The most intense minds on the internet are hard at work.
The freakout over "widespread" but surprisingly difficult to specify "fraud" in the counting of last week's remaining votes has the wingnuttosphere in a tizzy, with Chief Wingnut Donald Trump tweeting early Monday morning that the Democrats are such huge cheats that really, they should just stop counting the ballots and declare Republicans the winners, which is of course exactly how elections work. The most impressive aspect of this red tide of "fraud" claims is that nobody making them has managed to find any actual stolen votes to report to law enforcement. Instead, they saw changing vote tallies between the partial results from Election Night and a week later, when most or all the ballots have been counted, and then they point and scream like evil pod-damned Donald Sutherland at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (spoiler from 1978).
Why can't they all be like Susan Collins?
Senator Lindsey Graham has lamented that his party performed "fairly poorly with suburban women in some of these House districts." This is the canny political observation of a seasoned operator who watched dozens of Republican seats in the suburbs fall to Democrats. The running GOP theory leading up to the midterms was that the districts that voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 but switched to Hillary Clinton in 2016 did so only because of an aversion to Donald Trump. Without Trump himself on the ballot in 2018, these areas would remain loyal to Republican candidates. This did not happen.
We all recognize that "suburban women" is code for white women, specifically well-off, well-educated white women who are probably watching "This Is Us" right now. So, when the election returns came in from suburban districts on election night, it was clear that this prized demographic had fled Trump's party.
It always comes down to Broward.
The 2000 election is never dead. It's not even past. We're doomed to repeat the whole hideous hanging chads Florida debacle for all eternity. Roger Stone is even getting the gang back together for another Brooks Brothers riot, featuring Laura Loomer and the QAnon crew. Bring your Trumpy Bear along for the show and receive a free beer koozie!
As Rick Scott's lead over Bill Nelson in the senatorial election shrinks to 13,000 votes, the GOP has entered full panic mode. Just like in 2000, they need a judge to step in and put a stop to the vote counting STAT! What a lucky break that the election supervisors in both Broward and Palm Beach Counties are African American women -- not that they'd have had any trouble getting Trump to shout insane shit about the election, but it doesn't hurt.
Blue Wave knocks out Russia's congressman, SAD!
The Associated Press finally called the race in California's 48th Congressional District late Saturday for Democratic challenger Harley Rouda, bringing an end to nearly 30 years in Congress for US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. Over the years, Rohrabacher had represented not only his super-conservative Orange County district, but also the Taliban and Russia, and as his district has become more liberal -- or at least less frothingly rightwing John Birch Society-esque -- it was probably only a matter of time until his seat went blue. Rohrabacher's enthusiastic defenses of Donald Trump and of Vladimir Putin only hastened the swing this year. Too bad, so sad!
Let us bid a fond but not drawn out farewell to one of Congress's more spectacular idiots while we hope he's joined by many others, soon.
Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith made a gross comment earlier this month that is both clueless of history and casually racist. On November 2, just before the midterm election, she was at a campaign event with cattle rancher Colin Hutchinson. Demonstrating just how "ride or die" she was for Hutchinson, she boasted, "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row!"
This is an odd statement because public hangings are historically general admission. Maybe she's saying she'd be willing to camp out overnight to ensure she can watch some poor bastard dance at the end of a rope like a common psychopath. She is, of course, un-ironically "100 percent pro-life," because life has value until it's born. Eventually ending that life in a sickening, extrajudicial manner is a pleasant spectator sport. Bring the popcorn.
Another Senate pickup! And a special goodbye to Dana Rohrabacher also too!
Senator Sinema, FTW! Maricopa County dropped another batch of votes last night, bringing the Arizona Democrat's lead up to about 32,000. McSally would have to take the remaining uncounted votes by a margin of 22 percent to win at this point. Which means Martha McSally is more likely to melt from someone throwing a bucket of water on her than to take Jeff Flake's seat.
Remember last Wednesday when Trump gave that bonkers presser and bragged about "retiring" Jeff Flake?
Hey, THANKS, DONALD!
World leaders rain on Trump's parade, ICE is detaining even more people, and Democrats are loading their subpoena cannon. Your morning news brief.
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Also this is your OPEN THREAD!
Nice time! Florida's Secretary of State has ordered a recount of the votes in four races, including both the very close Senate and Gubernatorial races -- meaning that we still have a good chance to not have to see Rick Scott's scary Bat Boy/Voldemort/Doom from Roger Rabbit/Dr. Leekie from Orphan Black face anymore.
Florida will hold a machine recount of votes in its neck-and-neck races for the U.S. Senate and governor, with results due by 3 p.m. ET (2000 GMT) on Thursday, its secretary of state said on Saturday.
The two contests, along with those for governor in Georgia and for the U.S. Senate in Arizona, are the most high-profile races still undecided after Tuesday's congressional elections.
