Constructive Action: Taking Back Real Control of the Senate

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

There’s just so much wrong right now in governance which could be fixed with 60 Democratic seats in the Senate.

We could pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, for starters, which would encode women’s reproductive rights and autonomous control of their bodies. This bill passed the House but not the Senate because of 50 GOP senators and 2 DINOs.

We could pass other needed legislation which has been throttled by the same 50 GOP senators and 2 DINOs, including the Build Back Better Bill.

We could expand the Supreme Court so that the total number of jurists would match the number of circuit courts.

We could institute term limits for Supreme Court justices so that retirements could be planned.

We could address the shortcomings of the Roberts’ Court ethical failings, from the lack of an ethics code, to Thomas’s refusal to recuse or resign, to the Trump appointees’ misrepresentations before the Senate Judiciary Committee during nomination hearings.

But none of these and other additional remedies can be addressed without at least 60 seated Democratic Senators.

These are the Class III Senators up for re-election or open seats this year:

State Class 3 Cook PVI Notes
Alabama Richard Shelby (R) retiring, open seat R+15 Will Boyd (D)
Alaska Lisa Murkowski (R) R+9 Non-Partisan Primary August 16, 2022
Arizona Mark Kelly (D) R+3
Arkansas John Boozman (R) R+16
California Alex Padilla (D) D+14
Colorado Michael Bennet (D) D+3
Connecticut Richard Blumenthal (D) D+7
Delaware D+6
Florida Marco Rubio (R) R+3 Primary August 23, 2022
Georgia Raphael Warnock (D) R+3
Hawaii Brian Schatz (D) D+15
Idaho Mike Crapo (R) R+19
Illinois Tammy Duckworth (D) D+7
Indiana Todd Young (R) R+11
Iowa Chuck Grassley (R) R+6 Michael Franken (D)
Kansas Jerry Moran (R) R+11
Kentucky Rand Paul (R) R+16
Louisiana John Kennedy (R) R+12
Maine D+1
Maryland Chris Van Hollen (D) D+14
Massachusetts D+14
Michigan R+1
Minnesota D+1
Mississippi R+10
Missouri Roy Blunt (R) R+11
Montana R+11
Nebraska R+13
Nevada Catherine Cortez Masto (D) Even
New Hampshire Maggie Hassan (D) Even
New Jersey D+6
New Mexico D+3
New York Chuck Schumer (D) D+10
North Carolina Richard Burr (R) not seeking re-election R+3 Cheri Beasley (D)
North Dakota John Hoeven (R) R+20
Ohio Rob Portman (R) R+6 Tim Ryan (D)*
Oklahoma James Lankford (R) R+20
Oregon Ron Wyden (D) D+6
Pennsylvania Pat Toomey (R) R+2 John Fetterman (D)
Rhode Island D+8
South Carolina Tim Scott (R) R+8 Dem primary results pending
South Dakota John Thune (R) R+16
Tennessee R+14
Texas R+5 **
Utah Mike Lee (R) R+13 *** Evan McMullin (I) has Utah Dems’ support
Vermont Patrick Leahy (D) retiring, open seat D+15 Dem primary August 9, 2022
Virginia D+2
Washington Patty Murray (D) D+8
West Virginia R+23
Wisconsin Ron Johnson (R) R+2 Dem primary August 9, 2022
Wyoming R+26

light orange: needs assistance with defense

light yellow: winnable

light green: stretch but in range

* Ohio’s senate race is tied — within MOE depend on the poll. There is an independent candidate running as well who may act as a spoiler. Ohioans need to do an effective job of encouraging votes for Ryan so that the independent doesn’t fragment the vote.

** Texas does not currently have a senate seat open or up for re-election. The governor’s race is critical, though, as it is Texas state anti-abortion laws which have been setting the trend for the nation. Beto O’Rourke needs to win this seat.

*** Utah’s Democratic Party has thrown its support behind Evan McMullin because the chances of a Democrat winning that state are slim to none. Mike Lee is an insurrectionist who must be removed.

Pick one or more senate races to defend. Help others go on the offense. Pay attention to the pending primary races and be ready to step in to help.

323 replies
  1. Fraud Guy says:

    I’m sorry, the colors are non-differentiable in the post. I kinda see a yellow in my browser, but no orange or green.

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      Light orange: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire
      Light yellow:, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin
      Light green: Alaska, Iowa, Ohio, South Carolina

      • Rayne says:

        Note Alan Charbonneau’s guide.

        Alternately, any seat rated D+3 to R+3 is in defense or gettable; anything R+3 through R+10 should be targeted as a stretch. Force the GOP to spend down in those seats at a minimum.

    • LadyHawke says:

      For future reference, outlining the box in a bright primary color works best on most screens. Colored text next best, if dark enough. (Thanks for the listing.)

      Absolutely agree that we need to fight for the biggest margins possible, but a bare majority of one makes all the difference in organizing, leadership, committee assignments, rule judgements, budgets and staffing, etc., even those who vote against us too often. The future depends on not giving that to Republicans, in either chamber.

  2. tinao says:

    Yup Rayne, my prescription is take a super majority of the Senate and then Joseph has to expand the supreme court. Now seriously get busy folks and take back states and the Senate. We can do this! I knock on doors for also taking back the states!!!!! You would be surprised how people are empowered when you can talk face to face.

    • tinao says:

      Ya know, the Dalai Lama said it would be white western women that would save the world.

      • tinao says:

        An trust me, I ain’t no ginny thomas. What a bozo! Or Coney Island express!
        Let’s revisit their timing anyone?

        • tinao says:

          But my mother did teach me to keep the faith…it just was’t the faith I was brought up in. She was a fierce, very refined Spanish woman.

            • joel fisher says:

              I’m guessing Pittsburgh, PA where there is a very real chance of a takeaway. The true believers wanted Connor Lamb, but the vote went by a lot to Fetterman. Dr Oz? Fetterman presents as a working class guy. Oz, I’m not so sure? Like. a lot of elections around the country, it’ll be decided by a few hundred thousand persuadable suburban women and who they think is in their corner.

              • tinao says:

                Heh, my husband is a republican and he has a bumper sticker that says, Dr Oz for New Jersey. : – ) And yes, we are both for Fetterman.

  3. Peterr says:

    Blunt (R-MO) is retiring, and it’s a free-for-all between four rightwingers of different stripes to see who can be the most extreme. Greitens is going for the anti-institutional authoritarian vote, McCloskey is going for the racist vote, Hartzler is going for the anti-LGBTQ vote, and Schmitt is going for the institutionalist authoritarian vote. On the Dem side, things are quieter, and Jack Danforth is trying to get a GOP moderate to run as an independent. He thinks he’s found one in a lawyer for the J6 committee (Wood), who was appointed by Dubya to be the US Attorney for Western Missouri.

    If Wood runs, he is dead in the water as soon as he files. Dems are going to go all out in KC, St. Louis, and Columbia (home to MIzzou), the GOP will pile up votes in the rural areas, and the battle will be in the burbs. If the GOP rests on their laurels, or if the J6 revelations (either from Congress or DOJ or both) continue to roll out, it will depress GOP turnout and really motivate the Dems.

    It will be a long, hard battle, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the Dems could steal this seat. There’s a lot that will happen between now and the Aug 2 primaries, and a lot will happen between then and November.

    • mm201 says:

      Fellow Missourian here.

      I know there’s a lot of talk about crossing party lines to push the most unelectable Republican through the primary. Any thoughts on that?

      • Peterr says:

        Two thoughts:

        (1) It worked for Claire McCaskill — running ads to get conservatives to rally around Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin, who proved to be too conservative for the electorate generally,

        (2) It’s hard to say which of the four GOP folks running would be the “most unelectable” in the general election. Every one of them is running to be seen as the Trumpiest of Them All, and is casting the other three as Friends of Nancy.

        Short answer: I don’t think that strategy would work this time around. Danforth’s attempt to get a moderate GOP into the race as an independent would torpedo the effort to game the GOP primary, because folks who saw that candidate as unelectable would shift not to the Dem but to the independent — and all bets would be off who would win in that eventuality.

        My advice is to get behind the Dem, get after the GOP, and get out the damn vote.

      • civil says:

        When GW Bush became the GOP nominee in 2000, I figured that he was awful but would be easy to beat. Instead, he became a horrendous President. That taught me to never to wish for an awful person as the nominee in the belief that they’ll be easy to beat. I made that argument to other Democrats when Trump was running for the GOP nomination, and his election only made me believe it more strongly.

        • tinao says:

          scalia stole that vote. I think it is much less likely anything like that can happen this time…if you have paper ballots.

          • civil says:

            A case like Bush v Gore may not be likely, but the issue I was responding to — a candidate pushing an awful opposition candidate they think is easy to beat, when that person may win and be horrendous — will continue to occur periodically. It occurred with Trump in 2016.

            Not all jurisdictions do have paper ballots. I’m in MD, and I think we have a good system: each voter can choose to vote by either filling in the ovals on a paper ballot or by using a touch-screen that prints the voter’s choices out on paper, and both kinds of completed ballots are then fed into/counted by a separate machine before the voter leaves, just in case there’s a scanning problem, a double-vote, etc. (in which case the voter can choose to zero out that ballot and get a new one that scans correctly), and all paper ballots are kept. We also have same-day registration.

  4. Frank Anon says:

    Sorry to be a wet blanket, but we could have 98 Senate seats and the entire agenda, but if we lose the house there is no real movement. Don’t take your eye off the ball in the House, too

    • Rayne says:

      Ugh. I didn’t realize this post had published. I must have fat fingered my mouse.

      The House is another post. This one is Senate only at this point. We already know how much damage these 50 fucking corrupt asshats have done to this country and now more than half the population by lying back and letting the SCOTUS’s conservative majority trash civil rights several times over, from voting rights protections to women’s reproductive rights.

      • joel fisher says:

        Sometimes a phrase makes one’s day:
        “fat fingered my mouse”.
        Exactly what Lenny might have said in “Of Mice and Men.”
        Thanks for the post; I’ll be looking forward to your piece on the House.

      • JamesJoyce says:


        Clarence is very pretzeled hypocritical dangerous clown 🤡.

        No nightmare here.

        This is real deal like a Fugitive Slave on the run.

        Judicial Dementia ?

        • Rayne says:

          I can almost understand the TX and SC but not PA seats. Absolutely can’t understand it and Fetterman should be pointing to this while he’s got such a large lead.

    • ceebee says:

      Many states will need support for D candidates for Secretary of State. There may also be judicial races worth time and energy.

      • Leu2500 says:

        That goes for the party as a whole. The D share of hispanics dropped in 16 & 20. But the DCCC has its head in the sand

        • Rayne says:

          Part of the problem is the number of Hispanic/Latinx already elected to the House. They can’t possibly be making a strong enough case for outreach improvement. Some of it is denial across the party about the damage being done by foreign influence ops — there’s a reason Russia in particular has been working on its continued relationships in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. As far as I can tell, no one has talked with Juan José Rendón as to what he may have heard about ongoing manipulation of elections in Spanish-speaking communities.

          The DCCC is only part of the problem; it has a fundamental problem which is its bias toward incumbents. They’re elected House members fundraising for elected House members. They don’t spend on potential opponents, of course, but it means spending money on shitty House reps like Cuellar in Texas. This also means not spending on other primaries to the point that they let seats flip in special elections like TX-34. I don’t know who’s advising them but they need a kick in the ass.

