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America's 2018 mid-term elections…


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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: December 28, 2017, 10:22:15 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Let's not make 2018 a year of protest

“Taking the country back from Trump is as simple as turning out
opponents of his presidency in large enough numbers come November.”


By CONOR FRIEDERSDORF | 4:00AM PST — Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's travel ban in Washington on January 30th. — Photograph: Zach Gibson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's travel ban in Washington on January 30th.
 — Photograph: Zach Gibson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


DISGUST WITH Donald Trump transformed 2017 into a year of protest. His critics gathered publicly in opposition to the inauguration; to march on behalf of women; to resist a travel ban that targeted Muslims; to insist on the importance of science; to express support for the rights of immigrants who are in the country illegally; and to decry America's withdrawal from the Paris climate accords. Many saw taking to the streets as the best way to express patriotic dissent. And showing up made it easier to organize an infrastructure for ongoing “resistance”.

The displays of opposition were an important civic statement in 2017. But prioritizing street protests in 2018 would be a grave error for Trump critics, as there are more effective and direct actions they can take to change the country's trajectory. Namely, they can work to dominate the 2018 mid-terms.

The new year will bring the most important off-year elections in many of our lifetimes. As is true every two years, the entire House will be up for re-election. A legislative body that Republicans control 239 seats to 193 seats could flip, thwarting President Trump's ability to advance his domestic agenda and allowing Democrats to investigate his corruption. Whether or not a high crime triggers impeachment may hang in the balance.

Often I am ambivalent about who controls Congress. I've supported and opposed presidents and legislators from both political parties, neither of which match my public policy preferences. And in state politics, I've always voted based on individual candidates, as I will this year.

But I am rooting for Democrats to take the House and Senate in the 2018 mid-terms. Beyond the greater oversight and accountability that divided government brings, a decisive defeat of the GOP is the only tool voters have to repudiate Trump, in particular his tendency to stoke animus against minority groups to gain power. For elites in a multi-ethnic polity, there is no more irresponsible course. Proving that it leads (eventually, at least) to electoral ruin could help quash the tactic for a generation, sparing the country more bigotry from the burgeoning forces who rallied under swastikas in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Protesters at Trump Plaza in West Palm Beach, Florida, in February. — Photograph: Jim Rassol/Sun-Sentinel.
Protesters at Trump Plaza in West Palm Beach, Florida, in February. — Photograph: Jim Rassol/Sun-Sentinel.

Another factor at work in my cheerleading for Team Democrat is that I live in California. Having lost the Golden State, Trump and his allies have repeatedly sought to punish its residents. They've been slow to appropriate disaster relief, included provisions in their failed healthcare bill that would've hit California hard, and disadvantaged the state in the tax bill. Too often, the 14 Republicans in California's House delegation have shown more loyalty to their partisan allies in Washington than to their Blue State constituents. Californians aren't benefitting from having the most House members of any state. If they insist on change, however, Californians could help themselves even as they flip Congress for the whole country.

Democrats, though, tend to have a hard time turning out voters in off-year elections. And all the unhappiness with Trump evident in opinion polls won't necessarily translate to the ballot box.

Seeking change through elections is hard, unheralded work. Registering voters, organizing phone trees, raising small donations and seeking permission to plant yard signs on front lawns isn't as glamorous as marching beneath pithy signs amid tens of thousands as cable news cameras roll. Unlike righteous posts on social media, there's no instant feedback. Some even regard it as woke to insist that America's existing political system is so corrupt that voting doesn't matter; only an egalitarian revolution will do the trick.

But if you want to save America's soul, Mark Lilla advised in The Once and Future Liberal, leftists and moderates have to participate in the system. “Workshops and university seminars will not do it,” he wrote. “Online mobilizing and flash mobs will not do it. Protesting, acting up and acting out will not do it. The age of movement politics is over, at least for now. We need no more marchers. We need more mayors. And governors and state legislators and members of Congress.”

Taking the country back from Trump is as simple as turning out opponents of his presidency in large enough numbers come November. Doing that work effectively is more important than any protest, rally, march or hashtag.


• Conor Friedersdorf is a contributing writer to Opinion at the Los Angeles Times, a staff writer at The Atlantic and founding editor of the Best of Journalism, a newsletter that curates exceptional nonfiction.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-friedersdorf-vote-better-20171227-story.html
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 02:22:31 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times....

