Pretty Good

Kamala Harris on CNN:

One of the hosts followed up by asking Harris how she responds to people who question “the legitimacy of your blackness.”

I think they don’t understand who black people are,” Harris replied. “I’m not going to spend my time trying to educate people about who black people are. Because right now, frankly, I’m focused on, for example, an initiative that I have that is called the ‘LIFT Act’ that is about lifting folks out of poverty,” she said, detailing her plan for a $6,000 tax credit for middle class Americans.

“I’m black, and I’m proud of being black,” she said at a later point in the interview. “I was born black. I will die black, and I’m not going to make excuses for anybody because they don’t understand.”

As I look at the Democrats running for President, I’m interested in how they respond to the rank stupidity and focus on sideshow questions that characterizes the day-to-day interaction with the press.  I’d rate this Harris response as pretty good:  she pushes back hard and without any hedging on the stupidity and focuses on real issues.  We win on the issues – we just need to get around all the bullshit that Trump and his (willing or just lazy) media enablers will throw into the discussion.

204 replies
  1. 1
    Betty Cracker says:

    Good answer and excellent pivot to the issues. We’re gonna need a lot of that! IIRC, Michelle Obama answered a similarly dumb query about the legitimacy of PBO’s blackness by pointing out that having a white mom didn’t keep taxis from speeding right past her husband when he as trying to hail a cab (paraphrasing).

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  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    “I’m black, and I’m proud of being black,” she said at a later point in the interview. “I was born black. I will die black, and I’m not going to make excuses for anybody because they don’t understand.”

    CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

    I don’t have much time for foolishness this election cycle.
    And, questioning Kamala Harris’ blackness is foolish.

    We are not South Africa.
    Nor, are we Brazil.

    We are the United States of America.

    And, for all this new-fangled interpretations of ‘ bi-racial’……

    In THIS country…
    She has been treated as a Black woman.
    Period.

    I’m sure that she has
    Driving While Black
    Shopping While Black
    Traveling While Black

    stories.

    After all, this is America.

    And, as the late Percy Sutton said..

    ” If you wake up forgetting that you are Black….by 5 pm, someone would have reminded you.”

    We are the originators of the one-drop rule. And, though, we get all sorts of woke folk trying to re-interpret that….

    Until you can point out to me when they count Bi-Racial Pookey who just robbed the corner store, as ‘ bi-racial’, in their reporting of it..
    The rest of the argument is just noise.

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  3. 3
    Blue Galangal says:

    It’s early days yet, I know, but Warren and Harris are at the top of my list. Warren has always been there since I read her book All Your Worth, plus the CFPB, and Harris seems steady, goal-oriented, intelligent, and sensible.

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  4. 4
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    Here are some interesting reading recommendations from historians for Northam (and others).

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  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    Susan Collins placed a bad bet on Brett Kavanaugh
    02/11/19 09:20 AM
    By Steve Benen
    …………………..

    The Louisiana statute is a direct violation of the Supreme Court’s 2016 ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, and until the court overturns that decision, the Louisiana law cannot take effect. To [Chief Justice John] Roberts, this precedent matters.

    To Justice Brett Kavanaugh, it does not. Kavanaugh so disagreed with the majority that he wrote a dissent explaining why the Louisiana law should be allowed to move forward – an opinion that should not be taken as anything less than a declaration of war on Roe v. Wade.

    ………………….

    Didn’t Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) put her reputation on the line, assuring the public that Kavanaugh wouldn’t do this?

    Actually, yes, she did. The Maine Republican, who is one of the few remaining pro-choice GOP lawmakers remaining on Capitol Hill, announced before Kavanaugh was even chosen for the high court that she “would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade.”

    Collins nevertheless helped confirm Kavanaugh, confident in her assertions that Donald Trump’s choice for the high court saw abortion rights as “settled as a precedent of the court” and “settled law.”

    Maine’s senior senator will likely seek a fourth term next year. The likelihood of Democrats making Kavanaugh and his approach to reproductive rights an important campaign issue is roughly 100%.

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  6. 6
    tobie says:

    Good response on Harris’ part. I like that she turned the discussion to her proposed LIFT act. @Betty Cracker: My new term for this is not pivot but pirouette. All Dem candidates are going to have to be incredibly deft in interviews since the media will put everything they say under a microscope to find some weakness.

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  7. 7
    tokyokie says:

    @Betty Cracker: Years ago, I was flabbergasted by a Larry Flynt publication aimed at Asian-American youth, because the magazine’s core assumption was that all Asian-American teens have roughly similar backgrounds, which even a dumbass white guy like myself knows is a crock of shit. A Chinese-American from an upper-middle-class family in the Bay Area whose family has been in the U.S. for several generations does not have the same background as, say, a Hmong immigrant in Detroit. And again, even a dumbass white guy like me can figure out that a mixed-race man like PBO doesn’t have the same life experiences as Kamala Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, or of Stacey Abrams, who grew up in the Deep South, the daughter of Methodist ministers. Nevertheless, dumber-assed white guys than me have consigned them to the same ethnic background and thus the same life stories. Which again, is a crock of shit. Glad to see Harris pushing back.

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  8. 8
    Derelict says:

    Questioning Harris’s “Blackness” isn’t focusing on sideshow stuff, nor is it stupidity. It is plainly catapulting a Rightwing talking point.

    Harris isn’t Black enough is intended to make the Black and POC communities think she’s just a White woman who’s faking being Black. She’s someone who “could pass” and thus has no idea what the struggle of being a minority is really like.

    But Republicans, who would never in a gazillion years vote for Harris, will happily be telling one another that she’s TOO Black. Just like Obama wasn’t Black enough, and yet was considered too Black, Harris will be on the receiving end of exactly the same shit. Though I will guess that this time instead of sending around pictures of her with in a grass skirt with a bone through here nose, it will be pictures of her in a grass skirt with a bone through her nose AND saggy breasts because, you know, African women run around topless in the National Geographic.

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  9. 9
    Brachiator says:

    “I’m black, and I’m proud of being black,” she said at a later point in the interview. “I was born black. I will die black, and I’m not going to make excuses for anybody because they don’t understand.”

    Elizabeth Warren, please pay attention.

    If there is a video clip at the link, I guess I will take a look at it. I can’t imagine a reporter with half a brain cell even asking a question about “legitimacy of blackness.” But then again, these are strange times we live in.

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  10. 10
    Kent says:

    Every single dem candidate in 2020 is going to have an endless stream of non-issue pseudo-scandals thrown at them. We can all take that to the bank. There are whole highly-funded troll farms doing nothing else but looking for this sort of shit and trying to leverage it into the media.

    What the non-issue is frankly doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is how adroitly the candidate manages to stay on message and cut to through the garbage. Obama had that talent. It looks like Harris does too. She is growing on me.

    When I parse my 2020 choices I do it for real reasons not fake ones. For example, as a public school teacher, Corey Booker is off my list because of his long history of partnering with Betsy DeVos in promoting charter schools. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/02/cory-booker-has-a-betsy-devos-problem/ That is simply beyond the pale. If he were to wind up the nominee I’d of course vote for him over Trump. But not in the primary when there are other options.

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  11. 11
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    Warren and Harris are at the top of my list.

    Mine too, and I want take my time getting to know them better. Absent some deal-breaking event, I probably won’t name a favourite until at least after the first few primary debates.

    Warren is coming to Georgia this weekend, and I’ve just signed up to attend an organising meeting with her. Look forward to seeing Harris and some of the other Dem candidates do similar events, and I’ll go to those as well.

    Dems have seemingly noticed the shifting voting trends in Gwinnett County. Hope they’ll keep it up!

    ETA: At the moment, although Harris and Warren are top of the list, I’m open to all Dem candidates (except the obvious).

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  12. 12
    West of the Rockies says:

    @rikyrah:

    Is she being called on this? Better be some damn pushback for her issuing her meaningless assurances.

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  13. 13
    germy says:

    Harris on The Breakfast Club (my favorite drive time radio)

    Hear what #KamalaHarris thinks about legalizing marijuana 💬 pic.twitter.com/YGZlCAKUZ0— The Breakfast Club (@breakfastclubam) February 11, 2019

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  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @rikyrah:

    Wish I could move to Maine for the sole purpose of voting against her.

    MomSense will simply have to vote twice :-)

    Hope some enterprising reporters confront her on this again and again.

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  15. 15
    Fair Economist says:

    @tobie: I like how she redirected as well. I think in general redirection is the best way to deal with the BS issues, or even small potato issues the Republicans and their pet media want to focus on. The American people are overwhelmingly with us on economic issues and the main point of horserace and petty scandal coverage is to distract people from how much they hate, hate, hate Republican policy. Even Republican voters!

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  16. 16
    joel hanes says:

    I’m Jack Johnson, heavyweight champion of the world!
    I’m black. They never let me forget it.
    I’m black, all right. I’ll never let them forget it.
    — spoken, from Miles Davis’s “A Tribute to Jack Johnson”

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  17. 17
    satby says:

    @West of the Rockies: oh, she was called in it to the tune of over $3.7 million in funds waiting for an opponent to run against her. More than double what she netted in contributions for voting for Kavanaugh: https://www.crowdpac.com/campaigns/387413/fund-susan-collins-future-opponent

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  18. 18
    The Lodger says:

    Also, Harris got into Alpha Kappa Alpha, and those ladies enforce their standards. Obviously they believe she’s really African-American, and I’m not going to challenge that.

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  19. 19
    tobie says:

    @Fair Economist: It’s really hard to turn an unfair question around and use it as a platform instead to talk about what you want to do, what’s been neglected in the past, and what problems need to be addressed. Kudos to Harris for doing it here.

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  20. 20
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kent:

    What the non-issue is frankly doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is how adroitly the candidate manages to stay on message and cut to through the garbage.

    True. Saw a clip of Klobuchar on GMA, and she articulated that same concept, so it looks like she gets it too.

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  21. 21
    Cheap Jim says:

    @tokyokie: I don’t think Larry Flynt has ever gone in for subtlety.

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  22. 22
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Kent:

    True. Amy K is a big ol’ meanie, Elizabeth W said she was “an Injun” (derherherr), Kamala H was a prosecutor (pearl clutching ensues), Cory B seems gayish (oh dear)…

    Meanwhile, Trump blasts flaming diarrhea all over and is celebrated for his authenticity.

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  23. 23
    feebog says:

    I’ve pointed this out before, but Harris is going to have a tremendous advantage when the primaries actually start. She is from California. And the only serious challenger who could have taken California delegates from her has already declared he will not run. Of course it will all depend on who is still viable by Super Tuesday. But if she can finish well in SC and NV the momentum she gets out of Super Tuesday could propel her to the nomination.

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  24. 24
    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah: She gives lip service to the right to choose, but if we look at her behavior, I don’t see how she should be seen as pro-choice at all. She’s trying to have it both ways, but her fealty to the GOP apparently trumps all else.

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  25. 25
    West of the Rockies says:

    @satby:

    Excellent!

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  26. 26
    gwangung says:

    @The Lodger: Oh, hell yeah. She is most definitely recognized as a sister there.

