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Monday, November 12, 2018

Joe: President Donald Trump Embarrassed Himself In France, Not America |...

GEORGIA ELECTION: Kemp's lead shrinks, Abrams to file new lawsuit 

"On Election Day, much of DeKalb County was seeing blue.

Stacey Abrams nabbed 258,706 votes Tuesday, with Brian Kemp receiving nearly 49,000 votes. Libertarian candidate Ted Metz received 2,755 votes.

A total of 310,112 people — including 150,814 early voters — voted in DeKalb this election season. Provisional ballots are not included in the totals.

Much of Abrams’ base was in the southern part of the county. She also won Cobb and Gwinnett counties.

The strong showing for Abrams in DeKalb may not be surprising considering the Democrat has strong ties to the county and is a graduate of Avondale High School. At that precinct, she won 1,025 to Kemp’s 136. Metz took home 15 votes. The precinct also had a complaint of inoperable ID scanners.

“The ID scanners aren't working, and some folks are showing up in the system as either unregistered or, like me, showing up as having already voted when they absolutely have not voted yet,” resident Ellaree Yeagley said in a Facebook post. “It took time and several phone calls, but they supposedly have purged my false vote from the system and I was able to cast my electronic ballot.”

GEORGIA ELECTION: Kemp's lead shrinks, Abrams to file new lawsuit 

GEORGIA ELECTION: Kemp's lead shrinks, Abrams to file new lawsuit. Abrams campaign readies federal lawsuit seeking more ballots to be counted.









"The unsettled race for Georgia governor tightened over the weekend as Democrat Stacey Abrams prepared litigation to force the counting of more provisional ballots, while Republican Brian Kemp’s campaign said her refusal to concede was “a disgrace to democracy.” 

The clash heightened as a cache of 5,500 provisional and mail-in ballots were reported that showed Kemp’s lead over Abrams shrinking slightly to about 59,000 votes. Some came from counties that days earlier reported all votes had been tallied.

The newly-reported votes overwhelmingly tilted to Abrams and triggered a wave of celebration for Abrams’ supporters. But she still needs to net about 22,000 votes to force a Dec. 4 runoff, and there aren’t many votes that have yet to be reported. 

It’s unclear, however, just how many votes are still outstanding. Kemp’s campaign said there are so few remaining that it’s mathematically impossible for Abrams to win, but the Democrat said there’s a larger cache of votes still unreported. 

No major media outlet has yet called the race, and with a margin this tight they are likely awaiting the certification of the votes this week. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not call election contests. 

Abrams’ hopes rest largely on provisional ballots cast by voters whose information often could not be immediately verified at polling places. Not all the ballots will be counted, but the Democrat hopes there are enough to gain ground on Kemp.

‘Race is not over’

A federal lawsuit readied by the Abrams campaign could change the dynamic. 

It asks the court to require absentee ballots rejected for “arbitrary” reasons, such as a mistake in a birth date or missing information, to be counted. As many as 2,000 ballots were dismissed because of such problems. 

And it would require counties to accept provisional ballots that were rejected because the voters live in a different county. Abrams’ campaign said this could affect thousands of additional votes. 

After the lawsuit was filed Sunday, the State Election Board convened a special called meeting and voted unanimously to send a letter to all county election offices about how to count absentee and provisional ballots. 

Gwinnett County rejected 1,587 mailed ballots, often because they were missing birth dates, according to public records from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. Across the entire state, election officials rejected a total of 5,147 mailed ballots.

To give counties time to process these changes, the lawsuit seeks to block counties from certifying results of the election until Wednesday. The deadline is now Monday, though because of the federal holiday many counties plan to certify on Tuesday. 

“This race is not over. It’s still too close to call,” said Abrams’ campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo. “And we cannot have confidence in the secretary of state’s numbers.”

The secretary of state’s office – recently vacated by Kemp – reports 21,190 provisional ballots, many of them yet untallied. The Abrams campaign offered a higher figure it said was compiled through a canvass of county data. 

One of the biggest gaps is in Gwinnett County, where Abrams’ campaign reported there were an additional 3,500 provisional ballots that the state figures don’t account. State and local officials said that Abrams’ number is incorrect.

‘Race is over’

If there’s a window for Abrams, it’s narrowing.  

At least 89 counties have already certified their votes, and 118 counties have reported some results from provisional ballots. 