It's long way to November, sure, but having said that …

A primer on why the political stakes are sky-high for mid-term election.

By  MARK Z. BARABAK | Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Democrats stand a good chance of winning a majority in the House and possibly the Senate too. History and an unpopular GOP president are in their favor. — Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images.
Democrats stand a good chance of winning a majority in the House and possibly the Senate too. History and an unpopular GOP president are in their favor.
 — Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images.


IT'S A NEW YEAR — happy! happy! — and being even-numbered that means elections across the country.

The political stakes, befitting the bigger-means-better Age of Trump, are considerably higher than usual.

For the first time in years, control of the House is seriously in play and, with it, the prospects for the latter half of Trump's presidential term, which could bolster his record for re-election in 2020 or prove a death march through a slough of subpoenas and congressional torment.

Control of the Senate is a longer shot for Democrats, but also within the realm of possibility — especially after last month's upset victory in Alabama.

Not least, there will be 36 gubernatorial races in 2018. In many states the winner will oversee the once-a-decade redrawing of congressional boundaries, which will go a considerable way toward determining control of the House, not just for one election cycle but well into the 2020s.

Let's start with the House.

OK. There are 435 seats. Each will be on the ballot for November 6th. To gain control, which they lost in 2010, Democrats need to win at least 24 seats held by Republicans.

What's the chance of that?

Right now it looks pretty darned good. Mid-term elections — so called because they fall at the mid-point of a president's four-year term — tend to be a referendum on the incumbent, and that favors the opposition party because angry or unhappy voters are typically more inclined to turn out than contented voters.

Hmm. Is that some kind of fake news?

Actually, there's plenty of history to support that assertion. Going back to 1862, the president's party has averaged a loss of 32 seats in mid-term elections. In modern times, the president's party has lost seats in 18 of the last 20 midterms, with an average loss of 33 seats.

Elections aren't based on history. What about the current environment?

That's also shaping up well for Democrats. Polls have found party voters expressing far more interest in the midterm than Republicans, which is usually a sign of increased turnout. Also, on the so-called generic ballot question — which party would you rather see control Congress? — Democrats are running significantly ahead of the GOP. That's another positive sign for them.

Finally, Democratic turnout in several special elections in 2017 ran considerably higher than expected — even in contests the party lost — which is another reason for Democratic optimism come November.

So that's it for Republican Speaker Paul D. Ryan?

Not necessarily. There's an old saying: (Fill in the blank) is a lifetime in politics. But we won't trot out that tired cliche. Suffice to say it's a long way to November.

Anything to watch in the meantime?

There's a special election in late March to fill a vacant House seat in southwestern Pennsylvania. It's strongly pro-Trump country — he carried the district by nearly 20 percentage points — but after the shocker in Alabama, Democrats believe they may have a chance at another upset. If so, you'll start hearing the W-word with increased frequency.

“W” as in Wawa?

No, that's a chain of East Coast convenience stores. “W” as in wave.

How about the Senate?

There are 34 seats at stake in November, or just over a third of the 100-member body. Republicans will hold a 51-49 advantage once Democrat Doug Jones is sworn in on Wednesday as Alabama's new senator. That means Democrats need a gain of just two seats to take control.

So they have an even better shot at a Senate majority than winning control of the House?

Actually, no.

Huh?

Of the 34 seats, Democrats will have to defend 26, compared with just eight for Republicans. And of those 26, 10 are in states that Trump carried in 2016. So to prevail, Democrats will have to hold onto every seat they have, plus two held by independents who vote with the party. Then they need to pick up at least two Republican-held seats. That's a pretty tall order.

Indeed.

Their best shot appears to be in Arizona, where GOP Senator Jeff Flake is stepping down, and Nevada, where Republican Dean Heller has the distinction of being the only Republican senator up for election in 2018 in a state won by Hillary Clinton. But in a wave year, other states could come into play.

And those governors' races?

There will 36 guber-natorial elections across the country, in big states such as California, Texas, New York and Florida. Obviously, the winner will matter a lot to the folks living in those three dozen states. But the results will also have national import, owing to redistricting.

Do tell.

