Mid term Vote: Live Blog as we and the West Flip!

It’s been a bit of and up and down night.

There are some flips and as we move west. The flips are getting more frequent and many are surprising.  Some of my Republican family in the Kansas City suburbs must be acting like the Rockefeller Republicans we’ve always been.

She’s a native American woman and an out lesbian and a now, a Congresswoman!  Congrats Congresswoman Sharice Davids representing my family there!

Not only that went right in Kansas but Kris Kobach just went down and Laura Kelly will now be Governor of Kansas.  I guess they learned how fucked up things can get after Sam Browback pulled a Jindal on the state. It’s better when you make policy that actually works.

Mitt Romney will be going to the US Senate so no knitting needles for that failed presidential candidate. Nevada, North Dakota, and Montana are all too close too call Senate races

Let’s look and Westward ho!!!

So, it’s 10 pm eastern and the flips are coming fast and furious!

It’s looking much better!!!

 

California could be really great and you can keep up with it here at CNN if you want!

and Omigawsh Staten Island just flipped from Republican to Dem. The only Republican congressman from NYC is now out!!!

 If control of the House comes down to these hours, it’s time to make more coffee.
Polls will close on competitive House races in IowaNevada and Washingtonstate in this two-hour span — all states where Democrats believe it is likely they will pick up seats — but the biggest prize of these late-night hours comes from California, where at least nine House races up and down the state are worth watching.
An important note: If Democratic control of the House comes down to California, the country is in for a long ordeal. California is notoriously slow at counting votes, meaning races could be decided in days and weeks, not hours.

 

Only really sad news so far is we’ve lost Heidi Heitkamp.

Make some coffee and hang out!

 

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Very First Votes Coming In! And it’s Kentucky first out of the gate! Election Night Live Blog!!!

Well, I voted this morning. I look about as worried as I am …

The votes in Kentucky and Indiana are beginning to be reported. The stories are all about LONG lines and wait times every where!!!

New York Times:
Long Lines and Jammed Machines Frustrate Voters in New York City

Houston Chronicle:
Long lines and machines down at multiple polling places across Houston

Associated Press:
Reports of long lines, broken machines as voters go to polls  —  ATLANTA (AP

Let’s sit back and let it roll!!!!
 

 


Election Day Reads: Today’s the Big Day!

People vote at the polling place in Krishna Temple during election day Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Good Morning!!

Today’s the day we’ve been waiting for. It won’t be long now. By early evening, we’ll be getting indications of whether a blue wave is going to materialize. Get out there and vote if you haven’t already. Vote as if your life depended on it, because the lives of of so many people are truly at stake this time.

Let’s see what the pundits are saying this morning.

 

Norman Rockwell, Election Day 1944

 

Politico: A staggering 36 million people have voted early, setting the stage for big midterm turnout.

A staggering 36 million voters cast their ballots ahead of Election Day this year, setting the stage for much-higher-than-usual turnout for a midterm — and, potentially, big surprises on Tuesday night

Republican enthusiasm for President Donald Trump and Democrats’ itch to repudiate him at the ballot box have driven people to the polls far faster than in 2014, when 27.2 million people voted early, according to Michael McDonald, a University of Florida professor who tracks voter turnout.

And that trend is expected to extend into Election Day. Early voters in three states — Texas, Nevada and Arizona — have already surpassed total turnout in the last midterm election, McDonald’s data shows, and more states will blow past their normal non-presidential turnout with just a handful more votes on Election Day. The high voting rates have transformed expectations about who will show up in the midterms — and they could inspire results that diverge from any pre-election polls that did not reckon with this year’s unusually high enthusiasm.

“This is not a normal election,” McDonald told POLITICO. “The best guess is that we’re looking at some sort of hybrid midterm/presidential election” in terms of turnout.

McDonald predicted that by the time all of the early votes are compiled, every state could surpass its 2014 totals. Tom Bonier, CEO of the Democratic data firm TargetSmart, projected that early voting could surpass 40 million when all the ballots are received.

The New York Times: Trump Closes Out a Campaign Built on Fear, Anger and Division.

“We should reward ourselves after this with a new Congress.”

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — President Trump on Monday closed out an us-against-them midterm election campaign that was built on dark themes of fear, nationalism and racial animosity in an effort to salvage Republican control of Congress for the remaining two years of his term.

Mr. Trump’s fiery, invective-filled campaigning produced what may be the most polarized midterm contest in modern times as he played to tribal rifts in American society in a way that no president has done since before the civil rights era. The divisions exposed and expanded over the past few weeks seem certain to last well beyond Election Day.

On Tuesday, voters will choose a new House, decide one-third of the seats in the Senate and select new governors for battleground states that will be critical to the 2020 presidential campaign. On the line for the president will be his ability to legislate, build his promised border wall, appoint new judges and ultimately set the stage to run for a second term.

More than most midterms, this election became a referendum on Mr. Trump, as he himself has told his audiences it would be. The president’s energetic rallies appear to have bolstered Republicans who were trying to match Democratic fervor, rooted in antipathy for Mr. Trump. Even before Election Day, 36 million ballots were cast, with early voting higher than four years ago in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

Trump officially has his own state media. CNN: Sean Hannity said he wouldn’t campaign on stage at Trump’s rally. Hours later, he did exactly that.

Ahead of President Donald Trump’s final election rally, the Fox News host said he wouldn’t appear on stage with the President to help excite the Republican base before voters head to the polls Tuesday.

“To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the president,” Hannity tweeted Monday morning, adding that he would simply “be doing a live show” from the scene.

A Fox News spokesperson offered a similar message to CNN and other news organizations, insisting Hannity would only be at the rally in Missouri to broadcast his show and cover the event for the network.

But, approximately 12 hours after Hannity posted his tweet, he was campaigning on stage with Trump.

A Fox News spokesperson didn’t respond to requests for comment Monday night about Hannity’s appearance at the rally, which was one of the clearest demonstrations yet of the cozy relationship between the network and the Trump White House.

It happened almost immediately after Trump took the stage in Missouri following an introduction from conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who had warmed the crowd up.

Susan Glasser at The New Yorker: The Dark Certainty of the 2018 Midterms.