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  27. 27
    germy says:

    applied to politicians, words like “inauthentic” and “opportunistic” are just contrived ways of saying “i don’t like this person”— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) February 10, 2019

    the truth of this is evident in how we evaluate past politicians. the extent to which we deem them “authentic” or not is the extent to which we hold them in esteem and thus accept their mythmaking as truth.— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) February 10, 2019

    abraham lincoln is the perfect example. here is a dude who was a ruthlessly ambitious political operator who we remember as a humble country lawyer— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) February 10, 2019

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  28. 28
    Kent says:

    @rikyrah:

    Oh for Fuck’s sake. Not you rikyrah, the article in question. Collins is a right-wing hack who only uses her fake indecision to paper over her consistent conservative Republican voting record. She did the same thing with the vote to repeal the affordable care mandate. If she gave the slightest shit about preserving choice she would not be a member of the Republican party. She could easily switch parties and win reelection in Maine. But she would rather enable Trump and McConnell.

    Made a bad bet? For fuck’s sake. She knew exactly what she was voting for and did it anyway.

    She has to go.

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  29. 29
    FelonyGovt says:

    I see Kamala is even getting some criticism on Twitter for having a white husband. Glad she is responding well to the BS being flung her way. We need to keep focusing on the issues even if the media is hell-bent to treat the campaign like Entertainment Tonight.

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  30. 30
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kent: Exactly as you say. At this point I could give two fucks what she has to say about her “unfortunate decision” because anything she has to say is belied by her actions.

    You said it better than I did at #24.

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  31. 31
    Kent says:

    @feebog:

    I’ve pointed this out before, but Harris is going to have a tremendous advantage when the primaries actually start. She is from California. And the only serious challenger who could have taken California delegates from her has already declared he will not run. Of course it will all depend on who is still viable by Super Tuesday. But if she can finish well in SC and NV the momentum she gets out of Super Tuesday could propel her to the nomination.

    She is charting out the same path that Hillary did. She can run up big margins in the early southern primaries where the percentage of black women voters is high. Then just cruise along basically keeping pace in the northern caucuses and primaries until there aren’t enough primaries left for anyone else to catch up. If the field stays large it will help her even more. Once Clinton got a lead in the south, Sanders could never make up the margin. Obama did the same thing in 08.

    I’m beginning to think that Harris may be poised to have the best inside shot given the way our primaries and caucusses are set up.

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  32. 32
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Kent:

    He is not my choice, but Sherrod Brown could change the equation.

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  33. 33
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kent: yeah, for years I bought into the idea that Collins was a weak but sincere “moderate”. The trump years have ripped off the mask. She’s every bit as ideological and cynical as McConnell. I hope the Maine Dems find a good candidate and take her down.

    A few weeks ago, a bunch of ex-Senators published a not-quite condemnation of trump, calling on the Senate to stand up to him, and William Cohen was making the TV rounds getting a bit emo about the whole thing. Some MSNBC anchor said “so you’re not a trump Republican?” “No I am not”. I wish he had been asked, “Are you a Susan Collins Republican?” He fade back into the woodwork pretty quickly, didn’t he?

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  34. 34
    Barbara says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: That’s a great list that would probably take me a decade to get through. I focused on the following:

    — Cornell University’s Ed Baptist, the author of “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism.” Baptist’s book focuses more on the internal slave trade than the importation of slaves from Africa, and he shows how the transportation of enslaved people from Virginia and Maryland fueled the cotton plantation economy of the Deep South. Baptist, who grew up in North Carolina, recommended three readable books by academic historians so he could understand how slavery shaped the United States, whites’ dependence on it and black resistance to it: “They Were Her Property,” by Stephanie Jones-Rogers; “Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance,” by Stephanie Camp; and “The Price for Their Pound of Flesh,” by Daina Ramey Berry.

    My husband’s forebears were slave owners on a relatively small farm that you would not likely call a plantation if you saw the house. I once mentioned that slaves in Eastern Virginia seemed more integrated with the household, e.g., learned skills such as carpentry and animal husbandry, because the soil and weather did not support year round agriculture. He informed me that while those who stayed might have been in a better position, at least physically, these same plantations in Virginia supplied laborers to Arkansas and Texas, which is what one of those books talks about. So no, it wasn’t any better, not morally. So I no longer mention that slavery took different shapes in different regions — it’s true that it did, but every state depended on the others to make slavery even remotely viable financially.

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  35. 35
    Kent says:

    @WaterGirl:

    @Kent: Exactly as you say. At this point I could give two fucks what she has to say about her “unfortunate decision” because anything she has to say is belied by her actions.

    You said it better than I did at #24.

    Collins lost the right to have the benefit of the doubt granted her a decade ago. She is the absolute worst kind of hack because she either knows better or pretends to know better but then votes lock step with McConnell every single time it ever matters anway. At least the right wingers like John Cornyn don’t pretend to be something that they aren’t. I respect Ted Cruz more than I do her.

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  36. 36
    Jeffro says:

    Looks like the lamestream media are choosing to spend the day alternately giving Sen. Amy Klobuchar a tongue-bath and slamming Rep Ilhan Omar for her (supposedly anti-Semitic/NOT) tweets. Never a dull moment.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    for years I bought into the idea that Collins was a weak but sincere “moderate”. The trump years have ripped off the mask. She’s every bit as ideological and cynical as McConnell.

    She really is just that. I’d say she read the writing on the wall starting back with the Turtle declared his highest priority was making Obama a ‘one term president’, but was she even much of a moderate before that? I think not.

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  37. 37
    Barbara says:

    @rikyrah: My rage meter goes over known limits when I consider Collins. I don’t like Ted Cruz, but Ted Cruz isn’t trying to bamboozle me into thinking that he cares about me. Collins is the worst kind of political hack, the kind who thinks that good intentions actually matter. If someone has something on her that forces her to toe the line, then she should resign already like her colleague Olympia Snowe, who finally gave up trying to pretend she was one of the good ones. No, she wasn’t and Collins isn’t.

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  38. 38
    Kent says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    He is not my choice, but Sherrod Brown could change the equation.

    I’m not sure how I feel about Brown yet. He seems to be angling for the “Biden lane” so to speak. All down and dirty with the white working man like Biden used to do with his Scranton roots. I’d hate to lose that Senate seat. My gut reaction is that we are kind of past of a white working class rust belt hero type leading the democratic party. Even in a place like Ohio, who is really actually voting in the Dem primary anymore? I doubt it is still all the old AFL-CIO and Teamsters guys.

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  39. 39
    The Moar You Know says:

    Didn’t Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) put her reputation on the line, assuring the public that Kavanaugh wouldn’t do this?

    Actually, yes, she did. The Maine Republican, who is one of the few remaining pro-choice GOP lawmakers remaining on Capitol Hill, announced before Kavanaugh was even chosen for the high court that she “would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade.”

    @rikyrah: Lazy reporting. She never assured the public of jack shit, save that she favors the re-election of Susan Collins and really favors sending Susan Collins as much money as you have. Collins isn’t “pro-choice” and hasn’t voted as such for decades. And yet the myth persists. I wonder why?

    She’s a Trump Republican, was since day one, always will be. Anyone who says anything else is either bullshitting themselves or you.

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  40. 40
    Mick says:

    an initiative that I have that is called the ‘LIFT Act’ that is about lifting folks out of poverty,” she said, detailing her plan for a $6,000 tax credit for middle class Americans.

    Great that she stomped on the interviewer’s meme and pivoted to policy, but a $6k tax credit isn’t going to lift anyone out of poverty. No doubt LIFT has much more in it, but I’m not sure how many people living in poverty actually pay more than that in federal taxes. Easy meat for Warren, though, so Harris might want to get a new sound bite.

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  41. 41
    Jeffro says:

    @Kent:

    I’m not sure how I feel about Brown yet. He seems to be angling for the “Biden lane” so to speak.

    Hey whatever keeps Biden out of the Biden lane can’t be all bad…

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  42. 42
    chopper says:

    yes, let’s ask a black woman about these allegations some white asshole coughed up that she isn’t black. we’re sure to trip her up!

    have these people ever met a black woman before?

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  43. 43
    Mayur says:

    @West of the Rockies: Sherrod Brown had better damn well stay in his Senate seat as if he were nailed to it.

    No one’s candidacy is worth a Senate seat, especially given the fact that even to get to 50 is going to take a miracle (hold 100%, flip Collins and Gardner and convince Stacey Abrams to go after David Perdue’s seat). I’m sort of willing to not let my blood pressure go up at Warren’s candidacy because there are good options for that seat in 2021, but DeWine will obviously put a Republican in Brown’s seat and given Ohio politics, we will never get it back (Kasich will probably take it and hold it for the rest of his life).

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  44. 44
    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    @chopper: Met? Yes. Had a conversation with? Oh, hell, no!

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  45. 45
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    Why does Trump still refuse to produce his birth certificate? He was born in Russia, that’s why. Or as he refers to his homeland, “Rusher.”

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  46. 46
    SFAW says:

    @Kent:

    Made a bad bet? For fuck’s sake. She knew exactly what she was voting for and did it anyway.

    It’s also not clear that Maine voters would NOT re-elect her. LePage did far worse (for Maine, not the nation, that is) during his first term, and he got re-elected. Yeah, I know about Elliott Cutler; doesn’t matter, LePage should have been stomped.

    Voldemort was at a 31 percent approval a year before he ran for a second term, and people kept talking about how he was doomed in his bid. And then the Dems ran Charlie Fucking Crist against him, and now, four years later, we have Senator Voldemort.

    So, “bad bet”? We’ll see.

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  47. 47

    @Kent:
    The big problem for any Democratic candidate is that all the delegates are assigned proportionately. About the only way of winning an outright majority will be to knock out all the other strong candidates early. Otherwise, we’re likely to go to the convention with no candidate having an outright majority, with all the problems that will cause at the convention.

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  48. 48
    SFAW says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    She’s a Trump Republican, was since day one, always will be. Anyone who says anything else is either bullshitting themselves or you.

    Seconded, thirded, etc.

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  49. 49
    Mike in NC says:

    If 20 Democrats announce they are running in 2020, Fat Bastard will quickly come up with puerile nicknames for every one of them, and the media will play along by echoing those stupid nicknames at every opportunity. Policies? Issues? Surely you jest.

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  50. 50
    Kent says:

    @Barbara:

    My husband’s forebears were slave owners on a relatively small farm that you would not likely call a plantation if you saw the house. I once mentioned that slaves in Eastern Virginia seemed more integrated with the household, e.g., learned skills such as carpentry and animal husbandry, because the soil and weather did not support year round agriculture. He informed me that while those who stayed might have been in a better position, at least physically, these same plantations in Virginia supplied laborers to Arkansas and Texas, which is what one of those books talks about. So no, it wasn’t any better, not morally. So I no longer mention that slavery took different shapes in different regions — it’s true that it did, but every state depended on the others to make slavery even remotely viable financially.

