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  1. #6901
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    538 and ABC considered whether Democrats could take up to 60 seats, to get a filibuster proof majority.

    https://abcnews.go.com/fivethirtyeig...eight-71964197

    This requires flipping 13 seats. It's worth exploring whether they can run the table, as the party did in 2008.

    Democrats are favored in Arizona and Colorado.

    Iowa, Maine, Montana, and North Carolina are considered toss-ups. That's six.

    Doug Jones in Alabama is an underdog, but a recent poll showed him competitive. Keeping that state is tough, but plausible.

    To get to 13, Democrats do have to run the table. There is a possibility Republicans will nominate Kris Kobach in Kansas. He lost a statewide race as a candidate for Governor. This gets to seven.

    Georgia is competitive in the presidential race, so the special election is within the realm of possibility, with the Republican frontrunners an appointed incumbent who faced insider trading allegations, or a Trump-loving congressman. That gets to eight.

    Ossoff is witihin ten points of Perdue in the other Senate race. That gets to nine.

    Biden's competitive in Texas so the hope would be that this helps in the Senate race, which Quinnipiac shows within ten points. That gets to ten.

    Alaska is independent and the Democrat is within five points. That gets to eleven.

    How do you get to 13?

    Democrats are investing heavily in Kentucky and South Carolina. There may be some kind of weirdness in a race that people aren't looking at (Tennessee appears to be an open election with obscure Republican contenders as the frontrunners.) Thr numbers get progressively harder but plausible.

    And the 538 video didn't bring up one potential tipping point. Lisa Murkowski won reelection in 2010 as an independent write-in candidate and voted against Brett Kavanaugh. If Democrats win a boatload of seats, she may decide Republicans are very unlikely to win the Senate back in 2022, and that her immediate future is better with the party of Jackson (She's up for reelection in 2022, but Democrats could make the case she'd have a better chance of winning as a Democrat than in a Republican primary, and that should she lose, there are plum cabinet posts/ ambassadorships available.)

    This is the best-case scenario for Senate Democrats. I would prefer it goes very differently, but I thought you guys should be aware of what's possible.
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  2. #6902
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    There was a really good article in The Atlantic about eliminating the filibuster entirely, which I would agree with. It’s a ridiculous anachronism. That one person, in an already unrepresentative chamber, can obstruct legislation is silly. This is one check and balance that is well past its used by date.

  3. #6903
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    For anyone in doubt about the GOP, here is a Republican political consultant, Stuart Stevens, in the NYT:

    “ I spent decades working to elect Republicans, including Mr. Romney and four other presidential candidates, and I am here to bear reluctant witness that Mr. Trump didn’t hijack the Republican Party. He is the logical conclusion of what the party became over the past 50 or so years, a natural product of the seeds of race-baiting, self-deception and anger that now dominate it. Hold Donald Trump up to a mirror and that bulging, scowling orange face is today’s Republican Party.”

  4. #6904
    Ultimate Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammy_hansen View Post
    There was a really good article in The Atlantic about eliminating the filibuster entirely, which I would agree with. It’s a ridiculous anachronism. That one person, in an already unrepresentative chamber, can obstruct legislation is silly. This is one check and balance that is well past its used by date.
    Even that it actually came into being with "Check"/"Balance" in mind is really up for debate.

  5. #6905
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    ‘We’re Dying Here’: Florida Newspaper Pleads With DeSantis To Step Up COVID-19 Fight

    “Your daily upbeat message is hopelessly at odds with what Floridians are going through,” said a Sun Sentinel editorial calling for mask mandate. Meanwhile....

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    Donald Trump’s Campaign Is Pretending There’s No Pandemic

    The president’s campaign has aired 63,000 ads about crime and zero ads about coronavirus this month. Hey, if you can't fight COVID, ignore it instead. Great strategy, Donnie!

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    Bryan Cranston Donating ‘Liquid Gold’ Plasma After Recovering From COVID-19

    “I urge you to keep wearing the damn mask, keep washing your hands and stay socially distant,” the actor said. Help us, Walter White! You're our only hope!

    ====================

    In non-coronavirus news:

    Republicans In Congress Reject Trump’s Suggestion To Delay Election Day

    Sen. Mitch McConnell, Rep. Kevin McCarthy and a slew of other Republicans publicly dismissed moving the November vote as unconstitutional. Pouty POTUS sure won't like his serfs going against him.

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    Conservative Legal Expert: Trump Election Tweets Are Grounds For Impeachment

    The Federalist Society’s Steven Calabresi called the president’s threats to delay the election “fascistic.” No shit, Sherlock!