Roughly half of the provisional ballots have been rejected, but those that reported on Saturday helped Abrams net about 2,000 votes. 

About 40 counties had yet to report their final provisional ballots by Saturday afternoon, including many larger left-leaning counties where Abrams stands to gain votes. 

More:  A blue ‘tsunami’ in Atlanta’s suburbs reshapes Georgia politics  

One of the largest is Fulton County, which on Friday reported rejecting 1,556 of the total 3,722 provisional ballots cast. Nearly 1,000 of the ballots were disqualified because they were out of county, and another 581 were not registered to vote. Three were rejected because they weren’t U.S. citizens. 

The Kemp campaign cited those figures and others in a Saturday press release, declaring anew that “the race is over.”

"It is mathematically impossible for Stacey Abrams to win, force a runoff or trigger a recount,” said Kemp spokesman Ryan Mahoney. “Georgia voters have spoken. It's time for Abrams to listen and concede immediately." 

That line was echoed by a range of Georgia Republican leaders and conservative figures, and amplified by President Donald Trump, who demanded on Twitter that Abrams concede.

That’s not likely to happen anytime soon. Abrams has repeatedly said she will continue her campaign until all ballots are counted, and unveiled a litigation team that’s already filed a successful lawsuit requiring Dougherty County to accept a few dozen late-arriving absentee ballots. 

“This race is not over until every single ballot is counted,” Abrams said in a fundraising note sent Saturday to supporters. “So no matter what, I need you to remember that I am still fighting for you and your vote.” 

GEORGIA ELECTION: Kemp's lead shrinks, Abrams to file new lawsuit:

Opinion | Democrats Can’t Play It Safe. They Need Inspiring Candidates.

Saying what should be obvious but has not been too far too many Democrats:

"Learning the right lessons from the 2018 midterms is key for the party as it looks ahead to the 2020 elections.

By Steve Phillips

Mr. Phillips is the author of “Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority.”

Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams, progressive African-American Democratic candidates, may not have won their races for governor in Florida and Georgia (both are still too close to call). But the strategy they followed is still the best strategy for Democrats to win: inspiring, mobilizing and turning out voters of color and progressive whites.

I’ve argued for this strategy for years. In my 2016 book, I analyzed Barack Obama’s victories in the context of the country’s changing demographics. The implications of the Gillum and Abrams races are profound (to be clear, I did fund-raising for the efforts to elect both Ms. Abrams and Mr. Gillum, just as I did for Mr. Obama in 2008), and learning the right lessons from 2018 is key for Democrats as they look ahead to the 2020 elections.

Over the past 20 years, the best-performing Democratic candidates in statewide elections in Florida and Georgia have been Mr. Obama, Mr. Gillum and Ms. Abrams. (Hillary Clinton in 2016 was actually Florida’s highest Democratic vote-getter ever.) This year, Ms. Abrams dramatically increased Democratic turnout, garnering more votes — 1.9 million — than any other Democrat running for any office in the history of Georgia (and that includes Jimmy Carter, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton).

Conventional wisdom dictated that both Mr. Gillum and Ms. Abrams did not give Democrats their best chance; more traditional, moderate white candidates were seen as the most competitive. In this view, moderate candidates can better appeal to and win over “swing” white voters.

Midterm results laid bare the fallacy of that view. In Missouri, Claire McCaskill, the incumbent Democratic senator, lost to Josh Hawley by six percentage points, 45.5 percent to 51.5 percent. Senator McCaskill campaigned by highlighting her moderate credentials and ran a radio ad distancing herself from her party: “Claire’s not one of those crazy Democrats,” a narrator said. “She works right in the middle and finds compromise.”

In Tennessee, Phil Bredesen, the state’s former governor, lost his bid for the Senate by over 10 points despite his attempt to peel off Trump supporters by coming out in support of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Or go back to the 2014 Georgia election results. The strategy of wooing supposedly moderate whites was put to the ultimate test when Democrats fielded nominees from two of the most prominent Democratic families in the history of Georgia — the Carters and the Nunns. Jimmy Carter’s grandson Jason Carter ran for governor, and former Senator Sam Nunn’s daughter Michelle Nunn ran for Senate. Together their campaigns spent more than $20 million, pouring enormous sums into television advertising seeking to persuade moderate whites to back their bids.

