Sunday, November 18, 2018

2018 election update for Nov. 18. Hobbs declared SoS winner.

Updated voting numbers

My reporting started with 0630, Saturday, Nov 10. Here are new results as of 6:00 AM, Sunday, Nov 18.

Numbers flagged with “+” favor Democrats. Numbers flagged with “-” favor Republicans.

I’m carrying forward previous results so you can track trends. For example, yesterday Sinema was beating McSally by 49,318 votes. This morning it stands at 53,676.

Observations

Of note: As of last night (this morning), Katie Hobbs kept her lead for SoS with a 18,373 vote advantage; her previous high - yesterday - was 15,025! Hobbs is the winner.

See this post at Blog for Arizona by AZBlueMeanie: Katie Hobbs elected Secretary of State. Gaynor conceded.

Also of note: In the AZ LD28 Senate race Kate Brophy McGee led her Democratic challenger, Christine Porter Marsh, by only 284; but that was yesterday. Brophy McGee now widened the lead to 347. I had hoped, given enough time and enough ballots, Marsh might take this one. Marsh is Arizona’s 2016 Teacher of the year. It’s not looking good. But, as AZBlueMeanie notes, there are still 60K ballots to count in Maricopa and 7K in Pima.

For the two seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission, Sandra Kennedy (D) leads the next highest vote getter, Justin Olson (R), by 21,469, Both Kennedy and Olson beat Rodney Glassman who withdrew.

The good news
US Senate, Sinema vs. McSally: +20,102 +29,832 +32,169 + 38,197 +38,075 +39,505 +46,783 +49,318 +53,676
US House, Kirkpatrick vs. Marquez-Peterson, +19,584 +22,563 +22,563 +24,768 +24,718 +24,718 +27072 +27,072 +27,917
AZ SoS, Hobbs vs. Gaynor, –10,696 –2,008 –424 +5,667 +4,957 +5,916 +13,171 +15,025 +18,373
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. Olson n/a +4,642 +5,575 +10,473 +10,126 +10,960 +16,642 +18,458 + 21,469
AZ Sup/Public Instruction, Hoffman +31,809 +43,563 + 46,721 +54,057 +53,780 +55,102 +62,638 +65,171, +69,558
AZ LD2 numbers are either not changing or increasing for Dems so I’m calling it.
AZ LD2 Senate, Dalessandro over Kais.
AZ LD2 House, Gabaldon and Hernandez beat Ackerley and Sizer.

Some of the not-so-good news
CD8, voucher queen Lesko leads Tipirneni, –29,455 –30,219 –37,518 –30,887 –31,374 +31,806 –32,279 –32,540, –33,071
LD28 Senate, Kate Brophy McGee leads but not by much –616 –617 –643 –549 –536 –472 –380 –284 –347

Saturday, November 17, 2018

2018 election update for Nov. 17 - Hobbs wins SoS race

Updated voting numbers

My reporting started with 0630, Saturday, Nov 10. Here are new results as of 7:00 AM, Saturday, Nov 17.

Numbers flagged with “+” favor Democrats. Numbers flagged with “-” favor Republicans.

I’m carrying forward previous results so you can track trends. For example, yesterday Sinema was beating McSally by 46,783 votes. his morning it stands at 49,318

Observations

Of note: As of last night (this morning), Katie Hobbs kept her lead for SoS with a 15,025 vote advantage; her previous high - yesterday - was 13,171! Hobbs is the winner. Gov. Ducey called this one. More on that below.

Also of note: In the AZ LD28 Senate race Kate Brophy McGee now leads her Democratic challenger, Christine Porter Marsh, by only 284. Given enough time and enough ballots, Marsh might take this one. Marsh is Arizona’s 2016 Teacher of the year.

The good news
US Senate, Sinema vs. McSally: +20,102 +29,832 +32,169 + 38,197 +38,075 +39,505 +46,783 +46,783
US House, Kirkpatrick vs. Marquez-Peterson, +19,584 +22,563 +22,563 +24,768 +24,718 +24,718 +27072 +27,072
AZ SoS, Hobbs vs. Gaynor, –10,696 –2,008 –424 +5,667 +4,957 +5,916 +13,171 +15,025
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. Glassman, +1,602 +8,517 +9,747 +14,782 +14,461 +15,360 +21,023 +22,970
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. vs. Olson n/a +4,642 +5,575 +10,473 +10,126 +10,960 +16,642 +18,458
AZ Sup/Public Instruction, Hoffman +31,809 +43,563 + 46,721 +54,057 +53,780 +55,102 +62,638 +65,171
AZ LD2 numbers are not changing so I’m calling it.
AZ LD2 Senate, Dalessandro over Kais.
AZ LD2 House, Gabaldon and Hernandez beat Ackerley and Sizer.

Some of the not-so-good news
CD8, voucher queen Lesko leads Tipirneni, –29,455 –30,219 –37,518 –30,887 –31,374 +31,806 –32,279 –32,540
LD28 Senate, Kate Brophy McGee leads but not by much –616 –617 –643 –549 –536 +472 +380 +284
LD11, Holly Lyon is still way behind, trailing each of the R candidates by about 10K.

Post-election blues

Ducey calls the secretary of state race for Democrat Katie Hobbs.

Steve Gaynor hasn’t formally conceded in the secretary of state’s race, but Gov. Doug Ducey said Friday he has congratulated Democrat Katie Hobbs for winning.

Ducey said he concluded there is no way Gaynor, a fellow Republican, can overtake Hobbs in the vote count.

“I said, ‘Congratulations, a race well run, and I’m looking forward to working with you, I think we can work well together,’” Ducey said.

His decision to effectively call the race for Hobbs came even before the latest vote tally was released Friday night.

It showed her increasing her lead over Gaynor since Thursday by close to 2,000 votes. She now leads the race by more than 15,000 votes out of nearly 2.3 million ballots already counted.

There are about 67,000 ballots left to be counted.

That includes 60,000 from Maricopa County, where Hobbs is slightly outpolling Gaynor. The balance are from Pima County, which has provided three votes for Hobbs for every two for Gaynor.

Of course, Arizona GOP launches ‘audit’ of election practices by Maricopa County recorder. There is nothing independent about this, and it’s only an “audit” to those who are smoking something weird.

Alleging voting “irregularities,” the state Republican Party is launching its own “independent audit” of practices by Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes — aided by a law firm that represents the party.

In a news release Friday, party Chairman Jonathan Lines said the investigation will focus on “allegations of fraud in the election.”

Lines provided no examples, however. In fact, he said the plan is to have attorney Stephen Richer, chosen by the party as the auditor, set up a website for people to submit information.

The GOP inquiry also will go into the decision by Fontes, a Democrat, to open “emergency voting centers” on the Saturday and Monday before the Nov. 6 election. Lines has questioned the legality of such centers, even though they have been operated before by Republican recorders and are used in multiple counties.

You gotta wonder how many lines this Lines guy has been sniffing. Even Ducey wants no part of this.

Ducey sought to distance himself Friday from Lines’ allegations and audit. “The election’s over, the people have spoken,” he said.

As to the election process, he said it can be good to examine it regularly. “I always want, and I’ve said many times before, that we can improve, we can reform,” the governor said. “We want it to be easy to vote and we want it to be hard to cheat.”

But Ducey threw cold water on the idea of having that driven by a party-led probe.

“Those are issues that can be handled in a legislative session or after the calendar turns,” he said.

'Decorum at the White House' - LOL

From the NY Times Friday evening briefing:

A federal judge on Friday ordered the White House to restore credentials to Jim Acosta, who was barred last week after a testy exchange with President Trump at a news conference.

The ruling was narrow, the judge said. “I have not determined that the First Amendment was violated here,” he said. But that and other legal issues could be addressed in court at a later date.

The White House press secretary said the administration would temporarily reinstate Mr. Acosta, above, and would “develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly news conferences.”

“There must be decorum at the White House,” she wrote.

LOL? Oh, hell no. Let’s call this one ROFL.

For more, see CNN’s Jim Acosta Returns to the White House After Judge’s Ruling.

Friday, November 16, 2018

2018 election update for Nov. 16

Updated voting numbers

My reporting started with 0630, Saturday, Nov 10. Here are new results as of 5:30 AM, Friday, Nov 16.

Numbers flagged with “+” favor Democrats. Numbers flagged with “-” favor Republicans.

I’m carrying forward previous results so you can track trends. For example, yesterday Sinema was beating McSally by 39,505 votes. his morning it stands at 46,783.

Observations
The numbers I report here may be close to the final results. Or maybe not. As of last night (this morning), Sinema widened her lead yet more to 46,783 votes – the largest difference of that race.

Of note: As of last night (this morning), Katie Hobbs kept her lead for SoS with a 13,171 vote advantage; her previous high was 5,916! I was ready yesterday to call this one but the analysis of remaining ballots suggested caution. Caution, schmaution. It sure looks like Hobbs got it.

Also of note: In the AZ LD28 Senate race Kate Brophy McGee now leads her Democratic challenger, Christine Porter Marsh, by only 380. Given enough time and enough ballots, Marsh might take this one. Marsh is Arizona’s 2016 Teacher of the year.

From Steve Farley at 930pm 11/15 (Thursday) Update: (h/t Myra Christeck)

Total remaining ballots to be counted in the state are 85,000 in Maricopa, 7,000 in Pima, and 265 in Yuma. The only remaining race that can change is LD28 Senate, so all eyes will be there in the coming days.