    **********

    Obama Makes Sweeping Call To Action On Voting Rights In John Lewis Eulogy

    “I’ve come here today because I, like so many Americans, owe a great debt to John Lewis and his forceful vision of freedom,” the former president said.
    Last edited by WestPhillyPunisher; 07-31-2020 at 01:39 AM.
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  6. #6906
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air”

    On March 31, three weeks after the World Health Organization designated the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, a DHL truck rattled up to the gray stone embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, D.C., delivering precious cargo: 1 million Chinese-made diagnostic tests for COVID-19, ordered at the behest of the Trump administration.

    Normally, federal government purchases come with detailed contracts, replete with acronyms and identifying codes. They require sign-off from an authorized contract officer and are typically made public in a U.S. government procurement database, under a system intended as a hedge against waste, fraud, and abuse.

    This purchase did not appear in any government database. Nor was there any contract officer involved. Instead, it was documented in an invoice obtained by Vanity Fair, from a company, Cogna Technology Solutions (its own name misspelled as “Tecnology” on the bill), which which noted a total order of 3.5 million tests for an amount owed of $52 million. The “client name” simply noted “WH.”

    Over the next three months, the tests’ mysterious provenance would spark confusion and finger-pointing. An Abu Dhabi–based artificial intelligence company, Group 42, with close ties to the UAE’s ruling family, identified itself as the seller of 3.5 million tests and demanded payment. Its requests were routed through various divisions within Health and Human Services, whose lawyers sought in vain for a bona fide contracting officer.
    But the million tests, some of which were distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to several states, were of no help. According to documents obtained by Vanity Fair, they were examined in two separate government laboratories and found to be “contaminated and unusable.”
    The secret, and legally dubious, acquisition of those test kits was the work of a task force at the White House, where Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and special adviser, has assumed a sprawling role in the pandemic response. That explains the “WH” on the invoice. While it’s unclear whether Kushner himself played a role in the acquisition, improper procurement of supplies “is a serious deal,” said a former White House staffer. “That is appropriations 101. That would be not good.”
    Inside the White House, over much of March and early April, Kushner’s handpicked group of young business associates, which included a former college roommate, teamed up with several top experts from the diagnostic-testing industry. Together, they hammered out the outline of a national testing strategy. The group—working night and day, using the encrypted platform WhatsApp—emerged with a detailed plan obtained by Vanity Fair.

    Rather than have states fight each other for scarce diagnostic tests and limited lab capacity, the plan would have set up a system of national oversight and coordination to surge supplies, allocate test kits, lift regulatory and contractual roadblocks, and establish a widespread virus surveillance system by the fall, to help pinpoint subsequent outbreaks.

    The solutions it proposed weren’t rocket science—or even comparable to the dauntingly complex undertaking of developing a new vaccine. Any national plan to address testing deficits would likely be more on the level of “replicating UPS for an industry,” said Dr. Mike Pellini, the managing partner of Section 32, a technology and health care venture capital fund. “Imagine if UPS or FedEx didn’t have infrastructure to connect all the dots. It would be complete chaos.”
    But no nationally coordinated testing strategy was ever announced. The plan, according to the participant, “just went poof into thin air.”
    Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.

    That logic may have swayed Kushner. “It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out,” the expert said.
    Last edited by Tami; 07-31-2020 at 04:43 AM.
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  7. #6907
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    DHS compiled ‘intelligence reports’ on journalists who published leaked documents

    The Department of Homeland Security has compiled “intelligence reports” about the work of American journalists covering protests in Portland, Ore., in what current and former officials called an alarming use of a government system meant to share information about suspected terrorists and violent actors.

    Over the past week, the department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis has disseminated three Open Source Intelligence Reports to federal law enforcement agencies and others, summarizing tweets written by two journalists — a reporter for the New York Times and the editor in chief of the blog Lawfare — and noting they had published leaked, unclassified documents about DHS operations in Portland. The intelligence reports, obtained by The Washington Post, include written descriptions and images of the tweets and the number of times they had been liked or retweeted by others.

    After The Post published a story online Thursday evening detailing the department’s practices, the acting homeland security secretary, Chad Wolf, ordered the intelligence office to stop collecting information on journalists and announced an investigation into the matter.
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  8. #6908
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    Governors who took strict measures on coronavirus are seeing better political outcomes

    Much about the coronavirus is putting us in unprecedented political territory, but one thing is becoming evident: Keeping the coronavirus in check, even via strict measures, is so far a political winner.

