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Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cosmo makes a good point. Also, a good point -- the Republicans had a larger number of retirement from politics in this election. Incumbency is maybe the most important factor in a candidate's re-election in US politics that it amounted throwing seats open.

It's also true that Trump didn't control the House before, even if Republicans did. In a lot of ways he has a more cohesive hold on a large group. The Republicans, at least, are now Trump supporters. Some of the Democrats may peel off and form a Blue Dog group. It's happened before in American politics.

So it isn't a massive rejection.

But the formal control of the House means something. The Speaker can control the agenda of the House, and a lot of patronage falls into the hands of the Democrats. The House is also vital on the budget, or to fund The Wall, for instance.

Quote:
... The dems get two years to hide whatever inky stuff has been going one with the FBI/CIA. After another two years that swamp might be permanent.

Trump is by nature a deal maker. After the first two government shut downs, he’ll meet them halfway. This will wreck our economy and yep his presidency with it. As they did with Bush in 2006, they now have a chance to wreck the economy and have it blamed on the sitting president.

Border security? What border security? Moar Dem voters, citizenship being insignificant.

Seriously, yeah Judges. Not all is lost. But this is bad, very bad. We failed to beat the margin of fraud. Maybe it was inevitable. Maybe Trump won in 16 because they seriously underestimated him.

Yeah, they threw a lot of money at this. But let’s be real, if they can win the House on promises to raise our taxes and throttle our energy production and, oh, yeah, impeach the president that finally got the economy going? We need to up our game, and somehow we need to clean up vote fraud. Which is now infinitely harder to do, since the loons got the power. No, I’m not giving up. But this is a heck of a corner we’ve got ourselves painted into.
https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
Cosmo makes a good point. Also, a good point -- the Republicans had a larger number of retirement from politics in this election. Incumbency is maybe the most important factor in a candidate's re-election in US politics that it amounted throwing seats open.

It's also true that Trump didn't control the House before, even if Republicans did. In a lot of ways he has a more cohesive hold on a large group. The Republicans, at least, are now Trump supporters. Some of the Democrats may peel off and form a Blue Dog group. It's happened before in American politics.

So it isn't a massive rejection.

But the formal control of the House means something. The Speaker can control the agenda of the House, and a lot of patronage falls into the hands of the Democrats. The House is also vital on the budget, or to fund The Wall, for instance.

Quote:
... The dems get two years to hide whatever inky stuff has been going one with the FBI/CIA. After another two years that swamp might be permanent.

Trump is by nature a deal maker. After the first two government shut downs, he’ll meet them halfway. This will wreck our economy and yep his presidency with it. As they did with Bush in 2006, they now have a chance to wreck the economy and have it blamed on the sitting president.

Border security? What border security? Moar Dem voters, citizenship being insignificant.

Seriously, yeah Judges. Not all is lost. But this is bad, very bad. We failed to beat the margin of fraud. Maybe it was inevitable. Maybe Trump won in 16 because they seriously underestimated him.

Yeah, they threw a lot of money at this. But let’s be real, if they can win the House on promises to raise our taxes and throttle our energy production and, oh, yeah, impeach the president that finally got the economy going? We need to up our game, and somehow we need to clean up vote fraud. Which is now infinitely harder to do, since the loons got the power. No, I’m not giving up. But this is a heck of a corner we’ve got ourselves painted into.
https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/




looking thru the house results it appears the republican hold on the house was actually lost in a couple specific states not the country as a whole


in some states like Indiana , Wisconsin , Kentucky , Alabama , Louisiana , Missouri , Ohio . the republicans did not lose a single congressional district


however there is a number of others where they've lost significant ground in recent years . being Illinois , New Jersey , New York , Virginia and Pennsylvania ( which was heavily redistributed for this election ) but they had been gradually losing seats in these states before last night , its been a trend in recent elections

they also lost a couple seats in California , although maybe not as bad there as originally feared , but have been losing seats there gradually too


some surprise loses in rural western states too , although the districts they actually lost weren't necessary rural . urban seats in Kansas and Oklahama flipped democratic ( Kansas city and Oklahoma city ) both of these had been republican for some time . also lost 2 rural seats in Iowa which were perhaps more of a surprise
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:

But the formal control of the House means something. The Speaker can control the agenda of the House, and a lot of patronage falls into the hands of the Democrats. The House is also vital on the budget, or to fund The Wall, for instance.