In Florida's election for the U.S. Senate, Republican Governor Rick Scott had seen his lead narrow over incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson to about 12,500 votes, or 0.15 percent, by Saturday afternoon.
In response to this news, the extremely handsome and bad ass Democratic candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum has officially retracted his concession. YAY!
Gillum is also not falling for the "it's embarrassing" line Republicans are trying to push in order to avoid a full vote count. This is so good!
Again, I love this so much. It's a certain kind of fearlessness that Democrats have not shown in... pretty much in my entire lifetime. There's always been this undercurrent of "If we are just meek enough, if we are just bland enough, the Republicans for whom the party has gone 'too far' will come to our side. If we do what they say, they'll be less mean to us!" and apparently some people have finally figured out that's NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. They have searched for all the 'thank you notes' they thought they were going to receive and found them to be entirely non-existent. This gives me hope for a lot of things (number one being not trying to run John fucking Kerry in 2020) in the future.
In other nice time news, Rihanna has officially banned Donald Trump from being able to use her music at campaign stops.
Via LA Times:
Rihanna is strengthening her resolve against President Trump and now has the backing of performing rights company Broadcast Music Inc., which has notified the Trump campaign that it should discontinue use of her music at events.
BMI has removed the Barbadian songstress' work from a blanket license agreement used for campaigns. In this case, the so-called "political entities license" was an agreement with Donald J. Trump for President Inc., giving the campaign license to play her work.
The move comes just after RiRi's lawyer sent the White House a cease-and-desist letterearlier this week upon learning that Trump played her 2007 hit "Don't Stop the Music" at a rally in Chattanooga, Tenn., over the weekend.
I really do love it every time this happens. Truly. I want to see them reduced to only being able to play Ted Nugent and Pat Boone forever. Or, perhaps....
Scott Baio - "What Was In That Kiss" Golden Throats! (Merv Griffin Show 1982) youtu.be
Apologies if you did not previously know this existed, or how incredibly bad it was. Feel free to yell at me in the comments, because this is your open thread!
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What if they count all the votes and Rick Scott loses? What then? How would that be fair?
Once upon a time, a very terrible man who is now dead halted the counting of votes in Florida because doing so would cast "a cloud upon what he claims to be the legitimacy of his election." The "he" in this case was one George W. Bush, and had those votes been counted, had the butterfly ballot used by Florida not led to many people accidentally voting for Pat Buchanan, Al Gore would have been our president, we probably would have never gone to war with Iraq, and things probably would have been a lot nicer across the board. We might have even had less fucked up elections were this not a thing people felt they could get away with.
Of course, at that time, the Supreme Court was not the only one demanding Gore give up. Even many people who considered themselves Democrats at the time were going the route of "OH MY GOD THIS IS SOOOOOOO EMBARRASSING, JUST STAHP!" and demanding Gore do the "statesman-like" thing and concede. And he did.
This year, however? Shit is changing, and Democratic candidates are not so easily shamed into backing down, especially when things are looking shady. Stacey Abrams is holding out in Georgia, where votes were clearly screwed with, waiting until all the votes have been counted in Arizona -- despite the preferences of the Arizona GOP -- has led to Krysten Sinema taking a significant lead against Martha McSally, and in Florida, Democrat Bill Nelson is refusing to back down until all the votes are counted, despite the fact that Rick Scott has already declared victory.
In Florida, if the vote margin is less than 0.5 percent, the state's election rules will require a recount. Because of the way things are done now, two of Florida's more liberal counties -- Palm Beach and Broward County -- have not yet finished counting mail-in ballots, Broward hasn't finished counting early ballots, and many other counties have yet to finish counting provisional ballots. However, according to Marco Rubio and Donald Trump, counting these ballots amounts to trying to steal an election. Or, as they say, cast a cloud on what Rick Scott believes is the legitimacy of his election.
Naturally, the Right is panicking, and a cabal of conspiracy theorists led by Roger Stone -- whom you may recall led the Brooks Brothers Riot of 2000, when a bunch of Republican operatives got extremely violent trying to intimidate vote counters into stopping -- have descended upon Broward county to demand the vote counting stop. They also think that Nelson is trying to steal the election by adding in a bunch of fake ballots or something. Basically, they don't understand the way any of this works or where the ballots are coming from, and have filled in the blanks themselves. Which, historically, has been a stupid idea.
Former Infowars reporter Joe Biggs declared on Twitter that he was heading to Florida to stop "radical leftists."
Right-wing activist Laura Loomer, a former James O'Keefe associate who has made her name by yelling at prominent Democrats in a stunt that she calls "Loomering", said on Twitter that she too was headed to Broward and planned to meet with Stone.
"I'll #Loomer the whole state of Florida if that's what it takes," Loomer tweeted.
Ali Alexander, a pro-Trump figure who runs a PAC bankrolled by the billionaire Mercer family, claimed that he would recruit both believers in the ludicrous QAnon conspiracy theory and homeless people to picket the Board of Elections.