Ever since 2:29 a.m. on November 9, 2016, America has been waiting for this Tuesday, when a new set of elections would start to bring more clarity to how we should think about the stunning upset that made Donald Trump President. I don’t think the country, or the world, has got over the shock of that night. We haven’t moved on; we haven’t even really accepted it. We are having the same debates about Trump that we had then. We are still endlessly reliving the moment when America turned out to be a country so divided and unhappy that it could elect a man who seemed unelectable by every conventional standard. Trump himself often seems suspended in a time warp, stuck on the best night of his life; just look at how often he still mentions his “beautiful” win over Hillary Clinton.

So now, finally, comes another vote, and with it a chance to move on. For Republicans, the 2018 midterms are a bid to confer legitimacy on a President whose power has always come with the asterisk of not having won the popular vote. By frantically travelling around the country these past six weeks, insisting at rally after rally that this year’s election would be a referendum on him, Trump has made it one. If he and his party maintain control over Congress in a national vote, he will have shown that his Presidency is no fluke. The taint of minority rule will at least partly be washed away.

Trump’s opponents are, of course, well aware of those stakes. Democrats go to the polls this week anxious and hoping to prove that 2016 was indeed the unlikely lightning strike that it seemed. The President’s name is not on the ballot, and many individual candidates may be touting their health-care policies or their service records, but Trump is the inescapable subject of this year’s election.

And that, of course, is just how the President wants it. Disregarding the counsel of his party, Trump has created a closing argument that is all too reminiscent of his 2016 campaign. His endless rallies have been the distillation of his message down to its fearful, divisive essence: Close America’s doors; build the wall; stop the caravan of alien invaders; Democrats will turn America into a socialist hellhole. The President, whose Inaugural address warned of “American carnage,” and who believes that he won his office by lamenting the decline of American greatness, has not been able to adapt to a different narrative. Even the rosy economic statistics that the Republican Party would prefer to talk about are subordinated to the darker language of hatred and conflict, framed with a torrent of lies that, before Trump, would have been extraordinary from a political figure. “Believe me, folks,” he told his crowds back in 2016, before proceeding to lie to them. “I’m the only one that tells you the facts,” he told a crowd the other day.

The President wants us all to keep living in the time warp, to stay suspended in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016, when he did what no one thought he could do.

And after the election, it will be Mueller Time!

The Washington Post: Buckle up. The Mueller investigation may once again take center stage.

…the lull in public action doesn’t mean Mueller and his team have been sitting on their hands. But because grand-jury investigations are secret, little is known about what might be happening. The press and public are left trying to glean information from witnesses who have testified or from obscure court-docket entries with titles like “In re Sealed Case.” But with the election behind us, we soon may be able to rely on more than just speculation.

The Mueller investigation has two areas of primary focus: Russian interference with the 2016 election and possible involvement of members of the Trump campaign; and potential obstruction of justice by the president through such actions as firing then-FBI Director James B. Comey. What news there has been in recent weeks has focused on the Russia conspiracy angle, and in particular on former Trump adviser Roger Stone. Mueller’s investigators reportedly have interviewed a number of witnesses concerning whether Stone may have had advance notice of, or perhaps even direct involvement in, the strategically timed release of stolen Democratic emails in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign. If Stone was involved, it could just be sleazy politics — or it could open him up to charges such as conspiracy to defraud the United States through illegally influencing the election.

Stone certainly is not the only one potentially in Mueller’s crosshairs; a number of other senior campaign officials still could end up implicated in a conspiracy with Russians attempting to tip the election to Donald Trump. That could lead to more indictments, or Mueller could conclude that what he has found does not merit prosecution. The end result could be a report to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein rather than criminal charges.

Gabriel Sherman at Vanity Fair: “I’m Very Worried about Don Jr.” Forget the Midterms–West Wing Insiders Brace for the Mueller Storm.

The bigger threat for Trump than losing control of Congress is Robert Mueller’s looming report. Sources say Trump advisers are girding themselves for Mueller to deliver the results of his investigation to the Justice Department as early as Wednesday, although it’s more likely he’ll wait till later this month. Sources say besides the president, the ones with the most exposure are Roger Stone and Donald Trump Jr. “I’m very worried about Don Jr.,” said another former West Wing official who testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The possible exposure would be that Mueller would demonstrate that Don Jr. perjured himself to investigators when he said he didn’t tell his father beforehand about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting to gather “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. (Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer, Alan Futerfas, declined to comment.)

One potential sign of how seriously Trumpworld is treating the Mueller threat has been the near total silence of Rudy Giuliani. A constant presence on cable news over the summer, Giuliani hasn’t been on television in weeks. “What the hell happened to Rudy?” a former White House official said when I asked about Giuliani’s whereabouts. According to three sources briefed on Trump’s legal team, Giuliani has been in Europe visiting consulting clients as well as preparing a report with Trump lawyers Marty and Jane Raskin that is designed to provide a counter-narrative to Mueller’s document. “They don’t know what Mueller has but they have a good idea and they’re going to rebut it,” one Republican close to Giuliani said. But another source said Trump instructed Giuliani to stay off television to avoid hurting Trump’s midterm message. “Trump’s thinking is, ‘I gave you a lot of rope and now you got a lot of rope marks around your neck,’” the source said. (The White House did not respond to a request for comment.)

Did you vote yet? What did you see and hear at your polling place? What stories are you following? Let us know in the comment thread, and please come back tonight for Dakinikat’s live blog!


Monday Reads: Reclaiming my Country

Tomorrow is Voting Day and, as usual, Sky Dancers will find comfort, solace, and celebration here as we live blog what we hope is real change in America.  As you know, I’m going to trot down the old Fire Station tomorrow morning where votes were cast for every president from FDR on down to the present and hope the two ballot initiatives  I care about pass. My congressman Cedric Richmond is safe and will continue to lead the Congressional Black Caucus in through more challenging times for folks without money and power.

We have our vote. Let’s use it!

Here are some things to read about the election tomorrow.

My New Orleans Saints are at the top of the NFL having sent L.A.’s undefeated record to the trash heap.  I didn’t get to see the game since I worked, but I did hear about this ad and I’m horrified.  It aired on NBC during the Pats-Packers game,

NBC and Fox News said in separate statements on Monday that their networks will no longer air the Trump campaign’s racist anti-immigrant advertisement.

