Arizona just called

First the big news from Arizona:

And now the important news from Arizona:


Both of those tweets are notable because they should not be notable in a healthy political system. The McSally concession came pretty much as soon as it was apparent that there just weren’t the votes for her to win. It took a few days but the Arizona process worked well and to spec. This is a graceful bog standard concession with a disappointed candidate and a good dog.

The tweet by the outgoing Senator is push back on conspiracy theories that if unanswered delegitimate electoral politics. This should be a nothing burger as well in a healthy political environment. Yet it too is noteworthy.

There Will Be Recounts in Florida: Brooks Bros II, the MAGA Cap Edition

Per the Washington Post:

Three statewide contests in Florida — including the closely watched Senate race — headed for history-making recounts, election officials confirmed Saturday, with the lead by Gov. Rick Scott (R) over Sen. Bill Nelson (D) in the marquee contest shrinking to 12,562 votes out of nearly 8.2 million cast.

The 0.15 percent margin is narrow enough to not only trigger a machine recount, which by law must be completed by Thursday, but is likely to result in a recount by hand across the state — a complicated logistical task in the nation’s biggest battleground state.

The new tally in the governor’s race was not quite as close, but it also met the threshold for a voting machine recount. Numbers posted on the state election website showed Republican Ron DeSantis leading Democrat Andrew Gillum by 33,684 votes…

Under Florida law, a statewide machine recount is conducted when the margin of victory is less than 0.5 percent, and a manual recount is ordered if the margin is less than 0.25 percent. The governor’s race probably will not meet the manual recount standard, if Saturday’s tally holds…

A manual recount is of ballots in which voters skipped a race or voted for two candidates in one race. That pool of ballots will be in the tens of thousands in heavily Democratic Broward County, where nearly 25,000 ballots showed votes for governor but not senator…

Klassy as ever, GOP:

On Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he was sending attorneys to South Florida — even though nationally prominent election attorneys representing both parties are already in Florida monitoring the process. He also claimed to know that Snipes had planned to steal his 2016 victory in Florida from him…

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Panhandle congressman serving on the (perhaps prematurely constituted) DeSantis transition team, made an appearance in Lauderhill to call for the Florida secretary of state to enact a state of receivership over Broward County. He accused the office of making up votes to help Democrats win and repeatedly called Snipes corrupt and incompetent…

Read more

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Heck of A Week, And Then…

Oval Office Occupant sez, Hold my Diet Coke!

Friday Evening Open Thread: The NRA Lost This Election

More good news of the Blue Wave!

Forensic pathologist for the rebuttal:

The California Fires

It looks like Santa Ana conditions now bring fire along with the hot winds. Here is a selection of pictures from Twitter. California jackals, stay safe!

At the hashtag #CampFire, I am seeing requests about missing people.





Move On called for demonstrations tonight against Trump’s appointing Matthew Whitaker acting Attorney General. Here are tweets from some of them. More than I expected, and this is just the warm-up.


What’s up in your neck of the woods?



Analyzing Trump’s Actions Through The Lens Of Toxic Narcissism

Jeff Sessions, some long time ago, gave Donald Trump a signed resignation letter, which Trump used today.

Trump has been irritated at Sessions since Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. Sessions was a member of Trump’s campaign and has connections to the cast of thousands suspected to be involved in some way with Russian influence in that campaign. That has eaten at Trump, who believes that the Attorney General is the President’s consigliere. Trump has complained openly about this.

He has also nagged and browbeaten Sessions in public, but Sessions rode out those humiliations.

Trump has been angry about the Russia investigation (“Witch Hunt!”) since it began. He seems to see his interactions with Russia, or to want us to see those interactions, as normal business practice. Someone says that they have dirt on your campaign opponent? Who wouldn’t meet with them, even if foreign contributions to campaigns are illegal?

Matthew Whitaker, who will be acting Attorney General until a new one is appointed by the President, has publicly stated his opposition to the Mueller investigation and even to Marbury v. Madison, the early Supreme Court case that established the principle of judicial review.

There is a sense in which all of this is predictable – many people have predicted it for some time, to be followed by the firing of Robert Mueller. But there is a lot that doesn’t entirely hold together. Even Maggie Haberman can’t figure it out.

The conventional analysis is something like this: Trump is guilty of conspiracy against the United States, or obstruction of justice, or perjury, or all three and more. Further, he understands that he and his family are guilty. Mueller continues the attack, and he must be counterattacked, which would start with removing him from his job. Trump bragged to the Russians who visited him in the Oval Office in May 2017 that he had removed James Comey, who had been pursuing Russian connections to the Trump campaign. He would likewise remove Mueller to end the “Witch Hunt.”

But that analysis assumes a particular strategy on Trump’s part: He knows he is guilty and wants to avoid the consequences in a very direct way. Haberman’s perplexity assumes such a strategy. Let’s assume a different motivation on Trump’s part.

David Roberts (@drvox) wrote a thread reminding us of Trump’s toxic narcissism. This summarizes it:

Put aside whether Trump is worried about being found guilty of anything. His ego has been hurt by Sessions’s failure to act as consigliere. In yesterday’s election, Republicans lost the House, which will complicate Trump’s presidency and, likely, his life. His morning tweets on Wednesday seemed upset, and he handled his news conference badly, seemingly indicating a distraught state of mind.

When a toxic narcissist feels injured, he must injure someone else. So it was time to use the letter Sessions gave him. Whitaker seems to be a Trump loyalist, which comforts Trump that now he has his consigliere. Unless Whitaker recuses himself (and there may be reason to do that), this is likely to calm Trump temporarily.

Trump responds in the moment, and the threshold for his action seems high (tweeting, not so much). Whether Whitaker will undertake action against Mueller on his own is not clear, even with the implicit backing of Trump. Most likely is a passive-aggressive strategy of starving the investigation of funds. As usual, Trump seems not to have anyone lined up to become Attorney General. That is consistent with the impulsive acting out of a narcissistic injury.

Further actions, by this analysis, will depend on injuries to Trump’s ego. Indictments via the Mueller investigation against Trump or his family (Don Jr. is rumored to be close to indictment) would be a great injury and a reason to fire him.

Other things can go wrong for Trump. The coming of a Democratic House and speculations about its actions will constantly irritate. A meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a North Korean representative has been postponed. For any number of reasons, Trump may feel he needs the comfort of firing Mueller. But probably not right away.