Truly, a star-studded event if ever there was one. Also participating in the event are a group of Proud Boys, the violent Republican street gang known for stomping on people they disagree with and also acting as Stone's bodyguards.
A judge held on Friday afternoon that Broward County release the number of votes they have left to count, in hopes of appeasing the conspiracy theorists, but that will be unlikely to happen as they will then just come up with another thing.
Regardless of how these elections turn out, the fact that these candidates were not cowed by Republican whines to just concede already is a victory and a huge deal in and of itself. Not only because it takes away their power, but because standing up for every person's vote to be counted, demanding they be counted, is the right thing to do for our country. It's what they should be doing.
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Ed Henry is America's pre-eminent AOC poverty truther!
This Tuesday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, earning 78 percent of the votes in New York's 14th district. On Wednesday, the New York Times published a very nice profile of her, in which she explained that it was going to be difficult for her, a person who had most recently been making 29K a year, to afford to live in in Washington, DC -- a place with a very high cost-of-living -- for three months without a salary.
There is no conspiracy theory too stupid for President Early Bird Menu to latch onto.
Hey you guys, Donald Trump has a new conspiracy theory festering up inside his molten orange butthole, and it is that Hillary Clinton colluded with Russia to make a fake DODGY DOSSIER that is now voting for Democrats from coast to coast, creating a make-believe NO BLUE WAVE, NO BLUE WAVE, YOU ARE THE BLUE WAVE. This is obviously why in these very close, uncalled races, they keep "finding" votes.
No, we are not fucking around, and yes, the president of the United States continues to be the stupidest fucking human being alive.
Good news for Sinemaphiles
After election-night vote tallies showed her narrowly trailing Republican Martha McSally, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema now leads the Arizona race for US Senate by nearly 10,000 votes, with about half a million mail-in ballots yet to be counted. Not surprisingly, both campaigns insist the remaining votes will result in victory, but just to help nudge things along, the state Republican Party is suing to prevent any further counting of ballots in the state's two biggest counties, which lean Democratic, because how is counting Democrat votes even fair?
Remember Wednesday when Donald Trump gave that bat guano insane press conference congratulating himself for losing the House? President Sundowner said a lot of craycray shit that day, but crapping all over Republicans who lost in swing districts because they didn't support him was pretty next level.
By any measure, the GOP got shellacked in the House, with losses headed for about 35 to 40 seats, since voters preferred the Democrats by a 7 point margin. They lost Senate races in swingy Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nevada, and Virginia, and are currently tied in Arizona and Florida. (And in known swing state "Texas," they came within THREE POINTS of losing.) But in Donald Trump's scrambled egg brain, the problem was that Rep. Barbara Comstock didn't kiss Trump's ass enough. If she and Carlos Curbelo had just campaigned wearing MAGA hats, in districts Clinton won by double digits, they would have coasted to victory! Like Scott Walker in Wisconsin, and Adam Laxalt in Nevada, and Jim Renacci in Ohio, and Matt Rosendale in Montana, and Lena Epstein in Michigan, and ummmm ...
Fine, but that would actually be preferable to what the Right usually does?
Remember like ten years or so when that The Secret book was all the rage and people were all "If you just BELIEVE something is true and keep saying it's true, then it will be true?" Well, it has occurred to me recently that this is the overarching Republican strategy these days, starting at the rotting head of Donald Trump and moving all the way down through all the equally fetid limbs. If you say something over and over enough, it doesn't matter if it's true. As George Costanza once said -- "Remember, it's not a lie if you believe it."
One of the most adorable narratives they've tried to The Secret into being lately is the one about how they handle political disappointment normally and non-violently, whereas the left is "unhinged" and full of violent mobs who care about nothing other than cruelly ruining Ted Cruz's dinner plans. As such, Inez Feltscher Stepman of The Federalist has compiled a very smug top ten list of things we won't see Republicans doing after losing the House, because of how classy they are.
Spoiler alert: This does not include not threatening a violent overthrow of the government should anyone try to impeach Trump, which has already occurred.
2000 deja vu all over again
Florida has been a hot mess of electoral shenanigans if not outright fraud for as long as I can remember. I still have the Katherine Harris-inflicted scars from the 2000 election. Tuesday night, Republicans Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott pulled ahead in the vote counts for Florida governor and senator, so they just sort of stopped counting. Not counting votes is a reliable, Supreme Court-approved strategy. Why wait for all those pesky returns to come in when we've already tabulated the results from the Republican candidates' own homes? They even counted those votes twice!
Guess he'd know from shitholes.
Ted Nugent, a native of Michigan, took to Facebook Wednesday to express his displeasure at the
Badger Chevrolet Wolverine State for electing a whole bunch of Democrats, and maybe one Democrat in particular if you know what he means and we think you do.
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