Meanwhile, it looks like Democrat Katie Hobbs is going to be our Next Secretary of State – she now has a 13,171-vote lead with 92K ballots left to count, all from counties that have favored her. Congrats, Katie! I am so happy for you and Kyrsten and Kathy and Sandra and us all!

The good news
US Senate, Sinema vs. McSally: +20,102 +29,832 +32,169 + 38,197 +38,075 +39,505 +46,783
US House, Kirkpatrick vs. Marquez-Peterson, +19,584 +22,563 +22,563 +24,768 +24,718 +24,718 +27072
AZ SoS, Hobbs vs. Gaynor, –10,696 –2,008 –424 +5,667 +4,957 +5,916 +13,171
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. Glassman, +1,602 +8,517 +9,747 +14,782 +14,461 +15,360 +21,023
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. vs. Olson n/a +4,642 +5,575 +10,473 +10,126 +10,960 +16,642
AZ Sup/Public Instruction, Hoffman +31,809 +43,563 + 46,721 +54,057 +53,780 +55,102 +62,638
AZ LD2 Senate, Dalessandro +9,494 +10,349 +10,349 +10,913 +10,913 +10,913 +11,843
AZ LD2 House, Gabaldon beats Ackerley +6,930 +7,532 +7,532 +7,879 +7,879 +7,879 +8,488
AZ LD2 Hernandez beats Sizer +7,114 +7,813 +7,813 +8,255 +8,255 +8,255 +8,985

Some of the not-so-good news
CD8, voucher queen Lesko leads Tipirneni, –29,455 –30,219 –37,518 –30,887 –31,374 +31,806 –32,279
LD28 Senate, Kate Brophy McGee leads but not by much –616 –617 –643 –549 –536 +472 +380
LD11, Holly Lyon is still way behind, trailing each of the R candidates by about 10K.

'Democrats are invigorated.' GOP does nothing but claim, without grounds, 'Democrats are stealing this erection.'

Those quotes (without the misspelling), are from the Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) review of the election, Election Day starts weeks of political theater in AZ.

Arizona’s 2018 election cycle didn’t end on Election Day.

Republican leads in close races on November 6 vanished as county recorders counted ballots in the days after, and Republicans turned to attacking Arizona’s electoral process, making unfounded claims of vote rigging.

Anybody who thought talk of the elections would simmer down after the polls closed on November 6 was quickly proven wrong as Democratic victories in federal, statewide and legislative races became apparent, shaking up an already contentious election cycle.

As Democrats turned the tide, enough to take the lead in key statewide and legislative races, along came calls of voter fraud and election-snafus from some Arizona Republicans and national GOP figures. Kory Langhofer, an attorney for the state Republican Party, said at a press conference November 9 that “the Democrats are stealing this election, and we’re not going to allow it.”

So what can the GOPlins do? Practice some psychological projection, I guess.

On November 15, state GOP Chairman Jonathan Lines announced he hired a local attorney to conduct an “audit” of the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, though the announcement doesn’t mention the fact that there’s nothing requiring the Recorder’s Office to comply. Republican Party officials will also launch a website to field complaints about the voting process as part of their outside investigation.

And then, of course, the sore-loser-in-chief does his best to further divide the nation.

President Donald Trump added to local claims of impropriety shaping Arizona’s elections, though he, too, did not provide any evidence of wrongdoing.

“Just out–in Arizona, SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH,” he tweeted on the same day Langhofer made his claims. “Electoral corruption–Call for a new Election? We must protect our Democracy!”

He made similar unfounded accusations against election officials in Florida, tweeting on November 10, “Trying to STEAL two big elections in Florida! We are watching closely!”

There is some irony in Trump’s displeasure with the outcome of Arizona’s elections, in particular the U.S. Senate race.

Sen. Jeff Flake opened the door to that contest when he opted not to run for re-election. The president celebrated the decision, mocking Flake with whom he often clashed. Trump tweeted on the day Flake announced his decision that he had “zero chance of being elected” anyway, and has continued denigrating him on social media as weak and unelectable.

But Trump may now get more out of his public feud with Flake than he ever bargained for.

The president’s preferred successor for Flake’s seat, Republican Martha McSally, lost the election to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. And while Sinema has said she’s willing to buck her party and work with Republicans, she’s not likely to win over Trump any more than Flake did.

My hunch is that Sinema will do that until she gets treated to Trumpian dishonesty just like what Trump did to renege on an immigration deal with Pelosi and Schumer.

The early returns were disappointing to Dems and the Associated Press prematurely called some of the races. They had to back off as more and more ballots came in (and are still coming in) favoring the Dem candidates.

It might be useful to figure out what will be in the Republican play book for the 2020 election. How about the increased deficit? How about stagnant wages? How about tax breaks promised but not delivered? How about repeated attempts to take away your health insurance? How about ripping kids from their moms? How about rampant corruption in Trump’s cabinet? And how about his thousands and thousands of lies - about everything? That’s the short list I freely offer to the GOPlins.

IMO, better policies, better messaging, and harder work won the day for Dems.

Arizona Democratic Party Chairwoman Felecia Rotellini called this election the tipping point for Democrats.

This election was a culmination of an unprecedented Democratic field program – 4,000 volunteers knocked on 1 million doors – the excitement of possibly electing a Democratic senator and a wealth of unique Democratic candidates up and down the ballot, she said.

“We saw early on that everything, the polling, the fact that Hillary [Clinton] only lost by 4 percent in 2016, all eyes were on Arizona with respect to really elect Democrats up and down the ballot,” Rotellini said.

With Arizona U.S. Senate contests looming in 2020, 2022 and 2024, Democrats are invigorated.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Breathtaking Hipocrisy

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

There are many things to be upset about in today’s world, especially in the political arena. What probably gets my blood boiling quickest though, is the unadulterated hypocrisy I see coming from the Right.

According to the Arizona Capitol Times, AZ House Speaker Mesnard recently criticized Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes for his opening of certain Emergency Early Voting Centers during the General Election. He accused Fontes of selectively choosing where to open these centers and said, “those type of ‘shenanigans’ foster doubt in the public about the integrity of our election system.” Mesnard added that “And I cannot think of a more dangerous reality than people questioning the integrity of an election system.”

Okay, maybe he really does believe this. It is of course, something that any patriotic American should be worried about. Even if he does believe it though, his party and foremost, its leader (President Trump), has been stoking this “dangerous reality” ad-nauseam. And, the Arizona Republican Party recently jumped on his bandwagon with unfounded claims of deliberate election fraud by the Democrats.

At the same time, GOP Congressman Andy Biggs published an op-ed in the Daily Caller titled, “Democrats have a Civility Problem to Fix.” How about this Andy, you guys go first. I mean REALLY, the audacity! I find it beyond the pale that Biggs is lecturing Democrats about civil discourse. After all, his party’s fearless leader has been a master at fomenting hatred and polarization. In 2017, Trump’s first year in office, the FBI reports hate crimes alone were up by 17%.

In his piece, Biggs criticizes Congresswoman Maxine Waters for “incit[ing] criminal conduct by promoting harassment and intimidation of Republicans, conservatives, and Trump supporters. Okay, there may be some truth to his criticism, but she only responded to President Trump calling her “crazy”, “one of the most corrupt people in politics” and of being a “low IQ individual…somewhere in the mid–60s.” No, his attacks do not excuse her of any bad behavior, but let’s not act like she drew first blood. And oh by the way, what she actually said, was “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd” she followed later on MSNBC with a prediction that people are “going to protest, they are going to absolutely harass” Trump staffers. None of that sounds like “destruction in American politics. Especially not, in comparison to the incendiary comments and Tweets routinely coming out of the Oval Office. How’s about Biggs and his Congressional colleagues do their job as a co-equal branch of our government and act as a check on the worst impulses of this Commander-in-Chief?

Congressman Biggs goes on to write that, “I suspect we will continue to see masked domestic terrorists commit crimes against conservatives and reprehensible conduct toward conservatives.” I assume he is referring to the Antifa protestors who wore scarves on their faces, but I can’t recall any actual terrorism they perpetrated. I do however, remember James Alex Fields, the white nationalist who ran down Heather Heyer, at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Heather was one of the counter-protestors carrying signs promoting equality and protesting against racial discrimination, hardly the stuff of domestic terrorists. I also remember Cesar Sayoc, an early and impassioned Trump supporter, who mailed pipe bombs to numerous prominent Democrats and news organizations who had been critical of President Trump (their constitutional right as American citizens). And, I remember Robert Bowers, the white nationalist who killed 11 worshippers in a Jewish synagogue. Bowers is an anti-Semite who wrote on his social media page about his stark opposition to immigrants, especially the migrant caravan President Trump has been scaring everyone with (and now post-election, has gone silent about). Are these maybe the incidents of domestic terrorism Biggs is referring to?

I do agree with Biggs’ statement that there are “destructive ironies in American politics today, and they must be corrected before the foundations of our Republic collapse.” But, I suspect the ironies I see aren’t the same ones to which he refers. Rather, that people (especially those in Congress who have responsibility to care for our Nation and all its people), would march lock-step with this nationalistic (by his own claim) President and at the same time, pretend to hold the high ground. No side is totally blameless for the mess we currently find ourselves in. But, I think we have a better chance of finding our way out of it if each side just focuses on cleaning up their own piece of it before they resort to slinging mud across the aisle. What was that proverb about those living in glass houses?

2018 election update for Nov. 15 and a look at what lies ahead for the SoS race

Updated voting numbers

My reporting started with 0630, Saturday, Nov 10. Here are new results as of 6:30 AM, Thursday, Nov 15.