    Ta Nehisi Coats talked about how the total value of slaves in the pre-civil war economy exceeded the total value of all the industrial infrastructure in the country. Slaves were a commodity in every part of the nation in which they were held, and the factors that affected the prices of slaves in one part of the country rippled across and affected values everywhere else. Just like how events in the middle east affect the price of West Texas crude. That kindly farmer who owned one slave who “was a part of the family?” benefited just as much from his investment in human bondage as everyone else in the slave business. And benefited just as much from the system of laws that made it possible. There are no shades of gray here.

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  51. 51
    trollhattan says:

    @Kent:

    She knew exactly what she was voting for and did it anyway.

    My take as well. She’s trying to have it both ways–Look, I’m eating cake and yet here’s cake in my other hand!–and it would seem the people of Maine like it that way.

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  52. 52
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jeffro: interesting observation this morning

    Matthew Yglesias mattyglesias 1h1 hour ago
    The fact that you don’t see the various former members of Team Obama cheerleading for Biden on their tweets and podcasts tells you something.

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  53. 53
    Barbara says:

    @Kent: That was the point my husband was making, one that I agree with entirely.

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  54. 54
    trollhattan says:

    @Mike in NC:
    “None dare call her ‘Nancy.'”

    I believe Donny has an exit strategy if Mueller doesn’t provide one for him and he will not be the 2020 Republican candidate. (I also have a unicorn in my backyard.)

    Regardless, the thought of Trump and Harris debating makes me smile. Second place for my imaginary debate opponent is a tossup between Warren and Gillibrand.

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  55. 55
    randy khan says:

    @The Lodger:

    From what I’ve seen, you really don’t want to mess with AKA women.

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  56. 56
    Kent says:

    @Roger Moore:

    @Kent:
    The big problem for any Democratic candidate is that all the delegates are assigned proportionately. About the only way of winning an outright majority will be to knock out all the other strong candidates early. Otherwise, we’re likely to go to the convention with no candidate having an outright majority, with all the problems that will cause at the convention.

    Except that I don’t think there is the remotest chance in hell that we’ll be rolling into big time primary season with 20+ candidates. The hidden primary for the top staff and money will winnow out at least half of them months before we even get to Iowa. Look at what happened with the GOP last time around. They started out with so many they had to have a kiddie table to fit them all in. Once the primaries started we were quickly down to Trump, Cruz, and Kasich. I know the GOP primary rules are different but I expect to see the same thing play out. Success breeds success and the cream will rise to the top.

    And honestly I doubt a brokered convention would be a bad thing either. I would expect it to play out more like a parliamentary coalition building in European countries. The candidates with fewer delegates would start throwing their support behind one or two of the best choices and we would come to a conclusion. It would sure keep the ratings up and be a lot more interesting than the ordinary scripted coronation we are used to.

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  57. 57
    MattF says:

    Harris answered the question well, but it was asked in bad faith– seeking to trip her up. I think she’s the front-runner right now, so she’s the main target. I wonder if there’s a way to deal with bad faith questions without sounding like you’re whining.

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  58. 58
    SFAW says:

    @Barbara:

    Collins is the worst kind of political hack, the kind who thinks that good intentions actually matter.

    One quibble: that should be “pretending to have good intentions.” Because it seems pretty clear that her intentions are — as others have said better that I — to get re-elected and to give Traitor Turtle (and the rest of the Traitors) whatever he/they want(s).

    It’s getting to the point that, when I see her grinning mug, I have (almost) the same reaction as when I see the Traitor-in-Chief’s disgusting face.

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  59. 59
    Barbara says:

    @trollhattan: My understanding is that Collins and Snowe both are the product of their outsize appeal to female voters, now probably over the age of 60, who really wanted to vote for women in office. Collins is a disgrace, for no other reason than she tries to avoid actually having or using what could be tremendous leverage to make things better. In other words, she keeps her head down in order not to have anything damaging on her record for those voters. That won’t work this time. One wonders how she will be campaigning next time around.

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  60. 60

    It’s about a year until the Iowa caucuses, so a lot of things can happen between now and then. But it’s important to set your own narrative and head off hostile ones. Harris seems good at it.

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  61. 61
    randy khan says:

    @Mayur:

    Brown’s Senate seat stays his unless he wins the Presidency. He was just re-elected this fall.

    My view (which others don’t always believe to be accurate) is that any election that puts him in the White House almost certainly flips the Senate. That said, I get why people don’t want to take any risk on that.

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  62. 62
    Barbara says:

    @MattF: I can’t think of anything much more obnoxious than having white reporters thinking that it would even be possible to ask a question like that in good faith.

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    gene108 says:

    Disappointed she down plays here Indian heritage. I understand for political reasons, you don’t want to seem too exotic, and you want to attract black voters, like Obama did, but still disappointed.

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  64. 64
    randy khan says:

    @Kent:

    I agree with you – the winnowing will happen pretty fast. And while delegates are allocated proportionately, my recollection is that you have to pass the 15% threshold to get any at all. There won’t be a lot of places where more than 3 or 4 candidates hit that number.

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  65. 65
    Princess says:

    @Blue Galangal: Warren and Harris are at the top of my list too. I’d be delighted with either of them (and happy with any of those who have declared except Gabbard)

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    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @MattF:

    I wonder if there’s a way to deal with bad faith questions without sounding like you’re whining.

    That’s an excellent question and one I’d love to get guidance on from the hivemind. I got one of those questions this morning and am mulling over how to answer it – or whether to answer it at all. The questioner is a highly toxic individual and pot-stirrer, so frankly anything I say will be used against me. Silence?

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  67. 67
    khead says:

    It. Is. So. Early. 357 days to Iowa. 631 days to the general election.

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  68. 68
    Kent says:

    @randy khan:

    @The Lodger:

    From what I’ve seen, you really don’t want to mess with AKA women.

    I knew these kind of women when I was a teacher at a big diverse public school in Texas. They are not to be fucked with. They would show up in my classroom every fall during the school open house, introduce themselves, make sure I knew who their kids were, and then give me their business cards and say something to the effect of “My kid gives you any trouble or so much as looks at you crosswise without respect, you give me a call right away and we will deal with it. No need to deal with the administration or anything like that. You just keep me in the loop. My kid is here to learn and I need your support to make that happen” And you know, during the school year all it ever took was me asking if I needed to call and have a chat with his mom and you never saw a kid shape up faster. As a teacher it was a refreshing breath of fresh air. Frankly most white helecopter parents whine and make excuses for their kids.

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  69. 69
    Fair Economist says:

    @Kent: Brown would be, I think, an excellent President. But the limit on what we get done in 2021 will be the Senate and President Brown means one less vote in the Senate. It means our climate policies being set by Manchin or or corporate regulation being set by Sinema. That outweighs almost any benefit for Brown himself.

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  70. 70
    Martin says:

    @gene108: Look, the point of the exercise is to get the questioner off of the irrelevant shit and onto the stuff that matters. She’s intensely proud of her Indian heritage if you’ve spent any time around her – she talks about that more than she talks about being black mainly because she was raised by her mom after her parents divorce – but if she had pivoted to her Indian heritage in any way it would have just served as a prompt for the questioner to talk about that. She’ll cover it another time, or better yet, on her terms.

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  71. 71
    Ruckus says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    Meanwhile, Trump blasts flaming diarrhea all over and is celebrated for his authenticity.

    Well he is an authentic asshole, who is full of shit, and it has to come out one place or another. How many people have remarked that his mouth looks like an anus? Blasting flaming diarrhea is his only skill. Out of all the skills humans can muster and master, he’s got blasting flaming diarrhea down pat. Nothing else of course but still, one skill. Too long for a band name – Blasting Flaming Diarrhea, they’d have to shorten it to Flaming Diarrhea and just play loud.

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  72. 72
    PJ says:

    @Barbara: After the invention of the cotton gin, the breeding and sale of slaves was an enormous industry in Virginia, and was a far bigger source of wealth than actually using slaves on farms there. This was one of the reasons for the push for the expansion of slavery into Texas and the West – it would mean immense profits for the slave-breeding industry.

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  73. 73
    Kent says:

    @Fair Economist:

    @Kent: Brown would be, I think, an excellent President. But the limit on what we get done in 2021 will be the Senate and President Brown means one less vote in the Senate. It means our climate policies being set by Manchin or or corporate regulation being set by Sinema. That outweighs almost any benefit for Brown himself.

    I’m not arguing that point. He seems extremely solid on the issues, although I don’t have a good sense of his degree of charisma or leadership skills. We aren’t just electing a part leader, we are electing the leader of the free world still. I want a president who can go to Germany and draw a million people like Obama did.

    Honestly I expect any 10 of the top tier candidates would make good presidents. I like Jay Inslee who is my own governor. But I don’t think he has the narrative to break out outside the west coast and Harris already owns California so there’s not even that.

    But as someone who wants to see a progressive agenda actually advance beyond words and platitudes in 2021 I agree 100%. The greater good demands that Brown remain in the Senate.

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  74. 74
    Barbara says:

    @PJ: Yes, that makes sense because the soil in Virginia — especially Eastern Virginia — was poor to begin with and was “worked over” by the early 19th century. Many farms gave up growing tobacco and turned to wheat, and there was brief period, before railroads permeated midwestern states, when Virginia was prosperous based on food crops rather than tobacco.

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  75. 75
    cmorenc says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    @Kent: yeah, for years I bought into the idea that Collins was a weak but sincere “moderate”. The trump years have ripped off the mask. She’s every bit as ideological and cynical as McConnell.

    Collins probably still genuinely clings to a muddled self-image of herself as a “moderate” Republican for two reasons: 1) so she can more comfortably look herself in the mirror, and pretend that the image looking back at her is real and not just cosplay; 2) the MSM’s persistent labeling of her as a “moderate Republican Senator” is a politically useful assist in distinguishing her from Congressional collegues who are hard-line RW ideologues from solidly red states/jurisdictions.

    NEVERTHELESS, SHE ALSO wants to maintain her good standing within the GOP caucus and leadership, whom, if she crossed them more than occasionally, would respond by ostracizing her and effectively cutting off her out of the sorts of pork-barrel rolling she needs to serve her Maine constituencies. That she still sees the GOP as “home” instead of considering a party switch and taking her chances of being in the majority when the Ds retake the Senate speaks volumes about her true beliefs. And her own ideological view of what being a GOP “moderate” means is only different in degree from her more openly RW colleagues – in a nutshell, she wants 90% of the same end-policies they do, only with the sharply barbed edges better-concealed under the superficial surface. But she considers that difference still earns herself the label “moderate”, even though her actions are 95% indistinguishable from her hard-RW colleagues.

    In short, Collins is all about trying to maintain a delusional image of herself to try to minimize the irreconcilable cognitive dissonance betwen what she says and what she actually does come voting time. BOTTOM LINE: politicians are defined in the end not by what they say, but what they do, most particularly how they vote.

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  76. 76
    Martin says:

    @randy khan:

    I agree with you – the winnowing will happen pretty fast. And while delegates are allocated proportionately, my recollection is that you have to pass the 15% threshold to get any at all. There won’t be a lot of places where more than 3 or 4 candidates hit that number.