I think there is far more "deal making" to be made with the Democrats than the last iteration of Republicans in the House.

Both sides have priorities they want.

If you are the Democrats and you just watched DACA be deemed "unconstitutional" by a lower court on its way to an inevitable Supreme Court challenge within a Supreme Court that is made up very differently than it was six months ago;

Do you consider a DACA resolution for the Wall if you are the Democrats?

You can't be inactive when you are in power because you lose the excuse of blaming the "other side" during the next election cycle.

We are either going to see a lot of horse trading that is going to piss off both sides or we are going to see a House that passes little legislation that doesnt see the veto pen.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps this is where I am overly pessimistic. The public position of both parties has become so extreme that it's hard to imagine a compromise. Take The Wall as an example. Trump has not only promised the wall, as a fundamental promise -- he has said he'll make the Mexicans pay for it!

And the Democrats are determined to stop The Wall, no matter what.

That's the most obvious example, but take dismantling Obamacare, as an example. Who knows the real impact on people, but how much 'give' is there in the Democrats on this? Its a signature achievement of the previous administration and they are intent on sabotaging any reforms that would work. They'd rather have it as an issue than allow a Republican to solve the problem.

The same is true of immigration. Trump would love to have the immigration system Canada had working under Harper. How can anyone expect the border to be undefended while you run an ample welfare state?

There are, no doubt, some more granular issues they can compromise on.

Meanwhile, the Democrats plan to embark upon impeachment. How do they work compromise solutions with a guy they are trying to impeach?

That's how I see the situation.

It isn't just the Democrats, either. Trump can't compromise. This isn't normal politics, a great deal of Trump's politics involve un-doing what Obama did! After Obama's first mid-term, he ruled like a monarch, through regulations ... This doesn't strike me as fertile ground for compromises. For Trump, compromises will be understood by his base as signs that Trump is abandoning them.
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( Arizona remains too close to call , 300,000 early votes and 200,000 late early votes to be counted )



FOX News: Arizona Senate race too close to call



Posted: Nov 06 2018 08:18PM MST

Video Posted: Nov 07 2018 04:44AM MST

Updated: Nov 07 2018 10:03AM MST




PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- While it is clear on Election Night that Arizona will get its first female U.S. Senator, it is not clear who it will be as Tuesday night drew to a close.

Voters had a choice between GOP candidate Martha McSally, Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema, and Green Party candidate Angela Green. All three are running to replace retiring Senator Jeff Flake.

With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Martha McSally (850,043 votes) leads Kyrsten Sinema (834,135 votes) in the race for Arizona's first female senator.


Danielle Miller FOX10
✔ @Fox10Danielle



300,000 early ballots & about 200,000 late early ballots still need to be counted. Should have a better idea of those results at 5 Thursday night. #Fox10phoenix #MidtermElections #MidtermsElections2018 #azvotes #MaricopaCounty


11:58 AM - Nov 7, 2018


http://www.fox10phoenix.com/ne.....ill-it-be-
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( most of the news media are now saying Tester will hold Montana , although a small amount of votes still remain and unclear if republican has conceded yet )



CNN Politics‏Verified account @CNNPolitics · 55m55 minutes ago


BREAKING: Democratic Sen. Jon Tester will win re-election in Montana, CNN projects https://cnn.it/2QrbnjA #CNNElection
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
Perhaps this is where I am overly pessimistic. The public position of both parties has become so extreme that it's hard to imagine a compromise. Take The Wall as an example. Trump has not only promised the wall, as a fundamental promise -- he has said he'll make the Mexicans pay for it!

And the Democrats are determined to stop The Wall, no matter what.


The world changes when you move into power.
The Democrats were largely powerless for the last two years, they employed the usual protest and filibuster tactics that parties in that position have historically taken.

When the offer was available to House and Senate Democrats to fund government for three months in September 2017 while working with the President they took it.

At the end of the day its a lot easier to market yourself during an election when you are effective at implementing your agenda.

