47 thoughts on “I’m f***ed.

  1. This is what unusually high midterm turnout actually looks like
    Yes voter turnout was hight in 2018 but..
    Don’t take 2018’s young person turnout for granted because most still stayed home. A lot more work to do here.

    Something unusual happened in 2018: Americans turned out to vote.

    Granted, that’s a statement that earns its power mostly as a relative comparison. Turnout was over 50 percent — a lot for a midterm, not a lot for a presidential year and fairly low compared to many other democracies. But because more voting is generally seen as better than less voting, higher-than-normal midterm turnout didn’t prompt many complaints.

    On Tuesday, the Census Bureau released data that showed even young people turned out to vote more heavily than in past midterms. Young people, perennially the subject of “why don’t young people vote” stories, turned out at nearly twice the rate they had in 2014, helping to boost turnout overall.

    Read whole article (pdf)

    Permalink (behind paywall)

  2. Facebook takes down far-right groups days before Spanish election
    Investigation uncovered networks reaching 1.7m people that were spreading fake news

    Facebook has taken down several networks that were spreading far-right content to nearly 1.7 million people in Spain, days before national elections that are expected to see a surge in support for the far-right Vox party.

    The networks were uncovered in an investigation by the campaign group Avaaz, and taken down only after it presented Facebook with its findings.

    The discovery of a large network, spreading politically sensitive content unmonitored days before a key European election, is likely to add to concerns about social media firms’ willingness and ability to control hate speech and criminal activity on their sites.

    On Wednesday British MPs condemned Facebook, Google and Twitter for their refusal to report users to the police when they remove criminal posts, except in rare cases when there is an immediate threat to life or limb.

    Read whole article

  3. Andy McKean, Iowa’s Longest-Serving Republican, Switches Parties Because of Trump

    The longest-serving Republican in the Iowa legislature announced that he would become a Democrat, warning that his party of many decades would soon pay “a heavy price” for its support of President Trump.

    The lawmaker, Representative Andy McKean, served a combined 24 years in the Iowa House and Senate between 1979 and 2003 and then returned to the legislature in 2017. At a news conference on Tuesday, he said he could not support Mr. Trump moving forward, in part because he found the president’s spending to be “reckless,” his foreign policy “erratic” and “destabilizing” and his disregard for the environment concerning.

    He also attacked Mr. Trump’s demeanor, saying that he sets a poor example by insulting and bullying those he disagrees with and ridiculing and marginalizing people based on their appearance and ethnicity.

    Read whole article (pdf)

    Permalink (behind paywall)

  4. The world has come to an end, I’m quoting Bill Kristol

  5. How Freshman Rep. Katie Porter Puts Wall Street In The Hot Seat

    The former law professor is taking notes and even assigning math homework. Wall Street better be paying attention.

    “Katie is whip-smart; she doesn’t suffer fools gladly,” said Rick Hasen, a professor of law and political science at UC-Irvine. “It’s hard to get any oxygen in Washington with Trump dominating so much of the news. She’s getting it with her sheer smarts.”

    Read whole article

  6. The case for and against impeachment

    There are 3 scenarios and not a lot of time

    Democrats have a decision to make in the wake of the Mueller report: whether to consider impeaching President Trump over it.

    It’s an enormously consequential decision that, in the worst-case scenario, could stain House Democrats as the lawmakers who had a chance but didn’t forcefully act after a special counsel report found the president may have broken the law. But going after impeachment could also cost Democrats the 2020 presidential election.

    As Democrats spend the next few weeks debating their course of action after last week’s release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report into Russian election interference, here are the arguments they are probably considering.

    The case for impeachment: Send a message to the next president that Trump-like behavior is not okay

    The case against impeachment: The political costs for Democrats are too high

    The case for pursuing Mueller report spinoffs: It’s better than nothing

    Read whole article (pdf)

    Permalink (behind paywall

  7. Opinion
    Sri Lanka Shut Down Social Media. My First Thought Was ‘Good.’
    As a tech journalist, I’m ashamed to admit it. But this is how bad the situation has gotten.

    It pains me as a journalist, and someone who once believed that a worldwide communications medium would herald more tolerance, to admit this — to say that my first instinct was to turn it all off. But it has become clear to me with every incident that the greatest experiment in human interaction in the history of the world continues to fail in ever more dangerous ways.

    Read whole article (pdf)

    Permalink (behind paywall)

  8. Armed with Mueller report, Democrats confront challenge of Trump’s messaging machine

    “Donald Trump wins in a reality show and loses in reality,” said Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist who worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. “If he is able to brand things like a reality show host, he will win the debate. But that only works until people start to see the consequences.”