    That’s why I think Harris has an advantage here. CA and TX are Super Tuesday states. We’ll have nearly everyone going into Super Tuesday and half of them will drop out after. The press never report on the delegates – just on the vote %, so even if you come out at 14%, in a crowded field it’ll still look like you’re viable. Candidates will ride that to their advantage.

    The DNC won’t award delegates until May, but here’s the Super Tuesday lineup: Alabama, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia primaries.

    Warren will win MA. Beto or Castro TX. Bernie VT. Harris CA. That splits the field pretty strongly which favors candidates staying in, but CA will probably carry as many delegates as all the other states that day combined, between its size and how blue we are. In terms of delegate counts, it’s hard to see Harris not being in the lead, and I imagine we’ll have at least half the field with no delegates at all, and with the largest block of available delegates already allocated. The question then becomes who stays in for vanity runs?

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  77. 77

    @PJ: Just reading that makes me sick.

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    JPL says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Me too.
    Greed is a powerful and needs to be regulated.

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    different-church-lady says:

    So basicly 2020 is going to be a bunch of assholes telling Dem candidates, “You’re not really (__blank__)!” do I have this right?

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    Mandalay says:

    @chopper:

    have these people ever met a black woman before?

    If you’d actually watched the interview you wouldn’t be posting that twaddle. The people who interviewed her (“DJ Envy” and “Charlamagne Tha God”) were black.

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  81. 81
    ruemara says:

    I’m pretty upset that anyone is calling Kamala Harris’ blackness into question. I’m even more upset when it’s white people doing it. Which is why I don’t stand for black people doing it.

    @gene108: It could also be that she’s talking in this interview to black hosts of a black show. Nothing there downplays it, it’s just not being brought into question.

    @Mandalay: They are also misogynist assholes. Who often act like they’ve never met black women.

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  82. 82
    WaterGirl says:

    @Martin: I don’t like the idea of CA having an outsized impact on the primary any more than I do any of the traditionally early states. It feels like maybe we are just moving from one kind of structural advantage to another. It’s not right that the later states (effectively) don’t get a say in their party’s nominee.

    I would like an even playing field where candidates prevail on their merits, not based on what state they are from.

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  83. 83
    debbie says:

    @Kent:

    And stay calm in the face of such appalling questions.

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    Jeffro says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Interesting indeed. Team O must be looking for the same progressiveness and ahem youthful energy that many of us are. That youthful energy might, MIGHT, come with a particularly fired-up older candidate…but we have quite a few fired-up younger ones already.

    Here’s hoping ol’ Joe doesn’t just see what he wants to see in early poll numbers.

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  85. 85

    For people who decry identity politics, the Rs and the media are really into identity politics.

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  86. 86
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @Jeffro:

    slamming Rep Ilhan Omar for her (supposedly anti-Semitic/NOT) tweets

    Ugh. I really, really don’t want Omar to be/appear to be/credibly be accused of being anti-Semitic, or of promoting anti-Semitism (same thing). I was so happy when she was elected. I’m proud of our country for being able to send her or someone like her to Congress.

    BUT. Those tweets make my Spidey sense tingle. They really are anti-Semitic tropes, even if unintentional. Doing that once, with apologies once she understood the implications (the “hypnotized” tweet from a few years back) is understandable and forgivable. Doing it again, twice, now, makes me seriously worried about her.

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  87. 87
    Mandalay says:

    @mistermix

    Kamala Harris on CNN

    FFS, this was NOT Kamala Harris on CNN. It was Kamala Harris in a very friendly (and very good) 45 minute radio interview with two black people.

    It’s fucking hilarious to see folks here spouting their preconceived notions without even bothering to watch the interview: https://www.hot1029.com/kamala-harris-on-the-breakfast-club/

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  88. 88
    Ruckus says:

    My favs at this point are Harris, Abrams and Warren, in that order.
    Harris has the chops and experience.
    Abrams is just good all around but lacks the level of experience of Harris, but no by much. Of course she’s not running at this point so….
    Warren has policy chops, is a current senator, is well spoken and on the correct side of the issues. For me her age is an issue, but not an over ridding one.

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  89. 89
    trollhattan says:

    @WaterGirl:
    For whatever it’s worth until California voted in June 2016 Wilmer was still technically alive and in fact had a pulse until the 30-day ballot count concluded (Hillary had a big election-day lead with a ton of mail ballots left to count; they effectively split those ballots 50:50). So he was disrupting things into July.

    This year even if Wilmer runs his run will be over much earlier and will not be as able to disrupt the DNC. He had a meaningful role in weakening Hillary and should not be able to do that this time.

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  90. 90
    feebog says:

    @Kent:

    I’m beginning to think that Harris may be poised to have the best inside shot given the way our primaries and caucusses are set up.

    I think it may depend on whether O’Rourke gets in or not. Texas and California are now both Super Tuesdays states. Harris is definitely going to snag the lions share of California delegates. If Beto is in he may offset that advantage by scooping up a bunch of Texas delegates. If he is not in, the delegates are there for the taking.

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  91. 91
    WaterGirl says:

    I am starting to think that Beto will be running and I am very glad about that. I hope I’m right.

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  92. 92

    Keep an eye on Beto today. He’s in El Paso to dispute Trump’s lies.

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  93. 93
    Kent says:

    @Martin:

    That’s why I think Harris has an advantage here. CA and TX are Super Tuesday states. We’ll have nearly everyone going into Super Tuesday and half of them will drop out after. The press never report on the delegates – just on the vote %, so even if you come out at 14%, in a crowded field it’ll still look like you’re viable. Candidates will ride that to their advantage.

    The DNC won’t award delegates until May, but here’s the Super Tuesday lineup: Alabama, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia primaries.

    Warren will win MA. Beto or Castro TX. Bernie VT. Harris CA. That splits the field pretty strongly which favors candidates staying in, but CA will probably carry as many delegates as all the other states that day combined, between its size and how blue we are. In terms of delegate counts, it’s hard to see Harris not being in the lead, and I imagine we’ll have at least half the field with no delegates at all, and with the largest block of available delegates already allocated. The question then becomes who stays in for vanity runs?

    Former Texan here. I would not automatically assume that Beto or Castro will win TX. It isn’t like MA or VT where people are in the long habit of voting for their favorite sons and daughters. Dems have not held statewide office for a long time. Castro has no real statewide following at all. San Antonio is strangely kind of separate from the the other main population centers of DFW and Dallas where the primary will really be decided. Beto caught fire but that was in the context of the abhorrent and vile Ted Cruz. A primary campaign in which there are other diverse candidates will be a different story. Beto stands a much greater chance of taking the state than Castro. But it isn’t a done deal by a long shot.

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  94. 94
    trollhattan says:

    @Barbara:
    That seems like a realistic take. What, in 2019, does Collins bring to the table? Whose lives is she making better? Three time zones distant she seems like the emptiest of suits with no accomplishments beyond getting camera time during crises like Kavanaugh. (Thanks again, Kennedy.)

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  95. 95
    trollhattan says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    If Beto were to outdraw (heh) Trump in rally attendance Trump will explode (in private, publically he’ll just lie).

    Oh, please.

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  96. 96
    Ruckus says:

    @WaterGirl:
    I’d like to see the primaries all on one day. Or not have primaries at all. I understand that no primaries would make the election a nightmare but all primaries on one day takes the timing out of the question. Now it would fundamentally change how we elect national officials but I think in a good way. I’d also like to see the electoral season limited in time. We are going to spend over 18 months, probably a billion or more dollars to get to the election. It’s insane. It’s the people with the most money to spend that we end up with, even if they are the best candidate, money should not decide who wins and it does, primarily because we let the contest run for so long. It’s not that it’s not important but all this extra time doesn’t tell us anything that say six or four months would. Our media spends a lot sending people to get the story and all we hear about is who thought they might be NA or who’s blacker, or pretty much every other level of bullshit they can find or dream up. We really learn nothing from the press because they aren’t looking to show us anything real.

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  98. 98
    VeniceRiley says:

    @WaterGirl: They should rotate. But good luck getting white privilege Iowa and New Hampshire to give their spots up.

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    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Barbara: I hold a fondness for Olympia Snowe because my democratic grandfather in Maine had a longstanding correspondence with her spanning many years.

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    tobie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: @trollhattan: Aw, man, I wish I were near El Paso. I’d attend the Beto rally just to make Trump explode.

    Paul Waldman just posted on the Post website a succinct and perceptive summary of the differences in the Democratic Party right now. Yes, it is about the differences between Warren’s and Klobuchar’s campaign roll-outs this past weekend, but I think it hits the larger point of how candidates are addressing the fact that America is no longer the land of opportunity. I learned something from the piece.

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  101. 101

    Democratic leadership statement on Omar

    In our conversation today, Congresswoman Omar and I agreed that we must use this moment to move forward as we reject anti-Semitism in all forms. https://t.co/UpZA3DNgQs pic.twitter.com/1Z6rH65e3M— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 11, 2019

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  102. 102
    Martin says:

    @WaterGirl: I don’t disagree. But given the circumstances, I’ll take the advantage.

    It’s not that I don’t think the other candidates are great – they are – I’ll gladly vote for any of them (well, grudgingly for a Gabbard and Sanders). I think the mean girl attack on Klobuchar is noise. One of the things I really like about Harris is that she’s a walk-the-walk intersectional candidate. We all expect Biden would do the white working class appeal. Castro will speak most directly to the latino community (as he should – they deserve to have a voice) but I think he’ll allow himself to be a little bit pigeonholed there, etc. Harris won’t get pigeonholed, and she’s really good at balancing out her message. She’s always been good on LGBT rights, and immigration, and so on. And I think that’s because those have pretty much stopped being issues in California. We don’t debate abortion here – it’s legal, and that’s that. We worry about the climate mainly – and all of the things peripheral to that – water access and rights, the nature of transportation, power generation and so on. Even gun rights isn’t heavily debated here – we consistently vote in favor of tougher gun laws. I think that gives her the freedom to speak genuinely on the issues that Trump wants to make divisive (which are not divisive in CA) and pivot to things that should matter more. I think other candidates have the talent to do that, but I think Harris can point back to action in CA – much of which happened while she was AG.

    My fear here is that Trump has changed where the debate is, and that most of the candidates will be drawn into that one way or another. I don’t think Harris will be simply because our experience here in CA is so different.

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  103. 103
    Brachiator says:

    @MattF:

    Harris answered the question well, but it was asked in bad faith– seeking to trip her up. I think she’s the front-runner right now, so she’s the main target. I wonder if there’s a way to deal with bad faith questions without sounding like you’re whining

    People who ask bad faith questions usually are not satisfied by any answer. Any response will be perceived as “whining” by those looking for trouble.

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  104. 104
    Mayur says:

    @randy khan: Two things:

    First, mentioning that Brown keeps his seat if he loses and Donald fucking Trump gets a second term is precisely illustrating what a terrible Hobson’s choice it is to run him.

    Second, I am surprised, to say the least, that you believe a Brown (or any Dem) victory will flip the Senate. Trump is insanely vulnerable compared to Reagan ’84, Clinton ’96, Bush ’04, or Obama ’12, to take the last four incumbencies, so an election in which he goes down but the Senate doesn’t flip is actually currently within the median set of possibilities.