    A look at recent polling of nine governors — five Republicans and four Democrats from states that are polled frequently because they will likely be determinative in the 2020 election — shows that the governors who instituted face-mask requirements, urged social distancing and reopened more slowly than other states have seen a jump in their approval ratings.

    By contrast, the governors who eschewed public health experts’ advice and reopened quickly — as President Trump urged — have seen their approval ratings drop, by double digits in some cases.
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  9. #6909
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    Yeah, not letting your voters die can be a big plus. Who knew?

  10. #6910
    Really Feeling It! Kevinroc's Avatar
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    This story pisses me off so much. If I ever actually said how much it pisses me off, and what I think of this farce of an administration, I would be banned.

  11. #6911
    Old school comic book fan WestPhillyPunisher's Avatar
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    In other words, governors more concerned with kissing Trump's ass than protecting the citizens of their states are predictably going down in flames, especially in Texas and Florida which were strongholds for the Orange Menace, but now, not so much. Thank goodness I live in Pennsylvania were Tom Wolf stuck to his guns, followed the science and instituted potent, perhaps even stringent measures to control the virus while ignoring the knucklehead Republicans in the state capitol who demanded he open the state early (even going so far as to sue to get what they wanted, the gambit failed), despite evidence that it was a bad idea. One would hope Republican governors who chose Trump over their constituents will have learned an invaluable lesson, but since they're Republicans, I seriously doubt they will.
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  12. #6912
    Invincible Jersey Girl Tami's Avatar
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    US sheriffs rebel against state mask orders even as Covid-19 spreads

    Sheriffs around the country are refusing to enforce or are even actively resisting Covid-19 mask laws and lockdowns, while others have permitted or encouraged armed vigilantism in response to Black Lives Matter anti-racism protests.

    Critics say both phenomena are related to a far-right “constitutional sheriffs” movement, which believes that sheriffs are the highest constitutional authority in the country, with the power – and duty – to resist state and federal governments.

    When Richard K Jones, the sheriff of Butler county, Ohio, said recently that he wasn’t going to be the “mask police”, and would not be enforcing Governor Mike DeWine’s mandates for high-risk counties, he became the latest in a wave of sheriffs either refusing to enforce coronavirus-related public health rules, or encouraging people to break them in the midst of a worsening pandemic.
    At least eight county sheriffs in Texas have said they will not enforce Governor Greg Abbott’s mask mandate. Tracy Murphree, the Denton county sheriff, explained to a local newspaper he believed “the constitution trumps everything”, and, “when people are told to do something that violates their civil rights, it invites chaos and protest”.

    At least three sheriffs in Michigan, three in North Carolina, three in California, two in New Mexico and one in Nevada made similar announcements about state orders. At least one Tennessee sheriff has questioned the constitutionality of local government mask orders which the state has made provision for.

    In North Carolina, Jimmy Thornton, the Sampson county sheriff, called Democratic governor Roy Cooper’s mask order “not only unconstitutional, but unenforceable” in a Facebook post on 24 June, adding that “my deputies will NOT enforce an executive order that I feel violates the constitutional liberties of citizens”.

    In that state, earlier in the course of the pandemic, at least 10 sheriffs had said that they would not enforce the state’s lockdown restrictions.

    At least two sheriffs who refused to enforce lockdown orders – in Arizona and California – subsequently contracted Covid-19.
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  13. #6913
    Astonishing Member PwrdOn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammy_hansen View Post
    For anyone in doubt about the GOP, here is a Republican political consultant, Stuart Stevens, in the NYT:

    “ I spent decades working to elect Republicans, including Mr. Romney and four other presidential candidates, and I am here to bear reluctant witness that Mr. Trump didn’t hijack the Republican Party. He is the logical conclusion of what the party became over the past 50 or so years, a natural product of the seeds of race-baiting, self-deception and anger that now dominate it. Hold Donald Trump up to a mirror and that bulging, scowling orange face is today’s Republican Party.”
    Might as well just replace "Republican party" with "America," or perhaps the entirety of Western civilization. These reactionary fantasies that many supposed liberals have of returning to a time when American values were wholesome and genuine instead of racist and oppressive, and when this country actually lived up to its proclaimed ideals of freedom and equality, makes them no better than religious fundamentalists in my book.

  14. #6914
    Extraordinary Member PaulBullion's Avatar
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    Both sides!
    "How does the Green Goblin have anything to do with Herpes?" - The Dying Detective

    Hillary was right!

  15. #6915

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