Numbers flagged with “+” favor Democrats. Numbers flagged with “-” favor Republicans.

I’m carrying forward previous results so you can track trends. For example, yesterday Sinema was beating McSally by 38,075 votes. The lead appears to have stabilized over the last three days; this morning it stands at 39,505 votes.

Observations
The numbers I report here may be close to the final results. Of note: As of last night (this morning), Katie Hobbs kept her lead for SoS with a 5,916 vote advantage! That lead has stabilized around five to six thousand during the last three days so I am thinking that Hobbs will be the second winner of a state-wide race, Hoffman being the other.

The good news
US Senate, Sinema vs. McSally: +20,102 +29,832 +32,169 + 38,197 +38,075 +39,505
US House, Kirkpatrick vs. Marquez-Peterson, +19,584 +22,563 +22,563 +24,768 +24,718 +24,718
AZ SoS, Hobbs vs. Gaynor, –10,696 –2,008 –424 +5,667 +4,957 +5,916
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. Glassman, +1,602 +8,517 +9,747 +14,782 +14,461 +15,360
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. vs. Olson n/a +4,642 +5,575 +10,473 +10,126 +10,960
AZ Sup/Public Instruction, Hoffman +31,809 +43,563 + 46,721 +54,057 +53,780 +55,102
AZ LD2 Senate, Dalessandro +9,494 +10,349 +10,349 +10,913 +10,913 +10,913
AZ LD2 House, Gabaldon beats Ackerley +6,930 +7,532 +7,532 +7,879 +7,879 +7,879
AZ LD2 Hernandez beats Sizer +7,114 +7,813 +7,813 +8,255 +8,255 +8,255

Note: Gabaldon and Hernandez have about the same number of votes. The pairing with Republican opponents was arbitrary; the difference in what I report above results from Ackerley getting more votes than Sizer.

Some of the not-so-good news
CD8, voucher queen Lesko leads Tipirneni, –29,455 –30,219 –37,518 –30,887 –31,374 +31,806
LD28 Senate, Kate Brophy McGee leads but not by much –616 –617 –643 –549 –536 +472
LD11, Holly Lyon is still way behind, trailing each of the R candidates by about 10K.

When will it all be over?

It seems to be a done deal for the Corporation Commission. Howard Fischer at the Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports:

Republican Justin Olson will be taking the second open spot on the Arizona Corporation Commission.

New vote tallies Wednesday evening put Olson 4,422 votes ahead of fellow Republican Rodney Glassman. And while there are more than 100,000 votes yet to be counted, Glassman told Capitol Media Services he had no reason to believe he could make up the difference.

“On election night I was 4,000 votes behind Justin,” he said.

“Ten days later I’m still about 4,000 votes behind,” Glassman continued. “I have no reason to believe that there’s going to be any substantial changes.”

Glassman’s concession formally means that the commission, now an all-Republican affair, will have one Democrat. Sandra Kennedy, who had served on the commission between 2009 and 2012, was outpolling both of the Republicans.

Hobbs is leading Gaynor for the Secretary of State office and her numbers are pretty stable. However, the lead is small and there are lots of ballots still out there. Fischer continues:

In other results Wednesday, Democrat Katie Hobbs is making headway in her bid to be the next secretary of state, with her lead over Republican Steve Gaynor up by more than 1,000 from a day earlier. It now stands at 6,115 votes.

Hobbs is being propelled in part by the fact that voters in Maricopa County, where Republicans hold a voter-registration edge, were choosing her over the GOP nominee. As of Wednesday, Hobbs had a lead of more than 13,000 votes out of more than 1.3 million already counted in the state’s largest county.

She also picked up steam with another batch of votes from Coconino County where she is outpolling Gaynor by a margin of 2–1.

Gaynor has done better elsewhere.

Mohave County finished its vote counting on Wednesday, with 51,900 votes for Gaynor against just 18,774 for Hobbs.

In Navajo County, the final tally was closer, with Gaynor picking up 19,040 of the 35,970 votes cast there for that office.

But it’s not the votes that are already known that is keeping the ultimate outcome of the race in the air.

There also are about 19,400 ballots yet to be counted in Pima County. But election officials there have said they don’t intend to update their count until sometime Saturday.

Hobbs, currently a state senator from Phoenix, has been picking up close to three votes in that county for every two for Phoenix businessman Gaynor. But even assuming the remaining votes come in at the same rate — meaning perhaps 11,400 for Hobbs versus 8,000 for Gaynor — the ultimate outcome of the race rests with Maricopa County where Recorder Adrian Fontes said his office still has another 104,000 ballots to process.

To this point, the trend of early ballots now being counted from this county has broken in Hobbs favor, albeit just slightly. The latest tally has Hobbs picking up 50.5 percent of the votes tallied.

But at the processing rate of 20,000 a day, it could be days until either candidate has a sufficient margin to claim victory.

If Hobbs takes the office it will be the first time a Democrat has been in that position since Dick Mahoney, elected in 1990, left office four years later.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

In Trump's tax cuts Republican mythology meets harsh realities

Judd Legum alerts us to The harsh reality of Trump’s tax cuts at popular.info.

After Trump’s corporate tax cuts became law in December 2017, the administration rolled out dozens of press releases from major corporations touting benefits for workers. The cuts, the American people were told, would spur a hiring boom.

New data shows that, while job growth has been steady, it’s not due to the large companies that benefited most from slashing corporate tax rates. The largest 1,000 public companies have reduced their payrolls.

Just Capital research finds that, since the tax cuts were passed, the 1,000 largest public companies have actually reduced employment, on balance. They have announced the elimination of nearly 140,000 jobs — which is almost double the 73,000 jobs they say they have created in that time.

That was the short version. The NY Times reports in a longer version. Trump’s Tax Cut Was Supposed to Change Corporate Behavior. Here’s What Happened. Nearly a year after the tax cut, economic growth has accelerated. Wage growth has not. Companies are buying back stock and business investment is a mixed bag.

The investment bump

Proponents of the tax overhaul said it would supercharge the recent lackluster pace of business spending on long-term investments like buildings, factories, equipment and technology.

Such spending is crucial to keeping economic growth strong. And strong growth is central to Republican claims that the tax cuts would ultimately pay for themselves.

Capital spending did pick up steam earlier this year. For companies in the S&P 500, capital expenditures rose roughly 20 percent in the first half of 2018. Much of that was concentrated: The spending of just five companies — Google’s parent, Alphabet, and Facebook, Intel, Exxon Mobil and Goldman Sachs — accounted for roughly a third of the entire rise. Much of that spending went toward technology, including increased investment in data centers and computing, server and networking capacity.

However:

… that pace fizzled during the third quarter. Recently data showed third-quarter business investment rose at an annual pace of 0.8 percent. …

The results of a survey published in late October by the National Association for Business Economics showed that 81 percent of the 116 companies surveyed said they had not changed plans for investment or hiring because of the tax bill.

The Buyback Binge

Cheerleaders for the tax cut argued that the heart of the law — cutting and restructuring taxes for corporations — would give the economy a positive bump, giving companies incentives to invest more, hire more workers and pay higher wages.

Sure enough, a lot of cash businesses held overseas was repatriated to the U. S.

However

About half of it went to stock buybacks.

The flow of repatriated corporate cash is just one tributary in what has become a flood of payouts to shareholders, both as buybacks and dividends. Such payouts are expected to hit almost $1.3 trillion this year, up 28 percent from 2017, according to estimates from Goldman Sachs analysts.

“Skeptics said that the money companies saved through tax cuts would merely increase corporate profits, rather than trickling down to workers.” They were right.

Bonus Announcements

Shortly after the tax law passed, hundreds of companies — from large multinationals to small manufacturers — announced that they would be using some of their windfall from the law to give one-time bonuses to employees. Others said they would raise minimum wages across the company, or expand worker benefits.

However

Data from large public companies, however, suggest that most workers received relatively small shares of their employers’ corporate tax savings.

The nonprofit research group Just Capital, which is tracking 1,000 large public companies’ reports of how they are spending their tax cuts, calculates that the typical worker at one of those large companies has received about $225 this year in increased salary, a one-time bonus, or both, attributable to the new law.

For those who detest math, I’ll put it this way: your “typical worker” got a bump of $4.33 per week. Don’t count on that family visiting Starbuck’s any time soon.

The Wage Story … however:

Nearly a year after the cuts were signed into law, wage growth has yet to pick up when accounting for inflation. In September, the Labor Department reported that inflation-adjusted wages had risen 0.5 percent from the year before. That’s a slower rate of growth than the economy itself experienced in September 2017, when it was 0.6 percent.

Jobs promised … however:

Remember the opening quotes from popular.info? “… the 1,000 largest public companies have actually reduced employment, on balance. They have announced the elimination of nearly 140,000 jobs — which is almost double the 73,000 jobs they say they have created in that time.”

And then there is the deficit

That is to say: how are all these things that are not happening - other than for the corporate tax breaks - being paid for? You know the answer: with an ocean of public debt.

Supporters of the tax cuts repeatedly claimed the bill would increase economic growth enough to offset the decline in tax receipts. “I’m totally convinced this is a revenue-neutral bill,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, when a preliminary version of the bill was approved in the Senate in December 2017.

However

Despite a remarkably strong economy, the fiscal health of the United States is deteriorating fast, as revenues have declined sharply. The federal budget deficit — the gap between what the government collects in revenues and what it spends — rose to $779 billion in the 2018 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. That was a 17 percent increase from the prior year.