  5. bmaz says:

    FWIW, in east Phoenix there are a gazillion campaign signs up, both for primaries and general (already), by my eye, at least 90% of them are for GOP candidates. The feckless Dems have almost nothing.

    • tinao says:

      Typical. I just can’t tolerate how cheaply they run what is the safe fights, dumb dumbs.
      Freakin scream Howard Dean was right, run somebody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • bg says:

      Just an aside, my neighbor, who has been a friend and mentor, and did at one time topple corrupt leadership in our State Senate (it was shocking at the time and still memorable), and who used to attend the Kennedy School of Government in the summer, told me that signs are not really useful except for making supporters feel good. This was after signs were stolen from my yard. I suppose they help with name recognition. But they are not really indicative of anything. Signs are expensive, and I think campaigns are spending more on social and other media. I’ve participated a variety of campaign trainings over the years and am a big door knocker. I did learn that door knocking is The Most Effective way to reach voters. Mailers take (at the last time I heard the info) over 350 pieces to get one vote. Doors only 12. I don’t believe signs are all that.

      • biff murphy says:

        I think so too.
        With the door knocking strategy we were successful in Boston the first year Marty Walsh ran for Mayor of Boston.
        Talk about canvasing a neighborhood!

      • Belyn says:

        Signs are useful, imo, as part of campaigning. They tell my neighbors where I stand, and prevent a lot of useless door knocking at my house. They also inform a lot of drivers-by..

        • J R in WV says:

          My Wife and I, and our closest neighbors, share a farm road driveway, so we’re both at the dead end of gravel roads at least 1/2 a mile from the county road. We never get trick or treaters, religious proponents, passers-by, etc. But J. next door works for an advocacy organization, is actually manager now after many years.

          They had a Biden sign beside the end of their driveway, which all the close neighbors who visited their place thought was hilarious. Now it’s inside on a wall, where it should last for a very long time. In 2016 we had Hillary posters in the back windows of the SUV while I was doing phone banking, calling into Ohio for Hillary.

          That was, at the end, after James Comey aided the Russian successful attempt to sway the election, pretty soul-crushing. Dunno why that guy isn’t indicted for failing to follow his own agency’s rules… or plain old working for a hostile foreign power. No one should give that guy a platform, he proved he is not an honest broker in any arena.

          Anyways, no yard signs for us, too wasteful of a good sign where no one will see it. All the neighbors know who we’re voting for anyway.

      • Raven Eye says:

        One thing about social media is that it takes some serious planning to use effectively. Depending on the demographics, neighborhood by neighborhood, it may have “variable” impact. I shudder when in the day-to-day world, people such as emergency managers pat themselves on the back for their social media forays, often forgetting that the most vulnerable are the least likely to use social media. And then there are the folks who choose not to participate in social media (which can be both far red and far blue).

        This is the kind of deep dive research and advice that the Democratic party needs to roll out in the battleground precincts.

    • joel fisher says:

      “Feckless” doesn’t capture the utter lack of messaging. The GOP Senate Campaign platform actually adopted a plank sunsetting Social Security. The Democrats are keeping what should be their strongest issue a secret.

      • Ravenclaw says:

        Not true, strictly speaking, on either count, though not wide of the mark.
        (1) The Republican “sunset” plan would mean that every program ever passed by legislation would need to be reviewed every 5 years and could be eliminated by inaction or rewritten as desired. They’ve made it clear that they do not intend to do away with Social Security or Medicare. However, they would almost certainly curtail benefits (sharply), convert to something like a 401(k) or 403(b) approach, and probably make another attempt to put the funds in the hands of their cronies at investment firms. So it is a big deal.
        (2) The Dems have been using this in ads, but exaggerating it (as you do) in such a way that it can be (has been) debunked and thereby defanged.

        • joel fisher says:

          One must recall that “sunsetting” means automatic repeal, and so I am right the GOP wants to repeal Social Security. And given the GOP’s behavior, including an attempted repeal as recently as W’s time in office, I stand by the accuracy of my comment. There is no way that crowd would agree to re-passing Social Security without serious benefit cuts. Factcheck’s comments–assuming behavior utterly divorced from the GOP’s actual history–really ground my gourd. And, sure this is technically public knowledge, but how many persuadable suburban voters actually know about it? Recent history show the GOP to be a persistent and evil enemy that never lets go of an issue.

    • BrokenFlag1963 says:

      Why are they feckless and now confused? Little has been asked of them for the last five decades. No service. No sacrifice. No thought. Nothing but idle consumption. I see it every day. Adults with no ability to develop perspectives from their own observations, research and subsequent cognitive musings. And you ask why so few if any step forward for public service. Who are the mentors? Where are the teachers of the skills needed to advocate, communicate and (dare I say) sacrifice for something greater than our next dopamine blast? I am not trolling. I’m asking.

      [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name; you’ve published under username “Fell” previously. Thanks. /~Rayne]

      • Rayne says:

        First, who are you talking about when you say “little has been asked of them“?

        Secondly, this country hasn’t had a strong stomach for mandatory service since Vietnam primarily because we have not been at war, only engaged in military action under AUMFs.

        Thirdly, it’s as if you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the last 40-50 years and haven’t noticed how public service has been poisoned in numerous ways including noncompetitive wages compared to private sector and bad mouthing by the ever-growing right-wing media ecosphere.

        Fourthly, “Who are the mentors? Where are the teachers” you ask. What the hell have YOU been doing? Leaders show up and lead; that’s how it works on the left.

        Lastly, just asking questions is a form of trolling.

  6. TimB says:

    This is indeed very constructive. Thank you Rayne.

    Great to start now and with enthusiasm, but I recall that the right-wing takeover took many many decades of strategic focus, patience, dirty tricks, bad faith, and exploitation of the rules as well as of the goodness of the majority (by population) Democratic party. That long slow effort built a party and a base with striking unity, largely through creating an alternative reality they all can (must?) believe. That was hard; so will our counterattack be. They had the disadvantage of being a minority; we, of being too straight-arrow for the dirty tricks or the alternative reality.

    I do not foresee myself living long enough to enjoy the return to an America committed to progress on basic rights and freedoms. But I do call on all you younguns to find the stamina and courage for a long struggle back. And I will fight beside you for my duration.

    • bg says:

      Our Governor attended our rally Friday. She is fierce on some things, and she uses her words A Lot. She has in the past been hounded by a trans woman, and the hounding began again during her remarks. She tried to address it, and they would not quit. She pivoted finally to “We stand together.” The rally organizers totally backed her up. Stand Together. The issue on the left is that we all have our own hill to die on. The Rs have no such problem. They stand together always. We need to stand together and quit with our divisive behavior for the good of all. Find a campaign and volunteer. Door knock. It works.

      • Rayne says:

        It’s a lot easier for the GOP to be cohesive when they can organize around the rather narrow concept of a Christian white supremacist cis-het patriarchy.

        It’s much more difficult to organize under a big tent which includes people who may be something accepted by the Christian white supremacist cis-het patriarchy, but which also includes smaller groups who may be BIPOC-but-homophobic, white-liberal-but-anti-abortion, anti-capitalist-but-racist, so on. Christ, Markos Moulitsas and Jerome Armstrong wrote about this in 2005 or so, which is nearly a generation. We needed then and still need an umbrella organization on the left which is NOT a political party to help organize the left; we did a pissy job when ACORN was dismantled by the GOP, failing to rebuild a replacement which might have served as an umbrella.

  7. massappeal says:

    Thanks for this post, and for the useful, targeted information.

    A humble dissent on your topic sentence: “There’s just so much wrong right now in governance which could be fixed with 60 Democratic seats in the Senate.”

    Everything listed below that line in your post could be fixed with *50* Democrats in the Senate who would vote to change Rule 22/abolish the filibuster. And it’s a far more achievable goal, as the chart above indicates, than getting 60 Democrats elected to the Senate in the current political climate.

    Let’s assume that all the vulnerable Democrats—Kelly (AZ), Warnock (GA), Bennet (CO), Cortez Masto (NV), Hassan (NH)—win in November. That keeps the Dems at 50 (including the two independents—King (ME), and Sanders (VT)).

    Now let’s assume the Dems win all the close races (R+3 or less) currently held by Republicans. That’s FL, NC, PA, and WI which would bring Dems up to 54 seats.

    If they win all the R+6 or closer races that raises their number to 56 (IA, OH).

    R+9 or closer gets you to 58 (AK, SC).

    Then in the next cycle, Democrats are defending 22 of the 33 available seats, and will have to do so without the benefit of a (winning) presidential candidate at the top of the ticket. Having 60 Democrats in the Senate in the foreseeable future simply isn’t a likely proposition…no matter how hard everyone works. 50 Democrats willing to end the filibuster is still a lot of work, but it’s far more likely.

    • BeeVoting says:

      I don’t see why Biden Harris aren’t a winnable ticket. All the nonsense predicting a great year for the GOP is predicated on this being a “normal year”.
      We are not in normal times, not by any measure. Pundits are so confused they just through up their hands and print whatever dubious push poll results they’re handed and make up a story to make them seem sensible. You need to be past the primary to begin to see meaningful numbers.

      • bmaz says:

        Biden truly is too old, and Harris is wildly unpopular. I don’t know why Harris is so unpopular, there is no real basis for it, but that has been consistent in polling for a while now. And Biden has not helped her out in the least by not featuring her more, as Obama did with him. But the Dem problems are real. And it does not help that their real leadership are mostly fossilized relics. I don’t blame young people and minorities for being turned off by these near dead octogenarians. The Dems are in serious trouble, and they deserve it.

          • BeeVoting says:

            Harris got the biggest bank fraud settlement ever for consumers in CA. But none of that banks officers ended up in Trump’s cabinet so it’s not enough? Progressives were terrified of her in 2020 and it’s her voice her kankles all over again. I’m done with this nonsense.

            • bmaz says:

              The “settlement” Harris so proudly touts is complete shit, and always was. And by leading with CA, she fucked a lot of other states. Including mine. Here is an extremely relevant critique from our old friend David Dayen.

              I like Harris. But saying she is great because of California’s “settlement” is ridiculous. She actually kind of cut it short by trying to take credit.

              • Peterr says:

                And as Dayen points out, Harris’ staff in the AGs office recommended that criminal charges be filed against OneWest, with a lengthy memo outlining the facts and the law that covered over 1000 examples of criminal behavior by OneWest toward its customers.

                Harris said no.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Agree. And they’ll most likely be up against a mid-40s Ron DeSantis. He is the devil incarnate – his policies in Florida have caused the deaths of tens of thousands, and he has politicized and personalized most arms of state government – but he is obsessively ambitious and has brains, energy, gobs of money, and the fundamentalist vote. If the Dems bring a gentlemanly argument to a political knife fight with him, they are likely to end up like Fatso Judson at the voting booth.

          • bmaz says:

            The storm clouds are on the horizon. And if the mid term massacre occurs as expected, it won’t even matter if the Dem nominee in 2024 gets more votes (again), even if they should have more electoral college votes.