They each received about 45 percent of the vote. To date, Ms. Abrams has secured 49 percent of the vote and may yet pull off a victory, pending final vote tallies.

Or look at last year’s special election in Georgia’s Sixth District. Historic sums of money were raised and spent, and the Democrat, Jon Ossoff, still lost to Karen Handel. This year, riding the swell of turnout inspired and organized by Ms. Abrams, the Democrat Lucy McBath flipped that seat.

Clearly success required a different strategy. Ms. Abrams and Mr. Gillum embraced the Obama playbook for winning elections: It starts with emphasizing mobilization over persuasion. Ms. Abrams’s campaign defied conventional wisdom by spending early and big on a vast mobilization effort that involved calling, texting and knocking on the doors of nearly 600,000 infrequent Georgia voters a full year before the election.

Volunteers in the campaign offices of Stacey Abrams, above, and Andrew Gillum, right.Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Scott McIntyre for The New York Times

Mr. Gillum took a similar approach and was buoyed by the backing of organizations such as New Florida Majority, which hired community-based canvassers to knock on tens of thousands of their neighbors’ doors to identify and mobilize Gillum supporters long before the rest of the country caught on to his candidacy.

These campaigns laid the groundwork for future Democratic success, because the thousands of volunteers, operatives and new voters will pay dividends for the 2020 Democratic nominee.

Mr. Gillum and Ms. Abrams did exactly what Mr. Obama did: They inspired people across the racial spectrum to participate and vote, and they did it by being unapologetically progressive. They did not shy away from championing Medicaid expansion, pursuing criminal justice reform and promoting gun control policies.

Andrew Gillum speaking to supporters at a campaign event in Miami.Gabriella Angotti-Jones/The New York Times

Does this strategy require a candidate of color? No, but it does call for candidates who can inspire voters of color. Beto O’Rourke in Texas is an excellent example, and his inspiring and well-organized campaign brought him closer to winning statewide than any Democrat has come in Texas in years. And nationally, the Democrats reclaimed a majority in the House by winning in nearly a dozen districts with large populations of voters of color.

Ms. Abrams and Mr. Gillum were also not afraid to tackle the not-so-silent racist “dog whistles” emanating from their opponents and the president. Ms. Abrams refused to shirk from condemnation of racism and condemned the ways in which honoring racist imagery like the Confederate monument at Georgia’s Stone Mountain monument — called out by name in Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech — undermines democracy and distances entire groups from being part of the body politic. Mr. Gillum offered one of the greatest lines in the history of American politics when he offered, about his opponent, Ron DeSantis, during a debate: “I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist. I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist.”

Notably, this approach of tackling racism head-on is also the best way to woo many white voters. According to the exit polls, both Ms. Abrams and Mr. Gillum received more support from whites in their states than either Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton did. White people — all people — want to believe in something. Challenging them to reject racism and embrace their highest and best ideals is the most effective way to secure their support.

Yes, the strategy of mobilizing voters of color and progressive whites is limited by the demographic composition of particular states. But what Mr. Obama showed twice is that it works in enough places to win the White House. And that is exactly the next electoral challenge.

Democrats can go the old route that has consistently failed to come close to winning and demoralized supporters down the line, or they can do the math and follow the example of Ms. Abrams and Mr. Gillum and Mr. Obama before them. Invest in the infrastructure and staffing to engage and mobilize voters. Stand as tall, strongly and proudly for the nation’s multiracial rainbow as Mr. Trump stands against it. And mobilize and call forth a new American majority in a country that gets browner by the hour and will be even more diverse by November 2020.

Steve Phillips, the founder of Democracy in Color and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, is the author of “Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority.”

Opinion | Democrats Can’t Play It Safe. They Need Inspiring Candidates.

In North Korea, Missile Bases Suggest a Great Deception - The New York Times

"WASHINGTON — North Korea is moving ahead with its ballistic missile program at 16 hidden bases that have been identified in new commercial satellite images, a network long known to American intelligence agencies but left undiscussed as President Trump claims to have neutralized the North’s nuclear threat.