It’s highly unusual for deficits and borrowing needs to grow this much during periods of prosperity. A broad variety of analysts attribute the widening deficit to the tax cuts (along with increased military and other domestic spending ushered in through a bill Mr. Trump signed earlier this year).

The Times displayed the deficit trends in a revealing graph. Our yearly deficit maxed out in 2008 when deficit spending was used as a tool to stimulate the economic recovery from the great recession. Ever since, the deficit has declined. But that trend has reversed under Trump.

Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog) has more: New deficit figures mark a fitting end to the Tea Party era.

In 2010, Republicans rode a wave into a House majority, fueled by Tea Party activism and a focus on “fiscal responsibility.” GOP officials and candidates said at the time that they were deeply concerned about the deficit “crisis,” which would impose crippling burdens on future generations.

Eight years later, in their month before the midterm elections that would push them into minority status, House Republicans saw the deficit reach $100 billion, fueled in part by tax breaks they didn’t even try to pay for.

The “movement,” such as it was, failed.

Postscript: Every time we discuss the deficit, I feel compelled to point out again that I’m not a deficit hawk, and I firmly believe that larger deficits, under some circumstances, are absolutely worthwhile and necessary.

These are not, however, those circumstances. When the economy is in trouble, it makes sense for the United States to borrow more, invest more, cushion the blow, and help strengthen the economy.

The Trump White House and the Republican-led Congress, however, decided to approve massive tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations when the economy was already healthy – not because they were addressing a policy need, but because they were fulfilling an ideological goal.

And now that the deficit is spiraling, those same Republicans have decided that what the nation really needs is more tax breaks – none of which will be paid for – and cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

2018 election update for Nov 14 with commentary on AZ's new purpleness, McSally's loss, and Sinema's win

Updated voting numbers

My reporting started with 0630, Saturday, Nov 10. Here are new results as of 5:30 AM, Wednesday, Nov 14.

Numbers flagged with “+” favor Democrats. Numbers flagged with “-” favor Republicans.

I’m carrying forward previous results so you can track trends. For example, yesterday Sinema was beating McSally by 38,197 votes. This morning the lead appears to have stabilized at 38,075 votes.

Observations
The voting seen yesterday continues to favor Dems this morning. However, the Democratic advantage has retreated slightly suggesting that the numbers I report here may be close to the final results. Of note: As of last night (this morning), Katie Hobbs kept her lead for SoS with a 4,957 vote advantage! The SoS numbers are still too close to call because the counting continues throughout today. If current trends hold, Hobbs will be the second winner of a state-wide race, Hoffman being the other.

The good news
US Senate, Sinema vs. McSally: +20,102 +29,832 +32,169 + 38,197 +38,075
US House, Kirkpatrick vs. Marquez-Peterson, +19,584 +22,563 +22,563 +24,768 +24,718
AZ SoS, Hobbs vs. Gaynor, –10,696 –2,008 –424 +5,667 +4,957
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. Glassman, +1,602 +8,517 +9,747 +14,782 +14,461
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. vs. Olson n/a +4,642 +5,575 +10,473 +10,126
AZ Sup/Public Instruction, Hoffman +31,809 +43,563 + 46,721 +54,057 +53,780
AZ LD2 Senate, Dalessandro +9,494 +10,349 +10,349 +10,913 +10,913
AZ LD2 House, Gabaldon beats Ackerley +6,930 +7,532 +7,532 +7,879 +7,879
AZ LD2 Hernandez beats Sizer +7,114 +7,813 +7,813 +8,255 +8,255

Note: Gabaldon and Hernandez have about the same number of votes. The pairing with Republican opponents was arbitrary; the difference in what I report above results from Ackerley getting more votes than Sizer.

Some of the not-so-good news
CD8, voucher queen Lesko leads Tipirneni, –29,455 –30,219 –37,518 –30,887 –31,374
LD28 Senate, Kate Brophy McGee leads but not by much –616 –617 –643 –549 –536
LD11, Holly Lyon is still way behind, trailing each of the R candidates by about 10K.

Reactions to AZ’s new purpledom Pamela Powers-Hanley speaks to why the balance in the AZ House shifted toward Dems and what to expect from the new House: Blue Wave Washed over #AZLeg: Seven GOP Incumbents Lose Seats. The AZ Blue Meanie declares AZ to now be purple: Arizona became a purple state in 2018.

Despite all the gloom and doom post-election day reporting here in Arizona about Democrats having squandered their voter enthusiasm and record turnout, as we approach all the votes finally being counted it appears that Democrats had a very good night after all in turning Arizona purple.

Arizona Democrats should feel more encouraged, enthusiastic and energized than ever going into the next election cycle in 2020. The Arizona legislature is within Democrats’ reach for the first time since 1966 (you read that right). Onward and upward!

Why McSally lost: Tim Steller explains why McSally lost in his Daily Star column, Arizona voters rejected Martha McSally’s negative campaign.

[The start of McSally’s loss] began, back in late 2017, with McSally shifting from being a Trump skeptic to a Trump supporter. This may have been necessary to win the GOP primary election campaign, but it was abrupt, transparent and probably a turnoff to independent voters. It also lasted way too long, through a literal embrace of Trump at a rally in Mesa on Oct. 19.

Before she had even won the primary, McSally shifted to targeting Sinema for her past as a radical protester. The infamous “pink tutu” ad, showing Sinema wearing the scandalous garment at a 2003 protest of the Iraq war, came out even before McSally took 52 percent of the Republican vote in the primary.

And then it just went on from there. Ad after ad — let’s not forget how ridiculously pervasive they were — McSally’s campaign and outside groups attacked Sinema as not just wrong on the issues but a dangerous candidate, someone who would let Phoenix be blown up by a nuclear bomb, as one mailer put it.

In their one debate, McSally brought up an incident from a 2003 interview of Sinema by Libertarian radio host Ernest Hancock, who in a series of hypotheticals, asked what her opinion would be of him going to fight for the Taliban. Sinema answered him, “Fine. I don’t care if you want to do that, go ahead.”

In context, it was obvious Sinema was just trying to brush off the host, not encouraging him. But this became, in McSally’s interpretation, either treason itself, or at the minimum promoting treason.

McSally told Sean Hannity in an interview: “I mean, this is unbelievable that she thinks it’s OK for Americans to commit treason. In any other moment, this should be disqualifying and she would withdraw, but the Arizona media mostly is ignoring it or making excuses for her again.”

By that time, though, most Arizona voters had tuned out the alarming critiques by McSally and her supporters. She could have accused Sinema of genocide and nobody would have noticed.

We can hope that the fact the voters ignored this — or even took it as a reason to vote against McSally — will discourage candidates from this sort of campaign in the future.

Why Sinema won: New Yorker’s John Cassidy weighs in on the import of Sinema’s U. S. Senate win in Kyrsten Sinema’s Victory in Arizona May Be the Democrats’ Biggest Win of the Trump Era.

… Sinema is the first Democrat to be elected to the Senate from Arizona since 1988, and the first Democrat to win an open Senate seat in the state since Dennis DeConcini was elected, in 1976. The firsts don’t stop there. Sinema, a forty-two-year-old congresswoman for Arizona’s Ninth District, will also be the first female senator from Arizona, and the first openly bisexual senator from anywhere.

Her margin of victory was a narrow one—about thirty-eight thousand votes, or 1.7 percentage points—but she won fair and square. Last week, Trump cried “corruption” as Sinema caught up to and surpassed the vote tally of her G.O.P. opponent, Martha McSally, a fifty-two-year-old congresswoman, who represents Arizona’s Second District. McSally made no such claim. On the day of the election, hundreds of thousands of early votes were dropped off at polling places, and each of them had to be checked individually to make sure the signature matched the one on file. Most of these turned out to be Democratic votes. On Monday night, McSally posted a video in which she congratulated Sinema and said, “I wish her all success as she represents Arizona in the Senate.”

What follows will upset most progressives. But the campaign details and substance carry a message for the Democratic electioneering going forward.

Like Nevada, Arizona is often cited as a state in which long-term demographic change, particularly the growing number of Latino residents, is favoring Team Blue. Right now, though, Arizona contains a lot more registered Republicans than Democrats, and Sinema’s electoral strategy reflected this fact. The demographic transition “is happening, but it’s not why Sinema won,” Andy Barr, a political consultant who has represented numerous Arizona Democrats, told me on Tuesday morning. “She won by running an extremely disciplined campaign focussing on what we call the swing demographic—college-educated women in the suburbs.”

As the Republicans sought to portray her as a tutu-wearing radical—back in 2000, she worked on Ralph Nader’s Presidential campaign—Sinema came out against two policies popular with progressives: Medicare for all and abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. In September, she supported a G.O.P. proposal in the House to extend the personal tax cuts that were introduced in last year’s tax-reform bill, which she opposed at the time. But she also talked a lot about traditional Democratic issues, such as health care and Social Security, and also emphasized her role in serving constituents in the Ninth District. “She portrayed herself as someone who gets things done and doesn’t get caught up in the partisan B.S.,” Barr said.

By campaigning as a moderate willing to cross party lines, Sinema attracted support from suburbanites and self-identified independents. She also exposed the fault line in the Arizona G.O.P., which is divided between the old-line Party establishment, which Flake and John McCain embodied, and a seething base of Trump supporters. Initially, McSally tried to straddle this divide, but she ended up embracing the President and his inflammatory policies. Appearing alongside him at a rally last month, she said, “America is back—and Arizona is back—thanks to the leadership of President Trump.” But McSally was defeated despite gaining Trump’s endorsement.

