Thursday Morning Open Thread: Bad Week for the Repubs

(Tom Toles via

‘Nothing bodes well’...

Re the Washington Post, “Lackluster election results spark debate over Trump’s midterm role”:

A new round of lackluster showings by Republican candidates reignited a debate Wednesday within the GOP over whether President Trump will be a drag on the party’s chances in November and should stay out of some of the country’s most hotly contested races.

Inside the White House, Trump aides are mapping out plans for the fall that would offer a variety of options to Republican candidates, including visits by the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump to blue states and presidential tweets to bolster red-state allies.

But mounting apprehension about Trump’s political capital lingered in Washington and on the campaign trail.

In a flurry of elections on Tuesday — from the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, to the technology corridor in Washington state — Democrats turned out in droves and significantly overperformed expectations by posing serious challenges to Republicans in staunchly GOP districts.

Many Republican strategists viewed the results as a dark omen three months ahead of Election Day, saying they illustrate the limits of Trump’s ability to boost candidates, particularly in suburban areas where the president’s popularity has suffered.

Even in Republican primaries, securing Trump’s endorsement was not a guarantee of electoral success…

[Ohio’s] Balderson was far from the only Republican who underwhelmed on Tuesday.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, failed to win 50 percent of the vote in a primary and will face Democrat Lisa Brown in November. Washington state has a nonpartisan primary process in which the top two finishers move on to the general election.

All year, McMorris Rodgers has been confronting pointed questions about her support for Trump’s policies…

In Michigan, where Democrats are aiming to take back the governor’s mansion, voter turnout set records, according to state officials, with more than 2 million votes cast — the most in the state since 1978…


Too, also:


If cornflakes are an acceptable breakfast, why not popcorn?

145 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Everybody is still asleep I guess.

  2. 2
    Platonailedit says:

    Add GOP Rep. Collins, arrested today for insider trading, to the list of the indicted, convicted or disgraced that surround the President: Gates, Manafort, Flynn, Pruitt, Jackson, Price, Papadopoulos, Porter…

    For a complete list, Twitter will need to expand character limit.

    — Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) August 8, 2018

  3. 3
    Platonailedit says:

    ryan teague beckwith @ryanbeckwith

    People Trump accused of secretly taping him:
    • Barack Obama
    • James Comey

    People who actually secretly taped Trump:
    • Michael Cohen
    • Omarosa Manigault

    1:36 AM – Aug 9, 2018

  4. 4
    Amir Khalid says:

    If cornflakes are an acceptable breakfast, why not popcorn?

    Have you tried milk on your popcorn?

  5. 5
    Platonailedit says:


    The best reply to that tweet.

    The Deep State is calling from inside the house!— Dan Ornelas (@DanielMOrnelas) August 8, 2018

  6. 6
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’ve got a suckass summer cold, nasty throat, coughing like hell and go on the road tomorrow. I’ve decided not to tell my bride about the snake, I don’t see what good it would do her.

  7. 7
    geg6 says:

    Mark Ambinder…haven’t heard that name in years. Though maybe he died. Or just faded away. Apparently not. Still an asshole.

  8. 8
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Amir Khalid: With a nice coating of real butter, who needs more dairy?

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: The joys of traveling while ill!

    Telling her about the snake would only get her checking the bath every 5 minutes while keeping it locked and sealed the rest of the time. Not to mention knocking on the neighbors door every time she has to pee.

  10. 10
    Platonailedit says:


    Yup. Ambinder was the cilliza of 2008 elections era.

  11. 11
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yup. It’s the damndest thing.

  12. 12
    Platonailedit says:

    Asshole ambinder, who is wired for rethugs, is getting many pushbacks like this.

    It's silly. Democrats have flipped like 40 state legislative seats, the Virgninia Democratic party posted several huge wins. Connor Lamb is a House Rep, Doug Jones is a Senator. People just like the "bash the Democrats" narrative.— DJ Polite (@Polite_DPJ) August 8, 2018

  13. 13
    Platonailedit says:

    I had to enable privacy busting ‘Remember search and form history’ in firefox just to get around the effing login issue around here.

  14. 14
    p.a. says:

    If their nonviolent vote suppression/caging efforts don’t seem effective by November I suspect them to resort to violence and threats; guns etc in some locations. They’re already prepping the vote fraud meme to try to overturn expected losses post-election.
    It’s what fascists do.

  15. 15
    A Ghost To Most says:

    WNY has the Alabama Swamp in the center. Coincidence? I think not.

  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Platonailedit: I am able to fill in my name and email simply by double clicking on the box and then clicking on the popup. Takes me an extra 3 seconds. I would think you could do the same. Than again when it comes to computers, I’m an idiot.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    Toss-up as to whether am still operating on NY time or am being visited by ol’ buddy insomnia.

    Or both.

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Platonailedit: Can’t edit. I also use Firefox.

  19. 19
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: as the days are getting shorter the sunrise has been getting slightly later, and I have been sleeping longer. Seven hours instead of my usual six, it’s weird.

  20. 20
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  21. 21
    satby says:

    @raven: sounded like you isolated and solved the problem yesterday, so now it may make sense not to mention it. And if it comes back while you’re gone, take that secret to the grave.

  22. 22
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: I have been getting up in the dark for so long I don’t know what I’d do if I woke up and saw the sun in the sky.

  23. 23
    satby says:

    @NotMax: I vote for both too.

    @rikyrah: Good morning 😊!

