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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tax Bill: Exploding the Debt, Alienating the Public

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the tax issue in the 2016 campaign. 

Heather Long at WP:
Trump has promised Americans “huge” tax cuts, but only 44 percent of taxpayers would see their tax bills reduced by more than $500 in 2019, according to JCT's analysis of the winners and losers in the plan. The chart below was first reported by The Washington Post after a GOP senator's office shared it.
“We're going to give the American people a huge tax cut for Christmas — hopefully that will be a great, big, beautiful Christmas present,” the president said last week.

Overall, the majority of Americans -- 62 percent -- would get a tax cut of at least $100 in 2019, according to JCT. The remaining 38 percent would either pay about the same in taxes as they do now or get a tax hike.
But by 2027, just 16 percent of Americans would get a tax cut of at least $100. The "winners" fall dramatically because the tax cuts for individuals go away in 2026 in the Senate GOP plan. Republicans argue that those tax cuts are likely to be extended by a future Congress.
Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight:
About a third of voters currently support the Republican tax reform package, according to an average of five surveys released1 this month. In a Quinnipiac University survey, just 25 percent of voters approved of the plan. Surveys from ABC News/Washington Post, CNN, Morning Consult and YouGov put approval of the plan slightly higher, but all are still at 36 percent or lower. Meanwhile, an average of the five polls puts opposition at 46 percent.
Why is support so low? Americans are opposed to the bill because they think it disproportionately benefits the rich. (It likely will.) President Trump’s administration has argued, however, that there were similar complaints about the Reagan tax cut plan of 1981, which preceded an economic boom.
The Reagan plan, though, was far more popular in 1981 than the current Republican plan is now. In a Gallup survey taken in the days after Reagan signed his tax cuts into law on Aug. 13, 1981, 51 percent of Americans were in favor of it. Just 26 percent of Americans were opposed. The other major tax cut of the Reagan administration (signed in 1986) wasn’t nearly as popular, but it was still more popular than the current GOP legislation. A CBS News/New York Times survey conducted in the days after the bill passed Congress found 38 percent in favor and 34 percent opposed.
Indeed, major tax cut plans are usually more popular than unpopular. Heck, even some tax hikes have been more popular than the current GOP bill.2

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Trump Retweets British Fascist

In  Defying the Oddswe discuss Trump's character.

During the campaign, Trump retweeted neo-Nazis.  He's at it again.

From Haaretz:
U.S. President Donald Trump retweeted three anti-Muslim videos purportedly showing violence by Muslim migrants. The videos were originally posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the Britain first movement.
The first retweet was a video titled, "Muslim migrant beating up a Dutch boy on crutches," while the second, "Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!," and the third and most gruesome, "Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!"

Britain first is a far-right ultranationalism group which purports to document Muslim activity across Britain and Europe. The group formed in 2011 as an offshoot of the far-right, fascist party - British National Party. The group's founder Paul Golding is a convicted felon and was reportedly previously a member of the neo-Nazi National Front.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Senate Tax Bill Would Help the Rich, Hurt the Poor

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the tax issue in the 2016 campaign. 

.

Heather Long at WP:
The Senate Republican tax plan gives substantial tax cuts and benefits to Americans earning more than $100,000 a year, while the nation’s poorest would be worse off, according to a report released Sunday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Republicans are aiming to have the full Senate vote on the tax plan as early as this week, but the new CBO analysis showing large, harmful effects on the poor may complicate those plans. The CBO also said the bill would add $1.4 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, a potential problem for Republican lawmakers worried about America’s growing debt.
By 2019, Americans earning less than $30,000 a year would be worse off under the Senate bill, CBO found. By 2021, Americans earning $40,000 or less would be net losers, and by 2027, most people earning less than $75,000 a year would be worse off. On the flip side, millionaires and those earning $100,000 to $500,000 would be big beneficiaries, according to the CBO’s calculations. (In the CBO table below, negative signs mean people in those income brackets pay less in taxes).
The main reason the poor get hit so hard in the Senate GOP bill is because the poor would receive less government aid for health care.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sexual Harasser Backs Child Molester

In  Defying the Oddswe discuss Trump's character.