Looking forward to 2020, this outcome won’t be lost on strategists from both parties. In 2012, Mitt Romney carried Arizona by a healthy margin of nine percentage points. In 2016, Hillary Clinton lost to Trump by just 3.5 points, despite the fact that her campaign didn’t make Arizona a high priority until late in the campaign. “Any Democrat running for President in 2020 would be dumb not to invest early in Arizona,” Barr said.

Sinema’s triumph also sets the stage for a debate inside the Democratic Party about how to win red states in the Trump era. In neighboring Texas, Beto O’Rourke ran a barnstorming progressive campaign and came up just short. Despite alienating some progressive activists, Sinema hedged her way to the U.S. Senate. “There was some whining about that, but we were so hungry for a win that the Democratic coalition wasn’t complaining much,” Barr said. In politics, as in sports, winning covers up a lot of sins.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Balance is the key


Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

I just listened to "The Coming Storm", by Michael Lewis. I didn’t carefully read the description before diving in, and thought it would inform me about the increasing violence of weather. Rather, I learned about the privatization of weather, or at least the reporting of it, and the Department of Commerce.

Turns out, the Department of Commerce has little to do with commerce and is actually forbidden by law from engaging in business. Rather, it runs the U.S. Census, the Patent and Trademark Office, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Over half of its $9B budget though, is spent by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to figure out the weather. And figuring out the weather, is largely about collecting data. “Each and every day, NOAA collects twice as much data as is contained in the entire book collection of the Library of Congress." One senior policy adviser from the George W. Bush administration, said the Department of Commerce should really be called the Department of Science and Technology. When he mentioned this to Wilbur Ross, Trump's appointee to lead the Department, Ross said, “Yeah, I don’t think I want to be focusing on that.” Unfortunately for all of us, Ross also wasn’t interested in finding someone who would do it for him.

In October 2017, Barry Myers, a lawyer who founded and ran AccuWeather, was nominated to serve as the head of the NOAA. This is a guy who in the 1990s, argued the NWS should be forbidden (except in cases where human life and property was at stake) from delivering any weather-related knowledge to Americans who might be a consumer of AccuWeather products. "The National Weather Service” Myers said, “does not need to have the final say on warnings...the government should get out of the forecasting business."

Then in 2005, Senator Rick Santorum (a recipient of Myers family contributions) introduced a bill to basically eliminate the National Weather Service's ability to communicate with the public. Lewis asks his readers to "consider the audacity of that manuever. A private company whose weather predictions were totally dependent on the billions of dollars spent by the U.S. taxpayer to gather the data necessary for those predictions, and on decades of intellectual weather work sponsored by the U.S. taxpayer, and on the very forecasts that the National Weather Service generated, was, in effect, trying to force the U.S. taxpayer to pay all over again for the National Weather Service might be able to tell him or her for free."

It was at this point in my listening that I began to think how this privatization story was paralleling that of education’s. In both cases, those in the public sector are in it for the mission, not the money. In both cases, the private sector only "wins" if the public sector "loses". In both cases, it is in the interest of the private sector to facilitate the failure of the public sector or make it look like it is failing.

Just as private and charter schools profit when district schools are perceived to be of lower quality, Barry Myers has worked hard to make government provided weather services look inferior to that which the private sector can provide. As Lewis points out, "The more spectacular and expensive the disasters, the more people will pay for warning of them. The more people stand to lose, the more money they will be inclined to pay. The more they pay, the more the weather industry can afford to donate to elected officials, and the more influence it will gain over the political process."

Myers clearly understood the private weather sector’s financial interest in catastrophe and had no qualms about maximizing on it. One of those opportunities presented itself in Moore, Oklahoma when the NWS failed to spot a tornado that had spun up quickly and rapidly vanished. AccuWeather managed to catch it and immediately sent out a press release bragging that they'd sent a tornado alert to their paying corporate customers 12 minutes before the tornado hit. But, they never broadcast the warning...only those who had paid for it got it. This focus on profit above all else is why when the Trump Administration asked a former Bush Commerce department official to provide a list of those who should lead NOAA, Barry Myers' name was not on it. "I don't want someone who has a bottom line, or a concern with shareholders”, said the official, “in charge of saving lives and protecting property."

That sentiment is how I feel about the provision of "public" education by private and charter schools. I don't want someone who has a bottom line, or a concern with corporate shareholders, in charge of educating America's children without full transparency and complete accountability to taxpayers and the public. Rather, when taxpayer dollars are funding a service previously provided by the public sector, the potential must be weighed, for damage to the common good caused by the motive to profit.

Unfortunately, that's not what's happening today. As described by Jim Sleeper in a recent Salon.com article titled "Republic derangement: A party I used to respect has gone off the cliff", "the disease of turbo-marketing [is] reducing American education, entertainment, social media, politics and the dignity of work itself to levels determined by a mania to maximize profits and shareholder dividends, no matter the social costs.

No, I'm not saying there aren't problems with the public sector. But, the idea that the public has more control over a private corporation than it does over a public entity is ludicrous. The idea that parents have more say over a charter school's Education Management Organization (EMO) or a private school’s owner, than they do over a school district governing board is ludicrous. Ever try to attend an EMO's board meeting, let alone be allowed to make a “call to the public” at one? How about gaining visibility to the financial documents of a private school? Not happening.

The key to public sector performance is public engagement. For-profit corporations are generally motivated by profit. That is as it should be. Public entities are generally motivated by doing good for the public, again, as it should be. Neither is inherently bad or good, they each have their place and purpose. In some cases, there can even be a good mix of the two, such as with the U.S. Postal Service. But, the focus on privatization is currently being overplayed, to the detriment of our public institutions and the common good of our Nation and our world.

Truth is, government can provide a valuable check on corporate greed. Likewise, fair competition from the private sector can provide a check on the potential for government complacency or really, that of any monopoly, private or public.

Balance is the key. As Simon Sinek said, "The trick to balance is to not make sacrificing important things become the norm." One of the most “important things” in my mind, is to care for those who do not have the capacity to care for themselves. To ensure ALL OUR children have the opportunity to lead healthy, productive lives, no matter the circumstances of their birth, or the zip code in which they live. In the words of John Dewey, “What the best and wisest parent wants for his child, that must we want for all the children of the community. Anything less is unlovely, and left unchecked, destroys our democracy.”



Republicans in Iowa and Mississippi receive Scriber's first What-is-wrong-with-you award

A friend if mine, when confronted with some kind of “Duh!”, frequently asks “What is wrong with you?” During this election season I found myself asking that so many times that I decided to create a What-is-wrong-with-you award. Today I present a couple of nominees to you with my designation of a front-runner.

Iowa Rep. Steve King is the inaugural winner of the award. The Huffington Post tells us why he so deserves it in How Rep. Steve King Almost Lost The white supremacist congressman usually wins re-election in Iowa by over 20 percentage points. This time he won by 3. What changed?

One thing was that he had an effective challenger in J. D. Scholten. Read on.

King is arguably the most bigoted member of Congress. For years, he’s parroted and promoted the propaganda of white nationalists and neo-Nazis, and openly associated with fascist and far-right figures at home and overseas. “Diversity is not our strength,” he once wrote in a tweet.

King has never denied being a white nationalist. On Oct. 21 he even appeared to defend the term itself, telling a local TV host that, although “white nationalist” is “a derogatory term today, I wouldn’t have thought so maybe a year, or two or three ago.”

Yet on election night, over 159,000 people in Iowa voted for King anyway. And although there are multiple reasons for why King keeps winning here — including racism, name recognition, party loyalty and issues like abortion rights — it’s maybe more instructive to consider why King came so close to losing this time.

There are 70,000 more registered Republicans than registered Democrats in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District. President Donald Trump beat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton here by 27 points. That Scholten came within 3 points, or about 10,000 votes, of King is remarkable and shows he garnered support from Republicans.

King had managed to espouse all this nonsense [antisemitic conspiracy theories] with little political consequence until late October, when the massacre of 11 worshipers at a Pittsburgh synagogue by a white nationalist brought King’s own white nationalism under heightened scrutiny. Two days after the shooting, the polling firm Change Research published a poll showing King leading Scholten by only 1 percentage point.

… it’s hard to say how many voters abandoned King because of his bigotry. When King spoke at Gov. Reynolds’ rally Monday night, he wasn’t interrupted by a heckler calling him a racist. He was interrupted by a 44-year-old farmer, Dolf Ivener, upset over the price of soybeans.

“$7.50 for soybeans, I’m going to go broke because of you, Steve King!” Ivener yelled, before being escorted out of the rally. “I’m going to go broke because of you.”

Trump’s trade war with China, which King supports, has taken a real toll on farmers here. China bought 94 percent fewer soybeans this year from America than in 2017.

So King is complicit with Trump in screwing over his own base, the Iowa farmers.

Although Scholten was forceful in denouncing King’s bigotry on the campaign trail, he spent more time depicting King as an absent and ineffective representative.

It was a message that resonated with The Des Moines Register’s editorial board, which called its endorsement of Scholten “a no-brainer for any Iowan who has cringed at eight-term incumbent King’s increasing obsession with being a cultural provocateur.”

“In his almost 16 years in Congress, King has passed exactly one bill as primary sponsor, redesignating a post office,” the newspaper’s board wrote. “He won’t debate his opponent and rarely holds public town halls. Instead, he spends his time meeting with fascist leaders in Europe and retweeting neo-Nazis.”

For all these reasons, chiefly the election of a Nazi sympathizer who is clearly doing damage to his own state, I have to ask the 159,000 Iowans who voted for this goon:

What is wrong with you?