            • GonzoDon says:

              Oooh. Be careful bmaz. I made the same observation about a month ago, and got chastised by Rayne for being too negative and not “constructive” enough with my posted comments. But, I’m sorry, you’re absolutely right. If the Repubs seize control of the House in 2022 — which looks increasingly likely — there is no way they will certify the electoral college victory of a 2024 Democratic presidential candidate (in Jan 2025). It just ain’t gonna happen. So the future looks really really dark to me. I guess I’m hoping that many individual states can carry the democratic (small ‘d’) torch forward in their jurisdictions regardless of what happens in January 2025 … but that’s not the same as a united states.

              • Rayne says:

                which looks increasingly likely” — which is based on what? The repetition of media’s popular wisdom?

                NYT alone demonstrates the effect media has on public opinion from their bullshit which helped launch the Iraq War to “But her emails” coverage in 2016.

        • Badger Robert says:

          True. Biden was let through to power with the intent to make him into another Jimmy Carter.

          • bmaz says:

            Which has pretty much been done. Largely on issues he has no control over. Even with Afghanistan, that was set in motion by Trump and really could not be easily stopped.

            • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

              The Afghanistan withdrawal absolutely broke the national media, it was crazy to see the disconnect between the opinions of national correspondents and the rest of the country.

              • Nick Caraway says:

                The media coverage on Afghanistan was sooo much worse than the reality. Not only did Trump make Biden’s withdrawal almost inevitable, but, Biden got 120,000 soldiers and civilians out in an operation unrivaled since the Berlin Airlift. (Check how many were evacuated after the fall of Saigon.)

                Furthermore, the US supplied our troops in Afghanistan via Russian airspace. Those troops would have been Russian hostages had they still been there when Putin invaded Ukraine. Not sure how we could have continued to support those troops and provide the kind of support we have provided Ukraine.

                The media kerfuffle on Afghanistan felt like both siderism — they HAD to find something on which to criticize Biden after having been “tough” on Trump. It also felt to me as if foreign policy establishment was doing what it does whenever a President is less warlike than they prefer. And yes, that was the moment when the media turned Biden into Jimmy Carter.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Schiff seems better placed to assume the Speakership. He also seems more like Biden-Lite. The Dems would be more competitive going for bright, passionate, charisma than another studied steady pair of hands.

        • Rayne says:

          You know why Harris is unpopular. Same reasons Hillary was unpopular with the added fillip of race.

          • BeeVoting says:

            Yep, same people hate Harris who hated Hillary. I feel like they’re still upset with they don’t control the Overton window, and their dismissal of “Id Pol” helped the GOP gut our rights.

              • BeeVoting says:

                You mean the misogynoir? It is impossible to miss. Lucky for Harris most racists are also fairly misogynistic.
                The brogressive wing were pretty hateful to both those women, as they represent the identity politics they speak of with such distain. Hillary and Bill were roundly hated by some progressives for their strong ties to the Black community. Remember the Berners booing all the lack Dems at the 2016 convention? Black voters certainly do.

          • John K says:

            I support Kamala Harris 100% but there is something about her laugh that makes my skin crawl. At times it seems inappropriate and childish- not a good look for someone who is one eighty year old heartbeat from the presidency.
            On the other hand, though, this does scare the bejeezus out of the GOP.

            • Rayne says:

              I have never heard/read any complaint this specific before. Your problem with her laugh is an extremely personal issue. I challenge you to examine what it is about her laugh which disturbs you enough to write something like this. I don’t want you to share this with us, just examine it further. Does it remind you of someone else’s laugh from your past? Is it an unrecognized belief certain persons aren’t supposed to laugh? Does she resemble someone else?

              It’s not her laugh which bothers the GOP.

              • fm says:

                Love that clip. Harris was spot on and wasn’t giving Barr one single millimeter to lie. She had him by the balls and he knew it. “Flustered”, the perfect word to describe the self righteous liar Bill Barr.

              • mamake says:

                Thanks for pointing to the important questions regarding our personal biases. We would be in much better shape if everyone was adept at this kind of self-reflection, IMO.
                I personally love Kamala’s genuine and authentic laugh. I fear that the reasons she has been less visible are more dire – too much hate being fomented, especially with those with too many guns.

                • Rayne says:

                  I have my own biases, and in particular I can’t stomach looking at MTG. I wish I could block her image in my Twitter feed. It’s more than disgust with her behavior and politics, though. Her physical appearance revolts me; it’s a wet wired response to someone with eyes so close set combined with her brow bone and jawline.

                  I swear it’s an innate reaction to latent Neanderthal features. She can’t help those, she was born with them. But her general obnoxiousness makes it difficult for me to ignore her appearance.

        • StuartC says:

          While all of this is true, momentous current events are happening, that could change the “normal” course, as BeeVoting commented above, the way the pandemic did in the last election. First, the J6 Committee hearings seem likely to affect and change some percentage of moderate conservative, suburban voters who determine elections in closely divided purple states. And, there’s the coming DOJ criminal trials to generate more bad news for the GOP. And of course, there’s TFG himself, the spray tanned albatross around the party’s neck. Does anyone have any doubt he’ll run for President again? He will be loudly defending himself by telling more lies about a stolen election, instead of just saying, “How about those gas prices, folks?”
          Secondly, there’s The Supreme Conservatives – banning abortion rights will bring out million of young women to the polls in the midterms, as well as gun rights advocates many of whom may have had doubts about Biden, and would’ve let the coming midterm elections slip by but they will go vote now.
          It’s all just educated guesswork, this prediction game, but it really seems similar to the last election, where the approval or disapproval ratings and concerns I may have had about Uncle Joe’s age doesn’t really matter that much, because when you’re in the voting booth, the other choice was batshit crazy.
          It seems likely, seeing the reactions to all this SCOTUS news, and what’s likely to come from DOJ over the summer, there is going to be a huge, loud and clear, liberal response.

          Beyond that, remember how the Democratic Primaries showed us a broad, multiethnic bench of viable national and statewide candidates. Ok, I had to google them after Klobuchlar and Buttigeig. But found: Steve Bullock, Corey Booker, Juan Castro, Deval Patrick, Tom Steier and Andrew Yang. And of course, there’s Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who is only 33 years old, so not yet even eligible to run for President. The future is bright for the Democratic Party, as overwhelmingly progressive younger voters continue to age into the process, now energized by the SC decisions, and the GOP has to deal with TFG insanity.

        • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

          Small sample size, but my youngish self and all my young relatives, friends, in a blue city, are all fed up and disillusioned with the fossils leading the party. We have seen the rolling coup by the right for so many years now and the current leadership is just not capable of planning, leading, or communicating. I don’t know what era they think they are living in, but we have needed cutthroat constitutional hardball since the 2000 election and yet the geriatric leadership has stuck with the same dithering, consultant driven rightward pivoting means-tested failures they have been hawking for the last 20 years.

          We just don’t believe a goddamn word they say anymore. And the fact that they keep yelping about “their friends and good people across the aisle” at this stage in the game is unforgivable.

          The party needs to hold leadership accountable for their failures (even if some people don’t want to hear it) and get in the fight.

          One example would be Biden declaring he will provide abortion services on federal land in any state that restricts it, free of charge, damn the Hyde amendment and whatever the SC says. The SC has burnt away any trace of democratic legitimacy long ago. Let them send their clerks to shut it down if they don’t like it.

          Sorry Rayne I’m not trying to piss you off but I can’t put in words just how abandoned, disgusted, and let down people of my generation feel about the national dems. They look like they are flailing in a storm while just waiting to retire to their million dollar homes, and the only time I see any ruthlessness is when there is a primary from the left.

          • DrDoom says:

            I was born in 1956 but I agree with you 100%. Most D’s would rather maintain the status quo and be in a permanent minority than really, truly, deeply pursue the nominal ideals of the Democratic Party. At the risk of oversimplifying, the GQP favors the existing power hierarchy. Money, whiteness, maleness, Christianity, and heterosexuality are all privileged, to varying degrees. Money is at the top of the heap and whether it was gained by legal or illegal means is irrelevant. From the GQP perspective, “freedom” means maximizing the ability of those in the privileged groups to impose their will on others. Monopoly power, corporate power, wealth all buy you the ability to make others bend to your will and immunize you from the rule of law. The insurrection was about explicitly imposing minority rule by the privileged class.

            Many, if not most Dems at the higher political levels are unwilling to sacrifice wealth privilege in order to achieve the ideal of political and legal equality. I believe that younger people perceive the hard limit of how far and how hard the Democratic politicians will fight to promote the interests of the non-white, non-male, non-rich, non-straight. Dems need to do serious work to build trust. As much as I despise what the GQP represents, I must acknowledge that they have worked to deliver for their adherents. I wish I could say the same for the Democrats, but such is not the case.

            • Rayne says:

              Do you now or have you ever worked with your local county or state Democratic Party? Because your perspective tells me otherwise.

              • jdmckay says:

                I’ve done that work. Took over a flailing campaign office in Albuquerque managing Obama’s and (Sen.) Udall’s campaigns statewide. Got it working quite well.

                We had 2 meeting pre-election here with BO. At that time I was most concerned with:

                a) hard hitting prosecution of principals who executed the ’08 financial collapse and mortgage bond scam that nearly bankrupted the planet.
                b) serious focus on making real progress going green.

                On both these issues, Obama persuaded me he would act decisively on both issues, looked me right in the eye and said so. He did not, not even close.

                Udall was a nice guy, with none of the backbone of his father. He did next to nothing on environmental issues, and few things he at least put a foot forward on he demonstrated… incompetence.

                Another major effort, me and another guy (RCRA attorney) started a 501c to get the Air Force to “get real” about cleaning up their +/- 25 million gallon jet fuel spill into our primary water supply, very likely the biggest toxic spill into a public water supply in US history. Did this 80+ hrs. per week for 5 years.

                Elected dems in this state did next to nothing. Kissing Air Force’s $$ gravy train butt usurped this endeavor.

                Sorry, but I cannot argue with those here having little hope Dem leadership can/will step up and do what is needed.

                Pains me now when I see BO hobnobbing with GWB, they are buddies now.

                • Rayne says:

                  I had some pointed conversations early in BO’s administration about what appeared to be backpedaling on some issues.

                  Bottom line: he was made an offer he couldn’t refuse; he’d get a substantive portion of ACA or …

                  Imagine you’re the first Black president. What would it look like once you were in office? What would it look like after you left office and your life is necessarily diminished by security constraints?

                  • jdmckay says:

                    That is one way to look at it. I don’t think that POV will ever get what you want, environmental/climate progress or anything else.

                    BO was elected in a unique political environment with opportunities that a new president rarely enjoys. GWB got through his first 6 years bull shitting the country, on Iraq/torture/economy (remember Enron?). The country supported him all that time, until it finally realized the whole thing was a sham.

                    Even hard core conservatives had no defense for the GWB admin crimes. Bush was about 22% approval when BO came in. He could have led and made the case for what I mentioned and more. He promised us he would, and he did not.

                    Obama was a nice, likable guy with a gift for oratory. But AFAIC he demonstrated little vision or courage. He made no case for a non-petro dominated economy/political funding. He chose the most competent Energy Secretary of his day (Chu), then burried him. Ignored him completely.

                    Now BO parties with GWB. Massively missed opportunities for the future of US and the World. I do not know how you can expect transformational change while defending mediocrity.

                    • jdmckay says:

                      Just one example.

                      (Especially) conservatives love to pontificate about US innovation and expertise, while not just denying but vilifying those who promote green energy and have flooded (especiallyradio) with lies dismissing it. They say it is a “religion” of the “left”.