What the president did not foresee was that the friction would reach inside his immediate family. He vented his annoyance when his daughter Ivanka castigated Mr. Moore by saying there was “a special place in hell for people who prey on children,” according to three staff members who heard his comments.

“Do you believe this?” Mr. Trump asked several aides in the Oval Office. Mr. Moore’s Democratic opponent in the Alabama race, Doug Jones, quickly turned her comments into a campaign ad.

But something deeper has been consuming Mr. Trump. He sees the calls for Mr. Moore to step aside as a version of the response to the now-famous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which he boasted about grabbing women’s genitalia, and the flood of groping accusations against him that followed soon after. He suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently. (In the hours after it was revealed in October 2016, Mr. Trump acknowledged that the voice was his, and he apologized.)
...


The Senate leader has told fellow Republicans in private that Mr. Moore’s nomination has endangered the party’s hold on the Senate, according to people who have spoken with him — his starkest acknowledgment so far that the political environment has turned sharply against his party since Mr. Trump’s election. Mr. McConnell has also reiterated his intention to move against Mr. Moore if he is elected, though Mr. McConnell has made clear that he thinks that the candidate is unlikely to win.
Otherwise loyal Senate Republicans have started putting some distance between themselves and the president, a breach that could grow wider in the event of expulsion proceedings.
“As much as people would like to assume that, as Louis XIV said, ‘I am the state,’ there is more than one person who represents the Republican Party, and the preponderance of the party has dissociated itself from Moore,” said Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Flynn Flips


 Greg Price at Newsweek:
The information-sharing deal between President Donald Trump’s legal team and that of former national security adviser Mike Flynn has been a “scandal,” as well “ethically dubious” and could be construed as form of “witness tampering,” according to a top legal expert.
University of New Hampshire professor and attorney Seth Abramson shared his opinions in a 30-tweet thread posted Thursday night on a possibly nefarious deal between the two legal camps and provided greater insight and context into what he believes has gone on.

Abramson broke down The New York Times explosive report of how Flynn’s attorneys informed the president’s lawyers they could no longer discuss Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. The report asserted such a breakaway could be a sign that Flynn is “cooperating with prosecutors or negotiating a deal.”

Friday, November 24, 2017

Wave?


At The Cook Political Report, Amy Walter notes that Democrats lead in the generic congressional ballot:
My colleague David Wasserman has been digging into the question of just how big of a wave Democrats need to get in order to surf into the majority. The short answer: they need to see a generic ballot advantage of +8 or more, which roughly translates to getting at least 54 percent or more of the national House vote in 2018.
The last time Democrats enjoyed a margin of +8 or more in a mid-term year was 2006. That year, Democrats won the House vote by 8.5 percent. The last time that Democrats got into the double digits was 2008 when they carried the House vote by D+11. This has led to a lots of talk that Democrats can only hit significant margins of victory in presidential elections when their base is more engaged and involved. It also helped to have a transformational candidate - Barack Obama - at the top of the ticket. Something they obviously don't have in 2018. But, there is precedent for Democrats winning the House vote by double digits in mid-term years. In the post-Watergate midterm of 1974, Democrats won by a whopping 17 points. In Ronald Reagan’s first midterm of 1982, Democrats won the House vote by 12 points.
Cook notes other evidence pointing to a wave:
The off-year election results also point to a wave. It was a foregone conclusion that Democrats would pick up the governorship of New Jersey, but state legislative gains in Virginia, Georgia, Washington, and elsewhere are ominous for Republicans. Tim Storey, the elections guru at the National Conference of State Legislatures, says that about 33 state legislative seats have shifted from Republican to Democrat this year, while just two have gone from Democrat to Republican, and a couple of seats could go either way. In special congressional elections, in strongly GOP districts in Georgia, Kansas, Montana, and South Carolina, Republicans have come out on top, but voting patterns showed them underperforming the norm by 6 to 12 points. These results do not bode well for the 23 GOP-held districts won last year by Hillary Clinton or for those that Trump won narrowly.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Punishing Blue Constituencies in the Tax Bills

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the tax issue in the 2016 campaign. 

