s ironic if they’re ever right about anything.

    Their repeated attacks on Ds are not helpful either.

    Boy howdy is that the truth.

  169. 169
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Jeffro: But that is just it. They don’t.

    From the perspective of records management Voter ID and the supporting documentation required to get it are never free. They take a combination of time, money, travel, or simply trying to conjure something that never existed before and even after the CRA. There is no such thing as documents attesting to the live birth of every child in every county of this country. Even white children in rural South Dakota or West Virginia were often born at home into the 1960’s. And let me tell you right up front, birth records in most states are not equally well maintained. What do you plan to do for anyone over the age of 45-50? What do you plan to do for all the people who participated in the Great Migration north? Who moved to where they or their parents could find work? The women whose names changed multiple times? The couch surfers who lost their documents in one too many moves?

    VoterID really is the modern equivalent of a poll tax; that’s what it’s really meant to do, make it too expensive in money and time to vote.

    ETA typo.

  170. 170
    Kay says:

    I wasn’t scared when Trump threatened NK because it’s just another thing he said. Nothing makes it different from the other things he said that day- half of those were lies. How do I know? I don’t and either does anyone else. I know as much after he speaks as before he speaks- nothing. He could recite random words for all it means.

  171. 171
    The Moar You Know says:

    My youngest has fallen in love with the guitar so it’s fun to read your questions and the responses. We go to the same Lake Michigan town for summer vacation(s) every year- it’s like his other home. I was sitting on the back porch at night and I can hear the bar bands and the people outside. They play in outdoor areas so people can smoke. I heard his name and “let’s give a round of applause to..” and I thought “oh. God, he’s at the bar and he talked them into letting him play”

    He’s 14 but he’s tall. They might think he’s older than he is. He was ULTRA cool about it. “Yeah, I played a little”. It’s nice they’re letting him hang around. Generous.

    @Kay: There’s some rules about under-21s playing in bars – i.e. they’re on stage or they’re outside away from the booze and EEEVIL wimminz – but most places that have music outside tend to allow minors in for food anyhow.

    I don’t allow people to sit in unless I know them and preferably it’s been arranged in advance – but I’d probably let a kid take a whack at a song or two. Good for ’em, I think.

  172. 172
    ruckus says:

    @Joe Falco:
    Ron has an ass tumor. It’s cured by him pulling his head out of his colon.

  173. 173
    JPL says:

    @LAO: The state of GA allows local government to determine the location of early voting sites, which effects local elections also.

  174. 174
    zhena gogolia says:

    @rikyrah:

    EXCELLENT PIECE.

  175. 175
    sunny raines says:

    the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to [say and] do nothing (Edmund Burke)…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XhK_8eRrcM

  176. 176
  177. 177
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    They play in outdoor areas so people can smoke. I heard his name and “let’s give a round of applause to..” and I thought “oh. God, he’s at the bar and he talked them into letting him play”

    He’s 14 but he’s tall. They might think he’s older than he is. He was ULTRA cool about it. “Yeah, I played a little”. It’s nice they’re letting him hang around. Generous.

    That is a sweet story, Kay.

  178. 178
    rikyrah says:

    Manafort knows a ton. He returned to the campaign 10 days before election and told them to focus on PA/WI/MI. WHY? What did he know?
    — A L Katz (@boyndog) August 10, 2017

  179. 179
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Amir Khalid: You are now suffering from GAS: Gear Acquisition Syndrome, a common affliction of the musically inclined. Symptom intensity varies with time and funds expended to deal with this, plus the required buying and selling of gear as time goes on or your apartment gets too full or your bank account too empty.

    Many years ago I went to a music store to buy my future husband an effects box for his birthday. The sales clerk was chatty and I told him I’d buy my guy anything he wanted to support his musical aspirations because I so enjoyed his playing. The guy’s eyes just lit up and he told me that he sure wished there were more girlfriends and wives like me! I suspect more than a few wives/girlfriends are jealous of their partner’s “Girls” and the time spent with them.