This for example:
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/trump-administration-presses-supreme-court-quick-action-daca-n931741

Is no accident.

While anything is possible, its likely fair to say the possibility the Supreme Court of its current make up upholds a lower court decision on the matter exists.

By doing nothing the Democrats lose something fundamentally important to them.
They just need to determine what they want to put on the table; the wall or taxes.

The road to a DACA solution goes through the White House and chances are that solution likely comes in exchange for something significant.

For all the tough talk about Impeachment;
The Republicans hold a Senate Majority and while the House can make the recommendation to Impeach, the Senate conducts the trial.

Burning two years of legislative agenda on something likely to go no where may not be the best play.
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
Bugs wrote:
Perhaps this is where I am overly pessimistic. The public position of both parties has become so extreme that it's hard to imagine a compromise. Take The Wall as an example. Trump has not only promised the wall, as a fundamental promise -- he has said he'll make the Mexicans pay for it!

And the Democrats are determined to stop The Wall, no matter what.


The world changes when you move into power.
The Democrats were largely powerless for the last two years, they employed the usual protest and filibuster tactics that parties in that position have historically taken.

When the offer was available to House and Senate Democrats to fund government for three months in September 2017 while working with the President they took it.

At the end of the day its a lot easier to market yourself during an election when you are effective at implementing your agenda.

This for example:
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/trump-administration-presses-supreme-court-quick-action-daca-n931741

Is no accident.

While anything is possible, its likely fair to say the possibility the Supreme Court of its current make up upholds a lower court decision on the matter exists.

By doing nothing the Democrats lose something fundamentally important to them.
They just need to determine what they want to put on the table; the wall or taxes.

The road to a DACA solution goes through the White House and chances are that solution likely comes in exchange for something significant.

For all the tough talk about Impeachment;
The Republicans hold a Senate Majority and while the House can make the recommendation to Impeach, the Senate conducts the trial.

Burning two years of legislative agenda on something likely to go no where may not be the best play.



the democrats would also be wise to choose a congressional leader other than Nancy Pelosi . in my opinion she is a prime example of a politician who has stuck around too long and well past there prime .

just cause the democrats gained house seats does not now mean everyone likes her , she's still deeply unpopular among republicans and even some democrats openly campaign against her when running for office ( I recall the democrat in the Pennsylvania special election doing so )

they'd be wise to choose someone else who would be described as more moderate and able to build bridges with the republican members
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RCO wrote:

the democrats would also be wise to choose a congressional leader other than Nancy Pelosi . in my opinion she is a prime example of a politician who has stuck around too long and well past there prime .

just cause the democrats gained house seats does not now mean everyone likes her , she's still deeply unpopular among republicans and even some democrats openly campaign against her when running for office ( I recall the democrat in the Pennsylvania special election doing so )

they'd be wise to choose someone else who would be described as more moderate and able to build bridges with the republican members


The issue with ousting Nancy Pelosi is that she is a cash register;

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/15/politics/nancy-pelosi-fundraising-democrats/index.html

The Democrats just finished one of the most expensive mid terms in American history and are now marching toward what will likely be a heavily contested Presidential primary which will put some of its best and brightest into loads of debt.

They need her fundraising clout, and the cost of admission is likely the Speakers Chair.

The Democrats would be very well served giving the job to someone would may be likely to run in 2024 and someone who is going to be able to appeal to the swing states who would benefit from the spot light

Had Kyrsten Sinema or Beto O'Rourke still been in the house they would have been perfect, But someone who can stand out, consensus build and be waiting in the wings.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigns under pressure from Trump

Embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at the "request" of President Donald Trump on Wednesday after more than a year of public criticism from the president.

Sessions's chief of staff Matthew Whitaker will serve as acting attorney general, Trump announced.

Whitaker also will assume oversight of the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion by Trump's campaign in that meddling, according to the Justice Department.

Whitaker, who has publicly criticized the Mueller investigation, by law can serve as acting AG for a maximum of 210 days.

