Three Things: More Like a Dozen

[NB: Check the byline, thanks! /~Rayne]

When I started writing this there were only three things I was going to address here. Now there are many more — as in more GOP rats fleeing the sinking ship, more problematic GOP  members surfacing. And a special election to fill a seat in the wake of voter fraud by a GOP candidate’s campaign.

~ ~ ~

GOP Rep. Sean Duffy (WI-07) announced this past Monday he’s resigning effective September 23rd for family reasons. His district is very rural and rated R+7. Hard to say if this is a potential flip in a continuing blue wave.

Rep. John Shimkus (IL-15), a +20-year member of Congress, announced today he’s not running for re-election. Interestingly he did not notify the White House or members of the GOP conference leadership before he made this announcement.

Equally interesting is that no reason was given for Shimkus’ retirement. He won in 2018 taking 70.9% of the vote in an R+21 district.

What’s up with that?

Shimkus is the tenth GOP member of Congress who is leaving after 2020 and not running for another office. The other reps exiting in 2020 so far besides Duffy and Shimkus:

Rob Woodall (GA-07) R+9

Susan Brooks (IN-05) R+9

Paul Mitchell (MI-10) R+13

Pete Olson (TX-22) R+10

Martha Roby (AL-02) R+16

Rob Bishop (UT-01) R+26

Mike Conway (TX-11) R+32

Will Hurd (TX-23) R+1

Kenny Marchant (TX-24) R+9

As you can see by the numbers the only one truly at risk in a blue wave is Will Hurd; Hurd might have been able to resist given he is one of a few non-white GOP House members in a district which is nearly 71% Hispanic/Latinx. But he’s throwing in the towel.

Woodall’s and Olson’s races were much, MUCH tighter in the 2018 blue wave than the partisanship ratings suggest. Did they have internal polling suggesting it would be a waste to run in 2020?

A couple of these exiting Republicans are also ranking members on committees. Are they struggling to raise adequate campaign donations commensurate with their position on committees?

Another kicker is Susan Brooks’ departure as she is the NRCC’s recruiting chair. Hmm.

~ ~ ~

The other house of Congress is not immune from departures. Sen. Johnny Isakson announced he is retiring for health reasons later this year. This means Georgia has both an open seat and a competitive Senate seat currently filled by GOP Sen. David Perdue who is up for re-election in 2020.

Isakson’s retirement was characterized as a surprise by POLITICO; this is odd since 74-year-old Isakson was diagnosed four years ago with Parkinson’s and uses a wheel chair.

Perdue won his race in 2014 over Michelle Nunn, 52.89% to 45.21%. Nunn is the daughter of former Georgia senator Sam Nunn; if she were to run a second time she might stand a better chance, particular if she paid heed to criticisms of her first run against Perdue.

Will be interesting to see who cheating dirtbag former secretary of state now-Governor Brian Kemp appoints to fill Isakson’s seat for the year left in Isakson’s term. Appointed senators don’t typically do well in their first race after appointment.

~ ~ ~

All these exits suggest a sea change in Congress after Election Day 2020. The bellwether maybe the still-open seat in North Carolina for which a special election will be held on September 10th.

You’ll recall the 2018 race was contested after it was learned the Republican Mark Harris may have won only because absentee ballots completed by Democrats had been retrieved and discarded by campaign operative working for Harris.

Candidates on the ballot this time are the same Democrat, Dan McCready, who’d run against Harris in 2018, and NC state senator Dan Bishop.

The district, NC-09, was rated R+10.

~ ~ ~

Less likely to be a bellwether but worth watching: special election for NC-03, to fill the House seat left vacant by the sudden death of incumbent Walter Jones this past February.

The candidates are Greg Murphy, a Republican doctor currently serving in the state house, and Allen Thomas, Democrat and former mayor of Greenville NC.

Not as much controversy here; the district is on North Carolina’s coast, though, and may yet be affected by Hurricane Dorian should the storm turn north and follow the coast from Florida after landfall.

~ ~ ~

And I’ll close this up with the Republican West Virginia state senator who was picked up in a prostitution sting. Mike Maroney, a radiologist, was arrested and arraigned this Wednesday for solicitation.

Read up all the squicky family values details here.