NBC was first to announce its decision, doing so after a backlash over its decision to show the 30-second spot during “Sunday Night Football.”

“After further review we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” a spokesperson for NBC said in a statement.

“Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network,” Marianne Gambelli, Fox News’ president of advertisement sales, told CNN in a statement.

So, how bad is it that CNN has pulled the ad followed by Facebook?

Facebook soon followed suit. “This ad violates Facebook’s advertising policy against sensational content so we are rejecting it. While the video is allowed to be posted on Facebook, it cannot receive paid distribution,” wrote a spokesperson for the company in an emailed statement.

The spokesperson said the ad violated the company’s policy against “sensational content” in advertisements. That policy prohibits “shocking, sensational, disrespectful or excessively violent content” in paid ads. “This includes dehumanizing or denigrating entire groups of people and using frightening and exaggerated rumors of danger.”

The ad, which features a convicted cop-killer who was deported multiple times before he shot and killed two California sheriff’s deputies, was released as a video by the Trump campaign last week. The spot seeks to pin the blame for those murders on immigrants generally along with Democratic policymakers who favor more lax immigration laws. Luis Brocamontes, the criminal at issue, was in fact arrested and released in 1998 by the office of then-Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio, whom Trump pardoned of a misdemeanor criminal offense this year. Brocamontes last entered the country illegally during the George W. Bush administration.

“America cannot allow this invasion. The migrant caravan must be stopped,” the Trump campaign’s 30-second ad declares. “President Trump and his allies will protect our border and keep our families safe.”

Meanwhile, I’m more like the SNL skit ad.

I’m scared to death after bailing on my first Krewe of Boo parade because of visitation by the Proud boys.  The racism is just out in the open these days.

From  the New Yorker and Roger Angell: “Get Up and Go Vote!”.

Editing this piece now, before your eyes, I’d say that I like and stand behind my paean to the voting machine, whose absence I mourn each November—the pure and pearl-like oddity that so well matched the strangeness and beauty of voting. On the other hand, I could do without my hurried complaints about the massive shift of national politics from newspapers and radio onto television (the “tube,” as we called it then).

What I need to add here, in 2018, by contrast, is my reconversion from the distanced and gentlemanly 1992 Roger to something akin to the argumentative and impassioned younger me, which began with the arrival of Donald Trump in our politics and our daily lives. In a New Yorker piece posted the week before the 2016 election, I wrote that my first Presidential vote was for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in 1944, when I was a young Air Force sergeant stationed in the Central Pacific. I went on to say that, seventy-two years later, defeating Trump made that immediate election the most important of my life. Alarmed as I was, I had no idea, of course, of the depths of the disaster that would befall us, taking away our leadership and moral standing in the world.

I am ninety-eight now, legally blind, and a pain in the ass to all my friends and much of my family with my constant rantings about the Trump debacle—his floods of lies, his racism, his abandonment of vital connections to ancient allies and critically urgent world concerns, his relentless attacks on the media, and, just lately, his arrant fearmongering about the agonizingly slow approach of a fading column of frightened Central American refugees. The not-to-mention list takes us to his scorn for the poor everywhere, his dismantling contempt for the F.B.I. and the Justice Department, and his broad ignorance and overriding failure of human response. A Democratic victory in this midterm election, in the House, at the least, will put a halt to a lot of this and prevent something much worse.

Countless friends of mine have been engaged this year in political action, but, at my age, I’m not quite up to making phone calls or ringing doorbells. But I can still vote, and I ended that 1992 piece by saying how the morning after Election Day I’d search out, in the Times, the totals in the Presidential balloting, and, “over to the right in my candidate’s column, count the millions of votes there, down to the very last number. ‘That’s me!’ ” I would whisper, “and, at the moment, perhaps feel once again the absurd conviction that that final number, the starboard digit, is something—go figure—I would still die for, if anyone cared.”

What I said I would die for I now want to live for. The quarter-century-plus since George H. W. Bush lost that election to Bill Clinton has brought a near-total change to our everyday world. Unendable wars, desperate refugee populations, a crashing climate, and a sickening flow of gun murders and massacres in schools, concert halls, churches, and temples are the abiding commonplace amid the buzz of social media, Obamacare, and #MeToo. What remains, still in place and now again before us, is voting.

Indeed, it’s our weapon of mass destruction against Trumpism if we use it.

One of the biggest question this mid term election is who is turning out?  The early voting is outstripping the totals of the entire vote totals in many states. Are young people actually voting?  What about the many women and minorities attacked by the party of Trump?  Will those white women that voted this orange abomination of a man into office repent and be saved?

THE YOUTH WAVE?: Youth turnout rates in the midterm early vote are up by 125 percent compared to 2014, according to Catalist, a voter database servicing progressive organizations — an eye-popping and historically high figure, say strategists on both the left and the right.

Young Americans ages 18 to 29 who say they are definitely voting tilt leftward, according to polls. But the data also shows young Republicans are bubbling with enthusiasm headed into tomorrow.

Here are the Catalist numbers for early voting:

Ballots Cast National — All Ages National — Under 30
2014 19,052,732 1,027,499
2016 41,014,969 4,143,982
2018 29,227,381 2,314,126
  • An “attitudinal” shift: A recent Harvard Institute of Politics poll indicated the most dramatic shift in their polling history is young people’s attitudes about whether politics makes a tangible difference in their lives. John Della Volpe, IOP’s polling director, said pollsters saw a 15-point increase post-2016.
  • Per the poll: Forty percent of 18 to 29-year-olds reported they will “definitely vote” in the midterms (54 percent of Democrats, 43 percent of Republicans and 24 percent of independents).
  • 2020 implications: Among young people polled, 59 percent said they would “never” vote for President Trump vs. 11 percent who said they’d be “sure to” vote for him.
  • Narratives vs. numbers: “Almost all of the data I’ve seen from the last two Harvard polls indicate a significant increase in enthusiasm, interest and likelihood of voting for people under 30 — so the data has been consistent but the narrative inconsistent,” Della Volpe told us. “The high-water mark going back 32 years is only 21 percent of young people turning out and participating in a midterm election.”
  • ‘A big boost’: “The media expectation before AVEV (Absentee Voting/Early Voting) started, based on survey responses about enthusiasm, was that young people would not be a factor again,” a Democratic strategist told Power Up. “Clearly, they’re going to be, especially if those voting are as Democratic as they survey. It’s a big boost for Democrats’ hopes.”
  • GOP pollster: Chris Wilson, the CEO of WPA Intelligence, told us he thought it was a “bit too much” to call the turnout “historic.” But he said the electorate is looking younger “than both the 2016 and 2014 general elections. “Voters under 25 are outpacing their vote share from both the 2016 and 2014 general. Proportionately it’s not enough to make a huge difference, but it’s more,” Wilson said.