    Beyond that, as I posted upthread (but will elaborate), the Democrats have ONE plausible path to even get to 51 (meaning, with Brown’s seat sent to a Republican, we will be at 50 seats and have a busy VP for one of the few times in US history), which is to knock off Cory Gardner (quite possible), Martha McSally (given 2018, possible), Collins (possible, depending on who emerges as a challenger), and David Purdue (possible only if we run Stacey Abrams, since I cannot imagine another GA pol with the required statewide recognition and chops to flip that seat). That too is IF Doug Jones holds his seat, which I rate as 50-50 at best even if we have a great nationwide result in 2020. There are no other viable seats for us. So even this best-case scenario leaves us with a Senate that can afford zero defections, for any and all legislation and appointments.

    Ergo, Brown’s candidacy poses the significant risk of winning the presidency but losing the Senate, which makes his Win Above Replacement stat… not so good compared with Harris, Warren, Gillibrand, Booker, or any number of other candidates. I’d probably take Joe Biden over Brown for that reason alone.

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    WaterGirl says:

    @trollhattan: Your comment completely channeled my thought process earlier today. Please please please for both of us.

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  106. 106
    Mandalay says:

    @Brachiator:

    People who ask bad faith questions usually are not satisfied by any answer.

    AAAAAGH!!!…..THIS WAS NOT A BAD FAITH QUESTION .

    Watch the actual interview (with black hosts), rather than blindly agreeing with what people who haven’t watched the interview have to say about it: https://www.hot1029.com/kamala-harris-on-the-breakfast-club/

    Having watched that, do you still think it was a “bad faith” question?

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  107. 107
    Martin says:

    @Kent: That may be true, but in a way I wish it wasn’t. Texans should be excited about a Texas Dem. That’s part of what was so great about the Beto run. It really seemed like people were excited about that. But don’t discount the turnout angle. A TX candidate should get more voters out, though turnout may not be a challenge given how badly Dems want Trump out.

    Put another way – I’d be pretty happy if a Beto or Castro presidency was able to turn TX into a purple state. That’s not likely to happen with a Harris or Booker or Klobuchar presidency, but that would be a seismic change in our national politics.

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    WaterGirl says:

    @Mandalay: So are you saying this was a softball question from a sympathetic interviewer who is giving Harris the opportunity to make that statement and get the answer out there?

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    Yarrow says:

    @JPL: Greed is not good. Sorry, Gordon Gekko.

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    Topclimber says:

    @Roger Moore: Consider for a moment that a convention with several significant blocs of voter interest could be a positive. I love Elizabeth Warren but one big reason is that she promotes ideas more than herself. Let’s say she brings 20 percent of all delegates to the convention. She could be king/queen maker to someone who actually believes they are the chosen one. For example, support fire in the belly Harris with delegates then as her Treasury secretary.

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  111. 111
    Martin says:

    @WaterGirl: I think “Watch the actual interview” is the answer to that question.

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    Mary G says:

    I am on the mailing lists of most of the women candidates coming out of the Senate and I have been impressed with both Harris and Warren’s communication skills. Warren has gotten really good at explaining economic issues so anyone can understand them, and Harris has been racking up points with local Democratic parties by traveling around on the weekends to different states all last year, and probably recommended and campaigned with more House candidates than anyone else. She is great with a crowd; Warren isn’t natural at it, but getting better all the time.

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    trollhattan says:

    @tobie: @WaterGirl:
    Right? I’d so be there. If any Jackals can make it to El Paso you have my heartfelt blessings!

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    Barbara says:

    @RedDirtGirl: Olympia Snowe, to her credit, left the scene knowing that whoever replaced her would not be a Republican. I don’t understand the social and economic pressure that is brought to bear on politicians like Snowe and Collins to conform to Republican goals, even though they must realize that it would be much harder for them to get elected in Maine now than it had been. Snowe had the good sense to give up and stop pretending the situation was normal. Collins just clings to her office even though she affirmatively tries not use the power it provides her. Try to imagine if Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller were senators from Maine instead of Collins. Flake is like Snowe. Sasse is just embarrassed by the racism but is otherwise fully committed.

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  115. 115
    Immanentize says:

    @Martin: I personally cannot watch that right now at work — are you unwilling to try to answer the question to help those of out who would like to know why it was not a disingenuous question. I can think of many reasons that might be — including the one Watergirl suggested. I would like to hear why it was a good question and I cant watch it now.

    Pretty please? With a cherry on top?

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  116. 116
    Aleta says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    This isn’t lazy reporting: https://rewire.news/videos/2019/02/08/the-proof-is-in-susan-collins-tried-to-gaslight-us/
    The msnbc headline is trash, but their story (and the others right now) is about what she claimed vs how she voted vs the real Kav. From her first run (for gov) she’s needed slick PR that focused on her “reputation.” These damage it.

    Is she a shifty hypocrite? Yes, always has been. Did he lie to her? Yes, he’s a liar. (Did she use it as cover? Obv., though the stories won’t say that.)

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  117. 117
    Immanentize says:

    @Mary G: At least at one point, Warren was a huge fundraiser for Democratic candidates all over the country — but especially in the mid-west. She has made friends (and debtors, probably)

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  118. 118
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @satby: And Collins called funds for her possible opponent a ‘bribe’, right?

    If that’s a bribe, then aren’t all donations a bribe. I give you$$ so you’ll vote how I want you to vote.

    If the money for possible opponent was ‘extortion’ against candidate 1, then aren’t all donations to opponents an attempt to ‘extort’ a desired vote from candidate 1?

    Appears to be terminology/definition problems in GOP minds (do they even have what others might call minds??)

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  119. 119
    WaterGirl says:

    @Martin: You know, not everyone has time to stop and watch the interview in the middle of the work day. So it wouldn’t hurt for someone to come out and say what they are actually trying to say. I was trying to intuit the point without having to read the article at this point in time. My question was intended to ask if I had intuited correctly. People don’t get to assign homework here.

    edit: I didn’t intend that to come off as cranky as it did.

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  120. 120
    Kent says:

    @Martin:

    @Kent: That may be true, but in a way I wish it wasn’t. Texans should be excited about a Texas Dem. That’s part of what was so great about the Beto run. It really seemed like people were excited about that. But don’t discount the turnout angle. A TX candidate should get more voters out, though turnout may not be a challenge given how badly Dems want Trump out.

    Put another way – I’d be pretty happy if a Beto or Castro presidency was able to turn TX into a purple state. That’s not likely to happen with a Harris or Booker or Klobuchar presidency, but that would be a seismic change in our national politics.

    Beto may well sweep the state. What do I know. On the other hand, the bulk of the Dem electorate, especially the primary electorate, is going to be concentrated in the greater Houston and DFW areas which together represent at least 15 million people or more than all but a handful of states. Houston is where a huge number of black women just won judgeships. I could see Harris doing really well in both DFW and Houston The white Northern senators like Klobuchar, Brown, Gillibrand, and Sanders? Not so much.

    I just don’t think we can assume that TX is going to be in the tank for either Beto or especially Castro. Neither of them really have a constituency in urban Texas.

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  121. 121
    Martin says:

    @Topclimber: Yeah, I agree. I think that could be really interesting. My main concern is that we don’t utterly wipe out the Senate in the process of filling that administration. Losing Harris, Gillibrand, Booker are all pretty safe. Losing Warren could be – can’t remember MAs vacancy rule-du-jure. Unsure about the others.

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  122. 122
    Yarrow says:

    @Kent:

    I would not automatically assume that Beto or Castro will win TX

    Agree with that and all you said about why. Neither Beto nor Castro have big constituencies in Texas. Someone else like Harris or Warren might win the state just as much as those two.

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  123. 123
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: It was a statement of consequences to the action she was considering. Fuck her for calling it a bribe. And 10 stars for the commenter above who said that she knew Kav’s statement was bullshit and she intentionally used it as cover; just as it was given as cover.

    It’s sad when a reasonably intelligent person living under Trump for 2 years can only come up with Fuck them, but that’s the best I can do right now.

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  124. 124
    Brachiator says:

    @Mandalay:

    Having watched that, do you still think it was a “bad faith” question?

    More than a bad faith question.

    It’s a dumb ass question.

    It’s a bullshit question

    It’s a waste of fucking time question.

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  125. 125
    Barbara says:

    @Yarrow: It bothers me that O’Rourke and Castro keep being mentioned as comparable to Harris or Warren or even Booker. A lot of this is just the luck of the draw, of being from a state where you could actually pursue a robust role in public office on a statewide level as a Democrat, but it’s impossible to overlook that O’Rourke and Castro in Texas, and Abrams in Georgia, just don’t have the same experience and credentials. Maybe it doesn’t even matter, considering that Trump had zero credentials in public life and was from a blue state, but optimist though it might make me, I do hope that his success is attributable to one off factors that can’t be replicated by us or them.

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  126. 126
    ruemara says:

    It is a bad faith question. Most of the people questioning KH’s blackness are black men. The Breakfast Club & Charlemagne Tha God have a shitty record of misogynoir, transphobia and being trash. I’m sorry she went on it, but I understand that it’s part of black outreach. I’ve been watching “woke faves” hitting her on blackness for a good couple of weeks.

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  127. 127
    Mikeindublin says:

    Obama used to get asked the same crap.

    He basically said even if your half black people consider you black.

    The people pushing this crap were Republicans trying depress black enthusiasm for him

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  128. 128
    jl says:

    Setting aside issues of pride in cultural heritage overall, in terms of politics and policy, who gives a tiny little damnlet about the ‘legitimacy’ of Harris’ ‘blackness’? Haven’t I heard this before someplace…. lemme see lemme see.. was so long ago… Who was that guy’s name? That Obama was black, or mixed race, or not acceptably ‘white’ by bigot standards, and could be elected president is of historical significance. But IMHO, fact that Obama will be remembered as one of best 10 or 15 presidents this country has ever had has nothing to do with his race.

    Seems like as the Dems are moving to a far more progressive stance, the corporate media has started engaging in a nonstop trolling campaign. I notice that when the there is a problem with Dem executive leadership in VA state government, suddenly the news talky shows had not problem finding time for Democrats to come on and disagree with each other about that problem. Taken in isolation, one could argue the controversy justifies it, but given the lack of liberal and progressive Democrats being invited on the news talkies generally, I have suspicions.

    What do we know about Harris so far? Well, one thing I think is that she shows signs of being a very good electoral politician. The other is that she has been moving from center-left or maybe even ‘establishment’ to more progressive policy positions. Both die hard progressives and establishment types have questions about her real policy ideas, and where she’ll land as her campaign progresses. I guessed that Harris was on a watch list for being too progressive, and maybe this nonsense about what should be, after Obama, the complete non-issue of the ‘legitimacy’ of her blackness is a sign.

    Anyway, the casting the electoral issue of her potential popularity among black voters, which is an electoral issue, in terms of ‘legitimacy’ of her blackness seems bigoted and stupid and dare I say reflects institutional racism of dumbshit racist mindsets in our society.