  180. 180
    ruckus says:

    @LAO:
    A non free voter ID is a poll tax. I do believe there is a federal law against that.
    This includes a utility bill. You have to pay to have one

  181. 181
    rikyrah says:

    Testing the limits of Trump’s ‘obsession’ with Obama
    08/10/17 12:50 PM—UPDATED 08/10/17 01:05 PM
    By Steve Benen
    BuzzFeed published an interesting piece yesterday based on interviews with “six top European government officials who’ve had firsthand dealings on the international stage with [Donald Trump] and his administration.” Not surprisingly, the foreign officials characterized the American president as erratic, ignorant, and “something of a laughing stock among Europeans at international gatherings.”

    But what stood out for me was the description of Trump’s obsession with his predecessor. “It’s his only real position,” one European diplomat said. “He will ask: ‘Did Obama approve this?’ And if the answer is affirmative, he will say: ‘We don’t.’ He won’t even want to listen to the arguments or have a debate. He is obsessed with Obama.”

    And while that’s plainly pathetic, it’s consistent with everything we’ve seen from this president – who seems to think about Barack Obama far more than he should, accusing him of all sorts of weird things, including secretly tapping his phones. Just this morning, Trump highlighted an unscientific poll of sympathetic Twitter users who said they like him better than his predecessor, which the Republican apparently considered important for reasons he didn’t explain.

    In fact, the burgeoning crisis in North Korea seems to have brought these festering attitudes to the fore. The Washington Post reported this morning, “Starting on Wednesday night, the Republican president retweeted a series of Twitter posts related to his Democratic predecessor, starting with one by John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and Fox News contributor, who said the United States is at risk because of Obama.”

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-ma.....sion-obama

  182. 182
    The Moar You Know says:

    Manafort knows a ton. He returned to the campaign 10 days before election and told them to focus on PA/WI/MI. WHY? What did he know?

    @rikyrah: I’ll believe any nefarious allegation about Trump and his remora sons of bitches that put him in the Oval Office, but “what he knew” was what everyone knew well before the election, and frankly something I recall Nate Silver hollering about quite loudly: those three states, plus Ohio, were the firewall.

  183. 183
    JPL says:

    @ruckus: Yes it is.

  184. 184
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Dave: I think the sea change in the US is that the Republicans are turning into a white identity party that is evolving toward open endorsement of a genocidal race war, at the same time as (and in reaction to) whites becoming a smaller fraction of the population. The Democrats are stuck being the coalition of everyone else, which means that you really can’t pinpoint things that they strongly stand for other than “not that”. It comes with the role.

    This is different from previous decades, in that white-supremacist sentiment was always around but it used to be more bipartisan–and it didn’t have the desperation that comes with significant actual demographic losses. Whites are still a majority in the US, and they can be motivated to vote racist through fear. Short-term, it means the Republicans can win whenever the salience of racial friction becomes higher in US politics, and they tend to lose when it drops.

    Long-term, the Republican approach loses unless one of several things happen: some new groups get successfully subsumed into “white” (which has happened many times before, so it’s not implausible), or they use their temporary advantage to stop or actually reverse the demographic changes in the electorate, through some combination of disenfranchisement, deportation and mass murder. (Districting tricks come under the heading of disenfranchisement.)

  185. 185

    In New Mexico, we are required only to state our name, address, and date of birth and sign to vote. Registration requires confirming documents, so knowing all of them and then providing a signature that corresponds to the records is pretty good security.

  186. 186
    frosty says:

    @realbtl: That was my thought too: humbuckers. I played a Fender for years before I found out I liked the Gibson sound better.

    A couple of my peeps like Epiphones. Quality is OK and they play fine after a setup. They also swear by Quilter amps. But they’re gigging all the time and think the $$ are worth it

  187. 187
    LAO says:

    @ruckus: While I agree with you, I’m not willing to assume that the SCOTUS would find it was a poll tax.

  188. 188
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @rikyrah: interesting that while his personal obsession is Obama, he’s canny enough to use HRC to rile up the goobers at his Sixty Minute Hates.

    This was interesting to me, too. One poll and all, but….

    Greg Sargent‏Verified account ThePlumLineGS
    This is a striking turnaround.
    In new CNN poll, support for health law goes *up* when it’s called “Obamacare”:
    When asked about the 2010 health care law, a slim majority of Americans (51%) say they oppose the legislation vs. 42% of Americans who favor the bill. That’s a return to the level of support seen in May 2015. But when the question was posed as to whether they support “Obamacare” — the colloquial term for the Affordable Care Act — support for the law is higher. Half favor the law vs. 46% who oppose it.