  24. 24
    rikyrah says:

    That is shade.😄😄

  25. 25
    Platonailedit says:


    Yes, you can do that if you enable that option in ff. The thing is it is universal and it will remember all your filled names and mail id’s forever in its cute cache until you clear it. That’s why I have always disabled it.

  26. 26

    Forget it. They’re a political movement of whining chickenshits. It’s their overtly stated cause. They have been saying they won’t accept losing, but they always do.

  27. 27
    Betty Cracker says:

    This has been the most exhausting week. I’ve been super-busy with work, plus I’ve got volunteer stuff going on with the local Democratic Party and affiliated groups. I may have over-committed on every front.

    Badger is in puppy school, and I almost skipped it last night because I was so tired. But I was afraid we’d miss something important.

    The teacher reviewed signals that dogs give that indicate their mood, including ears, eyes, etc. When she talked about tails, she said, “Now, who in this class would be hard to read? That’s right, Badger, because he doesn’t have a tail.”

    And I said, “He does too have a tail! It’s just small. And seemingly non-functional.”

    I was so embarrassed for him, getting called out in front of the whole class like that. Jeez!

  28. 28
    p.a. says:

    @raven: I was helping another tech on an inside (phone) wire trouble in an old farmhouse (farm had been subdivided.) I found about a 4′ snakeskin in a dark corner of the basement. Asked the other tech if we should tell the (female) owner. He said “Pal, if that was my wife the For Sale sign would be up by dinner. Just put it back and don’t mention it.”

  29. 29
    debbie says:


    But the shock of seeing it …

  30. 30
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: well, I prefer to wake up at least by 5:30 and I’ve seldom needed an alarm to get up, but I may need to start using one. I want to sit and enjoy my coffee and the blog, not jump into a shower and run out the door to get to the market when it opens at 7. Though during the week it doesn’t really matter if I get there by 8.
    Four days a week, I may as well get a real job again 😜

  31. 31
    rikyrah says:

    I thought that the Nunes tape would be a post unto itself

  32. 32
    Platonailedit says:

    REALITY CHECK:If low-tech civilians like Michael Cohen and Omarosa have managed to *secretly* record trump, is there really any doubt that a guy like Putin, who was TRAINED to do, it doesn't have a butthole FULL of tapes?#LordyThereAreTapes— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) August 8, 2018

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  34. 34
    debbie says:


    Too busy analyzing the hidden meanings of “up the road.” ;)

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    I trust you guys aren’t secretly taping me.

  36. 36
    satby says:

    @p.a.: my friend and her partner bought a farmhouse outside Mobile, and was on a conference call that I was also on when she suddenly announced there was an emergency and she had to get off. She texted me a picture of why, a huge (at least 4-5 ft) snake had crawled out of the fireplace and was climbing back up the bricks of the mantle. She grabbed her two small dogs and ran out the door. Had an exterminator come get rid of the snake.
    I’m not afraid of snakes, I moved several out of my yard and once the house in MI, but they were all garter snakes and small.

  37. 37
    Kay says:

    The Missouri anti-RTW vote info will be useful to Claire McCaskill. It gives her a map where she can pick up voters post-Trump.

    Claire McCaskill is lucky. I know people say “you make your own luck” and I suppose that’s true to a certain extent but she isn’t UNLUCKY :)

  38. 38
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: Is no less when forewarned. I really don’t see the purpose in needlessly worrying someone about something they can do absolutely nothing about (Raven has already done what little can be done) and that in all likelihood will never happen again anyway.

  39. 39
    Kay says:


    I wonder if Trump secretly tapes people. I bet he does.

    They’re all such horrible people. No wonder they’re so miserable and nasty. They’re horrible to one another, in addition to being mean to everyone else.

  40. 40
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Not a word.

  41. 41
    Kay says:


    I’m glad they got it but I honestly think that’s in the category of “scandal only if it’s a Democrat”

    Base R’s will love it. This is what they expect and hope he’ll do. They don’t see Congress as having any real role outside of rubberstamping Trump and sticking it to the libs.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    @Kay: Seems above his cognitive abilities.

  43. 43
    debbie says:


    Then he better never, EVER let her know that he knew. Not even a tiny hint.

  44. 44
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: What Claire is, is smart. And tough. And ruthless.

    A funny thing I noticed on my ballot. We actually had a Dem running for every office on the ballot (I suspect their actual chances of success being >0) all of them unopposed. Except for Claire. She had 6 opponents. I can only assume they were all leftier than thou vanity candidates.

  45. 45
    MattF says:

    @Kay: I’d assume he does. The only reason I can think of why he might not is an assumption that everyone is secretly taping everything, so why bother?

  46. 46
    Kristine says:

    @satby: there are no venomous snakes in my area of Illinois, so I like them. Glad the racers live in my property. But I grew up in Florida, where you could wake up to rattlers in the utility room and cottonmouths Inside The House. It’s a bit of a relief to not have to be concerned.

  47. 47
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Draft Adam Schiff 2020.

  48. 48
    raven says:

    @p.a.: Yea, we saw one under the house 4 years ago and she’s still got the willies!

  49. 49
    Schlemazel says:

    If he were I am sure he couldn’t keep his mouth shut & we would have been subjected to hours of his crap by now. He is such an incompetent I doubt he is capable of it. but mostly think he does not want a record of what he says, he knows he is running a con & does not want to be on record.

  50. 50
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    there are no venomous snakes in my area of Illinois,

    Where do you live? I suspect you have copperheads at the very least.

  51. 51
    Ken says:


    he knows he is running a con & does not want to be on record

    The tearing up of every piece of paper is also a tiny tell.