Should we take bets on this guy running for federal office in the near future? Goodness knows he’ll fit in with the Trump crowd. I feel sorry for whomever has relied on his services as a medical professional.

Wonder how many more Republicans will leave office as of 2020 both at state and federal level.

Treat this as an open thread.

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60 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    If you are in one of the two North Carolina districts — NC-03 or NC-09 — or know someone in those districts, encourage them to check into early voting or absentee ballots depending on the path Hurricane Dorina takes on Tuesday late/early Wednesday. if this storm continues to move slowly it could affect turn out on the 10th.

    I’m not from NC, don’t know the state’s election laws — check them online and play it safe. Every vote counts.

    • P J Evans says:

      Yeah, the latest on Dorian has it probably turning north when it hits the Florida coast, and heading up toward Georgia and South Carolina. They’re still not sure on that – that’s a couple of days out, as it’s slowing down. But it’s Cat-4 already.

    • AitchD says:

      NC’s 9th District has been GOP since 1963. A Dem victory will change the electoral sea so much as to be visible from Mars. So far in Charlotte, early voting turnout appears to be heavy. Also heavy is Charlotte’s banking industry. The rest of the eastern part of the district is heavy from the stink of hog and chicken shit.

  2. Frank Probst says:

    I think a lot of the reason that red-district Reps are leaving is because being in the minority party is just plain dull. They have almost no real power and no chance of having a significant impact on policy decisions. It’s worth sticking it out if you think your party is going to take control in the next election or two, but it’s not looking likely in 2020, and the “best” scenario for the House flipping back in 2022 is that a Dem wins the Presidency, and the pendulum swings back to the GOP in the House elections 2022. But even if they’re back in power that way, they don’t hold the Presidency, so they’re still pretty constrained. After a couple of years of total control of government, you’ve either accomplished what you wanted to do, or what you wanted to do is just not going to happen, even in the best of circumstances. The best option is to leave to “spend more time with the family”, and then two years later, move the family to DC so that you can pick up a lobbying gig.

    As for Sen. Johnny Isakson, his reason for leaving sounds totally on the level to me. He knows he’s leaving the party in the lurch, but Parkinsonism is a nasty disease, and if he’s progressed to the point of using a wheelchair, he probably wants to enjoy some retirement time while he still can.

    • BobCon says:

      To shade things a bit, I think they weren’t getting things done before — action slowed to a crawl under Ryan — but they got a lot more of the trappings of office when they were in the majority. They got more attention from lobbyists, more empty awards, bigger committee and subcommittee staffs. Now at Christmastime, instead of an open bar reception hosted by Exxon, they get a can of yams in the mail from the Assiciation of US Yam Growers.

    • Tommy D Cosmology says:

      True for a lot of them who get payback from their influence-peddling. On the other hand, I think a lot of conservatives play the victimized white minority role. Keeps them getting re-elected in majority white conservative districts.

    • orionATL says:

      here is a great story involving retiring sen. johnny issackson and former georgia gov zell miller on how politics works (or maybe used to work before the koch boys network took over selecting candidates).

      it is written by atlanta journal constitution political columnist jim galloway who’s been at this business for several decades.

      https://www.ajc.com/blog/politics/johnny-isakson-political-career-was-once-dead-and-finished-and-then/cooEAOEgTseLOYmInXar6N/

  3. BobCon says:

    Adding to the ongoing fading of sitting GOP members of Congress is the seeming collapse of supposed GOP intellectuals. The threadbare suits they wore for decades seem to be shredding as we watch.

    Bret Stephens is the prime example now. His bedbug disaster has been magnified by a jawdroppingly awful column released today. Words cannot describe how embarassing the man’s brain has become.

    The worst parts of the Times have been in full meltdown. A couple of weeks after the Times published a monumental piece on the long history of racism in America going back to the introduction of slavery in 1619, a work which established the impossibility of looking at society and politics in the US without weighing the effects of race, Politics reporter Jeremy Peters authored an astonishing piece on the Tea Party which completely ignored race. The Times ended up panicking and shoehorning in a reference to its online version hours after publication.

    The Politics bureau at the Times feels carte blanche to ignore the work of other writers at the Times, and it feels free to pretend that race simply is an issue for easily ignored special interests. This is even after Politics editor Jonathan Weisman was disciplined for tweeting the insane claim that John Lewis somehow didn’t count as a Southerner.