In Georgia, Kemp is acting desperate and is liking calling on the FBI as a campaign stunt.

This is really unbelievable. Kemp is charging the Georgia Democratic Party with hacking the Georgia voter data base. I have a feeling it’s all about him not believing the majority of Georgia does not appear to want him as Governor and all his suppression activities are still not pulling his cupcakes out of the oven.

Kemp’s office said Sunday that it had alerted the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation, but did not provide details about the alleged hacking attempt in its press release.

“While we cannot comment on the specifics of an ongoing investigation, I can confirm that the Democratic Party of Georgia is under investigation for possible cyber crimes,” Candice Broce, Kemp’s press secretary, said in a statement. “We can also confirm that no personal data was breached and our system remains secure.”

Representatives for both Kemp’s office and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Democratic Party of Georgia vehemently denied the accusation in a statement on Sunday, calling the probe “yet another example of abuse of power by an unethical Secretary of State.”

“To be very clear, Brian Kemp’s scurrilous claims are 100 percent false, and this so-called investigation was unknown to the Democratic Party of Georgia until a campaign operative in Kemp’s official office released a statement this morning,” Rebecca DeHart, executive director of the Democratic Party of Georgia, said in a statement.

Hackers have been active in the election but it’s certainly the usual suspects despite the Kemp ploy for panic.

Hackers have ramped up their efforts to meddle with the country’s election infrastructure in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s midterms, sparking a raft of investigations into election interference, internal intelligence documents show.

The hackers have targeted voter registration databases, election officials, and networks across the country, from counties in the Southwest to a city government in the Midwest, according to Department of Homeland Security election threat reports reviewed by the Globe. The agency says publicly all the recent attempts have been prevented or mitigated, but internal documents show hackers have had “limited success.”

The U.S. Justice Department said Monday it will monitor compliance with federal voting right laws by deploying personnel to 19 states, including Iowa, for Tuesday’s general election.

Federal personnel will be sent to northwest Iowa’s Buena Vista County, which has a large population of immigrants employed in agriculture and the meat packing industry in the Storm Lake area.

Buena Vista County is among 35 jurisdictions in those 19 states which will be monitored for compliance with federal voting laws, and it is the only jurisdiction targeted in Iowa, according to the Justice Department.

Buena Vista County is within Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, where U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, who has repeatedly made inflammatory statements about immigration, is being challenged by Democrat J.D. Scholten of Sioux City.

There are about 20,000 people in Buena Vista County. About 26 percent are identified as Hispanic or Latino, 9 percent Asian, 3 percent black or African-American, more than 1 percent native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and more than 1 percent two or more races, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many of the immigrants are not native English speakers.

Oh, look,the world’s oldest living confederate widow is going to protect minority voters’ rights!  Feeling better?  Yeah,  I trust him about as much as I trust Kobach to protect minority voters’ rights in Kansas.  How’s this headline from The Guardian?  “Trump ally Kris Kobach accepted donations from white nationalists”.

The Republican candidate for governor of Kansas, Kris Kobach, who has close ties to the Trump administration, has accepted financial donations from white nationalist sympathizers and has for more than a decade been affiliated with groups espousing white supremacist views.

Recent financial disclosures show that Kobach, a driving force behind dozens of proposals across the US designed to suppress minority voting and immigrant rights, has accepted thousands of dollars from white nationalists. Donors include a former official in the Trump administration who was forced to resign from the Department of Homeland Security this year after emails showed he had close ties to white supremacists and once engaged in an email exchange about a dinner party invitation that was described as “Judenfrei”, or free of Jews.

Currently the Kansas secretary of state, Kobach is running in a tight raceagainst the Democrat Laura Kelly. The election has drawn the concern of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), after the single polling place located in Dodge City was moved outside the town, in what some claimed to be an attempt to suppress the Hispanic vote.

How can any normal person trust a party that has some deep roots to Hate Groups? The White Flight parish next door to me will undoubtedly return Steve “I’m David Duke without the baggage” to his leadership position in the Republican House.  Let’s just make sure he’s kept as far away from the speaker’s job as possible.

So, I’ll be here tomorrow night!!! Join us!!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Sunday Reads: Guess Who?

Actor Max Schreck, of Nosferatu fame….

Yeah…this guy:


Today’s post is complemented with images of famous people when they were young…some may surprise you…others will not. I hope you enjoy the show.

Earlier this week, Pence came to Georgia. One of my fellow Roller Girls showed up to protest:

View this post on Instagram

Brittany Martin from News Channel 9 talked to me at the Pence/Kemp rally in Dalton yesterday. There's a short clip of me saying a few words. Ill put the link in my bio. Pardon my look, I was standing in the rain. #fucktrump #fuckpence #fuckkemp #makeracistsashamedagain #protest #makechange #VoteStaceyAbrams #staceyabramsforgovernor #wewillnotbesilenced #metoomovement #impeachtrump

A post shared by Abby (@lovelyfatbabe) on

I am so proud of Pixie! It takes guts to stand there, by yourself…and she did get harassed by tRump supporters. Video clip of her interview with the local news station at this link.

Channel 9 Lone Protestor Outside Rally

One thing about the WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association), they are proactive when it comes to issues and politics that strike out at causes and the culture Roller Derby stands up for…for instance:

The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Condemns Discriminatory Policy in the US – WFTDA

In recent days, the United States executive branch has suggested federal policy changes may be coming that would significantly harm transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer, intersex, and other gender nonconforming members of our communities. As the governing body for the sport of roller derby, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) denounces these proposed changes, which would be in direct opposition to the inclusive spirit of our roller derby community. We ask other sports governing bodies, amateur and professional, as well as organizations and individuals who recognize the value of inclusivity in sport to join us in pushing back on these discriminatory policies.