Every 10 years, after the latest census, the 435 House seats are reapportioned to reflect population changes across the country. In most states, it is then up to legislators to draw new congressional districts lines, subject to guber-natorial veto.

The way those lines are drawn can go a long way toward determining which party wins each seat.

After the 2010 census, the Republicans used their upper hand in state houses to diminish Democratic strength across the country, allowing the GOP to keep a firm grip on the House throughout the decade.

In 2016, for instance, Republicans won 50.6% of the congressional vote nationwide but 55.4% of House seats, or 21 “extra” seats, according to an analysis by the Brookings Institution.

When does the next census take place?

In 2020.

That's a lifetime in politics!

Please.


__________________________________________________________________________

• Mark Z. Barabak covers state and national politics for the Los Angeles Times, based in San Francisco. A reporter for nearly 40 years, Barabak has covered campaigns and elections in 49 of the 50 states, including all or part of the last 10 presidential campaigns and dozens of mayoral, gubernatorial and U.S. Senate contests. He also reported from the White House and Capitol Hill during the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_popover_share.aspx?guid=789d2755-e342-4d76-853d-d3fd0edd3971
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 02:22:45 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times....

Texas Democrats' reason to hope

A Latina lesbian ex-sheriff is running for governor. And even if she loses, her party may win.

By MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE | Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Guadalupe “Lupe” Valdez was an unlikely winner as Dallas County sheriff in 2004. Democrats hope she can beat long odds again in the guber-natorial race. — Photograph: Louis DeLuca/Dallas Morning News.
Guadalupe “Lupe” Valdez was an unlikely winner as Dallas County sheriff in 2004. Democrats hope she can beat long odds again in the guber-natorial race.
 — Photograph: Louis DeLuca/Dallas Morning News.


DALLAS — Guadalupe “Lupe” Valdez was making the rounds in jeans and a purple blouse on a recent Sunday at Norma's Cafe, a popular diner packed with a diverse mix of Texans.

“Hey, sheriff!” exclaimed a Latino in a Dallas Cowboys jersey, and Valdez was soon at his side, grinning.

“I was afraid people wouldn't recognize me without the uniform,” she said.

The week before, Valdez — the state's first openly gay and first Latina sheriff, with almost four terms under her belt as Dallas County's top cop — announced she was resigning to run for governor. In a crowded Democratic primary, she's the front-runner with the potential to boost party voter registration and turnout long-term, especially among Latinos. Though Valdez is unlikely to beat Republican Greg Abbott, a popular governor in a red state with $50 million to spend, she could benefit from a backlash against President Trump, mobilizing Latino voters.

“We're giving people hope,” Valdez said. “A lot of people have written off Texas.”

Valdez, 70, is no stranger to adversity. She grew up in San Antonio, the youngest of eight children in a Mexican American family, migrating with her parents to work the fields. She waited tables to put herself through Southern Nazarene University, then joined the Women's Army Corps. She was not openly gay at the time, but had friends who were gay or were spotted at gay bars and dishonorably discharged as a result.

She came out later in life, in stages: living more openly in the 1990s, attending a gay-friendly church, working for the federal government and worrying less about the career implications as she rose through the ranks, becoming a senior agent with the Department of Homeland Security in 2002.

When she retired and ran for sheriff in 2004, she was out of the closet, but even with the voter turnout boost of a presidential election she was a long shot.

“She ran for sheriff in a county that did not have a single countywide official that was a Democrat and hadn't for 20 years. She ran against an incumbent sheriff. She did not have any experience running for office. Few people, if any, gave her any chance of winning,” said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa.

Valdez won by a slim margin, 51% to 49%. But her win helped set the stage for a larger victory, attracting Democratic candidates who swept into office in 2006. Two years later, Valdez's margin of victory widened, 55% to 45%. Last year, she was re-elected by the widest margin yet, 59% to 37%. As Dallas' population grew and diversified, one of the keys to those victories was turning out minority voters, she said.

Valdez, who announced last month that she was resigning as sheriff to run for governor, said her campaign would be focused on economic issues that concern blue-collar families and the elderly, those who worked their way up like she did, subsisting at times on peanut butter and jelly, making sure they paid the rent, cleaned up for church and prayed over their meals the way she and others did at Norma's.