At The Atlantic, Ronald Brownstein explains that GOP tax legislation screws Democratic constituencies. A couple of examples:
Taxpayers in Democratic-leaning states: To fund other tax cuts, the House and Senate plans rely heavily on retrenching the deduction taxpayers can now take for state and local taxes, known as SALT.
Of the 20 states where the highest percentage of taxpayers take that deduction, Hillary Clinton won 16 last year. Donald Trump, meanwhile, won 26 of the 30 states where the smallest percentage of taxpayers use the SALT deduction. In that way, the bill forces blue-state families to fund tax cuts for their red-state counterparts.
Homeowners in big-city markets: The impact of the SALT changes is magnified by the House bill’s provision halving the maximum mortgage-interest deduction to $500,000. In most markets, this affects few taxpayers since few home prices exceed that threshold. But data from ATTOM Data Solutions, which tracks property information, show that provision could hurt one-fifth or more of homebuyers in the most expensive markets around major cities, particularly along the coasts—places like Seattle, Southern California, Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area, Northern Virginia, and the New York City metropolitan area. All those places, like most large metropolitan centers, gave Clinton commanding margins.
Between the mortgage and SALT limits, the bills hit many upper-middle-class taxpayers, especially in blue states. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy calculates that by 2027 the Senate bill would raise taxes on about 45 percent of households between the 80th and 95th income percentiles in California, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York; and over one-third of such families in Oregon, Minnesota, and Illinois. Many of those families are precisely the white-collar suburbanites who have long resisted Trump.

In all, ITEP has calculated that by 2027 taxpayers in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and California—which Clinton won— would pay nearly $17 billion more in federal income taxes. At the same time, those in Texas and Florida—which backed Trump—would pay over $31 billion less. “You can definitely see the ideological tilt here,” Carl Davis, IRET’s research director, told me.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Doug Jones Ads

In Defying the Odds, we discuss congressional elections as well as the presidential race.  In Alabama, Doug Jones -- former prosecutor of the KKK faces off against accused child molester Roy Moore.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Roy Moore and Teenage Girls: Do the Math


At AL.com Kyle Whitmire on accused child molester Roy Moore:
First, read his book. In it, Moore describes how he met his wife at a Christmas party hosted by friends. He would have been 37. She was 23.
"Many years before, I had attended a dance recital at Gadsden State Junior College,"
Moore wrote. "I remembered one of the special dances performed by a young woman whose first and last names began with the letter 'K.' It was something I had never forgotten. Could that young woman have been Kayla Kisor?"
Moore later determined that it was.
"Long afterward, I would learn that Kayla had, in fact, performed a special dance routine at Gadsden State years before," he wrote.
Take a second to think about what's being said here. Moore first took notice of Kayla at a dance recital?
Perhaps you're wondering what "many years" means, and I wondered that too. Luckily, Moore again has cleared that up for us.
In an interview Moore gave earlier this year, he gave a similar account, but for one detail.
"It was, oh gosh, eight years later, or something, I met her," Moore said. "And when she told me her name, I remembered 'K. K.,' and I said, 'Haven't I met you before?'"
It's a simple matter of subtraction. When Roy Moore first took notice of Kayla she would have been as young as 15.
 There's a little fuzziness, to be sure, in the timeline. There's the "or something" Moore fudges with in the interview. Eight years before could have been slightly too early to put Moore in Gadsden, he started work as an deputy district attorney there in 1977.
So maybe she was 15, or maybe she was 16. But still, here is a grown man at about 30 years old attending a girls' dance recital, and doing what exactly?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Russian Winter Is Coming

In Defying the Oddswe discuss Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign.

