Fuck You Up the Fucking Fuckhole, You Fucked-Up Fucking Fucktards

Because, this:

Seattle Times, fucking idiots

THE most expensive race in state history for a seat in the state House might be tilting a politically divided Legislature even more toward the middle.

In the race to represent Federal Way’s 30th Legislative District, Republican Teri Hickel held an eight-point lead over Democratic Rep. Carol Gregory in Tuesday voting returns. If that lead holds in future vote counts, a win by Hickel would skinny the once-mighty Democratic majority in the House down to a 50-48 margin.

The consequences of this shift should be welcome to Washington voters seeking moderation in Olympia.

Right. Because it’s the Democrats who are immoderate and obstructionist, rather than the Republicans who have pledged not to ever raise taxes ever, for any reason, under any circumstance, no matter what. You know, the Republicans who also oppose marriage equality, reproductive rights, gun responsibility, reducing carbon emissions, teaching evolution, and just about everything else the editors claim to endorse. A Republican Party that is so bereft of ideas or intellect (or, let’s be honest, morality) that it has elevated trickle-down-regurgitating student-harassing child-bride-marrying Matt Manweller to the status of rising fucking star.

That is the party to which the wise editorial board members of our state’s paper of record look to bring “moderation” to Olympia.

Sigh. I try not to wish for the day the Seattle Times shuts down its presses. But honestly—fuck you.

Surprise: Seattle’s Big Winners on Election Day Were Incumbents and Money!

Okay, first off, let me just say upfront that I was wrong. Yesterday I predicted that a bunch of local races would likely be “too close to call,” when in fact, really, none of them are. Some will likely tighten up, but I will be awfully surprised if any of last night’s top-line winners end up losing.

The tightest race right now is in District 3, where Kshama Sawant leads challenger Pamela Banks by 5.4 points, but the late ballots will surely trend in Sawant’s favor. I guess District 1’s race between Shannon Braddock and Lisa Herbold (52.9% to 46.5%) is technically in the too-close-to-call range, but it’s hard to imagine a sufficient late ballot swing.

So then, what did we learn from last night’s election? Absolutely nothing. Every incumbent won reelection, and in all but one race (District 5, where fundraising was almost even), every winner outspent the loser. As usual. Also, we easily passed another property tax levy. Imagine that.

So much for the disruptive impact of district elections.

Speaking of which, for all the excitement allegedly generated by putting nine council seats up for election at once (four of them open!), voter turnout is likely to hit a historic low. Citywide, Seattle is only on track for about 39 percent turnout, compared to over 52 percent just two years ago.

So yeah, nothing to see here. Incumbents win, money rules, and turnout sucks.

Open Thread 11/4/2015

- Hunger Strike at Texas Detention Center Swells Into the Hundreds

Why I don’t encourage my patients to report sexual assault

– Well, the rest of the country had not so liberal an election night.

– Good old self-reliance

I mentioned on Monday, I’m going to be taking a bit of a break from writing. Probably just a couple weeks. I’ll still put up open threads, but they’ll be shorter than even this nonsense. See you in a few.

Election Results Thread

Here are your King County results (.pdf) and here’s Washington.

As far as Seattle City Council, I know Goldy has been talking about low turnout for a while, but I can’t get my brain around there being around 10 thousand votes in district elections after the first drop. Those numbers will obviously go up, but I just don’t have a sense of what it means. Are the candidates who are pretty far behind in percentage but not in absolute numbers sunk? I don’t know. But for now, if it holds, the council will be majority women, and I think a bit more liberal in January than it is now. And we’re going to have a better financing system going forward. Gonzalez’ campaign wins both the most fun party of the ones I stopped by and the coveted first person to email me after their victory. I didn’t give her money, or indicate support in any way, but kudos?

Statewide, the Eyman initiative looks like it’s winning, although it’s both tight and probably unconstitutional. The State House will still be Democratic, but less so. I’m going back out, but use this to discuss stuff a couple hours late.

What to Expect When You’re Electing, November 2015 Edition

Thanks to the shift to district elections, all nine Seattle City Council seats are up for election this year, including an astounding four open seats! So you’d think voter turnout would be sky high, right? Well, not so much.

Turnout is low. Abysmally low. The most recent ballot return statistics suggests that countywide turnout could fall under 40 percent, the lowest general election turnout as far back as I’ve bothered to look.

That’s just awful. And Seattle proper isn’t faring much, tracking toward below 45 percent turnout compared to 52 percent in 2013. So much for district elections generating renewed interest in city council races.