I was going to stop there but then I came across another contender for the award. So:

Here is a runner-up for Scriber’s What-is-wrong-with-you award: Laughing about Lynching is the feature story from Judd Legum at popular.info.

The next election is in 14 days.

On November 27, there will be a run-off for the special election in Mississippi for U.S. Senate. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) was appointed to the position in April 2018, when former Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) retired. The election will pit Hyde-Smith against Mike Espy, the former Secretary of Agriculture under President Bill Clinton. The winner will fill the remainder of Cochran’s term, which runs through 2020.

It was expected to be a cakewalk for Hyde-Smith – and still might be. But the race was thrust into the national spotlight when a video emerged on Sunday of Hyde-Smith discussing her willingness to attend a lynching.

“If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row,” Hyde-Smith said on November 2.

The small crowd responded with laughs and applause.

Hyde-Smith issued a statement on Monday claiming the reference to a “public hanging” was a compliment directed at cattle rancher Colin Hutchinson and had no negative connotations.

In a comment on Nov. 2, I referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement. In referencing the one who invited me, I used an exaggerated expression of regard, and any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous.

Notably, she did not apologize.

Espy responds

Espy, who is seeking to become to the first black U.S. Senator from Mississippi since Reconstruction, released a scathing response to Hyde-Smith’s quip about lynching:

Cindy Hyde-Smith’s comments are reprehensible. They have no place in our political discourse, in Mississippi, or our country. We need leaders, not dividers, and her words show that she lacks the understanding and judgment to represent the people of our state.

The history of lynchings in Mississippi

Lynchings “often targeted black men accused of fraternizing with white women.” There were 581 recorded lynchings in Mississippi between 1882 and 1968, the most in any state.

Jason Morgan Ward, who wrote the book on lynchings in Mississippi, noted that the last “public hanging” in Hyde-Smith’s hometown of Brookhaven occurred in 1928.

A mob dragged brothers Stanley and James Bearden, two black men, from the county jail. The mob hung James from a tree and riddled his body with bullets. After making Stanley watch this, they dragged him behind a truck all the way back into town. The men had been jailed after an altercation with a white man…whom they owed six dollars.

“Cracking jokes about [a public hanging] doesn’t mean you’re blissfully ignorant of a distant past, it just means you can’t own up to a history that will not hide,” Ward said.

It is instructive that no Republican elected official has taken exception to Hyde-Smith’s remark. Equally instructive is the active support granted to Hyde-Smith by the Republican governor of Mississippi.

To Hyde-Smith, her laughing audience, and Governor Phil Bryant, I’ve got to ask:

What is wrong with you?

2018 election update Nov. 13 - Sinema wins, Hobbs now ahead

My reporting started with 0630, Saturday, Nov 10. Here are new results as of 6:30 AM, Tuesday Nov 13.

Numbers flagged with “+” favor Democrats. Numbers flagged with “-” favor Republicans.

I’m carrying forward previous results so you can track trends. For example, yesterday Sinema was beating McSally by 32,169 votes. This morning the lead increased to 38,197 votes.

Observations
The trends seen yesterday continue to favor Dems. Of note: Katie Hobbs was closing on Gaynor in the SoS race and yesterday was only 424 votes behind. As of last night (this morning), Hobbs pulled ahead with a 5,667 vote lead! The SoS numbers are still too close to call. Ballots will continue to be counted through tomorrow, Nov 14, 5:00 PM. If current trends hold, Hobbs will be the second winner of a state-wide race, Hoffman being the other. That, Scriber thinks, is amazing. David Fitzsimmons’ cartoon in the print edition of the Star has AZ trending purple.

The good news
US Senate, Sinema vs. McSally: +20,102 +29,832 +32,169 + 38,197
US House, Kirkpatrick vs. Marquez-Peterson, +19,584 +22,563 +22,563 +24,768
AZ SoS, Hobbs vs. Gaynor, –10,696 –2,008 –424 +5,667
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. Glassman, +1,602 +8,517 +9,747 +14,782
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. vs. Olson n/a +4,642 +5,575 +10,473
AZ Sup/Public Instruction, Hoffman +31,809 +43,563 + 46,721 +54,057
AZ LD2 Senate, Dalessandro +9,494 +10,349 +10,349 +10,913
AZ LD2 House, Gabaldon beats Ackerley +6,930 +7,532 +7,532 +7,879
AZ LD2 Hernandez beats Sizer +7,114 +7,813 +7,813 +8,255

Note: Gabaldon and Hernandez have about the same number of votes. The pairing with Republican opponents was arbitrary; the difference in what I report above results from Ackerley getting more votes than Sizer.

Some of the not-so-good news
CD8, voucher queen Lesko leads Tipirneni, –29,455 –30,219 –37,518 –30,887
LD28 Senate, Kate Brophy McGee leads but not by much –616 –617 –643 –549
LD11, Holly Lyon is still way behind, trailing each of the R candidates by about 10K.

Sinema declared winner

The U. S. Senate race was called last night. For example, the NY TImes reported that Kyrsten Sinema Declared Winner in Arizona Senate Race.

Ms. Sinema, 42, won the race by about 1.7 percentage points amid increasing partisan tension. (Her lead could grow even larger as remaining votes are counted.) Some prominent Republicans, including Mr. Trump, claimed without offering proof that voting officials were engaged in fraudulent strategies to bolster Ms. Sinema, as the authorities struggled to count ballots following a surge in turnout.

Michele Reagan, a Republican and the Arizona Secretary of State, dismissed those claims. She said it took time to count the hundreds of thousands of early ballots that were dropped off on Election Day at polling stations, after which county officials had to verify the signature on each ballot.

“These processes take a little bit of time,” Ms. Reagan said in a statement, emphasizing that the methods used by the authorities are “to ensure that voters can trust the outcome of their elections.”

Monday, November 12, 2018

A mass shooting checklist

Nancy Procter, Southeast side, contributed a letter to the editor in the Daily Star, Nov 9, 2018 (published this morning, Nov. 12).

Post-Mass Shooting Checklist

  1. Thoughts and prayers
  2. Candlelight vigils
  3. Flag at half-mast
  4. Meaningless tweets from politicians
  5. Empty words to family and friends
  6. Investigation on shooter’s motivation
  7. Pledge for more mental illness funds
  8. Increased security at similar venues
  9. Return to ‘business as usual’
  10. Wait for next mass shooting
  11. to 100. AVOID ALL GUN CONTROL DISCUSSION

2018 election update for Nov. 12

My reporting started with 0630, Saturday, Nov 10. Here are new results as of 5:30 AM, Sunday Nov 12.

Numbers flagged with “+” favor Democrats. Numbers flagged with “-” favor Republicans.

I’m carrying forward previous results so you can track trends. For example, yesterday Sinema was beating McSally by 29,832 votes. This morning the lead increased to 32,169 votes.

Observations
The trends seen yesterday continue to favor Dems. Of note: Katie Hobbs has closed on Gaynor in the SoS race and now is only 424 votes behind. Some of the races (CD2 and LD2) are showing no change; it’s not clear if that reflects delays in reporting on the SoS site or stabilization of the vote counts. Stay tuned.

The good news
US Senate, Sinema vs. McSally: +20,102 +29,832 +32,169
US House, Kirkpatrick vs. Marquez-Peterson, +19,584 +22,563 +22,563
AZ SoS, Hobbs still trails Gaynor, –10,696 –2,008 –424
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. Glassman, +1,602 +8,517 +9,747
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. vs. Olson n/a +4,642 +5,575
AZ Sup/Public Instruction, Hoffman +31,809 +43,563 + 46,721
AZ LD2 Senate, Dalessandro +9,494 +10,349 +10,349
AZ LD2 House, Gabaldon beats Ackerley +6,930 +7,532 +7,532
AZ LD2 Hernandez beats Sizer +7,114 +7,813 +7,813

Some of the not-so-good news
CD8, voucher queen Lesko leads Tipirneni, –29,455 –30,219 –37,518
LD28 Senate, Kate Brophy McGee leads but not by much –616 –617 –643
LD11, Holly Lyon is still way behind, trailing each of the R candidates by about 10K.

Post-election illustrated gnus

The House gets grabbed
Trump grabbed more than
he can handle.

Mourn no more on this Mournday Mourning. There are plenty of reasons in the Illustrated Gnus for worry, but there are some signs of hope and change.

Here are the schemes, themes, memes, and falemes in this morning’s cartoons from AZBlueMeanie.

  • Caravans that should haunt Trump: women, early voters, House Dems, white house press corps.
  • Magician Trump cut the nation in half and made the House majority disappear.
  • Sasquatch continues his search for voter fraud.
  • Trump to Whitaker: Let’s rename the department just us.
  • Overheard at the local lunch counter: “Why shouldn’t Trump take over the Russia investigation? No one knows more about that than he does.”
Animal control
Checks and balances at last
  • Exorcist 2018: Waiting for Mueller.
  • Just in: Commander-in-Chief scares the sh!t out of his generals, orders troops to build a wall of razor wire around America.
  • Trump makes Sessions look good by replacing him with a huckster (and that’s the kindest thing to be said this morning about Whitaker).

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Liberals don't see the problems; Conservatives, the promise

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com

Recently, I saw a bumper sticker that said, “When the government gives you something, they take something away from someone else.” “Wow”, I thought. “What a cynical way to look at the common good.” Why not view it as “when the government gives you something, it is really your neighbor giving you a helping hand”? The government is after all, nothing more or less than all of us.