Ashley Parker and Carol D. Leonnig at WP:
One Republican operative in frequent contact with the White House described Mueller’s team “working through the staff like Pac-Man.”
“Of course they are worried,” said the Republican, who insisted on anonymity to offer a candid assessment. “Anybody that ever had the words ‘Russia’ come out of their lips or in an email, they’re going to get talked to. These things are thorough and deep. It’s going to be a long winter.”
...
“The president says, ‘This is all just an annoyance. I did nothing,’ ” said one person close to the administration. “He is somewhat arrogant about it. But this investigation is a classic Gambino-style roll-up. You have to anticipate this roll-up will reach everyone in this administration.”
A senior Russian official who claimed to be acting at the behest of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia tried in May 2016 to arrange a meeting between Mr. Putin and Donald J. Trump, according to several people familiar with the matter.
The news of this reached the Trump campaign in a very circuitous way. An advocate for Christian causes emailed campaign aides saying that Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of the Russian central bank who has been linked both to Russia’s security services and organized crime, had proposed a meeting between Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump. The subject line of the email, turned over to Senate investigators, read, “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite,” according to one person who has seen the message.
The proposal made its way to the senior levels of the Trump campaign before Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a top campaign aide, sent a message to top campaign officials rejecting it, according to two people who have seen Mr. Kushner’s message.
Though the meeting never happened, Mr. Torshin’s request is the latest example of how the Russian government intensified its effort to contact and influence the Trump campaign last year as Mr. Trump was closing in on the Republican presidential nomination. It came just weeks after a self-described intermediary for the Russian government told a Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, that the Russians had “dirt” on Mr. Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton, in the form of “thousands of emails.”
In The Art of the Deal, Trump writes: “In January 1987, I got a letter from Yuri Dubinin, the Soviet ambassador to the United States, that began: ‘It is a pleasure for me to relay some good news from Moscow.’ It went on to say that the leading Soviet state agency for international tourism, Goscomintourist, had expressed interest in pursuing a joint venture to construct and manage a hotel in Moscow.”

There were many ambitious real estate developers in the United States—why had Moscow picked Trump?

According to Viktor Suvorov—a former GRU military spy—and others, the KGB ran Intourist, the agency to which Trump referred. It functioned as a subsidiary KGB branch. Initiated in 1929 by Stalin, Intourist was the Soviet Union’s official state travel agency. Its job was to vet and monitor all foreigners coming into the Soviet Union. “In my time it was KGB,” Suvorov said. “They gave permission for people to visit.” The KGB’s first and second directorates routinely received lists of prospective visitors to the country based on their visa applications.

As a GRU operative, Suvorov was personally involved in recruitment, albeit for a rival service to the KGB. Soviet spy agencies were always interested in cultivating “young ambitious people,” he said—an upwardly mobile businessman, a scientist, a “guy with a future.”

Sunday, November 19, 2017

R Is for Rot

In  Defying the Oddswe discuss Trump's character.

Michael Gerson on the Russia investigation:
In all of this, there is a spectacular accumulation of lies. Lies on disclosure forms. Lies at confirmation hearings. Lies on Twitter. Lies in the White House briefing room. Lies to the FBI. Self-protective lies by the attorney general. Blocking and tackling lies by Vice President Pence. This is, with a few exceptions, a group of people for whom truth, political honor, ethics and integrity mean nothing.




Jennifer Rubin:
Republicans will tell your they support Moore and Trump as vehicles to policy goals. That assumes (falsely) that their policy goals are noble when they are actually unrealistic, unpopular, inconsistent and unconservative. Run up the debt, say the fiscal hawks. Take away health-care coverage, say the GOP “reformers.” Ban Muslims, round up Dreamers and slash legal immigration say the “Constitutional conservatives” and “market capitalists.” Worst of all: Vote for “values,” say the charlatans who backed Trump.
In truth, the goals these Republicans care about, if they ever did, have long ago been sublimated (they certainly changed them entirely) to the goal of holding power, of winning. When that is the highest calling they’ll vote for alleged child predators, racists and just about anyone else with an “R” next to his or her name. The result is moral haos, political malfeasance and gross incompetence. And a President Trump.
Mark Joseph Stern at Slate:
Brett Talley, the Alabama lawyer Donald Trump has nominated to be a federal district judge, is a 36-year-old ghosthunter who has never tried a case and who failed to disclose to the Senate that he is married to the chief of staff to the White House counsel. He also seems to have written 16,381 posts—more than 3½ per day—on the University of Alabama fan message board TideFans.com. As BuzzFeed has reported, a user who is almost certainly Talley posted for years under the handle BamainBoston. (BuzzFeed managed to identify him because BamainBoston wrote a message headlined “Washington Post Did A Feature On Me,” linking to a 2014 Ben Terris profile of Talley. BuzzFeedreported that a “Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on Talley's behalf.”)