    Who am I kidding, it’s as obvious a tell as LeChiffre bleeding from the eye when he got a good poker hand in Casino Royale.

  52. 52
    rikyrah says:

    We were told awhile ago that Dolt45 goes around talking on unsecure phones..

    OF COURSE, foreign governments have tapes on him.😠😠

  53. 53
    raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yea, jefferw would have something to add to that!

  54. 54
    Kay says:


    I think so too but I’ve been thinking about “luck” lately. Like, for example, how Hillary Clinton is not lucky. One of my sisters (who is a big Clinton supporter) said “there’s something tragic about her” (Clinton)- like if things CAN go wrong they will go wrong. Obviously Clinton is fine and she’s had an amazing career and all that but she wanted to be President., so that’s using that measure of success.

    One of the questions my husband sometimes asks prospective jurors is whether or not they think they are “lucky”. He’s looking for gratitude and a certain generosity (criminal defense) but he’s also looking for if they see that some people just get a raw deal or a bad break, are not “lucky”. He gets great answers to that question- he learns a lot about the person.

  55. 55
    MattF says:

    @Ken: Trump probably picked up the ‘tear up everything’ habit from the NY mobsters he dealt with.

  56. 56
    Daniel'sBob says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Definitely copperheads in southern Illinois. Not aware of any venomous snakes remaining here in northern Illinois.

  57. 57
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Draft Adam Schiff 2020.

    Bless him for the excellent work he’s doing in the US House of Representatives. Long may he remain there, and may his party soon be in the majority!

    Toward which end (as I’ve stated tediously often) I’m working on GOTV in our state. 3 of our Congressional seats could turn blue this fall, if enough people vote D.

  58. 58
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @raven: That sucks! Feel better soon.

  59. 59
    Kay says:


    Oh, it wouldn’t be a representative record. He’d take out all the bad parts about himself or not say them to begin with.

    That’s Secret Taping 101. But you’re probably right- he couldn’t just do the prompts – sit there and encourage the person to implicate themselves. He’d have to fucking blab the whole time and the other person wouldn’t get a word in.

  60. 60
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Kay: She must be a big fan of Voltaire: ‘O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.’

  61. 61
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: Obligatory:

    Gloom, despair, and agony on me
    Deep, dark depression, excessive misery
    If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all
    Gloom, despair, and agony on me

    As for not being elected President, maybe that is lucky. I am reminded of the Onion headline the day after Obama was elected: Black Man Given Nations Worst Job

  62. 62
    Platonailedit says:

    For those dems don’t do anything whiners.

    Democratic lawmakers are now calling for an investigation into how 3 Mar-a-Lago members are shaping policy and personnel at the Department of Veterans Affairs following a ProPublica report.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 9, 2018

  63. 63
    Platonailedit says:

    Dear Laura Ingraham: I served on active duty to defend your right to make racist statements.

    America is not a race or demographic. It's a beautiful & bold idea, based on life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. You @IngrahamAngle are no more American than I am or others are.— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) August 9, 2018

  64. 64
    raven says:


    Family Crotalidae – These are the venomous snakes including the rattlesnakes, copperhead and cottonmouth that are found in Illinois. These “pit vipers” have a pit on each side of the head that detects infrared radiation to help them locate warm-blooded prey at night. They also have a pair of fangs in the front of the mouth, a triangular-shaped head and an elliptical pupil in the eye. They give birth to live young.

    copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
    cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
    timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)*
    massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus)**

  65. 65
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daniel’sBob: I looked up the range for copperheads and much to my surprise you are correct. Out of curiosity I looked up timber rattlers and you do in fact have them in N IL, but only along the Mississippi and tributaries. Which I also find a little surprising.

  66. 66
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: That is an excellent question for prospective jurors. I bet it’s a great way to weed out (or at least identify) the type of folks who believe they earned every good thing that’s ever happened in their lives and sneer at less fortunate people for personally making bad choices every step of the way.

  67. 67
  68. 68
  69. 69
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I hate snakes even though I know that the good snakes rid my yard of other nuisance pests.

  70. 70
    Platonailedit says:

    This should be headlined.

    HUGE NEWS: Small-dollar donors have now raised over $1 BILLION on ActBlue during this election cycle alone!! With months to go before Election Day, grassroots donors have raised more on ActBlue so far this cycle than during the ENTIRE 2016 presidential election cycle ($781M).— ActBlue (@actblue) August 2, 2018

  71. 71
  72. 72
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: There are no bad snakes. Just some snakes one needs to give a little more space than others.

  73. 73
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Betty Cracker:

  74. 74
  75. 75
    Jeffro says:

    Hmmm just curious: why is it not a daily scandal/outrage/full stop that Trumpov met 1-on-1 with Putin (the guy who ordered the attack on our country’s election two years ago, putting Trumpov in power) in Helsinki and we STILL don’t know what was said between the two of them? I mean, Dan. Frickin’. Coats doesn’t even know.

    Moving on to the domestic scene here: I think this op-ed should be titled “Por Que No Los Dos?” instead of “The Democratic Party Has Two Futures“. The latter title makes it sounds like we have to make a choice, when in fact, we can have the best of both worlds…

    …because that’s what the majority of this country wants.

    On Tuesday, Democratic primary voters demonstrated a strong preference for centrist candidates; in May and June, they chose progressives. Looking toward the general election in November, there is evidence in support of both the Abrams and the Bredesen strategies…

    Data For Progress also cited the Kaiser Family Foundation health tracking poll from March that reported strong backing for universal Medicare coverage — a key element of the platforms of many of the Democratic senators exploring bids for the 2020 presidential nomination. Kaiser noted that

    Six in ten (59 percent) favor a national health plan, or Medicare-for-all, in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan — including a majority of both Democrats and independents and about one-third of Republicans.
    Thirty-eight percent oppose such a plan.