Whitaker will have the power to fire Mueller "for cause" as outlined under rules governing the special counsel's office, if such cause is found.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/07/trump-says-attorney-general-jeff-sessions-resigns.html
=================================================

This could mean that the investigation into Rosenstein, Comey, Ohr etc. could get more energy behind it.
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
RCO wrote:

the democrats would also be wise to choose a congressional leader other than Nancy Pelosi . in my opinion she is a prime example of a politician who has stuck around too long and well past there prime .

just cause the democrats gained house seats does not now mean everyone likes her , she's still deeply unpopular among republicans and even some democrats openly campaign against her when running for office ( I recall the democrat in the Pennsylvania special election doing so )

they'd be wise to choose someone else who would be described as more moderate and able to build bridges with the republican members


The issue with ousting Nancy Pelosi is that she is a cash register;

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/15/politics/nancy-pelosi-fundraising-democrats/index.html

The Democrats just finished one of the most expensive mid terms in American history and are now marching toward what will likely be a heavily contested Presidential primary which will put some of its best and brightest into loads of debt.

They need her fundraising clout, and the cost of admission is likely the Speakers Chair.

The Democrats would be very well served giving the job to someone would may be likely to run in 2024 and someone who is going to be able to appeal to the swing states who would benefit from the spot light

Had Kyrsten Sinema or Beto O'Rourke still been in the house they would have been perfect, But someone who can stand out, consensus build and be waiting in the wings.



the democrats don't seem to have fundraising issue these days though but I agree they could waste a lot of money fighting each other for the right to run against trump in 2020

that must be one of the bigger personal disappointments for trump , that is corporate America's large donations to the democrats this year . after all the things trump did that either directly or indirectly benefitted them . the tax cuts or booming economy


yet many of these people turned around and decided a democratic controlled house was what they wanted instead even though its highly unlikely to be focused on the economy or issues that would benefit corporate America like trump was



the republicans must also look at why some of the suburbs are turning on them , a lot of these places used to be guaranteed wins but now some are flipping blue or very tight races . even though they seem to be doing very well economically , everyone has a good job these days and a nice house

but the republican message is not connecting with some of these areas anymore
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Newt Gingrich: The one big thing the liberal media never told you about Trump and the midterms


Newt GingrichOPINION By Newt Gingrich | Fox News



Midterm elections: What a divided Congress means for the future

The midterms leave power split in Washington as Democrats retake control of the House of Representatives and Republicans expand Senate majority. But what does a divided Congress mean for the future?

The big story coming out of Tuesday’s midterm elections is how totally the news media missed the issue of what waves were building.

There was no red wave. If there had been, Republicans would have kept majority control of the U.S. House and had even more pickups in the Senate.


There was no blue wave. If there had been, Democrats would have gained control of the Senate.

There was an underreported green wave, which attempted to drown Republicans in left-wing money.

And there was the usual anti-Republican liberal media wave, which tried to prop up Democrats.


This was a fascinatingly complex election in which unique Republican personalities won re-election as governors in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maryland – three clearly blue states and one purple state in the Northeast.

The biggest change in this election was the sheer volume of money generated by left-wing billionaires and activist groups who hate President Trump.

In congressional race after congressional race, Republicans suddenly found millions of dollars poured in against them on a scale that resembled Senate races in the past.

House Republicans had hurt themselves by allowing the number of House incumbent retirees to become larger than any time since 1930, when the Brookings Institution started tracking congressional retirements. Breaking an 88-year record for retirees is a tough way to start an off-year election for the incumbent president’s party.

Despite this institutional disadvantage, President Trump’s House losses were far less than either the 54 seats President Clinton lost in 1994 or the 63 seats President Obama lost in 2010.

Measured against the Clinton and Obama standard, you would have to give President Trump an A+ for keeping Republican House losses to a minimum – and setting the stage for a Republican majority comeback in the 2020 presidential election.

In the Senate, the president, working with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., put together a great, focused campaign that has reversed historic norms and gained seats.

In fact, as I am writing this, it appears that enough Republicans will have won Senate seats that it will be far more difficult for Democrats to have a shot at winning a Senate majority in 2020 than anyone might have expected.

The best example of the green wave’s failure is Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas. He became the darling of the media – the left’s political rock star to battle Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who the media despises.