“She understands what those folks are going through, what they need, what their families are all about,” Hinojosa said. “The only reason Texas is not a blue state is because the huge Latino population in this state has not turned out the way it should and the way it has in states like California.”

Wendy Davis, the Democrat who ran against Abbott in 2014, lost by more than 20 percentage points, a setback for Democrats statewide. She had risen to national prominence as a state legislator filibustering for abortion rights.

“One hope that Democrats have for Lupe Valdez is that she increases voter registration and turnout among Latinos and she shifts the percentage of the Latino vote won by Democrats from the 55[%] to 65% range, where it's been recently in Texas, to the 65[%] to 75% range, where it's been in places like California,” said Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston.

Democrats now have two paths to relevance in Texas, Jones said: Peel off moderate, white Republican voters or mobilize their base, especially Latinos.

Andrew White, 45, a Houston entrepreneur and son of the late Democratic Governor Mark White, represents the first path. Valdez represents the second.

Valdez, though openly gay, is “not defined by her sexual orientation” the way Davis was defined by her stand on abortion, Jones said: “She's not Harvey Milk.” Her girlfriend, a Dallas chiropractor, doesn't plan to make many appearances on the campaign trail. Where Davis looked like a model, Valdez said, she looks like a “grandma”.

Texas Republican Party Chairman James Dickey believes Valdez's record on “sanctuary” cities and other issues makes her unpalatable to Texas moderates. He noted that when liberal Democrat Leticia Van de Putte ran for lieutenant governor in 2014 against conservative fellow state Senator Dan Patrick, a Tea Party stalwart, she lost by a wide margin, 39% to 58%.

“There was a limited appeal as far as identity, and at the same time a massive disconnect on values, issues and principles,” Dickey said. “No moderate of any race who looks at Lupe's track record would consider her a moderate.”

Dickey also doesn't expect Valdez to benefit from a Trump backlash at the polls. “I will be shocked if we do not have a statewide candidate this election that wins straight up a majority of the Hispanic vote, because it's our issues that resonate with all Texans,” he said.

Former Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Neerman disagreed.

“Traditional Latino Republican voters could abandon the party because of Trump and vote Democrat, or the sleeping giant could awaken and new Latino voters could vote Democrat,” Neerman said.

In that way, Valdez would lay the groundwork for another Democrat to stage a successful campaign for governor in 2022, Jones said, such as San Antonio congressman Joaquin Castro or his twin brother, former U.S. Housing secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.

Democrat Tony Sanchez managed to dramatically boost Latino turnout when he ran for governor against Republican Rick Perry in 2002, Jones said, but the party missed the chance to capitalize on that four years later.

“What Lupe Valdez is going to try to do is engage the Latino community that 2018 is a stepping-stone,” Jones said. “The key for Democrats will be that the Valdez candidacy is not a one-off, that it sets things up for another candidate in 2022.”


__________________________________________________________________________

• Molly Hennessy-Fiske is a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she has spent a decade covering foreign, national, metro and business news, including reporting rotations in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon. She won an Overseas Press Club award in 2015, a Dart award from Columbia University in 2014, was a finalist for the Livingston Awards and Casey Medal and won state awards for her work in California, Florida, New York and North Carolina. She completed a Thomson Reuters fellowship in Lebanon in 2006 and a Pew fellowship reporting from Mexico in 2004. She has reported for newspapers in Boston, Miami, Raleigh, Schenectady, Syracuse, Washington and West Palm Beach. Hennessy-Fiske grew up in Upstate New York before attending Harvard College, graduating with a bachelor's degree in social studies in 1999. She is currently Middle East bureau chief.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_popover_share.aspx?guid=759ac7dc-e65f-4177-ab2a-5f1599541d17
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 02:23:32 pm »


Wouldn't that be hilarious eh? A lesbian latino Governor of Texas.

Those mentally-defective bible-bashing, gun-toting WHITIE Texas Baptists will be frothing at the mouth if she wins.

I hope she does win. Just to piss them off!!

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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 07:39:58 pm »

hahaha you're echo chamber for morons
but in here there's just one stupid white clown

you

lmao Grin
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2018, 01:31:16 am »

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And the many things that will personally effect you.
Go to
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AND WAKE THE F_ _K UP

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