A search of TideFans.com reveals that BamainBoston often opined on controversial issues, including race, abortion, perceived federal overreach, and Southern heritage. In one post from February 2011, he defended the honor of the early Ku Klux Klan.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Using Fake Tocqueville to Defend Accused Child Molester

In Defying the Odds, we discuss congressional elections as well as the presidential race.





At a rally for accused child molester Roy Moore, homeschooler Jennifer Case (at about 12:40 in the video) said: "He is the closest thing that any of us have observed to a founding father in our times. DeTocqueville said: `America is great because she is good.  If she ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.'"

Tocqueville said no such thing. This quotation is fake. As I have been pointing out for 22 years, Tocqueville never wrote any such thing. Many politicians -- including Bill Clinton and Ben Carson -- have used the fake quotation. Hillary Clinton alluded to it in her acceptance speech.

h/t Carl

Friday, November 17, 2017

Trump's Vulnerability

In  Defying the Oddswe discuss Trump's character..


Trump is sidestepping the Roy Moore story. He has good reason, given photos, videos, and stories involving Trump and minors.





German Lopez at CBS:
Donald Trump has said a lot of horrific things about adult women in the past year. But in a video unearthed by CBS News, Trump is seen targeting a different kind of victim: a young child.
In the 1992 video, Trump, who was 46 at the time, can be heard talking to a little girl, asking her if she’s going to go up an escalator. After she says she is, Trump turns to the camera and says, "I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?"
 Kendall Taggart, Jessica Garrison, Jessica Testa at Buzzfeed:
Four women who competed in the 1997 Miss Teen USA beauty pageant said Donald Trump walked into the dressing room while contestants — some as young as 15 — were changing.
“I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here,’” said Mariah Billado, the former Miss Vermont Teen USA.
Trump, she recalled, said something like, “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”
Tina Nguyen at Vanity Fair:
In a normal Republican administration, an allegation that Senator Al Franken, a Democrat, had groped a woman as she slept, accompanied by a damning photo, would be a political gift to the White House. When its occupant is Donald Trump, however, the story is altogether different—late in his presidential campaign, Trump was faced with accusations of sexual misconduct and assault from more than 16 women, which many believed would spell his political doom.
Trump and his ilk have vigorously denied the allegations, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently declaring from the podium that all of the president’s accusers are liars. But they’ve resurfaced in the wake of the Roy Moore scandal, which has left both Trump and the Republican Party metaphorically handcuffed to a Senate candidate accused of child molestation. Neither measure of hypocrisy seems to weigh on Trump, however, who gleefully ripped Franken Thursday night on Twitter.

 


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Tax Trouble

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the tax issue in the 2016 campaign. 

CNBC:
Most American voters — 52 percent — disapprove of the GOP proposals to overhaul the tax system, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. Only 25 percent of respondents approve of the Republican effort.
The GOP says its push to chop taxes on businesses and individuals by year-end is designed to trim the burden on middle-class taxpayers while boosting job creation and wage growth.
  • Voters largely have not bought into the message, the Quinnipiac poll found.
  • Sixty-one percent of voters said the plan would mainly help the wealthy. Twenty-four percent responded that it would primarily benefit the middle class, while only 6 percent said the same about low-income people.
  • The proposals favor the rich at the expense of the middle class, 59 percent of respondents said. Only 33 percent disagreed with that statement.
  • Only 36 percent of respondents said the GOP effort will lead to more jobs and better economic growth. A majority, 52 percent, disagreed.
  • Thirty-six percent of voters said the proposals would not have much of an effect on their taxes. Thirty-five percent said the plan would increase what they pay, while 16 percent said it would reduce their tax burden.
NYT:
In a national survey of 9,504 adults conducted for The New York Times by the online polling firm SurveyMonkey, 78 percent of respondents said they did not believe they would receive a raise if their employer received a tax cut. Even many Republicans doubted they would benefit directly from a corporate tax cut: Roughly 70 percent of self-identified Republicans — and roughly 65 percent of people who said they strongly approved of President Trump’s performance in office — said they didn’t think they would get a pay increase.
LAT editorial:
But the bill’s cuts in personal tax rates, its increase in the standard deduction and other benefits for individual taxpayers are partially offset by reductions in some popular tax deductions — including those for state and local taxes and mortgage interest payments, many of whose beneficiaries live in states with high income or sales taxes and high property values. As a result, according to a new analysis by the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the House bill would force taxpayers in California, New York, New Jersey and Maryland to pay $16.7 billion more in personal income taxes in 2027 than they would under current law, while taxpayers in the other 46 states would pay $101.5 billion less. More than one-third of the cuts would flow to Texas and Florida.