O’Rourke raised more than $70 million, a record for a U.S. Senate race – and an amount we used to associate with presidential campaigns. After all the liberal media hype, and the sheer volume of money from the green wave, O’Rourke lost.

Once again, the voters of Texas disappointed the liberal media by refusing to elect their darling.

Republicans gained Senate seats to an unprecedented degree, because President Trump personally crisscrossed the county holding massive rallies, which dwarfed the size of former President Obama’s rallies.

This was President Trump’s victory, and he and Sen. McConnell will use it well to continue getting judges and other nominees confirmed by the Senate, to block left-wing actions by the Democrats, and to set the stage for key legislative achievements the American people want (probably starting with infrastructure investments and reforms).

The president defeated both the money wave and the liberal media – and had a very successful midterm election for a first-term president.


https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/newt-gingrich-the-one-big-thing-the-liberal-media-never-told-you-about-trump-and-the-midterms
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( they have yet to officially declare the Georgia Governor race but it appears the republican won and will avoid a run off , which would of been crazy as there was clearly only 2 main candidates to begin with )


Brian Kemp declares victory in hard-fought Georgia governor's race, but Stacey Abrams hasn't conceded


Gregg Re By Gregg Re | Fox News



Stacey Abrams vs. Brian Kemp in Georgia

'Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Greg Bluesmen provides insight into the gubernatorial race.

Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp claimed victory Wednesday in his gubernatorial contest with Democrat Stacey Abrams -- but Abrams, vying to become the nation's first black female governor, is so far refusing to concede. Fox News has not yet called the race.


According to Associated Press vote totals with all precincts reporting, Kemp has 1,972,952 votes to Abrams' 1,909,730 -- giving him 50.3 percent to her 48.7 percent. The state could have had its first-ever gubernatorial runoff if neither candidate had cleared the 50 percent mark.


"Brian Kemp earned nearly two million votes on Tuesday - by far the most of any gubernatorial candidate in our state's history," Kemp press secretary Cody Hall said in a statement.

Hall continued: "Absentee ballots are counted and Kemp leads his opponent by 64,000 votes. Based on counts released by the Secretary of State's office, Brian Kemp's margin is so large that the number of provisional ballots and overseas ballots will not change his Election Day victory. Simply put, it is mathematically impossible for Stacey Abrams to win or force a run-off election."

Kemp had previously faced criticism for refusing to announce preemptively that he would recuse himself from overseeing any recount that may have occurred in the race.


"Peach State voters made a clear decision at the ballot box."
— Kemp press secretary Cody Hall

"Peach State voters made a clear decision at the ballot box," Hall said. "Brian Kemp will now begin his transition as governor-elect of Georgia. He will work every day to keep our state moving in the right direction."

But early Wednesday, Abrams signaled she's ready for a fight.

"Democracy only works when we work for it, when we fight for it, when we demand it, and apparently today when we stand in line for hours to meet it at the ballot box," Abrams told supporters. "I am here today to tell you there are votes remaining to be counted. Voices are waiting to be heard."

Her campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, added: "We have three factors to be considered here: outstanding votes, absentee ballots to be counted, and provisional ballots. Given those three issues, we believe this is likely heading to a runoff."

The Georgia race was among the most closely watched gubernatorial contests nationally. Democrats seized several state governorships from Republicans on Tuesday night, but fell short in Iowa, Ohio, and Florida -- three states former President Obama won in 2012 but that President Trump carried in 2016.

Control of the nation's governor's mansions is expected to be particularly important in 2020, when states draw their new congressional district lines, which can be vetoed by the chief executives.


The Georgia contest was marked with drama and intrigue long before the final votes were cast. Kemp announced on Sunday his office was investigating "possible cyber crimes" by the Georgia Democratic Party, throwing a last-minute wrench into what was already a tight race. Abrams and the state Democratic party swiftly rejected the allegations, claiming there was "never a hack" and declaring it was a feeble attempt to "suppress the vote."

Abrams was hoping to make history Tuesday night, as well as break a decades-old red streak of gubernatorial victories in the Peach State. The state hasn't elected a Democratic governor since 1998. However, Abrams previously emphasized she didn't want people to support her based solely on those reasons.