    People should remember that a lot of what we see in news about 2020 candidates is BS bad faith maneuvering by various bad faith artists at this point. What will really matter is how candidates succeed with voters in primaries and in caucuses. If you pay too much attention to this bullcrap we see in the media, then you are getting played by bad faith and interested operators.

    Edit: forgot to say that cultural heritage is no big deal for whites, even when it is put to malicious ulterior motives, like ‘white working class’ or Southern white cultural heritage. In addition to more innocent stuff like Swedish or Irish or Czech, or whatnot.

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  129. 129
    Kent says:

    @Brachiator:

    @Mandalay:

    Having watched that, do you still think it was a “bad faith” question?

    More than a bad faith question.

    It’s a dumb ass question.

    It’s a bullshit question

    It’s a waste of fucking time question.

    It’s all good. Every one of these candidates is going to get a bazillion bad faith questions and the troll farms are going to manufacture endless tanker truck loads of garbage and nonsense to toss up and see what sticks. This is practice time when no one but us junkies is paying any attention. Now is the time to practice message discipline and how to answer the firehose of filth and silliness that will be coming after whoever is the nominee.

    If the candidate doesn’t have the grace and charisma to answer and pivot then they don’t belong in the prime time. Obama had this talent in spades. I’m starting to think that Harris has it too.

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  130. 130
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Barbara: Wakefield, a major leader in the Great Awakening and thus v important in conservative Christian history, was a slave owner.

    He pushed GA to legalize slavery so that he could have hundreds of slaves on his GA plantation to make lots of $$.

    Part of the history of how US conservative/now termed Evangelical christianity is based on white supremacy.

    Jonathan Edward’s of the (in)famous colonial sermon ‘Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God’ also owned slaves. He is considered the Father of American Calvinism, a theology that has taken over the SoBapt boards and seminaries.

    See Fred Clark’s blog slacktivist at patheos for info on Wakefield, Edwards, and the fact that Evangelicalism rests on white supremacyl

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  131. 131
    Kent says:

    @Barbara:

    @Yarrow: It bothers me that O’Rourke and Castro keep being mentioned as comparable to Harris or Warren or even Booker. A lot of this is just the luck of the draw, of being from a state where you could actually pursue a robust role in public office on a statewide level as a Democrat, but it’s impossible to overlook that O’Rourke and Castro in Texas, and Abrams in Georgia, just don’t have the same experience and credentials. Maybe it doesn’t even matter, considering that Trump had zero credentials in public life and was from a blue state, but optimist though it might make me, I do hope that his success is attributable to one off factors that can’t be replicated by us or them.

    I agree. On the other had, Obama was also the least experienced Dem candidate in the past century. Of the three, I think Abrams is by far the most “seasoned”.

    Personally I just want to find a winner. I don’t care who it is.

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  132. 132
    Kent says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: Thanks for the link to Fred Clark’s blog. I just found based on your comment. Fascinating stuff.

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  133. 133
    trollhattan says:

    A Texas question: can Beto simultaneously run for president and Cornyn’s seat? (Guessing not.) If Beto isn’t Cornyn’s opponent, who is in line to take him on and take him out, presuming some presidential coattales at work.

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  134. 134
    Matt says:

    Yay for policy over personality.

    But WTF is this even supposed to MEAN: “lifting folks out of poverty” with a “plan for a $6,000 tax credit for middle class Americans”. Are the people this is supposed to help in the middle class or in poverty? Is this anything more than progressive-sounding mouth-noises?

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  135. 135
    The Moar You Know says:

    “I’m black, and I’m proud of being black,” she said at a later point in the interview. “I was born black. I will die black, and I’m not going to make excuses for anybody because they don’t understand.”

    Doesn’t have the weird little white bags under her eyes that President Anusmouth has from using spray paint to color his skin, so I’m guessing her color is natural.

    I couldn’t make a call on her ethnicity based on her looks. She doesn’t look “African black”, but she’s dark enough to get shit pretty much anywhere in this country, so at a minimum I would have to go with “non-Caucasian”

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  136. 136
    Immanentize says:

    @Kent:

    Personally I just want to find a winner. I don’t care who it is.

    I have a care or two. Seth Moulton is testing a run — his platform is that the Democrats are too lefty nutty and he is a Marine. Boo Yah! becaues the “Commander in Chief should be a person who wore the Uniform.” Go start a coup in Venezuela, dip shit.
    I do not want him to be the Democratic candidate and will work to help my desires come to be fact.

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  137. 137
    Immanentize says:

    @trollhattan: Yes Beto can run for both President and Senate — It is called “The Johnson Rule” named after LBJ who did just that in 1964. (waiting to see if Raven is around).

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  138. 138
    VeniceRiley says:

    @Kent: I think Harris far more seasoned than Abrams. It’s the heading up the AG office with 5000 employees. A huge job that is definitely prep for running Exec Branch. A lot of the Senate candidates fall short in this area, and it used to be a huge talking point when, say, Governors were favored in these races.

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  139. 139
    Yarrow says:

    @trollhattan:

    A Texas question: can Beto simultaneously run for president and Cornyn’s seat?

    Yes.

    Texas law would allow Beto to take a shot at the White House and at Senator John Cornyn at the same time.

    As to your second question, I don’t know. I thought Castro should have run in the primary against Cruz but he didn’t. Maybe he could also run against Cornyn.

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  140. 140
    cwmoss says:

    @Barbara: I propose a nickname for Collins: Susie Coathanger. (Apologies if it’s already out there.)

    ReplyReply
  141. 141
    Kent says:

    @VeniceRiley:

    @Kent: I think Harris far more seasoned than Abrams. It’s the heading up the AG office with 5000 employees. A huge job that is definitely prep for running Exec Branch. A lot of the Senate candidates fall short in this area, and it used to be a huge talking point when, say, Governors were favored in these races.

    No argument from me. Harris is a 1st tier candidate along with Warren and perhaps Brown. I was only comparing her to Beto who doesn’t seem to have done much other than give Cruz a run for his life. And I like Beto. Abrams has MUCH deeper political roots than either Beto or Castro. That’s all I was saying.

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  142. 142
    WaterGirl says:

    @Immanentize: Do you have an opinion on whether it’s detrimental to the candidate to run for both at the same time?

    It makes me think of resumes I’ve gotten from people where it’s clear that they want A JOB, not necessarily THIS JOB. Never a good thing.

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  143. 143
    Kent says:

    @Immanentize:

    @Kent:

    Personally I just want to find a winner. I don’t care who it is.

    I have a care or two. Seth Moulton is testing a run — his platform is that the Democrats are too lefty nutty and he is a Marine. Boo Yah! becaues the “Commander in Chief should be a person who wore the Uniform.” Go start a coup in Venezuela, dip shit.
    I do not want him to be the Democratic candidate and will work to help my desires come to be fact.

    I think you are pretty safe from the threat of a Seth Moulton candidacy. He holds about as much appeal to the current Dem primary electorate as say Bobby Jindall did on the GOP side. He is the answer to a question that no one is asking.

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  144. 144
    gene108 says:

    @trollhattan:

    For whatever it’s worth until California voted in June 2016 Wilmer was still technically alive and in fact had a pulse until the 30-day ballot count concluded (Hillary had a big election-day lead with a ton of mail ballots left to count; they effectively split those ballots 50:50). So he was disrupting things into July.

    After April 2016, Bernie would’ve had to to have won 75% of all the remaining contests to cinch the nomination. He was not mathematically eliminated, but the odds of him winning were really, really small.

    Hillary Clinton got more primary votes than Barack Obama, in 2008. Obama won the nomination by out performing her in caucus states and getting more superdelagate votes.

    Bernie’s a spoiled brat, who got pretty decisively beaten in the Presidential primary, by a girl, but kept his vanity campaign going, all the way through the convention, disrupting the convention and splintering the Democratic party, in 2008 and beyond, since Democrats now have to cover their left-flank, so they can out-Bernie the real-Bernie and not get covered in shit from his army of howler monkeys.

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  145. 145
    The Moar You Know says:

    BUT. Those tweets make my Spidey sense tingle. They really are anti-Semitic tropes, even if unintentional. Doing that once, with apologies once she understood the implications (the “hypnotized” tweet from a few years back) is understandable and forgivable. Doing it again, twice, now, makes me seriously worried about her.

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: Leadership takes this very seriously, they just slapped the shit out of her publicly. Unless someone else is posting for her, in which case that person needs to be fired right fucking now, she is going to be a huge and ongoing PR problem because that shit was not an accident.

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  146. 146
    Kent says:

    @WaterGirl:

    @Immanentize: Do you have an opinion on whether it’s detrimental to the candidate to run for both at the same time?

    It makes me think of resumes I’ve gotten from people where it’s clear that they want A JOB, not necessarily THIS JOB. Never a good thing.

    I think the only type of candidate who can possibly pull that sort of thing off is a well established incumbent looking to take a step up. Like say Sherrod Brown in Ohio. I can’t imagine any challenger possibly managing to run for two different seats at the same time.

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  147. 147
    Brachiator says:

    @Kent:

    If the candidate doesn’t have the grace and charisma to answer and pivot then they don’t belong in the prime time. Obama had this talent in spades. I’m starting to think that Harris has it too.

    I think that Harris handled the question well, and did not by any means imply any criticism of her. I don’t think that she or any other candidate has an obligation to answer every dumbass question. But then again, I’ve never been a candidate so I don’t have that gene to put up with stupid shit.

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  148. 148
    tobie says:

    @Matt: Good point. I overlooked that LIFT was a tax credit. Then again, I’m sure she has other proposals addressing entrenched poverty and that what stands out here is that she took the opportunity to frame the debate.

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  149. 149
    Yarrow says:

    @Yarrow: Can’t edit but I don’t think I was clear. I thought Castro should have run in the 2016 Dem primary, which would have been against Beto (and others), and which was for the election against Cruz.

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  150. 150
    Martin says:

    @Immanentize: It’s an extensive interview with black radio hosts on a station targeted to a progressive/black audience. It’s a friendly audience for Harris. Even look at the tone of the question: “One of the hosts followed up by asking Harris how she responds to people who question “the legitimacy of your blackness.”” There will be some questions coming from the black community. I don’t think they’re dealbreakers in any way, but there’s going to questions regarding whether she lived the black experience – especially that she went to high school in Canada – which isn’t a judgement on Canada or the black experience in Canada, rather that it’s a foreign experience to the US urban black community.

    So A) it wasn’t a question from a white interviewer “are you black enough” and B) it was a valid question from a sympathetic audience. Not quite softball, but not outrageous either. I’m not black so I’m looking in from the outside, but my black friends had these discussions about Obama along similar lines. His family tree wasn’t touched by slavery. His father was a black immigrant, not someone who had to fight up through the US system of white supremacy, and Obama was raised by a white mom, and also outside of the US at times, which caused people to wonder if Obama really understood the most commonly lived challenges of the black community. None of it was criticism of him, they just wanted to hear that he understood what the typical black experience was. It was more a class question than a race question.