                      The Chinese announced a project in (as I recall) to begin work to deploy mega solar arrays in space. Obviously this would solve the “solar is only good during daylight” petro misinformation campaign. China is well on it’s way with this project.

                      You have rules here (not sure what they are now) about posting URL’s. So I won’t. If you Google: “china space based solar power”, bunch of articles describing progress they made and now preparations for their first “beta” test in the next few years.

                      Not hard to see how US has has not just dropped the ball, but abandoned this kind of work… the kind of thing we used to lead the world in. China will be positioned to lead the world in Green energy in the not too distant future while we are treated to ground hog day listening to ignorant, angry ass holes pound the electorate we need more guns, no rights for women and a whole lot of others, and an economy that increasingly has no place for upcoming generations to forge a needed future in technology and the sciences.

                      AFAIC, this stuff is bigger then any one issue. And while the world is passing us by, we (call it Dems for brevity) seem unable to have vision beyond hot button issue of the day much less agree on the whole.

                      Over 200 mass shootings this year, until a week ago seemed like maybe some progress could be made. Probably all but forgotten with overturning Roe. I would love to be surprised, but expect some other big injustice will come along soon and… rinse and repeat.

                    • Nicholas Litwin says:

                      BO was given a once in a lifetime opportunity and he blew it. The ACA was well intentioned and a success, to some degree. It was also an anchor that dragged the Democratic party down right through Trump. While not a popular opinion, I believe Hillary would have been a better President than BO and Biden and 2008 would have been the right time. Obama could then have spent 8-yrs learning about how to get things done. His time would have been 2016.

                    • grennan says:

                      re “a unique political environment with opportunities that a new president rarely enjoys”

                      Like the Great Recession? GOP leadership’s vow to make him a one-term president?

                      Lest we forget, there were several very scary days in Oct. of that year when reputable economists were not sure that ATMs would still be online in the morning.

                  • DrDoom says:

                    I agree with jdmckay. I, and I’m sure many others, felt betrayed by BO. ACA is better than what preceded it, but not by much. I know that sector intimately and know ACA’s limits. It was not worth sacrificing pursuit of the financial crisis bad actors to get the ACA. That failure was a proximate cause of the Tea Party’s rise.

                    • Rayne says:

                      The lack of response to the rise of the Tea Party goes to Kaine’s leadership at DNC and the shuttering of OFA as a communications/organizing/mobilization tool.

                    • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

                      I will say this about the ACA, covering pre-existing conditions and the MA expansion was a big deal for the time. I would not have had health insurance for many years without it, and wouldn’t have been able to get the addiction treatment that saved my life.

                      That being said, I would have traded it for pres Obama and the rest of the party pushing through democratic reforms, voting rights, court expansion, adding states, and all the other necessary steps that should have been taken as a counter to the reactionary right and the creeping introduction of voter id in 2003.

              • DrDoom says:

                I have. 2 points on that score. First, my local Dem committee was pretty weak. Disorganized, unfocused, and ineffective. Among other things I did door to door canvassing ahead of elections. The maps and data provided to us were out of date and many homes I visited had received visits from others within the prior week. Second, I purposely criticized the top of the party structure, not the rank and file or local people. Those I interacted with were willing to work for meaningful change, competence issues notwithstanding.

                • Rayne says:

                  And your role in helping local Dem committee acquire better leadership was…? Deeds, not words, make change. Criticism isn’t enough.

                  I’ve done the work. Joined a posse of fellow local progressives who completely overhauled the local Dem party from the inside out. Own your own role because I personally know each of us can do better.

          • Elizabeth Hanson says:

            I am curious about this idea of providing abortion services on federal land in the states which deny abortion access. I just heard it from my sister who lives in Berkeley who heard it on a local radio station. She (and the guy on the radio) were advancing it in the service of the same argument PhoneInduced makes, that the Dems could fix this if they wanted to. The sister in Berkeley seemed to imply that they won’t do it because the Dems benefit (electorally?) from refraining from such an intervention. To me up here in Canada, this argument sounds cracked. There must be all kinds of legal constraints about how the federal government must coordinate with state authorities on military bases, in national parks and any other such spaces. The Dems seem electorally feckless to me and some major players certainly are owned by financial and resource interests. But I sense some distorted thinking in ideas like this one.

            • Rayne says:

              Again, you’re in Canada. You have 6 comments at this site under your belt. You might spend more time focusing on what’s going on in your own backyard rather than amplifying the “Dems in Disarray” active measures we’ve been seeing here in the US.

              Fascism isn’t going to stop at our border.

              • Elizabeth Hanson says:

                Sorry Rayne. I meant to do the opposite. It seems to me that Dems face extremely challenging political tasks and all I hear from said sister in Berkeley is that somehow it’s all the Democrats fault. The “federal lands” argument struck me as a John Eastman type legal fantasy from the left that minimizes the challenges of facing Biden’s administration, but I don’t understand the legal position of federal lands in the US the way I do the federal/provincial relation here which would mean such an idea would never work.

                And you are so right. Fascism doesn’t stop at the border, which is why everyone I know is paying close attention to events south of the border. We have our own paralyzing mechanisms, particularly the first-past-the-post electoral system, and a whole lot of dangerous crazy simmering away.

                • Rayne says:

                  It’s not the Democrats fault that they’ve been gerrymandered badly over the last two decades, though Democrats needed to do more to encourage nonpartisan redistricting efforts like the one in Michigan. In contrast Ohio is an example of an utterly corrupt situation which the Democrats can’t get a foot in side ways to stop it, with the GOP legislature ignoring multiple times the states own supreme court and carving up partisan gerrymanders in spite of a familial conflict of interest between the gerrymanderers and the governor.

                  It’s not a legal fantasy for Biden to declare a state of emergency related to the ongoing pandemic which may have prevented women from seeking the health care they need to prevent pregnancy, and permit NGOs to provide health care services on federal property especially military bases. There already has been precedent set by the Trump administration to draw on defense funding to pay for emergency construction during the pandemic to pay for the border wall and put up tent cities to house asylum seekers. There’s no reason why Biden can’t draw down on defense spending to set up space for NGOs to provide health care.

          • P J Evans says:

            LOL no. He’s owned by oil and Westlands – that’s why the Delta is in danger, and fish are going extinct.

          • Rayne says:

            Fuck no. Try asking people in flyover country why they’d vote for a Ken doll who flexes with the wind and actually thought Kimberly Guilfoyle was a thing.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Let’s’ have a wine cellar-fundraiser and chat about that over some hot brie. DeSantis would make mincemeat of him.

          • earthworm says:

            DIsqualified. Newsom’s judgement is cracked: he was married to Kimberly Guilfoyle.
            He seemed like a political golden boy at one point. That was a long time back.

            • mamake says:

              Gavin is a pretty boy with poor judgement – see his efforts (lack thereof) re: the drought. His ambition exceeds his ability to perform effectively. Although, I appreciated his comments Friday after the SCROTI revealed their latest dirty work.

          • grennan says:

            “West coast elitist” won’t be a very good look for a Democrat, let alone one who’s mispacha to both Paul Pelosi and Baby Don Trump.

      • massappeal says:

        Thanks for your response. For what it’s worth, I didn’t say anything about Biden/Harris. I didn’t predict a “great year” for the GOP in 2024. And I didn’t (and don’t) assume that this is a “normal year”.

        My argument is that 1) it’s going to be extremely difficult for Democrats to control 60 seats in the Senate for the foreseeable future; and 2) it’s easier (not easy, but easier) for Democrats to control 50 seats of senators who will vote to eliminate the filibuster.

    • tinao says:

      Two fights to get rid of fake democrats, or many fights to take back the states? I’m all in for fighting without violence because that’s what I stand for! Hmmmm?

          • bmaz says:

            Again, honesty counts. I think Kelly will win here, but it is nowhere near as assured as it should be. Minorities and youth are souring on the Dems, and people need to get a grip on that. Rose glassed bullshit will not cut it.

            • Rayne says:

              There’s a massive difference between saying, “AZ Democratic Party needs to mobilize minority and youth voters,” and repeatedly saying, “You’re losing.”

              • bmaz says:

                Except they are losing. I see it in every interaction with my local precinct committee. They know it too. It is a fact, cannot be simply glossed over.

                • Rayne says:

                  Jesus fucking Christ, dude. That’s not what the polls say. I just linked to them a while ago. How many times do I have to repeat myself?

                  And the repeated refrain about losing losers losing is no way to encourage winning. I’d think a 60-something man would know that by now.

                  • bmaz says:

                    Truly, I do not care. I see what I see. I am not going to cheer on losing stupidity. People need to get their heads out of their asses, not be lulled into false security.

                    • Rayne says:

                      Nobody’s lulling anybody into false security especially not the week half this country was told they’re not full citizens.

                      But the losers-losing litany gets a bit fucking old.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Live with it. It is real. And folks who cannot see it are a lot of the problem. How about we don’t support that crap? Hmmm?

                    • Rayne says:

                      How about you give them information they can use instead of You’re Losing Loser Suck It Up Loser.

                    • bmaz says:

                      Sometimes that is the message. Not that I ever said that. And I am not going to go on with this. Take off your rose colored glasses, despite having more and better voters, the Dems are getting slaughtered. Of all days to deny that, this is really the wrong one. This is the same kind of blindered nonsense that got us here.

                    • Rayne says:

                      I can’t with you. Especially not today. Not when we’re merely waiting for the first women to die.

                    • cmarlowe says:

                      I would not pretend to have any kind of a handle on what is going to happen. Analyzing what will happen in the many state and federal races in November is highly complex I would think. There is a lot of shooting from the hip. I would just offer the following thoughts on what should help us:
                      1) J6 hearings and high level DOJ prosecutions.
                      2) Roe. It’s not just the polls. I have heard that about 25% of women have had abortions. I had no idea the number was so high. And it’s not just the 25%, it is also their families and friends. I have never seen this level of political anger and fear (and I go back to anti-Vietnam war protests though my views now tend to be more moderate than most of the crowd here). This seems to go far beyond the anger being leveled at Trump’s attempted coup.

                      Of course. I am just shooting from the hip.

                • Peterr says:

                  Hate to break it to you, bmaz, but your local precinct committee is just your local committee. Without other data, extrapolating from them to every other state in the union is . . . not helpful.

                  I’m all for dealing with reality, and that starts with recognizing that the country is more complicated than my little corner of it.

                  • bmaz says:

                    So, it does not start local? Because I’ve been doing national for a long time. Mostly completely ineffective. I think I will keep recommending state and local. But that is just me.

                • Belyn says:

                  It may be a fact to your eyes, but you repeatedly generalize to the whole nation or to all democrats or to whatever.

          • P J Evans says:

            You got that right. If I wanted a downer I’d read Egberto over at Kos – he’s always a downer.

        • Frank Anon says:

          I don’t know about that, Oz, Vance, Grietens, Laxalt, the murderers row in your state on the R side give me hope. All competitive elections are really decided by how the center 5% moves on the scale and at least where I live, guns and abortion motivate that cohort. I just fear the House is so desperately gerrymanded that success is impossible there

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Taking 10 seats in 2022 is a pipe dream, more likely, a hallucination. The organizing effort is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

    • Belyn says:

      I don’t see either goal needing to cancel the other. Personally, I am for getting as many as we can get/not writing off any state.