    In addition, support for universal Medicare increases among the overall public (75 percent) and among partisans (87 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of independents, and 64 percent of Republicans) when framed as an option for anyone who wants it, but people who currently have other forms of coverage can keep the coverage they already have.

    Kaiser did warn, however, that it is unclear how support would fare if these proposals became part of the larger public debate as previous Kaiser Family Foundation polling has found the public’s attitudes can be quite malleable.

    The Data for Progress survey found that other progressive policies face substantial opposition. Reparations, in the form of “offering compensation or tax credits to descendants of slaves,” was opposed 48-27. Giving every American $1,000 a month to be “paid for by raising taxes on people making more than $150,000” was opposed 43-37.

    In “The Future of The Party,” McElwee, the lead author of the report commissioned by Justice Democrats, takes a strong stand against Democrats in the Bredesen mold. Section titles include “The Democratic Party simply cannot move to the center; the base won’t allow it” and “The path forward is unleashing nonvoters, not targeting the mushy middle.”

    The May 22 primary result in Georgia supports McElwee’s thesis: Abrams beat a more moderate opponent, Stacey Evans, in a landslide, 76.5 to 23.5. The Aug. 2 primary result in Tennessee, however, does not: Bredesen, who rejects liberal Democratic orthodoxy, faced virtually no opposition in the primary, winning the senatorial nomination with 91.5 percent of the vote.

    The results of the primaries held on Tuesday generally support the Bredesen-centrist strategy. The Washington Post reported that the “Democratic Party’s liberal insurgency hits a wall in Midwest primaries”; Politico pointed out that “Tuesday night’s largely Midwest primaries produced a near-shutout for the anti-establishment left”; and The Wall Street Journal declared that “Most Candidates Backed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders Falter.”

    On May 18, however, the political website 538 reported:

    The Democratic Party woke up this morning with a clear signal from Tuesday’s primary elections: The #Resistance means business. The more progressive candidate won in Democratic primaries around the country.

    Message: stay progressive, stay true to Democratic policies and voters. That’s not hard. The majority not only wants something other than what the Trumpublicans are offering, they actually favor progressive solutions.

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    Can we do a fundraiser for ProPublica?
    The reporting that they have done is invaluable.

  77. 77
    Jeffro says:

    Also, check it out: we finally have a good shot at sending Dave Brat back to the Breitbart comments section, where he belongs.

    MIDLOTHIAN, Va. — The Liberal Women of Chesterfield County did not exist when Representative Dave Brat, propelled by Tea Party-infused energy, shocked the Republican establishment in 2014 and defeated the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, in a primary triumph here that presaged even greater political upheaval two years later.

    Now they’re all up in his grill.

    Mr. Brat stunned Mr. Cantor, building an army of grass-roots supporters on the ground that was aided in the air by conservative commentators like Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin. Then he made waves of another kind last year, complaining to Republican supporters about women, their health care protests, their dogged presence and his aforementioned grill.

    They haven’t gone away. A race that was once considered solidly in the Republican camp is now rated a tossup, and the Liberal Women of Chesterfield County are stirring women to come out in such great numbers that the Democratic nominee, Abigail Spanberger, a well-credentialed former C.I.A. officer, may make history of a different sort in a district that has been deeply Republican for decades.

  78. 78
    comrade scotts agenda of rage says:


    The Missouri anti-RTW vote info will be useful to Claire McCaskill. It gives her a map where she can pick up voters post-Trump. Claire McCaskill is lucky. I know people say “you make your own luck” and I suppose that’s true to a certain extent but she isn’t UNLUCKY :)

    We on the left here in Misery have never been fans of McCaskill for a plethora of obvious reasons. Charlie Pierce describes her best “Hi, I’m Claire McCaskill and I feel strongly both ways about that.”

    That being said, she has 2 distinct superpowers:

    1) Running for office in a wave year, and
    2) Having incompetent opponents.

    #1 was in play in 2006 and again this year. #2 was in play in 2012.

    She doesn’t need a map really because she’s been laying the groundwork for this run since the Popular Vote Loser was elected. Actually more like the day Roy Fucking Blunt was reelected. Without naming him, she’s running against him despite the fact he’s not her opponent. What she’s been doing is going to blood red districts where the overwhelming majority of voters hate her and will *never* vote for her. But then she points out that she’s there but when was the last time anybody saw Roy Rucking Blunt there?

    That stragety has an enormous impact on what I call “marginal Democrats” in those blood red counties. It makes them want to come out and vote. She needs to lose those rurl counties by, let’s say 60-40 and not 80-20 (which is how the Popular Vote Loser won said counties, like mine, the second reddest in this state).

    I too noted her 6 primary opponents, none of whom have made even the most minor splash this cycle. Yeah, those of us who are left of McCaskill (and that’s not hard) and who get tired of her constant hippy-punching-while-asking-said-hippies-for-money aren’t part of the Our Progressive Betters crowd; we actually take electoral responsibility for our votes, thus, we vote for her because ultimately, what she does in the Senate and some of the crap that comes out of her mouth is all worth it if we get rid of McConnell as Majority Leader.