“I don’t want anyone to vote for me because I’m black. And no one on the ballot needs a vote because we’re women. And I don’t even want you to vote for us just because we’re Democrats. You need to vote for us because we’re better," she told a crowd in Savannah Monday.

Both candidates are being backed by big-name celebrities and political heavyweights: Kemp boasted the support of Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker, President Trump and Vice President Pence, while Abrams claimed Oprah Winfrey and former President Barack Obama among her supporters.

"Make history here in Georgia. Make things better here in Georgia," Obama urged a crowd of voters last week while endorsing Abrams at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Meanwhile, Trump stumped for Kemp, whom he described as an "incredible fighter and tireless champion for the people."

"Stacey Abrams is one of the most extreme, far-left politicians in the entire country... You put Stacey in there, and you're gonna have Georgia turn into Venezuela. I don't think the people of Georgia like that," Trump said at an event in Macon on Sunday.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/brian-kemp-declares-victory-in-hard-fought-georgia-governors-race-but-stacey-abrams-hasnt-conceded
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been stirring the ashes, trying to figure out the election.

The formal result is now known at least the outlines. Trump has held his press conference. It seems clear that Trump has gained power out of the election. First, he now has a loyal Senate. That means no problem with future Supreme Court nominations. He never held the House, and that's a loss.

But the bubble about the Blue Tide has popped. As soon as the results were known, Sessions offered his resignation. Accepted, replacement appointed, snd the replacement is not Rosenstein -- in fact, Rosenstein was taken off the Meuller investigation and is no longer in his post. He offered his resignation, probably in a snit!
Wow!

It feels as if the 'resist' movement has collapsed as a result of the election. Whatever I think, you see politicians are acting as if Trump won. One thing it did demonstrate is the tremendous power of his coattails. He has people who owe their election to him. There are others who spurned him and lost. All the figures who voted against Kavanaugh were defeated. Civil servants are making different calculations now -- it's as if they now accept that Trump isn't going away.

It feels as if there's an investigation of the Department of Justice is coming. Documents that Trump declassified should start to appear so the American public can see the evidence for themselves as part of a Watergate for Democrats ...

But that's a process that would amount to a purge of parts of the civil service ... and when those things start, who knows where it will end ...
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( we were under the impression key races in florida had been decided , the democratic candidate for governor has already conceded although it appears recounts may be looming )


Rubio warns of Dem lawyers 'descending on Florida' to 'try and steal' key statewide races



Gregg Re By Gregg Re | Fox News




Florida's Senate, gubernatorial races headed for recount

Republican Governor Scott's small lead over incumbent Democratic Senator Nelson continues shrinking. Phil Keating has more for 'Special Report.'

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio on Thursday charged that two Democrat-controlled counties in the state, in possible violation of election law, have been reporting a "slow drip" of tens of thousands of additional ballots favorable to several Democratic candidates for statewide office, including incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson.


Liberal lawyers, Rubio said in an extraordinary series of tweets that alleged incompetence if not outright complicity by Florida officials, are "descending on" the state in a calculated attempt to "change the results" and "try and steal" races for Senate and agriculture commissioner.


Rubio's explosive posts come as a recount now appears imminent in Florida's high-profile gubernatorial contest between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis, based on new vote totals -- even though Gillum has already conceded.

"Florida law requires counties report early voting & vote-by-mail within 30 minutes after polls close," Rubio wrote on Twitter. "43 hours after polls closed 2 Democrat strongholds #BrowardCounty & #PalmBeachCounty are still counting & refusing to disclose how many ballots they have left to count."

Florida statutes mandate that the "canvassing board shall report all early voting and all tabulated vote-by-mail results to the Department of State within 30 minutes after the polls close" and that "thereafter, the canvassing board shall report, with the exception of provisional ballot results, updated precinct election results to the department at least every 45 minutes until all results are completely reported."


"Democrat lawyers are descending on Florida. ... They aren’t here to make sure every vote is counted."
— Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

The state code continues, "The supervisor of elections shall notify the department immediately of any circumstances that do not permit periodic updates as required."