  189. 189
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gene108:

    Devastating for Democrats. The CU decision basically paved the way for the take over of state houses in 2010.

    Wait, you mean that the trolls who come here to whine about how the feckless Democrats gave those seats away without a fight because they don’t have the right policies were objectively wrong on the facts?

    I may need a fainting couch because of my sheer astonishment.

  190. 190
    different-church-lady says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Isn’t that the opposite of many previous polls? It would represent a sea-change in the zeitgeist.

  191. 191
    Jeffro says:

    @ruemara:

    It’s voter purges via Crosscheck. It’s county clerks who limit voting sites and, imho, outright destroy ballots. It’s reduction of early voting days and methods. All of that is voter suppression. That’s why regaining local power is important. If you want voter ID, great. Provide free services to allow access to ID – for all. But ID won’t change reducing early voting from 14 days down to 3, or 4 machines in a populous district that’s Dem while the Repub districts get 10. That’s the problem and you can’t focus on just one aspect of it.

    I agree with all of this: we need to push for more early voting days and equity in polling locations/machines/staffing, absolutely. And free IDs if any are to be required.

  192. 192
    NYCMT says:

    @Kay: Trump’s lawyer has nothing important to say. He doesn’t represent Manafort and is in no position to raise a 4A objection to the warrants or whatever material they uncover at any theoretical suppression hearing. But hey, Dowd sounds impressive – to an ignoramus who has no better idea.

  193. 193
    Dave says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Much better description of what I was going for.

  194. 194
    frosty says:

    @Kay: Good for your son. Derek Trucks was touring with the Allman Brothers at the same age (or so I’ve read). At least you know where he is!

  195. 195
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @different-church-lady: I was as surprised by relatively high opposition to the “2010 health care law” as I was by the increased support of “Obamacare”. Like I say, it’s only one poll, but ex-presidents tend to get more popular– even Dubya, to my disgust– and that’s without being compare to multi-clusterfuck that is The Rough Beast.

  196. 196
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    I bet there’s a loophole that says he can play with them outdoors but not inside the bar where the alcohol is served.

    As long as he knows that he’ll be in big trouble with you if he drinks any alcohol, he should be fine. You’re a good mom!

  197. 197
    SatanicPanic says:

    @frosty: Epis are great if you stick to the hollowbodies, the solidbodies are OK. I think you need to replace the pickups in almost any Epi though. I don’t think Gibsons are worth the markeup anymore. Or so I hear. I definitely don’t want that robot tune crap- that’s just one more thing to go wrong.

  198. 198
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ruemara:

    Meanwhile, the loudest “progressive” voices think that HRC wasn’t progressive enough and that meant folks didn’t turn out. No, you twats, people who could vote were not allowed to because the suppression that has been steadily going on finally hit enough people with the help of Russian media manipulation to affect the right states. It’s both complicated and simple.

    I see you have the same model of hobbyhorse that I do. It’s one of my favorites. 🐴

  199. 199
    rikyrah says:

    I thought it was interesting what Heilemann said about Bobby Three Sticks – that he’s a Prosecutor’s Prosecutor, and everything else should be looked at through that lense.

    8/9/17
    How the FBI raid on Paul Manafort’s home went down
    Ret. ATF Special Agent Jim Cavanaugh, who worked with Robert Mueller when he was FBI Director, gives a riveting look at the raid on Paul Manafort’s home and the likely state of the special counsel’s legal case. John Heilemann & Mieke Eoyang join Lawrence O’Donnell.

  200. 200
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @bluehill: David A. Graham points out that the “delayed election” question was highly primed by other questions on the poll: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/poll-republicans/536472/

    He also mentions the other studies showing declining reverence for democratic norms. I have my own doubts about what those really mean–after all, the older cohort placing the most importance on living in a democracy is also the cohort that voted the most strongly for Trump, and the kids who valued it the least were the most anti-Trump. So stated contempt for democracy and Trumpism are not necessarily things that go hand-in-hand.

  201. 201
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @SatanicPanic: It’s not as if tuning a guitar is that hard, especially if you’ve got an electronic tuner, which any smartphone can be now.