  8. BeeVoting says:

    Thanks for this! I’m compiling some fact sheets for a handful of states races and issues and this helps me get going!
    The group I’m working with is focusing on urban/suburban PA GA NC MI and AZ. Getting OTV among wicked city women where they will def be purging them again.

  9. Ben says:

    Your math is incorrect. We don’t need 60 senators. We need 50 senators who will overturn the fillibuster, and we basically have 48 already.

    • bmaz says:

      And you are not getting more than those 48. Not to mention there are many Dem Senators hiding behind Manchin and Sinema that are not crazy about eliminating the filibuster.

    • Rayne says:

      We’re not going to be rid of the two DINOs so the filibuster is still with us. We need at least two more who will commit to ending the filibuster but we can’t guarantee the full cooperation. The best plan is to shoot for 60.

      And my math above doesn’t include the possibility some GOP senators may not avoid legal problems before the end of the year.

    • JackZ says:

      I (kind of) agree. We will not get to 60 anytime soon, but a realistic goal is 52+ (preferably 55) Senators who will agree to REFORM the filibuster. Lots of options – reduce the supermajority needed for cloture, and/or revert to a true talking filibuster, and/or require the minority to always muster 40 (or whatever) votes, …

    • JackZ says:

      Also both Collins and Murkowski are on record supporting codifying Roe. So at least for abortion rights, and depending on exactly what language is proposed, they could be votes for cloture. One (fantasy?) scenario: get to 53 Dems, with at least 50 supporting reducing the cloture requirement to 55, then make Collins and Murkowski walk the walk …

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Susan Collins is not a reliable vote. She claims the FedSoc nominees for S.Ct. she voted for disappointed or lied to her about their commitment to Roe and stare decisis. To believe that is to believe the moon is made of green cheese. Those nominees just did precisely what they were appointed to do, and what Collins voted for.

        • JackZ says:

          Maybe you’re right. But Collins and Murkowski introduced a bill “To
          codify the essential holdings of Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)) and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (505 U.S. 833 (1992))”. Manchin also said he would support it. NARAL, etc say the bill is “too narrow”, which is moot because Schumer did not bring it to a vote, and it was not going to pass regardless.
          But if the Dems somehow got to a place (via filibuster reform) where it might pass, but NARAL’s preferred bill couldn’t, you think Collins and Murkowski would vote against their own bill?

  10. Belyn says:

    Mike Franken will defeat Grassley. I’ve been predicting this for months, and he is only getting stronger. He has good positions and messaging. He has cross over appeal to the rare sane republican and appeals a lot to independents. Cook has this wrong. Grassley is weakening by the day. The decrepit old buzzard. That’s the nicest thing I can say about him.

  11. Badger Robert says:

    Organize the Undergound RR to those states that still permit abortion.
    The women that want this right should be showing military discipline and the willingness to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. The 19th century Wide Awakes didn’t sit around whining, Neither did Susan B, Anthony nor Elizabeth Katy Stanton. It better not take 50 years to take action.

    • Rayne says:

      Women know full well what to do. They had the Jane Collective before Roe. The Janes will rise again.

      The question to allies including men: how will you support women and girls in need of abortion in the face of this ruling?

      • blueedredcounty says:

        Gay white man about to turn 60 here. Recovering Catholic (12 years of grade and high school).
        I continue to give a large (and tax-deductable) contribution to Planned Parenthood every year.
        I will probably double it this year for the non-tax-deductible org of Planned Parenthood engaged in political action.

    • grennan says:

      That’s Elizabeth *Cady* Stanton. She did not want to change name to Stanton after she got married but that was a bridge too far back then.

  12. Badger Robert says:

    Without abortion as a failsafe option, women should withhold sex in those states with trigger laws. Gravitating to those states that value personal privacy would be consistent with the growth of the anti-slavery majority in the paid labor states.

      • Peterr says:


        On the other hand, I know a bunch of young women in college who will be looking for professional jobs in engineering in the next couple of years, and I know a bunch of engineering recruiters who are anxious to have them. Companies in states like Missouri, Texas, and Mississippi will have a helluva time convincing them to come, when they get comparable offers from other companies who are located in places that do not treat them as second class.

        I’d love to see a bunch of junior and senior women in engineering go to their college’s career fairs, and ask the recruiters in these places “What is your company doing to change the laws in your state, to make me an equal citizen with respect to my own medical decisions?” Make them uncomfortable. Then get a bunch of your male colleagues to do the same: “What is your company doing to change the laws in your state, to make my wife an equal citizen with respect to her own medical decisions?”

        You get a dozen students to do that, and those recruiters will take the message back to their corporate overlords. “We are *not* gonna get women, and will also lose some men, if things stay the way they are.”

        • Rayne says:

          We already have a problem. My daughter *is* an engineer. If she is unknowingly pregnant, perhaps even with an ectopic pregnancy and is asked to travel on business to a state which has banned all abortions, what the fuck is she supposed to do?

          Are we asking all women of childbearing age to bear additional burden of pregnancy tests before they leave a safe state for business travel? Can employers fire them because they can’t travel if pregnant?

          And will businesses even give a fuck? We’ve seen so many already cave on promises not to donate to insurrectionist GOP and yet they’re doing it less than two years later and in some cases to the same asshats who’d rather women had no rights.

          • rip says:

            Rayne – I think the first woman that was pregnant and was asked to travel to one of the troglodyte states, and refused because of the state’s laws, and was subsequently disciplined in any way would establish a very powerful case and a huge amount of publicity. (If the woman wanted to take that path.) (Sorry for that long sentence – an engineers if/then/elsif/then/elsif….)

          • Peterr says:

            I don’t disagree that there is already a problem. I was offering a possible long term approach, which does not preclude short term approaches that would address what you describe.

            Will businesses give a fuck? Actually, I think in engineering, they will.

            There is a *lot* of competition between the big engineering firms when it comes to gender equity, and they are desperate to be able to say “We love all engineers, regardless of gender.” But if only 2% of their professional engineering staff is female, that claim rings hollow. If word gets around among women that company X is not friendly to women, that company will find it very hard to recruit new engineers of either gender. It says to potential new hires “we only care about what you can do for us, and don’t give a damn about how we can support you.”

            No engineering firm wants to be tarred with that.

          • blueedredcounty says:

            I graduated from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) in 1985. Mary Barra was a classmate. I got my MS from UofM Ann Arbor in 1987.

            I’m not sure of the current technical employment situation in MI, or how all companies are responding. But my current employer is global, headquartered in Silicon Valley. After the Supreme Court announcement, our HR head immediately put out an email about the companies’ policies, how our health insurance coverage included abortion and reproductive health services, and how they would continue to do everything they could to support all their employees.

            With the labor market still being so tight post-pandemic, companies that are not adapting and developing pro-employee practices are not going to be able to attract new talent, or retain people. And word will travel fast. Wishing the best for your daughter, I hope she never experiences an ectopic pregnancy, and that she lands the job of her dreams.

            • Rayne says:

              Some companies will adopt a silent discrimination because women of childbearing age will be too risky and too costly for them to hire.

              Others will find ways to limit the work women do until the limitations become so annoying women won’t work for them.

              That’s one of the secondary effects the GOP’s conservatism seeks: fewer women in the workplace competing with men.

              • blueedredcounty says:

                Rayne, I work for a cloud computing company which is wonderful in this regard. Quick example, a remote co-worker in Texas had to bow out of a mandatory company event in SoCal because of how far along she is in her pregnancy and can’t travel. Not only was it not a problem, it was heartwarming to see all the extra responses of people wishing her well on her upcoming birth.

                I don’t know if there would be overlap with your daughter’s degree or interests, but we are still hiring like crazy. If you want, feel free to hit me up by email and I’ll send you a link to my company’s website.

                • Rayne says:

                  I’ll keep your offer on file; my daughter’s work is biomed tech so not the same field. But if I run across other young women with an appropriate background concerned about where they are employed post-Roe, I’ll give you a shout. Thanks much.

        • cmarlowe says:

          I am an engineer (male) still working tho I am past retirement age. When I started there were virtually no female engineers. I think there may have been 1 in my college graduating class. I now work for a major company with a substantial number of female engineers, many in high positions. They do have power and influence. I hope those that are pro-choice make waves as described above.

          • Peterr says:

            Come Monday morning, I’d love to hear what those senior women think about what this decision means for your company.

            • cmarlowe says:

              It’s hard for me to know since I now work from home almost 100%. I’m in a blue state with strong pro-choice laws on the books. I expect this will take time to play out and we will soon be getting a lot of “visitors” seeking abortions. There is planning in the works to accommodate the expected influx.

              • Peterr says:

                If you are in a blue state, a strong pro-choice statement from your senior leadership could really make a splash when it comes to recruiting women. Don’t know if you have any avenue to push this, but if so, go for it,

        • Rayne says:

          Liberia is about the size of South Carolina in terms of population which is 87% Christian and 11% Muslim. What works there will not work here.

          • gmoke says:

            How did the women of Liberia organize themselves? Any lessons to learn from that? I think it both silly and stupid to dismiss the example of the Liberian women’s peace movement out of hand. At the very least, it’s an example of what can be done even in a civil war.

            But then I am a pedantic autodidact who likes to study history and the principles of strategy.

            • Rayne says:

              We’re already dismissing BIPOC American women’s organizing efforts right the fuck in our own backyards. Why look to Liberia when Stacey Abrams is already organizing voters in Georgia and elsewhere with
              Or local abortion rights efforts like in Minnesota?
              Black women-led national Reproductive Justice Collective
              National Network of Abortion Funds

              There are already a myriad of efforts and resources ( some of which are duplicative. Our bigger AMERICAN problem is just that — this is a federal matter which must fit an extremely diverse country of +330 million people. What works for a small homogenous country of 5 million will not work here, especially because that small country isn’t up against 50 years of planning combined with foreign influence ops.

              You want to indulge yourself, knock yourself out. I don’t have the time for it. But my kids’ reproductive futures depend on what works in the US RTFN now, and we know who’s been able to organize and mobilize.

            • Raven Eye says:

              Naw. You’re good. Sooner or later you have to poke around at a lot of different approaches. Some will be total washouts, but there can bits of process than can be mined and exploited.

              The horses heard the bell and they’re waiting for their collars to drop so they can charge to the fire. But this is going to be a long situation, and the apparatus we start with isn’t necessarily going to look or work the same a few years down the road. Everybody doesn’t need to be at the nozzle end 24/7 from the first minute of the initiating event. The challenge is to find the balance between the tactical and the strategic efforts.

              One of things to keep in mind is that there will be different approached for different types of “constituents”. And the most vulnerable and disadvantaged will likely require approaches that will be difficult to support and execute.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Jamie Raskin would be good, too. The fundies will have a conniption regardless of the nominee, but that Raskin is Jewish would send them over the top. His potential ambitions are probably one reason the Senate (Mean Manchin) refused to confirm his wife, Sarah Bloom Raskin, as Federal Reserve Vice Chair.

    • pdaly says:

      Thanks for the link. Have already shared it with colleagues.

      There is an analogous anonymity afforded gun owners. By design there is no national gun registry, and any data generated from the purchase of a gun is deliberately downgraded to prevent a database that could provide an efficient method to link gun to owner–a gift to gun owners and a bane to investigators of a gun-related crime.