California would be the hardest hit of all, with its taxpayers kicking a cumulative $12.1 billion in additional taxes into the federal kitty in 2027, the institute’s analysis found. But it’s not just the higher taxes that will hurt — the lower caps on the deductions for property taxes and mortgage interest likely would have an immediate, chilling effect on property values across the state. That’s good news for first-time homebuyers, bad news for millions of others who already own homes in this costly market.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Uranium One

 In Defying the Oddswe discuss the conservative media and attacks on Clinton:

 Alana Horowitz Satlin reports at The Huffington Post:
Fox News anchor Shep Smith broke from his network’s hyperventilating coverage of the “Uranium One” pseudoscandal to debunk allegations of wrongdoings by Hillary Clinton.

Smith, never one to blindly toe the party line, took to task President Donald Trump ― and, implicitly, his cable news network of choice ― over the “inaccurate” portrayal of the sale of a Canadian mining company with major U.S. holdings to a Russian company.

“Here’s the accusation,” Smith explained Tuesday. “Nine people involved in the deal made donations to the Clinton Foundation totaling more than $140 million. In exchange, Secretary of State Clinton approved the sale to the Russians — a quid pro quo.”

It’s a claim that has dominated Fox News in recent weeks after The Hill published a deeply flawed report about a “Russian bribery plot” involving the sale. Following pressure from the president and several Republican members of Congress, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier this week that the Justice Department would consider appointing a special counsel to review the deal as well as other matters involving Clinton and other Democrats.



Rep. Louis Gohmert has his version of a conspiracy chart:



Monday, November 13, 2017

"Fresh New Faces"

In Defying the Odds, we discuss problems that brought down the Democrats. 

One is incompetence.

Another is the party gerontocracy:  Feinstein, Pelosi, and Sanders, among others.


 

The Case of the Alabama Child Molester

In Defying the Odds, we discuss congressional elections as well as the presidential race.

Sean Sullivan and Elise Viebeck report at The Washington Post:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday that Republican nominee Roy Moore should end his Senate campaign in Alabama, following allegations that he initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.
“I think he should step aside,” McConnell said. His comments marked the most definitive position he has taken on Moore’s candidacy since The Washington Post reported the allegations on Thursday.
Asked by a reporter whether he believed the allegations, McConnell responded: “I believe the women, yes.”
Although it is too late to remove Moore’s name from the ballot before the Dec. 12 special election, McConnell said he is exploring the option of a write-in campaign by Sen. Luther Strange, whom Moore defeated in the primary, or another Republican.
The Post reported Thursday that Leigh Corfman alleged that Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 and Moore was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. Moore has denied the allegations and has vowed to continue his campaign.
A 7/23/13 Trump Tweet (screenshot in case they take it down):


Sunday, November 12, 2017

More Moore


Paul Gattis at AL.com:
A new Alabama Senate poll, released Sunday morning, gives Democrat Doug Jones his first lead over Republican Roy Moore.
The race, though, remains close.
Louisiana-based JMC Analytics conducted the poll after allegations of sexual misconduct by Moore were reported by The Washington Post.
The poll had Jones received 46 percent support in the poll to Moore's 42 percent. With a margin of error of 4 percent, however, the race is essentially a statistical tie.
The poll also had 9 percent of participants declaring themselves undecided.
It's the second poll since the allegations came out that reveals a loss of support for Moore. A Decision Desk HQ/Opinion Savvy poll released Friday had the race tied 46-46.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

They're, Their, and There

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's way with words.  He and his underlings have a good deal of work to do.