So what does that mean for tonight’s results? I’m not exactly sure. It could mean that voters are just voting really late, and we’ll see a surge of ballots pour in today and tomorrow. Or, since the most reliable voters tend to also be the most conservative, it could be bad news for lefty candidates across the board. (Well, every lefty but Kshama Sawant: D3 is a turnout outlier tracking toward 50 percent thanks to her impressive GOTV efforts.)

One thing I do know is that with “too close to call” stretching toward the 8-point range after Sawant’s 2013 late-ballot comeback, several races will be left officially undecided after tonight’s ballot drop—probably D1, D4, and both Honest Elections and Let’s Move Seattle. Maybe even D8 and D2.

So stay tuned for a week or so of wonky election results analysis.

Drinking Liberally — Seattle

DLBottleHey…today is ELECTION DAY! If you haven’t done so already, fill out that ballot, drop it off at a nearby drop box, and then high-tail it to the Seattle Chapter of Drinking liberally for the 8:00pm ballot-drop watching party. And it isn’t just Washington with some important elections. Michigan, Kentucky, New Jersey and Virginia have some big races, and there are a bunch of congressional special elections happening.

We meet tonight and every Tuesday at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E, Seattle. You’ll find us in the small room at the back of the tavern. We start at 8:00 pm.

Can’t make it to Seattle tonight? Check out one of the other DL meetings happening this week. The Long Beach, Tri-Cities and West Seattle chapters also meet tonight. The Lakewood chapter meets on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Tacoma chapter meets.

There are 183 chapters of Living Liberally, including eighteen in Washington state, three in Oregon and one in Idaho. Find—or start—a chapter near you.

Primary happenings

I don’t do much pontification or statistical analysis of the Presidential primary polls. The thing is, primary processes are irregular and messy. Some states hold primary elections. Some states, caucuses. And some states hold both–you know, like Washington state in 2008.

Polls can sometimes reflect the subsequent outcome of state primaries, but in states with open primaries, cross-over votes can determine an outcome that polls may not capture. And the contests are not independent. There can be a social effect whereby the outcome of one primary or caucus might drastically alter a contest held days or weeks later.

On top of all that, the elections and caucuses don’t directly select the ultimate nominee. The McGovern-Fraser reforms that followed the 1968 conventions have made the process quite transparent, but it’s still messy. Parties and individual states have different ways of going from a primary or caucus result to a binding of delegates to the candidates.

Democrats use a largely proportional system, with some differences among states. Republicans use a proportional system for state contests before March 14th. Contests after March 14th can be winner-take-all or proportional or a mixture of both—the decision is made by the states. And then there is the issue of “unpledged delegates” (or superdelegates) that are employed by both parties. These are the wild cards that can affect (but, in practice, haven’t really affected) the selection of candidates at the national nominating convention. Unpledged delegates make up about 5% of the Republican delegates and 20% of Democratic delegates.

Like I say…it’s a messy process. Any attempts of using statistical analyses to ascertain the nominee is either absurdly simplified or absurdly herculean.

Still, this season brings us an incredibly interesting primary. So I may, on occasion, offer some thoughts–typically based on collections of polls, but without the formal analyses.

The Democratic primary is not the interesting one. I’ve seen pretty much every Democratic state primary poll and everything points to an easy win by Sec. Hillary Clinton. Sen. Bernie Sanders is providing a great service to his party by running against Hillary, but he ain’t gonna be the person nominated. Well…not unless Hillary’s emails reveal something startling (“Back off, Rahm, or I’ll do the same thing to you that I did to Foster….”). And even then, only if there’s an actual indictment.

Never mind what you see in (way overly-polled) New Hampshire. In the 100 or so national primary polls taken to date, Clinton has only twice dipped below a double digit lead. Currently she is up from 15% to 30% with a strengthening trend for six weeks. Sanders has stayed about the same over the same period.

The Republican primary is the really “interesting” one. Currently, “outsider” candidates have been leading with a pack of insiders, who are languishing in the mid-single digits. Until mid-July, there wasn’t a lot of differentiation, but Gov. Jeb! Bush was the national front-runner, with Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Scott Walker nipping at his heels. Real estate mogul turned reality TV star, Donald Trump, “broke out” of the pack in mid-July and has pretty much remained on top. Notable surgeon, Dr. Ben Carson, “broke out” a month later and has held a solid second place lead since, typically within single digits of Trump. Former CEO Carly Fiorina spent the last week of September in third with over 10% support, but she has subsequently fallen to the middle of the single-digit pack.