    People inside and out of the paper are getting enraged. The Times leadership needs to know a reckoning is due.

  4. Eureka says:

    Bummer I didn’t see this before commenting on a current twitter/prior post topic of yours. It didn’t show up in the sidebar posts/new comments there else I’d have cut and pasted it to your new page. Oh well!

    On the Guatemalan adoptions and child-stealing before the family separations in the US:
    https://www.emptywheel.net/2019/08/29/the-classified-conversation-trump-had-with-comey-was-two-days-after-the-vault-7-leak/#comment-803455

    Also saw noted an interesting-sounding book by Kathryn Joyce: _The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption_.

    Seems there is not a single cultural-sphere news-realm that is not a hellscape lately. Also, don’t read about Ring after dark! *creeperton shivers*

    But I did see a great, detailed thread by Kim TallBear:

    “I was recently interviewed for a politico article, “Native American critics still wary of Warren despite apology tour” that appropriately focused on Cherokee critics’ voices. …”
    https://twitter.com/KimTallBear/status/1167158882931638272

    She addresses the Warren situation in a way that speaks to lots of other social issues. I agree that Warren didn’t do anything that many/most other non-native Americans may have done (which is why lots don’t ‘get it’); TallBear details the problems with all that while explaining the importance of kinship and a host of other topics.

  5. Drew says:

    I wonder whether a lot of these Republicans bailing from Congress isn’t simply because they anticipate the 2020 election being a shitshow-where they are screwed if they do support Trump and they are screwed if they don’t support Trump.If they want a future political career as Republicans they can’t have on their records failing to support a Republican president during their campaign and they also can’t afford to be tainted by clos connection with a president who, in the future, will be as toxic as a combination of Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy.

    And likewise, if they just want to go back to selling used cars or whatever, their reputations and integrity are worth something in private life and being tangled up in this nastiness doesn’t make anybody like you more. I think this even applies to seriously right wing folks because being part of the Trump debacle gives you no place to hide. And being in the minority, for the Tea Partiers won’t just be boring, it will be humiliating.

    • PSWebster says:

      Watching “Vietnam” on netflix I think it was S1 E7 or 8 details the dirty trickster lying to the President right in his ear while Johnson knew from wire intel he was lying: treasonous he said of Nixon because he knowingly back channeled with the Viet Cong promising them he would be easier to deal with once elected. Ring a bell?

      It seems weird how we never change: what a lying fiasco that Vietnam war was. And what a lying fiasco Tbone is.

    • BobCon says:

      And James Bennet is the Bill Shine of the NY Times.

      I am still waiting for someone to hold his feet to the fire for Bari Weiss. Every day her “Dark Web Intellectuals” article is more and more clearly the product of a propagandist for White Nationalists and monsters. It’s stomach churning.

      • orionATL says:

        :)

        bennet (and steven’s) idea of opinion journalism is “say anything to attract a pair of eyeballs”. does that remind you of anyone?

        • BobCon says:

          I think it’s a bit more complicated than just eyeballs, since they’re not running Murdoch-style page three photos.

          They’re essentially demogoguing to the NPR donor set, setting off sirens about change coming much too fast.

          And what Baquet and Bennet are trying to do is make the case that it’s not Cotton and Meadows and McConnell and Hawley that their subscribers need to fear — it’s the 23 year old with lousy health insurance and a lot of student loans.

          • orionATL says:

            maybe it’s to the bourgoisie running scared.

            but i see embarrassing, flagrant appeals to very much younger readers in the nytimes and even moreso the guardian, and i think of the cigarette companies of 50 years ago and their desperation to hook new users once they realized that death was coming not just for their loyal customers but also for their their gross corporate income :)

            then came the big settlement tobacco lawsuits (’98). phillip morris sold off its u.s. cigarette seller (altria). then came vaping. now phillipe morris is buying altria back.

            newspapers must entice young readers away from the easy indolence of facebook and apple if they are to have a chance of surviving. annoying pundits can help with that job, just as the newspapers spend every day focusing on our president imperator.

            • BobCon says:

              The Sunday Times regularly has a Kids Section and I flip through it on occasion, and I am always struck by how I cannot imagine it appealing to any kid I have ever known.

              It’s as if it was written by childless adults who have forgotten their childhoods and are following editorial rules created by AI.