  79. 79
    Jeffro says:

    Well hey lookee here: as if purging (largely Democratic) voters and trying to require ID and other measures weren’t enough, the GOP is secretly funding independents on the ballot in order to siphon off Dem votes

    A Virginia judge appointed a special prosecutor Tuesday to look into a case of potential forgery and other election law violations after multiple suspicious signatures were found on a petition to get an independent congressional candidate on the ballot, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

    But there’s a big twist: The signatures for that independent candidate, Shaun Brown, were collected by paid campaign staffers for the incumbent Republican candidate in the race, Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA).

    Hmmm…sounds familiar…

  80. 80
    Elizabelle says:


    One of the questions my husband sometimes asks prospective jurors is whether or not they think they are “lucky”. He’s looking for gratitude and a certain generosity (criminal defense) but he’s also looking for if they see that some people just get a raw deal or a bad break, are not “lucky”. He gets great answers to that question- he learns a lot about the person.

    That’s a phenomenal question. I think it undergirds a lot.

  81. 81
  82. 82
    Elizabelle says:

    @Jeffro: I belong to that group! Am in the next county over, but they’re an inclusive group.

    Postcard-writing pool party this weekend!

  83. 83
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage: We will never get an Elizabeth Warren here. Claire is about the best we can do.

  84. 84
    Elizabelle says:

    @Jeffro: But dammit, Abigail (and NY Times, which can’t embrace enough misogyny and ageism with Democratic women):

    Like many new Democratic candidates, Ms. Spanberger has tried to inoculate herself against Republican assertions that she is a liberal in the mold of Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader. Ms. Spanberger said that “under no circumstances would I vote for her to be speaker.” She also points to her background tracking terrorists for the C.I.A. and her work on drug and money-laundering cases in law enforcement.

    I really mean to ask Abigail about that. Although: whatevs. She would be — and will be — an excellent congresscritter.

    PS: The FTF NY Times has a newish feature in its obits section: obituaries for prominent women who did not get them, at the time.

    Bizarro world. Meanwhile, they could not bury Hillary Clinton fast enough. Not falling for it, Sulzberger fuckers.

  85. 85
    comrade scotts agenda of rage says:


    I’ve lived here 22+ years, I’m aware of that. It doesn’t meant we can’t remind her that her core constituents never forget that we “settle” for her. If she spent half as much time listening to her constituents and acting on their behalf as she does bashing half of those that got her elected and triangulating for money she wouldn’t be in such a precarious position.

    I will give her credit for being very consistently Democrat on one thing: women’s reproductive rights. It’s why she’ll never vote for Kavenaugh’s confirmation.

  86. 86
    Betty Cracker says:

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage & @OzarkHillbilly: Thank goodness y’all are realistic about it. I get why some of what McCaskill says is infuriating. I like her anyway. Her folksy shtick works on me for some reason.

  87. 87
    A Ghost To Most says:

    After growing up with cottonmouths, and living with nasty-ass copperheads in MD forever, living next to one of the premier rattlesnake habitats on the Front Range is kind of meh.
    At least they let you know they’re there.

  88. 88
    Elizabelle says:

    @Jeffro: It’s Thomas Edsall. He was hired at the FTF NY Times (was formerly a high Broderist with the WaPost) to do the “watch out Dems — you’re about to step on your dicks again — even though you may not actually have one!” columns. There is no strength a Democrat can display that is not fodder for “Dems in Disarray” by Edsall.


  89. 89
    comrade scotts agenda of rage says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    One thing that always sticks in the back of my mind regarding McCaskill is something I read years ago, probably in the lead up to her 2012 reelection campaign: her biggest progressive critics are her daughters, she’s said as much in interviews over the years.

    She might not listen to somebody like me and while she is still infuriating, I also figure when she says something colossally timid or downright stupid, her girls are probably giving her righteous shit about it.

  90. 90
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage: On a personal level I like Claire. On the realistic level I understand why she hippie punches. This is Misery.

  91. 91
    MagdaInBlack says:

    We do have the occasional timber rattler show up along the Illinois River in the sandstone bluffs near Ottawa, IL , but it is so rare as to be big news in the local papers.

  92. 92

    @Elizabelle: His D concern trolling always comes wrapped up in statistics and “studies”. His every article can be summarized as, Ds are in trouble and should be concerned.

  93. 93
    Dupe1970 says:

    @Amir Khalid: It’s actually good if you don’t have pre-salted / pre-buttered popcorn…. ;-P

  94. 94
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Interesting point from Dave Weigel:

    Check out the trend in #MO02, a suburban St. Louis seat designed for Rep. Ann Wagner.

    Total D vote in 2014: 54,557
    Total R vote in 2014: 55,322

    D vote in 2018: 96,972
    R vote in 2018: 74,933

  95. 95
    JWL says:

    There’s nothing new under the sun. “Impeach Earl Warren”. That’s a golden oldie bumper sticker from my youth. It was assumed the nuts that drove around with them were too small a political minority to pose a serious risk to the country. Then Ronald Reagan was elected, and the democratic party began to sell its soul in increments. Then Donald Trump was elected, and here we are..

  96. 96
    Platonailedit says:


    So the dem votes are there. They just need to fucking turn up.

  97. 97
    randy khan says:


    Really, Virginia by itself is the answer to that question. Dem campaigns across the state had so many volunteers they had to find that begs for them to do.

  98. 98
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @JWL: a few years ago, I was watching an old episode of All In the Family, probably from early ’77, Archie was fighting with the Meathead and his closing shot was “Yer gonna get Reagan (pronounced Reegan) in ’80, buddy!”, and the live studio audience or some facsimile thereof laughed at that crazy notion. I mentioned that to my father and he said that at that time, he was having lunch with two colleagues and one said pretty much the same thing, my dad looked up to join in what he assumed would be a laughing response to an obvious joke to hear his other colleague say “Amen”

  99. 99
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Platonailedit: That and IND’s. There was a lot happening on the DEM ballot in STL county.