    I don’t really think it’s fair to criticize the black community for probing these issues, particularly when we have Booker in the race who was mayor of Newark. How often do black voters get a choice of black candidates? That put him much more front and center of the kinds of local day to day issues that black urban voters face. But it’s still a choice between two upper-middle class raised black candidates, and while that’s a sizable part of the black community, black voters want to see representation for the entire black community. White voters do the same thing which is why we put Warren (elite college professor) at the other end of the spectrum as Brown (white working class). I’d argue that Trump won the day regarding “the legitimacy of his whiteness” not because of his racism so much as because he cheerleaded (in bad faith) for coal miners who never have a candidate with a natural affinity with their experiences. But at least white voters get Joe the Plumber out there as a sympathetic voice for working class voters. We’re a ways away from being okay with a political endorsement from Killer Mike (who, I should note, is infinitely better informed than McCain was, let alone Joe the Plumber).

    Sorry about the white guy explains black people badly, but it seems like this is trying to be put into a very polarized set of buckets, and I don’t think you can read it that way. I see similar conversations around the latino community – their viewpoints on immigration are much more complex than we seem to want to recognize, and the community is rather conservative in certain ways that Democrats seem to gloss over.

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  151. 151
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @VeniceRiley: INHO IA needs its position as 1st in the nation for economic reasons. The state’s people make immense amt of $$ then. In some ways it’s the state’s nearly soLe source of income. Farming has become owned by a few agri-business corporations whose headquarters are not in IA,

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  152. 152

    @trollhattan: I have been hoping for that.

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  153. 153
    Hob says:

    @Mick:

    a $6k tax credit isn’t going to lift anyone out of poverty. No doubt LIFT has much more in it, but I’m not sure how many people living in poverty actually pay more than that in federal taxes

    Slight correction: unless I’ve misread it, that bill has a refundable tax credit, so how much you owe in federal taxes would be irrelevant– someone who owed $0 would receive $6000. I think.

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  154. 154
    Kent says:

    @Martin: It was a fair question and she answered it well. This isn’t a 975 different concern-trolling NYT headlines about Hillary’s emails sort of thing. If we obsess about every question a candidate gets our heads are going to explode. The more important thing is how they control their own message in the face of this sort of thing. Harris looks to have that well polished.

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  155. 155
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Immanentize: if you say LBJ three times then raven appears

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  156. 156
    Martin says:

    @Kent: And I think I distracted everyone by jumping into the delegate gaming. Candidates can’t win solely on the merits. There’s a game underneath that everyone also has to play, and I was merely pointing out that the game naturally favors Harris. I didn’t intend that to be a debate about the merits of the candidates themselves.

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  157. 157
    Kent says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:

    @VeniceRiley: INHO IA needs its position as 1st in the nation for economic reasons. The state’s people make immense amt of $$ then. In some ways it’s the state’s nearly soLe source of income. Farming has become owned by a few agri-business corporations whose headquarters are not in IA,

    Well sure, IA has turned the caucuses into a massive grift. That doesn’t mean it is entitled to it more than any other poor rural state. Imagine how different it would look if they ever let a non-white state go first. Like say New Mexico. I’d love to see all those candidates tromping around the Navajo reservation and barrios of Albuquerque in the middle of winter looking for votes.

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  158. 158
    patroclus says:

    The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express (?) just published a story today that shows that the Southern Baptist Convention is (at least as) as bad as the Roman Catholics have been when it comes to child and other sexual abuse – this is a HUGE story that doesn’t seem to be getting much play among the “traditional” liberal media bubble. Perhaps John will add it to his “long read” roll.

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  159. 159
    Aleta says:

    Does anyone know what happened to the late night thread by AL (1:15 am Late Night … Open Thread: …)

    I’m guessing it was overrun by racists, Warren haters or my first guess: na zees — because I posted a vimeo link to a short film that has an oscar nom. + included text about it.

    If that’s what attracted them, I think that means that reposting the link to the film would be a mistake. Or would the link be OK, just not its name and not any text?

    Q–General question: Do links alone attract attackers ? If so does embedding them prevent that? (Some of the time, I purposely don’t embed them so ppl can trust what they are clicking on.)

    (If I attracted them here by putting up the link, sincere apology to whoever had to deal with it. I remember that some comments to it at vimeo looked like na zee supporters.)

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  160. 160
    Kent says:

    @patroclus:

    The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express (?) just published a story today that shows that the Southern Baptist Convention is (at least as) as bad as the Roman Catholics have been when it comes to child and other sexual abuse – this is a HUGE story that doesn’t seem to be getting much play among the “traditional” liberal media bubble. Perhaps John will add it to his “long read” roll.

    The story got big play NPR’s morning edition this morning. I quickly flipped over to check my old home town paper the Waco Tribune to see if it was getting any play in the “Baptist Jerusalem” but nothing. Perhaps they are a day behind and don’t have their own story out yet. A lot of times these smaller local papers can reprint wire service stories in their paper editions but for contractual reasons, can’t post the same stories on their own web sites. Same goes for web sites like the NYT. They can report on the Chronicle story but can’t just post it on their web site. They gotta get out and do their own follow-up reporting and that takes a bit of time.

    I’ll be looking to see if it gets any play on the MSNBC or CNN evening shows.

    Fuck them. I spent a decade in Baptist land. They are all pervs. Especially the pasty old controlling white men who make up the Baptist hierarchy inside and outside of the church.

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  161. 161
    Martin says:

    @Hob: It’s based on income, not taxes. If you earn $0, you get $0. It dollar matches for the first $3000 (single) or $6000 (married) in income, and ramps down between $30K and $50K income single no kids, or $60K-$100K married, or $80K-$100K single, kids.

    The dollar matching part is politically understandable but unfortunate, but that can be patched in pretty easily later. Overall it works quite a bit like the EITC but it phases in faster and stays much longer. The other difference with the LIFT act is that it’s designed to be paid out monthly rather than April 15, so you can actually pay your rent with it.

    It’s a good bill. I’m less fond of her Rent Relief Act, which just looks like an arbitrage opportunity for landlords. The solution to high rent is more housing, not price control.

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  162. 162
    WaterGirl says:

    @Aleta: A bunch of, in the morning thread, asked about the disappearing thread. Betty Cracker did not seem to have any information on it, and no one else did, either, but that’s all I know.

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  163. 163
    Searcher says:

    @Kent:

    That kindly farmer who owned one slave who “was a part of the family?” benefited just as much from his investment in human bondage as everyone else in the slave business.

    That one slave had a family, from whom they were taken.

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  164. 164
    --bd says:

    @Immanentize: Bentsen Rule. 1988. VP and Senator. 1964 Senate race in Texas had Ralph Yarborough defeating some guy named Bush, who was never heard of again.

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  165. 165
    Kent says:

    @Martin:

    @Kent: And I think I distracted everyone by jumping into the delegate gaming. Candidates can’t win solely on the merits. There’s a game underneath that everyone also has to play, and I was merely pointing out that the game naturally favors Harris. I didn’t intend that to be a debate about the merits of the candidates themselves.

    It’s not a game though. It’s called winning. Obama and his people knew how to do it. That was why dung beetles like Mark Penn are so useless. They think there are style points or something. There are not. This is for all all the marbles and it fucking matters.

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  166. 166
    trollhattan says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    LOL!

    ETA does he get triggered by beagles?

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  167. 167
    Aleta says:

    @patroclus: @Kent:
    This also stood out to me:

    At the core of Southern Baptist doctrine is local church autonomy, the idea that each church is independent and self-governing. It’s one of the main reasons that Boto said most of the proposals a decade ago were viewed as flawed by the executive committee because the committee doesn’t have the authority to force churches to report sexual abuse to a central registry.

    Because of that, Boto said, the committee “realized that lifting up a model that could not be enforced was an exercise in futility,” and so instead drafted a report that “accepted the existence of the problem rather than attempting to define its magnitude.” *

    SBC churches and organizations share resources and materials, and together they fund missionary trips and seminaries. Most pastors are ordained locally after they’ve convinced a small group of church elders that they’ve been called to service by God. There is no central database that tracks ordinations, or sexual abuse convictions or allegations.

    All of that makes Southern Baptist churches highly susceptible to predators, says Christa Brown, an activist who wrote a book about being molested as a child by a pastor at her SBC church in Farmer’s Branch, a Dallas suburb.

    “It’s a perfect profession for a con artist, because all he has to do is talk a good talk and convince people that he’s been called by God, and bingo, he gets to be a Southern Baptist minister,” said Brown, who lives in Colorado. “Then he can infiltrate the entirety of the SBC, move from church to church, from state to state, go to bigger churches and more prominent churches where he has more influence and power, and it all starts in some small church.

    “It’s a porous sieve of a denomination.”

    * [This is somewhat similar to an error and a dodge in military responses to rape too. One of the effective responses to that was the Military Justice Improvement Act, to give sexual harassment and assault victims fair trials in the military. ]

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  168. 168
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Kent: You might also like Wm Lindsey’s blog bilgtimage.blogspot.com. He lives with his husband in Little Rock.

    He was raised in Arkansas in the SoBapt church and has many posts on the racism in the state when he was growing up there In the 50s.

    He converted to Catholicism,thinking it was less racist. He and his husband are trained theologians who have been badly treated by the church because they are gay.

    He has many posts about the abuse in the church, race history in Arkansas and the south.

    Before the 12 election he posted many articles on the US Bishops becoming part of the GOP. He has many, many interesting posts. Also an interesting blogroll.

    He and slacktivist link to each other’s posts now and then.

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  169. 169
    sukabi says:

    @tokyokie: yeah, it’s true because all white people are exactly alike, regardless of their backgrounds.😵

    The folks that believe that crap suffer from situational blindness, in that they can’t see beyond their own personal situations/preconceptions.

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  170. 170
    q 3 says:

    Her statement reminds me of this movie scene:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7972c5I8DRc

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  171. 171
    sukabi says:

    @West of the Rockies: the folks that started a fund for her primary opponent, whoever that might be, have continued to raise money for a primary challenger. I think the media is ignoring this. They touted Colins’ campaign haul for the last quarter being higher than in the past and noted that it came from out of state Kavanaugh supporters, but not the push back against her.

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  172. 172

    @Ladyraxterinok:
    The worst part of Iowa’s status as first in the nation is the extent to which it distorts policy. Because it’s so important in presidential politics, the whole country winds up catering excessively to Iowa’s desires. I sincerely think our huge ethanol subsidies never would have happened if we didn’t have a big corn growing state as the first state in the presidential nomination system.

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  173. 173
    trollhattan says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Yup, the ethanol boondoggle boggles.

    I remember when Santorum ate up all kinds of screen time because he campaigned every stinking one of Iowa’s 99 counties, only to be swept aside like a cockroach once the campaign actually began in earnest. Made me quite happy at the time.

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  174. 174
    Barbara says:

    @cwmoss: The effort that Collins puts into avoiding the exercise of even a sliver more of power so that she can stand up for her constituents on principles like protecting women’s autonomy from theocrats like Kavanaugh is exceeded only by the effort she puts into whining about those who call her out for her hypocrisy and uselessness. She will no doubt center her entire campaign around the idea that people are being mean to her. I will write a big check for the person who takes her on.