These days, when I start talking among friends about the general election, people want to know my predictions for the GOP nomination. So, allow me to speculate a bit here. First, I maintain that Carson has virtually no chance of becoming the Republican nominee. His inexperience as a politician and campaigner and his relative ignorance of policy and politics will do him in. And I believe sooner rather than later.

Trump is a different story. He has much more political experience than Carson, though still an amateur. But he has the resources to make up for his inexperience. And he is adept at using his resources to undertake big “projects.” Furthermore his real-world experience is highly conducive to undertaking a large, complicated project like a campaign.

What Trump lacks is verbal discipline and a “presidential temperament.” This caps his support ceiling. He may also lack the discipline necessary to learn the policy details that will eventually become important in the nomination process.

Jeb! has hit rock bottom following a mediocre debate performance that launched a “disaster” feeding frenzy among the media. It’s overblown and likely wrong. Give it a month or two, and Jeb may well bounce back. He, among the GOP candidates, has the strongest “foundation”, in a broad sense, for a presidential bid. On the other hand, maybe Barbara is right: We’ve had enough Bushes

Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz supposedly had a great 3rd debate. Maybe…if by “great” you mean they each made a couple of brief non-policy statements that received applause. Really, each candidate’s “great” performance is little more than a media snowballing meme. I mean, if they didn’t have Jeb to kick around, the meme might be about how Cruz was overly whiny or how Rubio lacked spontaneity and was merely peppering us with overly rehearsed lines. Media reaction is a fickle thing.

There haven’t been many polls released since the 3rd G.O.P. debate, but I don’t think that matters much. From the collection of recent polls (before and after the debate), we can divine something of a trend. Bush is down to 4 or 5 percent buried in a cluster with Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Rand Paul, Fiorina, and Gov. John Kasich. Cruz seems to have ticked up slightly, but is still below 10% (except, of course, in Texas where he is at 14%). Rubio, on the other hand, has seen a big jump into the land of double-digits. This is true in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and in a national poll taken after the debate.

For awhile, I’ve given Bush the greatest probability of taking the nomination. Now, I sort of feel like there is a two way tie between Bush and Rubio, perhaps a 30% probability each. Then I would give Trump a 20% probability, Cruz a 15% probability and anyone else a 5% probability. In other words, I offer a subjective probability of 75% that a person with Hispanic children will be the G.O.P. nominee. And a 99.9% probability that a woman will be the Democratic nominee. In terms of diversity, it’s likely to be a historic presidency.

We’ve come a long way from the last time a Clinton ran in the general election for President, when a pair of Southern white male Baptists ran against a Midwestern white male Methodist with a white male West-coast Presbyterian running mate. Progress, baby!

Open Thread 11-2

- This will be the last open thread before you have to have your ballots postmarked or turned in to dropboxes. Here are the dropbox sites in King County.

– Uber and Lyft really need to get their shit together for insurance and driver safety and training.

– Love the picture of the first 4 women on the Supreme Court headed to the National Portrait Gallery

Evidently, the Fox News moderators, Brett Baier and CNN’s Hugh Hewitt along with the commie symps at CNBC are all left wing operatives. And Republicans seem to be buying it.

– Also, I think I’m feeling a bit burned out of blogging so I may participate in the election stuff and one more open thread, and after that I’ll probably just do open threads for a few weeks, and probably just short ones from my phone.

HA Bible Study: Deuteronomy 28:49-51

Deuteronomy 28:49-51
Foreigners who speak a strange language will be sent to attack you without warning, just like an eagle swooping down. They won’t show any mercy, and they will have no respect for old people or pity for children. They will take your cattle, sheep, goats, grain, wine, and olive oil, then leave you to starve.


Civil Liberties Roundup

I was hoping to say more about the latest in Syria, but Halloween weekend won that battle. I just finished this book as well, so no way to pull my thoughts together with two kids jacked up on candy and stuck in the house because of the rain. Hope to pull it off for a later one.

Here’s what’s been happening the last two weeks…
[Read more…]

Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza!

Colbert: Meat ‘n smug vegetarians.

Thom: Are we seeing the rebirth of the KKK?

Mental Floss: Why is there a joker in a deck of cards.

The ten richest members of Congress.

The 2016 GOP Clown Show:

White House: West Wing Week.

The GOP is wrong for us.

John Oliver: I’m not a journalist.

