Tuesday ReadsPosted: November 15, 2022
As Daknikat wrote yesterday, it looks as if Republicans will win enough seats to control the House with a very small majority. But they won’t be able to do much. I suppose they’ll spend their time and energy investigating Hunter Biden and any other crackpot problem they can dream up. The good news is than Lauren Bobert’s seat is still undecided for now.
Two threatened U.S. House Republicans in California triumphed over Democratic challengers Monday, helping move the GOP within a seat of seizing control of the chamber while a string of congressional races in the state remained in play.
In a bitter fight southeast of Los Angeles, Republican Rep. Michelle Steel defeated Democrat Jay Chen in a district that was specifically drawn to give Asian Americans, who comprise the largest group in the district, a stronger voice on Capitol Hill. It includes the nation’s largest Vietnamese community.
East of Los Angeles, Republican Rep. Ken Calvert notched a win over Democrat Will Rollins. With 80% of the votes tallied, Calvert, the longest serving Republican in the California congressional delegation, established a nearly 5,500-vote edge in the contest.
Ten races in the state remained undecided as vote-counting continued, though only a handful were seen as tight enough to break either way.
It takes 218 seats to control the House. Republicans have locked down 217 seats so far, with Democrats claiming 205.
Should Democrats fail to protect their fragile majority, Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield would be in line to replace Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco.
Read about the remaining undecided races at the link.
“Waiting this long for election results is going to make firing Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House that much sweeter,” she wrote on Twitter on Monday.
Republicans are just one seat away from control of the House of Representatives, with the balance of power potentially hinging on th eoutcome of Ms Boebert’s race among serveral others that have not yet been decided.
Ms Boebert’s race is still too close to call and it is unlikely that the outcome will be known until the end of the week – at the soonest.
The far-right Republican is currently leading Democratic challenger Adam Frisch by just 1,122 votes in what has shaped up to be an unexpectedly close race. The race could be headed for an automatic recount if neither candidate fails to win by a margin of more than 0.5 per cent.
If only she would lose! This is from Newsweek yesterday: Lauren Boebert in Danger as Rejected Mail-in Ballot Checks Could Help Rival.
But the incumbent congresswoman’s narrow lead could once again be overturned if thousands of likely rejected votes in favor of her challenger were to be “cured”, as a recount looms over the Colorado race.
Every year in Colorado, thousands of ballots are reportedly rejected for issues related to signature verification, such as a missing signature or a discrepancy in the signature. Local officials then alert voters of the issue, giving them a week to fix the problem and make their vote count. The process, which is done in 23 other state besides Colorado, is called “ballot curing.”
Boebert was widely projected to win the midterms, with polling website FiveThirtyEight giving her a 97 in 100 chance of victory in the days ahead of the vote.
As of November 14 and with nearly all of the ballots being counted, Boebert is leading with 50.1 percent of the vote (162,040 votes) against Frisch’s 49.8 percent (160,918 votes).
A recount could be called if the final margin between Boebert and Frisch is less than or equal to 0.5 percent of the leading candidate’s vote total. At the moment, the gap between the two candidates is 0.38 percent.
Frisch could still oust the Republican incumbent, an election denier and one of Donald Trump‘s most ardent supporters, if thousands of votes likely rejected for signature verification were cast in support of the Democratic nominee.
So it’s still up in the air.
In Arizona, Katie Hobbs finally triumphed in the race for governor. AZ Central: Katie Hobbs elected Arizona’s 5th female governor, defeating election denier Kari Lake.
Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s Democratic election chief who built a national profile by standing up to false claims about the 2020 presidential election, has won the state’s race for governor.
The Associated Press, NBC News and CNN called the race for Hobbs shortly after 7 p.m. Monday, following a nail-biter week of election returns that highlighted the competitiveness of politics in the state.
“Democracy is worth the wait,” Hobbs posted on social media before issuing a statement thanking her family, volunteers and staff for their work.
“This was not just about an election — it was about moving this state forward and facing the challenges of our generation,” the statement read, ending: “Let’s get to work.”
Late-in-the-race polling showed her Republican opponent Kari Lake, the former television news anchor, with the momentum as Nov. 8 neared. Instead, voters offered a stunning rebuke of Lake, who was one of the nation’s most prominent election deniers.
With Hobbs’ win, Arizonans followed voters in other battleground states who rejected gubernatorial candidates who pushed false claims about election results.
As Arizona’s 24th governor, Hobbs will be the fifth female to hold the top elected office, more than in any other state.
That’s amazing. We just finally got our first female governor here in Massachusetts.
Donald Trump is supposedly announcing that he’s running for president today, and The New York Times and Washington Post can hardly wait. The NYT even hired another “Trump whisperer” to go along with their star access journalist Maggie Haberman. This is from Emptywheel: In the Wake of Trump’s Third Electoral Failure, NY Times Boasts of Hiring a Third Trump Whisperer.
…Jonathan Swan is a good reporter. Indeed, his move to the NYT, which frees him to write like a human being rather than a McKinsey consultant (AKA Axios style), will likely be a significant improvement on his coverage of DC politics.
But it is downright insane that, at a time the GOP and Fox News are at least making noise about ditching Trump, the NYT pitched this hire — and their own political reporting — in terms of Trump.