And yet, the GOP has managed to convince many Americans that as Ronald Reagan said, “government is not the solution of our problem; government is the problem” and Grover Nordquist said, he wanted to “shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

There are however, a multitude of functions that can only be effectively and fairly provided by government. There are many examples of this such as national defense and public education, but basically, I think the primary role of government is to provide for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. William Weld, a former Republican governor of Massachusetts,http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/1589-what-government-does-wellwhat-government-does-badly wrote that, 

“Liberals often don’t see the problems, and conservatives don’t see the promise, of government.” 

I certainly can’t speak for all liberals, (which literally, is not a four letter word oh by the way), but I think I’m fairly clear-eyed about some of the problems of government. But…I haven’t found many Conservatives who will admit to the essential good that government can provide. Yes, government is not perfect. It tends to be bureaucratic and inefficient. But…if we the people, do our one main job (voting) correctly, we elect those who will make it the best it can be. 

Weld’s circa 2000 article talks about the role of government to act as a check on corporate greed that doesn’t serve the greater good, to protect the environment, and to as Lincoln said, “appeal to the better angels of our nature.” Weld noted that “Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that the desire to exclude other people from your circle and surround yourself with people just like yourself is a perfectly natural human phenomenon.” That natural tendency though argued Weld, must be “guarded against and restrained.” He added that, 

“Government can contribute to a shared sense of purpose on the part of the citizenry; that’s its highest and best application.”

This role to contribute to a “shared sense of purpose”, is I believe the biggest failure of President Trump. Not only has he not appealed to our “better angels”; he stoked the fires of division and then continually turned up the heat. Whether race-baiting, declaring himself a nationalist, declaring the press the “enemy of the people”, or working to reduce people’s trust in our nations’ institutions, he continues to appeal to the lowest common denominators of hate and fear. And, unfortunately, GOP leadership has pretty much been “lock (goose) step” behind him.

In an article published two days ago on Salon.com, Jim Sleeper, a lecturer at Yale and author of two books on liberalism and race wrote, 

“Yet Aristotle was right to warn that humans who lose the art and discipline of “the political” become lower than beasts. When conservatism talks about the sanctity of property and, at the same time, about the dangers of materialism and of public-deficit financing, both of which it pursues to strengthen plutocrats and to bankrupt Social Security, public education and health care, it opens the vacuum to Trumpian malevolence and corruption. Its “pre-political” anti-politics subverts its own professed ideals of republican self-governance, which should reinforce mutual trust, not dog-eat-dog competition and empty salvific, decadent and scapegoating escapes. But what they didn’t do – what we need to do most now – is to stop the disease of turbo-marketing from dissolving the republic that has given its insurgents enough breathing room and footholds to transcend even themselves.”


If we are to change the narrative, the Democrats in Congress now must, (as my wife had hoped to do in the Arizona Legislature), prove that government CAN work for the people. It CAN function well to ensure the people’s needs are addressed. That, rather than investigations and committee hearings, will speak loudest to the American people.

2018 election update for Nov. 11

My reporting started with 0630, Saturday, Nov 10. New results as of: 5:30 AM, Sunday Nov 11.

Numbers flagged with “+” favor Democrats. Numbers flagged with “-” favor Republicans.

I’m carrying forward previous results so you can track trends. For example, yesterday Sinema was beating McSally by 20,102 votes. This morning the lead increased to 29,832 votes.

Observations
The trends seen yesterday continue to favor Dems. Of note: Sandra Kennedy now has pulled way ahead of both Republicans in the Corporation Commission race. Katie Hobbs has closed on Gaynor in the SoS race but still is behind by 2,008.

The good news
US Senate, Sinema vs. McSally: +20,102 +29,832
US House, Kirkpatrick vs. Marquez-Peterson, +19,584 +22,563
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. Glassman, +1,602 +8,517 vs. Olson +4,642
AZ Sup/Public Instruction, Hoffman +31,809 +43,563
AZ LD2 Senate, Dalessandro +9,494 +10,349
AZ LD2 House, Gabaldon beats Ackerley +6,930 +7,532
AZ LD2 Hernandez beats Sizer +7,114 +7,813

Some of the not-so-good news
AZ SoS, Hobbs still trails Gaynor, –10,696 –2,008
CD8, voucher queen Lesko leads Tipirneni, –29,455 –30,219
LD28 Senate, Kate Brophy McGee leads but by only –616 –617
LD11, Holly Lyon is still way behind.

Reflections on the Resistance

Things are looking good (very good as I write this) for some races in Arizona. It looks like Jeff Flake’s Republican seat in the U. S. Senate is flipping; Sinema leads McSally by nearly 30 thousand. Kirkpatrick looks to reclaim the CD2 House seat. The Superintendent for Public Instruction and a seat on the Corporation Commission look solid for Dems. The LD2 races are solid as well. The AZ House 35–25 advantage for Republicans was reduced to 31–29.

Nationwide Dems had some remarkable successes, flipping at least 30 House seats and getting within striking distances of taking governor seats in Georgia and Florida.

Now you could go pessimistic on me and point to the great many races we lost: governor and other state-wide offices in Arizona, for example. However, consider how grim it all looked after the nation elected Trump and what it now looks like with a Democratic majority in the U. S. House. Trump campaigned in 2018 in an election he considered all about himself. “Sure, Donnie,” we should think and say. “You want the 2018 results to be about you? Fine.”

How did we get our victories? Resistance. Indivisible. Action. We need to keep it up and ride the Blue Wave into 2020.

Counting of Arizona ballots continues through next Wednesday. In spite of the spite spread by the GOP leaders, there is no fraud - just hard working folks in County Recorder offices doing their jobs. Tim Steller has a good piece in this morning’s Daily Star: Slow Arizona vote-counting doesn’t show fraud.

So take a deep breath and a vacation from electoral politics for a few days. And then let’s get back to work on 2020. During your break, read Michelle Goldberg’s NY Times essay on how The Resistance Strikes Back. Two years of progressive organizing built the blue wave. Here’s some of it.

In April 2017, progressives across America turned toward Georgia’s Sixth District for the race to fill the House seat vacated by Tom Price, who’d become President Trump’s (short-lived) secretary of health and human services. That affluent, highly educated district in Atlanta’s northern suburbs had been solidly Republican for decades; Newt Gingrich had held it for 20 years, and Price won his 2016 election by more than 23 percentage points. But Trump had prevailed there only narrowly, and Democrats dreamed of using the special election to rebuke him.

A great many local women, some awakened from political indifference by shock and revulsion at Trump’s victory, threw themselves into his campaign. Money poured in from all over the country for the Democratic candidate, Jon Ossoff. It became the most expensive House contest in history.

He lost. Afterward, people complained — often on cable TV — that Democrats had squandered their money. But last week, some of that investment finally paid off.

On Thursday we learned that a year and a half after Ossoff’s loss, Lucy McBath, an African-American gun control advocate, had flipped the seat.

McBath’s victory was emblematic of the Resistance triumphs in the midterms. There was no immediate catharsis on Tuesday, no definitive national rebuke of a president whose bottomless depravity continues to dumbfound more than half the country. But the steady work of citizens who’ve been trying, over the last two years, to fight the civic nightmare of Trumpism bore fruit. It was a slog, pockmarked with disappointments. At the end, though, there was hope.

During the Ossoff campaign, “we built an army of volunteers,” said Stacy Efrat, a mother of three with a full-time job who’d organized voter registration drives most weekends this year. “We built the Resistance in the Sixth District, and we already had our infrastructure in place to work on the Lucy election.”

As I write this, Democrats have flipped at least 30 House seats, and their total haul could go as high as 40. Democrats virtually wiped out the Republican Party in the Northeast, but they also won new seats in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and South Carolina. The party is on track to make more gains in the House than it has in any election since Watergate’s aftermath. Across the country, Democrats flipped at least 333 statehouse seats, a third of all those lost over the course of Obama’s presidency.

The seeds of this success were planted after Trump’s election, when all over America scared, angry people searched for mechanisms that could constrain him. The democratic institutions that should have thwarted an authoritarian demagogue like Trump had failed, said Ezra Levin, co-founder of Indivisible, which would quickly become one of the most important Resistance groups. People were “looking around to see who or what was going to come and save them,” Levin said. “And the answer was nothing. The answer was that they had to do it themselves.”

Shortly after the Sixth District was called for McBath, I asked Efrat if she was going to take a break. “Now we’re scrambling trying to get the provisional vote counted for Abrams,” she said, referring to the fight over the tally in the Georgia governor’s race. Consumed with that work, she felt bad about missing the protests on Thursday against the firing of Jeff Sessions that had sprung up all over the country at a moment’s notice.

After this past week, people in the Resistance are exhausted. But they’re not resting.

Look at 2020 without fear. Look at 2020 as an opportunity to continue the Blue Wave. Senate seats are up for grabs. There are more House seats to be had. There are statewide races to be run and won. And there are plenty of angry women willing to run for office and motivated by Trump’s “bottomless depravity” which will continue unabated and untutored by the 2018 results.

So, along with others in the Resistance, come Thursday, as Ed Schultz says: “Let’s get to work!”

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Trump insults female black reporters, again proves himself unworthy of respect

The snippets below are from two sources, Trump insults reporters, claims Acosta video wasn’t altered and President Trump criticized a prominent black journalist and said White House reporters “have to treat the presidency with respect.”

Before hopping on a plane to Paris on Friday, President Trump insulted some more reporters, threatened that others may have their White House credentials pulled like CNN’s Jim Acosta and disputed reports that his press secretary spread a doctored video of Acosta’s encounter with a White House intern.