Vote totals in several major races in the state are changing rapidly, on an irregular schedule and sometimes late into the evening. GOP Senate candidate Rick Scott, also Florida's governor, was ahead of Nelson by roughly one-fourth of one percentage point as of Thursday morning, according to The Tampa Bay Times. The paper also said the agriculture commissioner candidates were separated by only 0.06 points. That race flipped in favor of the Democratic candidate on Thursday afternoon.

Broward County reported that significantly more votes were received in the agriculture commissioner contest than the much higher-profile Senate election. An attorney for Nelson's campaign suggested a computer error might explain that anomaly.

In the closely watched gubernatorial race, DeSantis' held a narrow 0.52-percentage-point edge over Gillum as of Thursday morning, extremely close to the 0.5 percent threshold needed to trigger a machine recount. Gillum has conceded the race, although his decision is nonbinding.

But by Thursday afternoon, unofficial figures had DeSantis up by just 38,515 votes out of the more than 8 million cast -- a lead of just 0.47 percent, low enough to trigger a mandatory recount, according to The Tallahassee Democrat. No recount has yet been announced by Florida's secretary of state, and the first unofficial count is expected to be verified Saturday by Florida's secretary of state.

"On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count," Gillum's campaign said in a statement Thursday evening. "Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported. Our campaign, along with our attorney Barry Richard, is monitoring the situation closely and is ready for any outcome, including a state-mandated recount."

Without providing legally sufficient justification, Rubio said, Democrat-controlled Broward and Palm Beach counties on Wednesday afternoon continued to report new ballots, cutting into Scott's already-thin lead and flipping the state's agriculture commissioner race to Democrats. Provisional ballots cast by voters without proper identification or at the wrong location are factoring into the late results, and Florida officials have rejected campaigns' requests for the identity of those voters, citing federal and state law.


Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher told Fox News that Palm Beach is still counting about 2,000 mail-in ballots where voters circled or highlighted (by drawing an arrow pointing at the candidate’s name) their choice, instead of filling in the appropriate bubbles.

Under Florida law, the state elections department is allowed to determine voter intent. Bucher told Fox News that elections department staff is going through each of the 2,000 mail-in ballots, and where voter intent is determined, a worker is filling in a new ballot on behalf of the voter. Where voter intent cannot be determined, the ballot is sent to the canvassing board to undergo review.

Elections officials are also reviewing 1,500 military and overseas ballots which are still being counted. Florida law allows military servicemembers to mail or fax ballots in. A provisional vote report is due in Tallahassee on Saturday by noon.


"#Broward election supervisors ongoing violation of #Florida law requiring timely reporting isn’t just annoying incompetence," Rubio wrote. "It has opened the door for lawyers to come here & try to steal a seat in the U.S. Senate & Florida Cabinet."

Broward county election officials did not immediately return Fox News' request for comment.

Rubio added: "Now democrat lawyers are descending on #Florida. They have been very clear they aren’t here to make sure every vote is counted. - They are here to change the results of election; & - #Broward is where they plan to do it."

Under Florida law, if the margin in any race hits 0.25 percent or lower, a manual recount of any ballots set aside from the machine recount will be ordered -- reminiscent of the scene in the 2000 presidential election, when the country was gripped by images of poll workers counting votes deciphering hanging chads by hand.

The Supreme Court voted by a 7-2 majority that Florida's recount in that race violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution because each country and precinct adopted varying standards for how it would conduct the recount. By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ended the recount on other grounds.


Rubio made clear he has no confidence in the integrity of South Florida's election officials, suggesting a posssible GOP-led court challenge might be looming.

"A U.S. Senate seat & a statewide cabinet officer are now potentially in the hands of an elections supervisor with a history of incompetence & of blatant violations of state & federal laws," he wrote, linking to a Miami Herald article describing several scandals that have gripped Broward County’s Elections Department.

Earlier this year, a judge found that Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes had illegally destroyed ballots in a 2016 congressional contest, leading the governor's office to assign election monitors to supervise her.

“I think the problems are blown out of proportion,” Snipes said in October, in an interview with The Miami Herald. “Broward is nitpicked to the bone. Other places have the same problems, different problems. It’s just that they are not spotlighted like we are.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/rubio-charges-dem-controlled-florida-counties-trying-to-change-vote-totals-so-gillum-defeats-desantis
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2018 - US Midterm Elections

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