As a nonprofit proudly based in Austin, Texas, the WFTDA is saddened to hear of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ interest in defining gender as a biological condition. In the eyes of the WFTDA, this is an attack on our core values as an organization.

In 1972, Title IX was introduced as part of the U.S. Education Amendments, to end “discrimination on the basis of sex.” Title IX specifically offered protections and space for women in amateur sports, addressing the collegiate system directly. In recent years, the NCAA has taken steps to begin extending these protections to transgender athletes wishing to compete at the highest level in their chosen sports, pushing Title IX to end discrimination not just on the basis of assigned sex, but also on the basis of gender expression and transgender status.

The WFTDA has also worked throughout its existence to re-evaluate its own gender policies and create its current gender statement, at the encouragement of the WFTDA community as well as our colleagues in the Junior Roller Derby Association, the Men’s Roller Derby Association, and other organizations that have contributed significantly to gender-expansive competition. Together, we recognize that a commitment to inclusivity makes our sport brighter and more competitive. Diversity adds complexity and nuance that would not otherwise exist on eight wheels. It’s our collective obligation to advocate for the human rights of our membership — especially those who have historically faced disproportionately larger barriers to inclusion.

Please, go to the link to read the rest of the statement. There is a lot more there to chew on.

As you can also see, they encourage their teams to participate in the political discussion:

Arizona Roller Derby Announces the New Names of its International Travel Teams – Arizona Roller Derby

In 2004, AZRD agreed to play the Texas Rollergirls (TXRG) in the first interstate-bout of the modern era. As part of creating its first All-Star team, AZRD members selected the name Tent City Terrors, a satirical political statement in reference to Arizona’s notorious outdoor jail. Many of the skaters on the original team selected a second identity separate from that of their home team, such as “Sheriff Shutyerpaio”. When it was formed, it was unclear when or how many more games the team would play; at the time, there was no flat track organization nor rule set. Still, the name and uniform stuck through the first national tournament held in 2006, and has been used by the team since.

Yeah, a team name…plus derby player’s names to make a political statement. Check out a few other examples below:

Here are a few more links on politics and WFTDA and Roller Derby this:

A few articles on gender issues and concentrating on Derby as an LGBTQ inclusive sport.

WFTDA Gender Statement – WFTDA

Making Inclusivity Happen in Roller Derby – The Apex

The WFTDA Challenges ESPN to Improve Their Relationship with Non – NBC2 News

Roller derby is mashing up gender norms in sport – here’s how

Roller Derby and promoting the Indigenous Community:

Celebrating Indigenous Culture and Community in Roller Derby – WFTDA

Team Indigenous Talks Politics – WiSP Sports | conversations from the world of women’s sports-‘MICK SWAGGER’ AND ‘JUMPY MCGEE’ DISCUSS HOT TOPICS AND THE POLITICS OF TEAM INDIGENOUS AND THE WFTDA

Here is a statement back when tRump issued the fucking Muslim travel ban:

WFTDA Issues Statement Against US Travel Ban – WFTDA

It really makes me proud to be a part of the North Georgia Roller Girls ….which is a WFTDA team associated with Peach State Roller Derby; with the WFTDA backing us, we should stand up for the causes that are a part of the movement that is Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby…it is wonderful to see women like Abby/Pixie embracing the Culture of WFTDA. I applaud her efforts. Brava!

As for the NGRG…we start playing our official first games in March of 2019, so I will definitely keep you all up to date with that nugget of derby news from time to time.

Oh, yeah…more young celebrity pictures:

Milton Berle

Kate Winslet

So back to the shit storm that is tRump.

This little Nazi Youth is none other than tRump himself.

Trump’s attack on birthright citizenship betrays his ignorance – and his weakness | Corey Brettschneider | Opinion | The Guardian

The 14th amendment to the constitution confirms that all Americans are born equal. One immigrant-hating lover of dictators cannot change that with a simple stroke of his pen

In an interview that will air in full on Sunday, Donald Trump reveals that he wants to end birthright citizenship through executive order. But he doesn’t have that power. An executive order cannot reverse the guarantee of citizenship to anyone born in the United States that is enshrined in the constitution.

After the civil war, Congress sought to grant full citizenship to African Americans, who had been denied it under the Dred Scottsupreme court decision. Yet when it passed the 14th amendment in 1868, Congress went further. It wrote a rule making it clear that any person, regardless of ethnicity or national origin, had a right to citizenship upon being born in the US.

The relevant portion of the 14th amendment reads: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The phrase about jurisdiction was meant to exclude the children of ambassadors and tribal Native Americans, who until 1924 were regarded as citizens of separate sovereign nations.

These words about birthright citizenship reflect the wider values of the 14th amendment, which also guarantees “equal protection of the laws” for all persons. Together with the constitution’s ban on royal titles in Article I, Section 9, the document stands for the idea that the US does not condone hereditary hierarchy – or any legal distinction based on birth or parentage, ideas associated with aristocratic societies. In the US, everyone starts on the same plane.

I also think this is yet another form of tRumpian white nationalist intimidation. Considering the past 2013 Scalia Supreme Court decision which removed the Voting Rights portion of Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Remember the Civil Rights Act will again be revisited soon enough.)

This way of sending these outright threats goes far to back the claims of fascism that Boston Boomer discuss in her post from yesterday.

But back to the the op/ed up top. It goes on to discuss the first case that came before the SCOTUS, in 1898… United States v Wong Kim Ark. Please read the rest to learn more…

I’m going to stick with the Guardian for the next few links, I think it will give us a good look from a different perspective.

Julia Roberts

‘This is Georgia’: hate, hope and history in election that shows the clash of two Americas | US news | The Guardian

Hey, what a fucking surprise. Georgia’s election shit is making news over in the UK!

“The consequences of any of us staying home really are profound because America’s at a crossroads,” he warned. “The healthcare of millions of people is on the ballot. Making sure working families get a fair shake is on the ballot. But maybe most of all, the character of our country is on the ballot.”

It was not meant to be like this. America’s first black president hoped to steer the nation on an upward trajectory. Then came Donald Trump, a man endorsed by white supremacists and the breathing embodiment of everything Obama is not. On Tuesday, these two radically opposing visions of “the character of our country” will collide at the ballot box. Georgia is ground zero.

