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And a good morning to you! Yes, we are aware that Debbie Lesko beat Hiral Tipernini by 5 points in Arizona's special election to fill out Trent Franks's seat. Congratulations and all, we guess.

But holy shit, look at that swing! In 2016, Democrats didn't even bother to field a challenge to Trent Franks, who beat the Green candidate by 37 points. After Franks got caught trying to convince staffers to join his homebrew surrogacy club, he's gone home to try and impregnate his wife the old-fashioned way. Which left an open seat in a district that Trump won by 21 points. Republicans pick a well-known state senator, dump a million dollars into the race, her opponent is an unknown woman of color, AND THEY ONLY WIN BY FIVE POINTS?

They are so fucked!

Let's look at some pictures. Here's the relative spending on candidates.

Graphic via NYTimes

Hey, maybe if we dump a few dollars into the November rematch, we can kick Lesko to the curb! Especially if her possible campaign finance violations become a problem.

Want a visual representation of how far each district swung left?

You know who's got a spring in her step this morning? Kyrsten Sinema, the Democratic candidate to replace spineless weasel Jeff Flake.

Graphic via ABC.

Want to take back the Senate? This is how we do it! As for the House, yeah, it's gerrymandered to shit. (And we still can't get over that Wyoming gets a senator for every escalator.) But we can still do this!

And that swing has been happening across the country.

Image via FiveThirtyEight

Last night, Long Island Democrat Steve Stern flipped a seat in the New York state Assembly that Republicans have held for 40 years! THIS IS HAPPENING.

And you know how we've been yammering at you for months about vote wasting, cracking and packing, and the efficiency gap? Yes, we know you never read those articles. And we're not mad about it, whatever, IT'S FINE. The point is, GOP legislatures have drawn the maps to spread Republicans over the maximum number of districts with a 5-8% margin, while forcing supermajorities of Democrats into a few, small districts. And in a wave year, that 5-8% margin just won't cut it. Which is why Paul Ryan noped out of another run -- even if he beat Randy Bryce, he'd still face the very real possibility of having to turn his gavel over to Nancy Pelosi!

Don't believe us? ASK A PROFESSIONAL NERD!

So vote! Donate! Get your ass out there and knock on doors! November is coming, and WE CAN DO THIS!

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Five Dollar Feminist

Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

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Once upon a time, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers at least claimed to focus their efforts entirely on immigrants involved in criminal activity. Those days are long gone, and now they're going after anyone, including law-abiding people who are just trying to drive their pregnant wives to the hospital to give birth.

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I'd mentioned this week that there's definitely probably a tape out there of Donald Trump referring to a black person as a "nigger," because Trump is a racist and that's sort of what they do. Sarah Huckabee Sanders won't even affirmatively deny such a tape exists, and she's from the "two plus two equals five" school of communications management. I also speculated that once the tape was released, Republican supporters of the president would flock to defend his vile words: "Hey, if you rearrange the letters in "nigger," you get "ginger" and who doesn't like redheads and the occasional Dark 'n' Stormy?"

The shameful display has already started and the supposed recording isn't even available for pre-order on iTunes. Georgia State Senator Michael Williams stated in appearance on CNN's "New Day Saturday" that if Trump -- who's the president, by the way -- did say "nigger," it would certainly concern him as an "individual" but "not necessarily as a person that is running our country." So, uh, what the hell is that? This has been a standard argument from Republicans ever since Trump crawled his way out of the sewers of birtherism and onto a major political stage: "We think Trump is a terrible human being -- seriously, we have to shower immediately after meeting with him -- but we still think he's a suitable steward of the most powerful nation on the planet."

Normally, you'd think this would work the other way. You know, your brother-in-law is a nice enough guy. Your sister certainly could've done worse. You don't mind the slightly rambling sports-ball discussions with him at family gatherings. He's good for looking after the kids (as long as your sister is present or reachable by cell), but you'd never invest your hard-earned money into whatever half-assed business venture he's trying to get off the ground nor would you back his run for any serious political office.

I've long had issues with the "brilliant asshole" archetype in TV and movies. It's almost always a white male (because women and minorities must be perfect) whose emotional immaturity and overall jerkass behavior we're told to overlook because they're so goshdarned awesome. Do you want some PC "cuck" or do you want Dr. House to figure out that the MS symptoms you're suffering are really just because you ate a stale doughnut? Sherlock Holmes doesn't have time for your feelings or social niceties -- not while he's solving mysteries and being dreamy.

Trump, however, isn't "brilliant." He's just a guy who says "nigger." They're hardly a scarcity in the market. You don't even have to venture out to a klan rally to find one. You can order online -- same day social media delivery.

Williams argues that Trump didn't use the word "nigger" when he was in the "office of the president." It was just some youthful indiscretion when he was almost 60. I don't even know where he's going with this. Does he think Trump has changed? He routinely insults and belittles black people. He also calls black NFL players who peacefully protest "sons of bitches." Was that his way of weaning off calling us "niggers"? Has he been wearing a "nigger" patch on his arm to control his cravings for the racial epithet?

"He used the word in his personal life," Williams said. (It was actually in a workplace context -- SER) "Now if he were president and were to go on TV and use the n-word, I'd have a major problem with that."

media.giphy.com

It's heartening repulsive to see that Williams draws the line at Trump holding an official "nigger" press conference. I think once we reach that point, Trump will probably also reveal that his buddies on the Supreme Court discovered a typo in the Thirteenth Amendment and black folks' work-life balance will start to really suffer.

"I will always say using the n-word is wrong, and it's bad, and should never be accepted in our society. But just because (Trump) might have done it years ago, not as our president, doesn't mean we need to continue to berate him because he used it," GOP state Sen. Michael Williams, who is white, told CNN's Victor Blackwell on "New Day Saturday."

Blackwell, who is black, had to sit there and listen to this crap from a white elected official who is just 45 years old. You know, the word "nigger" doesn't even appear in the Dred Scott decision, for example, but that's not necessary for reasonable people to understand that it was racist as hell. We all know Trump is racist, but now Republicans can't even repudiate the worst demonstrations of his racial animus. The first black president hasn't even been out of office for two full years and already "nigger" is being redefined. What would once end a campaign in its tracks when Blackwell and I were growing up is now just an "oops, my bad."

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