  13. Obansgirl says:

    This comment will be unpopular I know sorry. But at 70 aughts I dont feel or see a younger movement strong enough to make change. There is complacency. I too now hope to leave u.s. I gave my all but now truly despair for my country.

    • Max404 says:

      Do not despair. “Living Well Is the Best Revenge.” Many people in the 20’s took the route you are considering.

      Here is a blurb describing Calvin Tomkins’ book of the same title, you might be interested in.

      A Lost Generation chronicle of a glamorous couple and a great American modernist painter.

      First published in 1971 and now available for a younger generation with a new introduction by the author, Living Well Is the Best Revenge is Calvin Tomkins’ now-classic account of the lives of Gerald and Sara Murphy, two American expatriates who formed an extraordinary circle of friends in France during the 1920s. First in Paris and then in the seaside town of Antibes, they played host to a cast of some of the most memorable artists and writers of the era, including Cole Porter, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Ernest Hemingway and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. It was in Paris that Gerald Murphy first encountered Cubist painting, which prompted him to embark on an all-too-brief career as a painter–roughly from 1922 to 1929–during which he produced 15 works, seven of which survive, and every one of which is a unique American modernist masterpiece. This dazzling phase of work was brought to a close in 1929, when one of the Murphys’ sons, Patrick, was diagnosed with tuberculosis and the family returned to New York. When their second son, Boath, succumbed to meningitis in 1935, and Patrick’s death followed shortly thereafter in 1937, Murphy hung up his brush. Despite the brevity of Murphy’s oeuvre, the intensity of its conception and its recently acknowledged status as a crucial precedent to Pop art have elevated Murphy’s reputation considerably. In 1974, The Museum of Modern Art mounted the first Gerald Murphy retrospective. Illustrated with nearly 70 photographs from the Murphys’ family album and with a special section on Murphy’s paintings, Living Well presents a fascinating Lost Generation chronicle as charming and enticing as the couple themselves.

      There is much to do to make life good for others, even outside of the U.S. There is a pernicious kind of American Exceptionalism that says that the shitstorm in the US is in itself an exceptional one. It is not. It is an old story of fascism and opportunism.

      This is in no way intended to belittle the storm, or to belittle the heroic resistance that many true patriots, the publisher of this blog among them, are mounting, with words of truth and clarity.

      Each person does what she can, wherever she is.

  14. civil says:

    Partially repeating a comment I made in the Alito discussion:

    I live in very blue MD, and I’ve been trying to figure out what I can do in MD to improve the odds of Democrats being elected in other states. Possibilities:
    * work to register new voters (e.g., )
    * help with voter turn-out (e.g., the Postcards to Swing-states effort:, also )
    * work against voter suppression efforts
    I’d love to hear what others would add to this list — as actions to take or organizations to support. Money is tight, so I’m especially interested in ways to contribute beyond financial donations.

    • pdaly says:

      Some of the sparsely populated states are comfortably Republican, while many of the densely populated coastal states are reliably blue states.

      A certain percentage of democratic pioneers from the coasts could move to those sparsely populated republican states and perhaps turn them blue, producing both democratic senators and representatives where none existed before.

      I don’t know how many it would take to do so, however.

      • civil says:

        I said as much elsewhere ( but consider that a fantasy. It would take many millions of people to do it, it would have to overcome all of the other influences that factor into people’s decisions about moves, and it would require that all of those people be willing to live for an indeterminate period of time in a state they otherwise would not choose to move to and where they wouldn’t know how many years it would take before their goal was achieved. I expect that some people would be willing to do this (for example, I’ve considered moving from blue MD to purple VA for that purpose), but I don’t expect that enough people would be willing. It would now be an even harder choice for pro-choice women in their child-bearing years to make, as they’d risk having to bring an unwanted pregnancy to term.

    • grennan says:

      Thousands of elections each year have only one candidate because the GOP alderperson, state rep, weed commissioner and so on is running unopposed.

      It can be even more important to run to lose than to run to win — it starts loosening the barnacles and exposing everything to air.

      Some kind of info collection? Ballotpedia does provide some help but a chart of what’s available in what state and encouragement to anybody to run for any of those offices. Winning isn’t the point.

      • civil says:

        Thanks, that’s absolutely something I should have listed. Run for Something ( doesn’t have a centralized website, but it does provide assistance to progressives in finding local races to consider entering:

      • bmaz says:

        Big conventions boycott Florida and Arizona? It could happen, but those are the best and cheapest forums available, so unlikely to make much impact.

        • Peterr says:

          Unless, of course, it’s your city losing out — like Austin:

          South by Southwest kicked off the convention season, and major events are scheduled in the coming months. But Visit Austin said that several groups with future events planned in Austin have voiced concerns about the governor’s directive.

          The organization also said SB 1 and SB 8 — the recently-enacted voting regulations and abortion laws — have also had an impact.

          Visit Austin said at least six organizations that considered Austin instead chose other cities to host their events, citing the legislative issues. Additionally, another business slated to have an event in Austin next year moved its convention to another city because of concerns over the state’s policies.

          These lost leads could cost the city an estimated $50 million in economic impact.

          “As the tourism industry has struggled from COVID, and we’re trying to recover, this kind of legislation doesn’t help us — Dallas, Houston, San Antonio — any of the major cities in Texas recover their tourism industry as quickly as we’d like to,” said Tom Noonan, Visit Austin president and CEO.

          Many organizations ask the city to send their stance on these issues before deciding on whether or not to host their convention in town.

          I’ve been part of conference site selection for various professional organizations to which I belong, and can confirm that asking these kinds of questions is a part of the decisionmaking process. It makes an impact, and can definitely force change.

          • P J Evans says:

            The World SF convention definitely deals with this already. It’s come up in connection with bids from the Middle East and from China, and there are people who won’t come to the US now. (Chicago this year, Chengdu next year, and the leading bid for 2024 is Glasgow.)

  15. Belyn says:

    I don’t see complacency at all. I see strength and competence. I have great faith in the upcoming generations and do all I can to support them.

  16. Charles Wolf says:

    “But none of th(is) … can be addressed without at least 60 seated Democratic Senators.”

    I dream of >67 so a couple of SCOTUS scum blobs can be scraped from the bench.

  17. Lawrunner says:

    Isn’t the most realistic option for achieving the legislative goals Rayne listed in the body of the article to obtain 50 democratic senate votes to remove the filibuster? Finding 50 votes to remove the filibuster would be easier than finding 50 votes for any acts aimed at restructuring SCOTUS.

    • Rayne says:

      Aim for 60. If we get 50 and the House, we’re good. If we only aim for 50 we have no backstop if we lose one or two to illness/death/other.

      Swing for the fucking fences and leave nothing on the table.

  18. Randy Baker says:

    Why are 60 D’s needed? I would think 50 D’s [as opposed to DINO’s such as Manchin] would eliminate the filibuster for anything important.
    I noticed Harris’ lack of popularity is a topic. I don’t know anything about that. However, her record as San Francisco’s DA and as CA AG demonstrate her to have acted with a grotesque disregard for the rights of people on the bottom and people of color.
    Other than her public relations materials, there seems terribly little reason to believe she would act differently were she to obtain executive authority again.

  19. harpie says:

    WHY did SCOTUS release DOBBS yesterday?
    Maybe someone felt threatened by something that was revealed at the 1/23/22 J6 Hearing.
    I’m going back to my work on that post.

    • Rayne says:

      In addition to the possibility this was managed to mute the hearings, it was released yesterday because the end of June isn’t a Friday. This was treated like a massive news dump with the hope a weekend would calm everyone down.

    • Peterr says:

      They released it because it was done. SCOTUS doesn’t “time the news market” with their decisions – they just put them out when the opinion, the concurrences, and the dissents are finalized.

      With an case like this one — over 200 pages of writings — it is obvious that there was plenty of negotiating going on, as well as new barbs included when the negotiating was over. For instance, Roberts clearly wanted a narrower ruling, but once it was obvious that Alito and Co were not going to go there, he had to write his concurrence/dissent to explain why. Similarly, once Thomas circulated his draft concurrence targeting Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell, I suspect the dissenters clearly pushed Loving onto Thomas’ list of past decisions that rest on the same logic as Roe. Once they saw just how far Thomas wants the Court to go, I suspect they added or beefed their language around the opinion that legalized his own marriage, to give an extra bit of umph to their criticisms.

      • bmaz says:

        Alito’s opinion, though, very much tracks the “leaked” draft. And that may well have been the purpose of the “leak”.

        • Peterr says:

          The leak and its timing is a different issue from scheduling the release of the opinion and the concurrence/dissents.

    • harpie says:

      2 from Ron Filipkowski:

      9:58 PM · Jun 24, 2022

      Bots and fake accounts with hardly any followers posing as leftists are making racist and threatening tweets about Clarence Thomas, then getting RTd by the thousands by right wingers with captions like, “See, this is who these people are,” etc. The Right has prepared for this day

      5:10 PM · Jun 24, 2022

      Ted Cruz says Democrats are calling for violence after Roe was overturned: “I think there’s a real risk of violence. We’ve seen multiple Democrats .. encouraging violence.” [Fox News VIDEO]

    • civil says:

      I went to the protest at the Supreme Court building for a while today. No violence. Some anti-abortion folks were there with a loudspeaker, and the larger pro-choice crowd was generally responding with chants of “F- you,” “Booooo,” and “Go home” to drown out what they were saying.

  20. harpie says:

    Adam SERWER:

    The Constitution Is Whatever the Right Wing Says It Is The Supreme Court majority’s undead constitutionalism is transforming right-wing media tropes into law. Adam Serwer JUNE 25, 2022

    […] Conservatives have long attacked the left for supporting a “living constitutionalism,” which they say renders the law arbitrary and meaningless. But the current majority’s approach is itself a kind of undead constitutionalism [italics in original] —one in which the dictates of the Constitution retrospectively shift with whatever Fox News happens to be furious about. Legal outcomes preferred by today’s American right conveniently turn out to be what the Founding Fathers wanted all along. […]

  21. harpie says:

    SOMEone is again posting as Q; Via JJMacNab:

    4:07 AM · Jun 25, 2022

    The Q account on 8kun has posted for the first time in 564 days. [Since 12/8/20] So the questions I’ve gotten so far: is Q back? Is it the same Q? What does this mean? 1/

    11:53 PM · Jun 24, 2022

    For the first time since December 8th 2020, Q from QAnon (or someone with his password) posted at 8:26 p.m. EST tonight.

    “Are you ready to serve your country again? Remember your oath,” the account posted.

    Only thing I will add here is that these posts don’t read the same as previous Q posts. […]

    • harpie says:

      Ron Watkins is running for Congress in Arizona. He is the son of Jim Watkins, who is thought to have been/be Q. [See THREAD 1], tweets 6 and 7, above]

      • MB says:

        Ron Watkins was also thought of as being Q. There was an HBO documentary that came out 2 years ago that showed evidence of that but stopped short of making a direct accusation. But then all went silent from Ron W. and Q right around…1/6.

        Let’s see: Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Russ Bowers (who would vote for Trump again despite 1/6 testimony), Kelli Ward: seems like fertile ground for another nutcase being elected in good ol’ AZ.