I live in ground zero. I know the crap first hand. Ugh.

From Seinfeld to bagels, it was always easy to be a Jew in America. What changed? | Hadley Freeman | News | The Guardian by Hadley Freeman.

Recently a clutch of American relatives came to visit me in London. I don’t get to see my extended family so much these days, but thanks to the internet they see me all the time, reading my articles and sending messages so supportive they occasionally reject English as insufficiently adoring and opt for Yiddish (“I’m kvelling!”). They ask me about the different things I’ve been writing about: celebrities, feminism, and so on. But when they made the transatlantic trip this time there was a rare consensus: they all wanted to talk about the rise of antisemitism in Europe.

What is going on? It’s just crazy!” one uncle said to me after I wrote about protesting against antisemitism in British politics. We discussed the rise in verbal and physical attacks on Jews in the UK, the election of Viktor Orbán in Hungary, the Law and Justice party in Poland. He was especially horrified by the murder of 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll in Paris. “It is just unimaginable,” my cousin said.

Marlene Dietrich

Dietrich was one of many German born actors/entertainers who spoke out and actively campaigned against Hitler during WWII.

‘Vaya con Dios:’ the impossible life of an immigration judge at the US border | US news | The Guardian

Robert Brack, who at one point had the heaviest caseload of any federal judge in the US, pleads for justice for the immigrants he sees every day

One more link for today’s post…

Jon Stewart is right: How long will the media continue to play Trump’s game?

A fleeting moment within the teaser for Axios’s interview with Donald Trump, the centerpiece of Sunday’s “Axios on HBO,” tells all you need to know about how the president truly feels about his relationship to the media.

Moments after Jim VandeHei admits to Trump that his “enemy of the people” rhetoric scares the hell out of him, the reporter (and co-founder of the media site) tells the president, “You are, like, the most powerful man in the world.”

Reflexively Trump looks off-camera and grins, briefly, his face flush with what appears to be self-satisfaction. There was concentrated smugness in that expression, tinged with a pugilist’s cruelty.

In that scene, VandeHei points out the extreme irresponsibility of any leader of the free world using his position and platform to vilify an entire class of people, and using that rhetoric to stoke the emotions of the people who constitute his base.

Ever the attention-hungry reality show star, Trump softly replies, “They like me more because of it,” calling his dangerous hyperbolic term the only way he can fight back. That satisfied grin says he knows he’s winning.

Axios on HBO,” premiering Sunday at 6:30 p.m., is one of many specials the news site will run on the premium cable channel as part of a partnership. HBO has been steadily expanding its news and information footprint. And that in itself indicates how malleable our concept of news has become under Trump’s administration.

This is the interview where tRump announces he is going to snap his fingers…click his heels and poof, no more “14th Amendment.”

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So what are you finding today as we count down to Tuesday’s election?

This is an open thread.


Lazy Saturday Reads: Trump and Fascism

By Edward B. Gordon

Good Afternoon!!

Over the past couple of weeks, Trump has downplayed an attempt to assassinate at least 13 present and former Democratic officials and prominent Democrats as well as the hate crime murder of 11 Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue. His deepest expressed concern about these horrific events has been that they interfered with media coverage of his Hitler rallies. In addition, Trump has blatantly lied about a group of Honduran asylum-seekers, claiming their “caravan” represents a national emergency that requires the deployment of thousands of active-duty troops on the Southern border. I think at this point it’s appropriate to label Trump’s behavior and rhetoric as fascism. I’m far from the only one saying this.

The Washington Post: Trump deploys the fascist playbook for the midterms, by Ishaan Tharoor

President Trump’s message is as clear as it is ugly: Fearmongering about illegal immigration will deliver his party the votes it needs to retain control of Congress. And so, in the final stretch before next week’s midterm election, the president and his allies have launched a blitzkrieg of misinformation.

By Henri Lebasque (1865 – 1937)

In a move unprecedented in modern American history, Trump ordered thousands of active-duty troops to the border to intercept a caravan of Central American migrants, casting them as a menacing “invasion” of “unknown Middle Easterners” and other shadowy elements. His allies at right-wing media outlets spread lurid conspiracy theories about liberals enabling disease-bearing foreigners to infiltrate the country.

Even as attention shifted to a spate of right-wing violence, including the slaughter of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue that critics linked to the president’s rhetoric, Trump barreled on, undaunted. On Thursday, he gave a speech at the White House where he warned that U.S. troops would shoot violent migrants at the border. He also shared an ad that sought to connect the Democratic Party to murders carried out by a man twice deported to Mexico, and then to link the man’s murderous behavior to the supposed threat posed by all migrants.

Taroor links to several other writers on the subject, including:

Timothy Snyder at The Guardian: Donald Trump borrows from the old tricks of fascism.

The governing principle of the Trump administration is total irresponsibility, a claim of innocence from a position of power, something which happens to be an old fascist trick. As we see in the president’s reactions to American rightwing terrorism, he will always claim victimhood for himself and shift blame to the actual victims. As we see in the motivations of the terrorists themselves, and in the long history of fascism, this maneuver can lead to murder.

Comfy Chair, by Rae Andrews

The Nazis claimed a monopoly on victimhood. Mein Kampf includes a lengthy pout about how Jews and other non-Germans made Hitler’s life as a young man in the Habsburg monarchy difficult. After stormtroopers attacked others in Germany in the early 1930s, they made a great fuss if one of their own was injured. The Horst Wessel Song, recalling a single Nazi who was killed, was on the lips of Germans who killed millions of people. The second world war was for the Nazis’ self-defense against “global Jewry”.

The idea that the powerful must be coddled arose in a setting that recalls the United States of today. The Habsburg monarchy of Hitler’s youth was a multinational country with democratic institutions and a free press. Some Germans, members of the dominant nationality, felt threatened because others could vote and publish. Hitler was an extreme example of this kind of sentiment. Today, some white Americans are similarly threatened by the presence of others in institutions they think of as their own. Among the targets of the accused pipe bomber were four women, five black people and two Jews. Just as (some) Germans were the only serious national problem within the Habsburg monarchy, so today are (some) white Americans the only serious threat to their own republic.