  100. 100
    Tim C. says:

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage: Realism… I like it. No, this is part of what drives me insane about some people in solid blue states like mine who whine about What the Red-state dems need to do to stay viable. We can have a less-than-optimal Democrat or a Republican, that’s the reality.

  101. 101
    Platonailedit says:


    I am doubly happy if the indies are leaning dem at least this cycle.

  102. 102
    tobie says:

    @Jeffro: The Kansas City Star reported yesterday that a Republican PAC had engaged in a classic ratfvcking operation in KS-03. They would call Democrats ostensibly as ‘concerned’ citizens to say Brent Welder was too progressive with his plans for free healthcare and a $15 minimum wage. The strategy was actually to push Democrats to Welder by highlighting things Democrats value, since the GOP thought Yoder could beat him handily. Roger Stone must be proud of his spawn! All this, with news that the GOP is trying to put Independents and Greens on the ballot, makes me think that domestic bot traffic is going to be a real problem.

  103. 103
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @geg6: you can take the asshole out of the Village, but you can’t take the Village out of the asshole.

  104. 104
    tobie says:


    Ms. Spanberger has tried to inoculate herself against Republican assertions that she is a liberal in the mold of Representative Nancy Pelosi of California

    Wait, whoa, I thought Nancy Pelosi was a corporate Dem and neoliberal shill. Now my head is spinning. We need a new verb: Pelosi is being hillaryized, meaning attacked from all sides as too-liberal, too-conservative, too-old, too-DC-entrenched, too-coastal, too-weak, too-strong, etc. I am so tired of women of a certain age being used as punching bags.

  105. 105
    Lapassionara says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes, and it is an open primary, so some Wagner voters could have been voting as Dem’s to get her the weakest opponent. Hard to tell at this stage.

  106. 106
    Elizabelle says:

    @tobie: That concerns me, too.

    That said, Abigail Spanberger has to get elected. Everything else is gravy (and noise). I am curious about this, though. The candidate Abigail defeated — Dan Ward — unapologetically supported Pelosi; said he was not going to let Republicans make his decisions for him. And they’re going to twin Democrats with Nancy Pelosi all over the place, anyway. Although Pelosi may not be the monster and troll that GOP suspects — people who have looked into politics might find Pelosi quite talented and shrewd and effective.

  107. 107
    evodevo says:

    @raven: Just because they are in a state or region, doesn’t necessarily mean they are in your neighborhood …Ky. is full of venomous snakes, but only in certain regions …for instance, my county, Scott (where Toyota is) has NONE. Neither does the neighboring county (even though the rednecks here keep insisting everything is a copperhead or water moccasin). The people who DO have them come down here from Appalachia to hunt, since they KNOW there aren’t any in the woods here. A good friend (PhD in bio) is a snake expert (the state calls him in on snake consults – when the nutter snake-handling religionists get bit) and has some tales to tell …

  108. 108
    The Moar You Know says:

    I am so tired of women of a certain age being used as punching bags.

    @tobie: Had nothing to do with her age.

    She’s hated because she’s very, very good at what she does. Same as Hillary. Same as any competent Dem.

    Trump probably wakes up in a puddle of his own foul urine every night after dreaming yet again about Nancy running the House.

  109. 109
    eric says:

    @The Moar You Know: if i understand things right, it is not his urine ;)

  110. 110
    tobie says:

    @Elizabelle: You’re right: it’s noise and should be ignored. I just don’t get the hate. Even my very middle-of-the-road Democratic family thinks Pelosi needs to step down and they point to Democratic losses since 2010 as the reason. Funny, how that is all Pelosi’s and Wasserman-Schultz’s fault and not, say, Reid’s or even Obama’s as the de facto head of the party in that period.

  111. 111
    Daniel'sBob says:

    @MagdaInBlack: In my grandfather’s youth (late 19th-early 20th century) there were timber rattlers in the “timber” on his farm. In my 66 years I’ve never heard of one in this area (about sixty miles west of Chicago), but there may still be some left in some small, isolated wild spot–not many of those left around here though.

  112. 112
    Cermet says:

    @satby: I am up by 2:45 AM and hit the gym and then work (an hour drive) and still there is no sun. Been doing this for over twenty years. I sleep about 5 to 6 hours a night. Weekends aren’t too different except I sleep in to 4:30 AM (but get to bed later so, still 6 hours max on the sleep.)

    If turn out holds, the House will flip easy and it is still possible (but not likely) the Senate flips.

  113. 113
    Baud says:

    @Jeffro: Just because Bernie’s people didn’t win doesn’t mean Dem voters selected centrists.

  114. 114
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @tobie: I saw a tweet the other day that an anonymous adviser to Danny O’Connor saying that the candidate’s only misstep in the last week was going on the Tweety show where the great shrieker badgered him about Pelosi for almost a full minute– a lot in TeeVee time. On the one hand, I’m skeptical of Tweety’s reach in a specific district, OTOH I can imagine that sort of clip getting weaponized on Facebook.

    Why anyone would advise a Dem to go on the Tweety show is beyond me. That kind of obsession with Beltway trivia that he genuinely believes is tough, no-nonsense questions about the important stuff is 90% of his show. And his sexist obsession with HRC– amply demonstrated by video clips– should have gotten more pushback from Dems and progressives of the sort who do his show

  115. 115
    Cermet says:

    @JPL: many types of snakes kill other snakes so be careful not to harm the good guys!