  202. 202
    sheila in nc says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: And the waves of 2010 redistricting continue to propagate.
    Here in NC, we’ve seen many examples of insanity coming out of the rightward lurch of the state legislature post-2010: voter ID law and bathroom bill are just two egregious examples. But I’ve seen up close and in person how every level of control is important.
    Right after the voter ID law was overturned, before the 2016 election, one of the overturned provisions was regarding number of days (actually, HOURS) of early voting that would be restored. They left it up to each county to rework its own combination of early voting sites and schedules–which days and hours they would be open–to fit the voters’ preferences and the resources available. So far, so good.
    Orange County, NC, where I live, held a public meeting where interested voters could come and offer comments that the Orange County election board could hear and consider in their decisions. Over and over, people asked for weekend voting, especially Sunday voting (a big favorite with people going en masse to vote after church) and voting possibilities for after work hours.
    Most of Orange County, NC (home of Chapel Hill) is Democratic. However, each county’s Board of Elections was at the time defined to consist of one Democrat, one Republican, and a third member of the party of the sitting Governor (a Republican). That person had effectively ultimate veto power over what 70% minimum of the county wanted and was willing to pay for (our Councilman came to testify that resources would be available for the voting sites/days/hours requested.) The Republican sitting on behalf of the Governor nixed every proposal. We all sat there and watched it happen with our mouths hanging open, powerless to change anything.
    (But don’t forget — the legislature, remember them? overreached with the bathroom bill. Backlash against losing key sporting events led directly to the narrow victory of our current Democratic governor!)

    ETA: Just to be clear — the proposals that were nixed were those that included Sunday voting. It was crystal clear racially based voter suppression. I asked that Board member about it afterwards, why he was so opposed. He only said that since NC has no-fault absentee voting (you don’t have to give a reason to get an absentee ballot) he had no problem with any kind of restriction of the early voting since people were absolutely free to request and post an absentee ballot vote.

  203. 203
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @bluehill: @Matt McIrvin: also, I believe the number of self-ID’d Repbulicans has started to slip. I think this is something that happens after all presidential elections, but even at a high water mark of the last twenty years, I doubt 52% of Republicans was more than 20% of the country. Still appalling, but not yet a MAGA revolution.

  204. 204
    frosty says:

    @SatanicPanic: I got a Korean Epi Rivoli bass a few years back that hummed like crazy. The salesman said it was the fluorescent lights in the store. It was the only blond one I’d ever seen, at a good price, so I picked it up.

    Hummed like crazy when I brought it home, so I took it to a luthier who pulled out the pickup, wired it correctly as a humbucker and it’s been fine ever since. Like I said, they’ll need a setup.

  205. 205
    ET says:

    So it seems that the trumpster is on a tear about the Senate getting to work – as if the Senate is filled with 100 of Trump’s minions who jump when he wants – and do what he wants.

    I would feel sorry for Mitch but I don’t. He did this to himself and his half of the Senate. If he didn’t already know (and how could he miss it) Trump thinks everyone is his minion and if Mitch has any sense of the Senate being half of co-equal branch of government he would figure out a way to remind the President that the President is not the boss of the US Congress. Of course since Mitch has completely prostrated and abased himself (and by extension the Republican members of the Senate) I don’t actually expect that to happen. He has tied himself and GOP Senators to Trump’s coattails and now has to live with it.

  206. 206
    tobie says:

    @rikyrah: @LAO: Wouldn’t unequal access to voting in Indiana violate some equity statute? This is effort to increase access to the ballot in R counties and reduce it in D counties is just so brazen.

  207. 207
    JAFD says:

    To add a bit to what I muttered at #166 (or thereabouts):

    3 – Having ‘people of good will’ personing the polling places is important – not just making sure votes get counted accurately, but not having some antisocial petty tyrant behind the registration books, making things as unpleasant as possible for ‘the wrong people’…

    4 – If you want to confound a wingnut who complains about voter fraud, tell him that “This proves that What We Need is a Single Uniform US Citizen ID, that we’ll give to everyone At Birth, linked to Fingerprints, that’ll prove This Person Is Entitled: To Vote In Every Election, To Get Medical Care…”

  208. 208
    sheila in nc says:

    @Mnemosyne: Actually, it’s not alcohol I’d be worried about.