              I can’t imagine it appealing to any adult I have ever known, either and one of the signs of great art for kids is the way it works on an adult level as well. If it doesn’t work that way, it’s a sign the creator is patronizing kids, and kids hate that.

              The Times Kid Section is deeply patronizing toward kids, and in a lot of ways that reflects the attitude of much of the Times towards adults as well.

              • orionATL says:

                “one of the signs of great art for kids is the way it works on an adult level as well.”

                indeed. i am one of those who has always loved children’s literature. when my wife would read to our children i would listen with as much interest as i imagine they did. and i usually enjoy the stories i read to the grandchildren, the illustrations as well. but as you say there seems to be a strain of some of the most recent that come across to this adult as writ by rote and patronizing – pushed out on a factory conveyor. who knows though, are there publisher focus groups for kids lit 😀

                • P J Evans says:

                  I’ll recommend Ursula Vernon/T Kingfisher (though many of her Kingfisher books aren’t for kids, but for mature audiences, as the phrase goes).

                  • orionATL says:

                    thanks, p.j.

                    i had not heard of ursula vernon’s children’s books; my grandchildren though could be well ahead of me 😁.

                    • P J Evans says:

                      The non-kids books are things like the two in the Clocktaur War, plus Swordheart (the first of three following the Clocktaur War), Bryony and Roses, The Raven and the Reindeer, Jackalope Wives.

  6. Tommy D Cosmology says:

    Trumpism is not a thing, conservatism is.

    The TEA-banging bigots tried to pretend that they were not Republicans, that they were “true conservatives”, which is actually true. They pounded their fists, claiming to be “taxed enough already” and tried to separate themselves from the Bush administration.

    The same will happen with Trumpism.

    It is up to the rest of us to make the connection between conservatism and Trumpism and the Republican Party and the Bush administration.

    In my lifetime, the worst the greedy bigots have done was the War on Terror. Nearly a million human beings have lost their lives so far because of conservative greed and prejudice.

    We went to war in Iraq because conservatives, Democrats included, are susceptible to the politics of fear and hate and anger. The lies worked.

    The hardest thing is that we have friends and family who are members of this cult-like fraternity of bigots and people so greedy that they knowingly hurt others for their own financial or political gain.

    Now don’t get me wrong, we all have self-interest and prejudices, and it was adaptable to be this way in prehistoric and medieval times. But today, it is mathematically provable that it is better (i.e. for the survival of our species) to care about each other and to strengthen global peaceful institutions. Ask most any CEO of any multi-national, and they will tell you that isolationism, jingoism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc., are anathema to good modern international business.

    I honestly think that, if certain “captains of industry” turn on the Republican Party, it’s all over. The way to do that is to make being a Republican socially unacceptable. And to boycott the products of companies that support these bigots.

    I just don’t know if that’s enough.

    • AitchD says:

      Using the present SCOTUS makeup as an illustration: one liberal, three conservatives, and five reactionaries.

      Most Congressional Democrats are conservative, most or all Republicans are reactionary.

      • Tommy D Cosmology says:

        Conservatism is, by nature, reactionary. This effect is very powerful, as it is related to the primitive fight or flight response—>we all look out for number 1 when the stuff hits the fan, and we all have prejudices. It takes empathy to be a better person and to look out for others. I guess that takes work for some people.

        A child in the sandbox learns that everyone looking out for each other is more adaptive and sustainable than everyone being selfish. It’s mathematically provable and an easy rule to follow.

        But not for the conservatives.
        They look for excuses not to care for others. Their values are bad, their policies are bad, and the outcomes are bad.

        No, really. Give it a try. Take any conservative point of view or policy and ask yourself, “Where does concern for the well-being of others rank in the list of factors considered?” Then ask “Does this policy or point of view serve as an excuse for not caring about others?” I have yet to find a counter-example.

        “Small government”? What a lousy value. Easy, if you don’t care about anybody but yourself.

        “Personal responsibility”? Just greed and/or prejudice repackaged.

        “Law and order”? Easy if you don’t have to care about who gets hurt.

        The environment? “Nothing we can do”; “Science is never certain”.

        They get all bent out of shape over fetus souls because they don’t give a rolling donut about real-world human beings. It’s compensatory.