    House Democrats, meanwhile, plan to take on the separate task of trying to distill and publicize the most alarming parts of the Mueller report in hopes of making the president’s behavior in office feel consequential for more voters.

    They are preparing a rival reality show of their own through hearings with Attorney General William P. Barr and others. Democrats privately say their models are the Watergate hearings into President Richard M. Nixon’s misdeeds and the Republican hearings about the 2012 Benghazi attack, which were designed to damage Clinton’s reputation.

    “We will have major hearings. Barr and Mueller are just the first,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), in a radio interview Friday. “We will call many other people.”

    Read whole article (pdf)

    Permalink (behind paywall)

  9. Millions for Notre Dame – but nothing for us, say gilets jaunes

    Some carried banners slamming the “hypocrisy” of wealthy billionaires pledging a total of more than €1bn (£865m) to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral, saying business leaders had done nothing to address low salaries and the plight of people who couldn’t make ends meet. “Humans first, €1bn for the gilets jaunes,” read one banner.

    Read whole article

  10. America’s new voting machines bring new fears of election tampering
    In 2020, many jurisdictions will offer voters a paper trail. But the systems involved are far from foolproof

    By design, tens of millions of votes are cast across America on machines that cannot be audited, where the votes cannot be verified, and there is no meaningful paper trail to catch problems – such as a major error or a hack.

    For almost 17 years, states and counties around the country have conducted elections on machines that have been repeatedly shown to be vulnerable to hacking, errors, breakdowns, and that leave behind no proof that the votes counted actually match the votes that were cast.

    Now, in a climate of fear and suspicion over attacks to America’s voting system sparked by Russia’s attacks on the 2016 elections, states and counties across the country are working to replace these outdated machines with new ones. The goal is to make the 2020 elections secure.

    “There’s a lot of work to do before 2020 but I think there’s definitely opportunities to make sure that the reported outcomes are correct in 2020,” said Marian Schneider, president of the election integrity watchdog Verified Voting. “I think that people are focusing on it in a way that has never happened before. It’s thanks to the Russians.”

    Why US elections remain ‘dangerously vulnerable’ to cyber-attacks
    Read more

    The purchases replace machines from the turn of the century that raise serious security concerns. But the same companies that made and sold those machines are behind the new generation of technology, and a history of distrust between election security advocates and voting machine vendors has led to a bitter debate over the viability of the new voting equipment – leaving some campaigners wondering if America’s election system in 2020 might still be just as vulnerable to attack.

    Read whole article

  11. Capitalism in crisis: U.S. billionaires worry about the survival of the system that made them rich

    For decades, Democrats and Republicans have hailed America’s business elite, especially in Silicon Valley, as the country’s salvation. The government might be gridlocked, the electorate angry and divided, but America’s innovators seemed to promise a relatively pain-free way out of the mess. Their companies produced an endless series of products that kept the U.S. economy churning and its gross domestic product climbing. Their philanthropic efforts were aimed at fixing some of the country’s most vexing problems. Government’s role was to stay out of the way.

    Now that consensus is shattering. For the first time in decades, capitalism’s future is a subject of debate among presidential hopefuls and a source of growing angst for America’s business elite. In places such as Silicon Valley, the slopes of Davos, Switzerland, and the halls of Harvard Business School, there is a sense that the kind of capitalism that once made America an economic envy is responsible for the growing inequality and anger that is tearing the country apart.

    Read whole article (pdf)

    Permalink (behind paywall)

  12. Five things to know about impeachment

    Democrats in the House — and on the 2020 campaign trail — are divided about whether to start impeachment proceedings against President Trump, following a report from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III that detailed Trump’s efforts to hinder Mueller’s investigation.

    The most compelling practical argument against such an effort is that it is unlikely to succeed. That’s because the decision on whether to remove him from office would be made by the Senate, which is controlled by Trump’s GOP.

    If Democrats choose to pursue impeachment, they will be using an unwieldy measure built into the Constitution as an emergency tool. Only two U.S. presidents have ever been impeached. Here are five things to know about how the impeachment process works.

    Read whole article (pdf)

    Permalink (behind paywall)

  13. @chris: On the other hand, an equally and less risky option.

    Trump’s moral squalor, not impeachment, will remove him from power
    Robert Reich

    Congress cannot not rid us of this appalling man. Democrats must focus on voters who hold the keys to the White House

    Democrats in Congress and talking heads on television will be consumed in the coming weeks by whether the evidence in the Mueller report, especially of obstruction of justice, merits impeachment.

    Teflon Don: how Trump the mafia boss fought the law … and won
    Read more

    Meanwhile, the question of “wink-wink” cooperation with Russia still looms. Mueller’s quote of Trump, when first learning a special counsel had been appointed – “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked” – has already become a national tagline. Why, Americans wonder, would Trump be “fucked” if he hadn’t done something so awful as to cause its revelation to “fuck” him?