  209. 209
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Matt McIrvin: yeah exactly. Totally unnecessary. I actually use a tuner, but it’s a pedal, it’s the only pedal I bother with anymore and I prefer it because I can plug it into the wall. Anything battery-powered makes me nervous when I have to play a show.

  210. 210

    @Spider-Dan: i don’t see how “I agree” lends that interpretation any more weight. If anything, it makes it even clearer to me that he’s saying “haha you snowflakes act just like the people you claim to find intolerable.”

  211. 211
    SatanicPanic says:

    @frosty: yeah the pickups are usually pretty crappy. I have an Emperor Swingster (or something like that) and it played well out of the box but on my other one I had to replace them and I still don’t think it sounds great, but I’m kind of not that big on Les Pauls anyway so YMMV.

  212. 212
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Republican and Democratic party ID are both slipping–Democratic ID is slipping more, I think. We’re in one of the cycles in which millions suddenly decide they’re “independent” again. Last time it happened was the Tea Party wave. Both parties’ ID had been increasing over the last few years.

  213. 213
    Mnemosyne says:

    @sheila in nc:

    Depends on the kid, I suppose. It was pretty clear with my parents that “no drinking” covered every other possibility, too, but some kids need to have every permutation spelled out. Kay will know what to forbid based on her kid.

  214. 214
    MomSense says:

    @Jeffro:

    That works for me!

  215. 215
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    Does that mean there will or won’t be a Democratic wave next year?

  216. 216
    Jeffro says:

    Btw someone is going to think this Onion story is for real, nickel bet: Trump Boys Sadly Release Pet Alligator Into Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.

    Would that it were “Trump Boys Fall Into Alligator Pond”…sigh…

  217. 217
    Mike in DC says:

    If we can reverse our misfortune at the state level by 2020, then we can also reverse some of the mischief wrought via redistricting, and maybe even roll back the more blatant “voter id” laws.

  218. 218
    Jeffro says:

    @Matt McIrvin: @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    I hadn’t seen that Dem identification was slipping, but Matt is right. Per Pew Research, both parties have been slipping and “independent” does now lead again. I believe this is due to them there young folks choosing to go with the “independent” label. Note that Dem registrations/identification surged when a certain young feller inspired millions of new young voters. No reason why that couldn’t happen again if we move past the Boomers.

  219. 219
    bluehill says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I’d feel better if the past 18 months or so hadn’t occurred.

  220. 220
    rikyrah says:

    @ET:

    He has tied himself and GOP Senators to Trump’s coattails and now has to live with it.

    That is what we have to do – hook Dolt45 to all of them like an anvil

  221. 221
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Jeffro: They dropped again right after Obama got into office, stayed relatively low through Obama’s whole first term, then rose in his second term. It may just be a feature of non-incumbent presidential elections where there’s a lot of interest in primaries.

  222. 222
    StringOnAStick says:

    I’m lucky enough to live in a vote by mail state, though voting in person is still available currently. What I’d love to see is a national standard on voting equipment with all “fill in the bubble” ballots and a counting machine that you could feed it into as soon as you are done voting and get a confirmation of your votes being properly tabulated. I’d like at least one pony as well.

  223. 223

    Letter from 50+ congresspeople from both sides of the aisle to Rex Tillerson asking him to put a sock in Trump’s mouth. I don’t think Tillerson can do it, but it’s worth a try. John Conyers right up front.

  224. 224
    frosty says:

    @Mnemosyne: Please don’t eat the daisies?

  225. 225
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Does that mean there will or won’t be a Democratic wave next year?

    The wave is going to be skewed to places where there were already a lot of Democrats.

    Red Shithole States….not so much.

    Hope there is a Plan B for 2018.

  226. 226
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I recall hearing an interview of some Obama voters on Nice Polite Republicans about 2 or 3 months after he took office; basically a white bro getting totally bent out of shape because Obama had been in office for months and promised to fix the economy but he personally was still out of a job so Obama had betrayed him.

    I work with a new age alt-hippie Boulder type who I think of as my window into the Bbro movement, such as it is. She’s the one who on election day refused to vote for HRC until I told her that her VT savior had said for his followers to vote for her, otherwise she was going to vote for Stein. She’s starting to notice that things aren’t going so hot as far as any Revolution starting to happen. Her comment yesterday after our boss walked away after his usual “tRump is such an idiot” morning rant was that “we chose to be born into this time so we have to find the lesson in it”. JFC; really? I CHOSE to be born in this time? I don’t recall making this choice, you know, being a baby and all that at the time. How do you reach people with that level of delusion about the world?