Chris Hayes: Romney defends ObamaCare.

The poorest members of Congress.

Hillary and Friends:

Farron Cousins: Koch brothers spend millions to eliminate solar power.

Benghazi: a reaction:

Sen. Lehey joins the 15,000 vote club.

Thom: ObamaCare back in court again?!?.

Mental Floss: 22 Horror Movie Facts.

Thom: Public goods & health care.

Maddow: Movie resurrects George W. Bush National Guard service scandal.

All Hallows’ Eve Politics:

Stephen: The Hungry for Power Games.

Seth Meyers: Jokes of the week.

Thom: NOAA defies the GOP McCarthy witchhunt.

Farron Cousins: Did Sarah Palin destroy the Republican Party?

Mental Floss: Misconceptions about pirates .

Congressional Hits and Misses of the week.

Ryan Eyes:

Matthew Filipowicz: Pro-police group thrilled that FAUX News compared #BlackLivesMatter to the Nazis.

Thom: The Good, the Bad & the Very, Very Luctiferously Ugly!

Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.

Open Thread.?.

- I haven’t turned in my ballot in yet, so I sort of feel like Seattlish is yelling at me. I was going to vote Goodspaceguy to protest how Gregoire has been bad in the position. But now that the Seattle GOP endorsed him (and also he has terrible positions as opposed to blah blah space), I don’t want to send the wrong message. Should I leave it blank? Also, I usually just blindly support the tax advisory votes, because it’s dumb that they’re there, but I’m opposed to the marijuana one because it seems like it took a mess and made it messier in an attempt to clean it up. Also, Port of Seattle and Seattle School Board always feel like they’re close to turning a corner, but it never seems to actually get there. Also, why do we vote on judges? That’s kind of dumb.

This is creationism, or crime-fighting on a hunch. But creationism is a respected tradition in America, extending from “draeptomania” to “they’re raping our women” to “negro cocaine fiends,” to “crack babies,” to “super-predators,” to “wilding,” to “the knock-out game” and now to “the Ferguson Effect.” There is something of a trend here—the creationist-style of crime control takes a special and discriminating interest in black communities. This is our heritage.

– It’s really pretty striking how much the ACA has helped states that are willing to accept that help.

Ben Carson Is Saying Stupid Things About Abortion—Again

What do you do with those uneasy feelings?

GOP Debate Open Thread

Well…I got a late start at it, but here is your open thread for the GOP debate…

I’ll add some snark and tweetery as the mood strikes.

So…one of the reasons I am so late is that I didn’t realize there was no livestream from CNBC. I ended up on some live-feed that includes a panel of wingnut pundits. Google infowars.com and livestream or something.

One pundit dude refers to “Paul Rino” and later says he doesn’t think Rubio is unqualified.

5:43: Issues? Issues anyone?

5:47: I agree with Cruz…let’s put some substance into this debate!

5:48: Of course, Cruz dodged a debt ceiling question in the process.

5:49: Awwwwww…that’s adorable. They let Rand talk.

5:50: Christie gets a turn. Christie claims the govt. lies to you about Social Security, and then goes on to make the amateurish mistake of calling it “an entitlement”. It isn’t. You paid in.

Good question!

6:18: Carson is ALL for equal rights for same sex couples…but NO MARRIAGE!

6:27: The Donald goes after SuperPacs…is he running for Bernie’s VP?

6:30: Cruz, “Loose money”. For some reason David Vitter jumps to mind….

6:34: Mr. Huckabee, I’ve known gas bags and you are one gas bag.

6:52: Christie, “When I’m president, police will know it!” Yep. Overtime traffic jam duty pay.

7:10: Chris Christie’s run-on, repeated rant is the second “runaway blimp” story of the day!

7:15: Christie repeatedly said he was “deadly serious” about changing things. Did he mean “dead serious”? In any case, brings to mind that bridge traffic jam….

Well…that was “a thing.” It was my first GOP debate this cycle (and I was mostly listening to the audio), and it was pretty much the vacuous puffery that I expected. The only surprise to me was Trump’s strong statements against PACs. Other than that, Trump was just a meaningless braggart. Rand Paul morphed into Ron Paul, and came off more fringy than ever. Christie spewed pre-prepared platitudes. Rubio sounded angry and whiny. The Huckster is still a nut. Carson said things, but I don’t really remember them. And there were some other people talking, too. The debate moderators were TERRIBLE (and I am sure that is a bipartisan sentiment).