How does this apply to Trump?

Trump and some of his supporters mount a strategy of deterrence by narcissism: if you note our debts to fascism, we will up the pitch of the whining. Thus Trump can base his rhetoric on the fascist idea of us and them, lead fascist chants at rallies, encourage his supporters to use violence, praise a politician who attacked a journalist, muse that Hillary Clinton should be assassinated, denigrate the intelligence of African Americans, associate migrants with criminality, run an antisemitic advertisement, spread the Nazi trope of Jews as “globalists”, and endorse the antisemitic idea that the Jewish financier George Soros is responsible for political opposition – but he and his followers will puff chests and swell sinuses if anyone points this out.

By Ivan Stepanovich Ivanov-Sakachev

If Trump is not a fascist, this is only in the precise sense that he is not even a fascist. He strikes a fascist pose, and then issues generic palliative remarks and denies responsibility for his words and actions. But since total irresponsibility is a central part of the fascist tradition, it is perhaps best to give Trump his due credit as an innovator.

The next piece is very long, but I hope you’ll go read it. I can’t do it justice with excerpts. From the Literary Hub, Aleksandar Hemon on Civility: Fascism is Not an Idea to Be Debated, It’s a Set of Actions to Fight. Hemon is from Bosnia. His essay responds to The New Yorker’s quickly aborted invitation to Steve Bannon to discuss his “ideas” with editor-in-chief David Remnick.

The public discussion prompted by the (dis)invitation confirmed to me that only those safe from fascism and its practices are far more likely to think that there might be a benefit in exchanging ideas with fascists. What for such a privileged group is a matter of a potentially productive difference in opinion is, for many of us, a matter of basic survival. The essential quality of fascism (and its attendant racism) is that it kills people and destroys their lives—and it does so because it openly aims so.

Witness Stephen Miller and Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance for illegal immigration” policy. Fascism’s central idea, appearing in a small repertoire of familiar guises, is that there are classes of human beings who deserve diminishment and destruction because they’re for some reason (genetic, cultural, whatever) inherently inferior to “us.” Every fucking fascist, Bannon included, strives to enact that idea, even if he (and it is usually a he—fascism is a masculine ideology, and therefore inherently misogynist) bittercoats it in a discourse of victimization and national self-defense. You know: they are contaminating our nation/race; they are destroying our culture; we must do something about them or perish. At the end of such an ideological trajectory is always genocide, as it was the case in Bosnia.

By Kenton Nelson

The effects and consequences of fascism, however, are not equally distributed along that trajectory. Its ideas are enacted first and foremost upon the bodies and lives of the people whose presence within “our” national domain is prohibitive. In Bannon/Trump’s case, that domain is nativist and white. Presently, their ideas are inflicted upon people of color and immigrants, who do not experience them as ideas but as violence. The practice of fascism supersedes its ideas, which is why people affected and diminished by it are not all that interested in a marketplace of ideas in which fascists have prime purchasing power.

The error in Bannon’s headlining The New Yorker Festival would not have been in giving him a platform to spew his hateful rhetoric, for he was as likely to convert anyone as he himself was to be shown the light in conversation with Remnick. The catastrophic error would’ve been in allowing him to divorce his ideas from the fascist practices in which they’re actualized with brutality. If he is at all relevant, it is not as a thinker, but as a (former) executive who has worked to build the Trumpist edifice of power that cages children and is dismantling mechanisms of democracy.

Relevant reading from Today’s news:

The Washington Post: Trump’s election-eve border mission puts the military in partisan crosshairs.

The Washington Post: Army assessment of migrant caravans undermines Trump’s rhetoric.

Think Progress: These prominent white supremacists interacted with the Pittsburgh shooting suspect on social media.

The Independent: Fascism has arrived in Brazil – Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency will be worse than you think.

The New York Times: Nigerian Army Uses Trump’s Words to Justify Fatal Shooting of Rock-Throwing Protesters.

Buzzfeed News: Trump Said US Soldiers Should Shoot Rock-Throwing Migrants, And Vets Were Having None Of That.

What stories are you following today?


Friday Reads: Peace or Panic?

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

I simply cannot stand any more crap coming out of a KKKremlin Caligula rally. The bigotry, lies, and outright impossibilities have just about done me and my psyche in for awhile. I’m going to vote on Tuesday at my little fire station on the corner near the old Fire station horse barns that I walk an entire two blocks to reach. Once again, I’m going to join the down trodden in the big hope we can get rid of this huge mess that once was the party of Lincoln.

Today, I’m turning off the horse race coverage. I’m with Vanity Fair writer Peter Hamby on this: “BLOWING SMOKE”: SORRY, PUNDITS, BUT YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON TUESDAY”. I don’t know what’s worse; watching polls that are based on turnout patterns that seem completely upended or listening endlessly to opining guys that never leave the sanctity of their studios in NYC.

Every piece of evidence we have about voting behavior during the Trump presidency—special elections in various corners of the country, public and internal polls, early voting data in key states—indicates that we are heading for a midterm election with explosively high turnout. University of Florida professor Michael McDonald, who studies voting patterns, estimated recently that almost 50 percent of eligible voters could cast ballots this year, a turnout level not seen in a midterm election in 50 years. Trump, in his way, is loudly trying to juice Republican turnout in red-leaning Senate races by demagoguing the threat of illegal border crossings, which happen to be at their lowest point in decades.

Enthusiasm in this election, though, is mostly fueled by Democrats. Aside from college-educated white women, much of the Democratic coalition in 2018 is comprised of voters—young people, African-Americans, and Hispanics—who don’t typically show up in midterm elections. And the main thing to remember about high-turnout elections, especially ones that bring non-traditional voters into the mix, is that strange things can happen. House seats once thought to be safe are suddenly in jeopardy, like Republican Steve King’s solidly red seat in Iowa now appears to be.

Still, in the press, it seems written in stone that Democrats will take back the House but fail to take the Senate, thanks to an unfavorable map that has too many Democratic incumbents running in Trump-friendly states like Missouri, North Dakota, West Virginia, Indiana, and Montana. The prospect of a House-Senate split is the most likely outcome according to the polls and veteran handicappers, and that probability has already started congealing into conventional wisdom. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, writing last weekend, said this scenario is “the sensible thing to root for,” the best way to constrain Trump’s impulses but also an unchecked liberalism.