  116. 116
    Daniel'sBob says:

    My comments are disappearing. Anybody else’s?

  117. 117
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:


    REALITY CHECK:If low-tech civilians like Michael Cohen and Omarosa have managed to *secretly* record trump, is there really any doubt that a guy like Putin, who was TRAINED to do, it doesn’t have a butthole FULL of tapes?#LordyThereAreTapes— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) August 8, 2018

    This of course begs the question “could Putin bear to listen to that level of derp? I mean he is a murderous dictator but come one here”

  118. 118
    Baud says:

    The Atlantic’s fall may be irreversible at this point.

    Democratic Socialism Threatens Minorities
    4 The Atlantic / by Conor Friedersdorf

  119. 119
    germy says:


    many types of snakes kill other snakes

    “But enough about the republican primaries…”

  120. 120
    tobie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: What a surprise that Tweety focused on Nancy Pelosi and not meat-and-potato issues like drug-pricing for Medicare recipients! The guy is an unabashed sexist. I actually call him Dough-Boy because of his pudginess and oafishness.

  121. 121
    eric says:

    @Baud: The Atlantic. The Albert Pujols of magazines.

  122. 122
    zhena gogolia says:

    Got this from Cole’s twitter feed — hilarious parody of the New York reporter goes to the heartland thing:

  123. 123
    Calouste says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: That’s why so many of Putin’s opponents commit suicide by stabbing themselves in the back twenty times: he forces them to listen to unedited secret tapes of the shitgibbon on repeat.

  124. 124
    tobie says:


    In addition, support for universal Medicare increases among the overall public (75 percent) and among partisans (87 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of independents, and 64 percent of Republicans) when framed as an option for anyone who wants it, but people who currently have other forms of coverage can keep the coverage they already have.

    I hate it when politician’s claim to know what the “American people” want, but judging from this statistic, it sounds like the people would be quite happy with the German healthcare system. (Yes, I know, I’m a broken record on this.)

  125. 125
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    for instance, my county, Scott (where Toyota is) has NONE. Neither does the neighboring county (even though the rednecks here keep insisting everything is a copperhead or water moccasin).

    I am always skeptical of any such blanket statement. Animals move around, their populations expand and contract, etc etc. Everybody knows there are no mountain lions in MO, well Ok, there was that one road killed in Cass county and those sheep that were killed by one in Taney Co… Well, no breeding population anyway.** Until there is. Venomous snakes may be exceedingly rare in your county, but none?

    As to “insisting everything is a copperhead or water moccasin”, oh dog yeah, do they ever. I am pretty certain they don’t care one way or the other, it is just an excuse to kill something.

    The people who DO have them come down here from Appalachia to hunt, since they KNOW there aren’t any in the woods here.

    I have never come across a person who stayed out of our woods, hollers, and cricks because of the copperheads, water moccasins or timber rattlers, hunter, fisherman, or other. The ones who say that are the same ones who stay out of the woods, hollers, and cricks because of ticks, chiggers, skeeters, and leaches. In other words, they are looking for reasons to stay at home.

    **many years ago I was visiting with a Washington Co good old boy and the topic of mountain lions came up. He dug around in a cigar box and came up with a ’70s vintage picture of 2 rather large long tailed spotted cats draped all the way across the hood of a vehicle. They had been shot “just down the road” and he speculated that they were the progeny of a cross species mating between a bobcat and a mountain lion. Looking at the pic was very convincing to me.

  126. 126
    gwangung says:

    @Baud: Conor, in general, is clueless about minority issues and viewpoints.

  127. 127
    Aleta says:

    @Anne Laurie: Popcorn’s a fine breakfast especially in the winter and especially on the hardest mornings. I never considered it until I went to a small theater that was having a daylong film festival. The first show included a homemade popcorn breakfast, which took hold as forever acceptable in my head. Popped in good oil it tastes more substantial and holds some heat. But I like hot rice for breakfast too, and oatmeal with butter on it. (My Scottish friend says yes! to that and her Welsh wife is appalled.)

  128. 128
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gwangung: You should have stopped at “clueless”.

  129. 129
    Aleta says:


    Conor Friedersdor: As Andrew Sullivan prepares to stop blogging, a decision he announced in a note to his readers, many are trying to parse what this moment means for opinion journalism.

    Is it the end of the blogging era?

  130. 130
    gwangung says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yah. So much cluelessness to highlight….

  131. 131
    Gelfling 545 says:

    It should also be borne in mind that Collins announced publicly that he had voted for the Republican “ health care” bill without actually reading it and that he had to vote for the tax bill so rich supporters would keep giving him money. The man is a moron.

  132. 132
    MattF says:

    @Aleta: Since you’ve broached the question of oatmeal, I’ll note that a new generation of rice cookers is adapting to the American market with a ‘steel-cut oatmeal’ menu setting. Works very well, IMO.

  133. 133
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Have you tried milk on your popcorn?

    Caramel coated, problem solved

  134. 134
    The Pale Scot says:


    “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive. …” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about 100 miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?” ….

    …“What the hell are you yelling about?” he muttered, staring up at the sun with his eyes closed and covered with wraparound Spanish sunglasses. “Never mind,” I said. “It’s your turn to drive.” I hit the brakes and aimed the Great Red Shark toward the shoulder of the highway. No point mentioning those bats, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.

  135. 135
    NotMax says:


    That may also be an attempt to keep a separate rice cooker relevant in the age of the Instant Pot, which handles oatmeal among the hundred other things it can do.