  227. 227
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jeffro:

    Note that Dem registrations/identification surged when a certain young feller inspired millions of new young voters. No reason why that couldn’t happen again if we move past the Boomers.

    Cue Trump’s “Voting Commission”: HOLD MY BEER AND GET OFF MY LAWN!

  228. 228
    Amir Khalid says:

    @frosty:
    Sounds more like a manufacturing defect to me.

  229. 229
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    If we replace all of the Blue State Republicans in the House, Democrats win back the majority.

  230. 230
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    Not to be pedantic, but G.A.S. actually stands for Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Because, keyboard players, bass players etc. get G.A.S. too.

  231. 231
    randy khan says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I don’t know why you’d think that there would be such a skew. That’s not what happened in 2006 or 2010.

    One reason there wasn’t a skew was that a key component of any wave is that the other side’s voters don’t turn out as much as they usually do, so vote totals for the other side’s incumbents get repressed.

    In any event, Plan A for 2018 has to be to work like crazy to get Dems elected everywhere. If there’s a wave, that will just make it bigger; if there’s not, it’s the way to maximize positive results. You don’t really need a Plan B.

  232. 232
    Amir Khalid says:

    @SatanicPanic:
    Ah yes, that reminds me: I should get spare batteries for my clip-on tuner.

  233. 233
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jeffro:

    And yet – showing some form of simple ID is not unreasonable.

    1. Who pays for it? Voters or the government? Which government? Federal or State?
    2. How does it get completed & verified? DMV? City Hall?
    3. What happens when you move? Is the ID simply an ID identifying you as an American voter, or does it have your address too? If you move to another state, is you ID still valid or must you reregister?

    Trust me, Republicans will make it unreasonable for anyone to get an ID that they don’t want to.

  234. 234

    @StringOnAStick:

    Her comment yesterday after our boss walked away after his usual “tRump is such an idiot” morning rant was that “we chose to be born into this time so we have to find the lesson in it”.

    Wow, she’s really taking the strong anthropic principle and running with it!

  235. 235
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If we replace all of the Blue State Republicans in the House, Democrats win back the majority.

    Yes, but we’ve all noticed that the Republicans in them are either A) really good at pretending to be Republican-lite or B) Located in deep red spots in blue states.

    538 is pointing out that the forest has a lot more trees then expected.

  236. 236
    frosty says:

    @Amir Khalid: Exactly. Should have been wired right in the factory but they screwed it up. Sounds good now though. Or it would if I learned to play it better. :-)

  237. 237
    rikyrah says:

    @TenguPhule:

    @Jeffro:

    And yet – showing some form of simple ID is not unreasonable.

    1. Who pays for it? Voters or the government? Which government? Federal or State?
    2. How does it get completed & verified? DMV? City Hall?

    Remember what happened in Alabama. They require ID, and then proceeded to close damn near ALL the DMV offices located in majority Black areas.

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

  238. 238
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @Amir Khalid: Beware the danger of Guitar Lust! My son expressed the same sentiments as you after buying his first guitar – he now has 37 of them, as well as assorted related paraphernalia. He seems utterly incapable of contolling this affliction. (He does have some beauties, though.)

  239. 239
    Robin G in NY says:

    @rikyrah: I cannot love this enough!

  240. 240
    TenguPhule says:

    @randy khan:

    In any event, Plan A for 2018 has to be to work like crazy to get Dems elected everywhere. If there’s a wave, that will just make it bigger; if there’s not, it’s the way to maximize positive results. You don’t really need a Plan B.

    You always need a plan B. The Republicans aren’t even trying to hide the fact that they plan to cheat, lie and if necessary simply deny voters the right to vote. The legal battles over vote recounts and voting districts lacking resources to allow everyone who wants to vote be able to vote are shaping up to be on a level never seen before.

    And that’s assuming Russia doesn’t try for more chaos by actually tilting a voting machine so that there’s solid evidence of a result being changed.

  241. 241
    randy khan says:

    @TenguPhule:

    That’s not a Plan B. Addressing that stuff is part of what goes into Plan A.