There you go. Ross “I’m wrong about everything all the time” Douthat is being quoted doing his usual thing of being totally out of his league.

There’s all kinds of narratives out there and I’m sure my mental and emotional health are not improving with each read. From the Cut: “Heidi Heitkamp Doesn’t Care That You Think She’s Going to Lose”. Wow, I really want to believe that one. BTW, voter suppression by states like North Dakota against minority voters is being up held in the courts. The Native Americans lost their plea to stop the crazy “you must have a state approved address on your id” to vote. The Hispanic Americans of Dodge City, Kansas must travel miles ouside of the city to find their one voting place.

Oh, and machines in Georgia are flipping votes in the gubernatorial race and of course, they’re taking the votes away from the black woman. This is crazy.

Who she is, in addition to one of the most endangered senators in the country, is a canny, inexhaustible political operator; a policy enthusiast; a woman who seems to come by her you bet folksiness honestly. She is someone people here like. In fact, so many people like Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota that her opponent, Representative Kevin Cramer, himself saysin a television ad, “We all like Heidi.” (There’s a “but.”)

Heitkamp denies that she is significantly down in the polls — she says many of the pollsters trying to survey North Dakota are “incompetent” — though she declines to provide contrary evidence. “The thing that everybody needs to understand is, I need 150,000 votes,” she says. “You can count 150,000 votes. You can motivate 150,000 votes.”

It’s mostly Heitkamp herself that makes people in North Dakota unconvinced that this race is over, even as most of the political class has moved on. (Trump’s handlers left the state off his final-week rally list, though Joe Biden is about to campaign here.) But it’s also voters like White Owl, here in the 4 Bears ballroom, near the slot-machine smoking parlor where seniors from Saskatchewan and Minnesota are pulling levers. If she’s lucky, what look a lot like hurdles — Heitkamp’s vote against Trump’s Supreme Court justice in a state he won by 36 points, the state’s restrictive new voter-ID law — could form the scaffolding of a win.

The stand Heitkamp took on Kavanaugh, whatever else it did, earned her unprecedented millions in donations and the admiration of voters like White Owl. North Dakota’s new requirement that all voters must have a street address — and surely this is a total coincidence — lopsidedly affects the same Native American voters who helped Heitkamp win in 2012 with a margin of less than 3,000 votes. But the law could boomerang on its Republican sponsors, as community organizers, some cool on Heitkamp because of her support for the Dakota Access Pipeline, spring into indignant action. In a state where a 500-vote swing can decide political fates — North Dakota’s, and potentially even the U.S. Senate’s — everything matters, and anything is possible.

Everything matters. Anything is possible. I keep repeating that telling myself I’m not going to have the same trauma of 2016.

Oh, and about those vote flipping machines …

When reports began circulating last week that voting machines in Texas were flipping ballots cast for Beto O’Rourke over to Ted Cruz, and machines in Georgia were changing votes for the Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to those for her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, it would not have been unreasonable to suppose that those machines had been hacked. After all, their vulnerabilities have been known for nearly two decades. In September, J. Alex Halderman, a computer-science professor at the University of Michigan, demonstrated to members of Congress precisely how easy it is to surreptitiously manipulate the AccuVote TS, a variant of the direct-recording electronic (D.R.E.) voting machines used in Georgia. In addition, Halderman noted, it is impossible to verify that the votes cast were not the votes intended, since the AccuVote does not provide a physical record of the transaction.

“I am sick and tired of this administration. I’m sick and tired of what’s going on. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I hope you are, too.”

Joe Biden

I’m sick and tired, too.

I’m sick and tired of a president who pretends that a caravan of impoverished refugees is an “invasion” by “unknown Middle Easterners” and “bad thugs” — and whose followers on Fox News pretend the refugees are bringing leprosy and smallpox to the United States. (Smallpox was eliminated about 40 years ago.)

I’m sick and tired of a president who misuses his office to demagogue on immigration — by unnecessarily sending 5,200 troops to the border and by threatening to rescind by executive order the 14th Amendment guarantee of citizenship to anyone born in the United States.

I’m sick and tired of a president who is so self-absorbed that he thinks he is the real victim of mail-bomb attacks on his political opponents — and who, after visiting Pittsburgh despite being asked by local leaders to stay away, tweeted about how he was treated, not about the victims of the synagogue massacre.

I’m sick and tired of a president who cheers a congressman for his physical assault of a reporter, calls the press the “enemy of the people ” and won’t stop or apologize even after bombs were sent to CNN in the mail.

I’m sick and tired of a president who employs the language of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jewish financier George Soros and “globalists,” and won’t apologize or retract even after what is believed to be the worst attack on Jews in U.S. history.

I’m sick and tired of a president who won’t stop engaging in crazed partisanship, denouncing Democrats as “evil,” “un-American” and “treasonous” subversives who are in league with criminals.

I’m sick and tired of a president who cares so little about right-wing terrorism that, on the very day of the synagogue shooting, he proceeded with a campaign rally, telling his supporters, “Let’s have a good time.”

I’m sick and tired of a president who presides over one of the most unethical administrations in U.S. history — with three Cabinet members resigning for reported ethical infractions and the secretary of the interior the subject of at least 18 federal investigations.

It’s a long list out there in the Max Boot Op Ed in WAPO but I’m sure we could all add to it.

Mostly, I’m sick of every emanation from KKKremlin Caligula. I want him to choke on badly cooked hamburger so we can toss him on to the heaps of historical mistakes.

The miasma of today is one created by a world in which journalists are described as “enemies of the people,” in which immigrants fleeing chaos or seeking opportunity are accused of harboring terrorists and carrying leprosy, in which a politician aspiring to the highest leadership positions in Congress says, “We cannot allow Soros, Steyer and Bloomberg to BUY this election!” It is the miasma created by a leader who cheers a candidate for body-slamming a reporter, and whose subordinates’ professed sorrow for bullet-riddled old men and women is swiftly displaced by self-pity and grievance that their boss is being picked on.

So, that’s it for me because I have to finish up grades for the term today. I want to be done so I can watch my favorite zombie show. For once, it won’t be about the Republican base.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?