I offer stylistic tips to my students, including a list of "dumbass mistakes."

Trump makes such mistakes in his tweets.

They're/There/Their
Image result for trump "their was afghanistan"

Capital/Capitol
Council/Counsel

Image result for trump yates council

Heel/Heal

Image result for heeling fast trump

Lose/Loose

Trump Believes Putin and Trashes the Intel Community

In Defying the Oddswe discuss Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign.

Now that his bone spurs have apparently healed, Trump finally got to Vietnam.  He spoke with Putin at the APEC summit in Da Nang.  Departing on Air Force One, he shared his thoughts with reporters.

Eddie Scarry at The Washington Examiner:
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Trump said: "They're political hacks. So, you look at it, and then you have Brennan, you have Clapper, and you have Comey. Comey's proven now to be a liar, and he's proven to be a leaker. So, you look at that. And you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with that. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine."
From Axios:
Reporter: Did Russia's attempts to meddle in US elections come up in the conversations?
Trump: "He said he didn't meddle, he said he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times."
Reporter: Today?
Trump: "I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election, he did not do what they are saying he did."
Reporter: Do you believe him?
Trump: "Well, look, I can't stand there and argue with him, I would rather have him get out of Syria, I would rather get to work with him on the Ukraine rather than arguing about whether or not... that whole thing was set up by the Democrats. Look at Podesta, look at all the things that they have done with the phony dossier. Those are the big events. But Putin said he did not do what they said he did. But we have a good feeling toward getting things done. If we had a relationship with Russia, that would be a good thing. In fact it would be a great thing, not a bad thing, because he could really help us on North Korea. We have a big problem with North Korea and China is helping us. And because of the lack of the relationship that we have with Russia, because of this artificial thing that's happening with this Democratic-inspired thing. We could really be helped a lot with Russia having to do with North Korea. You know you are talking about millions and millions of lives. This isn't baby stuff, this is the real deal. And if Russia helped us in addition to China, that problem would go away a lot faster."
Reporter: On election meddling, did you ask him the question?
Trump: "Every time he sees me he says I didn't do that and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says I didn't do that. I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country. Because again, if we had a relationship with Russia, North Korea which is our single biggest problem right now, it would help a lot. I think they are doing very well with respect to China, they have cut off financing, they have cut off lots of oil and lots of other things, lots of trade and it's having a big impact. But Russia on the other hand may be making up the difference. And if they are, that's not a good thing. So having a relationship with Russia would be a great thing especially as it relates to North Korea."
"Hillary had her stupid reset button that she spelled the word wrong, but she does not have what it takes to have that kind of relationship where you could call or you could do something. But this is really an artificial barrier that's put in front of us for solving problems with Russia. He says that very strongly, he really seems to be insulted by it and he says he didn't do it. He is very, very strong in the fact that he didn't do it. You have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he has nothing to do with that. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine."

Friday, November 10, 2017

Roy Moore

In Defying the Odds, we discuss congressional elections as well as the presidential race.

Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard and Alice Crites report at WP that, when he was in his 30s, Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore -- already a disgraced former judge -- sexually pursued several teenage girls.  He inappropriately touched one who was only 14 at the time.  The women went on the record.  "This account is based on interviews with more than 30 people who said they knew Moore between 1977 and 1982, when he served as an assistant district attorney for Etowah County in northern Alabama, where he grew up."

NRSC has withdrawn from a joint fundraising committee with Moore.

Axios: "Roy Moore, the GOP nominee for Alabama Senate, is tied with his Democratic opponent Doug Jones in the latest Opinion-Savvy/Decision Desk HQ poll after four women alleged Moore made sexual advances toward them when he was in his 30s and they were teenagers. Moore led Jones by 5.7% in the previous survey and another had him up by double-digits."

Mike Cason reports at AL.com that it is too late to strike his name from the ballot in the December 12 special election. The deadline was October 11.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Democrats and Fundamentals

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's impact down the ballot.

Nate Silver on why the fundamentals seem to favor Democrats ... so far.