The satellite images suggest that the North has been engaged in a great deception: It has offered to dismantle a major launching site — a step it began, then halted — while continuing to make improvements at more than a dozen others that would bolster launches of conventional and nuclear warheads."
In North Korea, Missile Bases Suggest a Great Deception - The New York Times

Drain the Swamp: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

‘Multiple’ DeKalb absentee voter issues arise on Election Day










"Some DeKalb County residents opting to vote in person instead of submitting an absentee ballot were told they had already voted when they arrived at the polls Tuesday.

Others reported never receiving their absentee ballots at all despite applying for them well ahead of Election Day.

DeKalb County spokesman Andrew Cauthen said in some cases, voters requested an absentee ballot but did not send it in and decided to vote in person.But when they got to their precinct, the system showed that the person already voted since the absentee ballot was requested.

“It’s not an abnormal process,” Cauthen told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

In cases such as this, a poll worker is instructed to call the DeKalb elections office to verify if a ballot has been cast or not. If not, then the voter will be allowed to vote after signing an affidavit saying they will not submit the absentee ballot once they receive it. Cauthen said this prevents the person from voting twice. 

Eriss Donaldson started her Tuesday at Flat Rock Elementary School in Lithonia and ended it in the nation's capital after a 10-hour drive.

The 21-year-old junior at Georgetown University said she tried to vote absentee, but felt the process failed her; that absentee ballot never got to her. So she decided to drive down and make sure her vote was counted.

She said she requested an absentee ballot on Oct. 5. When it didn’t arrive, Donaldson said the advice given to her by DeKalb County officials was to come vote in person.

“I requested absentee for a reason,” she said.

Even when she got to the school at 6:50 a.m., her voter profile said she'd already voted when she hadn't, so she was forced to vote with a provisional ballot.

“Hopefully it all works out,” she said. “It’s been a lot of effort trying to vote."

Her professors in the classes she missed — elements of political theory, religious ethics and moralities issues, human rights, history of the working lives — understood.

Despite the issue, Cauthen said no one has been unable to vote in the county. 

“All issues to my knowledge have been resolved on site,” he said. 

‘Multiple’ DeKalb absentee voter issues arise on Election Day:



Colbert Crunches The Midterms Down To One Statistic

36 Million in U.S. Cast Early Votes, Shattering Records for Young People...

Opinion | Last Exit Off the Road to Autocracy - The New York Times

"Whatever happens in the midterms, the aftermath will be ugly. But the elections are nonetheless a fork in the road. If we take one path, it will offer at least a chance for political redemption, for recovering America’s democratic values. If we take the other, we’ll be on the road to autocracy, with no obvious way to get off."

Opinion | Last Exit Off the Road to Autocracy - The New York Times

Monday, November 05, 2018

The economic recovery during the Obama years was far greater them=n under Trump.

Family Separation: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Opinion | Vote, Vote, Vote! - The New York Times

"Charles M. Blow, November 4th, 2018

"Allow me to make a few requests of you in advance of Tuesday’s elections.

First, dispense with all of the distractions and the deceit.

Donald Trump is openly trying to weaponize racism, to inflame passions and stoke fear. He wants America to focus on a caravan of refugees almost 700 miles away rather than to see clearly the corruption and cravenness right in front of our faces.

Tune out, for the moment, the torrent of lies coming from Trump.

Instead, focus on your principles.

Focus on the numbness you felt on Election Day 2016, the feeling of horror and disbelief that Trump would actually assume the presidency, the way you stumbled though the days that followed, a pained, hollowed-out shell of yourself.

Remember the reason that you showed up, pussy hat-adorned, for the Women’s March, or the March for Our Lives following the horrific high school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Remember that feeling of honor and solidarity you felt when you saw those who took a knee on a football field or stood up at Standing Rock.

Remember Trump’s pathetically insufficient response to the suffering of brown American citizens in Puerto Rico and his outrageously hyperbolic response to suffering brown Central American refugees still in Mexico.

Remember that Nazis, white supremacists, white nationalists and all manner of racists seem to be quite pleased with Trump’s ascension.

At the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke boasted:

“We are determined to take our country back.”

He continued:

“We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believe in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back.”

Remember how you felt when Trump said that there were “very fine people” on both sides in Charlottesville.

Remember how it felt back when, even if you disagreed with the president, sometimes vehemently, you still didn’t think he was a demagogue and demi-fascist.

Remember when the press — and the truth itself — wasn’t under constant assault by a president who is a liar of a quality and scale that we have never seen before.