  136. 136
    Jeffro says:

    @Elizabelle: sweet! Fighting Brats is rewarding work! 🤣

  137. 137
    The Pale Scot says:


    I suspect you have copperheads at the very least.

    I was thinking that

  138. 138
    Rand Careaga says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: In 1967 I caught the film “In Like Flint” on its theatrical release (I saw it again a few years back on DVD—it really hasn’t aged well. In one scene James Coburn, portraying the eponymous superspy Derek Flint, learns that the US president has been abducted and his place taken a surgically-altered double. He is gobsmacked. “An actor? As president?” It brought down the house.

    Of course, by the end of 1980 I wasn’t laughing. And today Reagan looks like Pericles compared to this clown.

  139. 139
    Mel says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: We used to hear a mountain lion screaming, chuffing, and roaring in the woods at night one spring during my childhood. We had multiple acres, 10 acres of it heavily forested, and the rest of the surrounding 10 miles in our community was small farms or woodland, with streams, a few small caves, and access to a river and several small tributaries.

    Nobody had had any documented sightings of mountain lions in the area for about 70 or 80 years, but my 90 year old grt grandmother could remember seeing one when she was a very little girl, and remembered people sometimes finding small livestock and the occasional deer killed, big cat style, during her early childhood.

    What we heard definitely wasn’t a fox or any of the other woodland critters that are known to make eerie screams in the night. We did find prints severaltimes – once at the edge of a streambed, and a few times near a neighbor’s fence. Everybody started bringing in their cattle, horses, dogs, and orher critters in early evening, and locking barns down tight, just in case.

    My Dad and I figure that it was possibly a young male who had lost his way and come further north than usual while hunting for either a mate or for an unclaimed territory. We think he stayed a while, despite the absence of any lady cats, because of the property where we found his prints by the fence.

    An out-of-state person had purchased a large, old farm with the goodhearted but foolish intention of starting a “deer sanctuary”. He put up tens of thousands of dollars of high fencing, and purchased deer to “protect”. Wild local deer would leap the fence to go inside and graze, and his purchased deer would leap the fence to come out and mingle with the locals. The fence was electrified, and that appeared to keep out most predators, including the young mountain lion. Nevertheless, all of those deer in one location would have been a powerful temptation.

    After about 4 weeks of nighttime screams, extremely nervous horses, and agitated dogs, the nocturnal noise and prowling (along with the disappearances of a couple of sheep and goats and the destruction of several chicken coops) suddenly stopped.

    Years later, I met a botanist who had been working at an large nature preserve / wetland restoration project about 35 miles away during that time frame. Without hearing my account, he mentioned that he had had an experience that he would never forget while he was working on that project.

    He had been walking along a dry streambed in late summer, photographing and taking notes on the health and survival of the newly planted areas where the team was attempting to restore the native forest floor and water’s edge flora.

    Suddenly, the whole area seemed to go silent. He was crouching down about 10 feet from the bank of the dry stream, and had been taking photos of cardinal flower (lobelia). All of a sudden, he heard a wild crashing coming down the streambed. Around a bend in the stream bed burst a large doe, with a mountain lion about 15 fifteen feet behind it, giving full chase.

    As the botanist related it, the mountain lion coolly glanced his way for a couple of seconds as it passed by him, like it was briefly assessing whether or not he would make a better meal than the deer, or if he was a threat to it completing the hunt. Apparently it found him neither threatening nor appetizing, and continued its hunt.

    As soon as it was out of sight, he promptly ran a mile and some change, back to his vehicle. Only after he arrived at his car did he realize that he had lost his camera, dropped six hours worth of field notes, and shat his pants.

  140. 140
    MagdaInBlack says:

    In my 60 years, I recall twice that they were found in the Starved Rock area: I grew up about 17 miles north of the Ottawa area, along the Fox River

  141. 141
    Dan B says:

    @MagdaInBlack: In 1965 I found a Cottonmouth in our swampy backyard in Ohio near Akron. Me, a teenager, managed to get it into a sturdy box and relocated downstream. I had nightmares of a 30 foot Cottonmouth in the bedroom.

    We’d lived in Arkansas where there were lots of snakes. One summer day the adults decided to burn the brush pile on “grampy’s” ranch. Once the fire got going there was a lot of slithering in the tall grass. We hightailed it into the house. Shortly we realized that the house had mo foundation and the crawl space was full of tge snakes from the bonfire.

    I like snakes, mostly.

  142. 142
    JAFD says:

    I once ran across a ‘Pennsylvania Dutch Cookbook’ with a recipe for Popcorn Soup – basically seasoned hot milk and melted butter poured over hot popcorn.

    Only snake I ever saw ‘in the wild’ was a few years back, on the campus of St. Joseph’s Univ, just on the Philly side of City Line Ave. Snake (knew it was not poisonous) was crawling across a walkway, mid-afternoon. Students between classes were watching it, leaving a clear path for it.

  143. 143
    Ruckus says:

    They are horrible to themselves, let alone everyone else.

  144. 144
    Waynski says:

    @The Pale Scot: Ahhh, the good Dr. Thompson. Always a pleasure. At least his Fear and Loathing only lasted a few days in Vegas. This fear and loathing is constant.

  145. 145
    No One You Know says:

    @tobie: PREACH IT.

    I collected misogynistic quotes and tweets last summer. When I got to seventeen pages, all but one were from Wilmer and GOP candidates old right-wrong media. It was deeply demoralizing until it became quietly motivating.

    I had a chat about this with my Wilmer-loving neighbors, and one of them agreed that women and especially POC needed to get into office. Baby steps!

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