While Trump called the reporter who asked about the video “dishonest,” that was mild compared to his treatment of April Ryan, a White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and CNN’s Abby Phillip.

Phillip asked Trump whether he wanted Matt Whitaker, the newly-appointed acting attorney general, to rein in Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

“What a stupid question you asked,” Trump replied. “What a stupid question and I watch you a lot and you ask a lot of stupid questions.”

In response, CNN said through its Twitter feed that Phillip’s question wasn’t stupid. “In fact, she asked the most pertinent question of the day,” CNN said. Trump’s insults “are nothing new. And never surprising,” CNN said.

The attack on Ryan was unprovoked, although the president had appeared upset at Wednesday’s news conference when Ryan stood up and asked him, without a microphone, about voter suppression in the midterm elections. Ryan wasn’t among Trump’s questioners Friday.

“I watch her get up,” he said Friday. “I mean, you talk about somebody that’s a loser, she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing. She gets publicity, and then she gets a pay raise, or she gets a contract with, I think CNN. But she’s very nasty, and she shouldn’t be.”

Ryan became a CNN contributor last year. She said on the network that the three presidents she covered prior to Trump may not have liked every question she asked, but understood why she did so.

“At the end of the day it was part of the American process, it was part of what our Founding Fathers put in place for the accountability of the president of the United States,” she said. “This president seems not to like it, so therefore I’m a loser.”

Between Ryan, Phillip and Yamiche Alcindor of PBS’ “NewsHour,” that makes three black, female reporters that the president dealt with harshly in the past three days. Trump on Wednesday accused Alcindor of asking a racist question when she inquired about the president receiving support from some white nationalists.

“When you’re in the White House, this is a very sacred place to be,” [Trump] said. “This is a very special place. You have to treat the White House with respect. You have to treat the presidency with respect.”

Respect? For he of 5,000 lies? For he who has no respect for his fellow human beings?

Here is my response from a December 2017 post in this blog.

Back in October 2016 I picked up on a NY Times report and posted on this telling quote: Donald Trump: “you can’t respect people because most people aren’t worthy of respect”

… What Drives Donald Trump? Fear of Losing Status, Tapes Show.
The New York Times obtained “Recordings of Donald J. Trump [that] reveal a man who is fixated on his own celebrity, anxious about losing his status and contemptuous of those who fall from grace.”

The Times reported:

Who earns his respect? “For the most part,” he said, “you can’t respect people because most people aren’t worthy of respect.”

All people are worthy of respect until and unless proven otherwise. Trump proves otherwise on every day of his life.

Three election things to grab you by your attention

This morning I’ve got three things to grab your attention. The 1st is an update on some races. The 2nd is why we were bummed out on election night - but should not have been. The 3rd is some speculation about what’s going on in the GOP re Sinema apparently winning over McSally.

(1) Here are some updates on select races from the AZ SoS site as of 6:36 AM, Nov 10.

Numbers flagged with “+” favor Democrats. Numbers flagged with “-” favor Republicans.

The good news
US Senate, Sinema vs. McSally: +20,102
US House, Kirkpatrick vs. Marquez-Peterson, +19,584
AZ Corp Com, Sandra Kennedy vs. Glassman, +1,602
AZ Sup/Public Instruction, Hoffman +31,809
AZ LD2 Senate, Dalessandro +9,494
AZ LD2 House, Gabaldon beats Ackerley +6,930 and Hernandez beats Sizer +7,114

Some of the not-so-good news
AZ SoS, Hobbs still trails Gaynor, –10,696
CD8, voucher queen Lesko leads Tipirneni, –29,455
LD28 Senate, Kate Brophy McGee leads but by only –616
LD11, Holly Lyon is way behind.

(2) It’s all about mail-in ballots, stupid (to paraphrase James Carville, and h/t Ruth Maki).

StevenJoseph at Daily Kos works up data showing How Kyrsten Sinema Became The Comeback Kid, And How Mail-In Ballots Have Transformed Election Night.

Until very recently, people pretty much knew who won the vast majority of races the same night as the election. On Election Night in the year 2000, for example, the only state really in question for the Presidential Election was Florida. There were also a small number of other races that had yet to be determined for the 2000 Election, but the number of tight races were so few that people were not that worried.

Mail-in ballots have changed this situation dramatically. I will use the U.S. Senate race in Arizona between Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally to illustrate how mail-in ballots have created delays in figuring out who won. Fortunately, Kyrsten Sinema did not concede her race, because she currently has an excellent chance of winning, but you will soon see why she may have been tempted to give up way too early. In this article, I will attempt to illustrate the following:

  1. How Kyrsten Sinema avoided what at one point looked like a sure election loss.
  2. How mail-in ballots have changed Election Nights in a large way.
  3. Why candidates need to be careful not to concede too early in states that have mail-in ballots.
  4. Why so many Democrats were freaking out during the first hour of Election Night.
  5. Why the Election Night got much better for Democrats as the the evening wore on
  6. Why things keep getting better for Democrats as the days go on.

[On election night] McSally was leading Sinema by 17,073 votes and that the illustration indicated that about one percent of the vote remained to be counted. Well, some quick calculations show that 1% was about 17,000 votes. In other words, at this point, it looks as if Sinema would need to win pretty much every possible outstanding vote to win the election, which seemed pretty much impossible. As I went to bed on Election Night, I thought Sinema was pretty much a goner, but the one thing that I had yet to realize was there were a lot more than one percent of the votes outstanding. I was not the only one to be in the dark. No one seemed to realize it yet—not fivethirtyeight.com, not Steve Kornacki on MSNBC—no one.

You see, if you go and vote at a polling place, they verify who you are before they even hand you a ballot. Most people show their driver’s license and sign their names and voila, they get handed a ballot. The voters fill in the ovals on a paper ballot, (or use a touchscreen voting machine if you are voting that way), and everything can be processed really fast.

However, mail-in ballots have to have each signature checked by hand against the signature on file, so the actual processing of the ballots is much slower than feeding computerized paper ballots into a machine. States process mail-in ballots as they come in before election day, but what happens if you get a ton of them right around election day? They still have to be processed, and that takes some time.

That is what happened in Arizona. It turns out that at the start of November 7, 2018, the day after the election, Maricopa County, the most populous county in Arizona, had a combined total of around 650,000 ballots, including mail-in ballots, early in-person ballots, and provisional ballots that still remained to be processed. In addition, Pima County had around 150,000 ballots to process, and Coconino County had a good quantity of unprocessed ballots as well.

Together, these three counties make up the bulk of the population of Arizona, and all three of them were leaning blue on election night. …

FiveThirtyEight.com adjusted their totals as the night went on and as the House flips from Republicans to Democrats rolled in, but boy were some people freaking out on the web. I am sorry that some of you had to go through that. Here is a tip to possibly lower some people’s stress levels: next election, consider locking the television knob on MSNBC. Rachel Maddow and Steve Kornacki are really good at keeping things positive, and they really know what they are talking about. I did not get upset until about 10:31 P.M. when I saw those awful, and fortunately wrong, Sinema numbers, and that was not MSNBC’s fault. I just kind of groaned and went to bed, hoping that the morning would be better.

You know what? Everything looked much better in the morning, and the Election Results have been getting better each day. Just remember—mail-in ballots have slowed the whole election process down. It took a little time for everyone to realize how much we stomped on the Republicans. :)

Thank you, everyone, for making our blue wave possible! :)

It does look like those trends are continuing. The Daily Star this morning reports 362,000 ballots remain to be counted, 266,000 in Maricopa county and 60,000 in Pima. Of those 10,000 were the stimulus for a GOP lawsuit, the result of which is a common set of procedures across all 15 counties for handling ballots with signature discrepancies. Such ballots will be counted through 5 PM, Nov 4. I don’t see how those can possibly reverse the present trends.

(3) What is McSally doing? According to Blog for Arizona less than what Trump and the GOP masters want.

Arizona’s Politics writes TANKING? White House, Senior Republicans Think McSally Should Be Pushing Their Vote Count Trickery Messages; Suspect She’s Just Waiting For Ducey Appointment To McCain Seat.

Trump’s top political aides – inside and outside the White House – and other national Republicans believe that Rep. Martha McSally (R-CD2) has not been pushing their desired party line that some sort of trickery is happening in Arizona’s ballot processing and counting. Some speculate that she is silent because she believes re-elected Governor Doug Ducey will appoint her to fill Sen. John McCain’s seat if she loses the election to Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9).

This reporting from Alex Isenstadt and James Arkin at Politico help fill in some of the missing puzzle pieces. When Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale tweeted about “tricks” in Arizona and speculated about “rampant fraud”, followed quickly by the President’s implications that there was corruption on display in Arizona, it was a sudden 1–2 that caught many off guard.

The only voter suppression I see comes from Georgia and Florida. The motivation for the charges described in this post was settled this morning.

Politico’s reporting fills in some of the behind the scenes details.

At the highest levels of the national party, there’s frustration with McSally — and a sense that she’s not being aggressive enough throughout the process.

The kicker comes next, when the reporters note that some Republicans suspect a motive for McSally’s supposed lack of fight.

Among some senior Republicans, there is suspicion about why McSally has chosen to hold back. Some are convinced that she’s willing to let the race go and instead hope for an appointment to the state’s other Senate seat. Kyl, who was picked to replace the late Sen. John McCain, has yet to commit to serving for a full term.

Joined by the Arizona GOP (and the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance), the Plaintiffs agreed today to allow Maricopa and Pima Counties to continue contacting the voters, and allowing and/or instructing other counties to quickly start doing so, as well.

Like I said …