        The conservative covenant goes like this: I’ll look the other way why you engage in abject TEA-banging bigotry (pounding fists, claiming to be taxed enough already because you don’t owe anything to society, blaming immigrants on whatever), and conservatism will excuse your character flaws, your own prejudices and self-interests.

        That’s it. That’s all that conservatism is.

        That’s why they excuse the POS in the White House: because his bad behavior excuses their greed and prejudice.

      • AndTheSlithyToves says:

        And, as a close friend–who happens to be a very well-respected MD in Psychiatry with a regional (if not national) reputation–said a few weeks ago, “We have two sexual predators on the SCOTUS.”

    • Savage Librarian says:

      I agree that “socially acceptable” is the key to asserting control. And going hand in hand with that is marketing and messaging. The Tea Party and white evangelicals learned that lesson long ago and ran with it.

      Here are excerpts from two articles that provide useful insight into how they succeeded and how the tables can be on them. Because young people have a far different approach to religion than their predecessors, the advantage is in the court of Democrats these days.

      1.
      “How Pat Robertson’s Christian TV empire created a “shadow government” — and led to Donald Trump: Former Christian broadcaster Terry Heaton on how “The 700 Club” pushed the Republican Party toward Donald Trump” – Chauncey DeVega,
      August 29, 2019
      …..
      “The marketing genius of CBN cannot be underestimated. The people who worked there were brilliant. George Gallup was our researcher. We had very smart people who saw marketing as a way to move people to make social and political change — and the change that CBN wanted was to move people from wherever they were to the right.”
      …..
      “We at CBN had no business presenting political propaganda as news, and other people picked up on what we were doing. For example, Fox News says that they’re “fair and balanced.” What are they balancing? Well, they claim they’re balancing the liberal media. It is based on a false assumption.”
      …..
      …”People give to this ministry for these reasons, and in this order. How does it help me? How does it help my family? How does it help my neighborhood? How does it help my community? How does it help my state? How does it help my country? And how does it help somebody else?”

      “So if you can craft a message that appeals to the self, then you can raise money. And the last reason people give is so they can help somebody else. If you really want to raise money, you’ve got to appeal to the person’s sense of self-interest.”
      …..
      “You need to understand that white Christian nationalists, Christian fundamentalists, are not in any one denomination or any one particular church. They are everywhere….They are in charge of a large voting bloc. They are not going to be swayed by logical arguments. It will take people from within their own version of Christianity, that world, to help right the wrongs they are doing to the country.”

      https://www.salon.com/2019/08/29/how-pat-robertsons-christian-tv-empire-created-a-shadow-government-and-led-to-donald-trump/

      2.
      “Here’s the disturbing truth behind white evangelical support for Trump”

      “For White Evangelicals, It’s Not About Fear: Attributing fear to sadism gives sadists too much credit” – John Stoehr

      “…Sadists are sadistic not because they are cruel. It’s much simpler than that. They are cruel because being cruel to people deserving cruelty feels good.”

      “Rorty was expansive in his use of “sadism.” In Achieving Our Country, one of his final books, he characterized slavery, Southern apartheid, racism, misogyny and other ancient hatreds as “socially accepted sadism.” In this, he included not only efforts to harm people—humiliating, cheating, raping and murdering them—but also efforts to rationalize the harm. (For instance: not only is it OK to cheat women out of equal pay for equal work because they are women; women actually want to be cheated.) Though renowned as a philosopher and literary critic, Rorty was a life-long liberal. His goals were many, but key was making “socially accepted sadism” less socially acceptable.”

      https://www.rawstory.com/2019/08/heres-the-disturbing-truth-behind-white-evangelical-support-for-donald-trump/

      • orionATL says:

        thanks for the chauncey devega cite. it is interesting. i have a long-standing interest in religion and politics. currently the most curious (and destructive for the nation) interaction of those two realms of human passion is the evangelical/conservative catholic support for president trump.

        i cannot, however, get a good bead on exactly who devega is, what is his life history, how and why he ended up at salon essentially betraying the rightwing christian “plot” against our nation’s fundanmental political interests.

      • Tommy D Cosmology says:

        I only wish I knew what to do, it seems we know the problem.

        The national campaign against smoking has worked, that took a little public shaming, but it was mostly laws and taxes. Taxing greed backfires and the 1st Amendment prohibits us from outlawing prejudice.