Our insightful, authoritative and addictive coverage of the election this year drove home an essential truth: The Times’s political team is simply the best in the business.
Take our coverage of Republicans and Donald J. Trump.
We have Maggie Haberman, the dominant reporter of the Trump era, whose prolific, revealing and exclusive coverage has become indispensable to millions of readers. We have Michael Bender, whom Maggie admired as her “fierce competitor” from his days at The Wall Street Journal, and who has delivered exclusives on everything from the former president’s plans to buy Greenland to examinations of how Trumpism remade the Republican party.
And today we are thrilled to tell you that Jonathan Swan, a gifted, dogged and high-impact reporter, will be joining The Times. Jonathan, a national political reporter at Axios, is one of the biggest news breakers and best-sourced reporters in Washington.
Even if you have never met Jonathan, you know his stories. He first reported that Trump would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, that the U.S. would pull out of the Paris climate deal, that Steve Bannon would be fired and that Paul Ryan would retire from Congress.
Or perhaps you watched his riveting interview with then-President Trump in 2020, which won Jonathan an Emmy (and made his facial expressions famous.) Ben Smith, the former media columnist for The Times, wrote at the time that it was “perhaps the best interview of Mr. Trump’s term.’’
Jonathan’s nine-part written series on the final days of the Trump administration won broad acclaim, and the podcast on which it was based rose to No. 1 on the Apple charts. [my emphasis]
Again, I think the Swan hire is a net good for reporting — but aside from the degree to which Swan is an improvement over Jonathan Martin, who just moved to become Politico’s Politics Bureau Chief — that has nothing to do with the NYT.
Particularly accompanied as it is by Maggie’s multiple efforts to suggest Trump is still The One, the pitch of Swan as a Trump-whisperer — rather than simply as a very good reporter of right wing politics — this announcement commits to keeping Trump (as a politician, rather than, for example, a criminal suspect, something none of these three are very good at reporting) the center of attention.
The Washington Post article hyping Trump’s announcement–two years ahead of the 2024 election–of courses features gossip reporters Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey: Trump campaign operation takes shape ahead of expected 2024 announcement.
Really, who the hell cares? Why don’t these newspapers cover President Biden, who is actually accomplishing plenty, while Trump is likely to be indicted before 2024? Or they could cover the fact that Russia is still working to influence our elections, which CNN reported this morning: CNN Exclusive: US intelligence suggests Russia put off announcing Kherson retreat until after midterm elections.
The US has intelligence that Russia may have delayed announcing its withdrawal from the Ukrainian city of Kherson in part to avoid giving the Biden administration a political win ahead of the midterm elections, according to four people familiar with the intelligence.
Senior Russian officials discussed the US midterms as a factor during deliberations about the withdrawal announcement, one person familiar with the intelligence said. Waiting until after the US election was always a “pre-planned condition” of Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson, a second person familiar with the intelligence told CNN.
Still, the election was far from the only consideration in Russia’s retreat, officials said. Military analysts say Russia had few other operational options and had been preparing to pull back for weeks, leading US officials to wonder when the Russians would officially acknowledge the withdrawal.
While the intelligence is not a formal assessment of Russia’s intentions, it is a sign that Russia has a continued interest in influencing the US political landscape — although the sources said Russia probably miscalculated the impact such an announcement would actually have on the elections.
“I doubt Americans would really have noticed,” said another source familiar with western intelligence.
President Joe Biden last week appeared to hint that the US believed that the timing of Russia’s announcement was more than mere coincidence.
“I find it interesting they waited until after the election to make that judgement, which we knew for some time they were going to be doing, and it’s evidence of the fact that they have some real problems – the Russian military,” Biden said at a press conference last Wednesday.
I’m going to end with this shocking story from The New York Times about Iran: Stymied by Protests, Iran Unleashes Its Wrath on Its Youth.
One girl, a 14-year-old, was incarcerated in an adult prison alongside drug offenders. A 16-year-old boy had his nose broken in detention after a beating by security officers. A 13-year-old girl was physically attacked by plainclothes militia who raided her school.
A brutal crackdown by the authorities in Iran trying to halt protests calling for social freedom and political change that have convulsed the country for the past two months has exacted a terrible toll on the nation’s youth, according to lawyers in Iran and rights activists familiar with the cases.
Young people, including teenage girls and boys, have been at the center of the demonstrations and clashes with security forces on the streets and university campuses and at high schools. Iranian officials have said the average age of protesters is 15.
Some have been beaten and detained, others have been shot and killed on the streets, or beaten in the custody of security services, and the lives of countless others have been disrupted as the authorities raid schools in an effort to crack down on dissent.
The authorities are targeting thousands of minors, under the age of 18, for participating in the protests, according to interviews with two dozen people, including lawyers in Iran involved in cases and rights activists, as well as parents, relatives and teenagers living in the country. Rights groups say that at least 50 minors have been killed.
The lawyers and many of the individuals interviewed for this article asked not to be named for fear of retribution.
The targeting of young people comes amid a broader crackdown on protesters in which 14,000 people have been arrested, according to the United Nations. On Sunday, state media said an unidentified person had been sentenced to death for setting fire to a government building.
There’s much more at the link. Sorry to hit you with this horrifying story, but I thought it was urgent. What can the U.S. do about this? The U.N.?
Please share your thoughts and any other stories that interest you in the comment thread.