    Added to this will be Mueller’s own testimony before Congress, and Congress’s own investigations of Trump.

    But let’s be real. Trump will not be removed by impeachment. No president has been. With a Republican Senate controlled by the most irresponsible political hack ever to be majority leader, the chances are nil.

    Read whole article

  14. Opinion By David Leonhardt
    A New Civil-Rights Movement
    It’s about voting, and it is winning more than it is losing.

    There are plenty of reasons to be angry about voting rights.

    In Florida, Republican lawmakers are trying to keep people with criminal records from voting, as I explained in a recent newsletter. Elsewhere, legislators have passed laws making it harder to vote, especially for minority groups. And even before these changes, voting in the United States has been needlessly difficult — occurring on workdays and often involving long lines.

    So, yes, you should be angry about voting rights. But you should also realize that the situation is not hopeless. Joshua Douglas, a law professor at the University of Kentucky, has written a new book that explains how activists around the country are winning fights to make democracy work better. Thanks to their efforts, the state of voting rights is improving in many places, he argues. I think he’s right.

    [Listen to “The Argument” podcast every Thursday morning, with Ross Douthat, Michelle Goldberg and David Leonhardt.]

    Nevada, New York and Wyoming have recently made it easier for felons to vote. Florida has too, despite the efforts to undermine the new law. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have passed automatic voter registration since 2015. In some places, voting by mail has also expanded. In Kentucky, North Carolina, Minnesota and Wisconsin, people with disabilities or people who don’t speak English can more easily cast a ballot.

    “Everyday Americans are the main drivers of this early success. Call it the Democracy Movement,” Douglas writes in the book, which is called “Vote for US”. “It is the way to fight back against big corporations and moneyed interests that impact the rules of the game. Citizens who care about our democracy can take a stand, organize, and push for meaningful reforms to state and local election processes. We can fix our election system.”

    His book tells the stories of a Virginia teacher trying to interest her students in civics, of a former Miss Wisconsin fighting against a voter-ID law and more. As Douglas argues, their optimism is essential to progress. “Because so much of the discussion of voting rights is doom and gloom, I wanted to focus on what is positive about reform efforts and what actually has worked,” he recently told HuffPost’s Sam Levine. “Optimism about what’s possible is the way to actually move forward.”

    Related: Douglas recommends my colleague Jamelle Bouie’s recent column, “Tell Me Again Why Prisoners Can’t Vote.

    And Darren Sands of BuzzFeed News summarizes the voting-rights bill Cory Booker has introduced as part of his presidential campaign. The bill, Sands writes, would “end gerrymandering; stop voter suppression efforts, such as purging voters from the rolls; expand vote-by-mail, early voting, and same-day and online voter registration; make Election Day a national holiday; rid the election system of language barriers; and give US citizens returning from incarceration the right to vote.”

    This article was posted in its entirety

  15. Opinion
    Bernie Sanders and the Myth of the 1 Percent
    The very rich are richer than people imagine.

    With great wealth comes both great power and a separation from the concerns of ordinary citizens. What the very rich want, they often get; but what they want is often harmful to the rest of the nation. There are some public-spirited billionaires, some very wealthy liberals. But they aren’t typical of their class.

    The very rich don’t need Medicare or Social Security; they don’t use public education or public transit; they may not even be that reliant on public roads (there are helicopters, after all). Meanwhile, they don’t want to pay taxes.

    Read whole article (pdf)

    Permalink (behind paywall)

  16. Opinion
    In a Functional Country, We Would Be on the Road to Impeachment
    Mueller laid out the evidence for members of Congress to take action against President Trump. Will they?

    In 2017, a brilliant visual effects expert created a video montage called “It’s Mueller Time! Trump Administration Season Ending.” Set to the crooning of the 1963 song “From Russia With Love,” it shows F.B.I. agents rounding up the central figures who brought us Donald Trump’s presidency, culminating in Trump himself being led away with his hands behind his back.

    I’ll admit to having watched this over and over again; it’s one of the most satisfying bits of wish fulfillment I’ve ever seen. Wish fulfillment is all it was, though. It’s a national disgrace that Trump sleeps in the White House instead of a federal prison cell, but it has been a while since I had any expectation that the special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings, many of which were finally released to the public on Thursday, could set things right. Instead, I’d desperately hoped for something more modest: clarity. A rough public consensus on what happened in the 2016 election and its aftermath, akin to the Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John Kennedy, or the 9/11 Commission Report. A set of facts that serious people could agree on, leaving conspiracy theories at least somewhat marginalized.

    Read whole article (pdf)

    Permalink (behind paywall)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.