        At first I thought this article was a sign of hope, but reading it is really depressing. Even the evangelical youth, knowing that their future depends on them getting along in a multicultural world, see diversity as a problem:
        https://www.google.com/amp/s/fivethirtyeight.com/features/could-trump-drive-young-white-evangelicals-away-from-the-gop/amp/

      • Tommy D Cosmology says:

        I only wish I knew what to do, it seems we know the problem.

        The national campaign against smoking has worked, that took a little public shaming, but it was mostly laws and taxes. Taxing greed backfires and the 1st Amendment prohibits us from outlawing prejudice.

        At first I thought this article was a sign of hope, but reading it is really depressing. Even the evangelical youth, knowing that their future depends on them getting along in a multicultural world, see diversity as a problem:
        https://www.google.com/amp/s/fivethirtyeight.com/features/could-trump-drive-young-white-evangelicals-away-from-the-gop/amp/

  7. P J Evans says:

    Another shooting, this time in Midland-Odessa, Texas – a red area. Two shooters hijacked a USPS truck and were shooting randomly. The truck ended up at a theater complex, where one of them was killed. They think about 20 people were shot.

    • Tommy D Cosmology says:

      For example, tonight I’m at a family get-together and the adored youngest son (my brother-in-law) says that gun statistics are just “anecdotal” while my wife, a city official, is stating the statistics: when our backward-assed state went “Constitutional Carry” (I guess that’s the latest thing, ‘cause our state strives for top rank in backward-assedness) people were leaving their guns left out in the open (they forgot the “carry” part of open carry) and getting their guns stolen. Now our backward-assed TEA-banging, bigoted legislature can’t even pass a law requiring people to report that a gun was stolen, and might even forbid it, I shit you not.

      I’m going to ask all interested to read that paragraph again.

      This is where we are, folks. Somebody needs to ask Jamie Dimon if this is who he votes for and why. Ok, he doesn’t live in our state, but “How small does your tax break have to be for you to root for team bigot?” would be a good question for Feckless Chuck to ask any Republican on MTP any day.

  8. Eureka says:

    Stunning /s news from Amanda Hollis-Brusky and Calvin TerBeek at Politico today; fitting as I’d recently made a FedSoc analogy (not a parallel) to funding, associations, and some quarters of science:

    The Federalist Society Says It’s Not an Advocacy Organization. These Documents Show Otherwise. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/08/31/federalist-society-advocacy-group-227991

    Despite what appears to be an obvious political valence, the Federalist Society and its high-profile members have long insisted the nonprofit organization does not endorse any political party “or engage in other forms of political advocacy,” as its website says. The society does not deny an ideology—it calls itself a “group of conservatives and libertarians”—but it maintains that it is simply “about ideas,” not legislation, politicians or policy positions.

    Federalist Society documents that one of us recently unearthed, however, make this position untenable going forward. The documents, made public here for the first time, show that the society not only has held explicit ideological goals since its infancy in the early 1980s, but sought to apply those ideological goals to legal policy and political issues through the group’s roundtables, symposia and conferences.

    The question of whether the Federalist Society is properly characterized as a “society of ideas” or a political organization has significant ramifications. The Code of Conduct for United States Judges, a set of guidelines administered by the federal judiciary’s Judicial Conference, was revised earlier this year to bar sitting federal judges from participating in conferences and seminars sponsored by groups “generally viewed by the public as having adopted a consistent political or ideological point of view equivalent to the type of partisanship often found in political organizations.” (The Code does not “explicitly” apply to Supreme Court justices, though they have looked to it in the past.) One former federal judge argued that under the new ethics opinion, the Federalist Society is now a “no-go zone for federal judges.” The Society’s president, Eugene Meyer, responded, calling the former jurist’s argument an “absurd and ludicrous” interpretation of the rule, adding that the Federalist Society has said “time and again” that it is nonpartisan and does not take official policy positions.

    (internal links removed)

    I did go the full 300 fair use excerpt this time, to get in Meyer’s “Because I say so, repeatedly” quote, in context.

    It’s just about the ideas, man.

    • P J Evans says:

      Meyer must think no one outside his group pays any attention to what they’re saying and who they approve for judicial nominations. (I wish the ABA’s ratings were as easily accepted by the Senate.)