  22. harpie says:

    2 from Steve VLADECK:

    9:51 AM · Jun 24, 2022

    Whatever comes out from #SCOTUS today or next week, it’s worth noting that, as opposed to handing the decisions down orally from the bench in front of a public audience, the Court’s handing these down remotely with the public fenced off. In 2020 and 2021, that was COVID. But now? [PHOTO]

    10:17 AM · Jun 24, 2022

    5-1-3: Justice Alito’s majority opinion looks a *lot* like the leaked draft.

    Chief Justice Roberts concurs in the judgment; he wouldn’t overrule Roe and Casey.

    Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan jointly dissent.

    This is an earthquake.

  23. Jose says:

    Just putting a bunch of Democrats in the Senate is no guarantee that we would get good outcomes. We need BETTER Democrats.

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named “Jose” or “Joseph.” This is also your THIRD username to date. Pick a more unique name and stick with it. /~Rayne]

    • Rayne says:

      Then run for office. Get involved at the local and state level and work to recruit and fund better candidates. Right now we have the people who show up and the people who consistently raise money.

      You want better? Then work for it.

    • JackZ says:

      Oh, I’m not so sure how many “better Dems” you need if you have enough of them. FDR’s and LBJ’s congressional supermajorities had their share of hacks, do-nothings, and corrupt semi-criminals, but both Prez’s got a large part of their agendas passed. And note that it would have taken only 2 more Dem Senators to BBB passed last year.

  24. harpie says:

    Sorry, but another RANT:
    12:26 PM · Jun 25, 2022

    AIR FORCE ONE (@CNN) — Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden **does not** agree with calls to expand SCOTUS, or eliminate the filibuster, throwing cold water on steps some liberal Democrats have called for in the wake of Dobbs.


    We could have had HILLARY [twice], but NOOOOOOooooo
    We could have had WARREN, but NOOOOOOoooooo

    / rant

    • GonzoDon says:

      Maybe because adding more SCOTUS judges and bypassing the filibuster could be just as easily weaponized by the right wing as soon as they get the opportunity to do the same?

      I don’t see those strategies as long-term solutions. Rather, they seem like “be careful what you wish for” changes that will undo any remaining, tenuous detente with forces of the far right.

      I see GOTV, serious campaign finance reform, informed citizen activism, a new (renewed) Voting Rights Act, a return of the Fairness Doctrine in media, and overturning Citizens United as essential for long-term change. All will take time, of course, but without them the plutocrats will continue to run the tables. And with the current SCOTUS makeup, that’s one helluva uphill battle with one arm tied behind our backs.

      • Rayne says:

        First, you offer Manchin’s arguments, then you think the SCOTUS will somehow overturn Citizens United.

        So much fail.

          • Rayne says:

            You have 18 approved comments here since March. The number of comments may be low but you’ve spent enough time here to have learned how this community works especially having been cautioned in at least one previous thread.

            Consider a reset and ask yourself exactly what it is you’re doing to stop fascism. Your use of this place as an emotional valve merely harasses people doing the work. I mean, this post literally is about CONSTRUCTIVE ACTION and you’re taking an emotional dump here instead.

            • Mactree says:

              Unless Rayne & Bmaz have indicted people or 1/6 actions then you’re just people commenting on a blog; no different than anyone else; but you definitely spend the time criticizing others mainly for their lack of credentials; but it’s very unclear by example just what you & Bmaz do that’s so different, other than your constant ‘we do the work’ refrains. Oops, I’ve only commented once before, so of course my comments are worthless. I bow before y’alls sainted lives. Are you over 20 ?

              • bmaz says:

                Hi there Walnut. I’ve merely spent a career in criminal law. You, on the other hand, have been here for four comments (under two different names) in which your constant is bitching about me and Rayne. Apparently you have nothing intelligent to say, so buh bye.

              • Rayne says:

                LOL You’ve commented here 5 times under different usernames since 2020. Both bmaz and I are both old enough to be grandparents and are moderators here and can see through your BS.

            • GonzoDon says:

              What part of “get out the vote, serious campaign finance reform, informed citizen activism, a new (renewed) Voting Rights Act, a return of the Fairness Doctrine in media, and overturning Citizens United” is not “constructive action”?

              Just because working toward those measures is not YOUR strategy or bmaz’s strategy shouldn’t automatically make my comments “unwelcome” or (in your words) a “big fail”.

              I’ve not encountered another “progressive” site with such arrogant post-patrollers. Here you have a weird cabal of “insiders” who gang up on anyone who doesn’t toe the party line.

              Good luck with that. But, here’s good news for you: I’m out of here for good. Seriously, it’s no longer worth my while to visit this site. I enjoyed Marcy’s analysis, but the intolerance for any comments that don’t meet some vague, undefined and arbitrary criteria for “constructiveness” is maddening.

              I’ll clearly never be admitted to this exclusive club, for some reason I’ve never fully grasped. Have a great life chatting amongst yourselves. Better ways for me to spend my time … like getting out the vote in November.

              • Rayne says:

                You clearly have no clue how many times contributors and community members have already advocated the same citizen activism — Jesus Christ, dude, this blog’s dozen-plus years is citizen activism — as well as other progressive measures by Democrats in Congress.

                By constructive action I mean people getting off their duffs and doing something, or offering something new the community here isn’t already espousing/doing. So far you’re just words we’ve heard before with the added fillip of demoralization.

                Glad to hear you’re finally catching a clue about action. Consider yourself empowered to do it.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The GOP has proven that it will stop at virtually nothing to pursue unrestricted elite power, via the tools of lies, racism, misogyny, and invoking the terror of its villain-of-the-day.

        The Dems won’t change that. They can only fight back. Your argument would handcuff them before the fight starts.

      • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

        It would almost be like elected legislators would have to legislate, scary thought right?

        The GOP has what they want. Our legislative branches are ossified and they are perfectly comfortable allowing the judiciary to shape the country in their image.

        Let it turn into a contest of exercising the power they are granted. At least they would have to put their names on the decisions, rather than hiding behind the excuse that, “It’s up to the justices to interpret the constitution”.

    • P J Evans says:

      I wasn’t happy with Obama because of his stand on FISA.
      I voted for Hillary. In that primary, and in 2016. She would have been a good president, but too many people were poisoned by the media coverage, which was definitely prejudiced.
      I voted for Warren in the 2020 primary.
      But Biden should wake up and notice that the world isn’t like it was even 6 years ago. The GOP now is completely reactionary and hates democracy, women, minorities, and non-fundies. It isn’t going to give him anything but headaches, and Manchin and Sinema don’t care what Biden (or anyone else left of center) wants.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Self-neutering is painful to watch.

      Per bmaz, it’s why the Dems need new, younger leadership that doesn’t value tradition more than the effective use of power to promote the interests of Main Street Americans.

    • Rayne says:

      We’re going to have to go back to what FDR said: “You’ve convinced me. I agree with what you’ve said. Now go out and make me do it.”

      The right-wing has succeeded in becoming as insanely batshit fascist as it has because it has subscribed to the Overton window until it has gone so far right it’s arrived at the wall of authoritarian fascism.

      The left has had no countermovement in the opposite direction; it needs to do what it did in the 1960s and be more assertive pulling the frame left so that Biden has no choice but to move that direction.

      He already thinks this week’s SCOTUS decisions are wretched; we going to have to make him do something about them.

    • harpie says:

      Oh man…this is embarrassing:
      7:45 PM · Jun 25, 2022

      1. I deleted a couple of tweets cabout this summary of @PressSec’s comments on the filibuster because I now have the transcript and I believe that @ValerioCNN’s viral tweet mischaracterized @PressSec’s remarks. [THREAD]

      I haven’t read the whole thing, yet…but, I’m sorry for posting my rant…
      I should know better.

      • Rayne says:

        No, that’s on the media. Pretty bad when we can’t trust CNN though I did believe that day was coming when we couldn’t under Chris Licht’s leadership.

      • harpie says:

        Ms. Jean-Pierre: […] But the point I’m making is: I hear – – I hear you – -I hear your point about the filibuster. But I think if – – if we’re able to – – if Americans are able to use their voice at the ballot box, bring in more members into Congress that support this issue, then there is movement that we can make. There is a way that we can restore Roe. And that is the most important thing that we can do.

        I don’t see anything there about expanding SCOTUS.

        • bmaz says:

          Biden is unlikely to ever support that. And there are likely a lot of conservadems (Feinstein, Manchi, Sinema and others) that never really would either.

    • Belyn says:

      Whether or not that was accurate, there can be strategic thinking around the timing to take certain positions. IMO, Biden is an astute politician. With a few more votes in the Senate, he might well support both eliminating the filibuster and expanding the court. But he likely won’t go there anytime soon.

  25. cmarlowe says:

    So, what happens if lower federal courts that are so inclined, with respect to appeals brought before them on behalf of defendants with respect to state anti-abortion law enforcement, simply repeatedly ignore Dobbs and cite Roe/Casey. Of course eventually this is a losing strategy for each case, but it might be quite a series of acts of judicial civil disobedience if enough of them do it.

    Obviously IANAL.

    • P J Evans says:

      They could also cite 1A: many religions and no few Christian sects allow abortion, and require it to save the life of the mother. Which too f’ing many, including the SCOTUS majority, are willing to ignore in their zeal to build their reactionary country.

  26. jdmckay says:

    Minor correction: in your chart above, you list Sen. Leahy. AFAIK he has announced his retirement, will not be running. He should not be listed there.

        • bmaz says:

          I mostly agree with that. He was occasionally into old school things like Blue Slips and others, but he was generally pretty darn good. And he and his coms team were always very friendly and accessible, which is a very good thing. Can’t praise them and that last part enough. I think some of them may still read here.

          • jdmckay says:

            I had an office in Barbara Lee’s District for 15 years. She was the same on “coms”. Always. Can’t say enough about her.

            OT: just curious, have you ever dined at The Persian Room?

            • bmaz says:

              Yes, but has been a long time. It was quite good. Adding, it is very far north from here, or would have been more often.

              • jdmckay says:

                Ahhh. Best food I’ve ever had. Owner a close friend from years I lived there in the 80’s. One of finest human beings I’ve ever known.

                Gourment Sabzi, Iranian National dish. Deeeeelicious.

                • bmaz says:

                  Going to try to go back after this discussion because it really was great. It is like 15 miles away, and that is almost a parsec anymore.

                  • jdmckay says:

                    Hahaaa!!! If you try their Sabzi, and like it, and like to cook and do new things in the kitchen, NYT COOKING has a pretty good recipe.

                    • P J Evans says:

                      “In a Persian Kitchen” by Maideh Mazda is a good basic cookbook. (Most ingredients are at any supermarket.)

                • P J Evans says:

                  Gormeh Sabzi – there’s no “n”. Try Khoresh bademjan: eggplant and meat, tomato optional.

    • Rayne says:

      Leahy should be listed same as the others retiring/exiting leaving an open seat. I’ll make that change, however a D+15 seat is unlikely to swing and will probably end up with Peter Welch as Leahy’s successor after the August 9 primary.