Remember how dizzying it is to keep up with how many people have been forced to resign from this administration in shame and how many of the people connected to the Trump campaign have been indicted or pleaded guilty to some form of crime.

Remember how you felt when you heard Trump bragging on tape that he enjoyed assaulting women, when multiple women stepped forward who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Trump and when conservatives, including the so-called “religious right,” dismissed it all.

Remember the disgust you felt at seeing people held at airports due to Trump’s Muslim ban and seeing children ripped from their parents and locked in cages due to Trump’s family separation policy at the border.

Remember when Trump stood before law enforcement officers and encouraged more police brutality (they clapped), and stood before the Boy Scouts and talked about killing Obamacare (they chanted “USA! USA!”).

Remember that the Russians attacked our election and Trump not only hosted a joint press conference with Vladimir Putin, where he drew some moral equivalencies between our country and theirs, but he has utterly failed to full-throatedly acknowledge the attack or take sufficient steps to prevent the next one.

Remember how you feel every time you see a Trump rally and recoil as his hyped-up base falls further into his thrall, excited and entertained by his animus and depravity.

And now remember that through it all, Republicans in Congress have averted their gaze, silently or openly acquiescing, or even cheering.

Republicans bore witness just like the rest of us to Trump’s hatred, racism, division, corruption and mendacity, but instead of rejecting him, they embraced him. They became his flunkies and minions, his accomplices and his defenders. There is now no daylight separating the Republicans in Congress from the man who occupies the presidency.

So, you have to ask yourself: Do you want a Congress full of Trump puppets?

Do you want a Congress that refuses to hold Trump accountable, who would halfheartedly investigate connections between the Trump campaign and Russia and who would halfheartedly investigate a Trump nominee to the Supreme Court?

Do you want a Congress that will be a rubber stamp for Trump’s ill-conceived policies and will help him remake the American judiciary in ways that could take generations to undo?

Do you want a Congress that has continuously voted to do precisely what Trump wants to do: destroy the Affordable Care Act?

Is this the country you thought it was or could be, or are Trump and Republicans in Congress making a mockery of your America?

I say, enough is enough!

Someone has to protect this country, our institutions and our traditions. We have to stand up for honesty, principles, equality and civility.

The Constitution offers avenues for political change in this country, but the paramount one is at the ballot. Seize your opportunity on Tuesday. Vote, vote, vote!"

Opinion | Vote, Vote, Vote! - The New York Times:

Saturday, November 03, 2018

House and Senate Latest, Obama Asks a Question, Beto Video: 3 Days to Go - The New York Times










"Very easy.  I found  a Youtube video with a link to a small Adobe program which converts the new Canon CRS (raw) files ti *.dng which Adobe can read.  Editing raw in Photoshop is entirely intuitive.  If you want the CS6 Master Suite I have Westwood’s serial numbers."

House and Senate Latest, Obama Asks a Question, Beto Video: 3 Days to Go - The New York Times:

Miami Vice: Danger Beach | The Daily Show

Trump's Racist Fearmongering Is His Latest Scam: A Closer Look

U.S. Military Assessment Of Caravan Doesn't Match President Trump's Pani...

Court Rejects Brian Kemp's Attempt To Block New Citizen Voters | Rachel ...

Republicans And Democrats Have Different Sexy Thoughts

Cartoon Donald Trump: The Midterms Are All About Me... Maybe

Friday, November 02, 2018

Lena Epstein, the congressional candidate who hired a fake rabbi for a Pence event, angered a lot of Jewish voters.

"The day after an anti-Semitic gunman killed 11 at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence appeared at a campaign rally in Michigan with a rabbi who offered a sober opening prayer for the event. “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob,” Loren Jacobs began, before lamenting the country’s divisions and praying for peace.
The appearance turned into a minor disaster. Pence introduced Jacobs as “a leader in the Jewish community,” but Jacobs is actually a “Christian rabbi”—that is, not a rabbi recognized by the Jewish faith. The Jewish community was not amused. “Stop pretending and appropriating my people,” one (Jewish) rabbi tweeted. Jacobs’ prayer mentioned “Jesus the Messiah,” and he petitioned God to grant Republican politicians victories in the midterm elections next week. It also turned out he had been defrocked 15 years ago."
Lena Epstein, the congressional candidate who hired a fake rabbi for a Pence event, angered a lot of Jewish voters.