      • Eureka says:

        I think that’s the theme, PJ– they all think we are stupid (or they don’t care because the sentient are powerless).

        Also, thanks for the Midland-Odessa updates. More sadness for more communities…

          • Eureka says:

            Thanks so much PJ for the update– all I saw last night was folks wondering why we were not getting more info on him.

            Adding: just heard on MSNBC something about him threatening or otherwise bothering/concerning a neighbor, and shooting animals from his rooftop.

            from article you linked (so he got a loophole weapon):

            “Abbott tweeted that Ator failed a previous gun background check and didn’t go through one for the weapon he used in Odessa. But Abbott didn’t elaborate on when Ator failed the background check or the reasons why.”

            • P J Evans says:

              I gathered that he was shooting across open space at or near a neighbor’s place. Also – living in a mobile home with no running water.

  9. Marinela says:

    Appears the retirements are in safe republican places, so this is actually alarming in my mind for the simple fact that the new republicans are going to be way to the right.
    We don’t know if the Senate will be flipped, or the House, or the WH, but what is sure now is that the new republican candidates are likely to be Trump loyalists.

    • P J Evans says:

      “Way to the right” means fewer people will vote for them in districts that aren’t already deep red.

  10. orionATL says:

    big storm a brewin’:

    https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at5+shtml/095412.shtml?cone#contents

    one thing I’ve observed where I live – atlanta metropolitan area, 4+ million – is that a timely, large-scale evacuation using the existing roads looks to be difficult or impossible. I suppose the various levels of government may have looked into this, but if so I have never read about the results.

    I wonder how many other large eastern metroploitan areas might face this problem and what besides hurricanes or floods would require sch an evacuation?

    • P J Evans says:

      I don’t think any city with more than 50K people can be evacuated. Look at Houston with Ike (and Rita), or Florida with just about any hurricane.

      • orionATL says:

        I think you’re probably right, p.j. shouldn’t this be a major concern for emergency preparedness folks? or do they just know it can’t be done on a large scale and keep quiet so as not to panic us?

        what do you do? widen roads? build multiple sets of smaller roads? turn 4-lane into 3 going away and only one incoming and hope that’s enough?

        • Eureka says:

          (Mild gallows-ish empathetic humor): I think this is why they tell us to have X days of water, food, and medicines for all people and pets on hand. Otherwise be prepared to MacGyver plus thoughts and prayers.

          ETA: also keeping potassium iodide on hand (some county health depts. have this to distribute)

  11. AitchD says:

    Rayne wrote: “a special election to fill a seat in the wake of voter fraud by a GOP candidate’s campaign.”

    Voter fraud or election fraud?

    • P J Evans says:

      Election fraud, definitely. Possibly also voter fraud, if they were filling in votes for people who they conned into turning in incomplete ballots.

  12. orionATL says:

    the hyper-christian worm is at work in the woodwork.

    our president-in-waiting is starting to gnaw away at public awareness – performing all the functions imperator should but fails to do.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/pence-critical-of-russia-days-after-trump-advocates-for-putin-at-next-g-7-summit/2019/09/02/c337c08c-cda4-11e9-8c1c-7c8ee785b855_story.html

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/pence-praises-courage-of-polish-people-on-80th-anniversary-of-start-of-world-war-ii/2019/09/01/6231b89e-ccc1-11e9-8c1c-7c8ee785b855_story.html

    p.s. is the Washington Post still tracking? why the new citation style w/out the “?”.

  13. Eureka says:

    Rayne: I can reciprocate a piece of ~’Swedish death cleaning’ advice, since you’re aiming for the basement and garage next (which incidentally came up in our efforts): bring a nail brush with you. Those hasty pizza dinners will be more enjoyable, lol.

    • Rayne says:

      LOL last year I sprayed everything I touched with 90% isopropyl alcohol to kill mold and mildew. It’s a wonder I didn’t blow up the basement library with that much aerosolized accelerant. Next year I take a bigger spray bottle.

      Sadly there are no hasty pizza dinners out in the remote boonies of the great white north. Plenty of time to scrub. Next summer I will plan ahead to put on a slow cooker first thing each morning before we plunge into decades’ accumulation. Only took two years to figure this out; must be latent brain damage from inhaling the isopropyl alcohol.

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