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  175. 175
    sherparick says:

    @Kent: My bigger problem with Brown, or any Red or Purple State Senator with a Republican Governor, is losing that Senate seat. To me a Senate seat is worth 1/3 as much as the Presidency because without at least 50 Senate seats a Democratic Administration is going to be completely jammed up. Even Warren is problematic because Baker is a Republican Governor in Massachusetts and hence would be replaced by a Republican until a special election. Klobuchar, Harris, and Gillibrand at least have Democratic Governors.

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  176. 176
    Sebastian says:

    @cwmoss:

    Coathanger Collins

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  177. 177
    Kent says:

    @Aleta: That is exactly true. And when the grifters get run out of the Baptist Church (as if that EVER happens…) they just turn around and form their own non-denominational “community” church.

    I grew up in a devoutly Mennonite family and used to be somewhat tolerant of all these church types who appeared to be well intentioned and “acting in good faith”. I no longer have any patience for any of it. Even the Mennonite church has had its own horrific sex scandals. Conservative Christianity is simply toxic in all its forms.

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  178. 178
    Barbara says:

    @Martin:

    I don’t think they’re dealbreakers in any way, but there’s going to questions regarding whether she lived the black experience – especially that she went to high school in Canada – which isn’t a judgement on Canada or the black experience in Canada, rather that it’s a foreign experience to the US urban black community.

    Do you think it’s more atypical than growing up in Hawaii and spending a significant part of your school years in Indonesia? I am not dumping on you, but going to high school in Canada would be foreign for most Americans, white or black, and maybe, just maybe, it’s okay for black people to be, you know, individual people with experiences that are in the aggregate unique to themselves. But I appreciate the further explanation of the context of the radio show.

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  179. 179
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Kent: Would indeed be most interesting.And enlightening!

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  180. 180
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @patroclus: An extremely important expose!!

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  181. 181
    gwangung says:

    @Barbara: Elementary school in Oakland, high school in Canada, college at a HBCU, member of a strong sorority of black women.

    It’s a dumbass question, no matter who asked it. And black women are sure as hell pushing back on whoever’s asking it.

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  182. 182
    rikyrah says:

    @gene108:
    How does she downplay her mother? She often talks about the influence of her mother in her life.
    She also makes it clear that it was HER MOTHER who recognized that she and her sister would be seen as Black women in THIS country, and wanted to prepare them for that life.

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  183. 183
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Kent: Remember Ken Star as prez of Baylor. And how he was fired for covering up rape charges vs some members of Baylor football team.

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  184. 184
    Kent says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: And we would get to hear all the local media obsess over candidate’s answers to the question of red vs green chiles instead of what kind of cheese goes on the cheese steak.

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  185. 185
    rikyrah says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Senator Harris passes the paper bag test, but, in no way could she “pass” for White. She is a light-skinned Black woman. Plenty of Black people in America with two Black parents are her color or lighter.😒

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  186. 186
    Kent says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:

    @Kent: Remember Ken Star as prez of Baylor. And how he was fired for covering up rape charges vs some members of Baylor football team.

    Yes, the entire Board of Regents was utterly complicit. It is still going on. I guess Michigan State was no different. But at least they didn’t wave the bible and pretend that they were following a higher calling.

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  187. 187
    rikyrah says:

    @Immanentize:

    Didn’t know about that rule.

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  188. 188
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Kent: Ever watch HGTV ‘Fixer Upper’ show? Chip and Johanna have a farm outside Waco and have redone homes in Waco and around TX. From what I can tell (from a few yrs ago when I watched some of their shows), they are both committed SoBaptists.

    Roger E Olsen, who teaches at Baylor seminary and has a blog at patheos, had a funny comment one time in one of his posts–students were late to class because those 2 ‘stars’ had been on campus.

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  189. 189
    Mary G says:

    .@cthagod Says people are asking 'how is Kamala Harris so black but she married white'?Kamala: I love my husband, and he loves me. pic.twitter.com/1cWKHpC2mk— i wasnt made to fall in line (@JesseRikart) February 11, 2019

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  190. 190
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Kent: Lindsey at his blog bilgrimage.blogspot.com has had several posts on the abuse in the Mennonite church. I think that’s where I first heard about it.

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  191. 191
    Aleta says:

    Again the importance of supporting newspapers and media that can still dedicate money and reporters to investigations.

    These SBC criminals are influential in our politics and send tons of voters to polls. They’re a big force in the anti-abortion fight and anti-LGBTQ legislation. Stories that expose them help these fights too.

    Quotes from the two sources below:

    Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention have declined for more than a decade to create a list of sexual predators from affiliated churches.

    But the San Antonio Express-News and Houston Chronicle assembled one of our own.

    The cases tracked by the newspapers affected more than 700 victims over 20 years. Their stories are wrenching.

    Victims of sexual abuse had pleaded for the SBC to act, saying it was allowing predators to move from church to church. But the SBC in 2008 rejected all proposals to produce such a registry, saying the organization could not tell its 47,000 member churches whom to hire or ordain.

    About 220 church leaders were convicted. They were pastors. Ministers. Youth pastors. Sunday school and Christian schoolteachers. Deacons. Church program volunteers.

    To try to measure the problem, the newspapers collected and cross-checked news reports, prison records, court records, sex offender registries and other documents. Reporters also conducted hundreds of interviews with victims, church leaders, investigators and offenders.

    The SBC has ended its affiliation with four churches in the past 10 years for affirming or endorsing homosexual behavior. The SBC governing documents ban gay or female pastors. They do not outlaw convicted sex offenders from working in churches.

    I don’t factually know how support for newspapers is weighed. A guess: even if you don’t read the story (understandable for many) it might help the paper to click on it.
    I’m sure they look at numbers who sign up this week for a sub, even a short term one.

    Link at Houston Chronicle (1st of several parts)

    Link at San Antonio Express-News
    Also at the SA’s link: “Help us investigate: Do you have information about sexual misconduct in Southern Baptist churches? Fill out our confidential questionnaire here.”

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  192. 192
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Kent: But we might avoid media types moaning about how very hard it is to figure out how votes are taken in the IA caucus.

    I just wanted to scream at Blitzer the night of the 08 IA caucus.

    Farmers and others in the most rural parts of IA (considered to be uneducated hicks by national media,I’m sure) have been doing this just fine since the 72 caucus. So you’re dumber than them, Blitzer?!

    Confession–I participated in every IA caucus from 72 to 88. Moved back to OK in 89, where county dem office had to search for my OK house and Senate districts. The change in energy was mind-boggling!!

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  193. 193
    Kent says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:

    @Kent: Ever watch HGTV ‘Fixer Upper’ show? Chip and Johanna have a farm outside Waco and have redone homes in Waco and around TX. From what I can tell (from a few yrs ago when I watched some of their shows), they are both committed SoBaptists.

    Roger E Olsen, who teaches at Baylor seminary and has a blog at patheos, had a funny comment one time in one of his posts–students were late to class because those 2 ‘stars’ had been on campus.

    Actually Chip and Joanna are not Baptists. They are part of a local Waco independent mega-church called Antioch: https://antiochwaco.com/ and https://antiochwaco.com/tag/chip-and-joanna-gaines-church/ Do you remember during the start of the Afganistan War there were some blonde missionary girls who got caught and held hostage by the Taliban? Those were Antioch missionary girls trying to hand out bibles in Taliban-land.

    My wife and I lived for a decade in Waco even though we are from the Northwest. We originally went there for my wife’s medical training and ended up staying a bit too long. In both her medical field and in my education field we found that a scary number of our boses were members of Antioch and there is a huge Antioch mafia operating in Waco that controls who rises up to positions of authority in both education and medicine. Many of the principals and assistant principals in my district were Antioch members. The Baptists do run Waco, and especially Baylor. But there is also Antioch.

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  194. 194
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Aleta: Some yrs ago Tom Rich at his blog posted about a young black SoBapt preacher who was heavily promoted by (I think Paige Patterson, then head of SWBaptist Seminary in Dallas-Ft Worth).

    Despite many women claiming abuse by him, SBC leaders promoted him to several churches in TX and finally to one in FL where he was finally tried, convicted, sent to jail.

    If you click on Tom Rich, you’ll learn he was kicked out of his SBC church in Jacksonville because of comments he’d made on his blog critical of the church. They actually called on a member, a security cop, to confront him.

    Rich made the comment at one time that women and children were safer on the streets at nite in FL than in SBC churches!

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  195. 195
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Kent: Wow! Just–Wow!

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  196. 196
    Darkrose says:

    @Kent: Fred is amazing. His analysis of white evangelicals in American history should be required reading for anyone writing about religion in the US. Also, his takedown of the Left Behind series is absolute gold.

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  197. 197
    Kent says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: I knew at least a half dozen of the families that had their houses done on Fixer-Upper. Some were doctor colleagues of my wife. Some where HS students of mine who’s families had their houses redone in Woodway (affluent suburb of Waco where I taught). All were Antioch members as are I suspect a large portion of the people on the show. Antioch is mostly ex-Baptists I imagine who have flocked there because it is more exciting and “relevant” than the other more stodgy big Baptist churches in the area. It is also something of a cult of personality around the charismatic local leader. Or just a cult for that matter. There are various blog posts by “recovering former Antioch members who talk about it’s cult-ness. For example

    http://recoveringzealot.blogspot.com/
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Waco/comments/8f5fob/antioch_community_church_is_a_cult_and_puts_its/

    I guess this thread is about dead. I could go on and on about Waco and Antioch.

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  198. 198
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Aleta:

    I’m pretty sure that post disappeared only due to a technical glitch. It was up until at least 6:18 this morning. I read it; it had about 25 comments, and there was nothing out of the ordinary.

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  199. 199
    MomSense says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    I saw a tweet the other day that said that Clinton defended criminals so we were told she was cruel to victims. And now we are told that Harris prosecuted criminals for terrible crimes soshe was cruel to perpetrators. The message is really that nothing these women do will ever be right.

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  200. 200
    WaterGirl says:

    @MomSense:

    The message is really that nothing these women do will ever be right.

    Quoted for truth.

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  201. 201
    Gex says:

    @The Moar You Know: Hell, I’m dark enough to get shit in this country just about anywhere I go and I’m 50-50 Chinese-German. I get the “what are you” and “where are you REALLY from” questions from white people.

    You don’t have to be far down the color swatch to stop counting as white in this country to where it affects your life in large and small ways.

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  202. 202
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    And that post is back up, at least for me (Win10, Firefox).

    ETA: Which apparently Aleta saw, since she commented there at 5:02 p.m.

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  203. 203
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Harris isn’t a WASP, there for quibbling about her “blackness” is besides the point because she isn’t a real person to racists. It’s arguing over “is she semi human or sub human in some horses’ ass end like King’s hatred crazed eyes?”

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  204. 204
    J R in WV says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    @Immanentize: if you say LBJ three times then raven appears

    Or, ME: Fuck LBJ, and Nixon too!!!

    ReplyReply

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