    My point is that you don’t assume a wave. You assume you need to do everything possible to win.

  242. 242
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Well, then, let’s just all roll over now and not even try since we’re totally fucked and there’s no way to ever win.

  243. 243
    TenguPhule says:

    @randy khan:

    That’s not a Plan B. Addressing that stuff is part of what goes into Plan A.

    I don’t share your confidence that any of it is factored in Plan A.

  244. 244
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Well, then, let’s just all roll over now and not even try since we’re totally fucked and there’s no way to ever win.

    Recognizing a problem is the first step to figuring out how to fix it. Its not going to go away simply because we want it to. We’re not underpants Gnomes, we actually need Step 2.

  245. 245
    Miss Bianca says:

    @StringOnAStick: Silly String…*obviously*, you chose BEFORE YOU WERE BORN to be born into this time, of course! Being as your spirit is/was totally cognizant and self-aware before you became incorporated. I thought *everyone* knew this stuff!

  246. 246
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Beats me! I suspect mostly what it means is that people are pissed off and there’s not a presidential primary campaign going on.

  247. 247
    TenguPhule says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Now all we need is a smarter electorate.

    You go to the polls with the idiots you have, not the civic minded citizens you wish you had.

  248. 248
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Of course, that’s not what you said at all. This is what you said:

    Yes, but we’ve all noticed that the Republicans in them are either A) really good at pretending to be Republican-lite or B) Located in deep red spots in blue states.

    You’re assuming that the effort to throw blue state Republicans out of office 18 months from now will automatically fail regardless of any efforts we make in the next 18 months.

    That’s not a “Plan B.” That’s telling people that failure is inevitable and they shouldn’t even try to change that over the next year and a half.

    Fuck off with your cheap cynicism and unwillingness to help and let the adults talk. You’re like a 10 year old who doesn’t want to put his dirty clothes in the hamper because they’ll just get dirty again the next time they get washed.

  249. 249
    Kay says:

    @sheila in nc:

    I think he’s okay. He’s only allowed out to 11 and it stays light so long up there kids are out in droves fairly late- even little kids. It’s far north and on the end of a time zone. The days are really long. There’s a biker-ish bar with no music or outdoor area that looks sketchy but the others are like food AND drink. It’s important to us that they handle themselves some times. If they don’t screw up we give them a pretty long leash.

  250. 250
    Mnemosyne says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    morning rant was that “we chose to be born into this time so we have to find the lesson in it”

    I could work with that. My question is, Is your lesson that you’re supposed to stand by and let white supremacists take over our country? Because that’s what you’ve been doing so far.

  251. 251
    ruemara says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think it’s a zombie horse

  252. 252
    randy khan says:

    @TenguPhule:

    It’s in my Plan A. That’s what I was talking about – what the Dems should do.

  253. 253
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Miss Bianca: Does the Bardo Thodol have something to say about this?

  254. 254
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @james parente: And then you will sell countless pieces of gear (at a substantial loss) only to regret ever letting them go, or even worse, buying them a 2nd or 3rd time.

  255. 255
    SgrAstar says:

    @MomSense: “We” will never accomplish that. Since I’ve been living this idea- that coastal liberals should transform red America by moving there- I can attest that this transformation won’t happen in my, or anyone’s, lifetime. In my very red state, we outsiders are isolated and declawed, politically. Liberals cluster on the coasts, but we also clump together in red state cities, so it’s political child’s play to gerrymander us out of any kind of power. The fight to undo this is an unending, expensive battle without a necessarily positive outcome. Republicans here run a corrupt, theocratic machine that has its grubby little hands firmly glued to the levers of power. Fact is, living here is not worth the aggravation and demoralizing stigmatization. I can’t wait to move home to the BA. Grrrrr.

  256. 256
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You’re assuming that the effort to throw blue state Republicans out of office 18 months from now will automatically fail regardless of any efforts we make in the next 18 months.

    I did not say that. I am pointing out with some backup from 538 that the environment for the Democratic Party to get a majority in the House & Senate is going to be a hostile one. And that dismissing that with “just take out the Republicans in Blue States” is pie in the sky thinking because the reason they are in blue states is because 1)Their individual districts are not blue and/or 2) They play the role of “reasonable Republican” well enough to fool enough of their voters to keep sending them back.