  27. skua says:

    **Recipe for de-programming a local cult member relative**
    Firstly catch the attention of a socially isolated local cult member/relative who you’re confident isn’t a violent terrorist.
    Invite them to attend an event that has an enjoyable, conversation-focusing activity with a socially functional group.
    Bowling is an example.
    Repeat to re-intergrate and re-connect the person.
    ( Based on Van Badham interviewed about Q-anon at 46:32 )

  28. Scott says:

    It’s apparent the sclerotic leadership of the Democratic party still has not grasped the true nature of what it is up against. Biden has wasted two years expecting Mitch to transform into Bob Dole. The discipline amongst the GOP to enact their agenda is noteworthy. Good lord even Russell Bowers admitted he would vote for Trump again despite testifying that Trump actively lobbied him to break the law. Alito has confirmed that all the debasements and genuflecting to Trump were worth it because now they have the power to roll back all of the liberal gains of the last 100 years, and they will do so in short order at least as far as the federal legal structure is concerned.

    To an outside observer your country is in the very least a cold civil war at this point with hot spots such as Buffalo rearing up on occasion. What may have just been dodged at Couer d”Alene doesn’t bear thinking. Still it seems now to only be a matter of time before some truly horrific and incendiary event takes place. The level of dehumanizing rhetoric is accelerating in frequency and degree, and is now being adopted on both sides (granted the right is provocative and the left reactive) , history has taught us time and again this does not end well.

    • Rayne says:

      Hey, thanks for another non-domestic amplification of Russian active measures intended to demoralize the opposition to fascism.

      Like we don’t get enough of this from our home team.

      • Scott says:

        Ya I used to hear that type of reply when I posted that Trump would win POTUS, that the real threat wasn’t Trump but the fact that nearly half the country supports him, again when I posted that Trump would not leave peacefully etc etc.

        You’re in denial about the reality of your situation, naturally it’s easier to just paint everyone who points that out as somehow part of Putin’s regime than to grapple with the realities of the looming “troubles”.

        • bmaz says:

          The third name you have posted under here. Is this the final one, “Scott”? Because it is too common, pick a version that can be distinguished by readers here. Also, too, you can shove your smarmy bullshit. I checked your comment history, you are not half the sage you claim to be.

        • Rayne says:

          This you?

          My house is not a threat to world peace and ecological sustainability. You people are the whiners who blab ad nauseum about Trump but are seemingly absolutely unable to do anything about it.

          …and that’s because nearly half of you are just fine with him.

          What about this?

          Americans fully deserving of the shit coming your way

          Look, we don’t have time for your bullshit. You need to focus on the fascism rising in your own backyard, the stuff that elects the Ford brothers, the stuff which fed the truck convoy and the Gilets Jaunes as well the white nationalist murder spree (oh look, Putinists).

          Consider yourself empowered to do just that because you’re not helping us focus on ours.

          • MB says:

            Add to this list (Ford Bros., truck convoy, Gilet Jaunes, etc): Pierre Poilievre. Some say he will be Canada’s “future Trump”

            • Rayne says:

              Canada needs to squash any aspirations Poilievre has RTFN. Learn from the US for gods’ sake. Chances are good there’s dirt to be had on him and it should be found and aired out on the regular.

    • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

      No no no, you don’t get to both-sides violent and fascist rhetoric and actions. It is simply not true that “the left” is approaching within any metric the same vociferous poison the right is spewing. Look at stats for who is committing violence, or even the videos of who is plowing their trucks into protests. Get out of here with that bullshit.

  29. Dragonfly says:

    I keep seeing all the recent developments as of a piece. We are now witnessing the tangible results of a fifty year project to re-establish minority rule in the USA. The revolution that was the sixties and seventies – Civil Right Act, Voting Rights Act, Roe v Wade, and more – expanding and protecting rights is where this started. THAT was an aberration for the Supreme Court which had historically supported minority rule. The replacement of Thurgood Marshall with Clarence Thomas says it all.

    Last week I was formulating words about how TFG was overseeing a very effective long con (and of course he is not done). This week I see this is a fifty year long con in which he is just a bit player.

    My optimistic nature holds that the wild success of this long game to re-establish minority rule will awaken the sleeping dragon of younger generations. The religious right wing has put their cards on the table this year in eye popping ways. No mistaking now what the goals are.

    • Rayne says:

      I don’t know if the right-wing has taken into consideration what 23 years of mass shootings in schools without effective congressional response has done to radicalize youngest millennials/Gen Z and within the next handful of years, Gen Alpha.

      Nor have they considered what internet nativism has done to these younger generations’ awareness of interconnectedness.

      The dragon isn’t sleeping; it just hasn’t had to flex its wings.

      • Badger Robert says:

        I would expect that as the pandemic claimed so many victims among older people and people with compromised health, the all cause death rate in the US would decline. One would think that excess deaths would disappear and there would be less than expected deaths.
        But available internet information shows that has not happened yet.
        These younger generations are going to find their power growing, if they choose to use it.

        • Rayne says:

          We’re going to have to hurry the youth along and help them because all-cause death rate isn’t necessarily going to drop thanks to long COVID and other as-yet undetected damage from COVID.

          This is why China took the Zero COVID route.

          • klynn says:

            From what I gather many Dem youth are being guided by a certain Twitch streamer who advocates for a Dem Socialists party. It appears the effort will split the Dems.

      • Dragonfly says:

        Agreed Rayne, not sleeping at all if my niece and nephew who just turned 18 are any indication! They are way ahead of where I was in 1977. (I just got caught up in my rhetorical flourish.)

        And thanks again for this space to consider these topics. I just subscribed to express my appreciation. Keep up the good work….

        • Rayne says:

          My heart breaks for your nieblings. They’ve faced the real threat of mass shootings at school their entire lives. They will surely do better than we have.

          • bmaz says:

            They have the power. Are they going to fully engage though? This is part of why I keep fixating on getting younger leadership and candidates in the Dems. That alone is not enough, but it would be a fine start.

            Somewhere in this thread, I think, it was said that Obama could not maintain Dean’s 50 state strategy once in the WH because Hatch Act. That may be true, but he killed it as to any other application in a craven consolidation of power. Somewhere there is an old David Dayen article about how it was malignantly done.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Hard to see how the Hatch Act would have precluded the Democratic Party itself from pursuing a 50-state strategy.

              What does seem clear is that, like the hiring of Rahm Emanuel as CoS, the Obama administration abandoned its progressive wing – before it entered the White House – in order to govern from what the establishment considered a safe center, which inherently meant fewer challenges to the establishment.

              • bmaz says:

                No, it could not have. But Obama consolidated it and killed it. And Rahm was likely part of it, though do not know that for sure.

  30. harpie says:

    Olivia Rodrigo Sings ‘Fuck You’ to Supreme Court Justices at Glastonbury
    Lily Allen joins singer onstage to perform 2009 single following Roe v. Wade repeal:
    “Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh. We hate you!” Daniel Kreps JUNE 25, 2022 5:06PM


    […] Billie Eilish also addressed the repeal before performing “Your Power” during her headlining set Friday at Glastonbury.

    “The song we’re about to do is, I think, one of the favorites that we’ve written and it’s about the concept of power and how we need to always remember how not to abuse it,” she said. “And today is a really, really dark day for women in the US. I’m just going to say that as I cannot bear to think about it any longer in this moment.”

  31. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Stare decisis is the Latin phrase for a foundation stone of the rule of law: that things decided should stay decided unless there is a very good reason for change. It is a doctrine of judicial modesty and humility.

    As the dissent notes, there was no modesty or humility in the majority’s decision in Dobbs. It derisively labels the rights that it strips away – and the consequences of their removal it imposes – as “intangible” and virtually unknowable. Its blindness is willful. It knows the opposite is true. It and is patrons and predecessors have worked for 50 years to take away those rights and impose those consequences on American women. Samuel Alito has personally sought this end for his entire career.

    “[T]he majority can point to neither legal nor factual developments in support of its decision. Nothing that has happened in this country or the world in recent decades undermines the core insight of Roe and Casey. It continues to be true that, within the constraints those decisions established, a woman, not the government, should choose whether she will bear the burdens of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting….In sum, none of the [28] cases the majority cites [in support of its decision] is analogous to today’s decision to overrule 50- and 30-year-old water-shed constitutional precedents that remain unweakened by any changes of law or fact.

    Overruling Dobbs would not be an attack on stare decisis. It would be correcting for “a very good reason” a badly errant decision and restoring a “fundamental constitutional protection.”

  32. Obansgirl says:

    Perhaps a kind of youth democracy corps like a conservation corps or peace corps could be organized? I’m desperate of course but we have to pull out of this. Democracy for America like teach for amerca? God knows some billionaire could fund it.

    • Rayne says:

      We’ve had Democracy for America which did organizing training and still endorses progressive candidates. I don’t know what’s going on with that organization that it hasn’t been making as many waves lately. Somebody in their communications team also needs a slap for allowing “Dems in Disarray” to echo on their website.

  33. jdmckay says:

    All of the reading I did this weekend, especially legal wrt what some states doing or contemplating to protect abortion services, lead me to what seems a likely outcome that abortion supporting States will choose do defy SCOTUS. This could get really crazy, really fast.

    When confidence and respect is eviscerated for an institution as fundamental as SCOTUS, and if this trend of non-nonsensical decisions continues this session, plotting a course without the “guidance” of SCOTUS almost seems like a no brainer.

    Let the good times roll!!!

  34. harpie says:
    10:02 AM · Jun 27, 2022

    first, but not last, #SCOTUS opinion is Kennedy v. Bremerton schools –> Justice Gorsuch writes for 6 that school can’t discipline a coach for engaging in public prayer at public school football game. #SCOTUS says it has “abandoned” the Lemon test???

    is this what the Court says to excuse itself from having to perform a stare decisis analysis about whether to overrule a case? we’re “abandoning” it but not overruling it?
    Justice Sotomayor dissents for 3 Democratic appointees[Link][THREAD]
    10:20 AM · Jun 27, 2022

    As Leah notes, the conservative majority in Kennedy overrules #SCOTUS’s major prior Establishment Clause precedent in Lemon, but tries to pretend that the Court had *already* overruled it in prior cases (spoiler alert: it hadn’t). This is sketchy *even if* you think it’s correct.

    And speaking of sketchy, the way the majority portrays the actual facts in this case (to try to downplay the coercion issue) is so problematic that Justice Sotomayor has to include pictures in her dissent to show readers what *really* happened here: [screenshot]

    …(to try to downplay the coercion issue)…

    • Rayne says:

      The graphic Sotomayor used in her dissent is everything.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        It would take a brave player to refuse to bend a knee and mouth along with the coach’s prayer, one insensitive to the usual teenager’s angst about belonging, the sort of thing coaches routinely manipulate. It would also take a talented one to avoid being benched and losing the opportunity to turn athletic prowess into popularity, belonging, college tuition, or enhanced job prospects.

        As usual with this radical Court majority (and radical social and cultural minority), it ignores facts that get in the way of its predetermined conclusions. Or, here, as you point out, it straight up lies.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Other pictures of that on-field prayer meeting show a line of coaches and assistants, not just the head coach and players. I guess nobody – player, coach, assistant – needed to make a phone call, book a restaurant table, or check their e-mail.

          The line-up of coaches makes the institutional framing and potential for coercion more powerful – and the majority’s description more fraudulent.

  35. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Constitution requires that government neither favor nor discriminate against religion, sometimes a hard line to draw in a complex society. This radical majority simplifies the process by unconstitutionally elevating and preferring religious observance, in line with how it prefers the interests of government and corporations over private individuals, and white men over everyone else.

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