    They’re in hardened and prepared positions and its going to take significant resources and planning to dig them out of those bunkers. I’m not seeing that happen with the DNC or any of the campaigns targeting these Republicans so far. Lots of enthusiasm and outrage, but zero coordination. And its going to take significant targeted coordination at local and national level to have a chance at overcoming the advantages the Republicans have created, bought and stolen for their districts.

  257. 257
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I’m not seeing that happen with the DNC or any of the campaigns targeting these Republicans so far.

    Wut? Here in CA, we already have Democrats competing to run against Republican House members in red districts. I have friends in CA-25 actively working on this. Mary G is is Darrell Issa’s district where they have two Democrats vying to run against him.

    Perhaps you need to get out more and see what’s actually happening on the ground right now rather than rely on Nate Silver’s crystal ball to predict events that are 18 months away.

  258. 258
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    And I’ll give you one more metaphor: you’re the guy at the writer’s conference who’s asking detailed questions about what his marketing strategy should be and then admits that he hasn’t even started writing the book yet.

    Take that cart and put it behind the horse, or it’s not going to go very far.

  259. 259
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @Amir Khalid: I know MIJ and Mexican Squire Starts both get good reviews (though they are hit and miss) for a reasonable price. Also check out Sammick guitars. I have a Tele and a Semi-Hollow, they are great once you get some better pickups (and maybe pots.).

    Glad to hear your inspired. Making music (at any level) is one of the greatest joys in the world.

    I have good luck with EpiphoneLP’s (except for sometimes having tuning issues.)

  260. 260
    The Lodger says:

    @Matt McIrvin: The Don Pardo Thodol has answers, but you have to come up with the questions.

  261. 261
    Monala says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I stopped listening to NPR during my commute because I was so sick of all the “let’s understand Trump voters” stories. They never tried to understand any other voters (except for occasional stories about the undecided).

    The only story about a Clinton voter I heard on NPR during the entire election season was an interview with a young gay man from Orlando who supported Clinton because his voting priorities were LGBT rights and gun control. David Green had the nerve to ask him why he would support a candidate who was so disliked — a question he never asked any Trump supporters, whose support was accepted at face value. I give that young man much props, because his answer was awesome. “Empathy, ” he said. “I think one of the biggest problems in our society is a lack of empathy for people who are different from you, whether it’s race or religion or sexual orientation. From everything I’ve heard of Hillary Clinton, she has that empathy. “

  262. 262
    Architeuthis says:

    @LAO:

    Who knew guitar ownership was similar to tattoos or lays potato chips. You really do learn something new everyday!

    It’s a horrible disease; there’s a term for it in the guitar community: GAS- Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Guitars, amps, pedals… They just sort of accumulate. Even worse if you’ve been doing it a long time and picked up studio gear over the years. It does make a welcome distraction from the clownshow, though.

    I do approve of the Telecaster as the instrument of choice; I’m a fan myself. The current Squiers are indeed good quality instruments.

  263. 263
    J R in WV says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    @Jeffro:
    Before Voter ID, and after the VRA, did voters need identification?

    You get a Voter’s Registration card when you register from your address – it has your signature, which matches your signature in the Voter’s Registration book (computer file) at your voting precinct.

    If your signature when you check in to vote doesn’t match the signature on the Voter’s Registration book/file, you get to cast a provisional ballot, which needs additional scrutiny before it counts.

    I have been asked to show my Voter’s Registration Card once in the past 40 years, when they reorganized the precincts in the county to get more equal numbers of voters in each precinct. They explained why they were asking for our Voter’s Registration cards when we entered the school gymnasium and steered us to one of the two precincts voting in the gym.

    My signature is my ID. What’s so hard about that? They do know I voted, but not how or for whom….

  264. 264
    Canadian Shield says:

    I have a shameful (in quantity) guitar and amp collection and play gigs on the side (of my day job). Guitar and Amp selection is very much influenced by the type of music and sound that you are going for. If you’re at the start of your musical guitar journey, I’d recommend just rolling with what you have for now. Although Effect Pedals can be an inexpensive way to shake things up and inspire yourself if you are getting bored.

  265. 265
    J R in WV says:

    @randy khan:

    Pretty sure Green Card holders, who are permanent residents, are allowed to vote in Federal elections. Could be wrong, but I think they can as permanent residents.

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